Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mr Tabby

Something a little more realistic today. I've challenge myself with colouring a tabby cat. This one has ginger tips and light markings around the chin and bib. I firstly sketched with a Copic Multiliner 1.0 pen. The first colour I applied was Copic E50, then shading of the light areas with E51. Next I used YR24 for the ginger contrast. I then made the markings and shading with W3 and W5. The nose is R02. YG61 and YG 63, with a touch of BG05 and Y35, are the eye colours. And YR00 is used inside the ears. Here is the base colouring for the cat.

I got to that point at midnight last night so I decided to come back to it with a fresh approach today. I began to do the dark marking in W7, but these ended up looking too gray. I have a selection of browns and it was difficult to make a decision as to which I should use. I went with E25, 27 and 29. To get the effect of fur I did very fine strokes in the same direction and then very carefully toned it all down with a light blend of W5. This is how it developed:

I could have left it as finished at this point but I went back after a break and added a little more definition with the browns and W5 and W7. Overall I'm pleased with the tabby's markings. It's been enjoyable drawing more true to life than my regular cartoons.

This cat is available to buy - please join my facebook page if you are interested in this or other commissions:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Cats with character

These two cats are from the same family. I kept both of the poses from the photos I was sent as they work well together. The cat on the left looks like it has some personality!

I use my sketch book each time before I do my finished piece. This was another sketch that I thought worked out well enough I could have used it for the finished copy. They only take a few moments to draw but it helps me find the animal's character and posture.

I ended up using Copic Warm Grays for the cats' colour. The difficulty with black is that the detail from the line drawing can get lost if the colour is too heavy. I left brush strokes in the fluffy cat's fur - only minimal blending and a few strokes once the ink had dried also.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Two wee chaps

Today I started on an order for a Jack Russell and a Fox Terrier. The only photo I had were in these sitting positions which makes it a bit tricky for grounding the dogs but some shadows balanced them when I added colour. 

I was really happy with the final piece.

This is how the art looks once framed.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Balls of Fluff

I was lucky to acquire an art order a couple of weeks ago when I was purchasing new frames for my work. The salesgirl was interested in why I was ordering such a number of frames so I passed over my business card and invited her to look up my Facebook page. 

I heard from her within the hour and she sent a photo of her mum's two cats, Floyd and Zorro.

These are the sketches I did in my sketch book. Having one of these books is indispensable. I use it mainly to get the postures and faces sorted and sometimes, like this sketch, I get it right straight off. Then I wish that I'd just drawn it straight on my good paper.

And these are the final two fluff balls. I'm happy with my day's work.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Exciting news!

I can reveal some exciting news today. I have been invited to be the art expert for the Artfull Crafts team. Artfull Crafts is New Zealand's largest scrapbooking retail and online store. You can find the online store here

If you have been directed from the Artfull Crafts blog, welcome to my blog! 

It started as a blog to showcase my annual Gingerbread Christmas house (check out November and December posts from past years), then I began posting my favourite gluten free recipes and it has developed to promote my art. If I'd thought harder about this, it probably would have made more sense to write three different blogs as it has become quite an eclectic mix!

If you are a Pinterest addict (I adore this site - so much inspiration!) you can find me here : Diana Steven.

My latest art illustrates two dogs - an old golden lab and a whippet. This is the photo I was sent of the dogs, and below is what I drew. Follow my facebook page : Diana Steven - Illustrator for my regular updates. If you wish to place an order this is the easiest way to contact me.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A quirky house

This is a mixed media canvas I did as a one off order. It is a house warming present with the key and no.44 representing the couple's first house. I really love the mustard, teal and raspberry together.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Two friends update

These dogs are smaller than they may look. The beagle's head is only 2.5cm across. There was not much forgiveness for an unsteady hand!

And these are the completed dogs!