Thursday, February 20, 2014
New piece for the Unwork Society. I'm definitely improving, I think. I'm starting to be a lot happier with my illustrations, and that's a good thing. Things I've learned: don't use completely black lines, use a variant of a very dark grey if necessary; use backgrounds to set the situation; add texture.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
One of my favourite ladies from the series - Luna, the calm optimist, even in the face of death. In some ways she's Harry's opposite; they have had similar experiences, but she is unburdened by them. There is something beautiful about how she almost floats around, seemingly unaffected by the harshness of reality.
Committing to a pale palette was unusual for me. I hadn't thought about it much, but I do rely on bold, jewelled tones for my pieces, and this was a stark contrast. It took me a long time to decide on the lighting, but went with soft backlighting as well as top-right lighting.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
An animated gif loop I did in a couple of hours. I'm really rusty with animation now, so I figured the only appropriate way to get back into action was to do quick little loops for a while. This Gloopy Octopus was really fun, and I will be making more. In the end I will probably put them altogether, with in-betweens between loops, and perhaps make a neat little short.
This week's theme was 'Unicorn'. My unicorn is based on a Shetland Pony, my favourite kind of horse. (They are wonderfully short, round, and friendly). I had the idea of bones and forest spirits, and thought about making this piece atmospherically dark. I usually deviate to the cuter side of things, so this was a good chance for me to see if my way of working fir into other genres of illustration.
I'm also starting to place my characters in settings, and getting to grips with using texture to distinguish different surfaces. I've found this is what is missing in my work - an extra level of depth.
This is a collection of some of my favourite foods. I was inspired by Rose Wong's 'Greens and Not Greens' and wanted to try out some Photoshop pencil brushes. Similar to my sketchbooking, I wanted to keep my lines loose. Lately I've been keeping tight, clean lines, and though they are a choice for many out there, I like my fluidity, cross-hatching and 'controlled' mess.
For this speedpaint, I was not feeling ultimately good about myself. After making a number of random marks, I eventually developed this into a dragon, and it reminded me of Haku, from Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away, so much so that I kept him in mind.
Monday, February 3, 2014
Last week was Witch Week! and I decided to contribute since I missed out on Goblin Week. This piece evolved rapidly over the weekend, since it's the only time I assign myself personal projects. The idea is to draw yourself in a witch persona, and I had a lot of fun with all the detail. It was a big struggle getting it done though, but I managed to complete it in about 15 hours!
I've resolved to start doing more full illustrations, to place my characters in scenes and backgrounds. It takes a little more time and care than doing them separately, as I need the colours and lighting to work together, but it's not as difficult as it was 6 months ago. Overall I'm getting a lot quicker and less tense with my drawing, but I've still got a long way to go.
The goal this month is to move away from drawing ladies, and to keep up the background art and paintings. An illustrator never stops growing and improving, and I know that I'm personally not quite there yet with my work. I am definitely happier than I was a year ago, and learning to embrace colour and digital canvases. I will be exploring other genres too, to vary my work from children's illustration all the way to 'grittier' pieces, in order to push my way of working.
I'm trying to do more hourly speedpaints. I saw one today that was done in 20 minutes, and it looked near complete. I want to achieve that standard, so the only way forward is to keep at it! I painted this while my fingers were swollen from the cold. The boiler control had broken and I was without heat for a good few days, which slowed down a lot of my progress. A lot of these marks were done hastily and angrily, and somehow it shows.