Friday, June 27, 2014

Portrait: Kim Novak

Here's a private commission that I just got off my hands today. Normally I don't do commissions of stars, but this client is my one exception

So here we have Kim Novak.
The commissioner really wanted something from Bell, Book and Candle, but most of the publicity shots for that are horrible, so I went with a photo that had a similar sort of vibe. I think it may just be a random publicity shot, not for any particular film as I can't really place the costume (not that I've seen all of her films). It was specified that she look alluring, so I decided on this:

Here's a progress animation showing how it came together:

This is a graphite portrait. I used a 0.5 mechanical pencil with a #B lead, and an #8B solid graphite pencil, along with a selection of blending tools and erasers. For more information on my portraiture tools, please see this tutorial.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Illustration: Snuggles

Here's a little watercolour I did for a baby card. One of my cousins has just had a baby daughter, so this is an imaginary baby (I have not yet seen her, and as yet she has no name) and the family dog, a wire-haired jack russell called Abbey. 

Yellow might not have been my original choice here (the nursery is decked out in black, white and citrus colours) but I think it works. I contemplated doing the pattern on the onesie in black, but decided that it would be too heavy, and that it was better to more cohesive by linking to the brown dog. 

Here's the inked version, pre-watercolour:

And here's the final card:

Artline Drawing System pens and Winsor & Newton watercolours in a Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Illustration: Caterpillar Girl

Here's a quick little piece I did in response to the @Daily_Doodle  'Caterpillar Girl' prompt over on Twitter.

I sketched it out and inked it on Friday night and then added the watercolour Saturday night.
So, going backwards, here is the inked version and the original pencil sketch:

These are only snaps taken with my ipad, I'm afraid. It's freezing here at the moment, and I wasn't about to leave my spot by the heater to come out and scan. =P

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

You can follow me on Twitter at @AleneArt or via the sidebar of this blog for more sketches and progress shots of what I'm working on.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Portrait: Heather

This was a portrait commissioned as a birthday present. The birthday was today, so I can now blog about it. I hear the recipient liked it a lot, too, which pleases me greatly. I like a satisfied customer! 

I didn't take many progress scans (purely due to laziness on my part, my father likes to use the top of the scanner as a shelf, and there was so much stuff on it, and most of the time I couldn't be bothered moving it...) but here's a brief progress animation, with three stages – at 2 hours, 15 hours and 22 hours. 

The original photo reference had a tshirt (visible in the sketch above) but I eventually changed that to a more draped neckline, which I thought gave a more elegant effect and faded into the background better. Most of my time, I must admit, was spent on the hair, which looked rather softer in reality than it does on the scan... 

All up, it took about 22 hours, and I used a #B 0.5 mechanical pencil and an #8 solid graphite pencil, with various blending tools and erasers. For more information on my portraiture materials, you can view my tutorial on deviantArt (I've added cotton makeup remover pads to the lineup since I wrote this back in 2007)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Illustration: Happily Ever After

I'm sure there were more sensible things I could have been doing with my time while waiting on work, but sometimes you just need to do something for no other reason than that you feel like it, and this is one of those things. Plus, I have a brand spanking new lightbox (which I adore) and wanted to try it out!

I had been working on an illustration to go with Galileo's Daughter, but fortunately I didn't get too far. I made a mistake with the start of the watercolour and set it aside to think about... and somehow my dog got up to it and stomped all over it with her muddy paws. And that was the end of that illustration (that's why it was fortunate that I didn't get too far). The world must have been telling me that it was better to just start over! 
However, there was still the other side of the paper, and the Galileo illustration had only taken up half the paper anyway, so I still had half a page of paper, pristine except for some pawprints on the back. So I used it as a companion piece to my earlier Snow White watercolour, because I felt like drawing medieval costume.

I'm not as happy with the prince as I could be, but decided that as he does look rather like old medieval illustrations, he could stay that way. Anyway, does it actually specify 'handsome' anywhere?

Here's the companion piece, Snow White when she is much younger:

I had started a sketch like this a couple of months ago, but abandoned it, so I went back to it and completely redid it so that it worked:

And then I inked it (using my new lightbox. So exciting!)

Most of the inking was done with a Pentel Brush Pen, but a few of the finer details, and the trees, were done with an Artline Drawing System pen. 

And here are a couple of details:

I don't usually go so overboard with the patterns, but it was a lot of fun to make the fabrics really sumptuous.

Winsor and Newton watercolours with Series 7 brushes, Pentel Brush Pen and Artline Drawing System Pens, on Moleskine Watercolour paper. And a tiny bit of Copic Opaque White for a few highlights. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Watercolour: Sleeping Beauty

Still waiting on clients, so I've been able to keep having some fun with daily sketch topics on Twitter. This one was the @sketch_dailies topic a couple of days ago – Sleeping Beauty –, and gave me an excuse to revisit a sketch I did many years ago:

This is done with Winsor & Newton Watercolours and a Pentel Brush Pen in my neglected Moleskine watercolour sketchbook. I'm currently working on a much tighter watercolour, and it was fun to splash around a bit more as a break!

Here's the sketch. I did most of it sitting in bed; there'd been a bit of a fight in the street outside, not a bad one, but I was feeling a bit nervy and wanted to calm down before going to sleep. The next day I made a few adjustments in Photoshop, because I always get wonky proportions when sketching in bed:

And here's the original sketch. I'm not entirely sure when I did it, from the looks of it about 2003, I suppose. I remember liking it at the time, and about 2006 I scanned it into my computer to try and fix it up with full digital colour... but it wasn't doing what I wanted and was abandoned. I think I've definitely improved in the meantime (and so I would hope!)

About one hour altogether, including the sketch... maybe an hour and a half.


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