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new & old – Fanart

August 29, 2010

One of the best ways to stay productive and challenge yourself is in my opinion doing some fanart. It offers plenty of material to work with but leaves enough space for creative freedom. Plus: a lot of people enjoy it!

My most productive time before 2010 was when I was involved in the Harry Potter fandom. With the last book it went quiet in the fandom, however I had done an illustration of my favourite moment of the last book in 2007 and always wanted to give the scene another try. At that time I didn’t feel confident enough with watercolours to use them for a scene set at night.

That’s what I did back then, done with pencils and coloured in Photoshop:

I still like the expression of the illustration, however I was curious about how I would interpret the scene today and if this time I would be able to do itĀ  with Watercolours:

The forest again, chapter 34

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Looking at them now, I don’t feel like it is possible to compare them with each other. They are so different. But it was a long overdue experiment and I’m glad I did it.

improvement

August 22, 2010

Since I finished this illustration for one of the fairy tales a friend is writing, I knew I had to give it another try. At that point I did my best, but originally I had planned to do a different scene and last week I felt confident enough to try it again.

I took a lot of photos during the drawing process and can therefore give you a long entry about the creation process:

Everything begins with a first thumbnail sketch where I try to get an idea for the composition. I did a few but the first one turned out to be “the one”!

first sketch

Next: I transfer the rough composition on my watercolour paper, in this case: Canson illustration board.

step 2

Now I work out all the details.

details

Often this step includes looking for reference pictures or taking them by myself like this one:

hand reference

Eventually the lineart is finished:

lineart

Normally I start the colouring with the background, this time however I chose a detail to begin with, because it was important to get this element of smoke right.

starting to colour

For the background I had to use masking fluid to protect the borders of the palace.

masking fluid

I actually hate to use masking fluid and as you can see I really should use it more effectively.

final background

What takes most of the time is the colouring and working out all details with colour. From here it’s all about patience.

mermaid skin detail

more details

Hours later with a little contrast correction in Photoshop the illustration is finished:

I hope you enjoyed this post about my creation process!

Have a nice Sunday!

Update: Fairy Tale illustrations

August 15, 2010

My goal for this week was to create two illustrations for the fairy tale collection and I’m very happy that for once I’ve been able to attain my goal.

The process of creation was different for each of them. For the first one it took days to decide on one scene to illustrate and even more days to develop a fitting composition. Sometimes it’s just there and sometimes I have to do endless sketching until I come up with something I can work with.

sketching

more sketches

The scene I chose was rather complex with three characters and lots of details, however by chosing this scene I proved that I’m not making it easy for me, which is good to know. It can happenĀ  fast and unnoticed.

After doing those thumbnail sketching I create the actual drawing detail by detail on the illustration board.

lineart

I started to work in a larger format to get more details in my illustrations and although it takes a lot more time to finish one illustration, I am more satisfied with the outcome.

starting to paint

And this is the first one:

For the second one I knew almost right from the start what scene I wanted to illustrate.

sketching

sketching

Because of some details I flipped the composition, but that was easily done. The whole painting with sketching and painting took only two days while I worked on the other one for almost a week.

Besides these illustrations I worked on my calendar project, which still has to remain secret I’m afraid. I’m not quite sure what the next week will be about, depends on inspiration, demand and time. We’ll see!

Have a nice Sunday evening and thanks for stopping by!

August Sketches #Day 14

August 14, 2010

I went on a little bicycle tour this morning and got a nice view from the other side of the Rhein.

Cologne (click to enlarge)

I went on a little bicycle tour this morning and got a nice view from the other side of the Rhein.

August Sketches #Day13

August 13, 2010

berries

August Sketches #Day12

August 12, 2010

One of Kakashis favourite sleeping places: the bags containing the fencing gear of one of my flatmates.

Kakashi

August Sketches #Day11

August 11, 2010

F. brought iris flowers home yesterday.

iris