I thought I told myself that I wasn't going to do Inktober this year. But then a Catholic theme list came up (#Catholinktober), and I caved in.
It is the reason why you haven't seen much artwork posted here.
There is plenty to share, it is just waiting for some free time to put it on this blog. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have had daily postings during October.
So here is a brief selection from the last 30 days:
The Chaste Heart of St Joseph inspires love and trust in everyone.
A version of the icon of the Mother of God of Tenderness.
New Testament Character: Ananias getting the message from God that he is to go and visit Saul, the persecutor of the Christians.
For the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary, a decade of the rosary depicted with a big red rose for the Our Father, ten blue-white roses for the Hail Marys, and a triple golden ball for the Glory Be to honour the Most Holy Trinity. The hands are offering it as prayer, and the twelve stars are there to remind us of the crown of Mary, and her receiving the bouquet.
Charity in action.
Only one more to go, and the theme for that one is a title of the Virgin Mary.
Whatever passes for normal might return soon. :)
The first assignment for my 3 month mentorship under Giuseppe Castellano was to research the illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé.
He is still alive, and known for loose ink work, real life settings, minimal colour, recognizable but not perfect depictions of people (for example children have light bulb shaped heads and adults have big noses). Then I needed to reference his style in a mock up of a cover for the New Yorker magazine, including the interaction of two characters and a background.
This is one of my pages of practice sketches.
The next thing was to research covers for the New Yorker magazine. Most of them contained scenes from New York life, or what would be recognized as New York life, or else they were political. At times the spine and mast-head were colours other than black.
So I researched New York, things like 20 things only New Yorkers would appreciate, or 10 jokes only New Yorkers will get. I needed to find either a humorous angle or something I am interested in. The stories of YouTube sensations Pizza Rat and Milkshake Squirrel were intriguing.
I put together some thumb nail sketches:
1. Pizza – Rat: Going to the Cinema with Dad.
2. Abbot and Costello on TV with child watching.
3. Father and child on a Ferris Wheel at an amusement park.
4. Child peering over subway platform to see train.
5. Child chasing after parent in front of giant destination board.
Of these thumb nails, Pizza – Rat won. This is a scan of the ink work, below.
The next step was to get an idea of colour values digitally before putting any watercolour on.
Then came watercolour. This is the raw image below:
I then had to clean up the art work and remove/fix mistakes from inking, in Photoshop.
And then add the copied masthead from a previous New Yorker cover, via Google and Photoshop again.
This final art is shown at a smaller size than actual size.
It had been quite a while since I used non-digital media, I had forgotten how nerve wracking it is when there is no room for mistakes.
#IllusDept #mentorship #Sempé
At last the comic strip is finished, and I can share it with you.
But there is some other news I can share with you as well.
The first part you may have already noticed: this website has had a bit of an overdue face-lift. I hope you like the changes.
The second part is that I have begun a 3 month mentorship with Giuseppe Castellano from the Illustration Department. My first session was this week, and I have begun my homework in preparation for the next session.
For the comic strip, I will give you each of the four parts separately,
and then how it looks as a whole.
Each of the parts took many days to complete.
But I am very happy with the completed outcome.
Much of what I have been working on during July hasn't been finished yet, so I have decided to share with you a bit of a ramble through my sketchbook instead.
The first one is a series of sketches of Bishop Stumbers from which I started building an animation. That animation is far from finished, but there is a draft version of it on Instagram (@cavanaghcreative). In it you see Bishop Stumbers walking along engaged in social media activities on his phone, until he walks into a wall, recovers, and continues tweeting etc.
The second one is of a coffee addicted robot, or coffee-bot.
The last one is a new character in a classic heroic pose.
I've also been working on a 4 part comic strip, but it is only about 70% completed. Each part is 3 panels wide. I'm currently wrestling with how best to share it online because Weebly displays vertical and square images much better than horizontal images.
Since April 2020 the regular emailed newsletter has been in hiatus. For the last few years the list of whom we send it to hasn't been growing, in fact it has shrunk a little due to deaths here and there. Given that no one has been asking why it is missing, it seems to be the right decision to let it lie fallow for a while until there is a good reason to re-start it, eg some very positive news to share.
This last month has had a bit of experimentation in it. Using the Blender software I experimented with creating a 3D fishing boat image.
I got this far, and realised that I wasn't happy with the hull:
So I changed that, and a few other features:
And then added rigging posts and colour. It still isn't completely finished.
Then I had a rest from 3D work, and went back to 2D and used computer software to produce this image of a fishing boat docked at the wharf at night.
And yes. Socket Head has been around too....
....but we don't know what he's up to yet... only that he is frustrated about something and on his way to try and fix it.
Bishop Stumbers has been lurking about on the sketch pad, and around cathedral crypts. We might see him next time.
