Secret Pencil WIP

I’m doing some art for my awesome chiropractor. This is a WIP of it, but he doesn’t know what it is yet. Shhhhh, don’t tell him.

First, I had the ridiculous idea: Chiroopractor. Get it? …well, you’ll get it when you see it, I hope. I record most of my ideas in one of my sketchbooks, as a sort of visual list. Very rough concept sketches only, just a few inches and a few seconds. Here’s this one:

Now do you get it? I sure hope so. My twisted sense of humor might not fit into a respectable place of business.

Next, I did three value thumbnails. Again, really quick, just helping me plan out large areas of value. I also sketched the scene a few inches wide on a very large sheet of paper (my vanishing points were pretty far away) so I could get my perspective lines right. That’s something I don’t usually mess with… but with walls and tables, this needed to be right.

What, you want a picture? Um, well, I threw that piece of paper away before I decided to do a WIP. Sorry. I’ll be better next time.

Next, I drew it full-size, using my perspective sketch as a guide and being so geeky as to measure lines with a ruler and scale it up with my calculator. Helps me learn perspective, although maybe the hard way… Anyway, I measured all the hard lines and free-sketched the roos, erasing and tweaking until I got it right.

You can see my line of sight (or horizon line) – the horizontal one going through the chiroopractor’s head. I spent some time making sure the wall lines didn’t interfere with the subject or make ugly-looking tangents or intersections. Once I had those set, I played around with the composition. I sketched in the skeleton on the left, but I tossed it out because it was an eye magnet, hogging all the focus. You can also see how I moved the framing around (this is 11×14″ by the way) until I found a composition I liked.

Don’t mind the tape – I accidentally ripped the paper.

At this point, I was ready to transfer the sketch to bristol board. I scribbled all over the back of this sheet with a nice soft graphite pencil, then taped it to the board. Then I traced everything with a blue pen (so I could see what I had traced and what I hadn’t). Ballpoint pens are good for transfer – they don’t rip the paper and they make a nice fat traced line. I peeled the paper up and traced the ball & dumbbell in a better location.

I do all these steps for whatever medium I’m using – it works for pencil, painting, and pastels.

Being a novice at the WIP, I forgot to take a photo after transfer. Take my word for it – it looks pretty much like the layout sketch above. Here’s the first shot I took, after I finished the walls (aaaaaaaaaaag, the endless walls that took forever to shade) and started the first roo.

You can see my tools – ref photos, thumbnail sketches, pencils (mostly used 6B, 2B, and 2H), erasers, a blending stump, and some tissue paper.

See how I scribbled the background into his arm in a couple places? I wasn’t strict about the fur outlines, because I can erase it later, and this makes for more natural-looking fur. Also, it prevents him from looking like a cutout.

More next time!

8 thoughts on “Secret Pencil WIP”

  1. I love this! So cool! Thanks for sharing your process. I really wish I could be that creative.
    :) Smiles!

  2. This is awesome Meg, and what a great play on words!
    I would be very surprised if he didn’t appreciate something like this. Humour in a doctor’s office, who woulda thunk it? ;)

  3. You are so dern funny. I’m impressed by all the research, too–now I know why you spend so much time at zoos!
    My only suggestion (other than to lament the loss of the ‘roo skeleton, which would have been awesome but which indeed does steal the show) is to put a couple of posters on the wall (maybe of a skeleton, it’d be less show-stopping in poster form but still funny) because Dr/chiropractor offices always have dry, textbook-like diagrams and posters and it would make it a little more true-to-life and visually interesting (since it looks like, at this point, the walls are going to blank?). It might be too late, after all of that gorgeous shading, but just a thought…

  4. ps Can we talk about how frickin’ hilarious a kangaroo with its face in one of those massage table pad things is??? Looking at it again it just struck me as ridiculous. I mean, it’s a kangaroo!

  5. Thanks to you all for your comments! Looks like everyone likes WIPs. I know I do…

    Kasie, I am enjoying sharing the process. I love hearing everyone’s techniques. And creativity isn’t too hard… but it’s nice to have some quiet time to let your imagination wander.

    Rita, I’m beginning to think that with, er… “creative” art like this, a good title is a necessity. Otherwise it’s just weird art! I sure hope he likes it.

    Angela, thank you. I like getting “interesting” as a response. Much better than “usual” or boring!”

    The Sister, you know the sense of humor is in the genes! Thanks for your suggestion. See the lighter spot on the right wall? It’s going to be a poster. A nice, dry, dr’s office poster. We must think alike, or something.

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