Sunday, December 29, 2013

Evening Watercolors

Our baby tends to need a feeding in the middle of the night--3 am or thereabouts. I've done a few experiments with sketching her in watercolor during these times. At first I was going about it in a more realistic way...
(That adorable moment when she's done eating but her mouth is still gaping open for a while...)
 ...but it has been much more fun to let the low light and the sleepy brain take the sketches in more abstract directions.
I may not do a lot more of these at this juncture, since it squiggs me out a bit to have the paint supplies out in the same time and space as feeding time. Rule #1--don't eat paint. We learned that quite clearly from Van Gogh already.

 But this has been a lovely excuse to bust out the beautiful travel sketchbook that my aunt Lois made for me. (Parenthood is a type of voyage, isn't it?) If you're reading this, Lois, I think the choice of watercolor palette is dead-on awesome and the whole unit works like a charm!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Baby Hands

Through a combination of innate reflexes and personal style, a baby's hands and arms can be very bold and expressive.

I haven't yet been able to capture the fleeting "jazz hands" reflex when our little peanut is startled, but I do have plenty of chances to draw how she drinks milk with her pinky up, as if sipping tea with royalty.

There is so much personality in those tightly-closed fists, too.

If it weren't for the chilly winter weather, I'd likely be sketching her tiny baby toes as well--but for now, warm socks are the priority. (A project for spring?)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Baby Face (Part Two)

As a new parent, there's a lot of data to gather about the tiny critter that's burst onto the scene. For the first weeks, I was keeping careful track of when she last ate, how many diapers she blasted through during the course of a day, etc in order to make sure all is good and healthy.

Thus, my pocket notebooks have become a strange medley of charts diagramming milk in/milk out, with elaborate baby doodles in the margins.

Not to mention the fact that, when struggling to stay alert for lengthy late-night feedings, sketching on any handy scrap of paper can keep my brain from shutting down entirely. (Sleep deprivation is a great way to loosen up the linework of one's sketches, as it turns out).

Whether it's studying her face as she nurses...


...or just trying to stay awake in the doctor's waiting room, I've been very grateful to have pen and paper on hand.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Baby Face (Part One)

I gave birth to a baby girl on Halloween morning, and was sketching her right from day one. (I actually packed my watercolor kit and a good squirrel mop brush in my hospital bag--laughable to see me pondering what brush is best for the occasion!--but have nonetheless only done pen sketches of her so far.)

Sketching helps me wrap my head around this momentous event. Who is this tiny human? What does she look like, how does she move?

A baby's face is such an odd thing--familiar in structure, yet with such different proportions than an adult face.

Simultaneously adorable and surreal, bizarre.

It it that it's rounder, taller, wider...? Still can't pin down the exact dynamics that makes a baby's face distinct.

But good job, evolution, on making baby faces absolutely fascinating.