Ellen Million (ellenmillion) wrote,
Ellen Million


In 1989, I started my first sketchbook. I had been drawing long prior, mostly on scratch paper, or lined paper, or whatever I could get my grubby paws on. A few items have survived the pre-sketchbook period:

This is my first book. I was 6, I think, and just learning about quotation marks, which are liberally scattered throughout.

And of course, I had to have portrait of the artist and author on the back page! This is me. :P Some water damage, and the pages and tape have badly yellowed.

I was unreasonably proud of this piece - it was the first time I'd concentrated on shading, and one of the first times I drew from life. It was a week-long (?) art class, the first one I'd ever taken, and I thought I was hot stuff.

These are looseleaf examples of stuff I most liked to draw - big skirts! Long hair! Elfy goodness! Note that my elf influence was pretty much book covers and Tolkein at this point - I didn't find ElfQuest until 1992 or so. You'll see the impact on my artwork when I do.

And here's where I started a sketchbook. At first, I thought a sketchbook was the most amazing thing ever, and suitable only for perfect, finished art. That idea lasted for all of 5 pages. I started this on a trip driving to the lower 48. The name of this one is 'The road.'

'Goes on'

'And on'

'Forever.' Apparently I was a little bored and saw a lot of road on that trip.

This is another piece I was terribly proud of - and I gotta admit it took courage to try to draw it... reflections! Transparency! Glossy surfaces! It's no wonder I didn't actually finish it. This was drawn on the ferry, along with a couple of other sketches of railings and lifeboats and such.

But don't think I was all good and drew just from life, oh no! I was horribly romantic and loved adventure stories with martyrs and mean people who get their just deserts. Also, I couldn't draw faces. I tended to draw a lot of girls with gags or scarves because I couldn't figure out pretty mouths to save my life. Also, hands were completely out of my range.

I was just figuring out twining things. I think this was probably strongly influenced by the Sleeping Beauty book (Disney's) that I had at the time.

At that time, my big plan for the future was to run away into the wilderness and raise animals in a cave on the tundra. This was the map for the cave. I don't know if I assumed I would just find a natural cave in this configuration, or if I was planning to dig it out by hand...

Next up, 1990. In which I learn more about shading, get more story packed in a page, try horses and dragons, and attempt armor.

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