Happy Monday, everyone! It may seem like I’ve been MIA for the past two months, but it’s been for good reason; I’ve been focusing all my stress and free time on my illustration work. Last Fall I began working on refining my illustration style and improving my coloring technique with Copic markers. Now, I’m excited to be back to share with you the trials I’ve gone through, what I’ve learned, and my most recent work.
I originally started off with a collection of 15 Copic markers which was very limiting. In the beginning stages, I struggled to figure out how my illustration talents best meshed with blending techniques of the few colors I had. I eventually began getting into portraits and fashion illustration. As you can see below, I was totally out of my comfort zone at first. Even though my first portrait illustration was very awkward, I reminded myself that practice makes perfect and I continued to push myself.
I eventually became very comfortable with my Copic coloring/blending techniques which gave me more confidence to start experimenting with mixed media. I expanded my marker collection, started highlighting and shading with Prismacolor pencils, and inked with a variety of multi-liner pen sizes. With every illustration I learned something new and became more confident in my style.
My most recent illustration was inspired by Blair Waldorf’s wedding gown in the series finale of Gossip Girl. This might be my favorite illustration to date, not only because of the final outcome, but also because of how naturally the initial sketch came to me. I experimented with new Copic blending techniques and added white ink to get a unique “sparkle” finish. While I am extremely proud of how far I’ve come this far, I also have pin-pointed what I would do differently next time. The hair coloring would be different to give it more shine, the lightest color of the dress would be more subtle to give it a sheer look, and I wouldn’t have added such dark shadow outlines in the bottom of the dress. The best way to grow is to critique your work!
The best way to progress your illustration style, or whatever creative work you focus on, is to practice. We are all beginners at one point and need to build our techniques by practicing as much as possible. My hope is to eventually start selling prints on Etsy, and I think I’m almost at that level. I’m also excited to share that I’ve commissioned my first illustration! It goes to show that when you set your mind to something, work hard and it’ll pay off!
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a glimpse at what I’ve been working on lately – share in the comments how your Summer has been so far and if you’ve taken on any new hobbies too!