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Little Red Riding Hood – 2

16 May

Another technique that I learned this month through my online illustration course is masking taping your characters.

We’re still onto Little Red Riding Hood, so I started with the wolf. I had an idea in my head of what pose he should be in, so there he was. The technique was much fun.

Then for the following 2 days I stared at my wolf, trying to figure out what to do with him next. So I added the ground.

And then the Little Red Riding Hood.

And then the shadows.

And then I decided I definitely like this illustration. It turned out really well 🙂


Little Red Riding Hood

14 May

This month we are onto illustrating Little Red Riding Hood (with my online illustration class), and as always – we’re learning new techniques.

Here’s an attempt in an acrylic over oil pastel technique, where you cover the paper with oil pastel, then cover it over with acrylic – which, of course, won’t bind too well to oil – and then scratch the image out of the acrylic layer.

Very liberating as the results are not very predictable and you can’t be too precise with details and there’s no way you can fix anything that went wrong. Once you scratched the acrylic – you scratched it 🙂

Watercolours – free tutorials

18 Mar

Saving the link to explore later – free watercolour tutorials


Yupo paper experiments

15 Mar

For the online course I’m taking, we’re experimenting with yupo paper and water colours this month. Yupo is a synthetic, plasticky sort of paper that allows you to pretty much wipe off whatever you painted, allowing for looser, wilder experiments like wiping, stenciling, etc. And you can push the paint around endlessly, it never gets absorbed into paper.

We’re illustrating a French fairy tale this month – “Blondine, Bonne Biche and Beau Minon” (I hope I spelled it right) – but the focus is on experimenting and pushing your own limits, not on the actual illustration composition and such. Here are my first four trials.

A swan, surrounded by magical fairy-tale flora:

I started off by painting the swan and then decided to add the background colours, and then added the plants in pencil and micron pen. I pushed the paint around, erased it in certain places with a q-tip (like the flowers on the top left) and wiped the paint off around the swan’s head to make it pop a bit more.

Beau Minon, brooding:

The cat was waaaay too fluffy at first, so I erased it (but the marker lines remained… markers don’t wipe off quite as easily as watercolours and micron pens). Then I added the background and the grass.

Blondine, following the evil parrot in pursuit of the Rose.

At first, they were on white background which I disliked but didn’t know what to do. So I covered the background with paint blobs, “found” flowers in them and drew them with pencil – and then darkened the in-between with pencil. I also used stencils for the deer’s white spots and for Blondine’s flowers on her dress.

Blondine riding on the Tortoise:

I really wanted to use my magical flowers here. The tortoise just “appeared” in the colour blobs (hence it has 3 legs :))

I coloured Blondine with a marker.

Draw-erase technique

25 Feb

This week on Carla Sonheim’s online course we’re draw-erasing animals: blocking shapes with pencil on tracing paper, then spreading the colour with eraser – and erasing/lightning certain spots.

I am no fan of pencil as a medium. I find it too light, uncertain, messy/dirty. I like pens. Dark, bold, decisive.

But I truly enjoyed this task! Especially when it comes to defining fur.

First, I did a tortoise. And while I enjoyed the task, I found my eraser too thick. I wanted more delicate designs.

Tortoise – sketch/study

So today I went and bought a 2.3 mm mechanical eraser. It made all the difference!!!


swan (sketch/study)

cat (sketch/study)


New Illustration Course

29 May

I enrolled into a new illustration course – this time I chose a college with a BIG name in art and design. Well, at least in Canada it’s big.

And the difference is HUGE. It’s so much more professional and to the point – and other students are, for the most part, people with education or work experience in the industry.

At the previous courses many haven’t had any classes ever. It ate so much time on fundamentals…

Anyway, this time around we started off with a fun exercise of being given an emotion – and expressing it with linework (about 1 minute per emotion).

After this warmup we watched an inspirational slideshow that showed principles of composition.

The we did a fun exercise where we would be given the task to draw something in 4 minutes, then the same thing in 1 minute, then the same thing in 15 minutes. We drew a car, a tree, self-portrait, cityscape, and a dog like that. So much fun – and makes you really focus on what’s important and not.

Here’s my self-portrait – in4 minutes, 1 minute…


…and 15 seconds:


The last part of the class was choosing a headline (from the list she provided) and come up with ideas to illustrate the headline. The choose two that you like the most and present to the person you were paired with (your “art director”) and get their feedback and approval.

And then present to the rest of the class your idea.

I chose “how Obama can use pressure to bring peace” and after a while came up with the idea of him spinning a laundry wringer, which feeds and Israeli and a Palestinian flags into it – and get an interwoven fabric on the output.


Although now I am thinking that maybe I should’ve used my other idea where Obama was trying to force-fit a misfitting puzzle piece… My homework is to finish the illustration for Saturday – so now I am debating whether I should finish the idea I presented or go with the puzzle idea.

“Snow” – watercolour Illustration

22 Mar

As a way of learning new techniques, I decided to copy an illustration from my son’s book “Snow” with wonderful illustrations by Uri Shulevitz.

I also decided to limit my colour palette to three colours: Burnt Sienna, Medium Yellow, and Cerulean Blue.

The original illustration is much more gray, wintery – I guess different colours were used, but I am fairly certain that he also used only three colours.

I like the result The photo made it more blueish… the original is greenish)