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...and then I'm done. Really. Because soon I will be doing this:

Good night, all!
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Our new house has textured ceilings. If you lie down and look at them at night, when the lights throw shadows over the surface, you find out there are all kinds of folks up there. A few sightings:


I think I've met that last guy. A little creepy, perhaps, for them all to be up there, but hey, at least we're not alone, right? :)


Dec. 20th, 2009 10:48 pm
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My Illustration Friday post this week. The theme is Undone, which is just what it's like when you have a toddler at Christmas! (Not to mention when you're trying to paint--he upended the water twice, and kept trying to dump the paints out. Fun. At least he knows to clean up spills.

It's so nice to be on school vacation! The kids might stay up later, but the ones who want to are also able to sleep in a bit, so people are more rested. One of the things I wanted for my birthday was to wake up when my body was naturally done sleeping, and I'm so glad the kids complied this morning! The rest of the day was nice, too. One last blast of Christmas music on the organ (sneaking in some songs nobody knows here but which are popular in Germany, like Tochter Zion, the music of which is by Handel--fun to play!), a crock pot dinner made by my husband (he gave me the crock pot as a gift last year, but the bigger gift is that I've never personally used it--he is the crock pot meister), and Black Forest cake. My kids were very excited about giving me presents, which mostly consisted of some of their favorite toys. I think we are sharing them now.

Anyway, I hope you are all enjoying your holidays!


Oct. 30th, 2009 05:27 pm
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This week's theme for Illustration Friday is Skinny. (Yes, I am procrastinating working on my WIP!)

Too late, Horatio realized his scheduling error.


Oct. 4th, 2009 04:45 pm
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This week's Illustration Friday topic is germs. I can't help but think that the one kind of germ that will never be extinct is cooties!

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1. Sleeping people are always easier to draw. (Unfortunately, sleeping people are hard to FIND in this house, so I had to go back a few years to find this one...)

Image copyright Rose Green

2. I feel like I need more weight at the end of my book. I usually way overwrite, so this is a strange feeling. I think swapping out the characters I mentioned will help, though. I don't just need a character, any character, who fits part of the plot; I need one who has all kinds of ties and tensions with the main character. I think it will help. Revising is off to a promising start, though. I have tons to do. I'm starting by looking at certain threads and then adjusting; then I'll see what doesn't need to be there and take it out. Seeing as it's Saturday and DH is gone all day administering Goethe Institute tests (internationally-recognized language proficiency test that majors have to pass to graduate), I don't see getting much done today.

3. Also, my MC, who refused to talk to me for a long time, who opened up at only rare intervals and who didn't want to talk about himself, thank you very much, now doesn't seem to want to stop talking. He's talking to me when I'm driving. When I'm brushing my teeth. When I'm trying to go to bed. It's like now that he's survived and come out okay, he's so relieved he can't stop talking about it. (I swear I'm not crazy. I never had imaginary friends as a kid and maybe I'm just making up for lost time.) I just hope I can take notes fast enough.

4. The sixth Harry Potter book is my least favorite of the series (too much watching, not enough of Harry doing things, plus I felt told more than shown some of the relationship stuff), but if the trailers are any indication (see mugglenet.com for better versions and links to the other trailers), it just might end up being my favorite movie. It looks great!

5. Speaking of HP, I can't help wondering if I'm getting letters from Grindelwald when the return address on the benefits information from DH's job has the logo "Financial Services for the Greater Good." 

Well, DH has now left, and I'm the lone astronaut in charge of the ship. A kid is already lined up to play Skip Bo (he needs to spend some quality time with certain aunts, I think...), and I still have to figure out when to shower today. Have a great Saturday, everyone!

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This week is statewide Benchmark testing (to make sure the schools qualify for the funding they get for NCLB). My kids report that they aren't allowed to bring a book, paper to draw on, or anything else to the test. So when they are done and no one else is, they just get to SIT there for the rest of the time. Things have changed for the worse since I took standardized tests. I remember drawing, reading Helen Keller's biography, and signing to my friend across the room.

This is how it makes my kids feel:


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Reaching back in time but still keeping within the general guidelines of live drawing, I'm posting a couple of sketches that give a sense of place. I know that the perspective isn't quite dead on, but I hope these still give the sense of that attic apartment feel. It's where we lived the first year we were married, in Germany. I notice that in writing, a sense of place is important to me. I've moved many times and each place is like a distinct character, waiting to be understood. Even thought these are very much everyday sort of scenes, I hope they give a sense of place.

The living room:


The kitchen. Notice the thing between the cabinets and the stove? That's a normal-sized German fridge.

