I have been trying my hand at using humor in my illustration work. I like to think that I can be quite funny, but telling jokes is not one of my strengths. I often mix up the details of a joke by telling the punchline too soon, or by laughing at the joke before I have finished telling it. I am better at giving witty remarks and comebacks than telling structured jokes. I always marvel at standup comedians who are able to recall hours of jokes and retell them in what seems like an effortless fashion.
My latest illustration work is a funny and misleading drawing of a llama with a horn. The wording beneath is acerbic, and doesn’t match with the fun and bright picture it is paired with. I think it works well for that specific reason.
I think that this would make a great book cover. I would love to write somthing funny that would fit with this title. Perhaps I should begin working on my joke telling abilities.
Thanks for stopping by, and remember to check out my free ebooks. The links are at the top toolbar of this page.
One of the things I like the most about illustration is that it allows me to express ideas in a diverse way. I have more freedom to explore ideas that normally would have been difficult to attempt with paint and canvas. Furthermore, with illustration I can use technology to copy and paste multiple sketches, change their size, and manipulate the scenery much easier than before.
The above illustration is an example where I have used technology to manipulate a previous sketch of myself into a 3 panel repeat illustration. I have copied and repasted the image into 3 panels. I added an abstract motif inspired by green cactus to make the image more decorative. I like the way it turned out, and it has a fun “summer” vibe to it.
This illustration has the same idea as the previous one, except the decorative bamboo leaves are in the background of the illustration. Using technology, I merged the repeated subject at the shoulders to create continuity along the bottom edge. Thinking back, I would have been more creative if I had the subject covering his ears and mouth in the repeated images to make a “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” reference. It is an amazing feeling to play around with different ideas and to see the end result. I am looking forward to working on more comic type illustrations that include words and meaningful quotes.
I tell people that my artistic practice started in 2012 with sewing, but I suspect it started long before that. I have always made things.
I remember making potions out of my parents toiletries, and handing in books I made for school projects.
I think my early years lacked focus. I needed outlets but had no connection to anything tangible.
My illustration work evolved from a desire to deepen my ability to communicate through visual arts. Painting on canvas is amazing, but expensive. I started teaching myself how to draw basic lines and shapes, and eventually discovered the wonderful world of digital drawing with a stylus on my Samsung Note. I suppose everything after that discovery is history.
My latest illustration is one that I simply adore. It is an illustration of the artist (me) with shading and highlights. The line work is black and thin. Two African fairy creatures float above my head to sprinkle ideas and inspiration into the surrounding air. The sprinkles appear as stars in my orbit.
The colour scheme was painfully decided so that they would blend well and create an attractive image holistically. Tans and pale yellow against a deep background that appears bluish green. Lovely.
I have been writing for years. I first experienced the spark when I was in high school. I would spend hours reading fiction and devouring stories that I enjoyed. I would scour new and old books to find the perfect combination of characters and plots until it became increasingly difficult to find exactly what I was looking for.
After reading fiction, romance, thrillers, erotica and crime, I found that it was difficult to pin down stories that captivated my interest in the ways I preferred. I decided that one way to approach this ennui would be to write some of my own stories. By writing my own fiction I could control the plot and characters.
The task of writing my own fiction is monumental. Finding time to write, edit, and finish work is always a challenge. In addition to that, the spark of inspiration can be fleeting. I have had experiences where I wrote an entire short story consisting of 4,000 words in half of one day, because the spark of my inspiration for the story grabbed a hold of me and would not let me go. It was as though I was completely incensed to get the words and feelings off of my mind. This all consuming spark is rare of course, but I can testify that it is all too real.
My latest illustration work is the cover of an ebook that I have been working on. The book is under a pen name, so for the context of this blog post, let’s just say that I edited the book.
The title of the book is called:
It is an anthology of short stories that center around BWWM (Black Women and White Men) fantasies. The work is entirely fictionalized, and based in pure erotica.
I illustrated the book cover as a way to provide insight to the reader and visually explain what the book is about. I chose a sexy illustration of the back curves of a black woman to further emphasize the erotic nature of the book’s contents. If you are a fan of this genre and type of literature, I highly recommend this for great bedtime reading.
Click the link in the photo to see the ebook live on Amazon. As always, thanks for stopping by.
My latest illustration work is focused on portraits. I mainly sketch the bust of my subjects and work on smooth lines, shading, and perspective.
I always try to include a basic shading line for each portrait, even when it is rudimentary like the lines seen above. This style of basic shading is cartoonish, but gets the job done.
The difference is remarkable when shading is not included. Looking at the above portrait sketch (as well as the one below) there are absolutely no shading lines. As a result the subject looks flat and one dimensional. I think that it seems very cartoonish. The representation is good, but as one of my favorite online illustrators would say: shading allows more features of the face to appear that line work alone does not reveal.
The above sketch uses much deeper shading around all major areas of the subjects face that is eclipsed her her hair. There is still a cartoonish nature to the portrait, but it can be said that my style is improving here.
My preferred style of shading is achieved with the airbrush effect on Autodesk sketchbook. The soft airbrush tip works well, but I also use the hard brush to get deeper definition and more dramatic looks when shading. Above, shading and highlights are visible in the face of the subject. This airbrushed effect give the portrait more dimension and an appealing appearance. It is definitely my favorite sketch of the week.
Welcome to a new week, and happy Simcoe day to everyone in Ontario Canada.
I hope you have had an opportunity to check out the ebook featured in the last post. The book is titled “Mad About Mandalas”. It features 16 blank mandala designs for printing and colouring. I feel that adult colouring is an activity that is beneficial to practicing mindfulness. Taking a few minutes to slow down and concentrate on breathing while coloring will add years to your life!
In the meantime, I am working on my latest idea for a colouring book. The subject will be portraits of people I have met. I can’t tell you anymore since we are still developing it, but I hope to have it posted on the anieksteph blog by autumn.
Here is an illustration I did earlier this week. The sketch outline was done with felt tip brush in Autodesk sketchbook. The colour is white against a black background.
Once I sketched the outline of the figure, I added a red sky on a separate layer over top of the sketch, then a yellow halo outline closer to the boundaries of the outline. After the outline looked on point to what I was aiming for, I turned down the opacity to make the image have a glowing effect.