After my slightly unsuccessful efforts with “Kirsten” last week I’ve headed back to familiar territory this week with my star signs. I promise, somehow, I will finish Kirsten in time for next week’s blog.
So if you want to read a bit more about the story behind Aquarius read on! There’s lots of work in progress pictures in this one.
Is Aquarius just a Hipster (with an extraordinarily large penis)?
Aquarius always gets me stumped. All that comes to mind when I think ‘water-bearer’ is a woman elegantly draped in a Grecian gown carrying an urn on her shoulder. When I try to imagine a modern-day water-bearer I get stuck on a female version of Adam Sandler’s character in The Waterboy. Yeah… nah… that’s not happening.
“Aquarians are original, independent, shy and quiet. They can also be eccentric and energetic. Deep thinkers and highly intellectual, they love to help others”
In my search for more meaningful inspiration I delved deeper in to the big bad net only to discover Aquarians are the hipster of the zodiac!. Who knew!? Should my Aquarian be sporting a beard and riding a fixie while sipping on a flat white? But wait there’s more… ‘a person born between January 20 and February 18… normally has a large penis and genitals. He may also be considered good with the other sex in various aspects.’ (WTF? Thank you Urban Dictionary!).
All rightly .. shall I just draw a giant bearded penis and be done with it? (and that’s not some kind of euphemism for Adam Sandler.)
Of course I ditched all this highly factual and relevant information, drew my own long bow and came up with … goggles and a swim cap!
It felt like a bit of a dubious concept to me. So, perhaps a bit unfairly, I turned to my husband as a test case. Waving the untitled sketch in his face, jumping up and down excitedly asking, “what’s this? what’s this one?” Now honestly what man knows anything about horoscopes? He’d be lucky to be able to name them all let alone know what they are supposed to represent. He valiantly took on my challenge:
S: … ahhh… Aquarius… the water bearer one?
HOLY SHIT! I swear I fell off my chair. How did he know that. I was half expecting him to tell me he could see it on the computer screen behind me, but no he fair and square got it on his own. I was too gobsmacked to actually give myself a bit of a pat on the back that my interpretation of Aquarius was recognisable.
Taking a walk on the wrong-right side
If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll know I have a bit of hero-worship going on for JD Hillberry. As well as the use of charcoal, another tip I have picked up from “JD” is to use the ‘wrong’ side of the paper. JD also uses Arches hot pressed watercolour paper but chooses to use the back of the paper as the front side has a patterned tooth.
I have used the ‘wrong side’ for my last couple of drawings but this time around I completely forgot. It wasn’t until I started work on the goggles that I realised my mistake. It has quite a different feel and I nearly started again because I didn’t like the slightly more rough and textured look I was getting. Particularly as I was trying to achieve a very smooth look for the goggles and the water beads.
Again with the eyes I used my Staedtler Mars Lumograph black 6B pencil for the pupils and darkest creases. I am loving the effect this pencil gives. It is more manageable than charcoal but still gives quite a matt finish. I also actually quite like that her eyes have a “goggle-eyed” effect. It does look a bit weird at the moment but she also kinda looks like how I look when I take my goggles off – (without the red, chlorinated effect).
The more I do, the more I am digging the texture of this paper. Rather than fighting it I am doing my best to embrace it. I really feel like it gives the skin some natural texture. I guess it is a case of using what you’ve got to your advantage.
Yes this week I got snap happy and have probably provided far more work in progress photos than anyone really needs to see. I am trying to appeal to the visual ones amongst you! Anyway it was not a conscious decision but her face came out a lot darker than I would normally do. I was using my usual combination of Tombow mono pencils; 2B, HB and H for the skin and applying them in the same manner as I normally do. I think perhaps it is because the right side of the paper has more tooth than I am used to and the tooth tends to hold more graphite making the drawing a bit darker.
‘Be ware of the person who can’t be bothered by details’
My brain is made of mush!. It’s a sloppy pea soup. The mushy kind where the peas aren’t smooth and silky but rather slightly mashed up, squishy and starting to fall apart. The peas are the details of my mind; dates, times, places, numbers; they get kind of fuzzy, squishy, mashed-up and soupy in my head. I really am the worst when it comes to getting these kind of details right. It’s not so much that I don’t remember things but rather I don’t even bother to commit them to memory to start with. After two years I still can’t remember my phone number! Not because I can’t remember the phone number, but because I’ve never bothered to learn it.
I don’t know why my brain is like this. I suppose I am kind of lazy and tend to gloss over details that don’t seem important to me at the time. I am always in a rush to get to the end, to get to the good stuff, that those tiny, little, insignificant, unimportant details seem to get lost in my soup.
So far I have messed up the lettering on every one of these star signs. Admittedly I am only up to the third one but you’d think after spelling mistakes, wrong dates, wrong names I’d knuckled down and commit to getting it right. Clearly attention to detail is not my forte.
I was adamant that the mistakes were not mine, just different websites use different dates.. yeah? But no, I checked. The dates for horoscopes are pretty standard. It’s me. Somehow I read something but manage to write something completely different!
I have triple checked Aquarius is spelt A-Q-U-A-R-I-U-S and is from Jan 20 to Feb 18. No mistakes.
So my blog followers, if you want a incorrectly dated print of either Sagittarius or Capricorn I have two of each available in A4 and A3. If you follow my blog, like this post and enter the code “MUSHY” at my Etsy store you get a 25% discount. (this is an absolute bargain cause when I am famous these messed up ones will be so rare they will be worth a fortune).
Next on my list is another watery sign – Pisces and I’m not going to draw a mermaid! At least not in the traditional sense.
Arches Drawing Paper 185gsm smooth A3
Tombow mono drawing pencils
Winsor and Newton Artists Water Colour
Staedtler Mars Lumograph black 6B