Doodlewash 30-day challenge


Hey everyone!
This month I tried to take on the monthly challenge from Doodlewash. It’s about painting 30 watercolours in 30 days, and there’s a list of prompts to follow.
Since we’re only in the middle of the month, you might have figured out that I didn’t make it through the challenge.

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Continuing on the silent book

I haven’t given up on this project yet!
Currently I’m working on a layout, like what size the pages should be and if they should be filled with many small pictures or just a big one. And, I’m trying to find the right colours. That is really hard, because it’s supposed to take place at night, but I don’t want to make it too dark.
Of course, it’s not really possible to make a bright night scene unless most of it is filled with lamps or other lights (something I’ve had many arguments with clients about). But I still want to experiment to see just how bright I can make it and still have it obvious that it is night time.

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Something completely different.

As the title suggests – this isn’t the kind of stuff you usually see here. Well, you know, it’s still drawings, just not the kind I usually make, or even the kind I enjoy making.
I’ve been sketching from real life.scan0107.jpg
One thing that comes as a bonus for living out on the country is that the buses don’t go very often, and because I’m commuting in the weekends, there’s a lot of waiting time.
If I was a modern human, I would most likely be spending this time on my phone, but since I’m one of those stone age people who still uses a more cubic phone, I’m taking the opportunity to force myself into practicing the stuff I hate practicing. Drawing city-stuff.
I do enjoy depicting things from reality, sometimes. Like nature-stuff. But houses…. No.
There are many times when I see a lovely building and I decide that I really want to draw it, but when it comes to actually doing it, I always find it painfully boring.
But practice is practice, and even though I’d much rather be solving a crossword puzzle in this time, I know that this is going to be helpful for me in the future. Like eating healthy, or studying while it’s still free. I never did any of those things, but I learned from my mistakes.
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These previous four sketches are things that I can see from the bus stop. I just wanted to get those over with quickly and didn’t focus too much.
The following two are from yesterday. I was going into town to do some food shopping and had two hours to waste while waiting for the next bus to take me home. So I went to two different spots where I’ve seen some nice architecture, that I always thought would be nice to get a drawing of, but never wanted to do it. Yesterday I had no choice.

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The backside of the town’s hotel. I love scruffy ladders and stairways. Never knew how hard it would be to depict.
Those brick walls were from hell. I obviously didn’t care very much about how that looked, I just wanted to get it done. But apart from that, I’m pretty happy with this one.

scan0106.jpgThe church. Or at least a part of it. I love how even the garden shed has fancy details on it.

So why is it so important to me to do something that I really don’t like doing, and don’t really have to? Well, because in a way, I kind of have to.
An illustrator (and especially a children’s book illustrator) should be able to draw pretty much everything, and especially architecture. No matter if your thing is spaceships and robots, forests and magical creatures or cuddly animals, you’re almost certain to bump into some form of architecture once in awhile. Just having a small sense of the structure of different kinds of buildings will surely be helpful sooner or later. Of course, there’s always the amazing internet full of references whenever it’s needed, but it’s not really the same thing. Just depicting a house from a picture is easy enough, but in understanding the forms, which is the important thing when creating something new, nothing beats live-drawing.

Especially the drawing of the roof on the hotel will come in handy for me. I’ve never even noticed that I have a problem with roofs, but this opened up my eyes for that.

I’m very happy that I put myself through this. It was dreadful, but extremely helpful.
I hope it wasn’t as boring for you as it was for me.

Em

Project is coming along

Hello! First of all – You might have noticed the changes around here. I’m just trying out some new things.  Everything should pretty much be where I left it, but please let me know if I messed something up.

Now for the thing I was going to talk about. Remember the scarecrow project? It’s still on, in case you were in doubt. In the more likely case that you have no idea what the scarecrow project is: I’m illustrating a song, and it’s about scarecrows. This is the tryout-illustration I’ve been basing the rest of this on:

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The original plan was to have a few different illustrations in a sequence that goes along with the song, to be put on youtube. But as that is clearly some sort of music video, I would love to be able to get some animation in there. Not much, but maybe just a crow flapping its wings would make such a difference, and it would be so cool if I could do that! The problem is just that I have no idea how to do that, so this is all just a big experiment.
I’ve been thinking more than I’ve been painting on this one. And finally, I have reached a plan. It’s probably the least effective one I could come up with, but it’s still a plan.

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The idea is to first put together the actual scenes. But instead of drawing them one by one, I figure it will save me some time to put them together in photoshop instead. Since I’m so modern I recently learned some things about photoshop (but still no animation program) I now have the powers to that kind of stuff!
Anyways, I put the main pictures together, with the help of the started pieces above, and then I’ll be tampering with them. Like moving the arms and change the crows here and there.  I’m pretty sure I’ve overseen a much more efficient way to go about the crows, but now this is it.

I’ve laid the brown pencil aside and moved back to ink on this one. For the only reason that it makes the cropping-everything-out-part so much faster. It’s a shame, in a way, because I really like the softer style with this motive. But this is already such a huge project, and if I were to make it even harder for myself there’s the chance that I’d give up and quit. So I’m making it as easy as I can for now. Just for now.