There is a chance that weekday routine will return on Monday, or soon after, depending on how soon new weekday Mass schedules are decided upon. Hopefully, when that happens, a measure of normality and especially creative normality will return.
In the mean time, two of the Inktober Socket Head pictures got coloured:
Day 25, Tasty
Day 23, Ancient
And a 'looking to the future' meme/comic
And some sketches that might be preparation for a 3D version of this red tugboat:
And the front view
Here's to hoping that fruitful new beginnings are around the corner for all of us as this long pause begins to lift away.
You know how Kermit the Frog used to say, 'It's not easy being green.'
Well at the moment, it's not easy being creative either.
It has been neatly summed up by @evancabnet on Twitter thus:
"WRITERS. I have a secret to share with you. Every single day, I speak with a different playwright (or screenwriter, or novelist) who confesses they haven’t been able to concentrate and they aren’t getting anything done."
As at today it has had 31.7K likes and 4,9K Retweets since Apr 17.
Comments attached to that Tweet proved that artists, illustrators and graphic designers were all feeling it too.
Many of those comments put my own feelings in to words.
What I have been slowly working on is colouring some of the black & white images from Socket Head's Inktober 2019 adventures.
Overgrown Day 14
Treasures Day 21
Dark Day 26
Coat Day 27
Maybe, just maybe, if I get them all coloured I might make a small non-standard story book out of them. But there are 16 more to do......
The night of 18 Mar 2020 was when the coronavirus lockdown became real for us and daily Mass was suspended. Having less external stimulii is making finding inspiration to draw a challenge. I have signed up to the new forum run by the Illustration Department (a.k.a. Giuseppe Castellano), but it is too early yet to see how that will go. https://forum.illustrationdept.com/login
I have been slowly continuing to work on skills with Blender, and completed stage 3 of the coffee cup tutorial.
For my mother I worked on an image of the part of the Transfiguration story where Jesus touches His overcome disciples and says, 'Do not be afraid'
You may be able to tell that at times I have felt a little stir crazy. Maybe that is why Socket Head showed up. He had to be locked up for his own good, lest he trip over furniture, cause fires in the kitchen and break things during exercise routines.
And it was time that the daily battle between man (my dad) and marsupial (the possum that considers our place a primary residence) was depicted. Said marsupial's favourite place to get comfortable is where the telephone and internet cables are. It wouldn't be a problem, nor a battle, otherwise, and it has raged on for almost 2 years. Because these critters are both native and territorial, we can't do much about it, except construct chicken wire around the disputed real estate. Neither side is backing down.
Maybe this time next month we will be in a new normality without lockdown conditions. Please God, may that be so.
After months of renovation work, my long awaited studio is now functional. Thanks be to God, and the many workers who enabled it to happen.
But as you will see, I had a fair bit of work to do too.
There was office furniture from IKEA to put together.
Here you can see the art desk on one side, and some of the put-together IKEA furniture on the other side.
And here I am, with a both happy and relieved smile, because the computer is actually working the first time I turned it on. Yay!
Obviously now that the basic 'nest' is in place, there is a fair bit of feathering of the 'nest' to take place as I work out what goes into the various drawers and shelves, and experiment to find what arrangements function best - but at least it is now operational.
At long last with the newer computer equipment, I can get back into some 3D imaging. With the level 2 tutorial on Blender (3D software) this doughnut with sprinkles was put together.
So everything is just about ready for launch, all that is needed now is God's grace to set the trajectory and propel me into a whole new slip-stream. Please pray that God's grace comes for me.
January 2020 has only a few more hours to run. My studio-to-be is beginning to look like an attractive room. However there's at least one more lot of tradesperson's skills required before the fit out can begin. The new room is so close to being functional, and yet I still don't know when that day will be.
No obvious answers came to me during my 10 days away, but I am still slowly chewing through the notes I took and something might emerge when that process is done.
Between that and heat waves and renovations, the only character to have shown up with sufficient humour and interest to get the creative juices flowing has been Bishop Stumbers, and he has been greatly assisted by convoluted Twitter threads that would take far too long to explain properly.
Palestrina is a really big name in sacred choral music, and has been for a few centuries. The music he composed for Christmas Day Mass is particularly beautiful and inspiring. (Hodie Christus Natus Est = Today Christ is Born)
So you want to take a group of twenty-something Australians overseas for a pilgrimage experience? Then make sure you plan your itinerary around access to good coffee, otherwise things can get quite messy. Provide coffee first; only then might they listen to your plans for that day:
Maybe this time next month, God willing, the studio-to-be will be fully functional, well worth the very long wait - and very conducive to producing new artwork. Stay tuned to find out.
NEWS AND OTHER STUFF
About recent artwork, inspirations and other things I find interesting.