Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Illustration: Fairies

I wanted to use the Fairy sample I did back in April in my portfolio, and wanted something more illustrative to go with it. As I already had a whole sketched fairy, and had designed the character of the little girl, I came up with something that would use what I'd already done.

Here's a look at my process:

I did a rough sketch on paper to work out where I wanted things:

As I had lots of overlapping characters I then scanned this in so that I could draw each character separately and move them around to get the best effect. At this point my computer decided to completely give up the ghost, so I had to use an old laptop and an old tablet... resulting in less than stellar sketching. =P One of the fairies is lifted directly from my original sketching in April:

I printed that out and used layout paper to draw over the top until I had a sketch I was happy with:

Then I traced it onto watercolour paper, and inked with fineline pens:

Now I could finally break out the watercolours:

When I'd finished painting I took it into Photoshop to add some fairydust.

Winsor & Newton watercolours with Series 7 brushes on Moleskine watercolour paper, Artline Drawing System pens, white acrylic, Adobe Photoshop CS6.

I'm not entirely sure how long it took, being as it was interrupted by one dying computer, one new computer that had to be set up, and one migraine.... probably somewhere in the region of 15 – 20 hours. 


  1. I hate the during art Migraines. I'm always so anxious to finish I just suffer and suffer, thinking I'll take meds in a in a moment...

    Anyways this is very nice work. I've never used Moleskin, really for anything but I see it everywhere now. Do you like it or was this you testing it out?

    1. If I did that there would be a disaster, I'd probably throw up all over what I was doing or something – the only thin for it is to lie down and lament over what I should be doing instead. =P

      I like Moleskine. I started off using the sketchbooks, and then added some small watercolour sketchbooks to my collection; I really liked the watercolour paper, so I ordered in a big A3 watercolour sketchbook for use on big pieces. This means I have to cut pages out of the cover, which feels a bit wrong, but it comes out considerably cheaper than buying a watercolour pad at the art store, and I like the paper better than any of the pads I've tried. Its fairly smooth, but still has some texture, and the colours stay nice and clear. It doesn't buckle too much either, less, in fact, that some 300gsm I have. Since I never manage to stretch watercolour paper, this is definitely a bonus! =P



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