Ithanes

Not too long ago, I showed a picture from my sketchbook of the main character of my Sacred Knight series, Steigan.

A few nights ago I was flipping through my sketchbook again and came across a picture that reminds me of Ithanes. Ah, Ithanes!

He doesn’t come into the story until book 2, Manifest the Magic, but he was so full of surprises for me. I’ve come to utterly adore him. He’s like the king of snark, and very powerful with his magic. He knows what he’s good at, and lets people follow their strengths. He’s a good leader in that he finds people to compensate for the areas where he is weak. I think that’s why he likes Steigan so much. Yet, he also doesn’t often show weakness in himself. He’s lord of two lands, Dubinshire and Gohaldinest, and he lets everyone know it. Don’t let him fool you, though. He does have his deep, dark secrets.

And speaking of which, I so want to look through that curio cabinet he keeps locked in his chambers. In book 3, To Birth a Destiny, the reader gets to see that curio a couple of times and Steigan even describes some of what he saw. But let me tell you, I was right there when Steigan was discussing what he was seeing and he certainly didn’t get to some of the more interesting items toward the back. Some day I’d like to draw that cabinet and all the trinkets in there. I’d also love to sit down and talk to Ithanes about how he collected all of them. Oh, the stories!

This sketch was done in 2018. I do think if I’d intended it to be Ithanes, it should have had a teardrop-shaped gemstone hanging from the circlet. Maybe I just needed practice drawing a circlet, even a wiry one. (grin)

Maybe someday I’ll get around to doing an illustrated Sacred Knight edition, or maybe even a graphic novel. Someday.

Sketchbook ramblings

Sometimes I like to go back through my sketchbook. I find interesting things.

Here’s a partially inked picture of *shock* Steigan. I use to draw him more than anything else. Not so much these days, but every now and then he pops up.

You can see that it’s over 2 years old.

More interesting is that on the next page, I found this statement that I wrote:

His eyes are older,

Yet they still mock me.

Temptation leave me be.

I am an idiot.

His eyes still haunt.

My heart grows none the wiser.

Just have to say, “Say what?” I found this to be a completely odd statement in my journal. Who the heck was I talking about? Was it just words that popped into my head? I have lines that do that sometimes, but I generally write them down in an idea file, not in my sketchbook. This makes me think I was actually referring to someone. Besides, words like “I am an idiot” don’t usually fill the snippets that land in my head; that also feels more like me talking in my head.

Since this was also dated around 2017 and there is absolutely no clue as to what I was thinking about on that day, I guess this will fall off into the mysteries of mankind. The world will never know what adventure I was on that day which led me to write these words.

Oh, and it’s more proof that I am no poet. But I do enjoy it when my past self leaves my future self some tantalizing mysteries.

Landscape painting – WIP?

I’m starting this post for the second time. I went off in one direction and realized that it was a whole separate post. You’ll get it later in the week. You’ll know it when you see it because it’s about playing around. I think that was exactly what I needed to do when I started that post, along with solidifying the lesson in my head.

After all, these aren’t just pep talks for you, though I do hope they help and that you find some value in them. Often, they are present me giving future self advice: hey dummy, you learned this lesson once already; aren’t you ready to move on already?

But that’s not what we’re here for today. Rather, I thought I’d show you a piece I’ve been working on.

I’ve mentioned in a couple prior progress posts that I had been painting, but I never showed any pictures. So here’s one.

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It’s a 5″x7″ acrylic on Bristol board (though you can see my margin notes to myself which I haven’t erased yet). It’s also not quite as dark as it looks here. This looks almost like a blocked in painting. Sorry.

I “finished” this piece quite some time ago and I’ve been meaning to varnish it. I’d hoped to have it matted and framed for the last show I did, but I couldn’t get there. I wonder if that’s the process telling me that I’m not done with it yet. It all feels very symmetrical to me. I can’t stop the nagging feeling that it needs something. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been able to finish it yet. Maybe it truly is a work in process still. Am I learning to trust the process with my painting as well as my writing?

