Drawing: Audrey Tautou as Amélie // Drawing Challenge #2

30 DAY DRAWING CHALLENGE #2 – Someone you like (celebrity, significant other, or crush).

For this challenge I chose to draw French actress Audrey Tautou as Amélie from the film ‘Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain’ (The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain). I love Miss Tautou; I think she’s beautiful, and I love this film. Watching it makes me reminisce about the times I’ve visited Paris, and think of all the locations I’ve been to that are in the film — Montmartre, Sacre Coeur, Canal St. Martin… ♥. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, check it out Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s ‘Amélie’ when you get a chance because it’s gorgeous, quirky, unique, and not a typical Hollywood film.

Drawings: Tea Time Fox

I spent most of the day drawing and one of the things I drew was a fox drinking tea. (Well why not, right?) After I scanning it into the computer I thought about how to tackle colour. My previous drawing “Alter Ego” was my 1st attempt at digital colouring, and although I am somewhat happy with how it turned out, it took several days to finish and I would prefer to not spend that much time on a piece! I would like to streamline my work so I can finish a project efficiently and at the same time keep it high quality (I think this is every artists’ goal). Earlier today I ran across a simple but insightful tutorial that had good advice about using “multiply” layers to colour in Photoshop. So I tried that with my fox sketch and it worked really well. This colouring technique was fast and it utilized the shading I had done in the original sketch to a point where it actually enhanced it! And colouring it only took a few hours instead of days. 😛 (If you are on Pinterest & looking for drawing tutorials, this is an excellent board to follow: http://pinterest.com/koztar/cg-anatomy-tutorials-for-artists/)

Below are the work in progress shots for “Tea Time Fox”. You can see part of the original sketch on the left, and the first bits of colour on the right.

Monoprinting Tutorial & Foxes

Today my Mom taught me how to monoprint. She is such an expert when it comes to painting, colours, technique, tools, and she’s absolutely fearless when it comes to experimentation. It was raining today so it was the perfect opportunity to have a little art workshop together. There are many different types of monoprinting (for instance, my Mom has made plexiglass monoprints), but I chose to go with a woodblock technique because I wanted to print one of my drawings. I had so much fun learning how to do this that I wanted to share it with you too!

Materials needed:
-flat craft foam (found in the craft section of the dollar store)
-ball point pen
-white glue
-block of wood (that is roughly the size of your drawing)
-blockprinting ink (any colour of your choice!)
-2 rollers (one to paint with, one to press with)
-a palette big enough to roll paint on (like a sheet of mylar or a plastic plate)
-watercolour paper
-a basin of water
-dry paper (newsprint paper works well)
-creativity!!! ♥

Instructions:
1) First I sketched directly on top of craft foam with a ball point pen (it doesn’t matter what colours you use, it will be painted over anyways.). The foam is kind of squishy and it will easily take the impression of the pen if you press firmly while drawing. I started with the cats, and then decided I would prefer to draw foxes (I used the fox drawings I did in February as reference). Then I cut around the foxes, leaving a border. I used white glue to stick it to a block of wood that was about the same size as the foxes, and waited for the glue to dry.
*Tip: Press hard while drawing as if you were etching the foam, even if it looks like there’s too much pen ink on it. The drawing will be more defined and transfer better this way.
*Tip: You can use a blow dryer to quicken the drying process.

2) I grabbed a sheet of watercolour paper and let it soak in a basin of clean water for about 10 mins (which is the time that it takes to do Step 2 & 3).

3) Next I put a glob of black Speedball blockprinting ink on a sheet of mylar, and used a roller to roll the ink out to an even consistancy so the ink covers the roller evenly. If you don’t have mylar you can also use a plastic plate.. or basically something that is big enough to roll ink onto.
*Tip: Make sure there is an even amount of ink on the roller for the next step…

4) Then I rolled the ink directly over the foxes and wood. Bye bye foxies….
*Tip: make sure the glue is dry by this stage.

5) I took the watercolour paper out of the water and put it between dry sheets of newsprint paper and pressed them down with my hands on a flat surface to remove the excess water.
*Tip: The watercolour paper should be damp for the next step. Make sure it’s not shiny because then it means it’s too wet.

