Current project : birthday gift for my sister’s bf… Not finished yet; got the paint layer down but need to detail and adjust / fix stuff with colored pencil and ink.
Immersed in theatre this weekend and loving it. Rehearsals, workshops, photography, A/V editing, and an upcoming 12-hour tech on Sunday (ok, not excited about that one). Loving everything except for the fact I’m not getting paid and couldn’t work this weekend at my normal job, so I’m REALLY not making any money.
Photographing 14 scenes by 14 different directors Sunday, practicing my indoor-stage-photography skills, and giving the actors photos for their websites and the directors the same. Spent a couple hours tonight at my friends’ rehearsal to get extra photos for her because Sunday will be extremely limited for all directors.
I think I’ll be able to add a new section to my website soon, theatre photography. I’ll have enough diversity to have a good amount of content on there, from taking photos last semester and this upcoming Sunday.
I thought I’d be doing Snow, or Belle, or Charming next, but I’ve had the urge to draw Peter Pan! So he’ll be next. (Blame it on that fairy tale being my favorite)
I haven’t tried out any wigs myself. I have long, semi dark hair and I do my best to try and curl and/or style it when I dress up. But one person looking for the frizzier 80s look of the wigs went for Amphigory’s “Diana” wig:
I think either that style or the looser London ones (think Sierra Boggess in the RAH concert) will be easiest to replicate.
If you wanna curl your own hair, you can make the bottom layers larger and more wavy, and the top layers more curly. The hard part is the small ringlets around the forehead (I’ve never done those) and to twist/curve the front hair over the temples in a nice way. You can see some stage stylings here:
If you want something with a lace front that’s also economical, I suggest the Isabella wig, found in a few different places.
I ordered my wig (Isabella) from Wigs US but they look like they’re out of stock. I think it was around $70 or $60 when I bought it but that was because it had a lace front. It looks like prices have come down.
Here’s a listing for the same wig on Ebay, however, they don’t have the exact color I ordered (FS4/30) - a dark brown (4) with auburn highlights (30). I definitely suggest getting one with highlights because it makes it look real, and not like a wig.
Of course wigs never look like they do on the model photos so here’s a photo of the wig before I styled it. I did trim the lace just a bit in the front so it wasn’t so noticeable, though.
And some photos of how I styled it. I believe I had to trim the front little curls a bit after curling them.
My hair was the same color at the time, and much longer, so I let my hair fall out the back of the wig. No one even knew that I had mixed my real hair with this wig because it blended so well. It made it look longer.
In this next photo, my hair color faded back to my natural color and you can see where my hair and the wig are different:
They make it look like a long wig, but it’s not as long as in the stock photo.
Quite a while later I added extensions (purchased from Amphigory here) and I have no clue how to properly add extensions, but this is how I did it, and they stayed:
The extensions added about 6” to the length of the wig.
Those curls stay curled well. The wig, however, after one or two uses, (especially the tight front curls) has to be re-curled. In fact I really need to get the curls looking better again - it takes maintenance. But it’s better than a cheap wig — I’ve tried 3 different cosplay wigs that were under $40 and they just look like wigs - too thick at the scalp, and too hard to style. I finally just paid more for a “real” wig - i.e. one that people would wear in real life - and altered it.
Hope this helps.
The next OUAT portrait is Emma!
References in this drawing: a swan, the compass she retrieved with Hook, “giving up hope / counting the days”, Neal’s cutlass, the dreamcatcher, Henry, car keys and swan keychain, coconut, magic bean, “Emma” (refers to Rumpelstiltskin writing her name over and over), the cupcake she had for her bday when she wished she wasn’t alone; Hook’s hook, and the Storybrooke clock tower. She’s surrounded by a handcuff (symbolizing her past in jail and also her present position as sheriff), and the background is supposed to be the “star map” she illuminated in the cave, b/c I just thought that was a pretty thing.
I saw that there was a OUAT (Once Upon a Time) fan art contest … (to which I missed the deadline because I read it wrong) - anyway, I was sitting in one of my classes, which is a symphony orchestra discussion class… a lot of classical music and orchestral music is played and discussed for 2 to 3 hours. And when I listen to that genre of music I always get inspired to draw/create. Scribbles, that is. Not fine art or anything. But they sometimes turn into fine art, like this piece.