Time to pull out the charcoal and/or the sketchbook and start trying some ideas. Wish me luck.

Inktober #4

Here are the 4th week of Inktober drawings. See the others here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3.

Prompt #18 was “Bottle.”

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Several years ago, I went to the park and sat alone in my car. My boys were off visiting their father. I was lonely and couldn’t stay at the quiet house any more. So I sat at the park and watched the clouds drift by. And cried. Okay, I’m going to admit it now, I cried. Hard. Long and hard.

Something encouraged me to open my eyes and look toward the sky. I did, and there was this cloud floating along that looked like this twisted genie lamp. I grabbed my sketchbook and drew it out. Then I did another, and another. I went home and continued drawing these all weekend long. It’s not like I was filling pages, but whenever I felt the mood to let my hands draw some elegant curves. 

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Sketchbook pages

While I was going back through my sketchbooks looking for an egg picture I drew some time ago, I started thinking that it’s been awhile since I showed a sketchbook page. I never did find the egg I was looking for (though I did find several others which I’d completely forgotten about – talk about a surprise).

I’ll share some of my egg sketches later. This page, however, I wanted to post. I found a lot of horses in my journal. I can’t say I’m surprised that I have a lot of horses, but I just didn’t remember drawing so many. I know I have a habit of drawing Steigan, the main character from my Sacred Knight series, but I obviously have been feeling a need to draw horses so I can draw the unicorns in the series when I finally get there.

Here’s the full page:

sketchbook page1

Below is a closeup of the upper section of the page. I don’t know what inspired the drawing, but I do enjoy it.

sketchbook closeup

It was fun going through the sketchbooks, even though I was flipping through pages quickly looking for an egg. Not only does it show how much I’ve grown, but also how I’ve developed as an artist. It’s silly, but when I started with my sketches, I would only draw on one side of the page — the right hand side. And I left a lot of white space around each drawing. Then, I started paying attention to the sketchbooks of other artists and saw how interwoven a lot of drawings were. I began to fill up the pages more. Then I saw an artist who was drawing on both front and back sides of each page in their sketchbooks. You can see from the top picture that this is actually the back side of the previous page as its on the left. I’ve even added some things I’ve cut out from junk mail or advertisements. I like to find phrases within junk mail and figure out how to make something new out of it. That’s the writer part of my, I’m sure. The sketchbook that had this page in it is stuffed to the brim with all sorts of goodies. I have little taped flaps, phrases, thoughts, ideas, journaling about what I’m thinking on a certain day, life sketches, folded pictures I thought were interesting. It’s fun to look back at all these treasures.

Yet, I couldn’t let it delay me right now. I would be too easy to go through every picture and waste all evening in nostalgia. So I kept my visit short and sweet.

But in flipping through them all, I found it interesting that I had needed permission to open up. I started off all closed up, tight, keeping things separated. But as I saw what more and more artists were doing, I loosened up and started to let things flow more and more. It seemed like a track that I needed to walk. It was a good reminder to keep trusting the process with the art in my life too.

Sketchbook work – 02/2010

Sketchbook page February 2010 Dawn Blair ©2010
Sketchbook page
February 2010
Dawn Blair ©2010

Here’s another page from an older sketchbook — in fact, just a couple pages after Keteria’s sketch in the last post. Here’s where I was conceptualizing the tomb of St. Steigan. Also, notice a sketch of Steigan strutting. Yeah, he’s da man! Grin. And lots of scrolling patterns. I think a couple of them have turned into plants — dangerous looking plants if you ask me.

Thank you for letting me share with you.

 

Sketchbook – musing from 4/2013

Sketchbook page April 2013 Dawn Blair ©2013
Sketchbook page
April 2013
Dawn Blair ©2013

My sketchbook gets filled up with pieces of my life. Images I find that I enjoy. Ideas, Scribbles that hopefully turn into something decent.

Here you see just that. A sketch I had no idea what it would be when I started (the lamp post), stamps I collected at some point and taped into the journal, and the idea for the wraith that appeared in For Sale, Call Loki.

Which is scarier: the bear or the wraith doll? 🙂