Monday, January 4, 2016

Personal Work: Pure

Over the last two months I completed 20 commissioned illustrations. It was a lot of work, and by the end I was craving the chance to draw some personal work. But I didn't know what I wanted to draw.

For moments like these I visit my Inspiration Pinterest board, where I collect any image online that makes me think, "ooh, I want to draw that!" I found this stock image from Deviantart. I didn't particularly like the model's pose or costume, but I loved the atmosphere of the forest setting. Ever since moving to the Pacific NW I've been thinking about forests a lot.

So what should I draw in the forest? I don't know, how about a deer? I love deer. Oooh, how about a mystical albino deer?

Mystical albino deer for the win! I started laying in some flat colors underneath the sketch.

But I started to feel dissatisfied with the illustration. Something was missing. Something was boring. I considered abandoning the whole thing, but I've been doing that with too many personal pieces lately, and I was determined to work through this one. Then I tried drawing a little girl with white hair and a white dress on the white deer, and I loved it.

Weirdly enough I considered calling the thing finished at this stage. "It's stylized," I told myself. "It's painterly." But a small voice in my head, the voice I have learned to recognize as artistic intuition, told me to take a break and come back later with a fresh perspective.

While traveling over Christmas, I left my computer and this digital painting behind. When I got back, refreshed by a week of turkey dinners and holiday cookies, I saw that this painting wasn't "stylized" or "painterly," it was just a sloppy mess. It was time to tighten things up.

I tried to keep a bit of painterliness in the background trees.

Here's a closeup of the main characters:

But wait, there's more! I tried my hand at making a very subtle little animated version. What do you think?


  1. I love this! And I love the title you gave it. It really is "pure" and beautiful. You have a beautiful mind and it comes through in your work.

    1. Thank you very much, Chelsea! :) It was refreshing to draw something that was simply happy and peaceful.

  2. Beautiful and very sweet piece, and a great blog post :) I absolutely get caught in the dilemma of, "Is this actually finished or do I just feel done?" It's especially tough when you're trying not to over-render.

  3. Love the serenity of this piece. It's refreshing to see a warm spring forest in this dull winter. I enjoy all of your work, but your personal works are truly magical.

  4. Wow. Your work of art is awesome!!!

  5. I was in absolute awe when I first saw this. I love that you share how you make all of these inspiring works, it's amazing to see!


Thanks for leaving a comment! I read each and every one!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...