Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Illustration: Reading

The latest of my little watercolur paintings, done in odd moments over the last three days, and finished up while I was waiting for some job info to come through this afternoon. 

Artline Drawing System pens and Winsor & Newton watercolours in Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook.

I'm making a small series of quick watercolours of children; previously was Ready For Anything.

If anyone wants to see the linework for this, just let me know. =)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Misc Sketches 2

Some more miscellaneous sketches. 

Some family friends holidaying in Canada sent me a lovely photo of a historical dress (it looked to be 1900s-ish) as they know I love historical costume, so I wanted to do a sketch based around it. 
This is the result:

And here are two pages filled with random sketching.

This lot was started while I was accompanying my father to a doctor's appointment so I was sitting in the waiting room. The little girl was sitting across from me, playing her DS in a variety of poses, although this is the only one I caught. 
The Roman-esque girl started as a doodle with big hair (I'd seen a lot of big 80s perms just prior), and the chair I saw on an episode of Time Team. The medieval woman was also inspired by that. 

And these are some sketches from today's Weekend West. One Thai dancer, and a bunch of kids. It's easier than stalking real children and hoping you don't offend their parents. =P 

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

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sneak Peek: Bawang Putih

Here's a peek at a portfolio illustration I'm currently working on. It's a double page spread storybook illustration for the Malay Peninsular folktale Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, which is a Cinderella variant, quite similar to the Chinese variant, known as Yeh-Shen, but instead of golden shoes, Bawang Putih has a magic swing that only moves when she sings, which captivates the prince. I thought that was a lovely image, so chose that scene as my subject.

Since the beautiful Malaysian national dress really only came into existence in the 1790s, and dress worn before then was a bit on the dull side, I've smoodged together aspects of a number of traditional costumes from various Malaysian states with the Kemban, the sarong-like garment worn in more ancient times. So we're not exactly accurate, but it's a fairytale, so it doesn't really have to be. 
This is good practice for backgrounds – I've never done a rainforest type of background before, and trees have never been my strong point. I'm getting good use out of the reference photos I shot (on the offchance) when in Malaysia last year.

Adobe Photoshop CS4 with Wacom Intuos 3

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Illustration: Showgirl

We went to see WAAPA's (The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) performance of Crazy for You on Tuesday night, which was great fun. Lots of Gershwin music and a silly plot. =) It also included Showgirls, and I realised that despite my large musicals collection, I have never drawn one. I think the closest I've come was an arial gymnast while watching the Sydney Olympics opening ceremony - back in 2000. It was ....not good.... =P 

So after the show I doodled this Showgirl in my Watercolour Moleskine, and I inked it the next evening, while accompanying my mother to her quilting evening. Because of this, my lines aren't as crisp as usual - the table was very wobbly. 

I watercoloured it this afternoon, and just now I digitally coloured it, as I'd run out of actual work to do for the moment. I've got to do something while waiting for feedback, so I tried out an attempt at the 'painting on cardboard' look.

Artline pens in Moleskine Watercolour sketchbook, Winsor and Newton watercolours with Prismacolour coloured pencils, Sailor White Writer and PITT Artist's Pen in gold. 
Digital version done in Adobe Photoshop CS4 with Wacom Intuos 3. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Illustration: Ready For Anything

Here's a quick little piece I whipped up in spare moments over the last two days. I'm still practicing kids. 

I did the sketch and most of the inking while watching tv on Sunday night. I'd been planning on watercolouring it too, but I was called off to tech-support for an uncle, which ate up my time. So I did my watercolouring as a warm-up before work today, and then (after I'd done six work-related pictures and decided to call it a day) I thought I'd try the effect of digital colouring as well. So here you see the linework and two colour variations. 

