Friday, January 29, 2010

In-class architecture

This is the architecture piece we did in class. I tried not to use local color and I felt that it was pretty successful. After using painted line to define parts of the bridge itself, I think the whole piece came together nicely. My only wish was that the suspension cables had been painted straighter, but I found that long lines were difficult to control due to the tooth of the paper and how quickly the ink would run out in my brush. I think I need to practice painted line art, because I think that would make my compositions even tighter and more believable.

Illustration time: 1 hour
Watercolors on watercolor paper
9" x 12"

Ten Mini Watercolors - Free Subject Matter

I liked these smaller scale paintings a lot because I could move across the whole paper and was able to loosen up a little more. I found that the quicker I worked, the better things turned out, though I still like to push those colors around too much. At least I'm getting better, and some things are starting to work out.

Though I didn't have any that turned out to my complete satisfaction, there were aspects of several that I liked and found worked well for me. My favorite complete composition would have to be the beach scene, because there was a great interaction of color and technique and it evokes a sense of a beach fairly well.

I found that I really liked adding color to a damp surface and watching the pigment feather out. I used that in most of my backgrounds, especially in the sky. In the boat picture, I picked out areas of the background to indicate fog, and I think that worked well. In the cat and girl picture, I used non-linear painting, creating shapes to indicate shadows on the socks and variation of color in the skirt.

I still need to work on creating interesting backgrounds that work with my composition. I also need to take advantage of line work, because that can take my painting to the next level and make it recognizable and defined. And I need to learn to use non-linear painting so my forms work with the medium better.

Illustration time: 6.5 hours
Watercolors on watercolor paper
4.5" x 6"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


For this project, we were asked to create 3 themed watercolor images. I chose adorable animals as my theme and selected two puppies, a bunny rabbit, and a pig in boots.

The hardest part, for me, was creating an interesting background. I think I'm just not confident enough with my colors to choose ones that blend together nicely. Or I just suck at backgrounds...
My puppy picture was the least successful because it turned out too pale. I think this was because this was my last image and my roommate came in and went to sleep. So I turned out the lights and worked by the light of my computer screen, simply because I was too lazy to relocate for the remainder of the image. However, it showed in the reduction of color intensity and quality.

My bunny picture was the most successful. I think that was because I kind of cheated and used a dry brush technique for most of the rabbit's fur, though I did initially lay down colors to create depth and variation underneath my dry brushing. I think it was the most vibrant and my background was the most successful, though it could be improved. I liked the drip effect of part of the background.

I need to learn to loosen up and let the watercolors do what they want. I have previously worked with rather controlled mediums, and to submit to the nature of the uncontrollable watercolor will be a problem for me. However, I really love what happens when the watercolors are unpredictable. I just have to learn to let that happen more often.

Illustration time: 3 hours
Watercolor on watercolor paper
9" x 12"

Monday, January 25, 2010

FInal Object Illustrations

For this project, I worked again on recreating images from photographic reference. From the two images previously chosen, I enlarged the illustration image and spent more time getting details into the drawings.

Illustration time: 3 hours
Micron pens on marker paper
8.5" x 11"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Line art with Wash

For this assignment, we were supposed to take our final line art illustration from last week and add a watercolor wash. I went through two versions of wash. The first used red, green, yellow, and brown and mixed together to create a mess of an image. So I decided to maintain the simplicity of the original image and just use the color to enhance the line work, rather than to necessarily add a color base. I had some trouble with the scanner, because it was picking up the tone of the paper itself, but after some adjustments in the scanning process and the photoshop layering, the tone disappeared. I think this was a successful image, overall.

Illustration time: 1.5 hours
Watercolors on watercolor paper behind line art in Photoshop
8.5" x 11"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Everyday Object Illustrations

For this project, we had to draw 10 images of objects we encounter in our daily lives. I ended up choosing much more difficult images than most of my classmates, and this meant I spent far too long on this project. It was hard to pick images, because I wanted to have interesting compositions, and I felt that single objects centered on a page would be uninteresting.

I used a non-repro pencil to sketch the image before inking the whole composition. I found that this helped a lot, since the pencil allowed me to make multiple lines before committing to a final line. I was pleased with the way the pencil didn't show up at all in the scanned images.

The shoes and the brick path were chosen for my larger final illustrations. The shoes were my favorite image, and I thought the bricks came out nicely, but they were two of the slowest illustrations, and thus, I will be spending a lot of time this weekend creating my final images.

Illustration time: 25+ hours
Micron pens and a black Prismacolor marker on marker paper
5.5" x 7"

Friday, January 15, 2010

Final Line Art Illustration

During this illustration, I used an artograph to enlarge the image and trace the main shape of the photograph. Then I used a combination of Sharpie markers and Micron pens of various sizes to create a variety of line widths. The high contrast was fun and allowed me to concentrate on black and white line rather than gray scale. I think my final illustration was successful and closely resembles the original photograph.

Illustration time: 3 hours
Sharpie and Micron pens on Marker Paper
8.5" x 11"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Illustration Line Art

We were supposed to create 10 black and white line art illustrations of a photo reference. I chose a photo of my friend in a white winter jacket, because her black hair and minimalist background lends itself nicely to this project. Since I received this project a day late, I had to work really fast to get it done. It was quite miserable, but fortunately, I like line art, so it was bearable.

The final image was chosen for a larger final illustration. It was my favorite image, so I'm glad it was chosen.

Illustration time: 11 hours
Sharpie and Micron pens on marker paper, Arches watercolor paper and tan Arches cover paper
5.5" x 8.5"