Thursday, March 26, 2020

Creators talk about their art

Here's a random jumble of creators talking about how they make stuff and think of ideas. I like how they're all pretty down to earth and direct about it. I often hear art making discussed as if it's something closer to spiritual sorcery, and while I appreciate that it is meant to be inspiring I just can't identify with that perspective. Enjoy!

Quentin Blake illustrating:

Eric Carle talking about making The Very Hungry Caterpillar:

Charles Bukowski on writing:

Lisa Hanawalt, a cartoonist or animator or...?... talks about creating the concept art for Bojack Horseman. If you've never seen the show, it's an excellent cartoon for adults about a fading TV star battling addiction. The show is both very sad and serious, as well as absurd and slapstick. Like Don Draper meets The Far Side. I've included a clip from the show below Hanawalt's speech.

and a clip from Hanawalt's show Bojack Horseman:

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Sketch by me

It's been a while since I've drawn in charcoal so yesterday I spent the afternoon practicing. I pulled such a weird expression because I rarely get a chance to draw contorted faces and the interesting shapes they create. When I draw portraits professionally, of course I try to make the subjects look good, not like monster-clowns. But that can get a bit boring.

I took a few photos as I went so you can see how it progressed over the afternoon. You're supposed to work on the entire thing at once, not to go bit by bit... but I did anyway. It was just that kind of day.

This isn't finished; the left side of the page is blank, leaving room for another weird expression that I'll integrate with this on as a bigger composition when it's done.

More entertainment: Napoleon's wedding cake

As promised, more entertainment for the quarantine and sheltering-at-home crowd. This is a professional recreating an historic recipe by Napoleon's pastry chef. And it is INSANE. Prepare yourself for an epic new definition of "labor intensive."

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Some Entertainment

If you're shut in your home for the foreseeable future like I am, I have some light entertainment for you. I'll keep the entertainment posts coming, unless I get distracted and forget, once again, that this blog exists.

Here's somebody recreating Monet's daily meals which I ran across on YouTube. I have visited Giverny on a rainy day in spring, I did have questionable cider at a cafe nearby, and I can easily imagine this household running like a well-oiled picturesque machine. 

Video description: birds-eye views of someone following recipes interspersed with narratives of Monet's life and his paintings.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 31: Ripe

I went for another grocery store still life for the final day of Inktober. It's all seasonal fall/winter fruit (except the honeydew, who even knows when that's ripe) and somewhat low-carb friendly (except the persimmon, I suspect). You're supposed to eat just a little, though, on a low-carb intermittent fasting diet, not to break your daily fast with a giant fruit salad, which is what I did before I even finished this drawing. No regrets, it was delicious. Anyway, this is what I gave up last year while dieting (an overall positive experience), and I've since added back in a little fruit and the occasional healthy carbs. Diet talk is never especially interesting so I'll just leave it at that, but suffice it to say this still life is VERY personally relevant to me. These foods have occupied quite a lot of brain-space lately. They should pay rent.
I was happy with how this turned out. The honeydew looked especially nice, and the little silver cake fork (a flea market find) stood out against it just like it did in real life. I was happy with the zig-zaggy interior and rough exterior of the pear as well. As it turns out, pomegranate seeds are incredibly fast and easy to draw. The persimmon skin had just the right value and shine. The fruit pressed against the side of the wine glass was a fun challenge in black and white.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 31, Ripe, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 31, Ripe, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
After devouring the fruit salad I carved a Jack O' Lantern, since it was Halloween. And I got a Trick-or-treater! She was some sort of zombie princess I think. I ate the rest of the mini-Snickers myself.

jack o' lantern
Just a standard pentagram with some antlers for this pumpkin. Nothing too fancy.

