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Old 10-01-2010, 09:32 PM
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Virgo's Celtic Studies Sketchbook

October's challenge for me will be to study Celtic myth, customs and art. I want to attempt some work in the celtic style and other times it will be my interpretation of a Celtic myth (in my own "style) or just passages of information. I'd like to learn more about the old seaons Samhain, Beltane, Imbolc etc and customs.

I do not intend to offend anyone with my little sketchbook - I may or may not look at Wicca and Pagan activities too in this book. If I do stumble across anything which offends - I assure you it will be unintentional and is just a learning experience for myself about subjects that interest me on a personal level. I am not out to offend anyone.

My sketchbook is an A5 MontMarte Sketching journal, 100 page 150gsm hard cover bound book. Some pages are smooth, others have slight texture (random in placement - it was "cheap" lol). I want to use whatever medium takes my fancy but doubt the paper will take heavy washes.



I started with a title page, completed with sepia Pitt Artist Pens and Stabilo colour pens....



The first "real" sketch is a HB graphite pencil drawing from a magazine photo. I've called her The Morrigan.....



I'll try not to bore you to death with too much information, so if you have any questions about why I have done something the way I have - fire away and I'll let you know
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:04 PM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

Jackie, I love your beginning, the title page is super and your Morrigan has a definite air of mystery. I like your idea to explore Celtic myth, it will all be a new and wonderful world unfolding for me.
Margo
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:07 PM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

Great idea for a theme. The title page is fab. The Morrigan is just a little scary. But, from what I've read, that is very appropriate. Cool.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:08 PM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

Your theme sounds fantastic to me! I always enjoy reading fantasy books that are based off of celtic lore, so I'm definitely excited to see how your sketchbook progreses! Loving the first two pages already.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:11 PM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

Hi Jackie, Your title page is fabulous! Beautiful design with the creature & the knots. Your disclaimer (to not offend) was very gracious of you- it is easy for email/online faceless comments to be taken wrong by some folks, especially when the subject is cultural or spiritual/religious. I have a Celtic side of my family and have enjoyed past readings of the great tales like King Arthur. History with mystery! I like the way you wrote a bit under "The Morrigan" so we can all learn a little about each sketch's meaning. Great start!
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:42 PM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

Oh My LORD WOW, I LOVE this theme and am dying to see you learn and develop as you discover more about this!!!!!

No offence!!!!!

The cover page is GORGEOUS and the woman (sorry the Morrigan) is BEAUTIFUL, fantastically rendered and delicate details.

Question: Why the dots in a spiral under her left eye???? Is this symbolic for anything????

Gentle HUgs, Stacey
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:56 PM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

I love it, Jackie! The title page is great - sort of your own mini illuminated manuscript...I remember just being blown away looking at the Celtic manuscripts in art history, and marveling at how they were all done by hand in unheated stone 'beehive' huts. Do include at least enough info so we have some idea of the background.
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:02 AM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

Glorious beginning and theme! I love Celtic art and so your theme is completely fascinating to me. Beautiful interpretation of the Morrigan. Gorgeous title page with exquisite calligraphy. Looking forward to more!
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:24 AM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

Hi Jackie - Your calligraphy and pen-work is always amazing and this is a terrific start to your sketchbook! I like the idea of a Celtic theme and will be following your sketchbook with great interest.
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:22 AM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

beautiful Celtic design, and very nice portrait drawing
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:56 AM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

amazing title page!
and I definately see alluring eyes in Morrigan

I look forward to seeing more of your work...and I am interested in seeing your exploration of Celtic subject matter...and I will definitely take no offense to you posting work about Wiccan or Pagan subject matter.

I once looked into that a little myself when I found out an ancestor of mine was an accused witch in the Salem Witch Trials...of course those trials and what was thought of as witchcraft back then is nothing like what Wicans practice today. Like I said, I don't know a whole lot about it myself, but I think you should be able to explore any subject matter if it opens your mind and your knowledge.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:26 AM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

Thank you to all who have commented, it is greatly appreciated

Stacey, I put the tattoo on her face as I figured as a goddess of war she might tattoo herself like the male warriors do. First example of a "Jackie interpretation" rather than a factual bit of knowledge I think spirals were very symbolic of the cycle of life to the celts so I felt it fitted my idea of the Morrigan.

Today I drew Cernunnos, his story/myth is very interesting to me and I will probably keep re-visiting him as a drawing. I don't draw male faces often (I think it shows!) and I feel this character could be interpreted in many ways. For this version I went for a younger Cernunnos and was trying for slightly sinister but not sure it came off! I added the decoration to his clothing and background as a salute to the celtic style of decoration and the spirals to symbolise Cernunnos' role in the cycle of life. I didn't finish it all perfectly as I feel that sometimes the cycles don't always complete themselves and some parts of our life are less than perfect.

First, my notes (I did this on facing pages - big mistake - when I sprayed with fixative, the pen from the notes bled through to the Morrigan on the back in a perfect mirror image )


Drawn in graphite pencil ranging from H to 9B with a tiny bit of coloured pencil.


So much for not boring you all........
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:33 AM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

I think you did a wonderful job on a male portrait! the shading is perfect

do you use reference photos when you draw these faces?
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:13 AM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

Jackie, great male face- I think we all draw our own gender the easiest because it is what we see in the mirror daily! I think all my "from imagination" female portraits look the same... because they probably resemble me! Much harder to switch to a male- I can't get the beard or 5 oclock shadow right, just looks like a dirty face. Your dotted effect worked great!
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:29 AM
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Re: Virgo's October Challenge - Celtic Studies

This looks great! I don't think I've really ever drawn a male until recently when I tried drawing my boyfriends face. It didn't work out as well as I'd expected. Yours is very good and very masculine
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