Sunday, 9 December 2018

Reflections and Portraits

Hello my lovely friends.  How have you been?  (I guess I'm not really expecting an answer, I have deserted you for quite a while now it seems!

So what's been going on I might hear you ask? 

This year has been pretty hectic, lots of orders, new products and kids keeping me occupied.

I was also diagnosed  with Fibro this year and it made me reevaluate a few things.  I noticed I was getting increasing pain in my hands and my eyesight was getting worse so I found I was making more mistakes.  Don't even get me started on the brain fog, I have to write everything down otherwise it's instantly forgotten. 

Well in an attempt to be more consistent with my illustration I have moved to using an IPad Pro for all my designing and then printing on top quality card rather than all hand drawing.

My original method was to sketch on paper, get approval from the customer,  make any changes if needed,  then scanning, redrawing and then colouring  (and that was on a good day, often the pen might slip as my hands hurt, or I would draw a line a little too thick or occasionally take a pen lid off and it explode. )  If I found any problems I would redo.  Some portraits could easily take several hours just because of a tiny mistake.

As you can imagine this had to stop, or at least change!

It was a real battle with my brain and heart though.  My brain wanted to be practical and produce top quality portraits every time.  But my heart felt it wasn't truly hand made, that customers wouldn't expect something digital to be hand drawn.  What do you think?  I started to realise that it isn't always the way you make something but the results with some handmade items.  If I realistically charged for all the time a portrait took, with all the redos and customers wanting last minute changes no one could afford it! But, if I drew it digitally I could easily make these alterations, reduce my time and the pain in my hands.

I also discovered a wonderful new plan formed...... but I will tell you more about that another time or you will be sooooooo bored of such a long wordy post!

So today I thought I would show you a little look at my portrait style as it has changed over the years and how they look now.    

My first portrait.  You may notice noone has any necks!
I did love this one though and it was for a friend and never sold so don't panic any of you copyright police out there!  (that's usually me lol)

My portraits started to have tiny necks and longer legs.  

Another hand drawn portrait, this one has so much texture and that kilt!!!!  Oh my that took hours to get the pattern right!
You may notice that hand drawn portraits are much harder to photograph too, so much detail is lost in the image.

In fact it took well over a year for my characters to start getting more realistic proportions.  I've never liked the idea of drawing someone as large or thin, busty or flat.  I tend to create my portraits with a feeling of their inner child.  I do get asked to make people larger or thinner mind so I have started to do that now.

Here is a portrait  I was asked to create for a preschool!  What a great way for people to identify with the staff in the setting in a friendly way.  This portrait was digital, and just as well as there were a few alterations, people to be added and others who had changed job roles. Here it is again all festived up ready for Christmas cards!

Here are some other fantastic portraits.  These are all digital and I really love the detail and the new style.

So that's it from me until the next post!  (hopefully in less than 6 months!)

I will be sharing this post on the wonderful Handmade Monday so do pop by and check out some other amazing crafty blogs!

Jen xx

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