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Here are all the finished pieces together. And yes, I did notice that four of those crows are in there twice. No worries, I’m on it.
I didn’t make the whole heads for those last three expressions. Since they’re all in pretty much the same pose as the first two, I think it will be enough just to put those in there, and move the head slightly. I Should have thought of that before I put all that time into sketching those heads…

Now for the exciting experiment-part of the whole thing, which I’ve actually already gotten started on:SC4.jpg

I believe this is going to take quite a while, but I really have no idea.

Wish me luck :)

Em

Trolls

Here’s a little personal project I’ve been working on last week. The original plan was to start working on a new book, but as I enjoy painting much more than writing, I skipped putting the story together, and went straight to the fun part.

The character sketches:
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I was struggling with the fuzzy one a lot, and when I finally found him, I had a feeling that I’ve seen him before. It happens to me a lot that I make something I’m really happy about, and later discover that thing already exist. Here I feared that I was plagiarizing either Tove Jansson or Dr. Seuss. Luckily, I couldn’t find him anywhere on google, so I decided it’s probably fine.

The start of the big sketch:
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And with the inking finally finished. (Notice my awesome table)
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I always regret putting in so much detail when I get to the actual inking and painting, especially the basket was soooo boring. But it’s worth it in the end.

The final result!
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It’s not very likely to ever turn out as a book, but I really like these characters, and the place they live in, so you’ll probably get to see more of them in the future.

Have a nice day!

Em

Non-dangerous pirates

A little while ago, I made this drawing just for fun. I really liked these guys, and realized that this is a golden opportunity to practice motion, angles, proportions, and most of all: character consistency.
When I illustrated my first children’s book, I hadn’t even thought of the importance of this. It showed to be a huge problem, and no matter how hard I tried, the character still ended up looking different on the last page than it did on the first.
I have learned from my mistake, and I’ve been doing a lot of practice since, but the learning never ends, and here’s some more:scan0016
The first drawing.

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Then three more, in different stages of the process.

PiratesAnd the final result. I’m quite happy with them, and these guys might be going on more adventures in the future.
I still have more work to do until the character consistency reaches perfect, but at least I have come a long way since that first book.

Have a nice day!

Em

I have big pockets

Sometimes, that creativity-thing is just nowhere to be found, but the urge to draw something is still there. When that happens, I find it best to just draw whatever’s around me. While it’s not quite as fun as making up something new, it’s always a good practice, and it gets the itch out of the fingers.
This time I thought I should draw the stuff I carry around with me all the time. It would probably be more fun if I had done this two years ago, because I used to have all sorts of things in my bag. Anything anyone could ever need, that could fit in a bag, I had it. Sowing equipment? you bet! Piece of bread and maybe a little cheese? Of course! Mini-chessboard? A small porcelain elephant? Sure, why not? A harmonica, bandage, extra socks, screwdriver, lip balm, makeup(which I don’t even use), pens and papers obviously, a beer, some foreign coins….
I was even nicknamed Skalman – which is the name of the turtle in a popular swedish cartoon, who keeps everything in his shell except for locomotives and cruise ships (he does have a helicopter).
I guess I’m some sort of mini-hoarder.

Nowadays, I rarely carry a bag anymore, but I do still carry a lot of stuff around.
Pockets.jpgThese are the things I have with me wherever I go. All of these seems so important to have on me at all times (well, except for the paperclip and twig. I don’t really use those) but I would probably be just fine with only the keys. Not even the dog leash comes to use that much.

What do you carry with you when you leave the house?

Hut

I have, like the big child I am, built a hut (or cubbyhole?) in the forest.
It’s a good place to go when the caravan gets too small for the three of us.
hutDo you guys still do these kinds of things? Or is it just me who still have some catching up to do on my childhood?

Opera mom

As promised, I just finished a bigger, brighter, black and white picture.
I spent so much time on the ink-work that I was scared of ruining it with the paint. I would imagine this to be really colorful, but as that was not the plan, I decided to scan it before doing anything else. So now, if I want to color it again, I can just print it out. Here’s how it looks:

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And here it is with all the black paint on it, plus a text that says “sometimes the mom sings opera at breakfast”: OperaMammaText.jpg
It’s inspired by my mom, who doesn’t actually sing opera at the breakfast table, but she does sing sometimes. And she lives in a pretty messy house with my youngest brother and a big bunch of cats. It could very well look like this.

I think my biggest struggle was the shadows. Since I couldn’t use color to get a focal point, I had to do it with light instead. I think it turned out fine, but omygoshyouguys, it took so long to finish. Unfortunately, when I’m excited about a project, I forget about pretty much everything else. So this have kept me awake for way too long, and I’ve also fallen behind on a few commissions, so I’ll be working hard the next few days.
It was worth it though. I really like it, and Mom loves it.

See you when I’ve caught up with my work!

Embla