A sketch book drawing I did at lunch time of students and yes there is someone sleeping on the bench. At UWI there are these areas where the benches are shaded by huge trees and I was trying to compare this scene to the many times I visited Dartmouth College while I was at CCS. It's really not the same because it's just two different places but while I sketched that sense of feeling like I was at this other place made me remember and miss being there.
Hello everybody! Things have been very quiet on my blog because I've just started my degree in Literatures in English at UWI and I'm very happy to be finally doing this, I've wanted to do this for sometime, maybe some years...I'm not really going to go into all the details of what brought me here but I would say it's really important to do the thing sometimes because the thing just needs to be done. My school schedule has been very hectic but in spite of the numerous readings, deadlines and assignments, I'm enjoying the whole process so far. I wrote my first essay for Prose Fiction class on Characterisation based on the book, Jane Eyre which made me think about the feminist writers I like. It's only been a couple weeks and I've noticed you have to have an opinion about something and you have to be brave about what you're trying to say in order to say it and for others to understand it. Doing my degree is going to make everything else in my life very interesting for sure.
Above is a diary comic I did in 2012 where I was asking myself some questions then about my marks. About drawing and knowing when the mark would feel like mine and how I wouldknow. Considering the month I wrote that (May 2012) and recently, having just completed an exploration in marks with my Marks & Strokes project (see my sketch book page) in the same month (May 2016), it does feel eerie. The years have gone by quickly since leaving CCS and I remember questioning some of these things while I was there too. This of course spilled over upon my return home to Trinidad. I saw myself playing and exploring different styles and comics trying to figure out what felt right for me. The time I took to answer these questions: what type of stories I was interested in and what I wanted my marks to look like has been worth it.
The Marks & Strokes process and sketch book postings lead me to create some interesting techniques and stories. Some of which I would be taking further as I get working on some new stories for my comics.This process has helped me re-evaluate my existing projects I haven't updated for some time. I will be revising these projects deciding what I should continue with and what I should put aside until next year. You will be seeing some new work and revisions to existing projects including Undiscoveredon my Tumblr. Starting this month, I won't be posting as many sketch book drawings as before, but occasionally when time permits. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to view my blog. I hope by sharing my process with you that it has inspired you to not give up but to keep working and creating.
When I did this image, I decided to colour it grey just to see what I would get. The grey does add something to the scene, maybe it's late at night? What's this young girl doing there and who are these figures in the distance? I love when the creation of images just happen by chance through exploration, by not overthinking and just going with a feeling. I get excited to see what I can do next!
Today I wanted to talk about the conclusions I formed from experimenting with different tools. Some months ago I began doing a few small things which lead me to this Marks & Strokes process and my sketch book was one of the main avenues that helped me figure out some things. Experimenting, trying new ways of approaching a subject has always been really important me. It has paid off numerous times by expanding my knowledge, forcing me to dig deeper and improving my skills.
A few examples from my Small Ideas sketch book project last year and the experimenting of one panel stories using different mediums.
During this project I removed all the critical voices in my head, making the journey of discovery more surprising and refreshing. What was I trying to accomplish? I wasn't sure, it just felt like something I needed to do. But I did notice my approach to my drawing and writing shifting and transforming. To realise some of the answers I was seeking were in me all the time gave me a sense of peace. I think this experiment made me go back to some things I knew before in order for me to move forward. This is a process I can see myself revisiting again as I don't believe my learning stops here. It has opened up my heart and my mind to possibilities in my storytelling. I'm excited to see where it will all take me.
A new approach: this image was created using a stick and brush.
Some of these marks were created using a number of tools. Such as a toothbrush, a flower, old brush, my fingers, sticks, metal, paper, cardboard....anything I could find. Because I just wanted to enjoy the exploration and the discoveries, I didn't think about how it would all turn out. The images below were done with my fingers and a Q-tip.
With this one I did it on cardboard. I've found that when I'm working with high contrast black and white images the background colour does set the atmosphere for the illustration. Similar to these single panels (see below) where I also experimented with the tone and mood for the story.
One of the main things I learned during the process of experimenting, is it allowed me to see my ideas from a different angle. It pushed me to think beyond what I would normally do, for example, doing my 'test' marks on circular paper which resulted in creating a connection between the images of four women dancing which later lead to my Moverssketch.
To create these drawings I used a stick that I shaped to a point. This one was #4, then I filled in the hair with a brush. One of the things I learnt with this tool was how quickly the ink dries. So I had to make quick decisions about the mark which meant I laboured less over how I thought it would look and it became more of a spontaneous drawing.
As promised I'm sharing with you some of the things I used during this project of exploring marks and strokes. I've been exploring this for some time now–line, mark, texture, shape. You would have seen some of this exploration playing out in my sketch book postings. The pencil, brush and ink, paint, pen, markers...but late last year I posted a sketch book drawing (Together) on Facebook and my friend Wendell McShine gave me some advice to experiment with different tools other than a brush.
I got very excited about this because I felt like he understood what I was trying to do and it forced me to look deeper at my work. So my new tools became anything and everything I could use to make a mark. Eventually I settled on a few and the image above shows some of the tools I selected and the marks I created. I even numbered the sticks so I could record properly what I used and the results. It felt like a science project and I wanted to store everything in a container and a bottle which made this whole process refreshing.
I'll be posting some of the images I created from this process, some I've posted on my sketch book page. Also I'll explain what I used for each image I created and what I learned.