I haven't been posting this week, though I have actually been doing a lot of artwork. The reason I am not sharing is that all the stuff I've done this week is relating to the large project I referred to recently. I'll be saving all of it up for a future date to share, so here is a little sketch from my sketchbook for today and I will try to bring something better next time I post. Still getting very close to filling up my sketchbook completely, I may have to do some kind of celebration when I get the last page filled before going on to the next one. It really has been my best year of drawing ever. More to come!
Thanks for reading,
Here is a little piece I did in the same watercolor style as the robot from the other day. I am really liking this look. There is something about the watercolor wash technique that attracts me. I used to be somewhat of a perfectionist about lines and color fills. Coming from a background of loving comics and animation, I have always liked a good crisp line and a perfect filling of color. I have learned over the past several years, however, that real beauty lies in imperfection. We actually are drawn to art that looks human made. It's one of the reasons that some animation companies are experimenting with a sort of throwback to the old hand drawn methods that were loved by many. Now that computers can render movies so lifelike that they hardly seem animated at all, we wonder if maybe something has been lost with all the progress.
So, viva la happy accidents. :)
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Spent some time today on this Robot. He was just a simple little sketch, I hardly even thought it would be worth bringing onto the computer to work on, turns out I was wrong. Simple is sometimes best. I spent some time yesterday playing with a watercolor effect on the football kid and today I took it a bit further with this little guy. I tried to layer the colors subtly and added highlights with a white pencil brush after. I like the double outline in white also. I know as with all of my pieces, I need to work on lighting effects and color, but I think this one turned out well and I'm very excited about applying this look to more of my sketches. I had fun doing it too. Here is the original sketch...
Tonight I have been pretending it is fall, it's the mildest weather we have had since spring and I am longing for fall, so I maybe that is why I subconsciously chose this sketch to work on tonight. I have been wanting to attempt a more watercolor look for my sketches. While watercolor isn't my strong point, (I'm used to working in acrylics) I have been playing with it lately and I really love the more subtle look. Also 2 things- 1. I excel at line art and my sketch lines generally hold a lot of expression, unfortunately, with a heavily painted look, as I have been doing lately, the lines compete. With a more subtle watercolor look, the pencils can shine. 2. I just think there is more sensibility in watercolors. When I think of children's books, I know what I like. I like me some lovely watercolors on pencil. When I have tried it now and then with success, I have really loved looking back at those pieces that I've done in that style. I think the watercolors show more feeling. I can be tight with the lines and loose with the colors, if that makes any sense.
Well, there you go. Still working on a definite style for children's book art. I have a major project I want to begin soon, and I really need to keep the look consistent from the start to the finish. I think I came close tonight. Yay!
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Here is a crazy mouse for my post today. I thought I would throw in a little creepiness to counteract all the sugary sweet stuff I've been doing lately.
Actually, there will be a huge amount of more cutie pie drawings coming down the pike soon. I have been trying to decide for a while on a particular major personal project to begin before summer gets done. I want to have it all planned out so that I can work on it during the fall and winter and hopefully be finished before next summer. I think I have finally settled on the project and am beginning to plot out the stages that will need to be completed. I am seriously considering a kickstarter campaign in the future to fund the self publishing of the project. More news on that will certainly be coming on this blog.
I've been exploring other artists online lately and have found a few that I really like. I want to share a couple here.
Wylie Beckert I came across her stuff on Pinterest and really liked it. Then I read some of her blog posts and they led me to another female artist named Kelley McMorris. Who also has a great little blog. While I was exploring these two ladies, I ended up looking at a link for a convention one of them had been to recently. I believe the convention was in Pennsylvania and was named Illuxcon or something like that. The neat thing was when I read the description of the convention. It said it was for "Imaginative Artists and Illustrators". This phrase really stood out to me. I loved it. I'll tell you why.
Growing up, there was a certain kind of art I was drawn to. I didn't have a name for it, but when I went to college and studied art, I was disappointed to find that no paths led there from here. In college there were two kinds of art. Fine art, and graphic design (aka commercial art). Basically art for art's sake and art for a purpose. Although at the time graphic design seemed to be only about typography and photo placement, I was directed to study it anyway because there were no career options otherwise. I later found that there were very few career options regardless in this area. (I did learn many useful things during those years but that's another story) It seems the kind of art that made me love art in the first place was something I would be forever separated from.
15 years after graduation...I finally know how to get there from here. The sad part is, had I known then what I know now, I would have spent the past 15 years getting better at my craft. Instead I foundered due to lack of hope or direction.
The world has changed a lot in 15 years. Many of the new possibilities weren't even a thing yet at that time. I have to toss the regrets aside and assume everything has had it's perfect timing. In today's world of technology, I am no longer held back by geography. (well, not completely)
Self Portrait. Inspired by another artists work who had the desk and lamp and window in the background. (Thanks to Gerald Kelley) I cartoonized myself and had fun doing it. I adore working late at night at my drawing table and this is a fun reminder to myself of those peaceful moments.
Here are a few shots of the process...
I wish I had logged how many hours I worked on rendering out this one. I started with the simple sketch you saw last post and really applied some of the digital painting techniques I have been receiving tips on from a great Children's Book Illustrator- Will Terry. You should stop by his site and check out his stuff sometime. He is the top of the field and has been doing books for 20 yrs. He is gracious enough to post youtube videos routinely that provide wonderful advice for up and coming illustrators. He also teaches online classes at the SVS.
I've really been showing some improvement since coming across his tutorials. I never before was able to marry the stuff I used to do in painting class with my photoshop skills. Now I am able to do that and use texture brushes to benefit my work. I still have quite a ways to go, especially in lighting and color choices. Those are my biggest weak points I believe. I'm getting there though. It's a lot of hard work but then anything worth doing is.
Thanks for reading,
I used to be horsey. I spent my first ten years of life wishing for a horse. I rode a few too. I read a lot of horse lover fiction. Most of my first drawings were of horses. I remember it was a pet peeve of mine when I saw drawings of horses where the feet and legs were really tiny. Ha. Now I am drawing one. It occurs to me now that cute is cute. Back then I wanted horses to be elegant and classy. Now I just want to draw a cute cartoony one. I'm probably offending some 10 yr old girl with this one, but rest assured young jedi, I know the proper proportions of a horse. I am just choosing to ignore them.
I will probably be bringing a color version of this one as time allows. Stay tuned...
Thanks for reading,
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.