Illustration Friday: Voice

He vocally expressed his displeasure at being stuck on the rock.

This is my first ipad rendering! I got a stylus and the Sketchbook Pro app for my birthday and have been toying with it during the occasional times I get to use the ipad (read: next-to-never). I actually developed the background much more then this, but I ended up not liking how I changed the river, even though I liked the rest of the background. Luckily, I saved this out at an earlier stage, so I can go back and rework from this stage. I will eventually finish this, but I have some projects that need to be completed before I come back to this. 

I created most of the bear from imagination/memory, using tricks for drawing bears that I learned from a talk by David Colman that I went to last year. When I got a little stuck with rendering the stretch and squash in the muzzle, I flipped through his book Animal Character Design: Grizzly Bears. And of course, I had to indicate my light source as a reminder to myself while I rendered things. It was very useful to help me from getting distracted in details. 

Illustration Friday: Prepare

He was prepared to enter the water, but he was not prepared to meet a new friend!

I had a lot of fun with this one, even in the initial sketch stage. I think that the only thing that would make this illio even better is a yellow duckie tube around the belly. It's tempting, but I'm not sure if I want to possibly mess up the illio for that.

The scanner is down for a couple of days, so I had to photograph it. I will post a scanned version of this once technology is back online...possibly with a duckie tube.

UPDATE: He has an inner-tube!

(still a photograph)

Hungry Giraffe

Artwork! I had fun with this one, and I tried to push the darks more than I'm normally comfortable. The second image was my initial scan before I went back and reworked the dark areas. I'm much happier with the revised image. And this guy has already found a new home, for a friend's birthday!

And to give me a direct tie in to Illustration Friday, I'll pull in what I told my friend earlier last week when it was still in progress, "He's not finished...he just hasn't been spotted yet!" (i know, bad pun)

Illustration Friday: Gesture

He timidly made a gesture of affection toward her.

So during my photo research at work this week I found such an awesome photo:

That trunk, with its curl, was begging to be a caricature of some sort. Out come the pens and markers and voila! Blushing elephant. I love the pink/red marker that I used on his cheeks, but it's scary to use sometimes because it is such a strong color. I did use a gray pencil to draw in the elephant originally, but tried to keep the artwork loose and scribbley.

Illustration Friday: Remedy

"Choose your remedy wisely."

There actually is a story behind this one: At dinner, while trying to figure out what to draw for illustration friday, we had some almonds on the table for our salad and the package read "all natural!" Well, the hubby wanted someone to make a product that markets how UN-natural it is. So I did. For more amusement, it was suggested that the side of the label read "mild side effects include death..."

It may be darker then my usual doodles, but I guess I had a bit of quirky humor going on today. Now that I think about it, "humor" would have been a good term to add to the bottles, especially when I was running out of label ideas. It was a lot of fun to lay in the shades of gray with the markers, and I got to put my toe into the steampunk craze that is quite fun.

Illustration Friday: Midsummer Night

It started with a continuous outline of their silhouettes, some heads added Tom Gauld-style, then the wings...and a perfect opportunity for me to draw some patterns, since I've been seeing interesting patterns everywhere recently. A little bit of crosshatching for texture, a lot of blocking in solids and a touch of typography. It was very interesting to see how the natural variations with the line work of the silhouettes created a range of unique characters, including a few matrons, a few innocents, one that may be pregnant, and Titania, who happens to be the tallest of them all.

Illustration Friday: Launch, sweep....and gulp?


I've been replaying Somorest 2 and thinking of replaying Machinarium. Somorest gets a little bit odd in their artwork sometimes, but I'm in love with the world of Machinarium. It's all scribbly and imperfect, and that just adds to the charm. I felt like drawing something with aliens, although this drawing is more about their world. I could always add a UFO in space if i wanted too...

And because I didn't post it when it was the correct week, here's the IF sketch I did for Sweep...with a hungry fishy hanging out at the bottom of the page. I'll need to do something with him at some point. He's kinda cool

Illustration Friday: Stir

Sometimes emotional turmoil stirs within...and sometimes something tragic happens
...and sometimes it's both.

I've been feeling...melancholic...recently, not sure why. I have a lot of reasons I could list, but in light of the news about the Japan earthquake and tsunami that hit today, they just seem irrelevant. My prayers are with everyone in Japan and everyone who has family in Japan.

Our friends' families in Japan are ok. Thank goodness for small blessings.

Illustration Friday: Swarm

I couldn't NOT post for Illustration Friday when the topic, swarm, was so perfectly suited to my obsession with drawing bugs. I just don't know why I waited until Thursday to post when the drawing was finished on Sunday.

