Thursday, March 28, 2013

Work in progress: Two Cherries

I am making a gift for my mother in law and of course it's all about her beloved grandchildren.
This is my first approach to the project.
I started this when she came to visit us last month but came to a stop because of different problems:

1) The eyes of Bella are a bit off center and uneven.
2) The shape of the cherries, albeit rather consistent with their natural appearance, looks wrong.
3) When I started coloring the cherries, I got carried away by the dark red tones. The drawing was loosing the dreamy quality I was hoping to convey in it.

Painful as it was (I rather liked the leaf, although it's too small compared to the fruits), I opted to start over.

I think that, in the long run, this choice is paying off. Today I am finishing the new drawing and will show it to you tomorrow.

Be well everybody!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

After the archery lesson

I mentioned the other day that I almost participated to a third contest.
That was the Lara Croft Reborn contest on deviantArt.  used to play Tomb Raider a  few years ago and I loved it. When the new game came out and the contest announcement appear I was busy with other stuff and did not pay too much attention to it. A week before the deadline, I remembered about the challenge and came up with a quick idea, as you see on the post-its below.

My idea was to depict Lara in a rather unconventional way, picking on the description found in the "assets package". She was said to be naturally beautiful, studious, not a social butterfly, wealthy, but not ostentatious, etc. All these characteristics are not typically represented in LC art, where she usually is in a combactive stance, covered in dust and sometimes blood. Instead, I wanted to show a young innocent girl with an interesting background and a hidden strength.

When my husband saw the drawing half way through the inking, he first could not identify her, then reminded me that the contest was supposed to promote an action game and that composed and calming views of the main hero were not going to appeal to the panel of judges, the company, or the target audience. As a former player of the game, I begged to disagree on the last point. However, I recognized he might be correct on the rest. Because I was also extremely tight on time and very busy with work and the baby,  I decided to relax and finish the piece for my own pleasure. Here is the result.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dormi Dormi for the Topipittori game

The beginning of the year is when I get excited about contests and games. I participated to two, almost submitted an entry for a third, and thinking I should maybe run for a forth one...

This little piece here, Dormi Dormi, was a quick drawing I made for a game (not a contest, a game) by the italian editor Topipittori. The participants were supposed to draw the pajama of their dreams. I made one for my Bella to wear. Of the 78 entries, 20 were selected and published. The public will choose the winner.You can see (and vote for) the selected entries here.
Unfortunately, my piece was not chosen, but it goes straight to Bella's room...after all for my family, I am always a winner! ;)
 The quality of the picture is actually pretty bad...I think I should take a new photo with more light (or buy a new scanner...) and update my sites in a few days.

How is this new one?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Carnevale a Venezia

"Carnevale a Venezia" is my entry for the Enchanted Doll Birthday Contest 2013 (by the way, I have seen some entries from the forum people and they look absolutely the competition is hard!).

I chose Venice as my ideal destination, because I am enamored with its elegance, ancient history, and innate fragility. It's a dream of gold and lace floating on the water always on the brink of disappearing under the waves. I have traveled a bit and seen lovely places, more exotic and adventurous than Venice, but my heart is in my country and because I live far away I the desire to go back burns particularly strong. Most of all I wish to visit with my little Bella and share with her the pleasure of visiting this jewel of a city.
As for the Carnevale, the costumes and masks are so inventive, opulent, and mysterious that I've always been fashinated and maybe also a bit intimidated by them. So, to me it would be great to return to Venice during the Carnevale.

I wanted to really stick with the traditional postcard design and feel, yet personalize it. 
One issue was that postcards are rather small (4x6, as per the rules of the contest) and this poses a challenge to me, because I like to draw tons of little details, but on such a small canvas this was going to be impossible. My solution was to draw on a regular 9x12 sheet, take a picture of it, send it to Shutterfly or some other printing service and turn it into a pretty neat postcard.

The plan was pretty straight forward. The implementation... not so much. 

Here is the pencil sketch, which I started mid January...I had a lot of fun drawing San Marco's Cathedral.
 ...but it was a lot of work inking it!

Here I am at the end of January with still most of the difficult parts still to tackle.

In order to give the impression of distance, instead of using my usual black Copic Multiliner (0.03), I switched to one of the newer Multiliners in grey (with a 0.05) to ink the church. I think it worked well, especially when I added the colors.
Coloring was quick and here is the final drawing:
At this point (around Valentine's Day), I took a nice picture of the drawing and tried to send it to print...too bad I did not account for the fact that it takes at least a week for the actual printing job to be completed and then a couple of days to get it back home for the finishing touches. The contest deadline was February 28th! Bottom line, with this course of action, I would never have made the deadline...How could I have neglected these details!!!
In the end, I sent the picture to be printed at the local Walgreen's...where they actually butchered the color depth, in my opinion, but I had no time to be picky, so I settled for it.
I then attached the drawing to a same size piece of watercolor paper, and decorated the back of the card to make it look like an actual Italian postcard.

This is actually a reproduction of an actual stamp issued in 1973 that in turn used a painting by the Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio (1465 – 1525/1526)...see below:

I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

Well, I got it out just on time! For a while it was stuck at the post office in Vancouver (oh nooo!), but the ED team picked it up a few days ago and Marina also gave an extension to the contest deadline (March 3) so all is well.