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.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Picture book - Coloring pages 9-10

Well, here we are again with more illustrations of Maas in the orchestra pit. This week I was able to finish frame 9 - and I love how it turned out! The layering of color on the tuba took longer than expected, but the overall effect of the tuba and napping kitten complement each other so well I can't complain. 

Frame 10 is coming along nicely, though I'm not sure if it's finished or not. This page is going to be the scene where Maas is dreaming. I like how the color scheme turned out, but I think I'd like to add more of a 'dreamlike' quality to the page before moving on. I'm considering doing this with more shadowy purple lines, but I worry it will be too busy.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Picture Book - Starting Back Up (pages 8-10)

So! Here we are with more picture book. This week I finally finished coloring frame 8 and started the pen work for 9-10. I'm actually really happy with how #8 came out, which is somewhat surprising. I had a lot of trouble deciding how to set up the picture when I was first sketching it, and then all the variations of black were troublesome, but when it's all said and done, I think it's one of my favorite frames so far.

Here's page 9. I really like how the pen work came out, and the proportions are just what I wanted, giving a sense of scale to both the kitten and tuba. I can't wait to color it!

Finally, below is page 10, the kitten's dream. It's still half pencil, and trying to work with all those lines (straight or otherwise) has been a little frustrating.  Nevertheless, I still have high hopes for this frame, so I guess we'll have to wait and see how this one comes out.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Playing in Snow - Igloo

We've had quite a bit of snow recently, so I decided to make an igloo. :)

My method of igloo making includes shoveling the driveway into a pile for several days in a row, packing the snow down a bit, then digging an entrance. I'm always worried that the thing will collapse if I'm not careful, but I've discovered that if you leave your igloo out overnight the surface of the snow will often freeze into a shell - this is particularly useful on the inside, where it gives the ceiling a bit of extra strength. 

Conveniently, it snowed the day of this picture, so the surface of the igloo is wonderfully smooth. In addition to this, the extra snow gets packed down in the entrance. This means that the doorway is slightly smaller, but once you get in, the floor's a few inches lower, making it feel bigger inside.

The igloo's actually pretty roomy. For this picture I actually crawled in there, turned myself around, and popped my head back out, if that gives you an idea of how big it is in there. If the snow continues, I'm hoping to expand to where two people can comfortably fit inside.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Family Home Evening - Armor of God Paper Doll

Title: Armor of God Self Portrait
Size: 11 by 9 inches
For our Family Home Evening this week we had a lesson on putting on the armor of God (from Ephesians 6:13-18) and made paper dolls of ourselves. We held a discussion on how we can put one the armor of God while we designed our dolls and armor. Overall, it was a wonderful evening.

This piece is in colored pencil and pen on card stock. It feels like forever since I've drawn myself, so this was a lot of fun. Trying to get all the armor to match up with the doll was a bit crazy, but the challenge is what makes it fun, right? Another thing I really enjoyed about drawing this was trying to reverse engineer my design process for the armor. 

I realized almost immediately as I started that I was drawing heavily from some Elantris sketches I'd done a while back, trying to design Hrathen's armor. My first sketches looked very much like Hrathen's armor. So I tried to mix it up a bit - by pulling inspiration from the Stormlight Archive's shardbearers. There was definitely a moment of "why is all my inspiration from Brandon Sanderson books?!". It didn't help terribly when I realized my that my sword looked a lot like Nightblood, from Warbreaker.

So, needless to say, it was interesting to try and track down where my ideas were coming from. This post is getting a bit wordy, so I think I'll go ahead and close with my doll's base. :)


Friday, January 29, 2016

Commissioned Mixed Media - Press Forward Poster

Title: Press Forward
Size: 14 by 11 inches
This poster was done for my young women's group. It's watercolor with pen outline and a bit of colored pencil and Photoshop on top. It combines ideas from our 2016 theme scripture (2 Nephi 31:20), the young women's values, and Lehi's dream. Each of the colored rods represents one of the young women values, and I consider it one of my greatest accomplishments that orange, yellow, and gold are distinct colors.

This commission was unique in that it was almost entirely designed when I was asked to put it together. It was interesting to come into a piece with so much direction, as I normally have minimal planning. Perhaps I should try it again sometime, as I rather like how it came out.  :P

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Merry (Belated) Christmas - Snow Minion

Title: Snow Minion
Size: 2 and 1/2 by 3 inches
Here's my late Christmas gift for Mr. W, the most wonderful art teacher of all time. It's a mixed media piece, watercolor on pen with a touch of colored pencil. It was fun to try and make a snowman/minion mixture. Also, I think was the first time I've ever used my Acid Yellow pencil.

Thanks for all your hard work, Mr. W! You rock. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mini Pencil Portraits - Sherlock Cast

Title: Sherlock Portraits
Size: 12 by 9 inches
So... this happened. Pencil drawings of some characters from Sherlock. Yup. I had a lot of fun doing these, although, as ever, each picture I drew was smaller than the one before - and knowing that, deducing the order I drew them in should be elementary. ;)

For whatever reason, everyone in this show wears collared shirts. I'd never realized that until I started drawing them, but now I'm a little more practiced with collars. Also, Mycroft is a giraffe.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Messing Around and Adding Color - Elantris Chibis and pages 7-8

Greetings, loyal fans! Welcome back from Christmas break. Today I bring you tiny, cartoon depictions of Brandon Sanderson Characters and pages 7-8 of my infamous picture book. (Which will hopefully be finished in time for 2017...)

Title: Elantris Chibis
Size: 12 by 11 inches
Just some pen/colored pencil doodles from Brandon Sanderson's Elantris. Why, you ask? I have no idea. It's fun. I used a list of character descriptions I collected ages ago, which was kind of fun. Left to right we have Raoden, Sarene, and Hrathen.

The challenge of this piece was the typography. I don't normally care for any project that requires Excessive Ruler Use, but I like how it came out. :)

Here's the weekly frames for Kitten in the Orchestra Pit. The timpani scene's not quite finished with painting, so the final layer of pen isn't up yet, so it looks a bit blurry. The photo quality is another factor. Hopefully I'll be back soon with a (finished) better quality picture. I do like how the other frame came out, though.

More to come, so tune in next week!