Animal Character Illustration

Another challenge set by Lisa Bardot’s Character camp was to create unique animal characters.

Here a few that I came up with.

Mr Bear was always a complete gentleman.
Meet Captain Douglas, a most courageous spitfire flying duck.
Mr and Mr Mouse were this years pearly king and queen of the gutter.

Character Camp Illustrations

One of the great things about sharing and learning with other creatives in online communities is you discover new stuff. Whilst taking a SkillShare class I encountered Bardot Brushes. Beautifully designed Procreate brushes, very reasonably priced, created by illustrator Lisa Bardot.

https://bardotbrush.com/

Along with a great selection of brushes Lisa’s site has some amazing resources, including tutorials, prompts and motivational information to encourage daily art-making practices.

Whilst I already draw every day, I’m often in a quandary about what to create and sometimes struggle with using my imagination. So Lisa’s kind of encouragement and inspiration is just what I could do with now and then.

Character Camp is a selection of illustration classes on creating unique characters. I decided to follow along and create my own character.

Max is an 11 year old skater boy who loves rock music and card tricks.

Before creating the character Lisa’s process begins with drawing the character’s clothing and accessories. This is a brilliant technique, it really helped me form a solid visual look and identify his personality traits. And is a great reference when you go on to draw your character in different scenes.

The camp class then challenged you to stage your character with different emotional expressions.

Scared
Angry
Sad

I learnt loads of new tips and tricks following along with all the Character Camp tutorials and would highly recommend them to anyone who wants to improve their illustrated characters.

Portrait Illustration

In an attempt to learn Procreate I’ve been taking a few SkillShare classes. As a visual thinker I find watching another artist’s process more informative than just a how-to-use guide.

‘Illustrating Expressive Portraits in Procreate’ by Maia Faddoul

The class project asks you to chose someone you find inspiring to paint a digital portrait of.

Vivienne Westwood is someone I’ve always admired. Not only for her amazing fashion designs but her risk-taking. She is not afraid to say what she thinks or use her position to speak out against injustice. 

Her style is so bold and expressive. Very daring and avant-garde, with appreciative nods to historical fashion that I find fascinating.

The first task was to create an inspirational mood board.

And then sketch out our portrait to be used later as a guide for painting.

This is my final piece. I used the Procreate calligraphy chalk brush in varying sizes to paint. Inspired by Westwood’s use of bold shape and line, I went for a funky asymmetric background in a dark colour to create a bold contrast to her bright orange hair.

Folktale Week

Folktale Week is an Instagram illustration challenge, created by a group of renowned professional illustrators to encourage artists from all around the world to share stories and explore visual storytelling. There is a prompt each day for a week, to interpret however you wish. 

The prompts were issued a week prior to the challenge start. However, Last-Minute-Lucy here only decided to join on the first share-on-Instagram day. So no time to prep. 

Prompt – Home

Not wanting to waste time trying to figure out a concept (it was already midday on the first day of the challenge), I started with an interpretation of a traditional folktale. Little Red Riding Hood.

Prompt – Secret

For this prompt I decided to illustrate a scene from one of my favourite books as a child. ‘Knock Three Times’ by Marion St John Webb. The story’s main characters follow a magical pumpkin pincushion through a door in an ancient oak tree to a secret land.

Prompt – Path

A recurring childhood dream of being trapped in a tall tower inspired this artwork. I thought it was time to change the image in my mind’s eye to something less ominous.

Prompt – Darkness

For this piece I wanted to create a contrast between the calm fisherman and the rough sea. The quote is a line from the book ‘Moby Dick’ by Herman Melville.

Prompt – Smoke

I enjoy reading and adore quotes. Which is were I took my motivation for this creation. In particular, a couple of quotes by Australian author Nikki Rowe. ‘There’s only one place I want to go and it’s all the places I’ve never been’. And ‘She was born to be free, let her run wild in her own way and you will never lose her’.

Prompt: Key

I took a slightly different approach to this prompt, not so literal. And thought about the word ‘key’ in terms of the key to our planet’s future. Motivated by the young people who have join the global environmental movement Extinction Rebellion. Our future belongs to the curious!

Prompt – Crown

Bohemian snow queen was the inspiration for this winter scene. I imaged all the forest animals awaiting her arrival.

Portfolio Club

I have joined a low commitment illustration challenge group on Instagram called #PortfolioClub. On the first day of each month an assignment is posted and participants have till the end of the month to share their work using the hashtag.

Illustration Prompt – Circus 

It has been inspiring seeing all the different interpretations pop up each day on my instagram feed. 

Well… the days I have had an internet connection that is. This past month has been plagued with provider problems. No service, intermittent service and bad customer service, to mention but a few. Client work didn’t escape harm’s way either, with one of the sites I edit suffering severe technical problems. Resulting in a months worth of work having to be redone. 

All the tech dramas led to absentmindedly forgetting I had actually joined the illustration challenge. It wasn’t until the 31st, as I scrolled through my Instagram feed admiring the circus themed images, that I remembered I was supposed to be taking part. 

I knew I didn’t have enough time to create a circus scene, so took a different approach. Using the prompt as a loose theme instead of a literal one, I created some poster artwork. Sketching out my concept on paper first, then rendering it in Photoshop. 

Flaming Hearts

The Sacred heart is a symbol of devotion in Roman Catholic religion, representing the divine love of Jesus for mankind. It symbology is very popular in Mexico.  Artisans craft ornate trinkets from wood and metal, decorating them in colourful folk art and religious iconography. 

Inspired by their bright and bold colours, my interpretation of these delightful little treasures is a reminder to always follow my own heart.