So here’s what I sketched in my mind. I’m thinking of doing a series of portraits like this, with the different OUAT characters I like. The idea is to have their portrait surrounded by significant objects of their past and present. You know me, I love little details. Of course, I was going to start with Hook because he’s my favorite character on the show.
Here’s my very very VERY rough doodle of what I wanted to do. Small details changed in the final draft (I added more objects, took away one, and didn’t put the caption in the wheel).
I wanted to get the details of the objects very similar to what they really looked like, so I spent a good half hour or hour collecting reference photos.
Main reference photos:
I had a few minor/blurry ones from screencaps for the compass, flask, etc. Anyhow, I tried to get the detailing, especially of the steering wheel, accurate to the show. The hook was also important for me to get right. You have no idea how much trouble I had with the naval officer hat, I re-sketched that like 10 times. Hats are so strange to draw [and look correct].
So… this one started out on a 9” x 12” piece of watercolor paper.
Most of the illustration would be sketched freehand, so to contrast with the freeness of it, I wanted the wheel to be VERY precise and architectural. I studied the details, used a compass, measured, etc.
I even got so wrapped up in how cool this steering wheel was that I began drawing the inside. And then realized the portrait would be covering that up. Thankfully I stopped before I did the entire thing… LOL! ::hand of frustration::
So, that was erased. Moving on.
I sketched an outline of the face/neck/collar.
Then I added certain details of the face that I knew I’d go over in ink, as well as the line of the sea behind him… which I intentionally made crooked. I wanted it to look flowing and have a LOT of movement, which you’ll see later is kind of a theme in the drawing. I also split it at his eye level because I thought perhaps it would draw the viewer more into his eyes.
Sketched out the hook.
Added in the paper [drawing of Milah] and the sword. After I viewed my finish project, I think the sword’s just a bit too long in the relation to its’ handle, but whatever. Just a minor note to myself. Made sure the paper curled and had movement to it.
For some reason, I love looking at ships and looking at paintings of ships, but I do *not* like drawing/painting them myself. I’m not sure. So I admit I rushed the ship a little and the coloring definitely wasn’t perfect. But that just makes the detail/emphasis on the portrait more, which is good.
Added a pirate flag. I’m not sure if we actually see this in the show or not, but it’s an iconic thing that speaks to the viewer [who may not watch the show] and says, yes, he’s a pirate. As before, the flag is fluttering in the wind, giving the drawing movement.
In the bottom right I added the naval officer hat, which COULD kind of-sort of double as his brothers’ captain’s hat if it was turned sideways. I know that’s not how it works, but I made it generic to symbolize both. And it’s engulfed in a pile of dreamshade.
After that I added the compass on the left, something I thought of mid-way through. I wanted something that symbolized Emma in the drawing and that was the only thing I could think of; because getting the compass was their first adventure together.
Then to balance it out on the other side, THE NEVER-ENDING MAGICAL FLASK OF RUM. Seriously, that thing never runs out. Awesome.
After staring at everything up close for so long it’s good to step back and look at the drawing from afar. I try to do that often so I can error-correct and tweak along the way. But also I wanted to see the composition from far away, as I really focused on making this have good design and a good flow to it.
Here’s the scanned pencil sketch:
Then, I ink the design in Sharpie. After it’s inked, I erase all the pencil. For me, the ink helps keep my painting where I want it to be, instead of painting over a light pencil sketch and messing precise areas up. It makes it more of a rendering/illustration look though - you wouldn’t want to do this if you were going for super realism or something.
Scanned line art:
And on to PAINT! I’m so happy I learned this mixed-media method last year because I just love it. (You’ll see me use colored pencil later). It makes renderings go fast (as in, a few hours rather than an entire day). Because I can block out the colors, and then go back in pencil with precise detail or texture. Here I’m using gouache. Just some cheap-o no-name brand. I’m loving gouache so much I might invest in some artist grade in the future, but I can’t afford it now. Or perhaps I’ll just replace the colors that have more of a translucency to them (the ultramarine, the dark green, the crimson, etc). I also really need to find a basic skin tone color because I always end up having to mix one and it takes a while. Anyhow, I’m rambling…
So I began with the portrait because I sometimes lose patience as time goes on, and I wanted to get the most important part out of the way FIRST while I was still excited about the drawing. I laid in some basic skin tones/highlights/shadows.
