When I’m creating a new illustration and need a reference for a particular pose, I often find Google Images to be of vast help. Case in point, this week I wanted to draw Josephine in a crouching pose. Google image searches for “woman crouching” yielded many great results and lots of inspiration!
Based on studying the poses, I created a preliminary rough sketch…
However, when I imported the sketch into my photo-editing program so that I could “mirror” it to check my lines, I decided it needed an overhaul. My next version is a better drawing, yet it lost some of the playfulness of the sketch above. This is one I’ll sleep on for a while before I decide my next move!
Last Monday I posted an illustration sketch along with the transferred inked line drawing. I was very excited to get to the coloring-in step, but life intervened and I spent many hours playing ballets in the pit at the David H. Koch Theatre.
This afternoon when I sat down at my drafting table to work on the illustration again, I was instantly swept up in the process and remembered just how much I love it! For those of you who are curious, after transferring the final sketch to marker paper in the form of an inked line drawing, I then start by coloring in the skin and facial features. My reason for doing this is simple. Since the face is where the eye goes first and I take great care with the expressions on my “Josephines”, if I mess up on an element of the features, I can always start over without having to scrap hours of work.
This is what the illustration looked like after I had completed the face, hair and skin rendering:
From there, I “dress” my fashionista. My husband caught me at work inking in her raincoat:
And here she is in all of her glory!
The birthday card version is now available in my shop at Etsy…
(Click here to see the card!)
This past week I was caught up in a whirlwind of work – this time music related. Six performances (4 different programs), 2 rehearsals, and 3 students later, I’m ready to see the work week end! But before I curl up on the couch with my husband, a movie, and some chewy candy, I’m posting the newly outlined (and fleshed out) version of the sketch I posted on Monday. The next step will be the coloring…a step I’ve really come to look forward to ever since I got my new Copic Sketch markers.
I’m still mulling over the greeting. But perhaps that will work itself out after I’ve had a little more sleep! Stay tuned…
…because the alternative is a lot less fun!
(5×7 birthday card now available at Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy.)
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that my dream is to leave my corner of the world a slightly better place. I value kindness and generosity. I also prize creativity and effort over whiz-bang, flash-in-the-pan success. With such a seemingly wholesome approach, you might be surprised to learn that I wrestle big time with my own demons…
Demons that jump out at me from the mirror shouting:
Your face is too thin!
Maybe you should get braces again – your right tooth is crooked!
Ha ha! Your haircut makes you look like a boy!
Oh my God! Your eyebrows aren’t symmetrical!!!
(And those are just the criticisms about my appearance. There isn’t sufficient space in this post to address what the demons say about my talents, or lack thereof.)
Perhaps I’m not alone in having these thoughts, but it sure seems like it sometimes. In case you’re interested, when I’m assaulted by my demons, my go-to cure is…
- Lots of mindless research on the internet (i.e. lately, when I remember, I’ve been trying to do the muscle-building, cheek-enhancing facial routine here)
- followed by -
- A self-imposed internet and glossy magazine holiday
- A session of volunteering with New York Cares – nothing better than helping others to get you off of focusing on yourself
- Laughter (Most recently, I amused myself by accidentally vacuuming up one of my athletic socks. When I went to retrieve it from the bag, I was thrilled to find the bathroom tile I had vacuumed up earlier in the week.)
- Creating my vision of beauty through art or music. (If you’ve never been, please visit my Etsy shop here. And, if you want to hear/see me perform this week and are in the NYC area, I’ll be onstage at the Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall on Friday.)
In the meantime, I’m pinning my hopes on a just-emerged eyebrow hair. With any luck (and a lot of peer pressure from the hair follicle world) I’m hoping that a few other eyebrow hair buddies will be inspired to hatch so that I end up with symmetrical eyebrows. Maybe then everything in my life will be perfect.
(I can always hope.)
A sneak peak at my latest illustration…
(To see the full illustration, click here!)
Or, Musings on Appearance and Inner Beauty
Last week I took the plunge and got about 6 inches of my hair chopped off. Why? Because with a head of thick wavy-to-curly hair and a thin face, I was feeling a bit like a needle in a haystack.
Before I went to my hair appointment, my husband reassured me that he’d love me no matter how I looked – or what I did with my hair. We discussed different styles; I told him my current frustrations, along with my concerns and fears. One of these was that I would end up looking like…
At the salon, my hairdresser looked at the pictures I brought (all short styles), but seemed hesitant to do what I asked. Afraid of insisting on what I wanted – and perhaps discovering how wrong I was – I deferred and agreed to try an in-between style with a short back and long front. The result was that I came away looking like…
As I left the salon, I felt shell-shocked, embarrassed, and actually agitated. I stole furtive glances at passerbys to see if they were reeling in horror. Surprisingly, they didn’t seem to be staring, let alone noticing me at all! When I bumped into an acquaintance that evening on the subway, he made no mention of my vegetative state and chatted with me as if nothing was amiss.
I’ve decided to embrace my new look as “unique”, fresh and youthful…the new me. (Ok, that’s not quite true. I’ve got another haircut booked for today.)
“Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only.”
Ansel Adams once said…
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
(Josephine couldn’t agree more!)