Buttons!!!

I had a last minute convention in Toronto at the beginning of March and with the unexpected profits I decided to go ahead and invest in a button maker… and I’ve been having so much fun with it.

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I have a few designs up already that I had for sale at the latest convention I did last weekend in Reno and they were pretty popular! Mostly Supernatural… What can I say? It’s fun =) There’s also some Hannibal buttons and a fun Nosferatu one “No. I do not sparkle.”

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Check them all out at my new Storenvy shop! They’re just $3 and even less for the bundles

 

 

Process: Photo to Illustration

I had the pleasure of doing a very fun Pin Up commission just recently and I thought it might be fun to show the basic process, step by step.

Unlike many of my commissions, I began right off the bat with a very clear idea of what was wanted since I was to be working from a photograph and the direction of “baking”, so the sketch process was much shorter than normal. Usually I’d play around with several poses and ideas before settling on one or two that I like, but this one came together right away.

So, with permission, here is the photo reference I was sent. It’s been modified to protect the client’s identity, but you can see how I got to the pose in the sketch.

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The sketch is basically the same as the photo, but with a few liberties taken for the sake of balance and composition. I use photo references often in my work, but it’s always important to remember that photos distort and flatten. If you draw an image directly from a photo, that distortion shows and the drawing will look awkward.

From the sketch I move on to the hard lines, using a simple Hard Round Brush set to pen pressure sensitivity, 10-15px. To make the process easier later on I draw the lines for different pieces of the image on different layers. All lines of skin are on one layer, apron and shoes on another, as well as hair. I knew already that the dress would be transparent, and to create that effect I would need to treat those lines differently, so they are on their own layer as well.

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With the lines approved, I move on to the colors. I won’t go too much into detail with that process for this round, since I don’t have any in-between shots. That and I’ve already mentioned the color process in a few other posts. So I’ll keep it simple, here’s the first draft of the colors.

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Then come a few last tweaks and revisions, and the final version.

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Ta-dah! So like I said, this one was a lot of fun. Hopefully I’ll be doing some more of these soon =)

If you’re interested in commissions, you can always contact me for a quote or idea at Kirkpatrickm7@gmail.com

and here are the colors

Yesterday I said I would go more in depth into the colors, especially of the lines, but I realized after I posted that that I couldn’t really show how or why I colored the lines the way I did until I showed ALL of the color work… right. So here she is, all done except for a few little tweaks I still need to make.

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So tomorrow I’ll actually explain a bit more about the line coloring.

 

Line work’s all done

So I’ve finished up the line art from yesterday’s sketch, and instead of just showing the final look all together I want to show the way I use layers on line art. I have the line art on four different layers which you can see when I hide them in the screenshots:

Hair –

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Skin/Body –

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Swimsuit –

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Face and extra swimsuit Lines –

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I do this because of the coloring stage later. It’s not completely necessary, but I’ve found that it helps me be a lot more accurate and efficient when I want to adjust the color of the lines in the coloring stage. Black, or nearly black lines can be nice and crisp, but for this image I wanted a much softer effect so I’ve used darker versions of the colors of each area to ink with (ie: her hair color will be a maroony-red so I used a much dark version of that for the lines of the hair). I’ve actually already adjusted the coloration of the lines above but it will be hard to see until there is full color along with it (which I’ll be posting tomorrow).

I might go more in depth into this tomorrow now that I think about it…

Working on a new project!

I’ve been ignoring my poor blog lately so it’s time for some more updating. I have a new project for the new year!

There is an enormous aviation industry here in Portland both commercial and private, and since I’ve been here I’ve been approached by several private owners to do some nose or tail art for them. One of my biggest inspirations is old school cheesecake Pin Up art, so this is feeling very “full circle” for me! There are a lot of details still to work through, but I’ve already started beefing up my portfolio a bit, so here’s one of the first girls in progress.

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I’ll post more of her as I work a bit more.

Dancing Bumi

All work and no play lately… But here’s a dancing Bumi from Legend of Korra that I made a little time for earlier =) CLICK ON IT for the dancing part!

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Raven

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Alright, finally! I’ve been working on this on and off in my free time as something to test out a couple new techniques, and it’s finally all done. I’ve done a bunch of decorative illustrations before, but they were are really stylized. For this one, instead of starting of with a very styled creature, I started with a realistic drawing of a raven then worked with it a little to help it fit the decorative style. I was playing around a lot with the use of light and dark, as well as filler design and line quality.

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And then there’s the gold. That’s actual 12K gold. Cool right? I used a special adhesive and gold leaf to create the effect and I was really happy with how it turned out. Next time I do something that isn’t so much practice I’ll swing for the 24K (technically 23.75K) gold leaf. It doesn’t quite come across in the photos, but it definitely makes you want to move around the piece. What also doesn’t really come across in the photos is the texture in the gold. The first layer of gold turned out nice and looked very smooth and clean… but the look I was going for was more “moon” than “sun”, so I played around with purposefully crumpling the gold as I applied it to create high and low lights that resemble the shadows in the moon.

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So that’s that! I’ll have it up in an art show at a convention in Seattle this weekend, hopefully someone will love it enough to give it a new home =)

 

Decorative Sketching

There’s just something about the mindlessness of decorative work that I love.

Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t quite a lot of thought going into the work. There needs to be concept, creativity, construction and… composition (that’s a lot of ‘C’s). The piece needs to be not just detailed, but attractive and balanced. However, there is a certain “zen” that goes with the type of concentration involved in the repetitiveness of decorative design. I can lose myself in it for hours, so I use it as a time-sucking tool! When I’m getting ready to go on long flights, part of my packing process is to start the outline idea of one or two decorative sketches. If I’m bored on the plane, there is nothing better than to loose myself in one. Here is one from my latest round trip flight.

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