52 Week Drawing Project: Weeks 39-40

It has been a year. It has been *a year* and also it has been a year since I started this project. I started on September 16th last year, so technically I should be presenting my final piece. As you can see, I am a tad behind because ~pandemic~ and paralyzing depression. I drew a couple of these at the very beginning of quarantine when it just felt like summer vacation and then stopped drawing altogether for a while. When my BFF came to visit one day, I finally started doodling again. I drew quite a few little Rou Rags doodles and designed a new logo and font. Everything was pretty basic and not the detailed realism that I've been focused on with this project. I just wasn't ready.

Then magically ("I don't want realism; I want magic!") I picked up this half-finished drawing on Tuesday (9/15- Blanche's DuBois' birthday!) and finished it.


A little note on mental health: I've struggled with anxiety and depression my whole life that I didn't even realize until recently was anxiety and depression. I mean, I was functioning as a human, right? After two years of consistent therapy, I decided to try medication and it has been a game changer. Please never be afraid to ask for help!


So this week's prompt was Black and white of Blanche with background. Heh. Well, it's Blanche, but in color, and the actual background of the reference pic is black. Blanche is referring to Gillian's portrayal of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire on stage in London and then a short run in NYC. I missed all of that era and it's my biggest regret in life. Don't judge me. Anywayyy, National Theatre Live broadcast the NYC show so I have been able to see it on film and it's arguably Gillian's best work, though we all mostly agree that it is.

I originally chose a reference pic that is a still from The Departure, which is a little prequel to Streetcar written by Andrew O'Hagan that Gillian directed and starred in. It has a detailed background of a vanity. That was before anxiety really kicked in and I switched to an "easier" picture.

I started out as I usually do with drawing the outline over a grid. I would normally start in one area (eyes) and go into detail there before continuing. I've been watching a lot of drawing videos on Instagram and Tik Tok and decided to start out with the general shading first and work my way toward the details.

The second picture is where I left off after starting this one. I wasn't feeling it and just thinking about starting the hair was overwhelming. It sat like that for a couple months.

I had been especially mindful of hair in the videos I watched. I feel like this time it finally worked out the way I intended. I tend to want to start out too detailed, but I tried my best to start with the dark and light colors, then blocking the major pieces, and then adding in the more detailed strands and flyaways. This is definitely my favorite hair that I've drawn so far.

The final drawing:

And the reference:

I'm pleased overall. I notice lots of little things I would change, but I'm moving on.

Technically the next prompt is Blanche in color, but I'll probably draw a different character. Maybe Lily Bart from The House of Mirth or Miss Havisham from Great Expectations. And I probably won't finish within two weeks, because, you know, ~life~.

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