Under the weather

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I’ve been off work today with a head that feels as though it’s stuck in a vice, streaming eyes, a deep, painful chesty cough and the energy of rechargeable battery that has had been reused one too many times. I spent a good 18+ hours in bed feeling sorry for myself before dragging my aching body to the sofa and back to bed when being upright became too much. Thank goodness for the internet, my iPad, paracetamol and the pile of satsumas left at the side of the bed by the good doctor. Here’s hoping another 10 hours sleep and a bucket load of drugs will rid me of this hideous lurgy. Good night all.

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Inking

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26/365 - Draftsmanship

Photo 26 of my 365 project used my cartoons as the subject.   I have been dedicating quite some time to my photography challenge and haven’t missed a day yet – it is much less time consuming than drawing but it gives me the same creative gratification.

Michelle at The Green Study pointed out that I haven’t really shared my ‘process’ before, and someone else commented that they thought I drew everything directly into the computer.   In a previous post I briefly mentioned how I do things while I waxed lyrical about creating smooth lines in Illustrator but I’m happy to share a bit more.

My process is simple.  I sketch in pencil, biro or whatever writing implement I can get my hands on.  It’s usually a really rough sketch to get the positions/expressions right. I then trace over the originals on a fresh sheet of paper using black Indian ink and a fountain pen, or a simple black liner if I’m feeling lazy. I have a lightbox to make tracing easier.  I continue to redraw, tweak and redraw until I am mostly happy with the final image.  Sometimes if I’m feeling particularly self critical, this part can take an age.

Finally, I scan the line drawings into Photoshop and do a bit of touching up. For example I  might remove blemishes, erroneous lines or fill in some detail I think would add to it.  Then I colour and add texture.  Ta Da!   Of course there are all sorts of variations depending on my mood, but this is my preferred approach.

 

Leaf Tornado

LEAF TORNADO

Just a little sketch I did recently after I found myself in the middle of a leaf tornado.  It happened so suddenly that I was unable to get my camera out to capture it.  Instead I drew it – one of those unadulterated joyous moments that make you want to laugh out loud and spin around like Julie Andrews in the Alps.

On a windy day, I love to watch piles of colourful leaves come alive and race each other down the road. Tumbling, twisting, turning, clacking and tapping on the tarmac then taking off and dancing high into the air.   Since my tornado moment,  few leaves remain – they are either a soggy, slippy mulch or they’ve been hoovered up by the city council’s cleaning trucks.  I shall miss them.

Holiday UK #2 – Dartmoor Bog

dartmoor poniesExcept from L’s holiday diary entry, 24th June:

“Up on to Dartmoor today via several stops for Amy to gawp at horses and take photos. We a parked at the Postbridge information centre to start the rather boggy walk up to some standing stones with picturesque views of the moors.  We ended up meandering around a peat bog for a bit before giving up and following a wall to the obligatory water feature challenge of the holiday…” NB. We often find ourselves traversing fast flowing water courses on our expeditions.

bogMy response to L’s diary entry:

“I think L has underplayed The Bog.  We were walking for 8.5 miles and for at least 5 of those miles we were ankle deep in bog.  At one point we found ourselves lost in the middle of a vast expanse of moorland (as far as the eye could see) with no visible path in sight.  I was secretly calculating our water rations in case we started to sink into the stinky, relentless bog and had to wait for rescue…”

I must mention that today is my mum’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Mum!

Between jobs

For the past few weeks, I’ve been between jobs.  Towards the end of last year I decided to take the plunge and leave a permanent job, in which I was very unhappy, for a temporary post with more opportunities to get out and about.  The risk was calculated and sadly despite efforts to extend my contract, they had to let me go due to lack of funds…don’t you just love austerity?!

So April was spent scouring the papers, writing job application after job application (A thoroughly demoralising process) until I was offered another temporary contract. Frustratingly, I’ve had an agonisingly long wait while they process references, do criminal records checks, et cetera et cetera . In other words, I’m still waiting for the contract.

In the mean time, I’ve been trying to pay the bills and generally keep myself out of trouble.  It’s amazing how busy one can be when they’re unemployed.  For the past month I’ve been practicing my cooking skills:

Cooking

Making some extra dosh on Ebay:

Unemployed_2And excitingly,  I’ve reignited the freelance work using People Per Hour which allows people to buy and sell their skills/services.  I’ve been doing a few things here and there and have been lucky enough to secure an 18month contract drawing a web comic for someone…sneak previews to follow soon! I’ve also set up another wordpress site www.designedbyamy.wordpress.com to showcase some of my design work.

Unemployed3All in all, things are ticking over and although money is tight, life is generally good.  Signing out!