The Final Page of The Jay Who Fell Down the Chimney

Day 4/365

I started this drawing thinking I would be clever and draw the last page first. I read this Hergé used this strategy. Just as I started to ink this page I thought of a better page. Maybe this will be the next to the last page. Maybe I’m not up to Hergé’s level…yet.

My materials included pencil, nib pen and ink, water soluble graphite, and a couple of Copic markers for the little butterfly, who has become a central character in the story…as of today, as of when I was coloring him with the markers. Yes, it’s pretty wild inside my head.

Realistic and Comic Jays

Day 3/365. A quick realistic sketch (as realistic as I could draw it) of a Steller’s Jay. These rascals are especially obnoxious and lovable in the Fall as they pass through Ashland on their way to the sunny South. Standing next to the real Jay is Jimmy Jay, my comic jay. Jimmy seems to be changing his appearance every day. I see that today he has some hatching to indicate form instead of being totally flat as he was yesterday. Eventually I want to create the perfect Jimmy Jay…so perfect that I won’t want to tinker with his looks for the next 20 years.

I use my Cheap Joe’s Legend Kolinski travel brush for this picture. They are awesome.

Day 1 of a 365 day learning project

I’ve been mulling over doing a “project.” The project is simply to practice what I need to learn in order to do a children’s book. I have high hopes and grand aspirations, and slim skills. The project, which I’ve signed a contract to complete, is to practice what I need to know everyday for one hour even if I don’t feel like it, even if I’m tired, bored, sick, anxious, impatient, and so on.

So what about this “contract” I’ve signed? Of course, the contracting partner is the part of myself that’s lazy, tired, sick, anxious, and impatient. In other words, it’s a promise to myself. Sure, I've made promises to myself before and then given up when things got tough. And now, in this case, I want to learn how to do pen and ink and watercolor painting even though I know that watercolor painting is the hardest kind of painting in the universe. So be it—that’s the path I’ve chosen. I’ve signed a contract, and today I’m delivering the first installment.

Looks like gouache instead of watercolor. I’m working on it. The Speedball ink seems to dry slowly. There are a couple of spots where the watercolor made the soft ink run. Impatience strikes again.