I think, perhaps, because this week has been a little off-kilter. I'm settling into the semester and realizing that I don't have enough time in the world to do all the things I want to do, particularly when I am easily distracted. I came to the decision/realization that for my own sanity, I was going to have to drop my Saturday drawing-on-location class that I have LOVED taking for the previous 2 (3?) semesters. Knowing that Will's class often has a waiting list of eager students and knowing that I would be missing 3 out of 6 classes because of traveling for work and other factors didn't make me any less reluctant or less....let down. I've enjoyed exploring my adopted hometown through these excursions, and I definitely know the freeways of northern LA much better these days. (Ignoring the fact that I still get lost on surface streets)

It didn't help that I am most definitely off schedule with the Picture Book Dummy project because I like making things complex and 2-3 characters won't do when you can have 20 (or more!). I am not stopping just because i'm behind, I'm just going to take a bit longer. I'm having a great time creating costumes for all the characters and my Gesture Drawing class is definitely helping with that.

It most definitely didn't help that I had a series of eye exams today in preparation for a corrective eye surgery I'm planning on having at the end of next month. Eye ultrasounds are SO NOT fun!

Luckily, I have a weekend with good friends, random doodling and massive amounts of silliness and junk food to look forward to! Target acquired! To the flowers!

Illustration Friday: Reverse

All he wanted to do was head off into the sunset, but for some reason the unicorn went in reverse as much as it went forward.

I had a ton of fun with this drawing! I was toying around with different ideas for baby dragons and I got inspired by the dino spring rider in Chalk. There was one at the park by my house I used to love when I was little. It was the old-fashioned painted metal ones. I think it was a red horse, but I could be confusing that with the color of the slide.

So I said, "What if the dragon was riding a spring-rider horse?" Hubby replied, "what if it was a unicorn?" and instant inspiration. I sketched it in pieces in my sketchbook, merged in photoshop and then resketched it with the wacom. Not fully happy with the sketch, because the wacom wouldn't register the pressure sensitivity today. No nice tapered strokes.

I need to correct a few things, primarily the perspective on the head of the unicorn and figure out the best overlap of the mane and dragon. I will definitely color it, perhaps both digitally and traditionally. I can't wait to practice planing in color, particularly on the unicorn body, which has very distinct top/side/bottom planes.

Illustration Friday: Deja Vu

deja vu!

Yes, your eyes do not mislead you; there are two of him. This project is over four years in the making! We went to Japan with our friends in August 2006 and while we were there I collected all my ticket stubs, receipts, pamphlets...everything! They've been sitting in a paper bag for 4 years, being sporadically relocated throughout the house. Every time I saw them, I kept thinking, "I should do something with these..."

I knew when I saw this week's IF topic that the time had come, so I bought a canvas 2-pack and pulled out my matte medium and started tearing and pasting and sketching. I had no clue if this would work, or if my colored pencils would stay on top of the matte medium, but I had hope because my friend and great illustrator, Siri Weber Feeney, works with colored pencils on top of gesso. A number of hours later, I am at a point sufficient to post, although I am not finished yet. I ran out of matte medium just short of finishing the second collage, although there was enough done in the area I was planning on drawing over. I plan to add some loose sketches/doodles across remaining portions of the canvas, and maybe add a bit more color. I just wanted to get this posted with lots of time for feedback before a new IF topic was posted.

The two guys are not identical: the legs on the original sketch looked off, so I shifted them when I transfered the sketch the first time. It still looked off, so I ended up going back to the original placement for the second drawing. I guess some times, it all depends on the angle you are looking at it.

As far as the inspiration for the drawing? Simple: we saw him in Japan! It was one of my favorite photos that we took in Japan. I would like to say that I took it, but we had 2 cameras and 4 people, so I don't know for sure. I love the juxtaposition of the modern and traditional. If anyone happens to know this random guy photographed, please tell him a couple of Americans think he's really cool!

Illustration Friday: Old Fashioned

He was less enamored then she at the fabulous old-fashioned apron and bonnet in the trunk.

I was out of town visiting family, and had our cousin return with us for a couple of days. I kept doodling this duo while I was away, trying to get them exactly like I saw in my head. It came out fairly well over all.

Still experimenting with mixing marker and colored pencil. What I'm liking so far is when I nail the value I want in marker, then all I need to do is match the value with the color of my choice. Any lighter/darker colors will work to cover up any mistakes I make with the marker as well. You can barely see all the attempts to get her back arm in the right position now. Still need to pop the darks more, and possibly more saturation of colors.

I also forgot to draw the trunk in the background...maybe I'll go back and add it later. and possibly flowers on the apron.