Monday, October 17, 2011

Experimenting with Process

It is time to share a process post, because I am experimenting with it!
I have a couple illustrations that I absolutely love, "An Outing for Foxes" and "Shoe Sailing Mice." The reason I like them so much is because they have a sense of movement expressed by the lines of the ink pen. I have let my lines become the defining force of my illustrations, which works with movement, but the more stationary pieces feel like they are lacking. So, the last couple weeks I have felt the ache of growing pains, knowing that I need to grow, but not knowing how. I expressed all of this to my artist friend Sara and she gave me some great advice: She asked me which part I enjoyed doing the most and to focus on that: line drawing with pen, detail drawing with colored pencil, or painting with watercolor. I found that my favorite part was colored pencil, even though I always started with pen and rushed through the detail drawing.
With this new piece I forced myself to slow down and do all the detail drawing first with colored pencil, then I gently outlined with a thin ink pen.

This is our cat "Tom." We are always trying to think up ways to protect our farm cats from wild animals. We thought making him a fox costume might confuse the coyotes :)

It always feels weird completing a drawing and then putting it in water! This is how you size the paper and prepare it to receive watercolor.

After quickly patting off the excess water I tape it down to a masonite board while it is still damp to prevent warping.

At this point I am realizing that the colored pencil detail creates competition for the watercolor. I started using the watercolor paint more like a colored pencil. Not sure if that is the look I will be going for in the future, but for now I like it. Tom needs several more glazes of color, shadows and depth. My scanner has started picking up a lot of yellow, so imagine it with a lot less...... I will let you know how he turns out!


  1. TOTALLY lovin' it so far! :D I think how you're applying the paint compliments the colored pencil. For now, I'm glad you're liking the process. Tom is freakin' adorable. The time you took in the colored pencil process paid off. Tom feels much more "round" and furry.

    What a great idea! I can so see you and Casey chatting about this one. ;) And BTW, it truly looks like Tom.

  2. You are amazing! I love process cool. And now I must distract myself with something in order to ever feel worthy of picking up a paintbrush again ;)

  3. Jenni, I am sure that is the other way around: When your shadow falls on your paintbrushes they giggle and giggle because they know your wit, and feel quite unworthy of your craftiness. Do not shun them. Thanks for your compliment :)

  4. I love seeing the steps you take as you are creating. i have never taped paper and never done traditional water coloring, some day. thank you for sharing your charming piece.