Friday, May 27, 2016

Watercolor Portrait - The Bass Player

Title: The Bass Player
Size: 11 by 14 inches
So this finally made the blog. It's a portrait of my darling sister Noelle looking amazing as she jams on her upright. This piece had a lot of fun experimental techniques going on. First (and most noticeably) I used silver sharpie for the suit's pinstripes. That made me panicky inside, as sharpies are not terribly forgiving, regardless of how much time you spent on the painting you're putting them on. The second experimental technique was using tape to outline everything (yes everything. no, you don't want to know how much tape that took) to make the corners and edges crisper and more distinct.

Happily, things worked out and the sharpie was not a disaster. I think the sharp outline looks pretty good, so I'll probably use it again in the future at some point. The texture of the bass itself came out beautifully. But most importantly, I think the final piece captured the correct tone. After I went to one of my sister's jazz concerts I felt inspired to do a portrait in that spirit of bright music and dark suits, playfulness and professionalism. It turned out alright.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Congratulations Card - Elephant

Title: Congratulations Elephant
Size: 6 by 4 inches
Here's a quick piece I did for my cousin, who just graduated from high school. It's black, blue, and purple ballpoint pen on a piece of blue cardstock. I'm pretty proud of this elephant, considering that I drew it on a 30 minute car ride. Luckily I had some reference images on my phone from some elephants I was sketching last week. Elephants are incredibly intelligent - even brilliant - animals, so I thought it'd be appropriate for someone else who's pretty smart. ;)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mini Pencil Portraits - Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast

Title: Star Wars Portraits
Size: 5 by 9 inches
Here we are in April, and I'm still working on that picture book. So, as a brief break, I've done some more little pencil portraits, this time with characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Going left to right and top to bottom, we have Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren, and General Hux. As it ended up, we have characters from the Resistance in the top row and people from the First Order on the bottom. Serendipitously, the lighting worked out so that the photo was lighter on the top ad darker on the bottom, mirroring the light side and the dark side of the Force.

These were kind of fun to do as more practice with realism. My favorite to draw would have to be Captain Phasma, as her metallic stormtrooper helmet made for some really interesting shading. The most difficult was probably either Hux or Poe, though for different reasons.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Weekly Drawing - Nightlight Naps

Title: Nightlight Naps
Size: 6 by 12 inches
So this isn't technically a weekly drawing, as I haven't been doing them each week, but it is a short piece I did this week - and it essentially has the same purpose as my weekly drawings did. That being said, here's a short piece I did of Nightlight (from William Joyce's Guardians of Childhood series) catching a quick nap. It's done in pen and watercolor. 

Nightlight is one of favorite characters to draw, thanks to his fun hair and otherworldly armor, but I hadn't drawn him recently. Coloring the armor was an interesting challenge, as it needed to be black, but you needed to be able to make out the tangle of limbs. I like how it came out.

Picture book - Coloring pages 11-12

Well! Here we are at the last two pages of the Kitten in the Orchestra Pit picture book. Maas and Amalie finally found each other. These pages are still unfinished, and though I like how they're coming out, I'm still not quite satisfied with either frame, so I haven't moved on to colored pencil or the second layer of pen.

At this time, I turn to you, any readers out there, for advice on what to touch up on these final frames before I put on the final layer of pen and colored pencil. Thoughts? Ideas? Impressions? Feel free to leave a comment.

To check out the rest of the progress on the picture book, look at my Picture Book label (at the very bottom of the post).

Watercolor Studies - Miraculous Ladybug Color Practice

After briefly starting pages 11 and 12 of the picture book, which include a person, I remembered that watercoloring people is considerably harder than watercoloring cats. And so I decided to practice on some doodles of characters from the show Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir.

Title: Miraculous Watercolors
Size: Each character is about 3 by 2 inches
This was a fun, if quick, project. I think my favorite to paint was Alya (the girl in glasses).

Alya was fun to paint for so many reasons. Her hair, for one, has an interesting fading pink. Her eyes are a light hazel sort of grey/brown. And her shirt! I've never painted something plaid before, but it was a blast. I had to break it down into layers of stripes, then paint accordingly. It was actually easier than the few times I've done plaid in colored pencil, which was a pleasant surprise. Usually I have more trouble with paint than pencil.

Adventures in Cooking - "Sconuts"

This week, as a break from picture books and 2D media in general, I made several batches of scones. Typically, I just made them round, but in this case, I tried shaping them like donuts (hence the name "sconuts"). Once I tried shaping the scones into hearts, stars and various other shapes, but it was too time consuming to make it worth doing every time.

Cooking and baking are a rather different than drawing and paint, but I really enjoyed myself (and the scones). It's an interesting to create something for this class that's gone so quickly. Most things I make (paintings, sketches) last for quite a while, and I can go back and look at them any time, but with scones, all that lasts is the memory of the process and taste. It's a fascinating parallel to my typical 2D pieces.