Ivan Brunetti

September 5: This week at Val Draws

This week I cleaned up another sketch for my mini book:

I also worked on some cartooning exercises from Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice by Ivan Brunetti (bad drawing alert!):

The assignment was to do a daily four-panel comic inspired by something from daily life. Most of these I drew very quickly with no preliminary sketching or reference, so they're pretty sloppy. I'd like to spend more time, but I'm also trying to finish other projects while working full-time and trying not to be a totally crappy mom to my six-year-old daughter. So for now, scribbly cartoons it is!

I moved on to week four's exercises which begin with sketching a character. I hated most of what I drew on this page, so this is what was left:

but I ended up not using this for the next exercise, because while doing my morning pages, inspired by Lynda Barry and the idea of not knowing what comes next, I started writing a story about two squirrels and a crow, which grew out of the fact that my husband thought that the guy with the beard stealing the bike in the second strip above was a bird (he does look like a bird, doesn't he?). I thought a bird stealing a bike was WAY more interesting than a dude with a beard stealing a bike, so I thought about writing a story about a crow that steals shiny things, but it turns out crows are no more attracted to shiny things than any other animals, according to corvid experts, but they DO steal things that squirrels hide, so I just started writing and this story started to form, which lead to this (second bad drawing alert!):

I do kind of like that last drawing of the crow.

I do kind of like that last drawing of the crow.

I want to develop this story further, so I know I need to practice drawing squirrels and crows and oak trees and acorns and shovels, and a lot of other things, which brings me back to the first week of Cartooning and spontaneous drawing AND to a video by Will Terrell, How to Draw from Reference, that I stumbled across recently, which caused me to have a forehead-slapping lightbulb duh moment, all of which is to say that I will be drawing these items from reference to build an internal visual language/library, and then once it is all inside me, I will draw it again, exhaling the air that is already inside me, as Will Terrell put it.

So that's this week in a big, fat nutshell. Later!

August 28: this week at ValDraws

Cleaned up this sketch:

I also did quite a bit of work with the Ivan Brunetti cartooning exercises, as well as with Lynda Barry's book, Syllabus. The two work well together and Barry uses some of the Brunetti exercises in her teaching, so it's easy to use them together. I'll upload some of the work I've done when I have a little more time, and I'm feeling a little less self-conscious.

That's it for now!

August 21 - the last few weeks at Val Draws

Now where was I... I missed a few weeks of blogging, but I have been consistently working on refining the art for my mini book promo:

Weird cropping and borders aside, I'm happy with how things are coming along. 

I also got a new book called Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice by Ivan Brunetti. It's pretty amazing. It's based on a college course he teaches and is structured by weeks, with exercises and assignments. I just finished the first week (and read ahead a bit) and things are already making sense to me in a way that they never did before, and ideas are flowing probably better than they ever have. I don't think I'm articulating very well how good and special this book is, so just go buy a copy, okay?