Mouse Evolution

It started with this little guy. I thought I wanted to make a little Christmas mouse out of wallpaper scraps. I found a pattern I liked and set to tracing, cutting and gluing. He was okay, but in the end I felt like I wanted something a little different.img_20170110_113110

So I started sketching and trying to come up with some kind of caricature. Here are some of the ideas I worked through.

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Once I had a shape that I liked. I started roughly blobbing some ink on the page and after waiting for it to dry, I would draw the mouse. I liked this a lot! (Probably because that is how I did a gazillion dogs and cats.)

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Eventually I ended up with a cute little mouse, that became part of my Christmas cards.

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This little guy is missing his tail!

Inktober Week 2

I’ve been making time to do a small ink sketch every day for the month of October. Here are the results from week 2.

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Quick little sketch before going to sleep. Still in my crosshatching faze.

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Not sure if it is a cat? or mouse? but I thought it was cute.

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I liked this tree, I dropped some ink on the page and then used canned air to move the ink and make branches.

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Practicing with different water soluble pencils. Most of these little guys are not so pretty. Carla Sonheim practice exercise.

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Just a little doodle that started to morph and change, I kept adding to it and in the end I really liked it!

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Practicing with some pencils from Stabilo. They write like a pencil but are water soluble. Very inexpensive too! They write on glass and most surfaces.

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Practicing with water soluble markers and doing an exercise from Carla Sonheim. 

Fun

Work has been sucking the fun out of life lately so I haven’t made any art for a few days.

For this post I’ve included two pieces I did awhile back during my cat phase, each image has 20 animals all on the same sheet! It required a little planning and measuring (and starting over again about 3 times) but it was a lot of fun. I think I will do one of these layouts for dogs and bunnies too.

For these little blob animals, I do the watercolor first and after it dries I outline the animal and it acquires its personality.

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GIMP

I’ve been wanting to learn how to improve my scanned images and I’ve finally taken the time to start watching the tutorial. (Only after wasting hours trying to figure it out on my own.)

I really don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for Adobe software so I downloaded GIMP, but didn’t really know how to use it besides a few simple functions. Mostly I use Picasa to do all my photo editing and even then, I just crop or lighten, nothing too fancy. I needed something with a little a more flexibility.

What is GIMP? Here is a blurb from their website “GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes. ” It is similar to Adobe Photoshop.

I’ve been working my way through a Lynda tutorial the last few days. So helpful! The purpose behind all this is to be able to scan in my artwork and then clean it up so I can create prints to post in my Etsy shop.

I now know how to remove the bumpy watercolor paper from the background!

Below is an example. The darker image is directly from my scanner and if you look closely you can see the bumps in the watercolor paper, this won’t look so great if you want to make this into a print. I’ve already made a few prints that had a paper texterure in the background.

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Scanned image

I’ve only made it about a third of the way through tutorial but I did learn to use the Color Select tool. This allowed me to select the cat (since it is all black) and then invert the selection (to select all of the ugly white and then simply hit the delete key!

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Used GIMP to remove the dark background.

I am not sure if there is anything else I should do to this cat, (I’ll learn more as I continue the tutorial) but it looks much nicer and would make a much better print.

 

 

 

 

 

Snowy Blue Day

What to do on a snowy Saturday? Practice your blob animals of course.

For these I start by painting around where the eye will go and then add some type of body. I make the paint very watery and then tilt the paper to see what happens. I don’t usually have an animal in mind when  I start. It usually appears as I move the paint around, although sometimes it waits to show itself until later when I start outling.

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Paint blob before outlining, mouse maybe?

Here are a few that turned out ok, there were plenty more that were just plain ugly.

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Duck with a cape

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Scary bug

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Talkative blue bird