Given recent world circumstances, I’ve been spending more time playing video games like Don’t Starve Together, which has been helping me redefine what I look at as art.
I’ve always been aware of abstract art, or non-traditional media, such as Tim Burton-esque claymation, however, I don’t think that I was actively aware of how else non-traditional media took space in the world.
I’ve always been a fan of darker portrayals of characters and stories of people my age dealing with more serious subject matter than love. I recently joked how sad it was to admit that series like A Series of Unfortunate Events were my favourite novels for years, but it goes to show that seeing that children can be miserable and that’s not the way it’s supposed to be made me realize it could potentially be better.
As off-topic as that may seem, I guess what I’m trying to get across is that I resonated with characters that seemed rescue, or larger than life. TV shows like Brady’s Beasts were my favourite type of art style, but still, for some reason, I couldn’t perceive it as art.
Now, that’s not to say that I believed that TV shows or other forms of media that chose to have abstract visual portrayals of people were “bad” or “artistically distasteful”, it’s more to say that I had a disconnect that art stemmed into these realms. So, I strayed away from even trying to create it.
The following are a few of the things I’ve been “challenging myself with” artistically:
Lately, I’ve been giving myself the freedom to draw more abstract pictures. The thing that I love about watercolours is how colouring outside of the lines gives your paintings/drawings a fuller look.
I’ve been quickly drawing sketches of figures or animals that I’ve recently had access to. As in, I’m trying to draw things that I’ve recently seen or “think” that I have a good understanding of how they look and going about drawing them. Instead of being detailed though, I’m focussing on making things a bit more “fuzzy”, ultimately giving me the freedom to escape getting upset about perfection. Perfection being that horrid little monster that all of us deal with.
I started out by drawing one of my sister‘s cats, Athos, who is an adorable little Persian she recently took in. I’ll be honest, even though I’ve been taking pictures of cats for years, I don’t think I actually know how to anatomically draw a cat. Hell, I also don’t know if I know how to draw a bike. So, there were some mistakes, but that’s the way that I chose to draw my kitty!
I think he’s pretty cute, bright-eyed, ready for the world! Go Athos Go!
As I mentioned, I recently got very invested in a video game Don’t Starve Together, who has a character named Wickerbottom.
Wickerbottom is the oldest in the Don’t Starve world and while Klei provides players with a variety of skins she can use to change her face, there aren’t very many that I’m fond of.
The cool thing about Don’t Starve is that players can mod in different skins, characters or even mobs into the game, meaning that if I really want to make my own Wickerbottom skin, I could. So, being inspired to draw, I re-imagined what I thought WIckerbottom could look like as a Medusa Casseopia fusion.
I really dig the style I chose to go with on this one and quite frankly, I think that it’s made me want to draw more humanoid beings. What a little disproportionate cutie!
I’ve decided that if I’m going to stick to watercolour as the medium I want to explore, I’m going to stick to only watercolour pencil crayons. They just have that extra layer of control that I want and I don’t think that I can give that up.
I like being able to blend in colours properly and shade in specific areas like I love the effect of the leaves on the trees. To me, that’s gorgeous!
My husband makes fun of me for the sinkhole, but the reality is that there is a disfigured dead rabbit under there. I tried so hard to draw a cute little hopster, but lord knows it was going to be an impossible quest.
I also love the shading you can do, such as on the trees, but I want to figure out how to use it to my advantage.
I remember a good friend of mine taught me about how trees are darker in the center because there are more leaves, and the realization of that one minute detail changed my whole perspective on shade. I feel like before then I was completely oblivious to the shade and array of colours there were in a palette, though, I clearly was aware of shadows at the time.
The final piece I “worked on” was a tribute to another Don’t Starve Together character WX-78. While WX-78 is a lot more round, I wanted to try coming up with a “space-age” or a more futuristic version of him.
This version involves using cross-hatching, which funny enough was a concept a teacher taught us about, but I could never figure out. While I’m not the happiest with the way this cross-hatching came out, simply because it’s much harder to blend with watercolour crayons, I am happy with WX-78’s style. I think I am going to keep working on this one, especially because I want to figure out how to make watercolours look metallic.