The sketch and inking took maybe an hour and a half all up, with Artline Drawing System pens in 0.1 and 0.4 weights in my Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook. (No reference)
The watercolouring was done with Winsor and Newton watercolours, and took about half an hour. 
The digital colouring was done in Adobe Photoshop CS4 with a Wacom Intuos 3 and took about 40 minutes. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Illustration: Much Ado About Nothing

This is not a new illustration, rather, it's from June 2009. I'm in the process of updating my website, and this has lost its place in my official colour portfolio so that the number of pictures is kept to a manageable size. But I still like it, and it's not posted anywhere else, so I thought I'd blog it. 

It's an illustration for Act 3 Scene 1 of Much Ado About Nothing, which is one of my favourite of Shakespeare's plays. Hero and Ursula are gossiping especially so that Beatrice can overhear them.

"Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing of the false sweet bait that we lay for it – No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful."

I liked my original sketch for this better than the finished piece; I love the colours, but the characters lost something during the inking phase.

And here's a companion piece for Act 2 Scene 1, which is remaining in my black and white portfolio for now. But they do go together, so I'm adding it to the post. This time it's witty banter at the party:

"Will you have me, my lady?"
"No, my Lord, unless I might have another for working-days; Your grace is too costly to wear every day."

Two years before I did these pieces, I'd done a set of four posters on Shakespearean quotes for an educational publisher. Most of them were modern in theme, and they were very text-heavy, which was challenging. I think I ended up doing these illustrations more so I could have a chance to do Shakespearean pictures with proper costumes (and to prove that I understood the plays well enough for illustration purposes) than anything. 

Act 3 was inked on bristol board with sepia ink and a dip pen, and painted with Winsor & Newton watercolours and Prismacolour pencils.
Act 2 is graphite on Quill sketching paper. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sketches: Dr Who

I recently realised that I hadn't actually done any sketching from Doctor Who in anything approaching recent memory. The last Doctor Who pic I did was a portrait of David Tennant (which I was never even remotely happy with) in 2007 to accompany a portrait of Christopher Eccleston that I'd done previously. I love to sketch people and I grew up watching Doctor Who, so the lack of sketching had to be remedied. 
I have plans to do a full portrait of Matt Smith as the doctor later this year, when I'm doing a live portraiture demonstration, but in the meantime, he's awfully fun to sketch. So here's my tv sketching from this evening:

I want to get better at caricaturing people into my style (and pushing that style a bit, too), so a couple of these were trying to head in that direction, and the others were just semi-realistic sketching (especially the top centre of Matt Smith and Karen Gillan). All bar that little one in the lower right corner were referenced from screenshots I took of episodes in Season 5. 
These were done with a 0.5 mechanical pencil with a #B lead in a Jasart 'My Memoirs' sketchbook. 

Also, here are some ink and Ecoline sketches I did of the main Season 6 cast, referenced from publicity photos, as experiments in ink outlines and single-colour washes. 

These did not want to scan, and they weren't too happy about being photographed, either, so quality is low and not indicative of what they look like in person. Which is a shame; they're nothing stellar, but they do look a bit better offscreen. 
Artline 0.1 and Ecoline ink (in red, brown and yellow) in a Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Misc Sketches

Sketch dump time!

Here are a number of sketches that I've been working on over the past month or so. None of them are particularly stella, so I thought I'd share them all at once. 

1. A Tangled sketch in my watercolour Moleskine. I'd been doing work-sketching all day, and wanted something brainless to do. Since I'd also been annotating some Tangled music for piano, my music book was to hand, and the promotional shot this is based on was in it. 
(Pitt Artists's pens in Sepia, and Winsor & Newton watercolours)

2. A small sketch done after 'Lavender's Blue' rolled around on my shuffle.

3. Redesigning Adele's costume. I'm thinking of redoing one of my honours pictures featuring her, and thought she needed a dress redesign. 

4. Two cats inspired by my uncle's very fat tabby (who unfortunately instantly ran away, so these aren't very realistic) and two life drawings of my dog, who has taken to sleeping with his back end right off his cushion. 

5. And lastly, Eleanor Powell in Born To Dance, ref from

I'm curious, which do you like best? 


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