New Artist Critique - Watercolor Pigments, Inspiration, Whimsical Art, Alice in Wonderland, The BFG

Reflection 52 - January
This illustration challenge is completely rockin' my world! Check out the pieces I made this month. (This is what Reflection 52 is all about.)

Welcome to my illustration-world. Remember, I promised to keep this short on words, unless you ask for more detail.

Theme: Whimsy "Turq the Dragon Cooks Potatoes & Bacon"

What I Learned
I was too excited to have joined the group. I posted hastily and forgot some elements I had initially planned. Mainly, wiggly lines from the sizzling bacon.

What I Tried
I used Prussian blue (PB 27) to darken the background and sky. It turned out nice, but smeared the rose madder diamonds on the castle flag. In future pieces, I will use PB29 and/or 15 for shadows, as it is recommended by others.

Whimsical Dragon Watercolor Illustration Art
Anishinaabe Girl With Griffin Illustration Watercolor

Feathered Friends "Miigwech"
(Griffin & Nikomis)

What I Learned
I learned I HAVE to go with my FIRST thought. I knew the black lines in the little girl's hair were going to be over-powering. I didn't have a nib fine enough, but I could have used charcoal grey instead of black. I'm looking for a 0.03 waterproof ink-pen to add to my supplies. Suggestions anyone?

What I Tried
I tried making some magical light come from the feather.  Boy do I need to work on that one! The woods appear to be magical, however, which is what I was shooting for.

Australiana "Roos & Roses"

What I Learned
I had some research to do since I know very little about Australia. I learned that there are several species of kangaroos, that kangaroos love to eat roses, and some Australians love to eat roos!

What I Tried
I'm excited about the turnout. I tried making stylized watercolor roses, and they turned out incredibly cute. I painted the kangaroo in gouache so I worked from dark to light. I got a new brush - 0 round - and I absolutely love it. (This is my third size because love their performance.) Brand: Blick's Scholastic Wonder White Script.

Australia Kangaroo Illustration Watercolor Painting
Absolem Caterpillar Butterfly Watercolor Pen and Ink Illustration

Ode To Favorite Children's Book: First "Absolem's Alice"

What I Learned
I learned that I appreciate GIMP more than ever! I smeared a huge blob of ink on a wing-tip but GIMP fixed it. (Thank you GIMP Development Team!)

What I Tried
I wanted this piece much more "flowy" and less stiff. I wasn't in love with it. My vision wasn't as strong as it could have been. I had a lot passion and energy for my next piece below.

Ode To Favorite Children's Book: Final Submission "I'd Know You Anywhere"

What I Learned
I learned I need more practice making comic-style art. My thought bubble could use practice. Help! Again, because of haste, I forgot to draw in the Z's by the sleeping-mouse's head. I lost them in the painting. I fixed it in the original, however.  Also, I need more practice blending the watercolor around my drawings. The background did not turn out the way I had envisioned, but I like it in the end.

What I Tried
I tried a few things here! First off, I wanted to create the piece to reflect the "madness" due to the content. This meant: sharp points, wiggly lines and asymmetrical character design. I succeeded there.

I used tints and tones of a split-complementary palette - violet, blue, yellow-orange. I chose a limited palette in order to bring some visual sanity to the madness, easier on the eye. Also, I used white gouache bubbles/glass balls to float in the background. It helped soften the sharp transition in the watercolors.

Alice in Wonderland Watercolor Copic Illustration for 52-week illustration
The Giant's Candy Maker Watercolor Illustration Painting Bonus Challenge: #whatcoulditbe "The Giant's Candy-Maker"

What I Learned
I can fix even the most serious of mistakes, or at least keep working until the image gets better! I used rose madder with a mapping nib around the giant's nose - terrible mistake. I used my lovely Prismacolor pencils to work out the error. I wanted a softer transition.

What I Tried
I worked really hard (and long) on this piece. I first started out with the idea to have a girl watering "round" flowers, as the challenge was to use a circle in a creative way. Well, I knew the idea was over-done, but then I was inspired by "The BFG" to add the giant and his big nose (the circle). I became on fire for this piece. "Hot-dog!" (as James Stewart exclaimed.) The idea became sweeter, literally! I spent my day in a giant's world. :)

I'm learning a lot about my own art and process thanks to illo52weeks program. (If you have some guidance for me on supplies or technique, I would love it!) The themes for next month are: Peacock, Garden, Botanical, Pastel (I think it's summer Down Under). I've got something clever in mind for the first week already!  If you're interested in future posts of Reflection 52, you can subscribe to Tawnya Boe Art and Illustrations by Email or Enter your email address into the "Stay Updated" form in the left footer of this page. (You will be sent a confirmation email once you've subscribed and you will need to click the confirmation link in order to receive actual Reflection 52 updates from me.)

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