Friday, May 3, 2013

Hitching a Ride on a Hummerfly

Here's the latest little illustration that I've been working on. Ages ago I had this sketch of cute creature that was a hybrid of a hummingbird and a butterfly. Wouldn't it be amazing if these were real? Anyway, I've been wanting to bring him to completion now and then, and so finally last week I started working on him, or maybe her...I'm actually not sure anymore. I've been craving to paint something fun, patterned, and whimsical and what better time than the present.

First, I traced the general features of the initial sketch on to my paper. Then, I made some adjustments to it, using hummingbird, butterfly, and birds of paradise references.

And then came my favourite part - the inking. I just love inking so much. I'll need to do some black and white line and silhouette based pieces soon, I think.


Then, it was time to get to work on the colour. I've been wanting to do a pink/red/green piece for a while, so it was exciting to finally go for it. Though, I've gotta admit, I was quite weary of it coming out looking too "Christmasy". So, I decided to print out my ink on a piece of draft paper and quickly map out the colours.

colour study

Feeling more confinement I started layering down the colour on the good paper.

base colours
And then some shading to create a little volume was in order.
Then it was time for the background. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do at first - to be more painterly or more pattern influenced. In the end patterns won and many, many circles began to appear.
background pt. 1

Finally, to finish off, I filled in those circles with even more circles and did some light shadowing around the Hummefly and some random "ink blossoms" as I call them around the rest of the background.
And there we have it!
Finished piece. Look at those lazy butterflies trying to hitch a ride.
Size: 6 x 10"
Media: Waterproof coloured inks + watercolour + gouache + microns

I kind of like to think of this as a "sister" illustration to the Carpe Diem Carpe Noctem firebirds painting I did last summer. They both have an elongated format, bird imagery, and patterned backgrounds. =)

Also, drawing the little Hummerlfy made me think of the song "Oranges on Appletrees" by A-Ha.

"Oranges on apple trees
Birds that mate with bumblebees
One big happy family
Endless possibilities"

Haha, just saying. Anyway, enough rambling. Good night and/or good morning!

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