Process, on a small watercolor

I actually remembered to document my stages on a watercolor! A small watercolor sketch, but it’s something.

Blue forest

Those who follow me on twitter might recall this one! I was extremely unhappy with it for a while, though I’ve since grown a little more at ease. After the jump, I’ll talk a little about the process that goes into watercolors like these.

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Painting day

I know! I have so much to get done! D: But I also have a pretty bad infection in my jaw from the wisdom tooth extraction, and either it or my antibiotics are making me a bit woozy and lacking in focus. So today, I finished my dad’s birthday present:

Ship for dad

Dad likes his ships

(His birthday was on August 17th…oops….)

And then there’s the 4th card that went with the ones I posted last time. It was for a wedding invitation company, and I thought “Hey! They’re based in DC. Maybe some paleontologists from the Smithsonian will want a proto-bird on their card!” but then I chickened out at the last minute and didn’t send it to the client. In fact, I didn’t even ink it until today.

Anchiornis card

A very Anchiornis wedding

Uncolored ink drawing after the cut!

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A little proto-avian in the morning

Just sharing this little sketch. I’ve started using a Strathmore watercolor postcard pad as a watercolor sketchbook, since I’ve been unable to find a decent pocket-sized one elsewhere. So this is only 4 x 6″.

Confusciusornis Sketch

Confuciusornis Sketch

Confuciusornis is one of the most common fossils we have. Literally hundreds of fully intact, which means we know a bit more about it than many other early birds. It lived during the early Cretaceous, and had a toothless beak and a fused (pygostyle) tail, which is what allows birds to flex and flare their tail feathers. It couldn’t lift its wings above its back, and that coupled with its wing-claws indicates that it was more of a climb-then-glide sort of bird. Still, pretty neat how close it was considering it evolved to this state 125 million years ago.

This is just a quick sketch, so not wholly accurate! For one, there’s no indication that they had tertiary feathers, or any on their upper arms… I’ll have to do another Confuciusornis soon, I really like the species. The tree it’s sitting on is period-accurate as well, but I can’t for the life of me recall what it’s named.

Just some quick paint

He hunts by night

The canny might recognize a recurring character, here. :3

Not much to this post, I’m afraid. I forgot to document the WIP steps for this one, which is really too bad since it’s another one of my experiments (and one I rather like).

Contrary to what I said of the Alice piece last time, I ended up using that watercolor outlining technique again. Worse, I’m starting to think and plan my paintings in terms of it. :| I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, yet. Input would be greatly valued.

I also tried something a bit differently with the way I planned the color scheme, simplifying each background object down to a single color, and each focal point to a main color and at most one or two secondaries. I’ve always really admired artists who worked that way, and I enjoyed it myself. Might be a tack to take in order to fix my eternal color-scheme illiteracy.

Birdmarks part 2

After much procrastination (and many distractions) my second page of bookmarks is finished! (The first one is here, in case you missed it). Only four of these are either birds or bird ancestors, but what the hell. Birdmarks page 2!

Top: Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Golden-faced dragon, Blue dragon of some sort, Eel-inspired dragon. Bottom: Some mossy sloth thing, Anchiornis, Velociraptor, Caudipteryx

As you can see, I went on a bit of a proto-avia spree at the end. The Anchiornis’ coloring is based partly on recent scientific discovery regarding its actual feather coloration, partly on modern Pileated Woodpeckers. The Velociraptor is loosely modeled on a Red-shouldered Hawk, and Caudipteryx is even more loosely inspired by a goose. Of course, after I finished painting Caudipteryx I realized just how tiny it was, and not really that goose-like at all, but ah well. It will be years before anyone can contradict me with concrete evidence!

I’m not done with that kick yet, either, so expect some more feathery saurians and proto-birds in the future.

I’m not very happy with the dragons. Dragons are usually my favorite, but these were probably overly influenced by the various anime I was watching while sketching them. Unless anyone’s desperately in love with them, it’s unlikely they’ll actually make it to my shop.

Mossy, dancing sloth monster just is.

As with last time, WIP after the cut!

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Birdmarks!

I decided that I hadn’t been drawing enough birds. So, as a solution, I made these bookmarks. Printed versions of which will be for sale in my shop once I finish page 2.

Birdmarks final

Top: Gray Tufted Titmouse, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Belted Kingfisher, Mourning Dove. Bottom: Downy Woodpecker, Barn Swallow, Blue Jay, Golden-Crowned Kinglet

The technique is a shade different than usual, as I saved the inking for last. Sort of like that, feel like it frees me up for a somewhat more expressive mark. Considering how overly controlled my mark usually is, that’s probably a good thing.

WIP stages below the break!

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