Olivia's Sketchbook

Random Musings & Art

Another Japanese Temple Sketch

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I did this sketch last week at Kitchijoji. I found a group of broken gravestones in the corner of the temple graveyard and decided to draw them. I used my ThinLine sumi style brush pen along with my waterbrush. The ink from this pen is not waterproof, so I can use water to create different effects. I find that I learn a lot drawing on location and I have been trying to do it more often.
Unfortunately this week the weather has been rainy and cold, so I haven’t had a chance to draw outside yet.


Written by oliviakrane

April 28, 2010 at 5:01 am

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Illustration Friday: Detective

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So, here it is…my first illustration for Illustration Friday.  The theme was Detective.  In my brainstorming, I thought about the expression “leaving no stone unturned” which inspired this idea.  Even though I did many sketches, I ended up going with one of the first I did as a basis for the piece.  Then I imported the pen sketch into Photoshop to color.

I’m looking forward to trying this again next week.  It was nice to reach this goal.

Written by oliviakrane

April 23, 2010 at 4:21 am

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Animade Inspiration

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Animade is a website that collects some of the best animation from the internet.  I’ve discovered a lot of great, inspiring animation from this website.

There were a few that I saw today that were particularly interesting.

This is a lovely and silly combination of animation and live action.  New York is invaded by retro, angry video game characters.

Gently, Gently Music Video

This music video was simple and moody.  It reminded me of a video one of my friends in New York made.  

Lormalized Video

I really enjoyed this animation from an artist named Reza.  If you click on the Vimeo page, there is a link where you can download the program, called LORMALIZED, that he used to create this interesting video.  It’s interactive and quite fun to play around with.  I have no idea what the math is behind this program, however it’s beautiful and inspiring.

Written by oliviakrane

April 21, 2010 at 2:00 am

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Recent Good Habits I’d Like To Continue

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Okay, lately I’ve been trying consciously to take my art seriously and give it the time/effort it deserves.  During the last few months I’ve made the following observations…

1.  Drawing everyday, even when I don’t feel inspired.  Sometimes I’m going to produce great work, sometimes I won’t.  My goal is to fill pages in my sketchbook.  The actual contents are less important.  This helps me not get too negative when I have a day that isn’t so creative.

2.  Using a combination of cheap and more expensive sketchbooks.  I find it easier to doodle on cheap paper.  So I make sure I have a bunch available.  Then I have the Moleskines for times I want to spend more time and make something that I might show others.

3.  Posting some of my work online has helped me feel less alone and more excited about doing work.

4.  Drawing outside helps inspire me.  I try to draw outside (whether or not I’m doodling from my imagination or drawing something outside) in order to take a break from the usual..

6.  Eating healthy food and exercising (I ride my bike) really helps me come up with good ideas and have the energy to draw.

So, I feel the need to take a further step this week.  I’m going to do the Illustration Friday challenge this week.  The theme is “detective”.  I’ll spend a little time brainstorming ideas.

Written by oliviakrane

April 19, 2010 at 8:40 am

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Gokokuji Pagoda

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Yesterday I went for a bike ride to Gokokuji (Buddhist Temple in Tokyo).  It was a glorious, sunny day unlike today (grey and rainy).  I took out my old Moleskine and starting looking for things to sketch.  After trying to capture a statue without success, I settled on a pagoda.  

I told myself that I needed to finish this sketch, so I consciously tried to sketch faster than I’m used to.  I had my non-waterproof sumi brush pen and my waterbrush and I switched between the 2 as I went.  Sadly the proportions are not correct.  In real life the top roof is much wider.  I also wish I had more variation in line.  Overall, I’m pleased with the result since pagodas are very difficult to draw.

I took a photo of the sketch (I want to get a scanner someday) and then imported it into Photoshop to add a bit of color.  I told myself I’d only allow myself 30 minutes to color it in so I wouldn’t overwork the surface and I’d have to go with my gut instincts more.  Here is the result.

Written by oliviakrane

April 15, 2010 at 4:04 am

1 Minute Drawing

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Lately I’ve been experimenting with ways to draw faster.  I want to be more expressive and efficient about the way I get my ideas on paper.  I was looking at my sketchbooks lately and thinking about this self conscious change I’m trying to make.  

The first drawing above is a scene of Odaiba.  Odaiba is an interesting man made island in Tokyo Bay.  It was designed during Japan’s bubble economy days and is full of strange futuretopia buildings and a train that levitates.  I took a photo and painstakingly interpreted it with pencil, then pen, trying to get every single detail in and frowning every time the lines weren’t completely straight.  I ended up putting it down to work on other projects.

The second drawing is a pretty obvious subject.  A few Tokyo pigeons.  They are an incredibly common sight here and in almost every city I’ve visited.  I was sitting in a very small park next to a convenience store overlooking a beautiful cherry blossom tree.  Suddenly a swarm of pigeons assaulted me.  So I drew them.  I drew about 10 sketches of these pigeons and I liked 2 of them.  I used my brush pen and water brush.  While the first drawing took several hours to get to a point where it is not even complete, the second drawing took about 1 minute to complete the section shown.  That is, the 2 birds featured took about 30 seconds each.  Maybe less.  I didn’t time it with a stopwatch or anything, it’s just an estimate  

Somehow I am more fond of the second drawing.  Sure, it’s done quickly and it’s very rough.  I guess I just really enjoyed capturing that moment of realizing, like a child, that pigeons are actually quite fascinating.

Roz Stendahl, an artist who has a wonderful website about keeping sketchbooks often draws pictures of birds.  She writes on her blog that often the pictures of birds she creates are self portraits.  I totally understood what she meant when I looked at these pigeons.  They really remind me of myself right now.

Written by oliviakrane

April 14, 2010 at 7:46 am

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Sake Shop Pen/Watercolor Sketch

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This is a piece I created on my lunch break in my watercolor Moleskine.  It is an old fashioned sake shop located in Omiya.  I used an assortment of pens along with watercolor, trying to focus on using color in a more dramatic way than I’m used to.  I’m not sure if its successful, however it was a new direction for me.

Written by oliviakrane

April 13, 2010 at 8:02 am

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