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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 22: Ghost

I struggle with "less is more," especially with ink, so I was especially pleased with the light markmaking in the background of this.The marks on the shirt also look sculpted, which was a cool effect. This was, once again, the effect of poring over some old Anders Zorn drawings. I used a reference photo for the back of my own head, because believe it or not I don't see it that often.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 22, Ghost, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 22, prompt word, "Ghost." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: black and white realistic drawing of a woman walking down a banal institutional hallway, perhaps of a school or hospital. The woman is viewed from the shoulders up to mid-skull, and from behind and to the side. Her other shoulder is out of frame. On the visible shoulder sits a tiny duplicate version of her, wearing the same striped shirt and hairdo, facing backward (toward the viewer and facing out of frame). She rests her face on her hand and looks bored. In the hallway background there is a doorway, an empty metal chair, and some fluorescent lights in a drop ceiling.]

Inktober 2019, Day 21: Treasure

I spent all day trying to think of what to draw for this and I just couldn't. I treasure a lot of things and people, but home and privacy, a place of my own in which to be a raging introvert, popped into my mind first and foremost.
Keenly aware that I was almost out of time for my Inktober drawing, I stole an idea from cartoonist Sempé of two lit windows across a city at night (although his was clearly meant to convey love and was highly two-dimensional and cartoonish in style). Then I used an old photo of Paris for reference and changed it very little in my drawing, except to scoot some buildings around and of course to add the lit windows. That's pretty rare for me, as I don't usually copy directly from photographs, especially photos I didn't take myself, and super-especially photos that are meant to be stand-alone pieces of art, as this old photo could possibly have been (as opposed to workhorse snapshots for some non-artistic purpose). Drawing from life is best, then next-best is from reference photos I've made for the purpose, then from video or gif that moves, or from a collection of photos that I can manipulate and combine to create something new, and then from crappy photos that are much improved by being turned into drawings. Anything else honestly feels like cheating. Stealing ideas, though, I'm okay with, as long as I have something of my own to add. Though I do prefer coming up with my own ideas entirely.
However, the Instagram public has spoken, and my least proud drawing turned out to be everyone else's favorite. Isn't it always that way? People are never impressed by what they ought to be.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 21, Treasure, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 21, prompt word, "Treasure." India ink pen and ink wash, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: black and white ink wash drawing of a street corner in Paris, seen from above and to the side. Several fancy old apartment buildings with turrets, bay windows and wrought iron crowd the image, all lit from a street lamp below, and mostly in darkness. The horizon is dimly visible across the city's rooftops and chimneys. A window in a rooftop apartment is brightly lit up in the foreground, and in another building around the corner, a window in a middle floor with a balcony is also lit. The piece is overall very dark and moody and the lit windows jump out at the viewer.]

Inktober 2019, Day 20: Tread

This one seemed to have universal appeal on Instagram. Apparently everyone's cat does this.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 20, Tread, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 20, prompt word, "Tread." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: realistic black and white drawing of a cat standing on a woman's face as she lies in bed. The woman's face is all scrunched up where the paws are pushing her skin, and she is mostly expressionless with her eyes open and looking at the cat's face. The cat is black and its back and head are cut off beyond the edge of the page, except its nose and muzzle, which are pointed at the woman's face. The nose and whiskers are silhouetted against her black hair.]

Monday, November 11, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 19: Sling

sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 19, Sling, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 19, prompt word, "Sling." Dip pen, ink wash, wax crayon, and gel pen, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: a view straight down a grocery store aisle at waist-level. Fluorescent lights shine overhead at regular intervals. Instead of a ceiling, there is a black galaxy full of stars with a cloudy milky way running down the center. The shopping cart flies off into the galaxy behind the fluorescent lights in one direction and a woman in jeans and a tee flies off in another, upside down in a limp position.]

Inktober 2019, Day 18: Misfit

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 18, Misfit, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 18, prompt word "Misfit." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: black and white drawing, slightly cartoonish but mostly realistic, of a homeless man. The perspective is from slightly above and almost fish-eye. He's sitting on the ground on some cardboard boxes, while a meaner, more aggressive duplicate of himself stands over him, grabbing his lapels and yelling. The duplicate is slightly see-through, with the tiles of the wall behind him showing through. Foreshortened well-dressed legs walk past in bottom quadrant of the drawing.]

