Every Day Original: Pan

4x6 chalk pastel on BFK RIves paper. Available on May 10th at EveryDayOriginal.com. Check out my Newsletter for the price and frame dimension details.

This was a good challenge for me. I normally like doing portraits with dark hair, because the face is framed nicely with all that dark contrast. With this one I really had to control the values of the skin. I also wanted to have Peter Pan dirty since he was such a wild child, which adds more to the challenge for the skin tone. The old black and white 1954 film Lord of the Flies was very helpful reference for that dirty mud child look. You may also notice that Peter's eye seems to be brighter than the rest of the illustration. With my greyscale pastels, I usually prefer to use cold grey colors. However, with the pupil I used a warm light grey to give it some extra life.

"To die would be an awfully big adventure."

My Reference Gallery:

Crimson Peak: Thomas

After watching that movie I was bouncing in my seat from all that art eye candy or as Guillermo Del Toro put it "eye protein." Every frame was breathtaking. There is one scene at the beginning of the movie featuring a social event. And I swear frame by frame it looked like something out of a painting. And the house...I could go on and on about how beautiful that movie was. You could tell all the designers put their heart into that production.

With all that said, I really wanted to do an illustration in honor of that amazing film. Even though I was rambling to my husband as we left the movie theatre about how gorgeous my next illustration was going to be, I was actually overwhelmed by the time I got to my studio. I want to say SO much, but what to say and how to do it?

So while I try to dissect this more involved illustration for Crimson Peak, I had to do something to satisfy this desire. Thus this chalk pastel portrait Thomas

My time lapse video of the making of Thomas. This is my first time doing this, so I hope it is informative. I'll try to make this more of a habit for future work. And maybe add music next time :P

 My tool of the trade: Nupastels. I'm trying out a method were you store the pastel sticks in rice to keep them cleaner.

My tool of the trade: Nupastels. I'm trying out a method were you store the pastel sticks in rice to keep them cleaner.

Every Day Original Sale Tomorrow! And New Piece Update

Here is a sneak peek of Crimson Peak fanart I'm working on. I should finish it up this evening. I'll also be posting a time lapse process video later this week here on my blog and my other social media.

In other news, TOMORROW starting at 10am EveryDayOriginal.com is hosting a Month of Fear Sale event! You’ll be able to purchase some of your favorite pieces from October’s Month of Fear. My pieces include Trial and Reflection will be included in 11x14 frames matted.

Month of Fear: The Eyes

My third entry for the Month of Fear. Learn more about this monthly challenge at MonthofFearArt.com

What Lies Beneath
There were many ways to run with this. I was interested in deception and what lies beneath the trees. In folklore throughout the centuries, forests have represented a place of wonder and fear. Deogen “De Ogen” or The Eyes is a ghost often seen as a fog form haunting the Sonian Forest, in Belgium.

The challenge with this piece was controlling the values and keeping the viewers eyes moving around the piece.

Next week: The Dance of Death unites us all.

Month of Fear: Sabbath

My second entry for the Month of Fear. Learn more about this monthly challenge at MonthofFearArt.com

This weeks word: Sabbath
This topic was a bit overwhelming for me. You can go a million directions with witches and demons and witchcraft and spells and Harry Potter...

In my last piece I was exploring death and I decided to continue that motif with the Salem witch trials. In Reflection there is a victim and in Trial there is a fighter. I really enjoy the comparison of the two. Each piece has a different energy when dealing with the same subject of death and murder.

Anyway, luckily I had some rope from a previous reference shoot and I tied my first ever noose! I love how you can Google anything. I've never done an illustration where the subject is back lit. I felt this value structure would compliment my subject matter and be a good exercise for me.

Below is some of my process work and a close-up shot of this piece.

Above are some of my thumbs. I really liked the top row. I may explore that further for a future piece. I decided on the straight forward comp because I really wanted an intense look and the opportunity to play with bold shapes. Below is a small collection of the inspiration I used.

Month of Fear: Mirrors

I wanted to participate in this year's Month of Fear, which is " a weekly art challenge created by Kristina Carroll for the month of October. It was designed to inspire artists to get together, shake things up,  push themselves  and create a bunch of new personal work. We do another monthly challenge in February called Month of Love."

This week's word was Mirror: Reflection, deception, spirits and secrets.This is darker than most of my current work, but I wanted to step a little further out of my circle and challenge myself with a more serious piece. This one is titled "Reflection". Next week's challenge is:  Sabbath Witches and devils.

These process images are crude and taken with an iphone, but in my defense these were intended for my own personal documentation and not a demo. So here it is: I sketched in my base drawing with nupastels. Next, I went over certain areas with a sponge brush soaked with water. It gives the pastel a "paint" quality and dries with interesting textures that I knew would work great for this concept. I want to stress that this was done on BFK Rives cotton rag paper, so it doesn't buckle. Once dried it was a process of refining my shapes and trying to give it that foggy mirror look, which was an interesting challenge. The solution of using a fogged mirror helped make this story less gruesome and more appealing to a broader audience. ;)

Every Day Original: Swift

Swift will go on sale tomorrow at EveryDayOriginal.com at 10am EST. I encourage you to sign up for my eNewsletter. Every month I include the piece and its sale price.

I really wanted to just focus on what I enjoy most out of every portrait I create. I love finding shapes that I can mold into a lovely face. I smooth out soft tones that play against hard lines like in the hair. And of course I love punching in those highlights :)