6) Then I placed the damp sheet of watercolour paper on top of the foxes & woodblock (while trying to centre the paper with the woodblock as much as possible.) I held down the paper firmly with my hands and using a clean roller I rolled the paper across the foxes & woodblock many times, making sure the paper didn’t move or slide. Then I slowly peeled the paper off starting with the right side.
*Tip: You can first ‘peek’ at your print by pulling up a corner to see if you need to do more rolling.

7) Voilà… a finished monoprint! As you can see, the areas I drew with the pen resisted the ink (because they were pushed lower than the surface of the craft foam). I discovered that areas which looked ‘shaded’ with the ball point pen actually ended up looking like highlights after it was printed. (It made me think about how I would approach the next piece I make.) Overall I really like how the print has a ghostly feel to it, and I like that the texture of the wood was printed too.
*Tip: If you are printing letters or words, remember to draw them backwards so they print the right way.

8) I made 4 monoprints in total, experimenting with different types of paper, and adding different amounts of ink. After experimenting I prefer using more ink (so it prints darker), and I like it when a lot of the wood block texture is transferred to the paper (which you can control when rolling).
*Tip: You can continue to use your woodblock print over and over again! Try making 2 prints without adding more ink. The second print is called a ‘ghost print’ and will be lighter and ‘softer’ looking.
*Tip: Remember to clean the foam print with water & paper towel after you’re finished because ink dries fast, and could dry in the etched lines after many uses.
*Tip: You can also cut shapes out of the craft foam (like stars, hearts, etc) and glue them to the wood block… it doesn’t have to be a drawing.
*Tip: Try experimenting with different colour inks and paper for different looks. See what works for you!

9) Treat yourself to a nice snack after all your hard work. ♥

Drawings: Rabbit Girl is my Alter Ego // Drawing Challenge #1

As I explained a couple posts ago, I have been a little disconnected with my muse. This month I have been trying to incorporate new things into my life to try to promote self-growth (as this missing muse extends into other areas of my life too). One of these new things is participating in a 30 Day Drawing Challenge. I am hoping that: 1) it will encourage me to draw more frequently, 2) push my creativity, 3) teach myself how to draw digitally. And maybe by the end of it I will have a few nice drawings. My goal is to create 30 digital drawings regardless of how many days it takes (because creating a final drawing in 1 day does not work with my schedule!).

30 DAY DRAWING CHALLENGE #1 – Yourself or your persona.

This piece is called “Alter Ego”. Why did I choose a rabbit mask as my alter ego? Well, when I was 3 years old I assumed the identity of a rabbit girl & I refused to be called ‘Emily’. Emily did not exist. This lasted for about a year. My poor parents! This is my first attempt at colouring with a pen tablet. It was more ‘natural’ then I expected, although I have A LOT to learn. I started with a pencil sketch first instead of drawing the image in the computer as I’m not very confident with drawing digitally — just yet. I hope that by the time I’m finished the challenge I will have improved my techniques a bit. I definitely could have gone further with this drawing and cleaned it up more, but I kinda got lazy and wanted to move onto the next challenge. 😛

Drawings: Creative Inspiration & Skull Album Cover

Today was finally a good day for drawing! OMG.. I’ve been very uninspired to draw for a couple months which has had me a little concerned. This week I had a discussion with a local pottery artist about losing & reclaiming one’s artistic creativity. She is also in a creative rut and hasn’t created anything in a while.  We talked about how it feels without art in our life, and we both agreed that something feels empty, like there is a piece missing. But we continue on day by day without our art, getting used to the empty feeling until we are ready to fill it back up again with creative fire. Like a bear that hibernates until it awakens in the Spring.  I realized that every artist must go through times like this, and it’s OK to feel disconnected from our creative sides. Perhaps we are going through something that is not art-related and it needs more attention than the creative part of our brain. I gave her advice and encouragement, and before I knew it I realized that I really needed to hear what I was saying too!

So today I woke up with some inspiration to make this a Drawing Day.  I started by playing around with some of my skull drawings in Photoshop with a pen tablet. I’m still pretty old school when it comes to drawing — I’m a straight up pencil & paper girl, and never use a tablet. But now I’d like to try incorporating digital drawing into my creative process. So I made an album cover for a band I would be in — in an alternate universe where I actually play an instrument. 😛