28 September 2014

New Art - Chibi Genie

For my new art post this week, I'm featuring my September ArtSnacks challenge.  The way I do the challenge is to create a drawing or painting using only the supplies provided in that month's box.  Sometimes I'll use an extra item such as an eraser or a brush, but this time I needed only the exact supplies I was given.  Let's take a look! 

As you may guess, I drew chibi Genie as an homage to the great man we lost recently: Robin Williams.  I don't want to get too deep into the impact his sudden death had on me but I will say I loved him as much as one can reasonably love a person known only from their acting.  That he, someone so bright and warm and cheerful, was lost to depression has made me finally (if not slowly, hesitantly) take steps to overcome my own mental health issues.  That's not what I want to talk about here, though.  Let's talk about Genie!

Sketch Drawing of Chibi Genie
Sketched with ArtSnacks pencil and eraser.

I had actually sketched a chibi Genie once already before I received my ArtSnacks.  One of the things that made me use the idea for my challenge was the brilliant blue watercolor marker I received.  If I hadn't gotten that color, I definitely would have drawn something else.  It was great that the supplies I received allowed and encouraged me to finish an idea I had already started.

Chibi Genie Drawing Inked on Clear Paper
Lines inked on a sheet of clear vellum with the ZIG marker.

Inking on the clear vellum was a great experience.  It's not flimsy like tracing paper, but it's the same translucence which made it very easy to copy the lines from my sketch.  If there's any place for this paper in my normal repertoire of supplies, it's as a surface for inked lines that I intend to scan in and color digitally.  The paper takes ink beautifully (no feathering) and eliminates the need for a lightbox or transfer paper to ink a sketch.  This is perfect for inking something to be digitally colored because it provides a very clean scan without a lot of trouble.

Reverse Side of Drawing Colored with Watercolor Marker
I colored on the back of the page.
Front Side of Drawing with Watercolor Marker Showing Through
The blue appears smooth but muted.

A suggestion from the September ArtSnacks menu to create two-sided art prompted me to add blue on the back side of the paper--behind the lines rather than over them--allowing the color to show through on the front side.  The result was very interesting.  As you can see in my photos, it's obvious that the color becomes very desaturated on the front but, less noticeable, it also doesn't show the stroke marks from the back.  I tried another technique later, attempting to shade using the watercolor marker on the back, but it didn't show through at all.  Viewing from the front, the area I had layered extra color on looked just as smooth and even as the rest.

It's also easy to see the clear vellum couldn't really handle the watercolor marker; it got very wrinkly even though I didn't go so far as to blend or gradate with water after using the marker.

Finished Drawing Shaded with Graphite
For the final touch, I shaded with the pencil.

Since shading with the watercolor marker was out of the question, I finished this piece by shading on the front using the pencil that came with the September ArtSnacks box.  It seemed to enhance the faded, nostalgic look of the blue watercolor and polished off the drawing nicely.

This is one of my best ArtSnacks challenge pieces yet.  It was satisfying to create something I really loved since last month's challenge felt like a big flop.  I'm also happy to have drawn a picture that has meaning; usually my challenges are all about experimentation with the tools with the end result being secondary.  It probably helped that I was already familiar with some of these tools and super excited to try the others.

Did you create an ArtSnacks challenge this month?  What do you think of chibi Genie?  Is there something you would have tried with the September supplies that I didn't?