Inktober 2019, Day 17: Ornament

A "Belvedere" is any structure that is designed to provide a nice view, from a gazebo to a castle. In warmer Italian climates they were usually open for ventilation, but as the trend moved North, they were purely ornamental. This is the Belvedere at a local Rococo palace. It looks across a wild field to a pond, across which lies the main castle. A flock of sheep still graze in the field.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 17, Ornament, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhioncéros
Inktober 2019, day 17, prompt word, "Ornament." Ink pen, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen [Image description: simple, realistic black and white line drawing of an ornate three-story Rococo building surrounded by grass and trees. It has a large domed roof.]

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 16: Wild

Another imaginary pseudo-Classical creature. I don't know where all this Classical influence came from this Inktober, since I'm not an especially big fan of ancient Greece or Rome. I think it might have been the day at the art museum in Barcelona that did it.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 16, Wild, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 16, prompt word "Wild." Dip pen and ink wash, 8 x 11 in., by Ciana Pullen. [Image Description: realistic black and white pen drawing of the head of a roaring lion. Instead of a mane it has hair-like snakes, like Medusa. The snakes are coiled in a way that echoes the movement of the lion's head as he roars.]

Inktober 2019, Day 15: Legend

The idea for this drawing popped into my head fully formed, apparently straight from my subconscious with no provocation. I'd like to see these creatures in motion. They seemed like they should be vaguely Viking or Celtic, so I did a little research on how those folks looked. Then I looked up weight lifters so I could get an idea of fat(ish) but strong bodies. The Vikings from TV and movies all had Hollywood type bodies, but I just couldn't imagine someone with Megan Fox's physique popping out of the top of a walrus. This is actually an issue I have with The Little Mermaid as well. Every other sea mammal has a nice thick blubber layer, and so should she.


Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 15, Legend, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 15, prompt word "Legend." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image Description: A crowd of walrus centaurs (human on top, walrus on bottom) holding lit torches crowds a beach. The atmosphere is darkish and misty. They appear to be rallying. A male is in the foreground with a beard and man-bun and a few markings painted on his chest, face and shoulder. A female is just behind him with a shaved head except for a braided mohawk. The figures behind them are blurrier. Two centaurs holding torches recline on a rocky outcropping in the background.]

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 14: Overgrown

I recently visited Barcelona and spent the day at the Museo National de Catalunya; I think the armless classical statues stuck in my mind and produced this drawing.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 14, Overgrown, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 14, prompt word "Overgrown." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image Description: black and white pen drawing of a Classical Greek style bust of a woman. Her arms are cut off at the shoulders, as many sculptures are, and a cluster of around six extra hands is growing out of each of her shoulders. She has a simple crown or headpiece, like Diana. The background is blank.]

Inktober 2019, Day 13: Ash

I was a bit tired from doing landscapes and complex compositions at this point, so I just wanted to bust out a fun portrait. I broke my "personally relevant" rule and drew Ash from the Evil Dead, as did quite a few other people. There is no meaningful or symbolic link from Evil Dead to my life and I won't try to make one, but I did watch the first season of the recent TV series reboot Ash vs Evil Dead. It was great, I was impressed that they managed to recapture the B-movie magic after so much time had passed, Ash was considerably older, new characters were added, the format was different, and they had a bigger budget and the expectations of "cult classic" to fulfill. I didn't watch the second season though, it was just SO gory and I'm not a fan of horror in the first place. Plus there was an evil puppet in the Season 2 trailor, so I took that as my cue to leave.
This is drawn straight from a film still, though I did add the blood spatters. It seemed a little naked without them. There just wasn't enough room for his chainsaw-hand.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 13, Ash, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Bruce Campbell as Ash from Evil Dead. Inktober 2019, Day 13, prompt word "Ash." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image Description: Black and white pen drawing of Bruce Campbell's head and shoulders. He's grimacing or straining very intensely as blood spatters fly past his face. The background is blank.]

Inktober 2019, Day 12: Dragon


Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 12, Dragon, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 12, prompt word "Dragon." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11. by Ciana Pullen. [Image Description: black and white pen drawing of a subway train plunging underwater. The front of the train reads, S41 Ring. Its headlights illuminate the dark bottom third of the image. Bubbles flank the train, up to the surface of the water, where the ripple effect of the water's surface viewed from underwater is drawn in wavy groups of lines. Another section of the train dips into and out of the water further back, like a snake or the Loch Ness Monster.]

