Hello all! For this In Depth Process, I am going to go over the tools and materials I used to create the piece, Cower from my Alternative Sketchbook series. For more information about what an Alternative Sketchbook is and how to prepare one, please check out my IDP for Paloma.
After I prepped the page for painting with gesso and masking tape, I sketched out everything with colored pencil. I cross referenced numerous pictures of foxes and similar animals like dogs, coyotes, and cats, to create a more anatomically correct facial expression and body positioning. I then used a different colored pencil to add some values and define my line work.
Next is the fun part: watercolor. Because I primed this page with gesso, watercolor won't absorb into it the same way it does with watercolor paper. Instead, it pools and has to evaporate the way a regular droplet of water would. This creates a really interesting texture that slightly mimics the technique I use for creating foliage in previous works. I suppose "bubbly" might be a good word to describe how it looks. Either way, I love the result!
Finally, I added some more graphic and defined leaf shapes in the bushes with another colored pencil. Also, I ended up making the fox larger than I originally had planned, so after removing the masking tape I added the part of the paw and neck that were previously cropped off.
That's it! Again, my other In Depth Process for Paloma explains what an Alternative Sketchbook is and how to start one. If you have any questions about tips and materials please feel free to comment or email me!
Hello all! For this In Depth Process, I am going to go over the tools and materials I used to create the piece, Paloma. It's actually more of a sketchbook piece, but I still wanted to go over it as I think it has an interesting process that's different from my previous IDPs for Decay (Deer) and Untitled Landscape 1.
This piece is actually a lot different than my previous pieces because it is an Alternative Sketchbook page. An Alternative Sketchbook is a sketchbook made from an old book that you can paint over, tear apart, and generally experiment with. The used book I had was an old copy of Hamlet. In order to make the book your own, it's nice to cover the text so it doesn't overpower your artwork (though I like how it looks when the words slightly peek through).
I started by covering the page in white gesso, but white acrylic paint works well too. It did require a few coats to cover most of the text. Then I began sketching with graphite (I'm not partial to any one brand, I just used an office mechanical pencil I had lying around). Then, I finished by painting the background with one of my favorite tubes of acrylic paint.
And there you have it, a finished Alternative Sketchbook spread. I would recommend spraying it with some spray fixative if you use graphite so parts don't smudge like mine did (I don't mind it though). Also, if the pages of the book you choose seem too thin to hold gesso or paint, glue some pages together like I did to make them stronger. If you have any questions about tips and materials please feel free to comment or email me!
Hello all! Thank you for visiting my website. So just like I did last time with my painting Decay (Deer), I am going to go over the tools and materials I used to create this piece, Untitled Landscape 1.
This piece measures 7" x 14" and is on Strathmore cold press watercolor paper. I used watercolor for the entirety of the painting, except for some small details that I made with a white ink pen.
I used the wet-on-wet method of watercolor painting, which is when you put the pigment down on an already damp surface. This really helps me with the environmental perspective as well because it allows for even lighter washes of color and a less defined shape. I have mentioned before that watercolor is my favorite medium for creating foliage, and that is still the case with this landscape painting. It's easy to build pigment, and the puddles that the water creates give the illusion of shadows.
I painted from background to foreground, starting with light washes of color and adding more trees and bushes as I worked my way to the foreground. As mentioned earlier, I finished off with a white gel pen to add some small details.
That's pretty much it for this one! If you have any questions about tips and materials, or for inquiries about purchasing this piece, please feel free to comment or email me!
Hello all! Thank you for visiting my website. I am going to be using this blog to go more in depth about my creative process, as well as go over the tools and materials I used.
Let's start with this painting titled Decay (Deer). It measures 7" x 19" and is on Arches 300 lb rough press watercolor paper that I purchased on a roll from my local art store. The deer and plants are done primarily in watercolor and gouache. After I completed the deer and foliage, I outlined everything with india ink, first with pens for the tighter areas, then with a flat brush and waterproof ink for the rest of the background. I used the gouache to add some finishing touches to the background, and my favorite white ink pen to add highlights in small areas such as on the moss and leaves.
As far as composition and planning goes, I really wanted to work with the long scrap of paper I had left from a previous project, which explains the atypical dimensions. I decided on a deer because its body filled the space really nicely for what I wanted to do. Most of my initial sketches are extremely loose and not necessarily anatomically correct. Aside from painting, the longest part of the process for me is the anatomical research. I cross referenced numerous images of deer (and even some moose) to get the body positioned as accurately as I could. In the end, however, I always take artistic liberties when necessary.
When painting moss and foliage like this, watercolor is ideal for me because it puddles and pools more than other mediums, creating the look of shadows and lush foliage. I also prefer doing black backgrounds in india ink because it's so thin, fast drying, and extremely saturated. Also, since I use it alongside india ink pens, there's no obvious gloss or texture difference in the finished piece.
That's pretty much it! I painted this the night before a big portfolio review, so that's roughly 8 hours between the initial sketch and completion. If you have any questions about tips and materials, or for inquiries about purchasing this piece, please feel free to comment or email me!
Sarah Bustillo is an illustrator from Los Angeles, CA. Her work delves into themes of femininity, death, and rebirth. She graduated from California State University Northridge in 2018 with a degree in Illustration and Anthropology.