Saturday, February 14, 2015

Garden Pixie

A little watercolour from last month.  The drawings you have seen before and the changes were made in order to improve the design.




I had originally drawn her with a flower but I felt a lot better about the drawing when I changed the flower to a sumac twig.  I like the long thin leaves of the sumac tree because I can put them where I need them to be to complete the design that feels right to me.

Thanks again for stopping by.  More soon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Magic Mushrooms



This time we are going back to Gwelf.  My schedule last year deprived me of much of the time I normally spend painting and investigating the Gwelf region.  This year I intend to make up for that lost time and visit Gwelf more often.

Here we have an old Raven Witch tending her mushroom circle.  She protects it and feeds it and in return it offers her escape and travel. The kind of travel that can only come from a mushroom circle or "faerie ring" which, as we all know, can be an instant portal to the nether world for any ignorant mortal foolish enough to step within.  However in this case the Raven Witch cultivates the circle and thereby controls it's magic and it's power.  She is a traveler.

Time is short and I will get back to all of this "circle magic" as soon as I can but I wanted to be sure to drop in today while I had a few free minutes and update with you all.



Thanks for stopping by and more soon.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Airborne - Step by Step



Okay.

It all starts with a drawing.  When I begin I have only a vague idea of what I want and do my best to find it and get it down.  I am improvising as I go and curious to see where it will end up.  I am not thinking in colour when I am drawing but rather in misty monochromatic tones such as Arthur Rackham might have used - nondescript sepia and paynes grey.  The colour choices come later.


I now take this drawing and with the aid of a light box trace it onto, in this case, a sheet of 140lb cold pressed watercolour paper which I have taped to a piece of Masonite - watercolour palette close to hand and ready to go.  I have already begun to lay in a few tentative washes as a way of tip toeing into the picture.  Blue for sky and shadows and yellow for trees.



At this stage I am working in watercolour and just laying in the broad washes in order to get a general feel for the picture I want to make.  I am thinking the light will be coming from the right in a late afternoon warm sunset kind of atmosphere.  I am still being very careful - no bold or gutsy displays of artistic gusto.  Often when I get to this point in a picture I rather like it and think it looks fine just as it is and I should stop.  However I know I must soldier on.


I now have the picture more or less established in watercolour and it is time to switch to gouache which is a much more robust water media.  Both watercolour and gouache are from the Winsor Newton brand and are colour matched perfectly.  Now that I have a reasonably good idea of where I want to go, gouache is going to get me there faster.  I am not yet utilizing the opaque potential of the gouache, that will come later, at the end of the process.  For now I am just putting unmixed colour on the board.



This is where I commit to the painting and continue to add gouache and really get the picture established.  The colour scheme is presenting itself.  The feeling now is that the train has left the station and it is up to me to not run it into the ditch.


Here is where I start to use the gouache in it's opaque form and begin over painting the way you might if you were using oil or acrylic - light colour over dark.  We do this by mixing white into whichever colour you want to make opaque and lay one over another.  In this way I can bring things forward and have them stand out or push them back and let them recede into the background.



The final stage is one I really enjoy.  The painting is mostly finished and I now can go in and refine details and clean up edges.  This is where gouache really shines because I can make all the little corrections and adjustments that finish off an image.  I also like to get in there with colour pencils and make little scratch marks and blur any areas that seem to tight or dark.  I may yet go back in and fiddle with it some more, but for now I think this one is finished.


While I was working on this picture I had the "My Neighbour Totoro"  art book out and occasionally leafed through it for inspiration.  I did not want my picture to look like that movie but I was hoping to tap into a bit of that spirit.

I will be more than happy to field any questions you might have.

Thanks for stopping by.  More soon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mr. Fox - Merry Christmas

I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you will be able to find a little peace and quiet this holiday season as Mr. Fox has with his air-cottage.




More soon.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Turtle Country

Many years ago, perhaps 15 or so, I made this drawing of a forest nymph and turtle.  It has always been a favourite of mine but for whatever reason I left it alone and waited for the right time to paint it.  But recently during a break I decided to give it a go and at the same time get back in touch with an earlier version of myself.  It was surprisingly easy to adapt to the way I used to draw and think about picture making even though the way this version turned out is probably very different to the version I would have painted back then.




Thanks for stopping by.  More soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Flower Nymphe

Another quick one.  Painting now, trying to relax back into the process, it's been a while, a little rusty but so far so good - fingers crossed.

Welcome to December everyone.  More soon.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pixie

My little excursion back into the animation business appears to be over for the time being.  Three weeks of intense drawing and design have come to a blissful end and now it's time to get back to business.  Today I'm sharing a bit of warm-up work, a wee doodle of a narcissistic Pixie.

What I have to do now is to let go of the animation world and transition back to my own realm of tree-houses, b and b's and map reading foxes. To accomplish this I will be painting for the next week - no pressure just fun.
But today we have a Pixie taking a personal moment on a flower of somewhat dubious origin.




More soon.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Neighbours

Hey

Yes, I have really been out of the loop lately.  I have been lured back into the animation business and  left with very little time for anything.

What I am sharing with you today are a couple of character line-ups I did for the graphic novel before the animation thing started up.  These are meant to be background characters and also a general exploration as to how the Gwelf characters might look in this particular story.

Thanks again for stopping by.

More soon.




Friday, October 17, 2014

Selkie

The last drawing for the temporarily delayed, but now back on schedule book of Scottish Mythology.  She is standing on a rocky Scottish shore, draped in seal skins and seaweed.



Thanks for stopping by.  More soon.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ink Pixie

I would have liked to have had more time for Inktober but since that is not possible here is a quick ink doodle of a Pixie.


More soon.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Main Character - Graphic Novel Update

The main character in my story is Claire.  She is a young artist, 16 or so and she is going to have a catastrophic run in with a nasty,violent witch.  She is a bit of a loner who would rather stay home and work than hang out with her boring peers.

I could use some feedback here.  I have many ideas for how Claire should look.  She could be tall or short, hat or no hat. skirt or tights, long hair or short hair, curvy or slender, etc.  Anyway, here are some variations and if you feel like it, let me know what you think.












Thanks for stopping by.  More soon.

The Raven Witch - Graphic Novel Update

This is the villain of the story as many of you have probably already guessed.  The story is going to be about a violent witch attack in Gwelf.

The Raven witch is a dark and cruel predator.  She often travels with and is aided by bird goblins.  She carries a long wooden hook for grabbing victims and is well armed with edged weapons, throwing spells and sonic pacifiers.  She is absolutely the last thing you would ever want to see if you were unlucky enough to find yourself walking home alone on a lonely road in Gwelf, after dark, in the autumn or winter.  Pray for a quick end.






Gwelf House - Graphic Novel Update

This is going to be the first of a bunch of graphic novel updates, even though it will likely be the last one you see.  I have been speaking with my editor and we are almost there.  He actually liked my most recent version of the story and I think he might have been willing to go with it but I want to take one more pass at it. You can always make a story better and I want to give it one more go.

What I'm showing here is a bit of concept work for where the characters live in Gwelf.  Of course they live in trees but I still have to figure it out, especially if we are going to get inside their tree cottages and see how they work once you pass the front door.






I really want to live in one of these, but for the time being I am going to have to resist the urge.

More soon.