Inktober 2019, Day 30: Catch

After so much drawing from photo references and from my imagination, I wanted to get back to some proper drawing from life. So I picked up this fish from the grocery store, and to add some interesting distortion and a bit of a challenge, I put it in a glass of water. But the fish was so long I had to add a second glass. I rather liked the odd composition, and the fish looks like it's trying to stay alive under the most constrictive possible circumstances (it was fully dead). I cooked it up for dinner afterward. My cat was extremely interested in the entire process.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 30, Catch, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 30, prompt word "Catch." Dip pen and marker, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: realistic black and white pen drawing of a foot-long mackerel or trout type fish. The head is resting in a cut-glass tumbler full of water. The tail is resting in a glass mini beer stein behind the tumbler. The fish's body arches between the two glasses. The distortions of the water and facets of the glasses break up the fish into several different planes. Each glass casts a shadow with scattered light across the page to the right.]

Inktober 2019, Day 29: Injured

When I was 5 (or 6 or 7...?) I had a super bossy friend who was always the best character in whatever we played, like April O’Neal or Belle and then I’d have to be Shredder or the animated clock. She had a bunch of plastic horses, like ya do, but there was one Ultimate Pony that was pearlescent lavender with mega-hair and she always got to be that one. One day I chose it first, so she challenged me, and I grabbed it and took off running. Unfortunately I tripped on the edge of the carpet and fell face-first on the hardwood floor. My nose basically exploded in blood and I had to go to the hospital (never having played as the Ultimate Pony). My nose is a bit crooked now and I’m not sure how much is genetic and how much is battle scar.

The top bit is imaginary, but the nose close-ups I sketched from a mirror. Except the full profile, for which I used a camera phone. That's a pretty accurate depiction of the Ultimate pony, as I still remember her clearly, decades later.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 29, Injured, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 29, prompt word, "Injured." Ink pen and marker, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image Description: black and white drawing of a little girl falling on her face, in mid-air just about to hit the ground. A tasseled rug is just under and behind her, and a toy pony flies out of her hand. In the bottom third, several overlapping realistic sketches of a nose and eyes from various angles take up the rest of the space.]

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 28: Ride

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 28, Ride, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 28, prompt word, "Ride." Ink pen and marker, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: black and white realistic drawing of a woman in a knit cap and scarf sitting by a dark train window. Her darker reflection is in the window. At the bottom of the page a side-view of a subway train in the dark shows three lit windows illuminating sketchily drawn passengers. The same woman pictured above with the same white cap is visible through the window. It reads a bit like comic panels showing inside and outside the train.]

Inktober 2019, Day 27: Coat

I spend a lot of time bingeing on nonsense online. For "coat" I wanted to convey that cocoon of stupor that you get with total media escapism.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 27, Coat, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 27, prompt word, "Coat." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: black and white realistic pen drawing of a woman's face surrounded by floating downy feathers. She looks up and to the left, out of frame, and the close-up is cropped at her forehead, cheeks. and neck. Her expression is wide-eyed, slack-jawed, dazed and entranced. A light like a screen is reflecting off her eyes.]

Inktober 2019, Day 26: Dark

I've seen a lot of illustrators create atmosphere-monsters, and I've been wanting to give it a try myself. They create a lot of atmosphere at the horizon (clouds, smoke, the haziness of distance) and slightly delineate the monster's form (usually tall and lanky, a giant robot or massive skeletal creature), but leave the eyes blank and white (or in color, if it's a color illustration) so they glow. Having the atmosphere at the horizon makes the monster look super-tall, towering above skyscrapers. Here's an example by Canadian and French illustrator Nicolas Delort:

Illustration by Nicolas Delort
NOT my drawing. This is by Nicolas Delort, a Canadian and French illustrator. It shows the type of bright-eyed atmosphere-monster I'm talking about.
The funny thing is, the original illustrations from War of the Worlds used the same conceit for the killer robot Martians over a century ago. Maybe Henrique Alvim Corrêa even invented it for the novel. I ran across his illustrations a few years back while illustrating for an exhibit in Scotland about the history of sci-fi and architecture. Here's Corrêa's take in 1906:

