Something New: A Painting of Pemberley Digital's Emma

For no reason in particular, I decided a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to try a photorealistic style of digital portrait painting. Since I'm a big fan of the Youtube show "Emma Approved," I decided on star Joanna Sotomura as my subject. Here's the result:


I learned SO MUCH in the process of doing this, and while I can see plenty of areas for improvement, I have gained a ton of confidence and motivation to continue challenging myself and building new skills. Hopefully, I will be able to create more paintings like this..... In fact, I'd love to expand it into a whole series including other Pemberley Digital characters like Lizzie Bennet! I could call it: "Pemberladies."


My process was pretty straightforward: I started with a freehand drawing from a photograph (although I used a grid to achieve a reasonable degree of accuracy, I did NOT trace), then worked dark-to-light in soft large brushes to apply the base colors.

I did eyedrop some colors, but for the most part, I attempted to eyeball the hues and tones as much as possible, especially in places where there was a subtle shift in temperature: I wanted the viewer to really be able to feel the warm edges of the curves.

As the painting progressed, I gradually moved to smaller and harder brushes, and for the uppermost detail layers of the freckles and hair, employed textured brushes that did a lot of the work for me (work smarter, not harder!).

This was an utter pleasure to paint. I hope you enjoy it, and critiques are welcome!

Also please Pin the progression at right if you are so inclined!

Larger format progression here.

Branding an Etsy Shop

A mommy friend of mine recently opened an Etsy shop featuring adorable geek wear for kids, and she needed a banner for her page. I wanted to provide her a logo that would be easily adaptable for any purpose, and cheap and easy to print as needed. She gave me the shop name, showed me some examples of other sellers' pages that she liked, and taking into account her playful, feminine personality, I came up with this:
Shop Link
I liked doing this because it's so informal and accessible compared to some of the other projects I've been working on (still waiting for clearance to post those). I'd love to do more small designs like this for blogs and so forth.

The clothes are super-cute, too, so if you'd like to outfit your baby with Star Wars or Doctor Who clothes, check it out!

In related news, I now have a one-year-old! It's such a cliche, but this last year has really flown by!

Heffalumps and Doodles?

Still participating in Sketch Dailies as often as I can. One of last week's topics was Heffalump, so here's this little guy:
I seriously don't know how so many of the participating artists create full-color painted pieces EVERY DAY. I don't really consider this sort of art a "sketch," even if it is a fairly quick approach to color. I've been just doodling on paper most days, posting a photo of the drawing if I don't totally hate it, then taking it to full color if I really don't hate it. I suppose, one of these days, I should actually start with color and make it a speedpaint exercise.

In other news, an app I designed should be launching soon, so I'm excited to post screenshots of that. There's also a game for which I'm providing animation and effects, launching most likely before the Summer, so I look forward to sharing work from that, as well. And there are MANY other projects in the pipeline, so stay tuned!

And Happy St. Patrick's Day! Don't get too sloshed! ;)

Random Fanart

Oh man, I do NOT do enough fanart. Okay, I don't do enough ART, period, BUT!!! I'm working on changing that.

Fortunately, around the same time as I made this determined resolution, the Sketch Dailies Twitter feed blew up. While not every prompt quite tickles my budding artistic fancy, yesterday's was right up my alley: Mermaid.

And since I can't get that dang song from Frozen out of my head (we're going on what, 3 months now?), I immediately thought of this:

Cheesy, I know. And sure, it could be better. But it was fun and I got to scratch that Disney Princess itch, so now maybe I can get back to some work that isn't dripping with estrogen. Maybe. Or maybe not.

No baby pictures this week, sorry. I'm saving up the cute for another post.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hey! Just wishing everyone a Happy Hallmark Day! Tee hee.... I kid, I kid. Happy Valentine's Day to all, but especially to my own Fine Valentine, Charlie!

And in case you came for the art but stay for the baby, Happy V-day from this little guy, too: