Friday, April 29, 2011

Sketch: Tangled

It's been impossible to look at any sort of media without having ROYAL WEDDING!!! screamed at you from all sides this past week, and while I have no objection at all to a nice royal wedding (plus it was nice to take a day off and watch it, after working straight through the easter holidays =P) it naturally made me think wedding-themed for sketches. 

This was inspired by a piece of concept art in my Art of Tangled book. The painting was by Victoria Ying, and was a wedding scene, where Rapunzel had a really long veil that mirrored the long hair she had for most of the movie. I liked the effect, and since there were no fewer than 8 wedding dress designs in the book, I was quite surprised when there was no wedding scene in the movie (and a bit sad to miss out on the lovely veil). So, since I was thinking weddings, I did a little Tangled wedding sketch, with my own dress design, but keeping the long veil. 

I have mixed feelings about this sketch. I like the dress and veil, but the likenesses aren't good (not surprising considering I saw the movie once. In January.) and Flynn is not very good at all. However, I tried out a technique I haven't used before, so thought I'd post it. Plus I have been doing lots of work and not much sketching lately. Work is good, of course, but can make the blog a bit neglected. 

0.5 mechanical pencil with #B lead in Jasart 'My Memoirs' sketchbook, with some painting in Photoshop CS4, texture from

Friday, April 22, 2011

Illustration: Sarah Jane

I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Elisabeth Sladen recently. I was practically brought up on Doctor Who, and Sarah Jane was always one of my favourite companions, so I thought I'd do a tribute sketch. It's years since I last drew Sarah Jane (You can see that portrait, from 2004, here) so it was about time.
I chose her costume from Robot for this sketch (it's one of my favourites), and though I based her pose on her running around during that episode, it has nothing to do with it really. I went for a more comic-like look for this, and it was done pretty quickly, so it's not perfect. I prettied up the sketch in Photoshop with the aid of the halftone filter. 

0.5 mechanical pencil with #B lead in Jasart 'My Memoirs' sketchbook, coloured in Photoshop CS4 with a Wacom Intuos 3. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Progress: Tara King

A work-in-progress shot of a portrait I'm currently working on while waiting for some job info to come through. 
I found the original photo in Marcus Hearne's The Avengers: A Celebration and liked it. It's also a good opportunity to practice patterned fabrics, watercolour portraits (having previously only watercoloured miniatures, not full portraits) and being a bit looser and more watercolour-ish with my paints. 

I'm working hard on putting in the patterns in the fabric, but not slaving over every little detail. That's a bad habit of mine. 

Winsor & Newton and Reeves watercolours on Bristol Board.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sketch: Deckchair

Makenzi Crouch (who loves cats) linked me to the Tumbler Writers and Kitties and I saw this photo of Elizabeth Bishop. I liked the form of the chair and the general pose, and I'd also been looking at the work of J C Leyendecker, so decided to use the photo and Leyendecker's style of profiles as springboards for a sketch:

And then I went all thirties with the dress, mainly because I felt like drawing spectator shoes. I don't think that's accurate for the chair, though. (I realise as a design graduate I should know who designed that chair and when, but ... I don't. I majored in Illustration. =P) 

Nothing particularly special, but I quite like it. =)

0.5 mechanical pencil with #B lead in Jasart 'My Memoirs' sketchbook. Around 1.5 hours while watching tv.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Illustration: Tina Arena

We go to the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra's Contempo concerts – about three a year, which cover a wide range of not overly-highbrow music. This year it's Tina Arena, James Morrison's Tribute to Louis Armstrong, and Gershwin. 

Tina Arena was on Sunday, and I did a small sketch of her during the interval. Monday I decided I didn't like the sketch at all, and rubbed the whole thing out and started again. And today I mucked about with it in Photoshop. I used myself for the pose reference, youtubed Tina to make sure I got something vaguely resembling facial likeness, and checked Aurelio Costarella's website for the dress, which I'd sketched at the time, and then stupidly rubbed out before I'd refreshed my memory as to what it looked like >.<. 

There are parts of this I'm not too happy with, but overall I don't think it's a failure. =)

All in all about four hours, maybe five. I forced myself to leave it a bit unrefined. 
Adobe Photoshop CS4, Wacom Intuos 3

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sketch: Roger Moore

A small brainless sketch of Roger Moore as Simon Templer in the 60s tv series The Saint.
I spent all day colourising an army photo for my father, which basically melted my brains, and to top it off I had to take a tablet for my teeth (will I ever forgive the dentist? It's nearly a year since he worked on my teeth and they still ache on me!) which made me sleepy. In the mood for thinking while sketching I was not, so I did this:

This is based on a screenshot from the intro to #33 'The Wonderful War'. 

