Nov 12, 2019

Giving names is important.

I find that giving things and creatures around you names is a good start of relationships. Here is a portrait of a night heron which I see at the same place almost always I pass it. I hamed it Penelope.
 And below a green heron Innokentiy. 

I also saw a family of ducks today. But they don't have names yet.

Nov 4, 2019

Inktober 2019: Report

I love doing 30-day projects as a way to stretch myself, learn about things and an honest way to experiment with things I want to try. And Inktober became somewhat a tradition.
In 2015 and 2016 I did a month of drawing Badger stories each.
In 2017 I did a month of exploring digital drawing on my iPad - here is a link to the report about it:
This year I decided to learn about amazing flying mammals - bats! And teach me a way to take an inked drawing and convert it into a fun informational piece using a new digital drawing tool from Adobe - Adobe Fresco.

Here are 8 things that I made this year's inktober fun learning experience that did not leave me drained:
  1. Having pre-made decisions about tools and steps of the process helped to smooth the start of the project and also lowered the everyday threshold of doing the drawing, adding text and publishing it. It does not mean that I did not change the process along the way but I always had a fallback plan in case if this particular day was not going well or my experiment got me into something too crazy.
  2. Having a list of ideas of different complexity was very helpful. It provided me with the safety net on the days when I did not have time or energy to do longer research and it allowed me to be more adventurous on other days. 
  3. I got a bunch of diverse sources, and I used a lot of children's books - it's an amazing source rich on the visuals and succinct scientific information.
  4. I saved some of the sources to pick up my enthusiasm mid-way to help with the unavoidable tiredness of doing something every day.
  5. Credit is always due. But keeping all the attribution thoughts in your head every day is a lot. I made a decision about how to cite my sources and obtained permissions, prepared tags for posting and text and links to the people whose images and facts I was using in my drawings and kept them handy to copy and paste with minimum modifications. 
  6. The decision to be open about my mistakes was liberating. For each final image, I posted original ink drawing which showed issues with the design and line quality. I made an effort to proofread everything but did not go to pieces when I sound a spelling mistake or an ink smudge.
  7.  Being flexible. I used different software, different tools and different paper on some days. I also did not post on a couple of days but posted more on the next one. I read about this concept in the Atomic Habits by James Clear"If I miss one day, a simple rule: never miss twice. Missing once is an accident. Missing twice is the start of a new habit." 
  8. Having a time limit per day helped me to avoid perfectionism and allowed me to plan ahead.

I would like to send a special thanks to the Merlin Tuttle Bat Conservation: it's an amazing source for visual and factual information and inspiration about bats, ecology and being a part of this planet.

Here are some images and additional notes on my happy inktober 2019:
And here you can find all the bats that I drew this month:

Recent trip report | part 5

In between everything that I packed in a short week in Ukraine I drew little things here and there - mostly while waiting. Some waits allow you to draw a whole collection of things you see, some are a few lines, some allow for color o story to be written around.

Oct 31, 2019

Recent trip report | part 4

I enjoy drawing in museums. When I have a chance to visit the same museum several times over several years it becomes interesting to see which paintings I decided to sketch and what parts of them I noticed then and now.
Kharkov has a wonderful art museum with some real treasures and amazing people who work there.
These are my notes from the recent trip:

Artists mentioned in my notes are:

Oct 28, 2019

Recent trip report | part 3

During this trip, I saw lots of people and animals. Most were on the planes and in airports.  I drew only some of them - which reminds me that I should draw more. 

But even these will tell you little stories.  First is about the collection of buttons that my parents gave me to look through (I opened only the first box of several but immediately my niece found buttons she urgently needed for her coat!). Also - it's not actually a collection. The correct way to describe it is "all the buttons from all the coats and dresses since the war".

Story number two: that fish was very tasty, but cleaning kitchen took two days :) 
You will find more stories in the sketches themselves.