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 11: Snow

I saw this exact scene while walking in Berlin last year and managed to recreate it exactly using photos from The Weather Channel and memory. It was fun trying to create the "flurry" effect of snowflakes in front of car headlights. I think the drawing ended up "sounding quiet," like real snow does. It's my favorite from my Inktober drawings.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 11, Snow, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 11, prompt word "Snow." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: black and white pen drawing of a cityscape and traffic with heavy snowfall. The viewer is positioned at the edge of a sidewalk looking down a tree-lined street. Two cars and a bus drive in the viewer's direction with headlights illuminating snowflakes. The background is blurred out in snowflakes except a few glowing street lamps. The entire composition is made of little groups of lines that mimic the snowflakes.]

Inktober 2019, Day 10: Pattern

I drew this from a snapshot of my husband traveling in a dangling cable car. The crosshatching on his skin turned out more humdrum than I'd have preferred, though still perfectly satisfactory, but I did achieve some fun pattern with his beard, hair and shirt collar.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, day 10, Pattern, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 10, prompt word "Pattern." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image descripton: black and white realistic pen drawing of a man peering upward, shown from his shoulders up. The line of his collarbone to the crown of his head cross the page from bottom left top right, and his shoulders create an X shape. The background is blank.]

Inktober 2019, Day 9: Swing

This image popped into my head as a result of wanting to portray "chaos." Astute readers may be realizing that, after the giant floating cat and bust of Victory, my rule to "keep it personally relevant" was not something I took literally. I'm sad to say that actual goats on actual trapeezes are not a part of my life, while chaos is. I did break my rule, though, at least twice toward the end of the month-long challenge out of exhaustion and unwillingness to do any more brainstorming or emoting.
For this drawing I'm pleased to say I learned to draw goats from every angle. I'd never tried drawing one, I simply assumed I could. I failed the first time, and much goat Pinteresting followed. Now my Pinterest feed is full of goats.
Still high on the atmospheric linework success of the previous drawing with the balloon, I added the shaded circus ring below and immediately regretted it. It took forever and looked worse, obscuring the black goat's butt, which was one of my favorites of the goat butts. So, I might pick this drawing back up at some point with the goats only, swinging through negative space. 

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 9, Swing, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 9, prompt word "Swing." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image Description: black and white pen drawing showing an aerial perspective of six goats in a disorganized jumble swinging on a single trapeze, one goat swinging from a rope by its teeth, one goat on the ground below and one either falling or jumping. In the background is one corner of the edge of the circus ring. The goat swinging by its teeth is a direct reference to a favorite painting by Degas of an acrobat swinging from her teeth at the circus.]


Monday, November 4, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 8: Frail

I was very satisfied with the way the background linework turned out in this. I tend to go high contrast and get the darks to be very dark, but I was looking at some drawings (or etchings?) by Anders Zorn and wanted to try some more hazy, atmospheric effects with ink. I used a few photos of a local Rococo building and some hazy photos of New York in the early 1900s to cobble together some references but I didn't draw this from a photograph.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 8, Frail, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 8, prompt word "Frail." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: realistic black and white pen drawing of an outdoor scene at night or twilight in a hazy rainy atmosphere. In the foreground is a dirt or gravel path with a big puddle, and a leafless tree branch with two tangled balloons dangling near the ground and blowing around. One is popped. In the background is a hazy domed Rococo building with lit windows reflected in the puddle. A formal hedge and row of trees, stretches from the building toward the viewer.]


Inktober 2019, Day 7: Enchanted

The prompt, "Enchanted," reminded me of the Emperor's New Clothes aspect of psychiatry. I'm not opposed to the profession, in fact I find it interesting and full of hope. But it is admittedly weird, its foundation is more of a leap of faith than other medical fields, and its history is riddled with major problems. I've come to see it as a flawed tool, used by flawed people, doing their best to help other flawed people. The foundations of "professional detachment" and the "authority" of the medical community are especially ephemeral in interactions between what are essentially two flawed people. I think most patients know this, even as they choose to continue. Most psychiatrists would probably agree as long as they're not feeling attacked and have not drunk the Doctors Are Gods kool-aid (which, to their credit, a large number have not). Anyway, that is what I mean by the "Emperor's New Clothes" aspect of the profession: both patients and psychiatrists must do a lot of pretending to make it work.

