Donut Drop Ranch (Ink)

Updated: Dec 23, 2021

(Check out the final color art here.)

Almost a decade ago, I created a handful of colorful, surrealistic pieces that were meant to be fun and absurd. I was in good spirits at the time and wanted to take a break from the darker, heavy metal-inspired art I'd been making immediately prior to that.

I made large prints of some of those images at the time, and a person who owns a pair of them recently commissioned a new piece of art in that same style. Thus, Donut Drop Ranch was born.

There's very little deeper meaning or symbolism happening with this one: it is very explicitly meant to be an expression of whimsy, abundance, and joy.

The timing of the commission was remarkable, as I initially did not have a strong desire to make anything lighthearted. I had a lot going on in my life, and I felt motivated to make images geared toward darker sci-fi worlds, such as in Symbiotic.

Things have changed rapidly for me since then, and my attitude toward life and toward my art has taken on a much more positive slant. By the time I finished the drawing for Stinker, I knew I was ready to lean back into more cheerful ideas.

As with all of my recent drawings, DDR was created first with a pencil drawing on Bristol board, and once all the details were worked out, I went back over it with Winsor & Newton black Indian ink using a crow quill and brushes.

I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed making Donut Drop Ranch – more than I have enjoyed making any piece of art in a long time. This was especially true once I got rolling on the color. (I'll share the final color art in two weeks!) In fact, it has triggered some long-dormant inclinations to explore more of this style and mood in my art.

Time will tell if that turns out to be the case, but I'm increasingly motivated to create a positive impact in life, for myself and for other people. (Hence the recent change in blog direction.) Creating art from a place of joy feels better for me personally, and judging from the initial responses to Stinker and DDR, it generates more positive emotions in other people as well.

That feels like a win-win to me.

So stay tuned on that, I'm really hoping to create some larger surrealistic pieces in this vein in the months and years ahead and see where it leads. But in the meantime, enjoy the line art on this one and then check back here next Wednesday for my first post about art mindset: Instagram Likes Are Killing Your Motivation to Make Art - Here's What You Can Do About It.