New Class – Playing with Colour

I’ve been remiss in posting to the blog lately because I’ve been really busy. I’m in the new Illustration for Picture Books Class at Emily Carr (CEIL340)(http://www.ecuad.ca/programs/courses/CEIL/340/SU01). We are in Week 4 and it has been full of lots of hard work and fun. The homework for this week was to make a dummy book and one final illustration for our picture books that we previously wrote the story for last week. I thought writing the story was hard, turns out making a dummy book for the whole thing was much more difficult. I think I failed miserably, but I will get a chance to fix it up in the next few weeks.

In class, we did a fun color experiment though. We had to bring in a few images or objects with color combinations that we liked. I brought in a scan of the book Petunia by Roger Duvoisin, if you aren’t familiar with it the book is colored in red, yellow, green and a bit of black.

Our challenge was to redraw our final illustrations as you see above using only the colors from the item we brought in. I received some surprising results!

And from the cover of another book called “The Man Who Lost His Head” by Claire Huchet Bishop inspired this color combination.

It was a really fun exercise and opened my eyes to how you can use colors to convey a mood (obviously) but also to draw your attention to certain parts of a drawing or away from certain parts of a drawing all the while changing the focus and the underlying theme of the story. Very cool!

Looking forward to the next few classes. I will post the homework here as it gets finished.

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Great Art Give Away

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This past weekend I was invited to an Art Give Away. A wonderful lady, who is an art icon in White Rock, Elizabeth Hollick, is moving so she was basically clearing out her studio and giving it all away. She is moving from a house to a condo, so I guess downsizing quite a bit.

For years her studio has been a must see for art lovers on the White Rock/South Surrey Art Walk and one of my personal favorites. You could always find it because of the paper maché giraffes she had perched on her patio, placed there she told me once, so her mother could easily find her way home. She was a prolific painter and always had rooms and rooms of paintings and drawings. I liked how she used the most unlikely colors to paint faces and landscapes and anything really. It was almost like she had bought an industrial size can of purple paint and felt she had to use it up. Somehow it worked and you can see examples of her art all over White Rock; on the promenade at West Beach, on cladding uptown, and you can also find one of her painted Spirit Bears at Hillcrest Mall in uptown White Rock.

I was able to pick up a few paintings, a couple drawings, some brushes, an unused canvas. It was really a wonderful event and judging by all the people, she had many followers. I would have liked to take more, but I had to stop myself from bringing home art, that I really wouldn’t be able to display because of lack of wall space. That was one of her incentives for the day itself, that it was better to give it to people who would enjoy it rather than put it away in a storage facility to never see the light of day. I believe all the people that attended will be a little richer from her act of kindness and perhaps pay it forward in some way.

Puzzle Journal

Hi All,

Hope everyone has been drawing, writing or both! I’ve been busy doing neither :0(

I did manage to draw a few things in my puzzle journal. Remember awhile back I was telling everyone about my brilliant idea and how I saw a similar thing in the VanDusen Gardens bookstore at Christmas blah, blah, blah? At the time I didnt know what to call it, so I just made up a name for it. In case you were wondering what I was talking about, here is the example with both good and bad results (lets just say there needs to be a few rules about what can go where?) or maybe that just adds to the fun of it. Did you notice the last guy with two sets of arms?!

I’ll keep at it and see if it sparks any interesting subject matter. It’s kind of a good way to see what head fits on what body and what legs work etc. The possibilities are endless.

I sent out another invitation to everyone to post on the blog or check it out. It’s getting pretty lonely here, I feel like I’m talking only to myself ;0)

If you’re wondering how I made the puzzle journal, it was super easy. I just bought a 6″x9″ white journal from Opus (I prefer the Ecojot [www.ecojot.com] ones because if you buy one they give one away to a child in need) and measured out three (not equal) but almost equal sections (from the top 3.25″ high, 2.875″ and 3″) and cut them with scissors.

Happy Drawing! Hope to hear from some of you soon!

Free Online Course.

I was in Opus (http://opusartsupplies.com/) the other day buying a new journal (any of you that live in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver or in Kelowna, know this is the “go to” place for art supplies) when I came across this free online workshop being put on by Strathmore (http://www.strathmoreartist.com/) the paper company. I joined up and have already viewed the first two lessons for the “Mixed Media Mark Making Techniques” Workshop. The artist, Traci Bautista, has some very interesting and innovative ways of marking paper that could be used in many different ways – from Journals and Scrapbooks to sculpture and paintings. There is quite an on-line community of artists on the site and I’ve already made contact with a local artist living in White Rock.

I’m really looking forward to the Watercolour Sketching, as I found recently that I do love watercolor in theory but am quite bad at it in practice. So I hope to pick up a few tips here.

The workshops have started as of January 1, but we are only two weeks into the first one and there is a neat-sounding one starting in May called Force Drawing Technique that I am also looking forward to.

Did I mention it was free?

A Fun Font!

