Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sketching with Beast'sbelle: Kristoff and Anna

Okay, so my plan for today was to do some writing on my book.  However, when I ended up with two sick kiddos, that plan became slightly less practical, so I did some drawing instead. :}

Really, I should be doing one of my promised posts right now, but I was too excited to wait to share my drawing with you. :}  This is the first time I've attempted to draw any of the characters from Frozen, and I'm quite pleased with the result. :)

I started by Googling Frozen images.  The one shown above has always been one of my favorites, so I decided to try replicating it.  I found the image HERE.

Because it can be difficult to copy a picture that's upright on a screen, I decided to print it out as well.

I started with a very basic outline.  I really hate doing this (I'm too impatient to do things correctly), but it does at least give me a good goal to shoot for.  Besides, I've been teaching my elementary students all about the basic shapes that make up the building blocks of our drawings.  I felt like I should probably practice what I preach. ;)

And then I totally changed it because Anna and Kristoff were NOT cooperating at all. :}

Experimenting with arm angles.

This is what I ended up with at the end of the sketching session.

I decided I wanted to color the picture this time around, so I outlined it in pen.  I really need to get some new fine point Sharpies or something along that line.  They work so much better for tracing artwork than ball point pens. :}  At least I was drawing on computer paper instead of sketchpad paper this time. :)

This is the point where I always hesitate and think, "Do I really want to color this, or just add some nifty shading?"  When you erase the pencil and add color, there's no turning back, and you can really mess up a good drawing. :}  I guess I'm a glutton for punishment, though, because I kept going. ;) 

I was able to erase all of the pencil, but was irritated to discover that my eraser left an odd little red rub mark on the page right between the two faces.  It would NOT come off. :{  Oh well...moving on.

I thought that this would be an excellent opportunity to use my incredible new Sharpie set I got for Christmas (thanks, Mom and Dad). :)

I also decided to supplement with my trusty Pentel Color Pen set. :)  (Sorry for the annoying sideways upload...Blogger hasn't done that to me in a while!)

So, between this picture and the last were a few hours of experimentation and struggle.  I thought I took some pictures of the process, but apparently I was "in the zone" a little too much to think about documenting every step. ;)  

I made a couple of discoveries when coloring these two.  First, they have a pretty difficult color palette when you're dealing with basic markers.  I found Anna's hair especially challenging.  The color you see above was a result of several experimental layers of marker from both sets. :}  She has goldenrod, two shades of orange, yellow orange, and even a light brown in there.  Kristoff's hair was much easier, but still required a bit of trial and error.  I also need a better skin color.  Both Anna and Kristoff have much fairer skin than what I gave them, but that was the lightest skin tone I had.

Their clothing gave me some trouble, too.  The colors were pretty difficult to match, and some of them I just had to change altogether.  If you compare my finished picture with the picture I used as a reference, you'll see some pretty major differences.  If you just look at my picture by itself, it's not so bad. ;)

The other thing I discovered while drawing these is that Anna is REALLY hard to draw in profile.  She and Elsa both have a very exaggerated profile with a big, sloping section between forehead and nose, and their little button noses and mouths poke out at a rather odd angle.  My Anna ended up with a slightly different profile simply because I couldn't get her to look right in my drawing when I tried to draw her faithfully. :} 

Overall, though, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out...

...except for that annoying red smudge!!  I know it's not really that big, but this is where my silly OCD perfectionist side comes out. :}  I knew it would bother me every time I looked at the picture.

Aww...they're so cute...wait, what?  What's that smudge there? ;)

So, my only choice was to color in the background around them.  I left a slight white edge around both of them so they wouldn't get lost in the backdrop (I was especially worried about Kristoff's dark vest disappearing into the dark background), selected a nice, deep color from my Sharpie set, and went to work.  Listening to the Frozen soundtrack while I worked made it go a lot quicker (normally I'm far too impatient to fill in a whole background!).

I actually started with just a thin border around the two, but I kept enlarging it 'til I got to this point.  Then I knew I would never get the arch perfectly even... I decided to fill it in all the way.  The weird, unfinished edge on the bottom will probably drive me nuts, too, so I'll probably end up either adding to it or trimming the picture.

One cool thing was that the picture looked pretty good from the opposite side, too (something I always check to see how I did on proportions; if it looks normal from both sides, you did pretty well). :) 

I think Anna's arm might be a little short, or her head might be a little big, now that I'm looking at it repeatedly, but overall I'm super pleased with how it turned out, especially since this was the first time I'd drawn any of the characters.

And here's a side-by-side comparison.  Definitely a different color palette, but not too bad.  In my defense, Anna's hair is a little lighter in the original picture than it is in the movie. ;) 

And this was the result of my art day on my computer desk. :}  I can't believe I didn't follow my own instructions to my kiddos and keep a spare piece of paper underneath!  Thankfully, most of it came up with a Lysol wipe! 

