Succulents Evolving

Comments Off Written on August 31st, 2011 by
Categories: Sketches, Work in progress

I’m back from vacation! New Mexico was just beautiful, and I had a great time doing a lot of hiking and sightseeing and a little too much shopping. I saw hundreds of hummingbirds and one hummingbird moth, ate rattlesnake, rabbit, and elk for the first time, got caught in a flash flood (August is the rainy season!), and devoured as much green chile as possible.  I have lots of photos that I will post when I finish uploading and editing them. I’ll definitely share those soon, but for now I wanted to post a sketch I’ve been working on.

I came up with the concept for this illustration several weeks ago – a kind of dream-like scene of a girl inside a terrarium, surrounded by succulents and snakes. Whenever I could steal some free time I’ve been trying to resolve the preliminary sketch for it, but the composition of the piece and pose for the main figure just wasn’t working out.  The first girl I drew looks too surly, and sultry and confrontational. She was just angry about being in the terrarium. The next two poses felt too urgent and scared, like they were desperately trying to escape.

I had my sketchbook with me while I was on vacation, but I decided to just let the drawing rest. Either it would eventually work out, or it was one that I just needed to let go of.

I didn’t touch the sketch again until this past Sunday, and finally it came together like I’d wanted. Sometimes I just have to step away from a piece for awhile.


The finished preliminary sketch has the atmosphere that I wanted. The girl is pressed up against the glass, but she looks more unsure about what’s outside of the terrarium. She’s a part of the life growing inside, it’s the uncertainty of what’s beyond her little world that scares her, even as she’s drawn to it.