Thursday, August 28, 2014

Birthday Postcard

   Recently I had done a simple sketch on a painted background that, to my amazement, many have liked. I thought that I was being "lazy" by not sketching the background as well, but now that I look at it again, the color does help to pull you in. This sketch/painting that I did, was used on three different swap projects of mine. You might have seen the "hand template" with the fish on blue/green background? I've also done it on a small box that I sent through the mail, as you can see below...

The third project I used this style on, was on a birthday postcard. Here's the progression on how it came about. 
I'm using a sturdy paper, Canson's 140lb cold press watercolor paper. I then dropped some blue acrylic paint down, straight from the bottle. (I'm using the cheap stuff!) With one of those fake credit cards that you get in your junk mail. I'm scraping the paint across the paper, to cover. Once I have gotten the area completely covered, I drop in some light green. this time I'm not trying to cover the paper completely. I just want streaks of this color. Using my last color of choice, yellow, I scrape the color across.... and although all the paint is wet, I try to scrape this color as if it looks dry brushed. (Does that make sense?)

My friends can tell you, that I've drawn a lot of fish! So, I didn't need to use pencil to sketch. I used a fine tipped Sharpie, to draw in the simple lines of the fish. Along the top of the the fish and near its side fin, I hastily added some cross hatching. Filled in the eye, again with sharpie, then put a few glints in the eye with a Uni-ball Signo pen. Gently, so I don't move the background color around, I used a violet colored water color for shading. When it is all dry, I streaked some more white to areas that I think would have a shine to a fish. In the last picture above, you can see that I stenciled in the word "fishy," I like it to go off the edge of the paper. Water drops were also added. (If you go back a couple of post, you can see how water droplets are done.) 

My final touches are made with a Sakura Stardust pen. I made rays come out of the fish and I stippled in some sparkle. The "9" is done with a gold Sakura gelly Roll pen..... and lately I've been aging the edges of my paper. Here I'm using "Black Soot" Distress Ink.

Here is the finished work.....

Friday, August 22, 2014

Paper Dolls

   I've been playing in several paper doll swaps over the past few months. My favorite kind at the moment are the "Two Sleeve Art Dolls" on  ATC's For All. They get their name from the the penny sleeves we use to cover and protect them with. It takes "Two Sleeves" to cover them.  The theme is artist choice, so I've decided to go with Alice in Wonderland. Below are the pic's of the two that I have done so far, Queen of Hearts and Alice. I'll show you the progression of Alice. My inspirations came from Audrey Kawasaki and Sarah Mesinga.
So, here is Alice in a plain pencil sketch......below you can see how she gets colored.

From her pencil sketch, I go to my Micron pen to line the sketch. Once it's lined I take a kneaded eraser to remove the pencil. A lot of times I forget to do it. Try not to forget! If you go in with markers, it'll smudge the pencil! In the last pic above, I started to fill in here skin color. I used "Eggshell" Prismacolor marker for the skin color and #PP3 from Spectrum Noir for the blush. Add the blush color while the flesh tone is still wet. It'll blend the colors better. I sometimes even go over the blush with the flesh color. I never knew a make up tip would come in handy for drawing, but I have one for you. When adding blush, don't just go for the cheeks. Think about where the sun hits you naturally. The make up tip I heard was to add blush to spots that you naturally turn pink on. The tip of your nose, your chin, and your forehead. In drawings, I often add a hint of blush to these areas. 

It might be hard to see in the pic, but I added some shading to some areas of her face and arms. I used #IG1 from Spectrum Noir under her chin, her bangs, and sleeve caps. 

Next, I darken the edges of her head band with a few more strokes on my Micron pen. Then went over the whole band with "Cool Grey" from Prismacolor. The same goes for her belt and folds in her apron. 

I colored in her dress with "Sky Blue Light" from Prismacolor. define the area a bit further I used a Prismacolor pencil in a darker blue to line the dress. 

Can't quite remember the colors used in her hair but I used A Marvy and Spectrum noir pen for that. 

She's nearly finished here....I used a Pentel Colorbrush and a Micron to add a quote at the top. Distress inks to give it an aged look. First with tea stain and then with broken china...I think those were the names of the inks! I stenciled in some "A's" Below is the finished doll....with the last touches...a date stamper and some stippled in sparkle from a Sakura Stardust pen. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Water Drop Tut

   Water drops can look so difficult to do. They look amazingly real, but they are super duper easy to sketch! Here's how....

