Thursday, January 16, 2014

In SEARCH of Illustration Friday and LIFE

     YAY! It's Illustration Friday, and like many I am, also, in SEARCH of a great weekend.
This week's topic is search.  When I saw the topic posted on IF Friday's site. This image immediately popped into my head.  It, of course, lacked all of the detail I developed into it later, but for the most part it was there.  I love illustrating aquatic and marine life illustration.  By marine life, I mean anything to do with the ocean, not just the animal life that lives in it.  I love 16th century galleons, pirates, sea-monsters, real-life sea animals, beaches sunsets over the ocean and I'm quite a sucker for a nice harbor.  I know this sounds rather like a personal add in the Love Columns. ;0)


     I pictured this boy with a very mechanized but rather large and complex telescope.  Searching for something, I am not quite sure what he would be looking for with that particular type of telescope at mid day.  Perhaps he is searching for Sea Monsters or even more obviously, an Adventure of any kind.  Speaking of which...

     I saw, possibly, the best film I have seen all year last night.  I watched the Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  It is a phenomenal and visually striking and emotionally beautiful film.  I was ABSOLUTELY enchanted.  Ben Stiller directs a masterpiece, in my opinion.  He takes some liberties with the original source material, but I think his interpretation is just WONDERFUL.  I could be bias as I am an avid Ben Stiller fan.  Anyway, the reason I mention this film is that the main Character, Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller), is searching for something. 
 He craves adventure yet is so afraid to step outside of the safety of this box he has built for himself.  When he is essentially forced, out of necessity, to go on an unexpected journey, he is changed forever and is never the same.  One of the things I absolutely just loved about the film is that Stiller's character works as the negative asset director for LIFE Magazine. A magazine that displays and celebrates the essence of what it is to live on this small blue planet.  It's so brilliantly crafted. I love the irony that he is a spectator of LIFE. He is in search of something in his own.  He thinks it's adventure, but that isn't  the whole truth about it.

     I know that it's slightly off topic, but I found it odd and interestingly coincidental that I should be working on an illustration of a boy on the sea in search for something and just happen to go see Walter Mitty in the same week and the subject matter happens to coincide. Saying it's providence would be a bit melodramatic, I think. So I will say, it's a funny coincidence... good words.

     On the technical side of things, I have been on a journey of my own.  I have been working almost exclusively the past few months with Black and white media, working some rusty technical skills up to a new portfolio piece I am working on. Specifically, I am wanting to do this new piece in scratch board, but haven't worked with the medium in years.  So in addition to drawing this still life I have been drawing on for a fortnight, I have decided it might be nice to get some extra practice in, by rendering the final illustration for this week in scratch board.  You may also notice the metallic nature of the final illustration. This is due to a lack of finding small and inexpensive practice scratch board. I used to buy it from my college book/art supply store, but in living in rural SW Georgia, it is a supply that is hard to come by, even when looking online. :0(
I have had to make due with this crafty engraving pages. they aren't too bad, for batting practice.  The underneath surface is a metallic coated cardboard so it makes the piece EVER SO Sparkly and Shiny.  Aside from that, I think this is a very adorable and charming image, even if the final illustration didn't turn out as charming as the sketch did.  However, since I use Illustration Friday's Challenges sometimes as an opportunity to practice, this is to be expected.  I did a small bit of touch up work in Photoshop to try and fix some of the mistakes I made.  It is what it is. ;0)

     There is not much development or WIP pix to show, I have posted what was applicable.  I hope you enjoy the illustration as well as enjoying your Friday.  I hope you all find what you are SEARCHing for this Weekend.   I will eave you with the LIFE Magazine company moto... So Inspiring:

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer,to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

until next time...
Keep sketching, keep thinking, keep laughing and most important of all, keep making art. 


  1. Love this Illo! I've been meaning to catch that film - so glad it is a good one. Best wishes for a creative weekend

  2. You know, I have never seen that movie. I was scrolling through the entries in Illustration Friday and your illustration captured my interest. Yes, I love black and white and yours is captivating. Your description of your interests and the statement that followed is funny. You made me giggle.