Friday, December 31, 2010

More SBP pages

I hope the Sketchbook Project people don't mind that the book is a little thinner than what they originally sent me. I ended up ripping out several pages I didn't like. I seem to have upset the stitching, but it looks like it'll still hold together.

This is a normal thing for me and my sketchbooks. I rip out pages that I need to photocopy or trace on the lightbox. Most of my old sketchbooks are not fit to be shared. But I'm used to thinking sketchbooks as places to work out project ideas that I finish in other formats. In that sense, the theme of this project fits -- this IS not a sketchbook. After all, I've never filled one while thinking the book is meant to be handled and viewed by others. It's making me self-conscious. But I am a good little soldier and am diligently trying to draw my way through the unhelpful feeling.

The stitching means we're now at the halfway point - - with only two weeks left to finish! Panic!

I decided I needed to see what the cat was doing with that bird. But then I couldn't decide what to do next, so I gave the book an intermission. The time pressure means I need to keep drawing even at the end of a long day. So the intermission page got a weirdly doodly while I was drawing and vegging in front of the TV simultaneously.

Then I started thinking about New Year's parties, so I offered myself a drink. I don't actually drink, so that brought me back to the pattern of putting negatives in red ink.

When I start drawing again later today, I'll go back to that red haired boy who was heading up to an art class. Not sure yet what he's going to do next, but I have decided the boy hates to draw. His mom makes him got to art classes so that she can sneak off for trysts with her brother-in-law. The cat killing the bird doesn't give the story enough tension. This plot line will give me the chance to draw people getting hot and bothered -- in more ways than one!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sketchbook Project Continued

Next time I do something like this, I must sign up earlier. I had intended to create a cohesive plan for the sketchbook, but then I noted how little time I have left to complete it. The project requires that you fill your sketchbook and have it in the mail by January 15th. That's a lot of pages for someone with a day job, a Christmas-celebrating family, and novel revisions she wants to keep up the momentum on. So the planning phase is out. It's more important that I keep drawing. I'm pantsing it, letting the pictures on one page lead me to the next. Here are the eight spreads I drew Sunday and yesterday. I'm still not quite halfway through the book.

I'll let the images explain themselves:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The next two sketchbook spreads

Boy, do I need to draw faster if I'm going to fill all the pages in time to send the book off by January 15th.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

About a month ago I signed up to participate in the Sketchbook Project, a project/challenge offered through the Art House Co-op in Brooklyn. I decided to let the folks in Brooklyn choose a theme for me from their list. I was assigned "This is not a sketchbook." Next time I think I'll choose my own theme. I really wanted to sketch, not to turn the book into something else, so I decided to negate the negative in the theme. I received the moleskine cahier about a week later. I am slowly filling the pages, mixing words and pictures, and skipping every other page so that ink bleed-through won't be an issue.

More to come...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Character sketches

This afternoon I've been working on the look of a character for a picture book I'm writing.

Jillian is a girl who loves to draw fairies.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday sketching

The picture book I'm working on for my Writing for Younger Children workshop has a girl main character. So this weekend, in anticipation of needing to develop her character for illustrations, I have been sketching girls:

Sunday, October 3, 2010


These days I have been spending most of my time revising a middle grade novel. That's going well, but slowly. I have also signed up for a workshop on writing for young children at The Writers' Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Class began last Thursday. It's a seven-week long course that I'm hoping will inspire lots of stories suitable for pairing with my own illustrations. So far so good.

Naturally, this means less time for drawing (I still have that day job too), but I do manage to get a bit of sketching in here and there. I joined the Dupont Drawing Group and have attended two life-drawing sessions; however, I won't be posting any pictures from that on this strictly PG-rated blog. I probably won't attend more sessions until the writing workshop ends in mid-November.

Of course, being one of those people who was born with a drawing pencil in her hand, I can't suppress my sketch demons entirely. Inspired by the delightful and brilliant work of Sean Ashby, I have begun to play with scratchboard. Here's my first sheet of scratch doodles:

This medium would lend itself well to black & white interior art for middle grade novels. That's right up my alley!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Regarding my models

A couple of commentors have asked about the kids in my sketches. I'd like to take credit for finding these terrific models, but I really can only take credit for finding the book Facial Expressions Babies to Teens by Mark Simon on It's an illustrator's visual reference of tons of headshots from a variety of angles. I like to loosen up by sketching some of the more amusing facial expressions. Drawing these kids is fun and helps me internalize a wide range of images of lively children. I recommend it to all children's book illustrators. There is also an adult version of the book.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More artifacts

I had a lot of fun getting the lights and darks right on this old fossil:

I set the object to be drawn on the table and illuminate it from one side only to get maximum shape definition from the shadows.

Here's a South American fabric printing stone. Drawing all the little patterns and swirls really gives you an appreciation for what an intricate carving job the artist did.

I am quite open to illustrating artifacts on a freelance basis. I can be reached via email at jawogaman (at) gmail (dot) com.

Artifact drawings

When I was a grad student in anthropology, I entertained the possibility of a career as an archaeological illustrator. One of my archaeology profs lent me a few of her artifacts for practice. Here are some ancient stone tools:

Long Time No Post

It's been a long time between posts. I'm sorry about that. I have had to take on a non-art day job, so my time for sketching has been limited. The only drawings I've been doing lately have been geared toward publication, and I'm not free to post them yet. Thanks to those of you who have continued to check back in for new posts. I've found a few old drawings I can share with you. Here's one from an old sketchbook:

I drew this as I working out the setting for a novel I was trying to write. I have since abandoned the project for lack of a plot.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm not necessarily the best illustrator for my own writing. Take a look at Genevieve Kote's illustrations for a story I wrote for the April issue of Pockets magazine. They match the tone of the story perfectly!

Happy Holidays 2020

Here's the winter holiday card image for 2020. This is my first holiday card created entirely in Procreate on my new iPad Pro.  I had so...