Solo Labour of love

Penny spends the day extremely focused on winter comissions

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Considered one of the most mysterious cities in Mizahar, Alvadas is called The City of Illusions. It is the home of Ionu and the notorious Inverted. This city sits on one of the main crossroads through The Region of Kalea.

Labour of love

Postby Penny Noor on December 7th, 2017, 10:53 am

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Winter 5th 517AV
Penny’s Home


Conquering one’s fears is fair enough when those consist of majestic beasts, creepy crawlies, the fears of loneliness or poverty or a mean god on a bad day. Penny’s fears were in no part quite so rational. The first one, the fear of water which she held as such a high priority that, for good luck, she avoided even puddles. That one she was never even planning on conquering. The other fear, a more recent one that had been plaguing her no matter how hard she tried to push it into the back of her mind and forget about it, was the fear of drawing a dead man, Roger whom she had the displeasure of meeting in the Garden of no Return under some quite distasteful circumstances, almost an entire season ago. And even though he was gone from her life once and for good, the ghost of him still haunted her art. How by the grace of Ionu himself ha she managed to get herself into this predicament?

For Penny the fear of looking at those few sketchbook pages that bore his image, was equal to the fear of ghosts under her bed. She knew it was irrational but her body still did not allow her to conquer it, bringing on nausea and sadness every time she even thought about it. Perhaps she was being too sensitive about it. She never truly got to know the man before his passing after all. But her possession by his wife had let her with the impression that she has.

Memories as sour as gone off milk were not the only only thing that made working unpleasant that day. For even though her heart was raging fiery coals all day, the drafty windows still brought in the chill of Alvadas outside. Even Lopi, fluffy and fuzzy and lovable as he was, had dug himself under her bedsheets and poked out but a tiny pink nose to calmly regard everything his owner was doing, refusing to move from the one warmish place he could find.

Penny herself had sat right by the hearth with paper and sketchbook and more paper sprawled all over the hardwood floor like a carpet. She had filibustered enough with the drawing of romantic scenes of anything but the one this that inspired this whole undertaking, the exhibition she was partaking in preparing. That morning she had to somehow get herself to finally accomplish that which her artistic cohorts expected of her. There was so little time left.

For the longest time, as her fingers scribbled new ideas for scenery, positioning and layout on a spare piece of scrap paper, her eyes avoided those few pages of her sketchbook that lay open before her. She’d dig them, like daggers into her page. Sometimes she’d look at the hearth and how the little flames licked the cast iron pot of tea upon it, warming it up with an orange hue from the bottom that turned to slate atop. She’d look at Lopi, she’d look out of the window… she did not want to look at the sketchbook as if taking a peak would turn her to stone.
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Penny Noor
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Labour of love

Postby Penny Noor on April 6th, 2018, 10:17 am

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Penny was a creature of the most vivid imagination however. Memories remained as photographs pinned to the back of her eyelids. Things once seen could not be unseen, twisted only with time and thought to appear more grueling and more terrible with the passing of time. She tried not to bling for every splitting of the second during which the world went black before her she could see his face first loved up and with rosy cheeks, then disgusted and scared and then, a scene she was not witness too but still could imagine far too well, a white dead mask.

The illustrator had little interest in drawing him like that. In fact she had little interest in drawing him at all but something inside her pulled her to do so.

Her skinny finders drew circles in the paper at her feet. Her back was hunched so far over that every time she’d straighten out, it clicked. Her hair fell on each side of her cheek, blocking out the rest of the room. All she could not see was paper.

And so she started drawing some figures. Fir first few were fairly featureless. Generic male anatomy with wide shoulders and muscular arms. Lowly and thoughtfully she used the faceless models to replicate what she remembered of fine gentleman’s frocks and suits. With each line she asked herself where the seams were and how the fabric would react to folding and she would replicate that with her charcoal to the best of her memory. She hadn’t drawn such fine attire beforehand but the construction of it she was fairly familiar with.

