About a year ago I switched from working with watercolors and gouache to using markers and ink for my fashionista illustrations. I made the switch for several reasons; I wanted more vibrancy to my colors, and I wanted to work with a more translucent paper without having to worry about the paper buckling under the wetness of the paint.
My first attempts with markers were fairly clumsy and heavy-handed, but I feel now like I’m really growing into the medium. Today I brought back an old illustration to rework. I always liked the drawing, but knew when I originally finished it that it would need to be reworked at a later date.
Here’s the old version:
And here is the new re-worked version:
The greeting card version is now available in my shop at Etsy!
I slept very badly last night. And after thrashing around all night, I awoke with a severely cramped neck. Which got me thinking that maybe instead of running around the house today doing the cleaning in preparation for my husband’s return from being out of town, perhaps I should just take it easy.
(Taking it easy is not something I’m good at.)
So in the spirit of play and “taking it easy,” I decided to do a timed drawing. The idea was to just experiment at the drafting table. I decided to sketch myself with a pain in the neck and set the timer for exactly 37 minutes. (Why 37? Take a look here.)
In 37 minutes I came up with this…
But since I can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to render the sketch to see what it would look like.
A little (LOT) more than 37 minutes later, I came up with this…
You’ll notice I cropped the illustration. I did this because my proportions for the arm on the left side of the illustration weren’t right. I also overworked the skin more than I should have. The good thing is that I learned about arm proportions, the ever-tricky nose placement, and how many layers of color are just too much.
On the positive side, I’m sufficiently overworked enough now that I’ll be able to take a nap.
(Cleaning the bathroom will just have to wait!)
I’ve had limited time these past weeks for regular work on my illustrations. Therefore, when I do get a chunk of time – like I did yesterday – I feel like an addict making up for lost time. Top of my list recently has been a new “head-shot” for Josephine. I struggled this week with various looks and angles…only to find that, in the end, the problem was too many angles! In each of the versions I created, Josephine looked stiff, over-worked, and (gasp!) old. Yesterday as I scratched my brain in frustration and pondered the next step, something clicked…or loosened up…or, whatever.
And a pondering, but still sassy, Josephine emerged.
I’ve been de-cluttering all my life. I’m a confessed neat freak, but recently I took my de-cluttering to a new extreme and decided to embrace the Ten Item Wardrobe concept. Not my own idea, but it intrigued me when I read about it in Jennifer L. Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris. (If you’re interested, her spring 10 item capsule wardrobe looks like this.)
The first step in my weeding out process was to try on everything I owned in front of a full length mirror. Anything that didn’t fit well, looked cheap or unflattering, or that I hadn’t worn for over a year, went into the give-away pile. This included a bunch of fancy labels (yes I actually owned some Gucci clothing) that had been passed down to me by well-meaning friends. Vintage bohemian looked great on the hanger, but I finally faced up to the fact that the red suede Gucci flare leg pants just weren’t me.
Which leads me to another important point. Knowing your style personality helps immensely in the weeding out process. It’s also a good thing to keep in mind when you’re shopping for new things. As much as I’d love to rock a more edgy and bold vibe…
the truth is, I’m a Classic Gamine.
In the end, while I wasn’t rigid to whittling down to 10 items – after all, I live in a part of the country that has seasons – I discovered an unexpected benefit. Along with more space in my closet, came the ability to actually see what I have to wear. All of a sudden it’s easier to pair things that I never considered pairing before, and therefore my palette of “looks” has increased.
Finally, since I don’t have that many clothes, these days I wear my nice things more often. Proof that less can be more!
This is what I wish I had been doing all week…
But instead I was running back and forth to Lincoln Center playing rehearsals and 6 performances (12 different pieces in all!) with New York City Ballet. However, the moments I stole here and there to render this illustration gave me true happiness and a sense of being in the moment. Creating your own inner peace…what could be better than that?
The card version is now available in my shop at Etsy.
Click to purchase here!