Practicing with some workflow concepts—changing from paper to digital. I made a simple drawing of a rose and some sage leaves that I had on my desk. I liked the layout and the composition. I kept wanting to add more, but I made myself stop, realizing it was just enough.
This was a short study in using simple lines to convey depth and perspective. I didn’t pre-measure, just launched in to the drawing, using my hands and eyes. I am still working on developing the connectivity between what my eyes see and what I can bring to paper. I’m sure this is going to be an ongoing process, with many iterations, for the rest of my life. I’m happy with this because I was able to get so much out of it being minimal in my approach. (To view at a higher resolution, click here.)
This drawing is based on a picture I took. I visited a local quarry. It was so pretty! I was enchanted with the light and dark of the landscape, and the planes of the rocks. This is a study sketch that I felt came out really well. (To view at a higher resolution, click here.)
I am revisiting some of my earliest portrait sketches this week. Aubrey, drawn in June 2015, is what I began working on today. It was a short drawing session, but I can already tell that it was helping me edit the sketchy-sketchy lines in the original drawing. I like seeing her in block-style black-and-white contrast. I tend to really enjoy line drawings with just a touch of watercolor effect, and that is what I’ll be doing the rest of week! Enjoy her second rebirth as a digital artwork!
Aubrey’s first set of definitive digital lines.
Aubrey’s second set of lines, showing the underdrawing.
Aubrey, solid digital lines with underdrawing removed.
After looking at lots of fantastic photography featuring female models with swirly hair, I felt like drawing a woman with fantastic hair! I also made an effort to use different line thickness—to accentuate certain features. I also like the idea of making contour lines bold—a technique my favorite portrait artist (Anthony Ryder) uses that I think enlivens any portrait work. “Lily” took on the style of Art Nouveau, but I think that she is beautiful, and for a two-hour freehand drawing, really encouraging.
A Facebook friend of mine, a few weeks ago, looked at my T-rex line drawing and said, “I would wear that as a t-shirt if it said, “Half of all t-rexes were female,”” so yesterday and today I’m playing with the idea. I downloaded the Jurassic Park font, threw it on there, and began manipulating in Photoshop. This is a fun concept. In a weird way, I’m not sure what the slogan means exactly, but it seems feminist-empowering. Plus, I realized I had not once thought about a T-rex being female, always assumed male. Which do you like better: bright green or dark green?
radial symmetry, noun, BIOLOGY:
symmetry around a central axis, as in a starfish or a tulip flower.
Digital art. I spent some time playing with the radial symmetry tool in Sketchbook Pro. I selected 16 points of radial symmetry, (for extra credit – see: forms of radial symmetry in nature) the scale ranging from 6 to 16, and got these lovely, intricate, fun flower shapes. I used a watercolor pen on a lower layer and added some color to be more cheerful and dynamic. This was just a calm and meditative thing to do — I might very well take up making these in the future, just for relaxation. I love flowers — so this was great.
After living on a sailboat for seven months, I’ve developed a friendly relationship with a sweet pair of Mallard Ducks. They were wary at first, but after repeated feedings and sweet-talking, they are our little pets. I see them a few times a day, either paddling their feet in the water up to the back of the boat, or what has happened a lot more recently, they’re standing on the dock, waddling up to me and eating food straight from my hand. How cute is that? Because I obviously adore these animals, and have a million pictures of them on my phone already (lots of reference pictures,) I decided to make a drawing of the female duck.
Using the drawing I have so far, I’m just playing with some colors. I want to get a feel for how the rest of this drawing is going to work. I am asking myself some stylistic questions.
Or shall I take it to a realistic level?
Do I want to keep it minimalist?
Should I do a line art against a solid background?
Will it be a line drawing?
I don’t know the answers to these questions yet, but I’m keeping them in my thoughts as I’m working.
Here are some simple color choices, for fun:
I have some decisions to make about what direction this is heading. I also need to spend time cleaning up the lines that represent her feathers. I am many processes away from being able to color her, so it’s nice to play with colors and be loosely brainstorming them before my line-clean up / decision-making process. The little glimmer of instant-color satisfaction is very heartening to me. More on Miss Duck to come! Quack, quack.
This is my first real attempt at coloring digitally. I’m using Sketchbook Pro to draw and to color. Getting used to this program has been a real pleasure. I’m learning a lot about using layers to my advantage in order to build up colors, as I would be with painting using physical paints. Merging layers and making layers transparent really helped me get a feel for color integration. I hope to do many more of these works — with succulents in particular, as they are so full of color and interesting line shapes. They are also just plain adorable and I think they’re fascinating.
Here’s my process as I went along, starting with the original picture I took with the beginning lines.
I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures of the process. I know it’s been educational for me to see the progress, and very encouraging.
An ending to the mushrooms I was working on yesterday. After struggling for hours with “natural” tones of the mushrooms, in white, brown, and gray, I rebelled and made them rainbow-colored.
This was a fun exercise, and I learned a lot, especially about the inner workings of Sketchbook Pro. I got more familiar with the behaviors of the brushes, and how to merge and separate layers to make the coloring process more forward-moving and less tripping over myself. The splatter-dot brush was entertaining and gave me a lot of texture in this image that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I look forward to learning even more!
Out on a walk, I found the cutest and most-nicely assembled bunch of mushrooms.
I took a picture. Once I got home, I loaded this picture in Sketchbook Pro and started tracing and modifying the lines.
It is a work-in-progress, so I don’t have the image finalized yet, but seeing the progress in a post like this is helpful for me. It gives me a chance to become more familiar with the image, and share. This is the image showing the line work I’ve done with no background image. As you can see, the line work is very clean and represents the shapes and unique texture of the mushrooms very well. (And we haven’t even done coloring or textures yet, which are to come.)
I’m excited to see how this turns out. The playful shapes in the interior of the mushroom were a lot of fun to draw, and gave me some good eye-to-hand exercise. I’m really enjoying the freedom of digital artwork, and the ability to make multiple iterations and moods to the same structural image.