calendars with color

I’ve been drawing more calendar sketches in my spare time. I’ve had some new ideas, and wanted to hone some of the original sketches as well.

calendar sketches

I’m really happy with the redraw for February, and I like the new drawing for September. The November texture is also pretty interesting, so there’s potential there, even if I did run out of space on this sketch.

Last night I added color to some of the existing sketches.

calendar sketches

I’m not a big fan of the color. I was a lot more fond of them when they were black and white line drawings.

There were only two months that I added color to that I liked: a new drawing for May, and the existing September sketch.

calendar sketches

Color works for those particular drawings because they were relatively simple and repetitive and achieved balance with the surrounding white space. The color functions as an accent and doesn’t overwhelm the piece.

Taking into consideration some of the sketches where color doesn’t work, my best choice is going to be to stick with black and white only and rely on line details and texture to add interest.

It was worthwhile trying out color on these sketches, even if the result is that I decide not to use it. I love color, so it’s often not a conscious choice on my part to incorporate it into my work. Although I’m a little surprised to find that I prefer the drawings without color, I’m also a fan of the simple elegance that’s possible with the use of only black and white.

calendar sketches

Yesterday was election day, and my nieces (6 years old) and nephew (8 years old) didn’t have school. I volunteered to hang out with them, and when we get together art, among other fun things, is always involved. I usually set them up with their supplies at the dining room table or the kitchen counter, but if I have to spend any time in my studio to do computer work, they eventually all migrate in there and spread out all over the floor. By the end of the day there were papers and crayons and markers everywhere.

When they paint with watercolor they have to sit at the counter because it has the potential for major mess, and since they like to be where I am, I took some time and sat at the table next to them and worked some sketches for a 2011 calendar. I was close enough that all they had to say was “hey Anika look!” and I could “ooooo” and “aaaaaa” at what they’d painted.

I made sketches for each month through August before their attention spans had run out. After they’d left to go back home I needed some time to decompress, so I sat infront of a crackling fire and finished up September through December.

calendar sketches

calendar sketches

I highly recommend that you click on the images which takes you to flickr. There you can view the large sizes and see more of the detail of the various months.

As I was working, my drawings got smaller and smaller, which you can see in the above photo. On the paper to the right, you can see the size I started drawing with January, and by the time I got to December, which you can see in the center paper, the drawing was almost half the size! But that’s ok. These are sketches, and I still have more work to do get to final drawings that I’m happy with.

I’m going to make a grid template to help me draw the dates in a somewhat regular fashion, and I’m going to try out more borders until I find just the right ones.

I like the black and white drawings, but it’s very likely that I’ll at least try out color to see how that works.

Do you have a favorite?