Saturday, March 21, 2015

Illustration: Princess Nest

I was watching Tony Robinson's Walking Through History the other day, and as he was in Pembrokshire he touched on the story of Nest ferch Rhys (c.1085–1136) who is commonly referred to as The Helen of Wales. I'd not heard of her before, and thought she had an interesting story, so used her as a topic for a sketch. 

I had some fun researching beauty ideals of the 12th century, because I wanted to try drawing a more accurate medieval woman, rather than one influenced by our modern standards of appearance. 

I used a number of sources, but here's a more amusing simple introduction. Since Nest was around at the turn of the 12th century, I didn't go with the later 'hairless' look, as braids were a common Norman hairstyle at that time – anyway, if seeing some hair was a bit on the steamy side, that's definitely appropriate for her! 

I coloured it up for Colour Collective on Twitter. I like my sketch better, I think, but this isn't too bad:

The theme colour this week was Mustard Yellow, so I kept everything with a yellowish hue except her eyes, to make them stand out. 

Sketch with a 0.5 Mechanical Pencil with #B Lead in a Moleskine Sketchbook
Colouring in Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 with a Wacom Intuos Pro 5

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Illustration: Anne

This is the piece I did for Colour Collective's 'warm grey' theme. I don't have any warm grey paint (I do have cool grey though) so I decided to digitally paint over a sketch I had done earlier in the week.

“Prettier musings of high-wrought love and eternal constancy, could never had passed along the streets of Bath, than Anne was sporting with from Camden Place to Westgate Buildings. It was almost enough to spread purification and perfume all the way.”

Jane Austen, 'Persuasion'

I was so busy that I only managed to post a small work in progress at the time, but I kept working on it on and off over the next few days. I didn't want to work it up too much, or worry about it too much, but I did want to finish it. I mucked about with drawing bushes a la Eyvind Earle, and generally just enjoyed being rather scribbly with my chalky brush (having spent all week doing tight ink outlining).

Here's the original sketch:

And here's the little wip that I originally posted on Twitter:

Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 with a Wacom Intuos Pro 5

Monday, March 9, 2015

Illustration: Belle

Here's a quick little portrait of Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast

I did the original sketch while watching the film a week ago. I'd been watching Broadchurch with my mother, and really needed some Disney as an antidote. I used to draw Belle a lot when I was teaching myself to draw at around age 9–13, so it was nice to revisit her. I don't do much fan-art these days, and when I do, it's always because I need a proper break from anything that could be considered 'work'. 

I coloured the sketch yesterday; I had a very nasty headache, and just felt like doing some colouring in where I didn't have to think and it wouldn't matter if I mucked it up. It was done in an hour (after roughly 15 minutes for the sketch) using the 'rough round bristle' Photoshop brush, which is my favourite for work like this. 

Adobe Photoshop CC with a Wacom Intuos Pro

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Illustration: The Floral Dress

I'm shamefully late with my birthday thank you cards this year (partially because I was waiting to see how many I should make, as I didn't see many people actually on my birthday, but mostly because I've been busy), so when the Twitter Colour Collective theme came up as 'Pale Pink' I decided that I'd do a little picture that I could use for the cards. I liked the thank you cards I'd done for Christmas, so kept with that general theme and style, although this girl is more late-twenties-early-thirties Hollywood Starlet than the early-sixties of the Christmas ones. I think the bottom of her dress is probably a profusion of pink tulle....

It was fun to work with such a pink colour palette. I like pink, but I don't often use it when painting; I should use it more. 

The version I submitted for Colour Collective was a bit rougher than this as I was in a hurry. I gave it a bit of a tidy up today before I printed out my cards:

And here's my original sketch, done while watching Tony Robinson's Walking Through History (so I was a bit distracted and made her head too big >.>)

Adobe Photoshop CC with a Wacom Intuos Pro, over around two, two and a half hours, I think.


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