Tag: illustration

5-Step Drawing Walkthrough!

Today is many things: Daniel Boone Day, National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, and National VCR Day.

It is also the day I got around to a walk-through of the illustration below.

 

^ Here’s the final drawing. Click to make it bigger.

If you’re interested in reading and playing along, grab some paper, ballpoints, cheap watercolors, crayons/colored pencils, a Sharpie, and white acrylic paint.

Or you can just read, which is totally easier and involves practically zero effort. It’s what I typically do with other people’s tutorials. I toss cool ideas in the junk drawer of my skull. (Sometimes they even find their way back out.)

Here we go.

^ Optional prep work: Find a reference. You can draw from your imagination if you want, but I often use Flickr Commons (copyright-free images), Sktchy (a phone app, more info here), or Reddit Gets Drawn for starting points.

^ 1. Ballpoint. I used the girl’s face as a reference. Once I was done with the face, the page felt empty, so I drew some other crap. A Minnie Mouse thing happened.

^ 2. Watercolor. I used the source portrait to choose face colors. Afterward, I tried to carry those colors into the rest of the page.

I use a cheap-ass palette like this. It’s quick, easy, and under $5. I guess if I ever grow up, I’ll use the nice ones people have given me.

^ 3. Highlights & lowlights. The watercolor mushed everything into a mid-tone. I added white acrylic touches for highlights. A permanent marker delineated the blackest areas.

^ 4. Screw around. I felt like I needed to make the image more “interesting.” Sometimes doing this irrevocably fucks everything up.

I tried some color-changing crayons I bought on a whim at Target, and they were total trash. They were too waxy and kept snapping. They are dead to me now. After abandoning those crayons, I switched to tri-tone colored pencils my brother got me. They’re a million times better.

You can use anything you want for this part, or skip it altogether.

 ^ 5. Final touches. I went back in with white acrylic and dialed the background back. The “hero” of the piece was mouse-girl, not all that psychedelic dicking around.

You could argue that doing all that work in the background, then painting over it, is pointless. However, I think that the light variation in the background makes it much more interesting than just nothingness.

In Photoshop, I touched up the dark spots in the dress and on her cheek. They’re two small area tweaks, but this isn’t quite the drawing in my physical sketchbook. (See digression below).

I also made the image square so it’d turn out correctly in Instagram and back in Sktchy. (Gotta share it, especially with the girl who was the source material!)

Done!

Thanks for following along! Feel free to join me for a discussion below.

And now for a digression: Is Photoshop “cheating”? Should drawings be presented online exactly as they are in real life? Is the drawing I’ve presented here a “lie”?

When I was in college, a professor told us that our work would be seen online 99% of the time.

Most people are going to catch your latest creations on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, whatever. They’re never going to know you flubbed that line or fucked over your color scheme unless you tell them. The original work can be like me in middle school — untouched, unseen, unneeded. (I went through a really prolonged Ugly Duckling stage.)

I think that the most important thing is to show everyone whatever your vision is. If your materials or your hands betray you, that shouldn’t stop you from expression. So sure, fix those colors. Erase bits. Rearrange things. Split it apart and smash it back together. You aren’t entering the “I Did This By Hand And No Photoshop Came Into Play” contest.

Or are you? If so, ignore this part, you Cheaty McCheat-Pants. You’re a horrid person.

5 Acrylic-Infused Sketchbook Spreads! Plus a digression about Laika the Space Dog that’s actually sort of depressing. Sorry about that.

It’s a beautiful Friday! Let’s celebrate with some sketchbook pages.

I can’t draw snails. I don’t even think I have a good idea in my head of how they’re supposed to work. They’re one of the Universe’s weirder offerings. Who came up with  that crap?

Looking at you, Darwin. What niche could that possibly be filling? The “crazy slimy bullshit with an impossible-to-draw shell” demographic?

I draw; then I paint; then I draw some more, just in case. My favorite part of this spread is the upper right corner. I love the dog astronaut.

Speaking of dog astronauts: do you want to be depressed? If yes, read the Wikipedia article Laika the Russian Space Dog. It contains heretofore-unknown horrors. I had not known those horrible facts about that poor animal, its conditions, or its death.

If you’re okay with the way your day was, actually, skip ahead to the next spread and its pithy title.

 

I call this spread “Furries: After Dark.”

Read More 5 Acrylic-Infused Sketchbook Spreads! Plus a digression about Laika the Space Dog that’s actually sort of depressing. Sorry about that.

5 Collage-Infused Sketchbook Spreads, Psychologically Examined

Sometimes I look at blank pieces of paper and hiss “stop stressing me out.”

I take them and slap some ripped-up magazines or whatever on top so that insidious whiteness can’t assault me any more. Then I usually glue or draw figures on top, because every page winds up needing some kind of character living on it. Abstraction never feels right on its own.

There are people out there who specialize in looking at what artists choose to draw and draw inferences (pun intended) accordingly.

“If you sketch weird or ugly faces, you are probably mistrustful.”

Uh-oh.

“One who is sensitive to living creatures, the type of animal is a great deal about the mood of the doodler and often the type that the person wants to be (ex: tiger means desire to be courageous, snake means sneaky).” What does a snake crawling out of a totem pole man-bird mean?

“Drawing Several Flowers in Order: desire to see sense of family/togetherness.” (source) What does that mean? And what happens if the flowers are the tail of some kind of ragweed-nightmare mermaid?

Drawing food allegedly indicates “need for love, desire to be filled up, of course it might indicate hunger/thirst.” (source) Hunger/thirst? Yep. I’m always starving.

My choice to draw a hermit crab means “slowness, lack of self-confidence, more introverted tendencies.” (source). True enough!

“Creating spontaneous cartoons aids in information processing. Doodlers who are able to portray emotion in simple drawings are great at discerning customer experience and behavior.” (source) False.

Hit and miss, but pretty interesting anyway!

May you all find deep psychological truths in your illustrations, Internet.

5 Witchy-Woman Sketchbook Spreads

Witches: true demonic evil, or just “nasty women”?

In celebration of the Women’s March, I present a variety of witches.

My favorite drawing here isn’t the gauged-ear witch (whoops, ears uneven), but the wonderful updo on the lass on the right. It’s very Something About Mary.

The mink shawl is thrilled to be there. The other girl was promised ice cream at this party, and isn’t sure if it’s awkward to leave. Is the ice cream coming later?

This page is a lot of things happening all at once. Mostly a bunch of eyes where they don’t belong, à la Guillermo del Toro.

Technically? No witches here. Just badass bitches.

I suspect the woman on the left is a vampire. The rabbits, however? Casting spells. Mostly fertility ones.

Thumbs-up to everyone who marched this weekend!

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5 Ink Brush Paintings From My Sketchbook

I’ve begun the arduous frenzy of scanning my last sketchbook. The scanner yawns and shrieks as the images get slurped into the digital realm. I love to touch the pages, feel the bumps of the acrylic and gouges of quill pens, before each scan.

My entire home is filled with skulls. Fanciful depictions, not real ones. My husband has a “no corpses in the house” policy.

^ I can’t remember precisely why I drew this little rabbit boy, but I suspect it had something to do with my in-laws’ tradition of cycling through A Christmas Story repeatedly over the holidays.

Both “dodo” and “poop” are funny words.

Even sideshow carnies need nice home decor. Perhaps especially sideshow carnies.

We lost Gene Wilder this year. I had to take a moment to celebrate Willie Wonka. And the Oompa Loompas.

God love the Oompa Loompas.

Any suggestions for what to draw next?

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