1906 Illustration by Henrique Alvin Corrêa for War of the Worlds
NOT my drawing. This is a 1906 illustration by Henrique Alvim Corrêa for War of the Worlds.
So I went to create my own atmosphere-monster to express how, walking down a city street in dank weather, you feel both omnipresent connection with the city at large, and simlutaneously part of a tiny huddled microcosm under your umbrella or in a cloud of light from a shop window. I started, naturally, with the atmosphere. I chose a rainy city street at twilight, a time which seems somehow even darker than night when it rains. However I got so into the foreground and rainy street scene that I wish I'd cut the monster out altogether so the focus was on the foreground. Oh, well. This might be a drawing I retool in the future.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 26, Dark, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 26, prompt word, "Dark." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: cityscape showing a line of pedestrians with umbrellas crossing the street over a few clouds of billowing steam emerging from manholes. Behind them is a row of cars silhouetting them against headlights. On either side are tall buildings. The sky is dark and it's raining. The people's silhouettes and the headlights create black and white striped reflections on the wet pavement. On the right side, a corner shop window is illuminated. In the background, between two distant buildings and against the sky, the outline of a humanoid monster peers at the people and reaches out. Its eyes are blank white hearts.]

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Inktober 2019, Day 25: Tasty

Once again I broke my "must be personally relevant" rule. I was inching toward the end of Inktober and worn pretty thin, so when faced with brainstorming I just went for a good old portrait. Easy enough because it's my specialty, and usually a crowd-pleaser. Lots of other people chose this same subject as well, a character from Orange Is The New Black named Taystee. While not personally relevant, OItNB is a really good show, the character is extremely interesting, and the actress does a great job. It is unreal how pretty she is without makeup, but that didn't come across in this portrait. I went for an expressive film still rather than a pretty one.
The hair texture was fun. I relied on a few old favorite techniques that I developed when I drew portraits live in the park in the US. Occasionally someone with massive hair will show up and unless you want them to be sitting for hours, you need a few visual shortcuts. But it was my first time using ink pen instead of shaded charcoal, so it was a bit different.
I wasn't that satisfied with the result though. It was overall too dark (but it's ink, so what are you gonna do) and the crosshatching on Taystee's face was too rough. But it felt so good to have the rest of the day free without a drawing looming over me.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 25, Tasty, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Portrait of Taystee (actress Danielle Brooks) from Orange Is The New Black. Inktober 2019, Day 25, prompt word, "Tasty." Ink pen and marker, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: black and white realistic drawing of the head and shoulders of a woman with a large afro. She wears a cotton prison shirt that looks like scrubs. She leans forward, squinting out of frame to the left, with a frustrated and exasperated expression. The mark-making on the shirt is a little chunkier and more abstract.]

Inktober 2019, Day 24: Dizzy

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 24, Dizzy, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 24, prompt word, "Dizzy." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen [Image description: The picture plane is broken into several overlapping strips containing different images, like a collage. It's a black and white pen drawing. In the main center image a man and woman hold hands as the man leads her down a narrow outdoor stairway in an old city, much like a back alley. Under their hands and arms is another image strip of beer and wine bottles, and over them bisecting the drawing diagonally is a thin strip showing a winding tree-lined two-lane highway viewed from above with a car on it. On the right another image shows a fancy old apartment building with a domed roof and electrical wires with birds on them, and on the left is another image of shadows from blinds in a dark room. In a thin strip near the top is a hand and iPhone on a black background.]

Inktober 2019, Day 23: Ancient

This is about spending nice time alone. I was mostly alone over this past Christmas, and did a lot of traditional stuff by myself. I wouldn't want to do that every year, but it was actually really nice. I don't have an actual fireplace, but I think that gets the "ancient" feeling across.

Sketch of Inktober 2019, Day 23, Ancient, by Ciana Pullen / St. Rhinocéros
Inktober 2019, Day 23, prompt word, "Ancient." Dip pen and ink, 8 x 11 in. by Ciana Pullen. [Image description: Black and white drawing of five duplicate versions of the same woman in a striped shirt and jeans hang out around a fireplace. The perspective is from inside the fireplace, and the top of the image is smoke and sparks around the mantle. The women hanging out look calm and relaxed, drinking tea, reading books, and leaning on each other. They're all lit by the fire in an otherwise dark space.]

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.]