Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Illustration: Pigtails

Here's my latest little watercolour. I'm going to collate a bunch of them onto one or two pages for my portfolio.

Winsor & Newton watercolours in Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sketches: Misc

Today I went to the chiropractor and the dentist – both fine things, I'm sure, but after both I was feeling a little on the mauled side. =P So I slacked off tonight and sketched while watching tv:

My friend's parents are on holiday again (they went to Azerbaijan for Eurovision) so we've been being spoilt with lots of fabulous photos to look at. This is an iPad sketch referencing one of them (originally it had a horse and rider in the foreground, but I wasn't feeling like doing that much detail =P) which was taken on a day trip to Azerbaijan's north. I spent about an hour on this, while watching Dr Alice Robert's documentary Origins of Us. I need to get faster at landscapes.....

I invested in the Posebook iPad app, to try and get myself out of my comfort zone a bit; I want to try and push my drawings a bit further, and thought lots of poses might be a help in making that a reality. This is referenced from one of the expressions in the app. It took me 30 – 40 minutes. 

And finally, a very quick iPad sketch of a child from another northern-Azerbaijan photo, which took all of maybe 10 minutes. 

iPad sketches in Sketchbook Pro with a Wacom Bamboo stylus, sketch in a Moleskine Sketchbook with a 0.5 #B mechanical pencil. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Illustration: Nits!

A portfolio illustration. My mother is a teacher, I am well-versed in lice breakouts in schools. =P

click for a larger view!

I filmed myself scratching like a maniac for the poses here, sketched each kid separately on layout paper, and then combined them in Photoshop, printed out my sketch and traced it onto watercolour paper. I'm using Arches 300gsm Medium, but I don't like it too much. It slows me down as I have to do extra layers of colour to keep the colours vibrant, and touch up the inking when I'm done. Border and inaccurate lice were added in Photoshop. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Illustration: Brigitte Bardot

Here's a little cartoon of a young Brigitte Bardot in Doctor At Sea. My mother had me looking up a film she thought she might have seen when she was a teenager (turned out to be The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter, but all I had to go on was Brigitte Bardot and a character called Gerard =P) and I came across Doctor At Sea. I'd seen it years ago, and taken a few snaps of the tv screen, because she had such a fabulous dress. So I toddled off to YouTube and got myself some slightly better screenshots, and threw this together. I used a reference for the pose, but put her face together from a bunch of shots, so it's not the most accurate likeness I've ever done (this was also the only Bardot film I've seen, so I'm not all that familiar with her features.) 

Come on, isn't that just a fabulous dress?
(Possibly I also have a thing for elbow-length gloves. Years ago I wanted some to go with my red dress for my Year 12 Ball – but there were none available. They pop up all over the place now, it's probably given me a complex. =P)

I spent several hours inking today, so this was my relaxation (hooray for the zoom and the undo tool!) Took at little longer than I planned, about an hour and a half all up. I could push it further and clean it up a bit, but I'm not going to. 
I was sort of inspired by Katikut's colouring tutorial, although apart from using the lasso tool most of the techniques were similar to ones I used already. ^.^ 
Adobe Photoshop CS4 with a Wacom Intuos 3.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Illustration: Princess & The Pea

Finally got this one cleared off my desk. You may remember it from back in February, when I posted a sneak peek and a link to a colouring page version. There wasn't any particular rush for it, so it's been on the backburner for a while, while other things occupied my time. But at last it's finished!

Click for a larger view.

This is to go in my portfolio, intended as a series of about four, though how many more I can get done before I send my portfolio off to the SCBWI Conference Portfolio Showcase in Sydney early next month is .... debatable. =P Wish me luck there!
And no, she's not the most cheerful of princesses. I don't believe that a real princess would be at all pleased if first she got drenched in the rain, and then she was given a lumpy bed!

Winsor & Newton watercolours on 300gsm medium Arches watercolour paper. Text added in photoshop, and may undergo some changes. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Portrait: Father and Son

Just realised I hadn't blogged about this. It's my most recent portrait commission, but it's been finished for a while. 

