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Thumbnails for the Win

This week’s post is a follow up from last week about focusing on improving my style. I originally had wanted to work on a bunch of pieces and see where they took me but ultimately I decided to place my focus on one piece. I pushed myself with this piece by adding in a detailed background, something I’ve never been comfortable with nor have I focused on improving on in the past. I’ve also gone back to work on my love of details and the human anatomy with this latest piece.

Below is a step by step guide to how this piece progressed:

As usual, when I’m searching for an idea I’ll take to pinterest for inspiration. When I found the image below I instantly fell in love with it. I could see this image turning into some sea squid woman and I couldn’t wait to start working on the piece. I loved the movement and lighting in the original photograph so I knew this fit within my goals for this week’s piece.IMG_3952

 

I started off by sketching some thumbnails. I typically skip this step but I’ve been pushing to start working with the fundamentals of art and have been attempting to do thumbnails now before starting a new piece. I wanted to get the proportions and composition perfectly prepared for my final image so doing a thumbnail sketch would definitely save me a lot of time and effot. Below is the first sketch that I did. I wasn’t pleased with the composition, the figure didn’t have room to breathe and was pretty squished within the page, so I decided to try again.

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Below is my second sketch. I made the figure smaller and fixed the composition of the piece. I felt that the image was still a bit boring with it just containing the figure so I added a jar around the figure, as if she were a pet fish, and an idea sprang to mind. IMG_8565

 

Seeing this mersquid in a jar reminded me of specimen jars and how much I’ve always loved them. I decided to try a new composition with a bunch of fantasy hybrids stuck in variously sized jars all placed on a shelf. The thumbnail below is what I eventually came up with. This is one reason that thumbnails are so important. Without sketching out the piece a few times I would have ended up with a poorly composed piece that was a lot less creative than this one. My idea was allowed to grow because I took the time to figure it out and I was saved the time of correcting the piece over and over again because I had already done that in a smaller, less detailed piece.

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As you can see by my sketchbook page below, I only did three thumbnails. Technically I should have done a bunch more before moving on but I was too excited to get started so I jumped right in. This would end up causing some problems so I definitely learned my lesson on this one. The-Collector-Series-blogLauren-Crest-IMG_8560

 

Getting the jars and figures on the paper was harder than expected since the format of my thumbnails above tended to be a bit wider than my final paper format. This is one reason why having multiple thumbnails of a final piece is super important. With some maneuvering, and taking more time that I should have, I got the basic line art down. The composition could be better but that’s what I get for only drawing three thumbnails.

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My next step was to decide whether to use powdered graphite or to hand shade this piece. I decided against the powdered graphite for this one and get back to my roots of hand shading. I didn’t have enough references for the powdered graphite to really work well and I don’t have the experience that I’d like with it to start such a detailed piece. So jumped in head first with a 3h, 2h, hb, 2b, and 5b pencil. After a few hours we can see progress.

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This is where this piece is at thus far. More details to the figures and shading have been added and the creatures in the remaining jars have been decided upon.

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I should have the final drawn image finished by Wednesday at the latest. After that I’ll be deciding on a color scheme and will be starting the digital coloring. 🙂 I’m super excited about this piece thus far and am super pumped to see where it goes from here!

Let me know what you think!

The Origin of Creation pt 2

This post is a continuation of my previous blog discussing how I go about creating the art I make. This post will be covering the last two key factors that have lead to how I create art as well as my over all creative process. The first post, with the first two key factors, can be found [here]. Read more

The Origin of Creation pt 1

I was recently asked to reflect upon my creative process and describe how it has evolved. When I first thought about this, I wasn’t sure how to even begin. I knew it wasn’t intuition, instinct, or raw talent that guided my art, that it was years of learning, practice and perfecting upon craft that lead me to this point. Aside from that, I had nothing. I wasn’t sure what my process was or how it happened. Over the following week I started being conscious of how new pieces came about and realized a few key factors, in no particular order, that have helped to shape my practice and eventually came to understand what my practice is and how I create art. This was a great exploration for me to become aware of how I work so that I may better understand myself and my art. Read more

Doubt and Drive

Earlier in April an artist that I follow posted a message about the creative process, dealing with feelings of doubt, and the overwhelming drive to create art on his Facebook profile. I was surprised to read through it and realize that every word of his post mirrored my own thoughts and experiences.

 In hindsight, I realize that I shouldn’t have been so shocked. Read more