After I had finished, of course I had to stop by and play around with some editing. ;)  I really like how these two look "winterized" with a Frost Frame. :)

I also decided to do a new header with my sketches, so here's a copy of my old one.  At some point, I will actually have a header that does not feature Frozen characters. ;)

Not sure how much time I'll have for more drawing (this one took me about four hours), but if I do try another one, I'd love to experiment with Elsa. :)

Talk to you guys later! :)


N said...

That's gorgeous! Reading this post inspired me to draw Elsa and Anna (perhaps Kristoff too) for myself, perhaps as little paper dolls. I actually like the unfinished bottom, but I'm sure that it will look great fully colored as well. Do you have any advice for achieving that shading with markers?

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, N. :)

That would be so fun if you had Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff to add to your paper doll family! :) I hope you share them with us on your blog. :)

When I shade with markers, I usually do the basic layer of color first and let it dry. Then I go over it with a shading layer, trying to determine the source of my light so that the shading is accurate. In this case, I had a picture as a guide, so it really helped. I let the shading layer dry and then see how it looks. Often, I'll add a third layer if I feel I need to enhance a few spots.

The important thing is letting the marker dry between layers, not only because you can rip your paper if you go over wet marker, but it also gives you a better idea of what the color actually looks like (when dry, my markers are normally a slightly different shade than they were when wet).

I hope this helps! :)

Ruby Danderfluff said...

How lovely! Their expressions are so darling. x)

As if the pencil sketch wasn't amazing anyway, that coloring job completely blew me away. Love all the textures and layers! (the detail on Kristoff's belt)

(Do you think listening to the soundtrack helped to keep the characters intact in your drawing?)

So neat to see the evolution of the piece while you worked on it! Thanks for taking the time to share. Hope the girls feel better soon!

(ditto on N's shading query.)

M said...

WOW! i am impressed! can you stop with all the talent now?!? :-) Great job and nice way to spend an afternoon.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, Ruby. I had so much fun drawing them. :)

Normally, I'm not patient enough to color stuff in, but I think having background music and an audience (my daughters were watching) helped me stay on track. And yes, I suppose listening to the soundtrack might have helped me keep the characters in mind as I drew. ;)

I'm glad you enjoyed seeing the process. I know when I see someone's artwork online, I always like seeing how they did it. :)

Thanks...I hope the girls feel better soon too! :}

Lol, sorry M. If it makes you feel better, I dabble in a ton of little things here and there, so I will probably never be truly great at anything. ;) I just have too many interests. :}

Juliet XD said...

That's so pretty! You are a much better artist than me :) I love the header, it's perfect. Can you like, stop by my house and drop off some of them talent? Don't worry about not getting your posts up, I never do ;) Love seeing your drawings, so wonderful. You are very brave with those Sharpies- I could never use markers on pictures, the little lines they sometime leave drive me CRAZY! I prefer crayons and pencils, thank you. But, it's good to see other people be brave :)

Nina said...

You are seriously an amazing drawer! I wish that I could draw like that!

Anonymous said...

I was automatically excited when I saw a new header! Yessssss a new drawing! I love how it looks from the back.

Tangled Fan 2013 said...

That's stunning!! I love that picture of them, too. I can't believe you did that with markers --when I try to color in with markers, it isn't pretty :D

Ampy Moh said...

neat sketch!
I like the coloring of them! it may be inaccurate but hey,it's not like theres some inspector who visits your house and inspects your drawings right? ;P

anyways..look what I found:
a fake elsa doll|3984868176

I think she looks cute,but maybe its just me(I have a soft spot for fake toys,mainly because of availability and their customization potential)

you have any thoughts about this one?

P.S. Im just showing the pic,I kinda suggest you don't buy from this site.Some people say that these type of websites(chinese selling websites to be exact) don't give you the product even after you's from what I have heard ( o_o)

beastsbelle said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comments, everyone. :)

Juliet, markers are definitely intimidating. You can cover up mistakes a lot easier with colored pencils or crayons. ;) And yes, I've ruined a picture or two by having a stray marker color outside the lines or leave streaks in the picture. ;) It's always very rewarding when it works, though. ;)

Thanks so much, Nina! :)

Anonymous, I was totally excited when it looked so nice from the back, too! ;) Normally, my pictures look a little odd from the back.

Tangled Fan 2013, I've been using Pentel markers since I was a little girl (I used to get a set every Christmas), so I've had a lot of years to use them and practice my shading. ;)

Thanks, Ampy. Yes, good thing there's no color inspector! ;) Hopefully as I draw them more often I'll get their coloring figured out a little better. :)

Interesting fakie Elsa. She is cute in a way, but she looks like she's made from pretty cheap material, in my opinion. I tend to be pretty picky about my dolls, though. ;)

I don't normally do a lot of overseas purchases simply because they're more complicated. Trying to figure out how much things actually are when they're in pounds or yen, figuring out shipping...I get stressed just thinking about it. ;) Which is probably a good thing...I don't need to buy more than I do already. ;)

beastsbelle said...

