Monday, October 31, 2011

Sketch: Little Witch

I don't usually pay much attention to Halloween, but it seems to be everywhere this year, so I thought I might make my evening's sketching thematic. Although I don't think this comes under the heading of 'scary', by any means. =P I was rather influenced by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite when it comes to witches, and though I wasn't thinking of her, I think it still shows, years after I last drew one. 

So here we have a 30 minute Photoshop sketch, texture from Could be better, but I don't hate it enough to prevent my posting it. =)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Progress: Matt Smith

If you're interested in Dr Who, you might remember my saying that I had plans to do a portrait of Matt Smith back when I did this silly little sketch. This was partly because I'd previously done three other Doctors, and partly because I was going to be demonstrating portraiture at the Kelmscott Annual Show and wanted someone more in the popular consciousness than a 30s film star. 

I'm quite picky when it comes to references for specific characters (as opposed to just people) and rarely go with promotional photographs. I prefer screenshots, so I went through a number of episodes from Series 5 until I found one I liked. I also gathered other references, which I printed out, as the laptop I usually use for my references was not going to be with me while demonstrating. Working from a screenshot (especially a printed screenshot) means the reference isn't very clear, so high-quality pics of the same person are a great help. 

The gridded black and white reference (which I was enlarging from A4 to A3) is a mixture of three shots. The Doctor from "Cold Blood", a promotional shot of David Tennant looking out of the Tardis door (sans Tennant) and a promotional shot of the inside of the series 5 Tardis. I slapped them together rather haphazardly in Photoshop, so I knew what I was doing.

I sketched everything out and started with one eye on Thursday, just so that I wouldn't be starting cold, and people wouldn't be faced with what, from a bit of a distance, looked just like a blank piece of paper. Then I left it alone until today, when I demonstrated all day, starting at 11am, and stopping only for lunch and tea, until 8.30pm. It wasn't quite solid work, as naturally I talked to a lot of people.

And here is the result so far:

It's a bit wonky still; I was without my clear laptop-references, without my nice desk lamp, or any sort of directed light, and stopping and starting all the time. But all things considered, I think it's coming along pretty well.

I'm demonstrating at a different Show tomorrow, but haven't decided whether it would be best to continue with Matt Smith or revert to an old half-completed Myrna Loy or Clara Bow, which have been languishing in my sketchbook for ages. I'll see how it goes. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finished Christmas Cards

I actually finished these last week, but things also got rather hectic around then, and I didn't manage to photograph them until today. 

I chose to turn the window illustration into a 'framed miniature' - you can possibly see by the shadow that the bottom is raised up with a little double-sided foam tape, while the top is stuck down firmly, with a ribbon bow. There's also some white glitter making up the snow – not very noticeable, but adds a little sparkle when the card catches the light.

The blue wrens are constructed more simply – but have much more noticeable glitter. 

All together they make up quite a hefty pile (the windows take up extra room because of all that foam tape =P) and they're being stored in my cupboard until it's time to write in them. If you look closely in this photo you'll see a variety of other cards from my cardmaking orgy this afternoon; 12 misc cards for a client, and three family birthday cards that need to be sent off this week. Plus one special occasion card that I did on the weekend. 

My life seems rather full of cards at the present moment....

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sketch: Headdress

The more I have to do, the more I just want to sit down and draw something really unnecessary and elaborate..... and this is the result, from a little bit of me time while I was producing cards and BLM illustrations and graphics. It was nice to do something just for the sake of ending up with something pretty. =)

I may end up colouring it, not sure at this stage.

About 45 minutes over two evenings, 0.5 mechanical pencil in A5 Jasart 'My Memoirs' sketchbook.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Progress: Christmas Cards

Progress has been made! I finished off the scarlet robin cards on Monday night - it took about three hours to put 40 of them together, including cutting the paper down and everything, and another hour to produce 12 generic cards with photos of flowers and the like, for the same client. Happily I have a large selection of flower photos for just that sort of purpose. 

Here's a photo of one of the finished cards, nestled in one of our bottlebrush trees, which seemed an apt place:

I have also finished off the blue wren cards. Not as happy with them as the robins, but they're not too bad. When I went and got the robins printed I also ran off 50 blue wrens and 50 window cards – and spent the better part of yesterday evening cutting them all out. I now have everything ready for assembly. I'm looking forward to getting the red glitter on the baubles; it really lifts the cards. =)

Previous posts:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Progress: Yet More Christmas Cards

The start of a little something by way of parent-appeasement. They were perfectly happy with the Christmas cards I designed for this year until they saw these ones. So I thought I'd try and whip up something similar, and have two card designs for this year. I want to go with a blue theme this year (for several years our cards have been red) so have gone with a splendid fairy wren. 

Blue wrens take a bit longer than scarlet robins – this has taken me 1 hour 20 so far (yet again reusing that long-suffering bauble) and I've still got a fair bit to do.
I haven't yet decided what colour to do the background, blue will make it too heavy overall... I may well move the bauble more to the right as well; I'm not sure that I'm happy with the balance at the moment. I didn't start with a sketch, which is often not the best of ideas. =P

Adobe Photoshop CS4 with a Wacom Intuos 3


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