I just received an e-mail today about it being National Handwriting Day on January 23, 2012. YourFonts (http://www.yourfonts.com/) is celebrating by offering free personal handwriting fonts on that day only. You can make as many as you want. The coupon code is CPN4NHD2012. Download the template at http://www.yourfonts.com/print.html. Follow the directions and fill it in with a nice black marker so it’s ready to go for Monday.

I’ve done this before with my kids handwriting, it’s a really cute way to have a personal keepsake of when they were young that you can use over and over again. And as long as their handwriting is legible, the possibilities for publishing them are endless. Cards, posters, books, journals – anything really. If you’re a scrapbooker, personal fonts are great, they add that much more to your scrapbooking page.

Hope everyone is still drawing!

Studio Morran

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In the last week of October I saw a post from Geninne on Facebook about a call for submissions. I love Geninne’s work so I took a look at the call. Artist Camilla Engman, another artist I admire had asked artist’s to create an image of her little dog Morran in the hopes of creating enough images to compile a book. I saw the call just a few days before it was to be closed so I didn’t have that much time to come up with something. I really wanted to be part of this though as her dog was just so darn cute! I quickly created a black and white digital painting of Morran based on one of her many Flickr portraits. I created it reductively just like I do my monotypes and it was a great exercise in using my tablet.

Below is my submission but I so wish I had more time to have created something more playful and unique. You MUST check out the Studio Morran blog to see some of the fantastic submissions that have been accepted to be part of the book. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

Image copyrighted to Lori Dean Dyment

Unfortunately this post doesn’t have a happy ending because little Morran became ill not too long ago and has since past away. Judging from all the sympathetic comments on the blog, Morran’s little face will be missed. From muse to fond memory. Camilla, I’m very sorry for your loss.

Post note: My piece was selected to be included in the book. Yeah! You can view the book on Blurb

The Good Old Days!

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I keep a sketch book in my purse now, so that when I’m waiting to pick my kids up from school, or activities,  I can draw something – anything!

The other day I was looking through it, and found this sketch my son had drawn. He is my hero when it comes to drawing. I love his style and the freedom that he draws with. Although lately, I have noticed that “freedom” changing day by day as he struggles to make things, people, animals “look” realistic or the way “they are supposed to look” “the way everyone draws them”. He tends to erase more and spend a little more time working and reworking things.

I have quite an archive of his drawings that I like to look at from time to time, just to inspire me, but try as I might, I can never get that same look, that casual child-like style that seems effortless. When I do it, it just seems wrong or messy.

My son and I are trying to work on a book together and this is his character (more or less) for the book. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s looking as time goes on.

Playing with paper

Yesterday morning I woke up and drew this picture. I’m trying to get into the habit of drawing whenever and wherever I feel a creative spark to do so.

I always seem to be able to draw heads but not bodies. So last night I added legs then started to change the length of the legs by folding up the pages of my sketch book to see if I could get a leg length I liked without having to redraw my character. I never feel confident enough to be able to recreate that ONE character exactly, so often my lazy side takes over. I do think the last one is the most successful. Although when I look at it now, the middle one is sweet because his legs ARE a little bit too short.

I’ve been thinking for quite awhile about a book where you mix and match the heads and bodies and legs around – of course as soon as you think of something YOU think is original, you end up seeing just that thing somewhere OR in some store. Well, my family and I went to the Christmas Light Show at VanDusen Gardens Christmas eve and while I was browsing through the gift shop, I saw a book that was similar to what I had been thinking about. The book was cut horizontally into three sections giving the reader the ability to play around interchanging heads with different bodies and legs. I still think a blank sketch book broken into three sections would be cool though. It would make for some pretty comical characters. Maybe I’ll have to mock-up a prototype and test it out, it would be a good way to spark some creative drawing!

Happy New Year Everyone! Keep on drawing!

Emily Carr Fall 2011 Class for Picture Book Illustrators

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Try to draw one face as many ways as you can.

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for stopping by. Hope everyone is doing well and almost ready for Christmas. I have been trying to draw as often as possible, but it has been pretty difficult. I have lost some of the excitement that I had while I was taking the class, that had me drawing almost everyday. I fully intended to sign up for the Spring course, CEIL 340, but was dismayed to find out that I would have missed two classes because of a Spring Break vacation. I hope that all of you that are signed up, will keep the rest of us posted on the class and how it is going. I hope to take it in the summer if it is available. Lisa almost assured me that it would be.

I saw some of you at Lisa’s opening for Draw Me A Lion (drawmealion.com). My daughter and I had a great time and ended up spending a bit of money. What a great venue it was at Collage Collage (collagecollage.ca) and such a fun opening! I love places like that, very inspiring.

I thought that once everything settled down, some of you would be willing to post things you have been working on or we could send out ideas to spark some “homework” drawing. Let me know how many of you are interested by commenting  below. If you have any ideas for drawings, also let me know.

I really hope that we can keep in touch.