Most of my sketches hardly see the light of day. They have been crumpled up, stashed away in folders both real life and on my computer. Some of them I end up throwing away. Especially the unfinished ones. I know it’s a bad habit, but I hate to be reminded of illustrations that didn’t work out or frustrated me. Sometimes (especially with commissions) I really like the sketch but they do not match up with the wishes of the client. Sketches can also be a ‘light bulb’ moment, reminding the client that this is not what they were looking for. That’s okay, that’s why I make multiple sketches! Sketches are a crucial part of the journey to a finished illustration.
Here is one of the sketches I made for a recent commission for a school:
This sketch wasn’t chosen. I ended up making something that better suited the clients wishes. But I still liked the sketch, I liked these kids! It’s also a style that’s been missing in my portfolio. So instead of having the sketch disappear into the black hole that is my computer’s hard drive… I wanted to bring this group of kids to life. Here’s the final result (click on the illustration to see the bigger version):
I really enjoyed finishing it! I’m pleased with the colorful result. Who knows, maybe some other old sketches will turn up in the future…
I was asked to draw a portrait of S, based on a rough sketch I made last year. It’s going to be printed on A2 sized paper. So the final illustration ended up pretty big on my computer screen, combined with all the layers I used in Photoshop I could almost hear my computer groan! I learned a lot while making this portrait. I’d probably wouldn’t add so much detail next time. I have a tendency of going too far in details and that can make it look static. I’ll continue to nurture my eh… rough side, but drawing birds is so much fun!
I took the liberty of adding some symbolism: a pomegranate, a raven on the left and a crow on the right (there’s a difference in size and feathering).
By the way, you can now also find me on Instagram. You’ll find sketches, snapshots from daily life, that sort of stuff. Follow me if you’d like.
Check out the details of the illustration behind the cut.
Happy New year! Okay, it’s a bit late, but it’s still January ;) I’ve been busy with finishing up the administration of the past year. It’s not as fun as drawing but it has to be done. To make up for all the numbers I’ve been typing, I bought some “real” pencils and a few sketchbooks. I hope to do more traditional drawing so I can train my eyes and improve my real life sketching. In other news, there’s a new four-legged creature walking around here. A dog! His name is Dexter. We already have 3 cats. But I suppose it wasn’t crowded enough yet. Introductions are hard!
I’ve always know how different dogs are from cats but still… culture shock! It’s pretty much a black blur of fur and energy. It’s fun seeing him grow up and learn though.
I started this illustration back in June and posted it on my facebook page. But it wasn’t finished yet. I had a lot of great commissions from both old and new clients, so illustrating for clients kept me busy. So I worked on it little by little.
In the mean time a lot happened. Not just good things, but also bad things. In July my grandmother died at 84, a strong proud Surinam woman. I will remember and miss her laugh and her hugs. On August 8 we had to say goodbye to my father-in-law. I will miss the discussions we had and his sense of humour. Strange how life just ends. I still wanted to post this, there’s pieces of me in it that were sometimes happy and sometimes sad, or angry or everything at once.
I’ve been practising landscapes concepts on my Cintiq. I got it second-hand for a good price. It’s an older generation model, but still works really well! A Cintiq is a drawing tablet with a screen inside. Unlike normal tablets with screens (like ipads and such) it has a pressure and angle sensitive pen. It also detects your pen even when it’s a centimeter above the screen.
I had some free time today to aquint myself with the device, so here’s the first official illustration I’ve done:
It feels a lot more natural drawing on a Cintiq than on a normal tablet. Hope this old Cintiq will last me a while!
After some pain, trouble and quite some help. I’ve completed the redesign of my website. It’s a lot cleaner and brighter now, with more room for illustrations in the gallery. I’ve also added some mini illustrations using my favorite animal. The website is now responsive so that means it’s mobile and tablet friendly. (Thanks for the deadline Google ;) The website is now also bilingual! So from now on everything is available in Dutch and English. You can change the language through the menu. It’s a little bit more work for me (oh and double chance of me making spelling errors ;), but I hope it’s more welcoming to the visitors of this site.
Another new thing is the showcase section, hidden under the ‘Illustrations’ link in the top menu. Check out the first showcase about Book covers. I’ll be adding more showcases in the future.
There might still be some things I need to patch up on the website. So if you find something that looks broken, please let me know.