Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ever After 2017 and Girl, Swing

I've been a self-taught artist and crafter for years, but yesterday I finally signed up for my first online art class.

Ever After 2017 from Willowing Arts. I only just started the class, but I'm thrilled so far! Four months of painting exercises based on fairy tale themes and some additional material about developing your own style, which is something I've been working on for the last year or so. I'll keep you posted as I progress through the class.

Today I'd like to share with you an instance where a sketch I did in one of my art journals became something more. 

One of my journals tends to be reserved more for sketching/traveling than the others. It's a small spiral-bound notebook type with mixed-media paper. Generally, I use less paint in this one than others - it's meant for quick sketches on the road that I might dress up a little later.

I sketched these two on the road (on a train, actually). I used an image of a Blythe doll as a guide to sketch the girls features. Blythe dolls tend to have the same type of features in similar proportions as the characters I was already drawing, but they help with composition and form which I still struggle with sometimes.

My Blythe muse for this series. (Photo credit: Blythe by Cihui on
I really liked the sketch when I was done with it and decided to use it as a springboard to a canvas. I prepped a 12x12" canvas with gesso and absorbent ground, then redrew my image in pencil directly onto the canvas, altering the proportions to fit the layout better and making her a little more my own. Then I painted it in watercolor, gouache, India inks, and water color pencils. 

I am pretty pleased with how she turned out overall, although in retrospect the background is a little flat for me - something I'll learn from for future pieces. The colors, particularly the bright blues and greens really make me happy and the way the willow branches turned out.

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