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

Nynne

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This is Nynne. She’s so small that she sometimes gets blown away.

Nynne1The worst part is getting back onto the ground. She never knows where she’ll land.

 

First day of spring

If you live further away from the equator, as I do, then you know that awesome day after a long winter where the sun is actually warm for the first time. (yes, I know it’s always warm, and you know what I mean) We had that day two days ago, and we really did use of it.
This whole winter I have avoided going outside as much as possible. Partly because it’s winter, but also because I’ve been having more work than ever before. I’ve taken maybe two or three days off since october, and I’ve only left the desk because the dog needs it’s walks. Poor Rita. I’ve been no fun at all to hang out with.
But this day, there were no excuses. I rushed through a few projects in the morning, and to  both mine and Rita’s excitement, spend the rest of the day out in the forest.scan0004.jpg
Awesome day. Looking forward to more of these.

Has spring come to you guys yet? Or maybe you live somewhere where the sun warms in the winter as well? I know some of you come from completely different places in the world, so I’d love to know what spring is like over where you’re at!

Have a great (and hopefully warm and sunny) day!

Embla

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

 

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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
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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

A portrait of my sister

In occasion of dad’s visit this week, I decided I wanted to paint a portrait. Actually I’ve been wanting to make this for quite some time, but haven’t gotten around to it until now.

Three years ago, I got a new sibling. Or, half sibling. Same dad different mom. Her name is Maja, and she’s the coolest little lady ever. Also, she’s the biggest reason for why I sometimes feel bad about moving so far away from my family. At the same time, our family has always been spread out over big distances, and while we rarely see each other, we do love one another, so I’m sure we’ll be able to have a relationship despite the big distance and age gap.

It’s pretty strange to have twenty years younger sister. My dad was really young when I was born, and I had a lot of friends who had siblings older than my parent. Now I’m that sibling that’s older than some of her friends parents.

Anyways, the portrait. I decided I wanted to make it when I saw a photo of Maja in her favourite toy – the plastic bathtub. Immediately I got the idea to paint it, but instead of her sailing around on the kitchen floor, she’d be on the ocean. Now it’s finally down on paper:
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Unfortunately, the paper is too big to fit in my scanner, so the quality is only as good as a camera-phone can get it.WP_20170301_009.jpgWP_20170301_011.jpg

From what I’ve heard, Maja was very surprised that she could be a drawing. I can imagine it’s very strange to see yourself that way for the first time. Well, at least her parents like it, and I’m sure she’ll get used to it sooner or later :)

Diary in February

Hello folks!
I haven’t been around for a while, but there’s been a lot of diary-pages created, here’s the sum-up of february:

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Winterbirds and different things we look at.

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In case you missed that, we have a dog called Rita. I never thought I’d own a dog, and sometimes I doubt the decision to get one. She takes up so much time, and I can’t really do anything because she can’t be left alone for more than a minute. But of course I love the crazy lady, and i have since the day she moved in.
You know how people say that “you can’t possibly understand what it’s like until you have a dog of your own”. I understand now..

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We like sleep, and two experiments inspired by something I saw on the internet. I can’t find that picture now, but if you who made it ever sees this: I’m sorry about the plagiarizing. It was only for practice!

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View from mom’s backyard.

scan0059.jpgAnd the big february-spread.
I met with a very good friend in Christiania – that weird place where dogs can roam free and everything smells like weed.
Ritas friend Lumi came to visit.
It’s been a very tiring time for the whole tiny family.
Our neighbour came home, to our disappointment. It’s really strange to have someone living so close when the walls are made of plastic and paper, and we’re the kinds of weirdos who prefer to be left alone. Luckily, there aren’t many people that can hold out living like this for too long, so our neighbours usually move out again pretty quickly. They stay over the summer, then they give up around fall, and we can expect someone new to move in again next year.
And the highlight of the month: My dad – PappaLars – came to visit, for the first time since I moved to Denmark (like 4 years ago)! Our common interests are punk music and beer drinking, so of course we had a very good time. Even though he can’t fit in the caravan, or the fact that he knows more about Copenhagen than I do (stay-at-home-people are bad tour guides.)

That’s that. I hope you guys enjoyed these pages.
I’m working on some really exciting projects right now, and I can’t wait until I’m allowed to show you. But for now you’ll have to live with all my less exciting rants and scribbles about nothing.

Have an awesome day!
Embla

Snow

Hello there!
Here’s yet another diary page.
I know it’s a lot of the diary right now. It’s not something I’ve been planning for. It just happens to be this book that I reach out for whenever my fingers starts to itch, and I don’t have any other projects going on that I’m allowed to show you.

So here you go. My take on the huge pile of snow that fell last evening and melted away again over night:scan0047.jpg

I wasn’t too excited about snow when living in Sweden, but now it makes me feel like home.
I don’t mean to say that Denmark doesn’t feel like home. I’m pretty sure that I am more comfortable in Copenhagen than in Stockholm by now.
Still, would I ever get homesick, it’s the snow I’ll be missing. Sure, they get it here in Denmark too. But somehow it feels as if it only barely counts, when it only stays for a few hours.

Facepainting

Hello!
If you read my last post, you know that I’ve spent the weekend in a shopping centre, painting kid’s faces all day long. It was really hectic, and really fun too.

To my  disappointment I couldn’t take any photos. I wouldn’t show them to you guys anyways. Because you know, it’s not cool to post pictures of other people just like that. But I would’ve loved to have been able to take some for myself, just to kind of save my work. Most of you are probably aware that you can get emotionally attached to your creative work, and I had no idea that this would apply here as well. But it did.
Mostly it was butterflies, spidermans and tigers(as it has been since the beginning of time) but I got some pretty cool requests too. Such as “I want to be a vampire princess”, “Make me look like a diamond” or “Please just make me as gross and scary as possible”. That’s the kind of stuff I get really excited about, and those were the cases where I couldn’t help but getting a little sad when seeing them leaving.

So instead of taking any photos, I could at least make this little drawing in my diary to sum the whole thing up.
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Anyone who has ever worked with children, in any way, knows that half the job is more about the parents. Luckily, I managed to put my whole focus on the kids, and most of the time it was so much fun I wasn’t even bothered by the craziest moms.
I sure hope they’ll be hiring me again, because this is really something I can imagine doing more of.

I did get something else with me from there, and I’m doing a little project with it right now. You’ll get to see it pretty soon, but I think most of the updates about that will be through the facebook page. So check that out if you’re interested in more drawings and shorter texts :)

Have a great day everybody!

Embla

Neighbor and cats

Ok, so I have time for a small one.
I realized after last post that I definitely need more practice drawing people, and especially animals, from behind. So here’s a sketch I made on the bus. It’s inspired by my neighbor, always seen carrying something, and followed by a bunch of cats.
neighbor

Have a nice sunday!