Thursday, May 23, 2013

Illustration: Circus Parade!

Here's a new portfolio piece. I've got a portfolio review coming up soon, and this is intended to take advantage of an A3 page (so it doesn't look its best online, alas). 

Click for a larger view!

Here are some details:

I wanted to show a lot of action and different characters and animals all at once. Doing all of that directly onto a piece of paper would be a recipe for tearing my hair out, so I did my initial work in Photoshop, with everything on separate layers so I could move it all around and resize if need be. I shaded everything grey so I could see the general shapes more clearly amongst all the linework:

I then printed it out (without the shading) and did my second draft on layout paper; I find it easier to draw on paper than on a computer, I can do more details.

I scanned that in and outlined everything in Photoshop on one layer, with another layer for the shadows. I coloured in flat colours using the multiply mode and then duplicated that and put it to 'overlay' so that the shadows didn't appear muddy. And once all that was done, I used a few more layers to add the streamers, confetti and balloons and other details, such as glitter. I toyed with putting a big top in the background, but it ended up being far too busy (it's busy as it is, being a circus parade and all, but there are limits! =P)

Adobe Photoshop CS6 with a Wacom Intuos 3. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

SketchDump: Fashion

I've been suffering from a bit of Artist's Block lately. It doesn't strike very often, but when it does it's always at the most inconvenient of moments, naturally. So here are a few warm-up sketches I've done lately:

I'd been doing a few more 'What I wore' sketches. The quote accompanying this one is "Your hair looks terrible. It's all over the place!" My father is so complimentary. >.< I'm way overdue for a haircut and sometimes curl my hair to keep it out of my face. Here I had thrown on a blazer to dress up my jeans when going out for Thai.
30 minutes, Photoshop CS6.

Just drawing myself is a bit boring, so here's a sketch of the granddaughter of an honorary Aunt and Uncle. She goes to a church school which doesn't have a ball, but I was sent a photo of what she wore for her formal dinner.  
30 minutes, Photoshop CS6.

Another 'What I wore' sketch. This time the quote is "Are you a model?" to which I replied, "Good Heavens, no!" but it's nice to know random little old ladies think I might be (even though that's probably more failing eyesight than anything else =P) My skirt is vintage Sportscraft, which was passed down from my Great Aunt to my mother to me; in reality it looks a lot nicer...
30 minutes, Photoshop CS6. 


And here's a speedpaint of Deanna Durbin. I've been watching her movies lately. 
20 minutes, Photoshop CS6.

Finally, here's a peek at my latest needle felting project, very much unfinished:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sketch: What I Wore

I see the What I Wore meme going round, so thought I'd give it a go as well. I've been working in Illustrator for the past couple of days, and the continual use of just click-and-drag to make pictures can make me yearn for doing something more scribbly – so that is exactly what we have here, me mucking about with a chalky brush in Photoshop.

It was really wintery and very stormy today, so I rugged myself up when I went out for my piano lesson. The coat is a swing coat my mother made from a Butterick Retro (I think) pattern and with the addition of a cossack I bought in Adelaide last year I'm told I looked rather Russian, hence the speech bubble. (Apart from 'da' and 'nyet', 'dasvidaniya' is about the only word I know in Russian. I'm a child of the 90s, I grew up with Anastasia on VHS. ^.^)

I have a hearing aid, and am thus nervous of being out in the rain without a hat to keep the wet off my ears. This naturally means I have to have a large collection of hats (such a trial! =P)

Adobe Photoshop CS6 with a Wacom Intuos 3 – somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes. 

Related 'What do you mean I'm supposed to actually follow fashion?' painting: In the Rain

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Needle Felting: Teddybear

I started this before my needle felted mouse, but left it half finished when I didn't feel like working on fiddly details. It's been finished for a few days now, so I'm blogging it. =)

It's jointed with seed beads, so I made all the parts separately. The scarf was knitted by my mother, who wanted to help. I think it's about 5 stitches in laceweight yarn. I added the extra beads for a bit of bling. 

There's a tail, but it's not very visible.

And as it is jointed it can be posed: 

Tagging along, here's an unfinished flamingo. I did this just after my needle felted wren but it's not yet complete; I haven't yet decided what to do about the base. I was playing around with wire armatures with this, although the legs came out a bit thick. And as my wool choices are currently limited I shaded the feathers and beak with acrylic paint

Here's another angle:

Merino wool with 'fine' and 'coarse' needles, and misc plastic and glass beads.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Watercolour: Oscar

Our dog was put down last week. He was nearly seventeen and a half, blind and deaf, and he had dementia and his back was going (and his teeth smelt awful) so it was time for him to go, but it was still very sad. He was really quite an objectionable little dog, and never much liked me, but I loved him even so and now the house is very empty indeed, especially as I work from home and am often alone. It doesn't help that we were so used to being aware of him, as for the past year and more he'd been unable to differentiate between inside and outside, and would leave puddles (and worse) all over the house; every time he moved we'd swoop and take him outside and we're still in the habit of checking the floors and closing all the doors and keeping an eye out.  

I did this little watercolour partly because I wanted to do a little painting of him, and partly to be used for some thank you cards – some friends gave me an extremely sweet little charm to remember him by, so like Oscar, right down to the placement of the brown spots. It was so nice of them, and cards were definitely required. 

The text I added today, a week after the original painting. I need to work on my creative lettering...

Here's a look at the finished cards, and the photo I was using as reference. 

Windsor & Newton watercolours in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook. The text is in a brown Artline pen. 


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