I know there are some sites that are not wise to purchase from, but I do think we have to be careful singling out any one people group and accusing them of not following through with their business. However, I do agree that it is important to be wise when purchasing online from sites other than eBay, Amazon, or company-sponsored sites until you've done some research on the site. :)

Ava Rose Milberger said...

You're too hard on yourself. They look amazing! Let's just hope nothing happens to the drawing! (cough cough, random lady drawing!) ;)

Lindsey Z. said...

Oh my goodness! It's amazing! Please keep having Frozen pictures as your header! They're all amazing! :D

Casey said...

It looks fantastic! I've been there before on outlining with ball points. You might give Uni Pin (not to be confused with UniBall) a try- they have a water/fade proof pigment ink and come in a huge variety of line widths. I've become quite attached to my set.

beastsbelle said...

Lol, Ava, I'm my own worst critic, I'll admit it. ;)

And don't worry, I've learned my lesson. This drawing is nowhere near the table. ;)

Thanks, Lindsey. :) I've been in Frozen mode for a while. ;) I'll probably change things up sometime next month just for some variety. :)

Thanks, Casey. :) Those pens sound great...I'll definitely have to give them a try. :) Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Your drawing is amazing! I can see Anna would be hard to draw because of her peculiar profile. Thanks for sharing it with us!

beastsbelle said...

Thank you, sailingintheark. :)

OnceUpon ADollCollection said...

Wow! Your drawing is gorgeous. Anna's eyes are beautiful. I always find the faces, especially the eyes, the hardest to draw. There are so many lovely details. You did a wonderful job!

beastsbelle said...

Thank you so much, OnceUpon ADollCollection. :)

I love drawing faces best of all. I always find the bodies the most challenging. ;) Funny how we're all different, isn't it?

beastsbelle said...

Thank you so much, OnceUpon ADollCollection. :)

I love drawing faces best of all. I always find the bodies the most challenging. ;) Funny how we're all different, isn't it?

BlackKitty said...

You did great! I'm always amazed at pen/marker drawings, it's a medium I don't get at all. I'm so glad you coloured over the smudge, it was hurting me to see it! WHY would an eraser even leave a red smudge? I understand exactly why you went to such lengths to cover it. By the way, I hope you're not framing with the unfinished edge? Unless it's the snowflake frame, it's gorgeous.

Jen said...

Ooh, that's so pretty! You're making me want to get my markers out and play, too. :D

For inking a drawing, I love Faber-Castell Pitt pens, and Sakura Micron pens. Both can be found in Michaels or Hobby Lobby (the Pitt pens tend to be in art supplies, and the Micron in scrapbooking). I also tend to scan in my inks and print a copy onto cardstock for coloring - that way, if I mess up the coloring, I can just print out another one and start again!

I also love drawing faces (and hair) and hate bodies. I just can't get them to look fluid and natural!

Jen said...

And, just to append to my first comment: Red hair is the absolute worst to color with markers. I end up using 4-5 different colors on one head of red hair! And Anna's hair is a strawberry-blond red, which is the worst red shade of all! I am feeling your pain on this one. :D

beastsbelle said...

Thank you very much, BlackKitty. I'm glad I wasn't the only one bothered by the red smudge. ;) I'm much happier with the picture the way it is now!

It's funny, I've always enjoyed drawing with markers because it's been my main medium for most of my life. Having worked with the Pentels for so many years, I know exactly which colors blend the best and how they will look. It's also fun because when I was younger and drawing all of the various Disney characters, I had every color figured out for each of them. I could tell you the perfect colors to use from my set for the Beast's jacket and fur, for example. ;)

I will not frame the picture as is, no. :} I was actually thinking about trimming the unfinished edges, but I'm a little nervous to do so since I just used computer paper. I don't want it to rip. :(

I love how the frost frame turned out, too. I was thinking I might even try printing that edited version out on a postcard or cardstock or something. :)

Thanks, Jen! :) I'm sure you could do some great things with the Frozen characters...I love your drawings. :)

Thanks for the tips on the pens. I'll have lots of different ones to try between your recommendations and Casey's. :)

I've scanned and printed my pictures to color in the I'm wishing I'd done that this time so I could have experimented a little more with the color palette. Oh, well...maybe next time! ;)

Yay! I'm not the only one who struggles with bodies! :} I have the hardest time with proportions, especially when I try to draw people realistically. Honestly, I think it's from so many years of drawing Disney characters with their extra big heads and skinny bodies. :}

Oh, man, Anna's hair was such a pain!! I kept trying a color, then adding another, and it still wouldn't look right! I'm happy with the final result, but it took a LOT of trial and error. Glad to know it was a normal problem and I wasn't just incompetent. ;)