This is kinda fun. Isn’t that a weird thing to say? It should always be fun, right? Sometimes it’s not, though. Sometimes it’s work.
But this one was fun. Partly because it’s Alice, my daughter. Partly because it was quite challenging. And even though I’m not sure it’s successful as a portrait, I learned a lot by doing it and it’s just fun to draw a face again. I like skellies, too, but faces are fascinating.
Anyway, I think using cool colors on the makeup was a mistake with this piece. So I will probably take another crack at it and try warmer whites instead. Plus, I think it’s just too dark. Warmer whites and lighter values overall.
I was out taking pictures of butterflies and bees in my wildflower garden yesterday and that was the inspiration for today’s Sugar Skelly. Her dress is the color of the leaves of the flowers and there’s a butterfly flittering around her head, perhaps hoping for a sip of nectar from her pretty bouquet.
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This is the digital file, directly from my computer.
Here you can see the original line drawing and a test print.
Today’s sugar skull girl is digital.
I began with a line drawing from my sketchbook, scanned it, imported it to Adobe Illustrator, traced it, then filled her with frosting colors, added a pattern behind her and voila! Sugar skull deliciousness!
I’m going to frame her up and bring her to the Starving Artist gallery in St. Augustine, Florida in time for this weekend.
It’s fun to do art this way. It satisfies my craving for a smooth line drawing and it lets me adjust the sizes and colors with a mouse click. I can make her fit into any size frame that I have handy. Because I’m adding final touches, like the shading on her bones and glitter on her dress, each print will be a little bit different.
I love her bright colors and I love that she’s dancing. She makes me happy!
Here I’ve changed her colors and printed her out in three different sizes.
I got to thinking about the faces that I used to draw all the time and the couple of cement blocks that I did with those faces on them and wondering how I could incorporate some of this sugar skull-duggery into them.
So this morning when I got up I doodled some of what I was thinking, which naturally led to an actual skull and then I thought, I wonder what would happen if I drew it in Illustrator? So I did that, and it was okay, but lost some spontaneity in the translation, I think. This could have been due to the very cheap mouse I was using, now lying in pieces at the bottom of my wastebasket. But I thought I’d also try it with a stylus on my iPad using the ArtStudio app. I liked this better and feel like I should do more digital drawing/painting.
Of all of my iterations, I liked Doodle number 4 best. Do you have a favorite?
Heather, 10×8″ pastel on UArt 600 paper by Marie Marfia
I am offering a free 8×10″ Sugar Skull Pastel Portrait to one lucky winner of the raffle at my Skelly Show at The Red Sable in St. Augustine, Florida during the month of October, 2015!
What’s a Sugar Skull pastel portrait, you ask? First I start with your picture, then I sketch it out with pastels, adding sugar skull style details. Simple! Here’s a time-lapse video of my process:
Wouldn’t you love to see a portrait of yourself as a sugar skull-ized crazy person? To enter, all you have to do is go to my show (at The Red Sable, hours: Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, closed Sunday), fill out an entry and drop it in the Sugar Skull Portrait Raffle box. That’s it! I’ll draw a winner on the night of October 30 at my Artist Reception slash Day of the Dead Festival slash benefit for Childhood Cancer Research and it could be you!
Bonus, you can opt in to my Bone Appetit! mailing list so you’ll get all the latest Skelly news delivered right to your inbox every week, including free stuff and subscriber-only deals on originals, prints and cards.
This Sugar Skull Pastel Portrait is a $150 value! So hurry down to St. Augustine during October and get your name in the box! Someone’s going to win, and it might be you!
Would you like a Sugar Skull Pastel Portrait? Contact me for more information and to arrange payment and shipping. Thanks!
Heather Sugar Skull, 8.5×5.5, black sharpie on sketch paper
Hi Heather! Here’s your sugar skull girl. Thanks for requesting it! It’s given me all kinds of ideas to try out so you can expect a few more along this line. Line. It’s a line drawing. Get it? I know, I know… It’s the coffee, as my sister would say. Someone oughta apply for a government grant and do a study.
Here’s a time-lapse video of the drawing. (Click the image to play the video.) Enjoy!
Hey, have you signed up for my newsletter, Bone Appetit! yet? You’ll get a free, printable skelly card with an envelope pattern, plus my latest blog posts about all things skelly every week!
Seriously. I have to give them all away. Are you on my mailing list? If you’re not, you can be. Send me an email (email@example.com) and I’ll mail you one of these postcards for my show at The Red Sable in October. It’s going to be awesome. I picked them up today at the printer’s and walked around a little bit on St. George Street in St. Augustine, dropping them off here and there. This weekend I will do more of the same. And mail out the rest.
Next week I’m going to hang my paintings all over the store, which means that this weekend I’m going to be busy putting all my art into frames. I’m getting excited about the big Day of the Dead party on October 30. That’s going to be way cool, too. Wonder if there will be a face painter there? It’d be neat to have my face painted like a skull.