It was done for the same lady as my portrait of Shirl was for. It's her husband's father, with her husband as a baby. As he was killed in WW2 they had very few photos (I think this might have been the only one) and although we considered doing just a head-and-shoulders composition, to match the other portraits, they decided on using the whole photo (without the background)

Here's a progress animation:

It took roughly 21 hours overall, mainly because it included two people, and the reference wasn't very clear, which required a lot of research. It's 28x35cm in size on Quill Cartridge Paper.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cards: Baby Shower

Here's a little illustration I did recently for a commissioned set of baby shower invitations. They didn't want anything fancy or anything that would cost too much to produce, but did request that the colour scheme be pale pink and that it include a baby in a pram with a Docker's beanie, as they're big Fremantle Football Club fans. 

I did the illustration in Adobe Illustrator, over an initial sketch that I did in DeviantArt's Muro (I don't normally do that, but I was playing around with it's new playback function), and the result is that if you're interested in seeing my very messy prelim sketch, you can probably watch it appear here: )

I printed each invitation out on presentation paper, 2 to an A4 page, and concertina folded them into thirds – and finally punched off the corners so they were rounded:

Not the best photos, I was in a rush to catch the post.... I tried to keep them simple while also making them a little different through the folding. Most people seem to stick invitations on the fridge, so something that worked there was the aim – but I wanted to avoid the typical A5-folded-in-the-middle route. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sketch: Glare

Here's a little digital sketch I did last night. It's based on (but no longer bears all that much resemblance to) a screenshot from a youtube clip of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks in 1929's The Taming of the Shrew. That was naturally of horrendous quality, but her expression was amusing, so I used the screenshot as a starting point, but didn't bother too much with keeping to an exact likeness. 

It's not perfect, but I like it enough to blog, at least. 

Adobe Photoshop CS4 (entirely with a hard round brush with shape turned on) with a Wacom Intuos 3. And not all that much time.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Illustration: Parrot Spying

Here's another picture to go with Parrot Stealing, the narrative first in what is currently intended to be a series of 4 illustrations.

As before, I did a very messy sketch on the iPad while watching tv, and then turned it into something nice with Photoshop CS4 and my Wacom Intuos 3. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sketchdump: John Williams

Tonight we went to WASO's Star Wars and Beyond concert – all pieces by John Williams. It was conducted by the fabulous Anthony Inglis, and was very good indeed. WASO are always splendid, and Inglis, who we've seen before, is hilarious with his comments and props (which this concert included an inflatable ET, a light sabre, Jedi costume, Princess Leia and a trick suit that revealed a complete Superman costume, in which he conducted the encore (which was of course the theme from Superman)). We had a lovely time.  

However, I'm not the best at sitting through concerts without singing involved. It's not at all that I don't like them, or don't appreciate the music, it's just that the lack of words gives my imagination free reign, and there's nothing quite so inspiring as live music – so I sit there, and think of all the things I could/should be drawing, and quite forget to actually listen to the beautiful music, while my fingers start to itch for a pencil. So tonight I took along a tiny sketchbook, and sketched away, and was able to appreciate the music much more, because I was focussed. I often draw while listening to audiobooks or cds, so I know I'm quite capable of drawing and listening at the same time. And the added bonus was that it took my mind of how uncomfortable the horrible seats in the Concert Hall are. I always start to get jabbing pains in a my tailbone about 40 minutes into a concert, no matter how I sit. >.<

So, I've compiled a little sketchdump of my efforts this evening, plus one random sketch of a 30s lady:

(click for a larger view)

I'm still mucking about with the cartoon style, trying to work out exactly what it is I'm doing with it, so I played with that tonight. Also evident is my terrible memory for what costumes people were wearing in movies I haven't seen for some years! =P 

If you want some clarification for what we've got here, we have a Jedi and a Slave Leia, which I sketched during four pieces from Star Wars, and also Leia and R2D2, which I did while waiting for the concert to start. Indiana Jones and the snake were done while listening to the Raider's March from Raiders of the Lost Arc, and the interval. The alien in the bobble hat and the space ship were during themes from E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the approximation of Uhura was during the suite of Lost in Space – which I've never seen, but the conductor mentioned Star Trek of the 60s, so I went with that. Plus we have little sketches the musicians. And the 30s lady, done several nights ago while watching The Ex Mrs Bradford. 

All except said lady were done with a 0.5 mechanical pencil and #B lead in an A6 Moleskine Cahier. The lady was in an A4 Moleskine sketchbook. 
They were compiled in Photoshop, and I slapped on a gradient map and a texture from to jazz them up a bit. 


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