A Possible Portfolio Piece is Born…

I’m currently teaching an illustration class to kids/teens in the homeschooling community.  For one recent activity, I had a bowl containing papers with words like “cat,” “dog,” “bear,” “child,” “teenager,” etc. written on them.  Another bowl contained characteristics or occupations like “chef,” “super hero,” “cowboy/girl,” “bratty,” etc.  Everyone closed their eyes and pulled a paper out of each bowl – that was the character they were to invent.

I decided to do this activity myself (on my own time).  I pulled out the words “child” and “artist.”


My little corner of the house…

I love the creative process.  Preliminary sketches – some that work and some that don’t – lead to a shape, gesture, or an expression that catches my eye.  “What can I do with that?”  I wonder.  Then, the ideas start streaming – perhaps this, perhaps that.  The image begins to build itself and the story begins to unfold in unpredictable ways.  I’m just as surprised as any at the result sometimes.


The painting BEFORE the color pencil detailing…

Next, I might photocopy the sketch to play around with color ideas.  In this case, I used many types of media.  The character is painting the setting around him, so I used loosely-brushed acrylic paint for the background.  The character himself was painted with gouache and then detailed with color pencil.

Then, the staring begins.  I tape it up on the wall so I can look at it frequently as I go about my day.  “Issues” often jump out at me on first glance after I’ve stepped away from it for a while and then walk back into the room.  So, tweaking happens in bits and pieces over a couple of days.  That’s how I roll…

Finally, VOILA!  It’s done.


“You Are My Sunshine”


3 thoughts on “A Possible Portfolio Piece is Born…

  1. Pingback: A Lesson in Frustration With (Hopefully) a Happy Ending – Still Not Sure… | Illo-Talk

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