Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sneak Peek: Portrait

I'm doing a wedding portrait of my friends, as a wedding present. Severely belated, but I should hopefully be able to have it finished in time for them to move into their new house (*fingers crossed*). It was never going to be an on-time present anyway, as it's from their favourite wedding photo, which of course didn't exist until after the fact. 

They know they're getting it, but want the finished product to be a surprise – but it's taking so long, what with actual work and stuff, that I've already sent along one little tidbit, and here's that, along with another one, to tantalise them (and everyone else). I think it's coming along quite nicely. =)


Monday, December 20, 2010

Sketch: Falconing

I was sent some fabulous pony photos on Saturday, so naturally just had to do some sketching!

Horses have never been a particularly strong subject of mine (I remember drawing a distinctly rotund racehorse at age six =P) but I think this is definitely one of my best efforts. Possibly aided by the fact that this is not a sleek horse, but is allowed to be a bit on the round side.... I tried to keep horse, tack, costume, etc at least vaguely accurate for the early-mid 15th century (without delving into in-depth research, that is)

I'd quite like to take this further, but I'm not sure exactly how, so it's not exactly a priority. 
I'm quite liking where I've got my sketching style to, though – much less stiff than in the past.

0.5 mechanical pencil with #B lead in Moleskine Sketchbook 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Collection of Christmas Cards

I've been making our family Christmas cards for years now, and I came across a bunch of them while I was sorting through a drawer, and thought I'd share, since it's getting so close to Christmas.

I'm not even sure when these two were done. About 2001, I think. Certainly I was using a laptop for the digital one on the left, and I know I didn't have a tablet at that point, and did it all with the button mouse. 
The kangaroo was coloured pencil. 

I'm not sure what's become of the intervening years. There must be samples around somewhere, though to be honest I don't even remember what most of them were. =P

2006 I was still doing two designs a year. Here we have an angel with digital cell shading and gold stars (based on an old photo from the 20s; I liked the basic idea of the pose and costume, and adapted), and linework wattle flowers with gold highlights and a cut-out centre.

2007 I did some angels, based on some stock photos by Becky Stock over on deviantArt.
You can see the card over here.
These angels were definitely one of my most popular card designs, and I'm very fond of them. 

2008 I went all graphic, and to mix things up had one card in gold and one in blue and silver. 
The image was hand drawn with a fineliner, and the stars were glittered using double-sided adhesive paper (rather fiddly)

2009 I went back to angels, since everyone seemed to want some more of them. This one was jazzed up a bit with a punched-out star in the background, and a glittered halo. As with my previous angels, this was done in Photoshop. 

2010 I went graphic again, this time with baubles, even more fiddly glitter, and an even larger number to make. Sometimes I question my sanity.
My original post about this year's cards is here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Quotes: Something Fresh

Ironically enough, this isn't fresh. It's been dug out of my archives for your viewing pleasure, having been done a good 18 months ago. 

The quote is from P G Wodehouse's wonderful Something Fresh, also known as Something New. Anyone who's ever heard Jonathon Cecil read this particular segment aloud would sympathise, I am sure, with my desire to draw it. ^.^ 

In case my writing is illegible (it isn't the best scan, the paper was too thin) here is the full quote:

"If girls realised their responsibilities they would be so careful when they smiled that they would probably abandon the practice altogether. There are moments in a man's life when a girl's smile can have as important results as an explosion of dynamite.
It is not too much to say that he reeled before Joan's smile, it was so entirely unexpected. He clutched Mr Peter's steamer trunk in his emotion. 
All his resolutions to be cold and distant were swept away. He had the feeling that in a friendless universe here was somebody who was fond of him and was glad to see him.
A smile of such importance deserves analysis, and in this case repays it..."

Of course, one could quote an entire Wodehouse novel, but I won't do that! 

And yes, I am aware that that is not a steamer trunk. It fitted better as a small overnight bag. =P 

Moleskine Cahier, no refs, June-July 2009

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quotes: Pride and Prejudice

I'm in a classics mood, and it's a long time since I drew anything from Pride and Prejudice. 
This was started last night, while I was feeling very sorry for myself indeed with a bout of terrible hayfever – I didn't get much done =P – and finished tonight. I chose a random scene, which happened to be the dance at Netherfield. 

I used a photo from, I think, Becoming Jane as a basic pose starter. I've seen this dance step in a number of adaptations, and it seemed fitting. 

"It is your turn to say something now, Mr Darcy. I talked about the dance, and you ought to make some kind of remark on the size of the room, or the number of couples."

I was happy with Mr Darcy right up until I finished Lizzy... now I'm not so sure. I may go back on fix him up at some point, you never know. 

0.5 Mechanical pencil with #B lead in Moleskine Sketchbook. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sketch: Watching

Further antidote to drawing prosaic items with clean, joined-up, colour-in-able lines!
I was doing image research on google, and came across a promotional still of Taylor Swift singing 'Love Story'. I'm just about the worst at keeping up with modern music, but it was such a pretty picture, and I used it as a basis for this sketch:

I wasn't bothered in the slightest about getting a good likeness, and I played around with an entirely imaginary dress. Much fun was had. =)

#B 0.5 mechanical pencil in moleskine sketchbook.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sketch: The Court Jester

Again, there is nothing creative about this – just an exercise in brainlessness to have a bit of fun. 
I've been working on a series of linework illustrations for an educational publisher, which is certainly expanding the number of things that I draw – within the past few days I've drawn streetscapes, witchetty grubs, oysters, a scull, colonial children, an Australian colonist... and lots more. So I wasn't really in the mood to think while I was sketching. =P 

I've been reading Cornelia Baker's The Court Jester, published in 1906, with charming black and white illustrations by Margaret Ely Webb and Margaret H Deveneau.  

This is a detail of one of Margaret Ely Webb's contributions – not entirely accurate, as the copy I had wasn't very large, but a lot of fun to do. I like playing around with linework. 

0.2 Artline Drawing System fineliner in Moleskine sketchbook.


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