Jumping into the unsprung Spring…

After the welcome, sun-bathed and spring-like – but, alas, all too brief – reprieve of Monday, Britain (or, at least, this particular southern-ish corner of it) is plunged once again into a soggy slough of despond: uniformly grey and drizzly, and arguably the most remarkably convincing imitation of late October/early November yet seen by the traditionally more cheerful-and-bright (with the occasional sudden-downpour) April/May duo…

Awash with great rippling pools of surface water as the landscape has been, I had thought to harness the ages-old topic of Grumbling About The Weather to more creatively productive ends, i.e. the representation of last Friday’s Illustration Friday topic, jump , which had immediately conjured to mind the image of a wilful child in mid-dynamic-puddle-splash. Admittedly, this impulse was one-part pursuit of satisfactory solution for the given brief and nine-parts seizing an opportunity to virtually (i.e. by means of a pencil-drawn representation of myself) jump in a large (probably muddy – they always were, as I recall…) puddle kitted out in jauntily patterned rain-wear & wellies without incurring the social approbation actually doing this would undoubtedly invite. However, my initial sketches really didn’t capture the unbridled glee of performing this act of elegantly simple childhood anarchy, so I’m afraid I (rather childishly…) abandoned this line of endeavour and came up with this sketch:

Unfortunately, this, to my mind, is definitely more of a ‘leap’ than a ‘jump’ – I’m not sure whether that’s because it has a discernible, directional quality, and I’d associate leaping with a concerted effort to upgrade a mere jumping action to a travelling movement, with a destination point identifiably removed from the departure point – so this I also rejected. It did, however, rather neatly provide me with the basis for a drawing exercise to insert into a character-based illustration workshop I am preparing to deliver to some Key Stage 2 (7 & 8 year-olds) primary school children next week:

However, this still left me sans contribution for this week’s IF challenge. Happily, I was already working on a birthday card for our neighbour’s soon-to-be-16-year-old daughter and, recalling the (largely unfounded, it transpired) excitement the approach of this ‘milestone’ year had brought for me, came up with the following as demonstration of the unfettered delight I had experienced at the thought of the many great freedoms, personal/emotional/universal insights and wisdoms certain to be visited upon me/with which I’d become magically imbued as the Big Day dawned (or something of that general ilk…):

I’m still waiting…

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About illustratedbyamanda

Illustrator and time-fritterer extraordinaire
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7 Responses to Jumping into the unsprung Spring…

  1. ain0v1ews says:

    Great energy, both of them, even if the direction isn’t precisely where you want it, the jump is there, all right! Here’s to imminent freedoms, personal insights and gargantuan wisdoms – but if you’re still waiting this time tomorrow, get out the wellies and hop into those puddles! Childhood wisdom says they are NOT to be missed. (I’ll let you know if any on our side of the ‘pond’ achieve dimensions which would allow for same).

    • Ha ha! Thank you so much – and, in accordance with you very fine advice, I eschewed another day of waiting for the aforementioned epiphanies and went wading through the puddles down by the river! 🙂 Hilariously, our local government authority declared a drought in our area about a month ago, and it hasn’t stopped raining since… I’m not sure I’d wish perpetual rain on anyone, but I hope you get an opportunity for some puddle-jumping, too! x

  2. Cindy D says:

    I love the first one! And by the way leap or jump? Bah! Totally fine. Always love the feet and hands. Oh my gosh, I’m a broken record. I seem to leave the same comments at people’s places because I consistently like the same things. But I also do love the pose and expression and I think it’s such a lovely and compact leap illustration.

    I do appreciate your showing the tutorial for, holy cow, 7 and 8 year olds. I don’t think I could get from 1 to 2 let alone 1 to 5! I haven’t done much in the way of people. Prefer animals to people anyway, in drawing and in life. ;D

    The card is quite energetic and exuberant, just like a 16-yr old should be. A fine, healthy specimen with a huge grin enjoying life. And in a cute little tank top! Hooray!

    • Ah, thank you Cindy! I feel much better about the legitimacy of the first illustration as my IF entry for the week 🙂 I do think the 16th birthday one is erring a little more to the comic-book-esque, but glad you like her exuberance. And yes, I’m afraid the character drawing sheet was a little misleading – this was just to show the children how I might go about constructing a character, in a dynamic pose, as opposed to something they should attempt to emulate (although I’m sure there will be some intimidatingly talented – possibly slight precocious – individuals among the 90 children on the project…), and is really a chickening-out option for me (I’m supposed to be doing a ‘live’ drawing under a magnifying camera [or ‘visualizer’], but prepared this in case of technical failure/stage-fright!). x

  3. aprilheather1 says:

    What a great tutorial!! Thank you for sharing your process!! I love the enthusiasm and life in both illustrations!

  4. aprilheather1 says:

    Great job–LOVED the tutorial!!

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