December 8, 2019 0

DRAWING with my kids – WILD LANDS HARPY (No.64)


Hi everyone,
welcome to our Father and Sons Design Workshop. Here’s a drawing that my son made recently. A winged creature. I will reinterpret this drawing, redesign it, through a hand drawn watercolor illustration. First thing : I watch carefully what he drew. Every detail. The red hat, the crystal eyes, the hexagonal shapes on its legs… I’ll try to figure out how to make all these details consistent. I start with design exploration sketches. Wings will be the most important feature of the illustration. Unfortunately I’m not used to draw birds, so to make it convincing enough, I’ll search for picture reference on the internet. Basically nobody knows how to draw anything. You have to observe, to learn. I don’t have a deep experience in drawing wings, so I went to see photos. It’s important to work from a source, a photo, something as neutral as possible, and not from drawings by other artists. Use photos as a starting point and then design by yourself. I started by these sketches. The hat that Itsuki made became a kind of helmet. The camera angle here wasn’t interesting… As the character is a flying creature,
let’s try to use all its potential and draw an aerial illustration. I made this extra drawing to set-up the composition with a view from up high, the camera being above the object,
shooting downward. In the foreground, the creature and some Koomos characters around it, and a ground scenery in the back. After the drafts, the next step is
the layout of the final illustration. On special paper made for watercolor, thicker than copy paper, it will absorb water, I don’t recommend to use regular copy paper with watercolor, you really need a suited paper. The rough composition is completed. The point here is to set-up place all the elements, to find a good balance. And then, with a softer mechanical pencil I draw everything more precisely. I spent quite a lot of time to draw the wings. Usually I don’t draw birds, animals, realistic creatures. But I wanted the wings to be convincing enough. It’s the most important part of this drawing. So I used documentation. On the internet, I searched for eagle’s wings photos, or other birds, to check their structure, how the feathers are positioned. Also their colors, for the painting part. So this is my advice : Sometimes, even if you think you can draw from imagination, it’s important to use reference. You can’t draw accurately many things from scratch. With experience, you learn, you remember. The brain memorizes techniques, visual patterns. But when you never drew something before, instead of coming up with something inaccurate, better taking documentation to be more effective. When I started drawing a lot, more than 20 years ago. I was around 17~19 years old. My inking was very stiff. It was lifeless. I wanted it to be perfect, very clean and straight, like a machine. And with time and experience, I realized… it’s better making it alive, look for the imperfections. It gives more charm to the drawing Inking is done, I’m starting painting the watercolor. I start with the background. You noticed that I didn’t ink the background. I didn’t trace it in black. I paint directly over the pencil drawing. I do that to get the sensation of depth of field. I made a first pass of color. Quite simple. Then I add shadows. Adding shadows gives a tree-dimensional look, and makes us feel the light. I’m using blue here I recommend to use a color for the shadows. Do not use black. If you use black or grey, it’ll become dull. The blue is quite saturated, I like saturated shadows. But you can adjust as you like. It’s always nicer to use colors in shadows. Depending on the element I paint, the shadow will have a different shapes. The shadow on the grass is irregular. On smooth areas, the shadow is simpler. Also keep in mind the light direction. The light here is coming from the left, so the shadows are all on the right side. The background is finished,
I start the characters. I spent a long time on the wings.
On the video it goes fast but… after a first pass, I made another pass, darker, to give a texture to the feathers I used pictures real bird wings as reference. Here I paint a layer of shadow on the character. I’m not using blue here. I could but it’d be dull. If I add blue on warm colors, brown or red for instance, all I get is a greyish shadow color. Depending on the element color, I choose a different hue for its shadow. It gives more energy, the colors are nicer. Almost done, I add the shadows on the Koomos… I like the result. The main feature of this illustration, is the depth of field I think. Processing the background differently,
with pastel colors and on the other hand,
the characters with more contrast, it works well, there’s a nice feeling of depth. I hope you liked this effect,
and found the video interesting. Goodbye, see you on the next video! Ciao! Thanks for waching! Don’t forget you can purchase our illustration book! You can also support us on Patreon, this will help us to continue producing our videos. Thank you so much!

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