I’ve enjoyed providing each week a “Wednesday Warm Up,”— a day of usually quick drawing, inking, brushing as warm up to our serious art. I’ve been sharing a strategy to try each Wednesday using the iPad app ProCreate. I’ve decided to change it up a bit for a few Wednesday Wrap Up— a wrap up of my project tips for the past week or something I’ve learned that may also help others with the same #warmup4art hashtag.
As my readers know, I illustrate daily art prompts with my CLmooc friends. This month I’m choosing prompts from Lisa Bardot’s #makingarteveryday. Lisa provides tutorials on many different styles of art, which she shares in her long blog post 30 Art Styles to Try in Procreate. This week starts a new month with the theme of “Animals.” The second week, the animal theme is Farm Animals, which so far are cow, duck, and pig. I used a combination of brushes including the painterly [gouache], pastels, and textures.
The prompts so far for this week and techniques tried:
- Cow: pastels and gouache; base colors and texture
- Duck: gouache and textures; textures as feather-like look
- Pig: gouache, textures for shading, sketching strategy
About the Techniques
While I enjoyed the fur and brush set, it takes much more time to get it right– way more than my daily art time and my attention span seem to apply. Ha. So this week, my goal is to illustrate the creatures more with texture than actually trying for a realistic look.
I also struggle with sketches– even with the strategy Lisa Bardot suggests in her excellent example video, Foundations of Style, I struggle with the shape. My problem is I try to be too realistic even when I’m not trying for a realistic illustration. Then, when I try to loosen up, the sketch I make sometimes loses the proportions or placement of the parts to the whole. I know– and you know— practice is what I need. Last week’s post included some of those practice sketches.
Still, I decided to try Google’s AutoDraw for help. And that’s how I found my sketch for the cow. I applied the gouache painterly effect on one layer as Lisa Bardot explains here: Gouache Ice Cream tutorial, but I used the Artist Pastel set with these ideas from her post about drawing a pig. Here’s a replay of my process:
I really wanted a duck with a dark head and yellow beak, because my butterfly theme continues from the woodland creatures to these farm creatures, and I thought the little butterfly might mistake a black-headed duck with a yellow beak as a coneflower! I found a real duck, the American Black Duck to use as my model. In Lisa’s Texturrific Shaders set is a brush called Roller Shader and a few others that, on a base color and layers create that mottled, feathery pattern. It didn’t take much time at all. And there’s a halftone brush [neck] in the Texture Maker set. Find Lisa’s brushes here.
I really played around with a lot of texture brushes to get the look of this duck’s feathers. The foliage is the Grassy Shader from the Texturrific Shaders. I was surprised that after several layers of different color how “foliage-like” it did look. Then the beak and the flower petals I drew to look alike. I’m creating a little picture book for my great-grandson with these pictures. Take a look at the layers [click to enlarge]:
Take a look at the process here:
When discussing the cow, I mentioned Google’s AutoDraw for an idea for getting sketches. Again, I’m looking for a more stylized look– but one where I keep the essence of the creature even if parts are exaggerated for “cuteness.” Autodraw lets you start drawing, and as you draw, it displays icons of sketches it thinks you might be drawing [see video below]. I found three sketches in autodraw and applied two of them combined to create my own, allowing me to keep the essence of the parts to the whole while also adapting them and adding my own details:
My painting style was layers this time, but I did use the Goache Paintbox with the Texture-Maker brushes. The earth and foliage are Procreate’s Hessian and Snowgum.
Some of the brushes:
How to Use AutoDraw and Replay:
So, that wraps up this Wednesday Wrap Up. Prompts like those we find for CLmooc help inspire us to create art every day. And we develop our skills every day we choose to make art every day. I so enjoy learning to draw animals, and this week’s “farm animals” are allowing me a chance to return to some more stylized illustration.
And give Google’s AutoDraw a try for help with adapting your sketches to fit your style and needs.
Will you give these a try? If you don’t want to purchase brushes, look through Procreate’s native set for those that work in a similar way. Dry Ink for the solid color, willow charcoal, hessian, clay, or artists crayon for texture, noise, bonobo chalk, and aurora also add shading and texture. The “Materials” category includes many textures and flowing hair. Spraypoint has “flicks: for texture too. Dry Brush or Old Brush for streaks. The old Procreate had “stipple.” So experiment and let us know what you discover.
This strategy for sticking with Lisa’s prompts and tutorials is helping me be more consistent and focused as well as, with the variety she offers, the style I prefer. She’s very helpful with her resources and I appreciate all she’s done to help other artists. Just click the Artist Gems category on my blog for other teachers and artists that might inspire you. I’ve met plenty in my online digital journey, and Lisa is but one.