Layed in some basic color for all the objects.
Started to add texture and subtle colors (like more pinkish-red skin tones on the face)
Was trying to figure out why I wasn’t getting the intense stare I wanted and that I saw in the reference photo, so I looked a bit more and realized the irises/pupils needed to be up just slightly. Added more texture and dimension to everything in colored pencils. (Oh, and I use Derwent Coloursoft Pencils… my beloved 72-pack! I could neverrr go back to Prismacolors after using these things for a few years. They’re less waxy and last longer).
That last photo has poor lighting (but is sharper), here’s a slightly better one. I should have taken these with a real camera. Anyway… Instead of standing back 10 feet to see a drawing, often just taking a photo on my phone and viewing it as a small photo does the same exact thing. When I take progress photos, I’ll look at the screen and realize something is off or something should be changed. It really helps.
Oh, I also added in a small magic bean here. In between the ship and the sword.
The last touches on a color portrait for me are often the little spots of color you wouldn’t expect - the purples under the eyes, the gray-lavenders of the highlights, and the pinks and reds of the shadows. It really brings the skin to life.
Also, if there’s anything that needs to be VERY black, I’ll use the thin sharpie if the pencil isn’t black enough. Rarely, if I need a burst of white, I might use white paint or whiteout or something, but I didn’t need that for this drawing - my white pencil worked fine.
Closeup from a camera:
A note on contrast…
Something I’ve improved upon recently is my use of contrast in COLOR paintings/drawings. It’s super easy when you’re working in grayscale/graphite, but not so easy in color. In the past, when I’d scan in a colored pencil drawing I’d take the saturation out, just to see what the contrast looked like. And I’d often be disappointed - the highlights were never bright enough, the shadows never dark enough. Just a lot of muddled grays. Of course it can be tweaked in photoshop, but that doesn’t help your skill improve. I hadn’t done it in a while and decided to take the saturation out of this one just to see what it looked like…
And I was very surprised! I adore the contrast this has, and didn’t need to tweak it. So I can see that after a couple of years I’ve improved on that matter. It’s rare for me that a color drawing can look just as good in black & white when the color is sucked out of it. Makes me happy.
Lastly, all the references in the work explained:
Hope this was informative! I just love mixing media! For me, It’s taking all the pro’s of each medium and using them together to render faster, and better. This illustration took me about 5 to 6 hours from start to finish, including researching photos and scanning everything in to the computer.
If you have any questions shoot me an ask.
Also, please don’t use any of these images without contacting me first and getting permission from me! Be kind to artists and don’t steal. Thanks for reading!
Layers and layers of spices and flavors
Could this be some kind of charade?
Layers and layers of costumes and players
I think I will join the parade…
So, I’m not sure if this will make it into the final cut, but I just had this in my mind last night and had to render it.
I had been sketching a few ideas that bits and pieces of this came from… like the slowing circle skirt, bird … eh, costume… that looks more like a mascot, haha… and the pointed bodice… anyhow, I took a couple elements from there and made this.
Scarlet macaws are my favorite birds, due to their wild and bold colors. I wanted to make this costume wild enough to where people knew the inspiration was a scarlet macaw, without it being a bird suit - lol!
Because there are some big musical numbers in the show, I’m throwing around the idea of making the ensemble costumes relating to animals (like the one here), and perhaps another scene that is focused heavily on masks. Or, I may just combine the two, as I originally thought.
The most dramatic/wild costumes, like this one, would be for the big number near the end where the actual carnival celebration is going on.
Whether it makes it in the cut or not, it was really fun to paint.
Scarlet Macaw photo source
Have a little bit of free time before rehearsals tonight so I’m finishing up the alterations on the Don Juan cloak that will be shipped out next month! (adjusting the “sleeve” length and adding elastic loops for the thumbs).
:D super excited for this costume to go to its’ new home :D
Tattoo design for my momma
Based off an OLD sketch I did a while back, just made it more proportionate, paid attention to composition, and cleaned it up.
Please ask permission before using. I can get you a better image if you want to use it for a tattoo. Can not be used for any other purpose. Thanks!