Images copyright Rose Green
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Image copyright Rose Green

The last collage was of baby motion. See how this is different. Babies' heads are something like a quarter of their body length. No wonder it takes so long to get control of them! An adult's head is about 1/8 of their total height. Kids' heads are somewhere in between.

You may have been waiting to meet someone and recognized them from far off, long before you could discern their face, based solely on the individual way they walk. With bigger people as well as babies, look for the ways individuals stand, the curve of a leg, or whatever, to show their particular characteristics. In particular here, the two people standing in the middle were parents waiting in the kindergarten pickup area. The one on the left with his hands in his pockets had such a specific way of standing--I tried to capture that. The heads and the guy with the pot belly on the right were specific people watching a cub scout basketball practice. I felt like I caught what was most salient to me about them. At the time I was a little frustrated because I was trying to draw them without them noticing--but I think in the end it was good because I could only catch the most prominent and therefore identifying characteristics.


Apr. 10th, 2009 12:32 pm
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Image copyright Rose Green

Spring is discovering strawberries for the first time...even if they have to be cut up first.

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These are not all of the same person, but it's easy to see, even without faces on most of them, that they are about the same age.

Happy drawing, everyone!

Images copyright Rose Green

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People using the computer is another setting where it's easy to draw (and uh...we see far too much of this at our house).


That and people stalling for bed:

Images copyright Rose Green

You will notice that neither one of these includes a frontal face view. When you draw from a picture, you can often get distracted with getting the face just right, and forget that a person shows character in all of their body movements, not just the face. (This is especially true when the photo is posed.) Think of little babies. While they can vary quite a bit in size and features, it is nevertheless easy to tell what age a baby is by their body language/proportions. The way their oversized heads loll when they're looking at something with clumsy fingers totally identifies them and gives them a sense of motion and permanence. (Someone who is particularly good at this is Helen Oxenbury.) Forgetting about body motion in drawing people is like describing things only in terms of sight and neglecting all of the other senses when you're writing.

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I've been enjoying the various poems I've been reading on LJ (it's poetry month, I think). Trust me, you definitely don't want to read any of my sorry attempts at poetry. I admire it from afar, and it's better for everyone that way. But maybe I'll do a sketch month. I have a sketch book that's supposed to be for live drawings (ie, not from photos), which makes them both looser but hopefully less posed and more active.


Even in something simple, like people talking around a table, you will see that people have the annoying habit of moving around. The thing to remember is that people make a lot of repetitive movements, so sketch the main shapes and then you can go back and fill in the details. This one is of some teens sitting around a table, talking that I drew while on a youth trip last spring. (The other hard thing to do is to draw people without them noticing. They end up going all posed or wanting to see, and then it just goes weird.)

Images copyright Rose Green

Obviously when they are sleeping it's easier to get details. This one is one that I like, not just for the picture, but because my daughter asked me to "draw her to sleep" instead of singing or reading one night.

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Mar. 25th, 2009 02:10 pm
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I love my library! I love that they get new books that I want to read, very soon after publication. Here are the last three books I've read:

1. Starclimber, by Kenneth Oppel. I finished it minutes ago. I loved this series! I love the action adventure, and I love how Oppel makes us feel for Matt, the underdog who deserves so much better. How does he do this? I think he lets us see what Matt is really like, and then shows us how other people totally overlook that. And he doesn't hold back on letting bad things happen to Matt, so that the reader feels a sock in the stomach as much as Matt.

2. Flipped, by Wendelin van Draanen. Okay, this is partially cheating to list this, since it's a reread and since I went out and bought it after my initial read so I could enjoy it whenever I wanted. But what an excellent dual POV! I love how you think you know what really happened--only to get the other character's point of view next and realize how very wrong you were. It is a perfectly constructed book.

3. Marcelo in the Real World, by Francisco X. Stork. I read it yesterday and am still thinking about it. It's about a 17-year-old old high-functioning Asperger's kid who has to work in his dad's law firm for the summer. The "real world," as opposed to the special school he's always gone to (and wants to keep going to). I meant to read it just for entertainment purposes, but couldn't help being wowed by the way Stork lays down all the motivations and stakes so deftly and cleanly so that when it comes for Marcelo to make his choice--bam. It carries weight and sends all the dominoes falling.

What about you? What are the last three books you read, and what did you take away from them?

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Okay, I think ARCs have got to be one of the coolest inventions ever. I don't know how come I got so lucky, but this is the second time I've scored an ARC of a book I've been looking forward to. Since this is the second book in the series, however, I'm putting it under a cut--no spoilers for book 2 here, but it's sort of impossible to talk about it without some spoilers from the first one.


Read more... )


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