A quick draw to get in a creative mood for this new beginning of a year. I just picked what colors and themes that came natural. 30 minutes, and I’ve got something that makes me feel good, and helped me to step away from some anxiety I was feeling inside. (I’m sure that’s how that heart got in this thematically.) Pleased with the quick-line portrait work. Fighting back the inertia and moving…into motion! Go fingers and brain, go!
There was a lovely portrait on the front of a recent National Geographic. So, I drew her (my hand work is terrible–need to work on that!) and added a potted plant, because I have been looking at a lot of Hope Gangloff lately, and it made me think of props in her wonderful portraits.
My awesome family bought me a Cintiq! It is the most loveliest, most beautiful, most responsive, happiness-generating piece of equipment I have ever had in my life. Cintiq is a drawing tool. It has a stylus and a pad, and easily enables drawing in digital format. So, instead of drawing with my Fujitsu, which I had a lot of fun with, but it was getting quite old… I now have this super device that uses the power of my existing laptop. That makes it possible for me to run Photoshop, the drawing program, and all kinds of demanding tasks at once, with no fuss. I’m really looking forward to getting more comfortable with this tool, and taking advantage of the power and freedom of movement.
This is the drawing I made today, “Reclining Iris.” To see at a higher resolution, click here.
I took a recent trip to a Daiso store and got some lovely little mechanical pencils. I felt like making a figure portrait with a butterfly in it. The pencils worked out extremely well–one is an HB and the other is a 2B. The shading on the face was particularly rewarding and simple with the softer of the two pencils. I also used some graphite pencils from Ashleigh-Nicole that are very smooth and feel great. This turned out so well that I have a lot of confidence about making more portraits with insects and other animals featured in the future.
This was a simple exercise using the line symmetry tool in Sketchbook Pro. I was trying to represent female hair in as many non-hair shapes I could imagine. I like the simplicity of this–and the view as if from behind.
Did a small, little unfinished figure drawing today. I enjoyed making lots of lines and just letting my brain come up with whatever it felt like. I used a reference photo for a girl in a wrap as a very loose concept. The colors in the wrap and various other squiggly lines that I seem to be obsessed with lately are my brain child. This is very rough, but was relaxing and fun. I’m not super happy with the upper portion of her — her head — but as for her neck and shoulders, and the rest of her physique, I am very pleased with those lines. I may come back to this and add in her facial features, or just leave this as a exercise. Everything doesn’t have to be a polished, finished product.
The full image. You can see her full figure. I especially like the wrap colors!
The same image, but zoomed in and focused on her bust, and the wrap.
A quick drawing after reading some poetry about being submerged and floating. I liked the uncolored the best, but the colored version is emotive in a way, too. The salty watercolor brush gives it some life. I suppose this qualifies as art therapy for me today, with all the swimming / drowning / floating symbolism dreams I’ve been having.
Figures and lines. I missed looking at pictures of lovely naked people. Seeing the form, the contours, all that gorgeous stuff. After I spotted a great reference photo online, I thought why not try it out for fun?
I found a picture of a woman in a bathtub. The intimacy of her, all alone, leaning into the water and stretching across the back of the tub was soothing. She is smiling and happy. There is relaxation and the feeling of the day fading away. This small moment of quiet made me feel so zen. So, I thought, wouldn’t this be great to work with? It’s relatively simple in composition, so I could focus on the few elements (and representative lines) in the picture.
Step One: The Reference Photo
I zoomed in and arranged the composition as I thought it looked best. The image became the background layer. I added Layer One and began to think about getting basic lines down.
Step Two: Basic Lines
The goal in this step is to keep the lines loose, but as faithful as possible to the original image in this beginning stage. I want to feel the lines, and get my brain familiar with the curves as I’m setting up my work in the following steps.
Step Three: Cleaning Up Phase One + Hand-Drawn Lines
This process requires zooming in and out of the image about a million times, and going over areas repeatedly. This is the beginning of artistic expression, as some of the lines get altered based on my preferences and what I wish to feature. I begin thinking in the back of my mind about line weight — how thick or thin I want lines, which represent different aspects of her features. I want to loose the original “seriousness” of the original image trace lines and start to open up, making this my own image, in my own conceived style.
This is as far as I’ve gotten with this project. Step Three will take many more iterations and line cleanings, which will become subsequent steps. I will update this as I work more. I will post the second part of this short sharing tutorial when complete!
We’re packing up and moving down to the more artsy South Bay Area, so I stole some time between packing boxes, scooted onto the floor near a nice natural light area and drew this.
ABOUT THIS PICTURE
8.5″ x 11″, Ink on paper. This started out as figure drawing exercise based on a reference photo of a ballerina bending down to tie her ballet shoes. As I was sketching, my lines got a little crossed (translate: messy) and her legs started looking less and less like what they should based on the reference photo. Instead of starting from the beginning and retrying the sketch, I simply worked with the lines, drawing what looked to me like a flower shape. A concept began to come together — what if she were a Flowerina? I am excited to take this into further directions, likely with some color and some signature types of flowers. So, it goes to show you that creativity comes from unexpected places, and that it is full of “happy little accidents.”