A First Draft

More birds today…  of the ‘hunting and pecking’ variety. If this dude looks a little familiar it’s probably because he also posed for ‘ A Spot of Tea ‘. Although this time I drew him perched on a typewriter. So… there is that.

Grady Tripp (narrating): “So there it was. Somewhere in the night, a Manhattan book editor was prowling the streets of Pittsburgh; best-selling author at his side, dead dog in his trunk.”

– Michael Douglas – Wonderboys

About this image: digital media – vector art created with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop


91 thoughts on “A First Draft

    • Thank you very much, S.E.!
      It’s kind of funny I haven’t tried this before! That little bird is a Halloween decoration and he sits on my wife’s old typewriter just like that!

    • Thank you very much, sir!
      I think that is true… I know my wife really likes them! And I have heard that many other people do, too! Probably a bit like the fondness I have for old cameras, I guess.

  1. Excellent work you have done there on that typewriter…you got every detail just perfect, Sig. But so it the bird…okay, the whole thing. As always I’m taken with your fantastic work. Love too that is black and white on blue.
    You know, that bird looks like he has something to say about that first line typed. What does it say?

    Hugs xx

    • Oh, thank you very much, Deb! Sometimes I really like sticking with b/w to create images in illustrator because it seems to give them a real graphic quality – but it does mean I wind up taking a lot of liberties with the image, too – so I’m very happy to hear you like this!
      The line is ‘a first draft’ – it’s nearly impossible to read at this scale (even for me and I’m the one who put it there)! Not sure what the bird is about to say, though!

    • Hahaha… believe it or not I’ve seen them all. I always have to look-up the quotes just the same though. My memory usually isn’t up to the challenge of getting it quite right. At this point I consider myself lucky if I can remember a scene that somehow comes close to relating.

  2. The bird looks very contemplative. He’s deep in thought. Kind of how I look when I’m trying to write a “first draft.”

    • Thank you very much, sir!
      I was hoping the super-high contrast would provide a bit of a visual ‘pop’… seems like I let color fade away around here quite a bit.

    • Thank you so much, Ms. K!
      Originally this one was straight B/W… but it seemed like a good place to infuse a bit more color into things (which I need to remind myself to try out every now and then)!

    • Always working on some random thing or another…
      the title of this was a bit misleading, though… I just thought it sounded interesting. Of course it was pretty late (or early) at the time, too!

  3. I just love those little, old fashioned typewriters ;)I have a cute one, so I especially like what you did with this image.

    -and it would make a great refigerator magnate, as well.

    • Thanks so much, Spectra!
      Very cool! This one was modeled after my wife’s old L.C. Smith and Bro’s…
      I’ve taken a few photos of parts of it before, but for some reason this is the first time I’ve played around with it in Illustrator.

        • Well, you really weren’t too far off, Spectra… it is drawn… in a way. Not a Photoshop and/or Illustrator filtered image or anything like that. There are ways to get similar effects with filters, but this was ‘hand drawn’ on the computer with the drawing tools in Illustrator – MUCH more control of the results that way… a bit more time consuming, though (although that’s also part of the charm, I think).

          • I need more toys like that – I only have microsoft Paint, and it’s too limiting. I need more enhancement for my Etsy shop photos, as I see other artists doing cool things that I am clueless about. Any suggestions? Keeping in mind that I’m an idiot…do you go buy Illustrator or may be Adobe and load it in your computer with a disc?

          • No worries, Spectra (although I’ll probably only tell you thing you already know)!
            Both Photoshop and Illustrator are Adobe products and they can be purchased either together (in various bundled combinations) or separately (Photoshop, at least). You pay for the disk (mine came on DVD – which was an additional challenge as my computers DVD drive hasn’t worked in eons – but that’s another story) or I think you can also pay for a download (although in my rampant paranoia I always want a disk if I’m paying for it). And PAYING for it is probably the biggest limiting factor. Adobe is EXPENSIVE! That’s why I’m still running CS3 (I believe they’re up to CS6 now). If, however, you are a student or a teacher there is a very, very substantial discount available (only an arm rather than an arm AND a leg). My wife was teaching at the time we picked up CS3 or else it wouldn’t have happened.
            All that being said, I know there’s other software out there that does many similar things, but to tell you the truth I’m very unfamiliar with anything other than Adobe (which I use all the time – almost every day), so unfortunately I can’t help you very much there, either.
            Wow – talk about using a lot of words to say very little! Sorry about that, Spectra!

          • Thank You – I have no products,bells or whistles and I had figured it was expensive. Like you, I need the physical disc, that way I have it when I upgrade my computer someday. I’ll check it out and next time I make a couple big sales maybe I’ll look into it. After all the bills get paid and things get fixed, etc.

          • I hear that, Spectra!
            At least everything is cheap these days, right?! It really is an amazing piece of software, though… I really do use it almost every day, and I don’t even put a scratch in it’s capabilities.

  4. This is great! I was just using Illustrator for basically the first time to re-do my Ettible logo in a scalable format and was talking with the co-worker teaching me to use it about how haaaaaaard it is to use. So yes, I’m impressed. The 3-Dness of the keys is striking. /pun

    • Ah, you’ll get used to it in no time, U.M.
      It’s kind of like Photoshop in that it can do a billion things, but once you learn where all the stuff is you use most it’s not too bad. Kinda time consuming (for me, anyway), though. I suspect a tablet might help with that, though.

  5. Your vector work, is as usual, stellar. The stark beauty of the typer’s underpinnings was captured perfectly with your fine economical use of the detail.

    My only question is if the bird is from a different source photo as it seems to (only minorly) conflict the len’s distortion of typewriter source photo (if it was a source photo).

    Again, this isn’t a critique– I love the tilt of the bird’s head as if he’s looking at the author whose eye-level is at a higher plane than your audience.

    Very cool.

    • Thank you very much, sir!

      A fair question – no worries! The answer if kind of funny, though – because this is one of the few times all the objects I drew were in the same source photo. I usually am missing one piece or another, but the bird is a Halloween decoration that has taken up a permanent perch on my wife’s old typewriter (which also makes if kind of funny I haven’t tried this before). Anyway, I do see what you are saying… he does almost look as if he could be a tiny bit skewed, doesn’t he?


  6. I like the combination of bird and typewriter. My mind wandered… thinking of the writer typing away, while the bird keeps him company every day…
    Nice work!

    • Thank you so much for such a kind comment! If that bird was on my typewriter he’d have to do a lot of talking! ‘Okay, guy… what do I type next. And now what? And now?’
      Thank you for stopping by, ARToinet!

    • I’m so happy to hear that, Mary, thank you!
      This little scene actually exists in our apartment (the little bird is an old Halloween decoration who stays permanently perched on my wife’s old typewriter), so it’s kind of funny I haven’t tried this before!

  7. This is brilliant SIG
    I used to have one of
    those old typewriters
    but it was just soooo
    heavy 😦

    I shouldn have kept it though…

    Brilliantly added as always SIG 🙂


    • I know EXACTLY what you mean, Andro!
      This one is modeled after my wife’s old typewriter, and I’ve never weighed that thing, but it’s SUBSTANTIAL! I always forget just how heavy that thing is until I finally work up the motivation to dust under it (or decide I need a reference photo of it for an art project)!

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