Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Illustration Friday - twirl

If no one else was around, Bear could always be counted on for a quick twirl.
I actually remembered the Illustration Friday prompt as "twist" so did this one first. Sometimes shyness or embarrassment can make a girl twist herself around. Both of these further develop the Millie character I began here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Playing with background washes

In the left drawing I painted the watercolor wash over the whole surface and then painted the figure on top using some white gouache along with watercolor, In the right drawing I masked the figure and painted the wash over the mask, then removed the mask and painted in the figure. I've certainly used the latter technique more often, but masking fluid can be tricky to use when you want fine detail so I can see where I might want to use the other method once in a while. Certainly either is easier than painstakingly painting the background wash around the figure and allows for a much freer application of wash.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Visitor

I love Tomie dePaola's illustrations and this is quite influenced by him, especially in the decorative foliage and the little building. He uses acrylics though and this is a mixture of regular and liquid watercolors. I didn't stretch the paper which is why the top of the box is wavy! Also I used hot press watercolor paper and made a virtue of the fact that that takes washes less well than cold pressed by making the background quite textured, but I wonder what a more washy background would have looked like. I'm not sure who the figures are. I had in mind a Franciscan friar but realized too late that he would be unlikely to be carrying anything.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Two different treatments

Here are two totally different treatments of the same image. I wanted to try the gouache and ink method because I like the way it enables me to be bolder, but it's hard to control and in this case bold came out crude. The pencil drawing colored in Photoshop is a lot more subtle and right now I prefer it, but I usually find I prefer what I've done most recently... I'd be curious to know what anyone else thinks.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My entry for the Tomie dePaola contest

There were over 300 entries and mine did not win, but I was quite pleased with how it turned out. I don't very often draw animal characters, but I liked how they remained like the real creatures but still animated for the story (Chicken Little). I used the gouache and ink technique supplemented with watercolor where the gouache didn't stain sufficiently. The blue background was rather last minute. The rest of the painting is cut out and collaged onto it. I tried a few other colors but this is the one that really made the rest of the painting sing. As usual if you click on the image you can see a larger version.

Illustration Friday - grounded

Meditation can help you stay grounded - so long as you don't get distracted.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Three little landscapes

I've been having a hard time getting back into a good work routine after the busyness of Christmas and many trips to Boston post eye surgery (successful but needed lots of follow up). So I took an idea from illustrator Susan Mitchell and worked on tiny pieces of paper, playing with my new liquid watercolors plus ink and collage. None of these is more than 3 or 4 inches in its longest dimension. She has been trying to work quickly. I didn't keep track of the time spent, but a tiny piece of paper is definitely less daunting than a big one.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bright Bird

My first blog post of the new year and my first painting using the liquid watercolors I got for Christmas. They're every bit as bright and luminous as I hoped and I'm going to have fun getting to know the best ways to use them.