Hey everyone! After finishing up my art class last month I've really been enjoying both graphite and charcoal media.  I love how they are so “workable”.  Below are some of my “assignments” from class.

We were assigned the task of keeping a daily sketchbook (ink only, no pencil allowed) with 5 sketches due each week.  I found that after sketching more regularly, my ability grew quite nicely!

Sketchbook, week 1

Sketchbook, about week 10
We mostly worked with Graphite throughout the class, then later moved on to explore with Charcoal for our final 2 weeks.
Assignment: Powertool, Graphite
(one of my favorites from the class)

Midterm Assignment in Graphite
We were instructed to choose five items that described us.
Can you guess what these items represent to me?

After the class was over I did this revision to add more "pop" and depth.
I also tried to fix shadow/lighting issues I was seeing.

Horse, Charcoal on Toner Paper
(This was our first charcoal assignment. Quite different than Graphite. And messier - haha)

"Old Man", Black and White Charcoal on Toner Paper

Overall, the class was VERY helpful in basically forcing me to STOP being so afraid to jump in with both feet.  I've found myself researching different illustration styles (cartoon-y, realistic, watercolor, digital, etc.). I'm mostly drawn to picture books and art, in general, that depict more of a realistic rendition of the subject. As always, I'm drawn to artwork by E.B. Lewis and David Wiesner. More recently, I fell in love with Aaron Becker's new picture book, Journey. Although his main character is less detailed, I'm quite impressed with his way of using the composition of body language and setting to evoke a great deal of emotion. I have my fingers crossed he attends the SCBWI conference this summer so I can get my book signed :)

Although I am still working on writing new stories and revising old ones, I can officially say that I'm hooked on drawing and illustrating!  I'm currently working on finishing up a secret art project that I'm quite pleased with as I explore and discover that "art thing" inside of me that I'm finally letting out!