About the Drawing – NC State #1

As I previously mentioned, my plan for this year is to focus on depicting publicly available properties. I started on some basic Americana characters and was thinking about getting in on some of the classic monsters. But, as a detour, as that I’m NC State Alum and there’s an art sale coming up, I decided to do a couple of NC State pieces and this is the first one. It’s pen on Bristol board. Don’t let the word “board” throw you off, it’s just basically a cardstock weight paper. Like previous drawings I’ve done such as the bird series, this is 14×17 inches.

Okay – so, I didn’t take any progress shots until this point. Essentially, I wanted to incorporate a couple of campus elements. The clock tower is a classic college symbol, so this depicts the NC State clock tower in the background. The mascot for the school is the Wolfpack. In the center of campus, there are 3 metal, sort of woven looking wolf statues. So this is the inspiration for this design. Anyone who has frequented the school will most likely identify what I did with those statues. Finally, the lettering, as I’m avoiding any sort of copyright infringement with the college logo and such, I chose to write North Carolina State at the bottom – and – being the Smashing Pumpkins fan that I am, I depicted my favorite font type for the lettering – I’m not certain what the name of it is, but it’s from the Siamese Dream album.

First, I sketched the basic area elements in the clock tower shape and the wolf – just a basic outline. Then I penciled in the wrappings of the wolf – trying to be thoughtful of their placement and paths. When I’m doing this stage, I don’t stipple, I’m more so trying to determine definite structures. With painting however, I don’t do this, I solely shape the subject with dots. Once I’ve got a basic layout, I ink what I have and then sort of play it by ear from there with pen.

At this point in the drawing, I had not decided I would go all in on coloring and everything. I had considered leaving it like this and making it a digital painting from this point on, like I did with the Amnesia drawing. And while I knew I wanted to sort of frame the image, I wanted the wolf to be coming out into our space from it, so where I’d normally done 1″ around, I opted to do 1.5″ around so I could get our wolf a bit more out of the frame space.

This is where you start to take a risk because you’re doing something you don’t know will work right and you’ve already invested a couple of hours into the project. There’s no Ctrl+Z option with a real drawing and unlike painting, if I do something I don’t particularly like, I can’t just paint over it. I had already established red in the lettering (red and black and white are the school colors) and an inside frame and I wanted to do something in the background so I opted for vertical pinstripes. Once I laid those down I decided I add a little red in the wolf. I wasn’t sure how this would come across and when I first started I was worried it was going to look too much like skinless muscles and flesh. Stippling is a long laborious process so once I’d gone a ways, I was able to sort of determine I believed it would look okay.

Chugging along, I believed the wolf was going to look pretty sweet but the background needed a little more contrast or something, but I still wasn’t sure.

I also wasn’t sure exactly how detailed I wanted to make the bell tower. It’s not the focal point of the piece so I didn’t want to go overboard on it but I also didn’t want to under do it.

The full background I chose to do a sort of sectioned gradient down the page. This way I give some contrast with the background. The final photo was taken at night, and the paper is much whiter like this previous photo shows and prints will have that as well.

Ultimately, this took somewhere along the lines of 12 hours of work. This will be on sale through NC State next month, which this year is just through my Etsy page. It will be $225 as-is. I can frame and mat it for whatever that will cost – I think this will look really fantastic in a black frame with a double red and white matting. Also prints will be available, probably 11×14 inch. If through Etsy and mail, $42; and if direct Venmo and local, $35. I’ll do one more NC State one like this and perhaps a few other colleges around the area.

Thanks for stopping by, and if you’d like to check out my art, you can warp over to Bumpkin Patch Gallery where you’ll find art, other blog posts and that I’m running a 30% Off sale on everything in my store. – but it ends tomorrow, March 19th. I hope you have a great day and I’ll be right back with another post.

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