And I thought I'd also show you the results of my colourisation.
My father purchased a framed set of prints from the dedication of the National Servicemen's Memorial in Canberra, and there was a slot to replace one of the standard prints with a personal photo; he wanted a photo from his time in Malaysia, but being from the 60s they're all in black and white, which would have looked really odd surrounded by modern coloured photos. So I coloured it in, doing my best with an unfortunately rather grainy high-key photo. The result doesn't look completely natural, but it looks pretty good in the frame with the others, if I do say so myself. =)

Roger Moore in 0.5 mechanical pencil with #B lead in a Jasart 'My Memoirs' sketchbook, 1.5 hours.
Photo coloured in Adobe Photoshop CS4. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Illustration: Sleepy Time

The finished Dormice!

I'm quite pleased with how they turned out – it was quite tough refraining from painting them all soft and furry, and sticking with the flatter colours of Caravanning. The two look nice together, and the (long-term) plan is to have four hedgerow pictures, two portrait and two landscape, to make a set. There are things to do before I get round to that, however! 

'Sleepy Time' done in Winsor & Newton and Reeves watercolours and a sepia PITT Artists Pen.
About 15 hours not-so-solid work. Part of that time was due to the higher detail in the nest and berries, and part to my being lazy – it probably should have been more like 10 hours. 

Previous Sleepy Time posts:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sketches: Pride and Prejudice

These continue on from Lady Catherine, being on the next two pages of my sketchbook (the fact that several things have been posted here before these is neither here nor there! =P) 

I was playing around with the 1795 date of the original First Impressions, rather than the 1813 date of Pride and Prejudice. I don't often draw costume from that era, tending to somehow miss the mid-to-late 1790s. Possibly it's because I don't read all that many books set at that time, and my sketchbooks are a pretty good indication of what I'm reading or watching at any given time. So I thought it would be good practice, and pulled out my trusty Costume: 1066 to the Present by John Peacock for inspiration. 

So here we have Lizzy and Jane, Darcy and Bingley. I'm much happier with this Darcy than with this one... but this time I'm not so happy with Jane. Such is life, I suppose. 

I'm currently sketching some Diana Wynne Jones art (Probably quite inaccurately, as it's over a year (0r 78.5 books) since I last read her work) Her books have been on my mind since I heard of her sad death the other day. Naturally this gives me sketching ideas, but as there isn't a Wynne Jones book in the house (scandalous, I know!) I'm working from memory.

And to add a bit of colour to this post, here's a shot of my desk:

I always like to see people's workspaces, so here you can see how very messy everywhere gets towards the end of a painting. You can see the almost completed Dormice here, along with references and lots of paint. 
The Dormice are just awaiting a few final touchups tomorrow, and then they shall be finished, and my desk shall be completely cleared ready to start a coloured pencil portrait commission. 

Sketches in 0.5 mechanical pencil with #B lead in Jasart 'My Memoirs' sketchbook. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sketch: Jorinda

A little character sketch. I'm reading Joan Aiken's Midwinter Nightingale, and this is Jorinda. I'm only halfway through the book, but she appears to not be a particularly nice character, and also not to be entirely sane – but I was taken with the image of someone sitting in a train carriage with a Siamese. 

My costuming is a bit off – I learned after I'd inked this that the setting should be somewhere around 1838-40ish. But it's an alternative universe.... maybe I can blame it on that. =P Also, I clearly should not try to draw Siamese without a reference. That is definitely a wonky cat. 

This isn't actually based on any one quote (and I took artistic licence anyway, as the cat should be in a cage) but here's one that fits:
"The girl who came in gave him an intent, considering look, half frowning, half friendly, before settling herself in the diagonal corner with a swish and a flounce of dark brown velvet skirts and a twitch of her long fur driving coat. She neatly aligned her feet in well-polished boots and the, when she had made herself thoroughly comfortable, gave Simon another long, shrewd scrutiny. [...] Her hair was dark and short and curved close about her head under a fur cap. Her round freckled face was not pretty – her pink cheeks were too plump, her nose and mouth too big – but she looked lively and keen, dimples showed in her cheeks and a pair of dark grey eyes laughed at Simon as she settled a foreign-looking cat in a cage on the seat beside her."        (pg 8-9)

PITT artist's pens (one S, one B) in sepia in a Jasart 'My Memoirs' sketchbook. 
About 1 to 1.5 hours. 


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