She remembered there was always a seam down the side of any garment and now the sleeves only seemed underneath. She estimated the way thick cotton would bunch up where the sleeve met the body when a man’s arms would be raised and recorded it with lines in the paper. In some places she over exaggerated fabric folds, in others she didn’t allow for quite enough room so that the drawing appeared awkward and stiff. Although she’d only realise it once moving onto another drawing. With every glance back and every realisation of a mistake she’d turn back to the previous sketch and correct her mistakes even if it resulted in some mighty thick, mighty black lines that smudged at the smallest touch. Those sketches looked a mess.

With each new sketch Penny would close her eyes and imagine lovelier and finer outfits. Likewise with each sketch her wrist would loosen up, her fingers found the replication of motions that created form and feature easier. Each sketch looked more fluid and more delicate and more intuitive. Although perhaps Penny was not the most technically correct of illustrators, making subtle mistakes in her anatomy where and there, she did heavily stylise her drawings so that the eye didn’t care for perfection.

Eventually she created a design she was happy with. A faceless figure in the paper wore a delicately shaded overcoat with sharp shoulders and wide lapels. Into the shading penny drew floral-like filigree only a tone or two darker than the original pencil lines so that it kept visual coherence with the texture of the fabric she was trying to portray. There was a breast pocket and a chain hanging from it and a gentleman’s pin. Unbuttoned, with three oval buttons gracing each side, the coat allowed for a waistcoat to peek out from underneath. If she had added colour Penny would have imagined the waistcoat the bare a deep magenta hue. Btu alas she was done with the art of painting for now. It wasn't her forte. A little haphazardly drawn, there was a plain pant leg that rested over a boot so densely shaded than Penny feared breaking though the paper at the friction whist drawing. She then took a little bit of resin rubber and rubbed out along the tip and sides of the boot to suggest reflections of light bouncing off of it.

Standing back from the sketch with a loud crack in her back and a painful stiffness in her neck Penny took a long hard look at her sketch. She then turned around, looked at the wall ahead just a long moment only to come back to the sketch and look once more with fresher eyes. Sometimes even she got sick of her own drawings.

It was satisfactory, good even, at least in her own opinion. Though perhaps it wasn’t the most consistent sketch she ever drew, for the top of the figure was delicately done, not a single line out of place. The bottom however, specially where the folds in the pant leg were was edgy and scratchy and rubbed out many times only to have the lines redrawn once more in the same place. The longer she looked the more mistakes she saw.

On a second though perhaps it wasn’t exhibition worthy.
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Penny Noor
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Posts: 114
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Joined roleplay: November 4th, 2017, 1:14 pm
Location: Alvadas
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Labour of love

Postby Penny Noor on April 6th, 2018, 10:38 am

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So many times the pressure of her profession frustrated her. She had not only the world to prove herself to but her own eyes to please and the gods only knew how she had always been her own worst critic.

As the morning turned to some time past noon she shuffled through sketches and sketches in search of some more substantial inspiration. Perhaps she could not quite put into words what it was exactly that she searched for. She was however certain that when she would find it she’d know it, wrap her bony fingers around it and not let it go until her work for the day was done.

Penny found a few drawings from her previous days in the Garden of no return from which she pulled out individual features like flowers, the shapes of bushes and leaves. She would draw them again and redraw them, stylised some, discarded others. They were only small sketches but that was all she needed to form a more coherent image of what it was she wanted the final illustration to look like in her mind. Laboriously Penny’s fingers traced the curve of petals, the little jagged quills of sage and juniper. Patiently she dotted textures of flowers that flowed into one another, resembling the originals sketches less and less with each redraw and morphing into idealised hybrids of picturesque beauty.

The woman formed shapes with vines and long floral stems that could enhance the presence of a protagonist on the paper. Continuously letting her imagination spill onto the paper, as Lopi the cat nuzzled up against her foot, the illustrator experimented with framing characters in various poses. She draw a vine winding around one of the men’s legs that she liked far less on paper than she did in her imagination. The next one stood on grass that partly covered his shoe with a long arch of flowers and ivy, disembodied from the ground itself, stretching all the way over his head. Soon she had pages and pages full of more and less successful thumbnails of scenes.
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Penny Noor
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Posts: 114
Words: 84371
Joined roleplay: November 4th, 2017, 1:14 pm
Location: Alvadas
Race: Human
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