Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sometimes I should just keep these things to myself.

It's Saturday, and it's working day. I'm hemming and hawing over my latest postcard, which is inspired by the lovely song "New Hampshire."

I got the background but I am sitting here trying to draw a deer. I'm from Maine; deer are abundant here and my childhood was speckled in the exciting electricity of seeing deer cross streets, chew in fields, and watching their tails disappear back into the woods. They love my parents' yard, which used to be farm pasture, and we frequently saw the tall grass flattened by their sleeping or resting bodies. I've seen my share of deer. I just can't draw the freaking things.

My deer are coming out looking like antlered horses, or horse-cows, or horse-dogs. I'm getting better but this is quite a process. It's hard to draw from memory because a) drawing isn't my biggest strength, b) deer don't stay still long enough for me to really commit their details to memory for drawing later, and c) I am trying to focus too much on details even though all I need is a deer silhouette.

Right now I am taking a break from it, and I have a deer body drawn onto a piece of notebook paper in front of me. (I know, wide-ruled notebook paper is very professional.) I need to do the head next and well, have you ever tried to draw a deer head?

Here's a creepy fact about my childhood: my family lived at my grandmother's house for a little while and I shared a bedroom with my brothers right off the dining room. (That's not the creepy part yet.) My mum's stepdad had apparently been a hunter and was the kind of hunter to mount the heads of his kills on the wall. (It's coming...) Indeed, on the wall of the room where we slept. Indeed, on the wall of the room where we slept, right above my brothers' beds. That's the creepy part, in case you didn't catch that. We thought it was so cool/gross. We'd get brave sometimes and dare each other to stand on the beds and touch the stiff fur. Ewwwww. The biggest dare was touching the eyeballs, which of course weren't real but we didn't know that when we were that age.

I wish I'd repressed that memory. How am I supposed to draw the head of a deer now?

I know. I'm weird. Back to work.

This is my final sketch. It's way too big and as you can see I cut my (disproportionate) original to use as an outline for a better result. I ended up barely even using the original lines anyway. And I only need a silhouette. It's not so glamorous, being an artist.

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