Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Its a Jungle Out There

I wanted to give you all a peek into my studio (aka the dining room table) as I created my new illustration 'Its a Jungle Out There.'

I've been sketching a new series for sometime now, called 'In the Jungle' with pieces featuring - you probably guessed it - jungle animals. Gracie's nursery was jungle themed when she was a newborn, and I've always loved the little animals that my original sock monkey illustrations are holding... so I came up with these new sketches based on the jungle animals I love the best.

Here is a peek at some sketches.

Hmmm... if you squint very hard, you can see the "Its a Jungle..." sketch on drawing paper. I have to make it very light since it is the final illustration and I don't want graphite marks. The lion and the giraffes are just ripped-out pages of my sketchbook, so you can see them more clearly.

Here is my illustration in its gawky and awkward teen-age phase. It has potential, but is a bit homely as far as illustrations go! Usually I work one area at a time, but I colored everything in the foreground at once so I could show you what my picture looks like before the blending begins.

A lot of people see my prints and assume my work is done with watercolor pencils, because of how blended it all is... but I just used Prismacolors. I have many blending and burnishing techniques under my belt, that I've picked up and practiced since I first began using colored pencils 18 years ago, and I have to say honestly, that the blending is my favorite part of of my process. That is when the colors begin to POP!

After layering and blending several times, I outlined everything in black. These jungle pictures have a more cartoon-y look than some of my other illustrations and I liked the heavy black outlines.

I also decided to play around with a lot of white pencil in this illustration. I love the funky texture the white pencil adds to the piece.

Here is a before-and-after of one of the monkeys. The first picture shows layers one and two blended together. The second shows the blended black outline, as well as several more layers of color and outlines in white and orange.

And there you have it. The background is a mix of blue, green and chartreuse, with white circles and swirls. I think it is pretty cute!

Its a Jungle Out There 8 x 10 and 11 x 14

And here is another finished one, using the lion from the sketch I showed above:

The Jungle Kings 8 x 8 and 11 x 14

I'm actually really disappointed... these prints are so much better in person, but for some reason they scanned horribly! Its the background blue - my scanner just can't figure it out. So, if you think these are cute, I only wish you could see them in person. *sigh*

Anyway, I hope you like them.

Enjoy!
xoxo,

18 comments:

Oh Mandie! said...

Oooh I love them! Simply adorable! I can't wait to see how the giraffes turn out too!

Laura B said...

Do you ever do likenesses of people? I absolutely ADORE your art and wonder what you could do for a customized couple portrait. :D

The Musings of The Momma said...

Too cute for words as always!!!

Karen Faulkner said...

I can't believe the things you can do with Prismacolor pencils.

(Similar scanner woes here even though I bought the best one I could afford. That's OK, then people are even more thrilled when they see it in person)

Leah said...

so fun to get to peek into your process :)

Kim said...

thanks for posting this :)

Sharon's Cottage Quilts said...

Wow!!!!! Those are just awesome! Well done friend~~

TMCPhoto said...

Great drawings! I also thought they were watercolour pencils until you said otherwise. It's nice to see a work in process.

do you have photo editing software? sometimes you can go in and tweak the colour to match it to the original.

Whimsical Creations said...

Those are adorable!!! LOVE EM! I am a huge giraffe nut.

I used to love working with prizma colors....my sister stole them....wonder what ever happened to them.

kim* said...

me too my cousin gave me water color pencils for xmas lol

Cathy said...

fascinating to read about the process involved!

Janna said...

Wow! These are awesome! I love that you posted about your whole process. I looked at the previous prints I ordered and wondered how you accomplished the originals. I framed them all 2 days ago...now I just have to get them hung on the wall! When I do, I'm planning to post a pic of them all on my blog. I'll send you email when that happens.

Alisa Nordholt-Dean said...

Great new work! These would be perfect in a nursery. If only my little ones were babies again...

Silly Bee's Chickadee said...

Thanks for posting this! I loved seeing the different stages. My fave is the lion as it is my sorority's mascot.

ElegantSnobbery said...

Laura, thank you! I don't really do likenesses of people unless I turn then snobs! But I'm so glad you like my work!

Hyla Waldron said...

Love them!

KJ (& The Dreamy Giraffe) said...

I must admit -- I'm terribly envious of your wondrously beautiful blending. In fact, I kind of shy away from colored pencils because I suck at blending, even with the Prismacolors. Blending with acrylics, sigh, that's second nature. But colored pencils, no, no no. So if you ever wanted to share some tips and tricks, I'd totally be up for a trade. Don't know what secrets I could share in return, but, you know, I do have lots of prints of big-eyed girls. ;)

Ann said...

These are wonderful! Wish I had a nursery to hang them in!

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