Yesterday was my grandmother's 90th birthday. She is in excellent health, body and mind. We had a lovely family dinner at her house, celebrating not only my grandma but also my aunt, since they have the same birthday. Grandma had a card shower, and she was hoping to get 90 cards, one for each year. She surpassed that number of cards by quite a few, receiving tidings from as far away as the Czech Republic. So that was quite wonderful.
I wanted to do something special for my card, so I drew it myself. Here's the front.
I thought about coloring the whole thing, but a test version I did on a photocopy ended up looking pretty bad. The brown ink completely obscured all the fine detail on the feathers. So I decided to leave it as a predominantly black and white picture, with only the splash of yellow. I think it worked out okay. I've only recently started using a .38 mm pen to ink my pictures, and I'm liking the effect. I previously used wider pens and went over some sections multiple times to create variable line widths for the illusion of weight and substance. But I'm finding that I like the fine line work better, since it allows for much more detail. In some ways, it's like I'm reverting to an earlier art style, since this is more in keeping with the kind of work I did back in high school. The thick-line style was something I picked up in college, and it gave more cartoony effect. Sometimes that's what I want, but it also feels good to get back to realism sometimes.
On the way home from Grandma's, we got caught in a phenomenally vicious thunderstorm. We had to pull off the highway three times, and on several occasions it seemed like the wind would shove us off the road or roll us over. It was probably one of the worst storms I've ever been caught out in. (I've experienced worse storms on occasion, but always from safely within a building.) Mom was very nervous, and she mentioned that she'd been struck by lightning once. I was a small child at the time, so I have no memory of the event.
This leaves me wondering how I came to like thunderstorms so much. I mean, I respect their power enough to seek shelter and unplug computers and such, but I don't really fear them. Usually children absorb the fears of their parents. That's how it happened with Mom's fear of spiders--I grew up completely terrified of spiders, and I remain so to this day. So, if Mom is (rightfully) afraid of lightning, why is my reaction completely opposite? But I love nothing better than watching a lightning storm (through windows, while I'm safely inside, of course). We had a big thunderstorm last week while I was at work, and I was practically dancing in my office. It improved my mood and morale for the entire day. Thunderstorms are like uppers for me. So I guess I'm aberrant in that respect.
Corridors of Blood
10 months ago