Wednesday, 1 November 2017

A Character a Day Art Challenge

I never had enough time to do Inktober this year, so after pondering this idea for a while I have decided to create my own art challenge, which will be to draw a character a day for the whole month of November. I thought about creating this challenge for a while because I want to get better at character design such as people and animals. 

Guidelines: Create one character a day in any medium - ink, watercolour, pen, pastel, digital or it can even be a quick pencil sketch. Each character can be human, animal, mythical or alien. Post it on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #acharacteraday. 

If you want to join me in this art challenge you can make up your own fantasy creatures or you can follow my prompt list. Each character design can be your own interpretation, you could put your own spin on a griffin for example.

Anyone can join in, don't forget to use the hashtag #acharacteraday or #littleinkings and have fun :)

This is my official prompt list of ideas. I will be posting on Instagram and Twitter.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Scotland Visit

I recently arrived back from a visit back home to Scotland. It had been around 21 months since I left so I was looking forward to going back to see family and friends. Here are some pics from the past 2 weeks. I was at a wedding at Brig o Doon house in Ayrshire and managed to fit in a trip to the Isle of Skye. It was lovely driving up to Inverness through the lovely autumn scenery.

Ashton Lane on a rainy day in Glasgow

Storr, Isle of Skye.

At Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Arctic Fox

It's October and most people in the internet art world are doing inktober right now. I've kind of given up on it already due to being too busy but I will definitely try to do a few more ink illustrations before the month is over!
This illustration was drawn entirely using inks and it is now available on my TeePublic shop.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Warrior Knight

Character design - From initial sketch over on my Instagram @little_inkings to the final illustration. I wanted to do a female knight/warrior or heroine from a fairy tale. Not necessarily a big strong woman... maybe she is a princess who secretly wants to be a knight? I don't know where I will go with this character yet but I am really happy with the finished illustration. Which in art world logic means if you spend hours on something you love, it doesn't always get the best reaction compared to the sketch you scribbled in 10 minutes?! That't the way it goes.

I actually drew the initial sketch for this using a male reference.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Halloween is Coming

Autumn is honestly my favourite time of year, although it is quite different living in the southern hemisphere, autumn comes in Easter. I still wanted to do an autumn and Halloween themed collage style illustration. Since I will be visiting home in Scotland in a few weeks, I will hopefully get to experience it (praying it doesn't rain too much).

I used ink and watercolour for these and played about with the layout in Photoshop. I like how it turned out, it was fun!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Character Illustration & Sketches

I created this character from a sketch using inks and watercolours. I embellished a bit and experimented with the colour in photoshop. 

Childish expressions, a fat cat and giant birds?

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Anne with an e

I created this illustration a couple of months ago after watching the series 'Anne with an e'. The series is based on the book 'Anne of Green Gables'. I have only read some of the book but if you like light hearted period dramas set in the country with warm childhood vibes then I would really recommend it. I really enjoyed it. This illustration was quite quick, I drew Anne from how she was shown on the promo poster and coloured with watercolour, ink and digital. Just some fun fan art!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Mermaids and Whales

The two mermaid illustrations were done back in May, the second one was maybe even done earlier.... How is it August already?!

Each of these illustrations were sketched and painted with colour and backgrounds added in PS. I just really felt like drawing a whale shark. I used watercolours, acrylic inks and masking fluid to create these.

I post most of my artwork over on Instagram most days.

P.S. I have recently set up a Red Bubble account here.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Creating an illustration with acrylic inks

I have been using the same watercolour set for a few years now. It's a huge Windsor and Newton set with about 50 colours and I love it, but sometimes having a load of colours to choose from can actually make things more difficult. When layering watercolours it can be hard to keep things neat, so I decided to give acrylic inks a go. I just got three colours - process yellow, process magenta and indigo. That way I'm not overwhelmed by a million colours, I am forced to mix my own.

I created the illustration below as a test and I'm really happy with how it turned out - nice and vibrant. These inks mix really well and are buildable, they have the consistency of thick watercolour paint. The only con is they dry quite quickly and cannot be reactivated with water. For the black outlines I just used regular indian drawing ink.

Hope you enjoyed this mini review. I post most of my drawings on Instagram, I'm at @art_by_nicola. :)

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Purple Hue Mountains

I thought I should do an update with an illustration I have finished lately. I have been enjoying painting mountains in pinks, purple and blues. I also recently opened a store over on Redbubble - This should help encourage me to complete more finished pieces and get them online!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Little Winter House

 Hello there blog, sorry I have neglected you for seven months! When I have found time to draw, paint and create characters I drew this little girl. Her house is supposed to be a Georgian period house. I sketched the little girl a few times and messed up her nose but fixed her up in Photoshop. I might do this illustration as a series and have the house in spring, summer and autumn. I used colour pencils, watercolour and fineliner pens for this illustration. With a bit of colour adjustment to get rid of the yellow.

Cute details. :)

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my work. :)

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Scene from a story

It’s incredible how quickly I lose interest in my own illustrations. I go through phases of having a good flow going and feeling really inspired. Other times I finish an illustration and don’t even like it or I look back at my work a few weeks later and I can see mistakes or I look at it and think I could have don’t this bit better or that better.

I have been trying to do a series of illustrations in a children’s book style for a story I have in my head. When I sketched this character I was trying to go for a very cute, naive style. This is not my natural drawing style. My mind always wants to try and make objects or people look realistic. But I am trying to stray away from that and draw in a more loose childlike style.

For this illustration I was trying to mimic the style of the first character. I suppose I am inspired by my own childhood as I remember always loving wandering through the woods. I love old folklore and tales of trolls and fairies.

This is the first version. For this I used fine liners, watercolours and pencils. I’m not so keen on the colour scheme in this one, it just doesn’t look right. I like the way the grass turned out though. In the second version I decided to change the trees and add a bit more detail, which I think looks much better. But I’m glad I decided to have another go at it. I feel like the second version turned out better although I’m still not 100% happy with it.

At the moment my plan is to keep working on my water colour skills and sketch sketch sketch!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Children's Book Illustration Short Course - Preston

Recently I completed a short course on children's book illustration. It was great to stretch my creative side and be in that sort of environment again. It was interesting to get an insight in to the industry of book illustration and get lots of tips and advice. Everybody in the class had such different styles, it was very inspiring.

We were given the task of finding a children's book, typing up the text and swapping with each other in class. This was a good idea because we were not influenced by the original illustrations. I created a double page spread from the book I was given. The book is about a young girl called Nora who is very badly behaved at home. Turns out the character Nora was actually a mouse! In hind sight I kind of wish I made the characters animals. I think my final piece is quite boring. Although my character development has improved. I used watercolours, pencils and ink for the final piece.

I always use my Windsor and Newton watercolour palette. I have had this for about three years and it was definitely a good investment. I am still on the lookout for a good quality set of watercolour brushes and a decent bound sketchpad.

This illustration is Nora dropping her sisters marbles. I like how this one turned out. I did a bit of character development in my sketchbook which helped but I didn't quite get the main character to look consistent.

Trying different techniques was fun.

Overall I would really recommend the course at Melbourne Polytechnic in Preston. If you have an interest in children's book illustration and you are looking for an insight in to the industry, you would definitely enjoy this course. The only thing wrong with it is it didn't go on for long enough.