Sketch of Psychiatrists. Inktober 2019, day 7, Enchanted, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Psychiatrists. Inktober 2019, Day 7, prompt word, "Enchanted." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: Black and white contour pen drawing of a group of naked people standing examining around an object or person of interest (not pictured). One young thin man leans down and extends a pointer finger as if about to push a button. A woman with short hair slouches and holds a clip board. A tall older fatter man with a beard stands with his legs planted far apart and his arms crossed. The background is blank.]

Inktober 2019 Day 6: Husky

I drew this overbearing cat after days of missing sleep because my cat was licking bags at night, knocking things over, stomping on my face and being a pest in the middle of the night.

Sketch of Inktober 2019 Day 6, Husky, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
An overbearing cat. Inktober 2019, Day 6, prompt word, "Husky." Dip pen and ink wash, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros [Image Description: Black and white pen and ink wash drawing of a woman asleep in bed with the covers over her, her head near the viewer. Just above her hovers a gigantic cat, larger than the woman sleeping, in "loaf" position, looking down at her. The cat is seen from below, like a photo of one of those cats sitting on a glass table, where you can see the flat plane of their belly and all their feet tucked under.]

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Inktober Day 5: Build

I had fun designing this bust of Victory, combining all the Classical symbols of victory into one messed up Victory-monster.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 5 Build, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Bust of Victory. Inktober 2019, Day 5, prompt word "Build." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen [Image description: Drawing of a sculpted bust in Classical Greek style. It's a woman's neck and shoulders with a man's bald head wearing laurel leaves behind the ears. One small wing protrudes from his forhead, squishing one of his eyes and brows, and the other wing protrudes from his nostril. His mouth and chin are a lion's muzzle. He stares ahead of him, to the right out of frame, and the background is plain white.]

Inktober 2019, Day 4: Freeze

I had a bad cold when I drew this, so I switched from dip pen and inkwell to black Pilot pen so I could draw in bed.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 4, Freeze, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019 Day 4, prompt word "Freeze." 8 x 11 in. Ink pen. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: black and white pen drawing of a man and woman sitting on a hospital bed, turning to look up at the viewer as if the viewer has just opened the door and surprised them. The woman is sewing and the man is sitting with his hands clasped. Vertical blinds and white space make up the negative space around the bed.]

Inktober 2019 Day 3: Bait

Sketch of Inktober 2019 Day 3 Bait, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 3: prompt word "Bait." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: black and white ink drawing with ink wash of a man standing in the dark holding a lit lamp at stomach level. He's shown front-on from thighs up, and the lamp lights his torso but the rest of him and the space around him is dark.]

Inktober 2019 Day 2: Mindless

I picked jogging back up this past year, maybe the longest continuous streak of (voluntary) fitness for me, ever.

Sketch of Inktober 2019 day 2, Mindless, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019 Day 2, Mindless. Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: black and white ink drawing of a woman jogging along a sidewalk. The sidewalk is floating in the sky, high above a landscape of rolling hills, farms and a coastline. Faint graffiti flanks the sidewalk, as if tagged on a building bordering the sidewalk which isn't visible.]

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 1: Ring

I just finished Inktober this year, the second year I've participated. An illustrator named Jake Parker started the tradition because he wanted to improve his inking skills, so he completed an ink drawing a day through October and posted them online. People joined in every year and now thousands participate, posting mainly on Instagram. It's free, anyone can participate and there are no rules, though many choose to follow the official list of prompt words, which I did. It's fun to see how other people interpret the words. I also gave myself a few rules: black and white only, roughly the same realistic style, and personally relevant. 
It was exhausting and, like last year, I did end up with a few illustrations that I love, and a few ideas I'll need to retool into better drawings. I also learned to work on having a light touch with the ink. Since I often work in charcoal or other media that can be reworked over and over, ink is a departure in that I can't build up light spaces over dark. It's ink, once it's there it's dark. 
I've finally had time to catch up and scan in my drawings to post them here. In case anyone wants to follow my Instagram, it's @st.rhinoceros

Sketch of Inktober 2019 Day 1 Ring by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019 Day 1, prompt word "Ring." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: black and white pen sketch of a woman in the bathtub, showing just her eyes and nose poking up above swirly bubbles and some reflection on the water's surface]