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.
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.
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 =)
Still not quite finished with the inking, but a whole lot closer than before. I’ve filled in a lot of the decorative details in the interior and added some thick dark lines for contrast. On the close up below you can see more of the itty bitty design details, as well as some of the sketch lines. I still haven’t decided what to do with the beak…
Oh! I haven’t mentioned the background at all. You may have noticed the extremely boring looking circle around his head? While I was moving last month and unpacking all of my supplies I found a package of gold leaf. I’ve been dying to try it out, so it’s going to be a little bit of an experiment (I’ll be sweating bullets hoping I don’t mess the whole thing up…). The circle around his head and his eye will both be getting the gilding treatment…. we’ll see how it turns out…. fingers crossed….
Some practice to loosen up in between work. I get lost on Pinterest sometimes just looking at random photo collections. Last night it was a ballet collection, and sometimes the contortionism in those images is just nuts! I think I might have to do a few more of these.
The line work is finally just about done! It’s been a while since I did anything so textural, so doing his guy’s hair and beard was pretty fun. The next step will be the smoke, then color… I’m still not sure how I want to color it. Either something flat and stark, or maybe more painterly… I’ll figure it out as I go.
I love to read webcomics, and there are a few that I’ve been following for quite a long time. Many of them have very nice art… a whole lot more have not so nice art, but the story makes up for it. One in particular though, goes leaps and bounds above the others in terms of quality. I’ve been watching this artist/author for years now and I’m always amazed at the quality of her work, both the art and story! The artist is Tracy J. Butler and her (free!) webcomic Lackadaisy is a great read. I loved it so much I had to buy the first book when it was published (WOAH look at those prices now that it’s on back order!!). Here are just a couple images of the awesome work she does:
And here’s actual work from the comic:
Her penciling skills are off the chart, and she puts them to full use with such amazing illustrations.
Another little experiment with hair and clothing textures like this one that I posted before. I’m trying to simplify all of my lines more and more, letting the eye complete the image rather than the line… of course that’s what I said, then I got bored of what I was doing and scribbled shadows and what not all over it.