sarahmac: (Captain Swan)
I haven't done a process for a watercolour illustration before, and that's simply because I'm not much of watercolour painter, (my experience is mainly in charcoal). A watercolourist would probably be horrified at this tutorial. I pretty much draw an illustration and force the watercolour to do what I need it to, rather than embrace where it wants to go. But lately I've realised that's just how I art and so why not show you!

This one is inspired by Captain Hook and Emma Swan from Once Upon a Time. A show I've only recently discovered and enjoying probably too way much but I regret nothing.

Firstly, I drew out my basic illustration. This is the most important thing for me, the painting is like the icing but you need a decent cake to put it on so all I can suggest is spend the time on it. For me the drawings take about 80% of the time and the painting the rest. I didn't have any reference for this except a basic idea of what the Jolly Roger looks like so it took a fair bit of trial and error with body positions. Once I had it how I wanted it, I drew it again onto my watercolour paper just using tracing paper to save time. Then I drew the lines again with brown or grey coloured pencils and rubbed out any graphite pencil because it gets murky once the painting starts.



I started to shade the watercolour paper with a small amount of aquarelle pencil and went over that with a wet brush. It's not a necessary step (especially for something that will be this dark) but I do it to get into the painting zone.

Okay, time for background. This usually makes or breaks the illustration for me because I'm really terrible at nice flat washes, this made more difficult because I needed to avoid the foreground figures. I don't use masking fluid any more because I was finding that the paint would wash against the mask I'd applied and roll back into the wet paint like the sea hitting rocks and creating foam. It gave a badly uneven result in some parts so I don't bother now.
Okay so here I have it on an angle upside down. I start at the top, where the figures are sitting and work my way down (up) to the night sky in even horizontal strokes where possible. (There's some great tutorials on Youtube).



As you can see, it's still a blotchy result but thanks to the magic of Photoshop I will make it go away digitally later. (ETA: I have since spoken to an artist friend who's a fantastic watercolourist and she's given me great tips on flat wash backgrounds) Because this illustration is of the night, all the colours need to be muted so I just worked with about a 4 colour pallette. I have black, burnt sienna, raw sienna and prussian blue.



So here I'm just blocking in colour using combinations of any of those 4 colours, figuring out where my light source is, which I've assumed is the moon off out of sight to the left somewhere. Tightening up some things with a smaller brush as I go along. It's really just painting at its most basic, stay in the lines and don't let it get too wet. Once I'm happy enough with that, I grab my white Gouache paint (it's an opaque paint that can be watered down like watercolour) and add some highlights where needed, like on their faces and hair, edging. I did the stars using the tried and true kindy method of flicking white acrylic paint off a toothbrush with my finger. Now that I'm done with paint, I might add a little bit of pencil detail here and there to help tighten up anything I'm not happy with.

beforephotoshop

Always employ tight security when you're not working on your piece.


Now I photograph it and make good use of photoshop. Bringing up colour, tone, contrast and fixing that sky. I actually ended up replacing the whole background with one I made without the figures in it, so I could get that nice smooth wash, but if I was to keep this one I would have just done some light colour over the top at about 20% opacity to help it look a bit smoother.

And done. A pair of fairy tale star gazers.

captainswan smlblog
sarahmac: (Wind blows girl)
I've done another step-by-step process, I finished this last year but just adding it now due to issues on the old blog. This is the second tutorial I've done of a colour pencil drawing. I hope this interests the curious or can maybe provide some tips to anyone wanting to draw a colour portrait. I'll put in any info I've found useful myself, sorry if I'm telling you what you already know. :)

Click for full drawing process )

Done!
 photo beckettsml.jpg

Details: Drawn on cartridge paper 110gsm like any standard sketch pad. Using Derwent and Prismacolour pencils. Time taken: About a week

Thanks for looking!

Closer detail:
 photo beckettthumblargetut.jpg

Print available. Also the Original
sarahmac: (Default)
Time for a new process post. This one came about as another in the series that started with Lucinda. I was looking for a bee theme here and always had these colours in mind for it.

I started with my plywood, sanded down with a clear binder medium which works as a primer. I sketched the face on with my charcoal, using my initial sketch as reference.

click for full painting process )
Finished!
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Closer:
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Thanks for taking a look!
sarahmac: (Default)
Hi! I've done another step-by-step process, this is the first one I've done of a drawing. I hope this interests the curious or can maybe provide some tips to anyone wanting to draw a colour portrait. I'll put in any info I've found useful myself, sorry if I'm telling you what you already know. :)

Click for the full drawing process )
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Thanks for looking, and thankyou John Krasinski!

Link to print: http://www.redbubble.com/people/artsez/art/7445250-jim
Link to the original: https://www.etsy.com/listing/112067745/jim-halpert-original-john-krasinski?ref=v1_other_2
sarahmac: (Default)
Hi! I just finished a painting and I've been photographing it along the way to share the process, as with some other art here on my blog. This one is the last in a series of four this shape. It started as a summer landscape with a different outdoor activity than snowboarding, but as I went along the painting was pushing for another direction so I went with it. I'll try with the other idea next time.

Click for the process pictures )

Finished!
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Closer:
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You can view the painting over on my Redbubble
Thanks for taking a look!
Sarah
sarahmac: (Default)
Hi! I have just finished another painting. Much like last time I have taken some photos as I went along if anyone is interested in the process.

