Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Weekly Illustration -- Twirl

This week's Illustration Friday word is twirl. Instantly I began imagining pictures of elegant, romantic waltzes with a flutter of motion and emotion. I searched for artists with a style that fit the visions in my head and I came across Bradshaw Crandell. In this piece, the wispy pastel marks in the background make me think of a soft breeze, and they help to highlight the beauty of the woman. I will be using chalk pastels in this next piece to create the soft feel of movement.

The concepts for this piece popped into my head like rapid fire. Luckily my hand was fast enough to capture them. I really like the font style I created in the 4th thumbnail, but I think the layouts in the 6th and 7th thumbnails are better.

I've decided to pursue the concept in the 6th thumbnail, and to begin I made a linear draft on regular bond/printer paper. After I did that I transferred that image onto watercolour paper by rubbing graphite on the back of the bond paper then tracing my image on top of the watercolour paper. It's like making a carbon-copy when signing documents.

Next, for the background I made a light watercolour wash using browns and greens.
Using my linear draft as a guide, I began applying colour with my chalk pastels. Most of the blending I did with my fingers, but for the tight spots I enlisted the help of a Q-Tip cotton swab. 

Now that the pastel is down I need a way to keep it from smudging. There are special coating sprays that you can purchase from art supply stores, but I've learned there is also a much more cost efficient solution...Hairspray!!
To add the title of the 'CD' I use Adobe InDesign CS5, but before I do that I need to do some colour correcting to my scanned image. Often when you scan an image you get some colour casting. Also if there is anything on the scanner bed (My brother's dog gets hair everywhere) this will be transferred to your image so it needs to be removed. Here is a before and after image from its original state to its edited state.
Finally I put the image in 'frames' in InDesign which cleans up the edges, and I add text using the Type-On-A-Path tool furthering the feel of movement.
This was another really fun illustration. I'm loving that I can use a different medium each time, and that I can work with my hands instead of relying on the computer alone. 
Until next week, Cheers,


  1. Fun to see your process! Very nice, energetic result!

  2. nice work jen! i like how you did the dancers, very nice layout/work!

  3. Thank you for sharing your creative process! I like the colors you used.

  4. Your posts never disappoint, Jen. Wonderful! I think you're really on the right track - both with your weekly creative explorations and the way you're tackling blogging so enthusiastically. Excellent work! :^)

  5. So nice to bump into you in blogger land. ^_^ Your blog looks wonderful and I had such a fun time reading through your other posts and getting the chance to see your lovely illustrations. I love the movement and soft, gentle colours you used here..and seeing your process was such a treat. Keep up the awesome work, I shall be back to read more. ^_^

  6. That was amazing. Very simple concise explanation. And I LOVED how you included pics of your process!! Thank you for sharing your creativity!