Where the magic happens
One of my friends moved back to Dubai, and held her going away party at the Top of the Strand Hotel. My boyfriend and I laughed that we were "too close" to the Empire State Building to take a good selfie or picture
If you've followed me for a while, you might know that I also run amock the streets of New York City as a photographer. I am expanding the items I am selling on Society6, including prints and cases of this skyline photograph.
I took this photograph when I was representing a scholarly NYC publishing firm at a conference in Columbia University. The conference was held in highrise building with incredible views of Manhattan. I saw Manhattan from a specific direction as a student at NYU, and I was excited to a different perspective.
Boyfriend was joking about a gift idea, saying that I could put flowers in it.
"You never give me flowers!"
We walked back to my apartment, flower freshly procured in hand: "I thought you were against gender roles."
I think Central Park is at its prime in the fall
My Arcade Fire final vector lettering isn't too far off from the sharpie marker sketch in my moleskin. I slightly rotated and shifted some of the letters. I also duplicated the second A, next to the D, and scaled it to a smaller version.
The left is my final sketch on paper. The right is the final vector lettering.
A seemingly simple project still takes lots of planning!
Guides help you draw straight lines. The neon green dots represent anchor points that contributed to the curves of the letter.
Lock your guides to avoid accidentally moving or deleting them
I wanted the heart to be symmetrical, and an easy way to do that is to reflect the points on the Y axis. Unite the points that meet in the center to close the vector.
All the guides for each individual letter or symbol can be overwhelming...
So I grouped the guides for each letter on a different layer. I hide and locked the layers for the letters I wasn't working on to focus on the guides relevant to one letter.
Vector drawings on top of my template. I didn't deviate too much from my original sketch, but I later decided to change the size of the L and E
Seemingly simple, but this took some careful planning to vector. I decided to lengthen the final product to match my original sketch.
For some reason I just think everything about this Dolce and Gabbana look is amazing
Drawing is a lot more fun when you stop trying to make it look like a photograph.
I've decided to draw 2-3 portraits a week, and experiment in Photoshop. My goal isn't necessarily to create finished pieces for the portfolio portion of my website, but to explore new ideas and techniques. I'd like to line all the portraits up after a year and see how my style and skill set evolved.
Purchase prints and things!
I was excited about this illustration as soon as I started drawing it.
The idea and color scheme is inspired by Jonsi's Sinking Friendships - the song I set for the background of my process video. (see below)
I first drew the nose and lips and used my tortillion as a drawing tool for softer lines. I knew that the eyes will remain as white as possible. As you can see in the photos, there was some trial and error while I worked on the hair/background. I wanted to focus on the face and most the backgrounds I sketched out detracted from an etheral quality to the portrait.
The color palate was deliberate from the beginning. I wanted the portrait to be icy and powerful without the use of heavy black lines.
Like with most of my illustrations, I add textures to enhance the drawing. I painted the blues and purple forms with another project in mind, but I decided to scan the dried watercolors to use for textures for other projects. In this case, the watercolor background also narrowed down the color story.
One of the best pieces of drawing advice I heard was in my Industrial Drawing class at Pratt Institute - "Draw bigger." The industrial drawing class trained our whole arm muscles, not just our wrists. One of my classmates was struggling to draw perspective detail. Not only was she limiting her physical ability to draw, she was limiting her ability to think. The small space was crowded with previous attempts and she quite literally drew herself into a box.
It was also the first time in years that I sketched on large, 18x24 paper. I realized why I never got into sketching in little sketchbooks - my arm and vision was limited. Drawing on newsprint is even more liberating - it's the cheapest paper available, and therefore you don't feel guilty about "wasting" it. There's no pressure of drawing something that will have to remain in a bounded notebook. Prismacolor colored pencils glide on newsprint smoothly
I developed the direction of this illustration by sketching various letters and organic shapes on newsprint. In case of the letter D, I was "doodling" randomly, but with purpose. I saw the letter D take shape and I ran with it.
The letter T is the first letter I worked on. I started with some loose sketching on bristol paper with a "dripping" shape in mind. I avoided placing any dark lines or shading since I was still working out the shape. It's helpful to place the drawing across the room to view if the proportions are working. I realized I should elongate the stem before I started to shade.
This is one of my favorite designs - the same drawing represents the letter "E" and "A" when I rotate it.
A couple of snapshots from one of my favorite places
I was inspired by the blue crab for this illustration - both the shape and especially the colors. As with the turtle, I prefer to work on 19x24 bristol paper. I first set down the general composition and shape of the turtle and added the detail in the claws more randomly. I decided not to add lines to the body of the crab given the detail in the rest of the composition.
I had a specific color scheme in mind and I first painted some areas orange and blue before adding multiple layers of the same texture. I retain highlights by creating a layer mask. (Drag your graphic or texture to the icon that is circled) I repeated this step a few times to add dimension to the illustration.
Prints and things are available.
Check out the time lapse video for both the drawing and digital painting process.
Ongoing Weekly Snapshots Series (from my Instagram)
I have the privilege of working at home, but it can be hard to adjust to when you're a visual person. It's easy to get caught up in a project and barely leave my apartment for a few days. I start to envy the people who have the morning routine of buying a coffee before they head to their company office. Bike riding throughout Manhattan has been a good remedy, and it combines my exercise time with exploring new locations. I bike about 120 blocks to eat dinner at Sal and Carmine's, home to one of the best pizza slices I ever tried.
I went to Union Hall in Park Slope Brooklyn last night, and I recommend checking it out if you're in the mood for a bigger bar with comfy couches and bocci ball. The bar also aired Breaking Bad in the basement space, and the amount of people that came to watch was so large that people stood. (Last picture)