Click for the full painting process )

 photo eloisefulleb_zps8ecb2e3b.jpg

Thanks for looking!
sarahmac: (Default)
I just finished a new painting and have photographed as I went along, so anyone interested could see how she evolved. I really like looking at these from other artists, so here's my contribution.

This characater, 'Lucinda' started as a sketch 12 days ago. My Dad gave me a collection of Victorian era portraits, and the faces and the clothes inspired this.
From the sketch I drew it onto a larger board (45 x 60 cm)in charcoal.

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I also shaded her hair which I do so that I can see what the hair is doing. If I just leave it, the painting part is a lot more difficult for me. Then I sparayed fixative on the charcoal (which was a bit fruitless but I learned something). Then I painted a wash of colour on the hair. This worked way better than fixative, but left it muddied because it wasn't opaque yet.

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I took a couple of days to finish the hair. Every colour that's in this painting is in the hair. It's important, for colour harmony to establish a few basic colours and use just those for the whole painting, unless you deliberately want a diverse pallette.

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Her face was next, applying really light washes until I was happy.

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The lilies took the longest for me, I'm definitely not well practiced in the botanicals! Had a great time with the cheeky little birds though.

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This photo was taken under the light at night, but I kind of like the effect. This was the beginning of the background, a wash. I liked the drip effect but then decided it wasn't what I was going for on this particular painting so I fixed that up with trial and error and sandpaper.

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I added in her clothing and little birdhouse necklace, and finished. Tweaked a few colours in photoshop.

Finished!

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Close up of her freckles:
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Now I have to figure out whether to add a glaze or frame behind glass, not sure. I'll ponder it while I walk the dog who's been ever so patient while I've been stuck into this painting! Poor Max.
(Edited to add: I think I'll go for glass)
Thanks for looking! Prints available here. T-Shirt or sticker available here.
~ Sarah
sarahmac: (Skipping Stones)
I went to the Titanic artifact exhibit in Melbourne, Australia a week or so ago, and thought I'd write a bit about it.

It was really well done, and quite amazing to see these belongings that had been in the wreck for 90 odd years and still intact. Most of it is or was bound in leather, and that's why it survived. A lot of the metal things looked like wood, the combination of pressure and current gave the steel a woodgrain finish I think. There were things like buttons, money, insurance claims, someones boot, powder containers, parts of the ship like portholes and deck chairs.
The most amazing things to me were a stewards jacket, in very good order belonging to a steward that didn't survive, a row of gratin dishes, found still stacked neatly on their side in the sand on the ocean floor, the full door in which the first class passengers came aboard and a huge chunk of the hull. It really brought home the reality of it all, that this is the actual ship I'm looking at.

They had also recreated the grand staircase, first class corridor, steerage corridor and room, first class stateroom and some parts of the decor and they were really well done. The security was mega tight, they were walking around everywhere and there was no photography allowed but rules don't apply to me so I took a couple on the quiet (but they are bit blurry because I was being quick). You could get a professional to take a photo on the grand staircase if you wanted to...yeah I gave in and got one. How often can you stand on the Titanic right? Even if it's just a set.

Here's the first class corridor. As soon as I took it and rounded the corner, there was a security guard. I was lucky. My sister and I both agreed that we were waiting for it to sway a bit.
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Here's the grand staircase. It was just amazing.
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The hull of the ship. suspended.

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As you walked through the corridors, you heard different sounds. For example you could waltz down the first class corridor to the music to reach the grand staircase, but by the time you were in the steerage corridor you could hear the engines. It was amazing. It also went through a timeline and as you walked down a corridor with the ice warnings from different ships written on the wall, it got colder and as you saw 'Iceberg, right ahead' on a turn ahead of you, you went into a room with an actual iceberg (it was a frozen thing, designed to show you just how cold the water was, you could touch it) and it made the whole room a bit colder and the experience that more real.

I'd definitely recommend it if you're interested in the slightest. It's on at the Melbourne Museum until October but I think it's in the middle of a worldwide tour. Oh, and I may have caved at the gift shop and bought a replica third class mug, first class was available too but I never claimed to be fancy :p
sarahmac: (Default)
Recently, tourism Australia has changed its tactics on how to promote us. Perhaps the movie 'Australia' didn't work, nor did 'Where the Bloody Hell are ya?' and I know the penned in, sad little kangaroo on the sidewalk in the U.S created interest for all the wrong reasons.
So they decided to let us tell it how we see it, what a great idea because then we can't whinge that they did it wrong.
Anyone could submit a photo and a paragraph of 25 words or less that started with 'There's nothing like....' to accompany the photo. I think the really good ones are going to make it onto a TV advertisment. Anyway, I submitted a QLD one and a Melbourne one and was excited to receive mail last week from Tourism Australia, with the liftout from the city newspaper and my entry in it! Gotta love making the paper for the right reasons. Anyway, here's a scan and they changed my wording a bit (adding the Tallebudgera Estuary to the end) but I'll forgive them. I was tickled pink and would otherwise have had no idea.

There's nothing like getting your feet in the paper....

And here's the picture. Apologies to Michael, because it's his boat and it's not like I let him drive, quite the opposite, he wouldn't let me if he respected his life.

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sarahmac: (Default)
Hi and welcome! I will use this journal to mainly add my art processes. Originally I had a wordpress blog for that but the format changed and I'm not able to present it the way I'd like any more by using HTML. It's here but I'm moving everything over here as well and wont be adding to that one from now.

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sarahmac

May 2014

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