Hello all. Here is the latest piece I did for the color challenge on Twitter. The color of the week was Moss Green. I used it in the mermaid's hair and tail mostly. I had fun trying different fish shapes.
I'm making more progress on my children's book lately. I haven't been able to post much of that because I am saving it all up. That is why I am glad to continue doing the color challenge, it is just for fun and to improve skills and gives me some work I can share with everyone and get feedback.
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My latest finished illustration. I have some process photos of this one I will add later. In the end, the Photoshop file included 102 layers. I don't mean to make so many, but generally it takes me more time and effort to be conservative. I do a lot of transparencies, when I try to combine semi transparent layers the level of transparency ends up changing. This illustration was put together with several mindful but separate drawings in my sketchbook. I dislike making backgrounds so much, but if I put a group of elements together that can be moved around almost like stage props, then it feels freer to me and less stressful. I made my own textures that I use lately and I am also toying with the idea of creating some patterns that I can reuse at times... such as the leave pattern on the bushes behind the wall or the stone pattern on the ground. I have another big piece to work on next week. Will try to post soon.
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Things have been rushing along already this year. I used this piece as my first color challenge piece of the year. The color is Rose Quartz, which seems to mean rosy light pink. I mostly like how it turned out but I am constantly questioning my process with regard to the cut paper effects. A professional artist recently complimented that element of my work and advised me to push it further. He said other things which were also very encouraging. It was a nice exchange. However his expertise was admittedly not in children's books but in another art field. Still having a pro say that my style has merit was a great boost.
I recently had trouble getting much sketching done. Something about the new year and all my excitement to get more productive back fired and made me unwilling to just sketch freely in my sketchbook, trying to hold out for more finished drawings. I solved this by buying a separate sketchbook just for carrying around and working out shapes and practice stuff with. This has been very successful. I have been filling at least a page a day. Also I the sketches have been fun to post on Instagram and I have gotten a good response from that.
So I have lots of work in the mix. Many many sketches and plans that sit back and wait for a project to come together more before I share them. I have basically one book that is laid out with lots of character design and visual development hours put into it and two projects that are just a group of ideas with a pile of sketches behind them. I'm looking forward to every chance I get these days to sit and work. It is really the funnest "career" in the world and as hilarious as it is to say- I love being an Illustrator regardless of the amount of paid work I get. I know that the time is coming in the future when I will have the chance to get paid for this but at the same time have the deadlines to go with it. Both the preparation time I am in now (that I call the self-led apprenticeship) and the time later when I am an active illustrator working on contract work ... both of these seasons come with both blessings and curses. My blessing now is to work at my own pace. Something I am not willing to give up just yet. This is my chance to improve and prepare for that time ahead.
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Thanks for stopping by. I'm a published illustrator working on getting better every day. My goal for my work is for it to be charming, bright and endearing. I share my ongoing work progress online because I welcome all the encouragement and feedback I can get as I try to improve my skills. I currently have a children's book project that I am nearing the end of.