First grab a fine tipped Sharpie or Micron. Make tiny circles where you want your droplets to be. Vary the amount and sizes that you place.

Next, take any black color pencil and color in a crescent shape to one side of you droplet. Dark around the edge and a little fuzzy and blended near the middle. Opposite your dark half, cast a small soft shadow with the same pencil. 

Now, with any white pencil, I'm using Stabilo, do a white crescent opposite side of your black crescent. Blend the white lightly with black in the middle. 

Finally with your choice of white pen, I'm using Uni-ball Signo, stipple in some highlights in the black crescent. A small dot of white at the bottom of white crescent and one in the shadow cast by the droplet will finish it up. Don't forget to use your finger to smear those last two dots, to soften it out. 

Here's the progression...

Not too impressive on white paper....but check it out on different backgrounds....

These little buggers fool the eyes very well. I think it's because you can still see the background showing through. Hope you have fun adding droplets to your projects! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014


   Pictorial Tut

 Recently I joined a swap on AFA, (ATC's For All) in which we used our hand print as a template for our works of art. Here are the four that I did for the swap...

Most of the players seem to favor the Humming bird that I did, so I did it as  postcards as well. A lot of times I will remake my art, by using tracing paper. In my opinion, the sketching is the hardest thing to tracing your work, you've taken away the most time consuming part. It also leaves you with the most enjoyable part...color!

So, here's how I layer my work....kind of long and tedious to explain using pic's, but if your willing to read it...then I'm willing to show it! :) 

First step is to trace both sides of your tracing paper with your image. In my case it's of my own work...but maybe you have a photograph or something from a magazine to trace....Transfer your image to your watercolor paper. With the image traced to both sides, you have a make shift transfer paper. 

Next, is the coloring....I'm using mostly Inktense water color pencils, along side cheap pan water colors. In the pic, you can see that I am starting at the head with the water color pencils. I colored most of it with an orange color. Once I'm finished with that, I chose a darker color in the red family, for the areas of the head that protrude on the birds head. For example, the cheeks or just around the eye...maybe a bit at the edges of the head, just to define the area. ....I almost never use one color for an area. I use two or more....

In the last two pictures above, I am adding more depth to the white part of the bird. Flat white is boring. I use whatever color is left in my brush, to make quick impressions of feather on his chest. Adding water to the paper helps to put some shade in as well. I take a Payne's Grey color and lightly swirl it in with the water pooled on the paper. 

Here comes the blue swirly magic! First I line the swirls with one choice of blue that I picked.  Color in the spaces, sparingly. Darker in some of the curvy spots...places that you want to jump out. Then, with another choice of blue or blue/green, fill the areas in more. As you can see, it doesn't need to be a neat job! Next, with a brush loaded with water, I go over the swirls. Go past the lines! Have some of it bleed away from the swirls. Drawing lines still there? Who cares! It adds texture! ....okay..or scrub some of them smooth with your brush. ;)

I've got the swirls in, now it's just a matter of filling in the blanks. Brush loaded again with water. I wet all of the white spaces. This time my color of choice is yellow. I'm using the cheap pan stuff again. Same with the pink. I'm using pink only near the bottom and at the edges....Again, let it flow, don't be neat...maybe just gentle....If the color mix a little no big deal. 

Once it dried, I took my Uni-ball Signo white pen to line all of the blue swirls...not even neatly! Did the same with a Silver Gelly Roll Stardust pen. To add to the magical look....I did some stipples with the same silver pen. ...In the last pic, I'm using a Pentel Color Brush pen. It makes broad intense strokes. Might seem scary to slash through your work with it, but the out come defines the bird handsomely. I also touched up the yellow with an Inktense water color pencil. I worked from the middle out.....leaving the farthest edges with it's original yellow.

Next are my usual last touches.....
A little bit of Distress Ink used around the edges. "Black Soot" for this work. I also like to use a date stamper right on top of the work! Slam it down like a crazy person! Ha! ....I've also been known to use stencils. I add numbers a lot of the time. Sometimes the number has meaning and sometimes it doesn't. It's just a filler for blank spots that didn't have interest. Another thing I do for those boring spots, is to add poetry excerpts. ....This one has an excerpt from Robert Frost. 

Wa la! Done! The finished piece...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Test Post

I read some where that it only takes 20 minutes or less to set up a blog....maybe that's true for some, but dang! I've been at it for a couple of hours. This tiny little post is all I have to show for it. Oh well, tomorrow's another day.....