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.
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.
I love to create, and right now I love to create illustrations. I use autodesk sketchbook to draw with a stylus and I find so much enjoyment in the activity.
I created a mini colouring book for adults called “Mad About Mandalas” that features blank mandala designs that can be printed and coloured in. I think that colouring for adults can be a great way to practice mindfulness and meditation. I will upload the book soon, but for now, here is a free mandala designs that you can print out and have fun with.
If you want something more than a geometric design, here are two blank portrait sketches I completed last week for clients.
Feel free to print the designs and colour them for a mindful break and to bring relaxation to your day.
It is difficult to speak about injustice without getting choked up. I will just say that I’m happy to celebrate freedom everywhere.
The above illustration was created by myself in Autodesk. I sketched the outline shape by tracing a photo of a person from Instagram. I sketched the outline in black pencil and overtop a white background.
Using a base coat of a skin coloured tone, I continued by airbrushing a colorful palate over the eyes, cheekbones etc., of the face.
After colouring in the skin, I re-outlined the entire figure with a lavender-violet ink pen. After completing the illustration I changed the previously light coloured background colour to a black one. By inverting the background colour, the illustration looks like it is floating. A black background also evokes the idea of the echo concept I have been exploring in my paintings. I really enjoy the look of singular images against black negative spaces.
This illustration is one where I used the same technique, except the end result was to invert a previously black coloured background with a lighter sand coloured one. The colouring
I used myself as the model for this sketch. My hair is not pink, so I took some liberties. I think that the eye direction is a bit off,but that the likeness is on point.
This is another illustration using the same technique. The model is another person from Instagram (king_cannibanoid). I mainly use a variety of hard and soft airbrushing techniques when adding colour to my illustrations. I enjoy building layers of colour that lighten gradually to create depth and shadow.
I continue to find immense calm and tranquility with illustrating things I find around the web, and life. Thank you for stopping by to check out what I have been working on.
My latest work is a gold trident with a textured surface. The piece is 11 x 14 inches and is entitled: Neptune’s Trident.
I started off with a free hand sketch of a 3 pronged shape. Using a ruler to outline the sections, my aim was to ensure a shape that was as “un-lopsided” as possible. Without a symbol to trace, or a rough draft on graph paper it was tricky to conceptualize this shape.
Once the shape was sketched on the canvas, I furthered my experimentation with texture by shaping a thin outline along the edges of the trident. I used a technique similar to the one used for decorating cookies with royal icing. Stiff and dry texturizing compound along the border wall, to contain a more watery texturized mix that was flooded into the body of the shape. You can see that this approach has its drawbacks since the relief of the borders seems to be much higher than the inner body. The higher relief along the border contributes to an unevenness generally.
One of the the things I learned from creating this piece was the need for neatness and order! As you can see, each tip of the trident should be much more “pointed”, yet they are uniquely different. This is because of my sketch that was lacking a cleanly drawn plan for where to apply texture on the canvas.
The result leans farther towards the abstract than I would have hoped for. This current study of work is based on dream-like apparitions of images, and symbols coming out of the darkness like an echo. I think that “Neptune’s Trident” is a perfect example of what I am trying to achieve. I am excited to begin working on my next project in this series.
My latest 10 x 10 inch// 25 x 25 cm acrylic on canvas continues my study of singular-focused images against black negative space. This piece features a heavily textured triangle shape that is entirely golden.
I took photos of in the light, and so the shine of the black acrylic paint allows the viewer to also see raised texture floating in the blackness. Here (below) is a shot with the brightness turned down, and the contrast brought up to maximum. The painting has a much sexier look with the adjustments- and I think I will (one day) invest in the services of a professional photographer to capture my work.
What a haunting image
The intent behind this piece was to depict the fading light of a distant dying star. The glow is homogeneous and the texture is as even as I could apply it. It reminds me of a ghostly apparition. Something emerging from the darkness that has an unknown origin.
If I could change something about this piece, it would be the lack of clean and sharp lines. I will work on honing my sculpture skills in the next piece. This style needs to be explored, and I have quite a few ideas I’m very excited to implement.
Thanks for stopping by, and please check in again soon to see what I have been working on.
My latest work is a small 12 x 7 inch acrylic on canvas featuring pink and gold.
The white cloud border was applied as an overlay for the background after the entire area was painted.
I used acrylic calcium texture along the borders of this inkblot. I say inkblot because my first choice of using “swoosh” to describe the shape of pink and gold fields atop negative white space did not seem descriptive enough.
This is one of the first times I have used white as a negative space in my work. I think I avoid it because I always think white space on canvas seems unfinished. Alas, there is so much going on in this piece, that it demands a closer look.
I frequently see miniature scenelettes in my work. It is a byproduct of my process, and something that I feel passionately about. The feeling of creating where nothing existed before, is thrilling for me.
You can see this piece: Cotton Candy Nebula as a digital print on www.spacearttshirts.com as part of the newest collection.