Portraits

While I’m speaking of portraits anyways. Here’s a bit more about that.

Just like any other realism, portraits isn’t something that I’ve spent much time practicing. I recall making some pencil-sketch of Helena Bonham Carter for an art-assignment in elementary school, and a tiny drawing of my grandparents from the same time(which is still displayed in their house, and I’m horrified by it whenever I visit). Since then, I can’t remember making any portraits.
But then, the commissions came, and suddenly I had requests for portraits, even though I didn’t even have any in my portfolio.

jiajia

 

Like other commissions involving photographs, it’s often more about artistic interpretations rather than depictions. Mostly it’s family portraits in a cartoonish style, and they turn out looking something like this ————————————————————>
Making a portrait this way is tricky. Even if it’s just a simple figure, I must put a lot of thought into where the facial features go, to both match the style, and have the drawing resemble the person.
Still, it’s nothing compared to a real portrait.
One tiny line in a wrong place can mess up a whole face. You’ve probably seen portraits that are good, but there’s something really creepy about them that you can’t put your finger on. Yeah, that’s just an eye in a slightly wrong angle or a mouth a tiny bit too big.

My first portrait was a pencil sketch of leonard cohen and two others. I was so scared about messing up, but this was just the rough sketch, and the client was so happy with it, they didn’t even want me to finalize it. I’m not too proud of it myself, but you don’t tell your boss that you disagree when they say job well done. So here’s how that turned out.DSC_0074.jpg

 

Cowboy.jpg
Then it was this cool old cowboy who needed an image for the articles he wrote for a newspaper.
It was my first ink portrait and ink can not be erased (obviously), so if I messed this one up I’d have to start all over. But it turned out fine, and I must say, the shirt was actually harder than the face on this one.

 

 

 

Then came along something much much scarier. On my fiverr-page I offered creating pictures in coffee. I thought I would reach coffee-shop-owners who wanted something fun to hang on their walls. But instead, it was coffee-loving people wanting portraits. And omygoshyouguys, that was the real challenge. Coffee is so hard to control, it’s sticky, it runs away to places it shouldn’t be and it takes forever to dry. I spent so many hours on these compared to what I would with any other medium.

CoffeePortrait.jpgcoffee1
Ok, so this one isn’t great. But I’m still                           Nope, that’s not a screw-up. That’s
happy about it because that was a very                              a zombie doll
blurry photo.

I see I switched scanners around here. Believe it or not, that’s the same kind of coffee.
coffee1coffee3
I really like these two. I’m happy about the roughness of the left one, and for the right, I’m just glad I managed to make a good one out of both coffee and ink.

 

 

 
After that, my first portrait in watercolor and ink. Scary as usual, but here I had started gaining some confidence in this area.deborah

 

And lastly, the ones in only watercolor. I am super happy about these, and don’t even hesitate to make them anymore. The first I made was of Darwin, which was great, because that guy is recognizable as long as there’s a big beard and bushy eyebrows, so it was hard to mess up, even if I was making a color portrait after a black and white photo.
darwin

This little lady you’ve seen before
wp_20170301_011

And this latest one, which I’m really proud of, even though the dog looks crazy.
I promise, it looked crazier in the photo.samjoemollyoriginal
Yeah. Watercolor is obviously my medium. Maybe I should just stick to that instead of stupidly messing around with that ink and coffee.

I hope you enjoyed these. And if you didn’t, at least now you know where not to go for a pencil-portrait.

Have a great day!

Embla

Realism

The past weeks I’ve been getting a lot of work involving depicting photographs. Usually when a commission involves a photo, it’s more about artistic interpretations of them, but lately I’ve been doing a lot of realistic depictions.
This is something that I haven’t done much before I started doing commissions, and I still never do it unless it’s for a job. Because, honestly, it’s a little boring.
For me, the fun part in painting is to make something that wasn’t there before, and while copying surely is a challenge, it’s just not the same.
Nevertheless, these commissions are always very welcome, as it is such good practice for me.
Here are some paintings I’ve done recently for different clients:
City.jpgFor a blog

2184.jpgplant 001.jpg
For commercial purposes

 

 

Birthday2.jpg
Birthday party invite
Teacup.jpg
For an article

 

80dollars.jpg
For personal use

The best thing about depicting photos is the awesome sense of accomplishment when it’s finished. Not only because it takes a long time, but also because I’m always happily surprised by the result. Like “wow, did I just make this??”.
When making all the childish cartoony stuff that I do, I easily fall into self doubt. I can feel that my work is too simple, that my success is undeserved and that I’m not a “real” artist. But creating paintings like these makes me realize that I can actually do things other than just cute doodles.
So, these commissions are great for practice, and most of all, they’re great for boosting my confidence.
Thanks to all my lovely clients for trusting me with your projects!

Hope y’all are having a great day!

Embla

Monster

Good morning!
I want to show you a project that I worked on in November, for a musician named Dave Crosby.(not the older, bearded guy, but the other, younger, clean shaven Dave Crosby)
I was really excited about the description I got, which was something like: “a dark monster hanging up eyeballs on a line, above him a ‘swirly’ sky(with faces in it) and it’s as if it’s exploding into space”. Ok, that sounds really confusing, but he had some reference pictures along with the description, so it was easier to figure out than it sounds.

DSC_0590 (1).jpg
Pre-sketches

The reason I was so excited about it is because most of my commissions are either really sweet things for children, or it’s depicting photographs. It’s not at all like I don’t enjoy those jobs, but a dark and scary picture is always like a welcomed break from all the cute stuff.
Here’s how the painting turned out:
Monster1.jpg
This was for an album cover, and naturally, I thought the music was something hard and loud, but I was surprised to learn that it was a pretty mellow singer/songwriter who ordered the painting.

As it was for an album, Dave thought it could be cool if his name was written in the swirls. So he ordered another one, with a few other changes as well. Quite a hard task, but I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. As I had gotten a lot of practice on the first one, this one looks a lot cleaner, don’t you think?
MonsterCrosby.jpg

When looking up his youtube channel, to share with you guys, I realized that this is the guy who just went viral, with the video of him and his young daughter playing ‘you’ve got a friend in me’. If you’ve seen it, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Such a contrast, between these creepy paintings and that most adorable video the internet has seen since, well.. The last adorable viral video I guess…

You can find his youtube channel HERE

And the newly released EP is HERE
Have a great day!

Embla