I’ve been really enjoying working in my new mixed-media sketchbook from Stillman & Birn. On the other hand, getting back into doing life-drawing studies/sketches is easier said than done, as I sometimes find myself bored of typical poses that you find online; in terms of reference photos. Aside from my general admiration of their work, artists Noah & Rachel Bradley have come out with a bunch of reference photo packs on their website (which I’ll link below) that have been quite helpful. If you’re looking for some quality references I highly recommend you check out their photography.
In between the painting I’ve been working on, I decided to take a little break – which basically meant binge-watching all 3 seasons of Stranger Things last weekend. I had some catching up to do. Naturally that resulted in some sketches; well one character in particular. I’m really looking forward to seeing the talented Dacre Montgomery in more roles in the future. As for Billy Hargrove, I knew I’d love the development of his character from the very beginning. And I’ll leave it at that for those who are still catching up. 😣
As I get set to do more paintings, I’ve been trying to use my Fabriano (5.5×8.5″) sketchbook a bit more. Trying to focus more on life-drawing with fantasy elements, I’m hoping to improve my skills; which I found had weakened somewhat since uni life-drawing sessions. The Shinhan Art Touch Twin Markers are pretty much a go to for me in this sketchbook, with a graphite lineart/under-drawing. I do find that the paper is very thin with this Fabriano sketchbook, but I don’t mind the results so I’m just putting a scrap paper on the back for any bleed-through. Anyhow, thought I’d share some snippets from this sketchbook so far. 🙂 Also a quick reminder, head over to my Instagram if you’re interested in more frequent updates on projects and processes. Instagram @shaima.art.
Weird as it is for September, I’ve been on a little binge of Christmas/holiday movies that usually come out on channels like Lifetime. Although not known for their deep or complex storytelling (you should be watching for happy endings anyways 😁), I find they always cheer me up. Princes from made-up countries, handsome ghosts, and oh yes I believe they’re called chick-flicks. 🐥
Anyways, I’ve been at my sketchbook while watching one of my favourites; The Spirit of Christmas. Thomas Beaudoin in period outfits is a bonus too.
I’m working on several pieces at the moment, for a little change in pace in the way I work. This siren piece is still in the works, hopefully to be completed by the end of the month. 🙂 I’m trying to get better at taking photos during painting (sometimes I just forget…).
The wait after the first season is finally over, with Season 2 of Anne being released this month. My hopes of hearing more of Jerry’s (Aymeric Jett Montaz’) cheerful singing this season came true as well. 🎶
At this point I’ll put a SPOILER warning for those who haven’t finished the second season yet. 🙂
I briefly touched on this on my Twitter, but I thought that Moira Walley-Beckett, the writers and rest of the creative team for the show have continued the wonderful job they did last season. Everything from the scenery, to the details in the costumes and props were lovely once again. I realize that there are people who still don’t really care for this version of Anne of Green Gables, as they find it to be much darker than previous adaptations. Maybe because its my love of Victorian novels (as well as the Edwardian era) and my interest in the historical aspects of how society and its people functioned then, the culture, etc. that I don’t find the show to be “dark”. To be honest that would be my only criticism of season 2, as I personally found it lacking in that ‘atmosphere’ it had both with the shots and musical score from the first. Nevertheless, I still found myself looking at each scenery, the shops in every location, what people were doing in the background in every episode. It would be a shame not to, given the lengths the creators of the show have gone to in terms of trying to keep to historical accuracy. I enjoy having the books I read as a child as a starting point, to which the show now provides more detail and expands the world as it would have been given the era, the country, town and/or community. It’s still an adaptation of the books, but one that I can thoroughly enjoy as an adult. 🙂
The one thing that most reviews covered this time around was the relevance to modern time, notably with the characters of Cole and Sebastian ‘Bash’. I was also pleasantly surprised at the depth of character development we got given the number of episodes. My emotional stability was definitely challenged (trying to keep the waterworks to a minimum) with the glimpse into the lives of the adults like Mrs.Barry and continuing on to other characters who might have been previously overlooked like, Prissy & Billy Andrews and even Josie Pye.
Yesterday was Family Fan Day in Toronto, and I was lucky enough to meet some of the stars from various shows like Murdoch Mysteries, Caught, and Anne. The cast were so incredibly nice, to the extent of indulging me in signing my work. I’m curious to know how many of you were also able to drop by at the Sony Centre yesterday?
If you’re on Twitter you can view more of the event using the #FamilyFanDay as well more of my unintentional awkwardness here @ShaimaIslam. 🙂