Drawing a See-You-Later present

So, my friend Brittany just graduated from college and is moving to China for a year as a missionary. I’m going to miss her so much, but I decided to do this quick drawing as a see-you-later present.

First off, I chose a picture I wanted to draw and did a really faint, rough outline. It all just starts with circles and oblongs, and I usually just go over it with more and more detail until it’s an outline I’m happy with.

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Next, I went in with a thicker black outline. This is where it’s really important to get the facial features right. I also added the creases in her clothes and the flowers in her hair.

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The next step is my favorite part- adding the color! This is the part where you have to really look closely at your reference picture for all the variations in hues-where the darks and lights are- etc. Since I had already put in the black outline, it’s kinda like working on a coloring book- but shading at the same time.

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Just keep adding color… I think in this stage I sort of removed the black outline to see what it would look like if I just outlined each section with a darker color. For example, her shirt is white, so I outlined it with grey. Her skin was tan, so I outlined that with a dark brown. I think this is what I went with in the end.

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The hair is the trickiest part of coloring. My tip is to just make sure your brush/pencil is set really small. Treat each stroke like a strand of hair, and just keep layering. It takes practice.

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Brittany portrait

Here’s the finished product! Comment what you think, and please follow me!

My First Charcoal Attempt inspired by Eleanor Calder!

I’ve tried lots of mediums, but not charcoal yet. I’ve been wanting to take a wack at it, but I just never have until this week. My art teacher supplied me with all different kinds of charcoal sticks, pencils, and paper. I got to experiment with all that, and I rather like what I came up with.

But first, who is this Eleanor Calder girl? She’s most known as the girlfriend of Louis Tomlinson from One Direction, but she really is just an average, extremely beautiful girl who goes to the University at Manchester. She is considered by many as a fashion icon. She’s even got a fanbase. Her fans call themselves “Calderics”. Plus, the girl is just so sassy when people send her hate. She has more than 3.7 million followers on Twitter, and has been ranked 27th on a list of influential British Twitter users.

Anyway, she’s just one of those people that I really wanted to draw.

See, that’s the thing about artists. Some of us can be kinda creepy. We see someone’s picture, or even just a stranger eating lunch, and think, “Wow, I wanna draw your face.” This may or may not involve staring for a weird amount of time, or in my case with Eleanor, looking her up on Pinterest. I just like certain people’s faces, okay?

Well, I was commenting on one of El’s pictures on Pinterest (I pretty much live on Pinterest, just to let you know), and guess what? She responded! I was kinda fangirling.

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So, yeah. But what’s that got to do with charcoal? And why would I ask her that question? Okay, knowing what someone’s favorite Disney Princess is a very important piece of information for me.

After we talked about Disney Princesses, other fans started telling her she looks like Belle. She agreed, saying, “I’m Bell, but shhhh, is a secret! Xx”. So that kinda got me thinking to make a Beauty and the Beast-inspired drawing using her face.

So what I like about charcoal is that it’s really forgiving. I pretty much just went crazy with a charcoal stick and spread it around the paper pad my art teacher gave me. I made sure to leave a light spot where the girl’s face would be.

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And next, I added in more detail. I wanted to make sure her face was perfect before I got started on the rest of her.

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And then I added a book. In the picture of Eleanor that kinda inspired me, she was holding her phone and taking a picture. But I decided to put a book in her hands instead.

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Again, charcoal is so forgiving. Just get a gum eraser, and it lifts most of the charcoal off the paper. Any lines you made that you don’t want, you can just smudge into the background. As you can see, I was very rough with the sketching, but was a lot more detailed as I went in to refine the drawing. Just take it by layers, adding in more and more detail as you go.

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There’s my desk (I just cleaned my room, so I can actually SEE my desk, woohoo!!!) and my plush pencil that my sister made for me. Isn’t it cute? And then there’s me in a shirt I refashioned (by the way, if you want to see me refashion something, comment below!) And there’s my messy hand. Charcoal is VERY messy, but I like that. That’s just a little of how messy you can get your hand.

Tip: Have a wet paper towel nearby to wipe your fingers on. But don’t get your paper wet!

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And.. vwala!!!! (Is that how you spell it?)

Now, I didn’t try to copy El exactly, she was just an inspiration, and I kinda just liked her facial expression. But I love how it turned out. I’m working on a portfolio for college, so I can’t do any copyright things. The rule is to change a picture %30 I think, so I can’t really do fanart. So this is kinda my way of doing it, I guess? Anyway, I absolutely LOVE charcoal now and intend to use it a lot in the future.

Hope you like it!

Let me know in the comments below, what celebrities do you like drawing? Anyone’s faces capture your attention?

 

Scratch Art Tutorial

Some of you might have seen my first scratch art piece on the “Portfolio” page. That was one of my very first art pieces that I did when I started art class. Since then, my art teacher likes going around and showing her other students what she calls “The best scratch art any student of mine has ever done”. And that’s a lot, since she’s been teaching kids for decades. This is my reaction on the inside:

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(I really like the Sprouse twins, so I couldn’t pass up that gif.)

So it’s been a couple years, but I did another scratch art!

Tip: When you look for a picture to do for scratch art, make sure there’s LOTS of contrast. In black and white form, it should be as close to just black and white as possible. Make sure there aren’t much greys in the picture. This makes life so much easier.

So once I found a good picture to do, I printed it out.

Tip: Print out your picture in the exact size you want. Then tape it (with masking tape or painter’s tape so it doesn’t peel your art work) on to the actual scratch art paper, the picture you printed facing up.

Here’s what mine looked like with the piece of paper taped on it. This is how to outline your scratch art drawing. Make sure the picture is on the exact spot where you want your image.

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Tip: To outline your scratch art, use a colored pen. Press down on the paper hard to outline the details you want to scratch. Using a colored pen helps let you know what you’ve already marked and what you haven’t. This should leave marks on the actual scratch art paper. Once you have marked the whole picture, remove the piece of paper and you should see that your scratch art paper has markings that you can use as an outline.

Once I finished pressing down with a colored pen, here’s what it kinda looks like and here are the things you need to get started scratching:

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You can kinda see the pen markings here. And also, obviously you need something to scratch with. I have a simple pen holder and three scratch knives with different tips. A smaller, sharper one for details, and a couple bigger ones to cover larger areas.

Tip: Make sure you have a practice sheet! Scratching takes practice, so test out your tools first! And if your pen isn’t scratching easily or effortlessly, you’re probably holding it wrong. It should scratch smoothly.

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Tip: Unlike pencil, you can’t really undo or erase scratch art. So BE CAREFUL!!!! If you really messed up, try using a black pen to cover any mistakes.

 

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It takes practice and patience, but it’s lots of fun!

Thanks for taking the time to read this! And if you want me to do more tutorials, please let me know in the comments!