Illustration Friday – Gravity

February 18, 2007

I posted on the Illustration Friday forums about an exercise I’m going to try this week for the topic “Gravity“. It’s inspired by the painting sessions we had at the Aegean Center. The painting students would get together once a week, choose a model (pastries, wine and food were very popular models, because of the fun of disposing of them afterwards) and set limits for ourselves – one painting every half hour, no brushes, three colors only. Or some would use just a single fat brush, one color. We would set the limits beforehand and then get down to business. It was a lot of fun. After two hours, we had four paintings (which was usually two weeks’ worth of work for me with traditional oil painting, so it helped me loosen up a lot) and full bellies from all that wine.

Here’s a Flickr set from the last one we did a year ago.

So tonight I’m going to sit down with a graphite pencil and four watercolor pencils and spend twenty minutes sketching ideas, then forty minutes making a finished drawing. I’ll have my webcam going and will post updates during the hour with progress pictures. We’ll see what I end up with!

* * * * * * * * *

Alright. It’s 9pm, and I’m ready to go. I have a fresh pot of tea, my watercolor pencils, a vague idea. I’m listening to the Jackson 5. The topic is gravity. I have a note in my painting book (I write phrases to describe future potential paintings rather than sketching them. Hm.) that mentions a bridge hovering by means of balloon. Gravity is not a theory. It is actually the law.

So balloons, birds, distant stars for whom the law has no jurisdiction – these defiant revolutionaries are my inspiration. I’m going to start sketching.


I have Terracotta 64, Imperial Purple 23, Brown Ochre 57, Rose Pink 18 and an obsessive need to document the minutiae of a normal night of sketching because it’s a great tool for procrastination and it’s been a month since I finished an Illustration Friday topic.


This is the Wee Book. That’s because wee Melanie sent it to me last year, and it has the best paper. It’s been passed around at parties and exclaimed over and I love it so much that I’ve only used about five pages in it. It’s the best for watercolor pencil experiments.


Sketch #2 – Dejected, planet-bound star holding a deflated balloon. I’ll scan it and upload a closer version. I like the concept, but it’s depressing. Also, the facial expression needs a lot more work. More “dejected” less “bemused”. No matter who or what I’m drawing, they always look wry or bemused.

I like how the craters on the planet look like nipples. I’m going to add more in perspective toward the edge of the planet to build up the form a bit.

The idea came from my love of dancing popsicle advertisements at the movie theater. I wanted to draw a non-person.

6 thoughts on “Illustration Friday – Gravity”

  1. I myself much [refer my planet bound stars to look bemused :D!! I think the expression is absolutely lovely and right. And those nipples look completely chewable. How completely thrilled am I that you’re using your journal!!!!!!!! That’s so fantastic! I’m really glad you like it!

    Oooooo this is exciting!

  2. Read about this experiment on the Art Forum. While I’m not capable of committing to time constraints as yet, I came running the outcome on your blog. Great going. Fab ilo and you’re back on the illustration friday wagon 😀 i know what to do now when next i fall off – experiment.

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