Monday, May 30, 2011

Painting: Tara

I finished this in April, but cleared off my desk for some educational publishing work, and pretty much forgot all about it. 

This is Linda Thorson as Tara King in The Avengers. The original photo is from Marcus Hearne's The Avengers: A Celebration, and I used it to take a bit of a break (I find most portraits quite relaxing), and practice my watercolouring, patterned fabrics, and being looser with my paints. 

This piece is purely watercolour (barring a tiny bit of gouache in her hair), not mixed media, which I've previously resorted to for painted portraits.  Not slaving over every little detail was a bit tricky, but I think it paid off, and I'm pretty pleased with it. 

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sketches: Little Girls

I've been seeing a lot of very cute little girls around lately (it must be something about the cooler weather, but the world seems positively overrun with small girls in coats and tutus and stockings and lots of layers.) I've been sketching down the cutest as quick gesture sketches in my sketchbook for future reference, but yesterday my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook arrived in the mail, so I did a couple of little girls in that to try it out. 

This one was done mainly with Ecoline ink and a little watercolour (outlines with an Artline Drawing System 0.1). For coloured sketches like this I prefer Ecolines, but the colours didn't scan very well, unfortunately. 

She was inspired by a fashion spread in a parenting magazine my mother (who is a teacher) had out from the library, and which I flicked through over lunch. A similar coat and skirt appeared (separately) in that, and I put them together when I was thinking of costume options. I also wanted to draw a skirt flipping up at the back when held down at the front – possibly the product of looking at too many hooped skirts in a costume book. =P

This was my first attempt in the new sketchbook, from a sketch titled 'The Knighthood' in my pencil sketchbook. I like the pencil version better, actually. I think I used too thick a pen. 
The dog became a teddy bear in the coloured version, as that was what was originally supposed to be there.... until I changed my mind. 
Winsor and Newton watercolours, outlines with a sepia PITT artist's pen. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Illustration: The Little Mermaid

Here's my finished Little Mermaid illustration; She's visiting the Sea Witch (I hope that's clear enough =P)

(Click for a clearer view)

I started this quite some time ago, based on a sketch I did after seeing a programme on the deep sea on tv, and thinking how well an angler fish would work as the Sea Witch.

I think this sketch was done around June or July 2009, but I didn't date it. 
I'd had the idea for a mermaid with a jellyfish lantern for quite some time, so I decided to put the two together. I'd also seen underwater vents in the tv programme (whatever it was) and thought they would make a suitable lair for the witch. I wanted to steer away from the Disney version; Although I love a good Disney film, it's sad to see so many books published which are evidently highly influenced by Disney. There are so many red-haired Little Mermaids, so many short-haired Snow Whites – I prefer to see different versions. 

I started a digital illustration, soon after, but it wasn't high on my list of priorities, and languished on my desktop for quite a while. I picked it up again in November last year, and then again recently, to finish it off. 

Some details:

And here's an animation showing my progress from start to finish:

I usually start with a pencil sketch, but I worked directly on the computer for this image. 

Photoshop CS4 with a Wacom Intuos 3

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sneak Peek: Little Mermaid 2

Remember the sneak peek of the Little Mermaid I posted way back in November last year? Well, here she is again. I got busy with work, and it also got a bit too hot to sit at the computer for hours on end unless I had to, so I put this image on hold. But I've picked it back up again now and it's nearly finished:

Photoshop CS4 with a Wacom Intuos 4

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sketch: A Lot of Hair

I posted this last night, but it appears to have completely vanished, which is a bit bizarre. So here we go again. I apologise if this turns out to be a repeat broadcast.

A little warm-up to get me back into drawing mode. I've been sick for over a week; just got over a sinus infection, and I caught a nasty cold, so for several days I didn't even pick up a pencil. On wednesday I curled up with the tisses and the dvd of Tangled, which was just released here, and discovered through the special features that it's apparently set in the 18th century. Now, I love the movie, but surely there's a missed opportunity here? What's the one thing everyone knows about 18th century fashion? Right – Biiiig hair. With boats in. 

So I sketched this. It's a long time since I did anything with really silly elaborate hair, so it was fun and relaxing to do. I didn't really base it on any 18th century hairstyles – the closest I got to those is the general bouffiness and the looped ringletty things. But I managed to include not only a boat, but also a tower and a magical flower. I could have gone taller, but I was using an A6 offcut of my least-favourite watercolour paper, and ran out of room. I used a screenshot as reference for the face, and looked at The Art of Tangled for the boat, tower and flower, but mostly I just had fun going crazy with the hair. 

PITT artists' pens in sepia on watercolour paper, coloured in Photoshop CS4 with a Wacom Intuos 3, with an overlayed texture from, as the paper texture didn't scan too well. 
1 to 1.5 hours, maybe a tad more. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Illustration: Royal Wedding

I love drawing weddings, and how often does the opportunity come about when the groom isn't in black? I'd spent nearly two weeks working almost exclusively in Adobe Illustrator and equally exclusively in sophisticated, rather muted colours. I needed a break from the computer and the colours, and so took the opportunity to break out my wonderfully un-subtle Ecoline inks. 

This was intended as a very quick little ink and pencil piece, just as a break, but I was kicked out of the room (oh, for an office of my own!) so my father could watch something on the tv in here, and was packed off to sit with my mother, who wanted to watch Midsomer Murders. So I was left with the better part of two hours in which to do my sketch – I could use Ecolines while working on my lap in the lounge room, but I foresee disaster =P – and so this ended up as something rather more detailed than was first planned. 

Not based on any one photo, but rather on a lot of separate ones from Friday and Saturday's wedding supplements in the West Australian

A4, Artline Drawing System 0.1 in black, Ecoline inks, Winsor & Newton watercolours and a touch of Prismacolour pencils. Around four leisurely, unhurried hours. 


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