Hey guys! Hope things are going well for all of you.
So here I am, sliding in at the last possible minute to make my goal of posting once a week. I guess if you're on the East Coast or beyond, I didn't quite make it, but it's almost 11:00 pm here, so I'm counting it! ;)
Even though you haven't heard much from me, I've been quite industrious in my absence. ;) Aside from working on some of my writing deadlines, I've been busy with some art, as you can see from the picture below:
My daughters' school is hosting a Christmas craft fair at the beginning of December as a fundraiser, so I decided to go in on a booth with my extended family. So far my dad, my mom, my aunt, my daughters and I all have plans to contribute to the booth. We'll have everything from homemade birdhouses to cards to ornaments and...you guessed it...artwork! ;)
I'm planning on helping my girls make some oven-bake clay ornaments, but in the meantime, I ran across these fun 4x4 "Artist Tiles" at Michael's and thought it would be fun to sell some mini artwork samples. Especially since my Copic marker collection is growing and makes me want to color all day long! :D
I started with a simple sketch, just for fun, so I could test how the markers would respond to the cardstock tiles.
Here is "Holly" in pencil.
I outlined her in pen...
...and then started slowly coloring and building up my shading.
One of the things I love about Copics is how you can layer different colors to give faces real depth.
And here is Holly, all finished!
I had such a blast creating her, and the markers worked perfectly without bleeding out of the lines. So, that led to a whirlwind of art. Little 4x4 squares are a perfect size because they're so small.
One of my favorite things about working on art projects is seeing the progression as they go from pencil sketch to full color, so I thought it would be fun to share my "work in progress" photos with you.
I have to apologize in advance for the blurriness of some of the photos. I was taking pictures quickly as I worked and didn't always stop to check if they turned out okay. :} Also, feel free to click on the pictures to get a closer look.
This was my first "real" project for the craft fair, and remains one of my favorite pieces of the bunch. I love how the different layers of yellow ended up working for her hair, and I love the depth of her skin tones. :) I used a silver Sharpie for the final, sparkling touches of the snowflakes. :)
Autumn was a lot of fun, but it took me a while to figure out the best way to do her hair. I'd really like to get a black Copic with a finer point, and I'd like to play around with textured hair techniques. I ended up using lots of layers of color for her hair, including several browns and even dark gray. Overall, I'm pleased with the final result. :)
This piece is an example of how my work often changes drastically from pencil sketch to initial inking. In this case, I think it was for the better. :) As I started to ink her in, I realized that her eyes were spaced a little too far apart. I also decided to slim down her facial structure. I love how regal Stella ended up looking. And I've got a thing for hair dramatically blowing in the wind, as you'll probably notice throughout this post. ;)
This was a simpler sketch, but I'm so happy with how the colors turned out and brought Rosa to life. I especially love her rich, warm skin tone.
About this time in the process, I decided I wouldn't use my initial sketch of Holly since she was such a different style from the others. However, I really liked her color scheme and her rich, green hooded cloak, so I decided I'd do a less stylized version of her. This became "Ivy" (yes, after the Christmas song). ;) You'll notice in the process photos that Ivy went through a LOT of layering and shading. I think my favorite part was adding her subtle freckles at the end. :)
A comparison between Ivy (left) and Holly (right). I think overall I like Holly's coloring best, but I'm still happy with how Ivy turned out, too.
Faces have always been my favorite thing to draw, but I thought I should stretch myself and do a few scenic drawings, too. I called this one "Ani" because the princess in it kind of reminded me of the main character from Shannon Hale's book, The Goose Girl. (Which, by the way, is a FABULOUS retelling of the original fairytale, if you're looking for a good book.) ;) It's been a while since I've done something like this in my art, and I'm thrilled with the end result. :)
Oh, man. I fell in love with this one. That hair!! Sometimes, a piece just stuns you with how amazing it turns out. This is one of those for me. I decided to do a few extra tiles so I wouldn't have to include it in the craft fair. ;) One of the reasons she struck me so much is that she really reminds me of one of my book characters. :) And her hair is awesome. Just sayin'. If I could just have hair like that...
I did go back a little later and trace around the ends of her hair with my black ink pen since keeping the marker color in the fine curls at the end was a bit challenging. ;)
I thought it would be fun to bring a touch of Bollywood to the mix. This was so much fun to draw and color. :) Anjali's left arm is a little wonky on proportion, but I still love the overall effect of the piece. :)
One of my daughters suggested I try a mermaid drawing. Since mermaids were a regular art escape for me as a girl, I thought it would be fun to do one again. I'm a bit out of practice, but I suppose it's not too shabby for my first attempt in ten or so years. ;) I think my favorite part was blending her fin and seashell colors together, and figuring out how to blend all of the ocean colors, too.
This is the redhead I decided would replace Elle. I got to do more of the cool, dramatic hair blowing again. ;)
A funny side note about this one. You'll notice that in the initial sketches, she had a lot less hair. That was before I messed up on her nose and chin when I was tracing the pencil with my ink pen. Best way to cover up a faulty nose and chin? Add more blowy hair!! ;)
"Cilla and Glitterheart"
My most recent foray in my art escapade was this piece, which promptly became one of my very favorites. I've always had a soft spot for unicorns, and I'd forgotten how much I love to draw them! :D I'm just so in love with how the shading turned out on the unicorn. Light gray, light blue, and a colorless blender. I'm in awe. And I fell in love with my Copics all over again after doing this picture. ;)
[Side note here: I know I totally sound like an infomercial, but man, these are some amazing markers! I feel like I've been able to take my art to a level I never knew was possible in the marker world. They are super expensive (around $8 per marker), but if you wait for coupons at Michael's or Hobby Lobby, it helps. And for the serious artist, they're well worth the investment. :)]
I thought I should give a shout out to Stephen Cosgrove and Robin James, creators of the Serendipity Books. I read them over and over as a girl, and was always fascinated by Robin James' artistic depictions of unicorns and horses. My unicorns tend to draw inspiration from "Morgan," the unicorn in the series. Thank you, Ms. James, for so inspiring my love of art at a young age. :)
So, doing all of this artwork got me thinking. I'm considering opening a little Etsy shop with some of my little artwork tiles. I figure I'll wait until January, after the craziness of the Christmas season. I know that's super bad marketing-wise, but I'm not quite ready to jump in with both feet during one of the busiest times of the year. ;) My thought was I could list whatever artwork tiles don't sell at the craft fair. Because honestly, they're not all that Christmasy. But they were fun to make, and maybe someone will want them. ;)
It's not my intention to make a huge profit. I just thought it would be a fun way to encourage myself to keep up with my art. And hey, there are worse things than playing with my Copics and Netflixing. ;)
I do still have a couple of posts in the works. As I've said before, things will be a bit quiet around here over the next couple of months as I continue to work on my writing deadlines and try to survive the craziness of the Christmas season as a UPS wife. ;)
Hope you all have a wonderful week!