This post is the first in a week-long blog post update extravaganza! (It’s when I update my blog everyday, Monday through Friday, just for this week).
I just finished a new illustration in colored pencil! So to celebrate, I wanted to show the progression of how I made it and the tools I used. And at the end of the blog post, you can see the finished piece.
To start, I grabbed my Prismacolor 72 piece colored pencil set (which I had left over from my first ever art class in college. Hold on to your supplies, students!) and an 9 wide inch by 12 inch pad of Strathmore Toned Tan paper.
Once I got those, I drew the black and white version of what I wanted to color. I sketched in (lightly) where the shadows would lie with my trusty F hardness sketch pencil. I use that pencil for all of my drawing and sketching.
Then I go over those lines with my mechanical pencil, which I believe is a B hardness in lead, so it’s darker than the F.
Next, I color over the whole sketch with a white colored pencil. I do this so that…
I don’t lose my shadows
I have a layer of colored pencil between my pencil lines and my actual colors, thus
making my art much cleaner and less muddy.
Once the white is laid down, I lay down the brightest colors I’m going to use, and color from light to dark.
The first layer of colors end up looking a little like this:
It’s not the prettiest…yet.
Also, I did not use light peach straightaway for the skin tone. I laid down the highlight color, which is a mix of Cream and Beige.
Alright, so I drew the light colors first. What next?
I really wanted to try and find colors that would compliment Roxie’s hair, which is why I went with fuchsia industrial piercings, dark blue gauges, a purple camisole, and an orange-yellow tank top.
Also, use the color wheel. It is your friend.
I used this to help me find the complimentary colors mentioned above, and it also helped me find what colors to use for shading.
So at this point, I have colored the highlights and the shades. There’s just one layer missing…
Oh I know! The mid tones!
I took the colors I wanted for the mid tones in each area, which went a little like this:
Mohawk: Spring Green
Shirt: Canary Yellow
Gauges: Cloud Blue
Skin: Light Peach
Teeth: Cool Grey 20%
But after I colored the mid tones and finished out a few minor details (like the teeth), I noticed that the shade tones got lifted up a little.
So I went back over the mid tone layer with the shades again. Which went like this:
Mohawk: Dark Green
Shirt: Dark Brown
Camisole: layers of Violet Blue, Ultramarine, and Indigo Blue
Skin: Sienna Brown
Teeth: French Grey 60%
Then I added some neutral tones like brown in the linings of the mouth.
The last step was VERY LIGHTLY adding Black on the edges to help delineate shadow.
Finally, at long last…
This portrait is finished!
Looking at it, there are still some errors that I notice (like her nose), but I have to say…
This is the first colored pencil piece of art I have made in a little over five years. I think I did alright. It’s not the best, but it’s not the worst. With practice, I’ll get better.
So what do you think? Should I do more portraits in colored pencil? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
I’ve been posting some Johnson & Sir sketches over on my Tumblr. Here’s a few for you:
That last one is actually an in-joke on a Validation strip I did before, because half of the audience on Validation’s Facebook page saw this strip and went “I want Rubber Duck The Reckoning to be a thing!”
I want it to be a thing, too! We’re figuring it out ;D
I’m still writing The Legend of Jamie Roberts. With any luck the script will be done by March 30th.
I haven’t been working on Charlie and Clow as much as I should be. I need to fix that. And I hope to get the first 6 or so pages online once they’re done. I’ll let you know when that happens!
And I just might be making a new short story for an anthology soon…
This is a project that I think is very important for a few reasons.
Most history books and classes don’t really talk about women in general, much less women who fought in wars or were warriors in some capacity. It’s a shame because these women’s stories can add richness and depth to historical events that otherwise can be simplified into “good vs. evil” or some other dichotomy (I’m looking at you, World War II).
When I was a little girl growing up in a rural Ohio town, I wanted to hear more stories and read more histories about girls and women being heroes or being fighters because I wanted to be brave like they were. Everyone was telling stories with boys in the lead, whether it was Napoleon, Goku, or Huckleberry Finn. But I wanted to hear more about the Paper Bag Princesses, or the Polgara the Sorceresses, or the Cimorenes. Sure they existed, but there weren’t enough and they were hard to find.
I wanted to make a resource for those girls that are around today, who want to know the stories of real warrior women of the past like I did when I was a kid. Whether it’s for a book report or because you just really like badass women fighters, I wanted this project to be a source, a starting point, to get to know these historical women better.
In this project, I am doing my best to reference as many books and articles as possible to tell these stories and be historically accurate. However, I also recognize that this will be difficult because there aren’t too many books about women’s history that are available and accessible to the public.
The other problem that exists is that there are many women whose histories are not written down or recorded, or worse, their histories were changed by an outside perspective. This can make retelling the histories, even briefly, very challenging. But the challenge is accepted!
The books and articles I do use are going to be relevant and as accessible as possible to you, the reader, so you can read more about these awesome ladies.
This project is a jumping off point for research. It is by no means everything and every detail about the histories of these women. You are encouraged to read more about these women (as you should) and make your own conclusions about their achievements.
So who counts as a Woman Warrior?
I’m looking specifically for women (even trans women, if I can find them) who have participated in a war, battle, or revolution as a fighter and combatant. I’m also looking for women and trans women who are martial arts experts who have made a mark in history.
How often will it update with a new featured woman?
Right now, I’m planning on weekly updates every Monday, with each update on the Tumblr Page.
How long will the project last?
Into perpetuity! There are so many women warriors who deserve to be talked about that, at least at the moment, there’s no set finish line for this project.
Can other artists contribute to this project?
Eventually! I just started this recently, but in the future I’ll be looking for volunteers who want and are able to make art for this project. I’ll be making announcements when that time comes!
I’m not an artist, but how can I help?
Just reblogging or sharing posts with your friends, on Facebook and Twitter, and other sites helps out immensely. Also, try to keep any discussions that happen positive (I’m aware that there are minority groups that will try to put down this project. What they need is an education on what being a badass really means ;D).
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy this project!