pencils

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elijah loves drawing.  he says ‘pensu~ (pencil), doroin (drawing)’ and climbs up on a chair by my drawing table. he says ‘sit!’ as he sits.  now he is ready to do some drawing.

after drawing some snakes, wires, spaghetti and hair, he usually grabs my hand asking me to draw.

but today, he is going to draw on his own.  what are you drawing, elijah?

his friend, panda-san!

(photos from september, before i gave him an awful haircut)

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it’s been super cold here in saskatoon.  it’s already the end of april!  it was snowing the other day…  i like prairie winter – so cold and painful, but not this long.

i should start spreading cherry blossom heads.  they will keep me warm.

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jean snow, a canadian writer based in tokyo, invited me to contribute a drawing for a website called neojaponisme. he suggested i try to use the same colour scheme as neojaponisme — red, black and grey. but he was kind to say that i could use my usual style if those colours didn’t suit my work.

i was happy for the suggestion, because i’ve been wanting to do something new. when i started drawing, i did a lot of line drawings using ballpoint pens. these days i do most of my work with colour pencils, gradually adding details and shading and only using my line drawing technique to vaguely outline figure before i start colouring.

so it was a nice brainstorming project to put my usual colour pencil technique away for awhile. i enjoyed working with a pencil again. i quite like the grey colours of graphite and the nuances that can be added by that smudging.

to add a little red to the black and white of my pencil drawing, i gave one balloon head a nosebleed. truth is, it’s a carrot stain from elijah’s lunch. he likes to feed himself these days — he gets annoyed if i try to do it all for him. when he uses his fingers, he’s very accurate and doesn’t miss much. but when he uses a spoon, food ends up all over the place — on the floor, and on his clothes, and in my hair and in this case, on my drawing. carrots flew through the air from elijah’s spoon and magically landed right on the balloon head. i like it — i think it’s very natural. so i didn’t erase it.

the colour of the carrots/nosebleed was more like orange than red. so i used photoshop to color that part, to fit with the style at neojaponisme.

(title :: simple minded)

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(the front cover)

a production manager from arsenal pulp press, a vancouver book publisher, contacted me to ask if they could use images of my drawings for the cover of their new books catalogue. each season they print around 4000 copies of this catalogue and distribute them to booksellers and university professors across canada and the US. they like to showcase a new artist on the cover of the catalogue. for the spring 2008 catalogue, they chose me.


(the back cover)

the manager who contacted me wanted to use “the upper hand” for the front cover, because they publish a lot of vegan cookbooks and the drawing makes her laugh. she wanted to use a drawing with pencils for the back cover, so i chose “my watercolours“.

i received some copies yesterday. i’m happy how it turned out. i like the background colour she chose – that’s one of my favorite colours.

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(click the image to view close up)

special guest: gold fish

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it’s 8am. i just finished drawing. good morning and good night. i’m going to bed with sunshine.

this is my midnight drawing photo.

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(click the image to view close up)

don’t take my pencils away from me.

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