Raven Work in Progress 3

Progress 1

Progress 2

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…

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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….

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Raven Work in Progress 2

Woops, I meant to take more progress photos but I got a little too into the inking and forgot… So here is the basic outline just about completed. There is still a lot of the interior detail to be filled in and the sketch hasn’t been erased at all so it looks pretty messy at this stage. If you look at the picture of the sketch that I posted earlier you’ll see that I changed a few of the details. I started inking the parts that I knew I was happy with first, to see how they looked, then went back into my sketch to adjust the parts I wasn’t happy with. I think I redid the designs in the neck five or six times before I was happy with it.

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I’ve ignored the design on the wings and tail for now. I don’t know how much empty space I want to leave yet, and I won’t be able to get a good idea of that until I’m farther along in the inking. I also have only a vague idea for the background, but that doesn’t have to come until  later.

Raven Work in Progress

I finally have my work table set up after moving, and it’s not 100% yet but usable space again! I decided to take a little time out and do a project for myself (rather than commissioned work) which I haven’t done in a long time. Having done lots of those decorative drawings in my sketchbook lately, I decided I’d like to try a really nice version for myself. I settled on doing a raven, ’cause they’re the coolest ever.

So unlike the ones in my sketchbook, I took the extra step of sketching in pencil first. When I sketch in pen it can get a little messy…

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Oh! And I also started out by drawing a realistic raven from a photo, just to get the form right. I did him on a scrap of tracing paper that I had, then drew an enlarged version onto the bristol. I tweaked the drawing of the full-size version to make it more symmetrical, then started in on the interior details, still in pencil.

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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It’s aaaall about the details

Working up the inks for these Ladies of Lit and I’m focusing on putting tons of little unique details into each one… Mulan just haaad to have scaled armor @_@

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I already have four inks done! Mulan will be the fifth. These are flying by, but that might have something to do with the fact that I’ve been doing all of my favorites first… I’m going to hit a bump soon, I’m braced for it. The good thing is I have plenty of projects going on right now to keep me busy. If I get stuck on one, I just move on to the next until I can come back to it with a fresh eye.

Between commissions to keep me from going completely broke, this Ladies of Lit project, my art book printing/preorders and moving to a different country next month… I’m a little on the busy side. But it’s Good busy, not Tear Your Hair Out busy, so there’s that.

Anybody know a nice place for rent in the Portland area..? x|

Preview 4

I’m starting on inks! I’ve officially finished all twenty sketches and now it’s time to start completing them.

I love to read, but I’ll be the first to admit that despite that I’m not very well read. I’ve missed a lot of the classics and New York Times top 10 and Oprah’s Bookclub… To be honest I read way too many silly fantasy/sci-fi books! However, that doesn’t mean that I’ve missed all of the classics and “important” books, and I really have read a lot, but even so finding just twenty well written female characters to put into this collection was disappointingly, frustratingly, annoyingly difficult. Even with so many suggestions from people while I was working on these, it wasn’t easy!

I wasn’t just looking for strong characters, I definitely included some weak people on this list. What I was looking for were characters that were well written, well rounded, believable and not dependent on other characters to define them. That’s still a vague idea… I have characters from mythology on there too, and they don’t necessarily have full back stories or even a single clear version. Still, I was considerate in the names that I chose, and I’m happy with the result, I hope you guys are too.

Here’s another little preview of the line work I’m working on =)

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Preview 3

Another quick preview of what I’ve been working on. This character probably isn’t as well known as some of the others, but I actually had a few requests to see her. She has definitely been one of the most fun to draw so far. 10 points if you guess who she is!

Mercy

Preview 2

I won’t be giving any details on the previews I’m posting… but some are pretty obvious I think if you look at the list of characters I’m working on…

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Women of Lit Book Update!

I’ve been updating this blog pretty sparsely this past month or so, since most of what I’ve been working on I haven’t been able to post publicly..! I’ve made some pretty decent progress on this book though, so I think it’s about time I posted not only an update, but a little preview as well =)

SO

Since you guys are awesome and throwing out so many suggestions for me, here’s the list of the 16 characters that I already have sketched out:

Arya Stark (Game of Thrones)
Claire Beauchamp (Outlander)
Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)
Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
Hua Mulan (the Ballad of Mulan)
Judith (story of Judith and Holofernes)
Lilith (Judaic/Islamic Mythology)
Lisbeth Salander (the Girl w/ the Dragon Tattoo)
Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)
Mercy Thompson (Mercedes Thompson series)
Molly Grue (the Last Unicorn)
Nyneave al’Meara (Wheel of Time)
Petra Arkanian (Ender’s Game)
Pipi Longstocking
Shaharazad (1001 Arabian Nights)
Sophie Hatter (Howl’s Moving Castle)

So those are the ones that I’ve already drawn. Here are the ones I’m thinking about doing:

Lieutenant Laura Hayward (Pendergast series)
Hester Prynne (the Scarlet Letter)
Irene Adler (Sherlock Holmes series)
Janie Crawford (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter series)
Lyra Belacqua (His Dark Materials)
Valentine Wiggin (Ender’s Game)

There were quite a few more, but I had to cut them to keep the characters accessible, unique and distinctive. My goal is to have 20-25 of these illustrated, and to have the book ready for printing by November. Thanks to everyone who’s made suggestions so far, and I’m definitely still taking them! =)

Alright as promised, here’s a preview

PipiLongstocking