I owned a massive teddy bear that was given to me by my childhood bestie, Renee. She and I had last names starting with the same letter, so we ended up in home room class together. Since then, she has been one of my favorite people in the world! She was always so sweet and loyal and it's no surprise that she got the 'Nicest Personality' award at our 10th grade prom.
Whenever it starts to get colder I think of winter stories, like 'The Little Match Girl'. Even though it is one of the of the saddest stories I know, there is also an element of warmth to it that I love. I wanted capture that feeling when I created these images exploring character design and story... I hope you like her.
Another summer gone and I can't think of a better way to commemorate than with a 'END OF SUMMER' sale for all my incredible supporters! Just use the code: SUMMER17 for the whole month of September and you will recieve 20% off all art prints on my Etsy Store!
I did this last month to celebrate Harry Potter and J. K. Rowling birthday month and posted it on Instagram, which is where I post more often. But, since I had a moment to update the blog, I thought I'd share here too. If you are interested in purchasing this piece, please contact me anytime! Have a lovely day!
My good friend Sarah Petersen and I were catching up over a coffee one day when she encouraged me to draw a specific character in different poses and seasons. I have done this type of exercise before, but definitely need to do it more often than I get a chance to do. Since I recently bought Stephen Silvers character design BOOK, I hope to do a lot more of these types of images.
All three bunnies with be available in my Etsy store very soon!
In the month of May, I participated in the #Mermay challenge on instagram. Tom Bancroft started it last year, and I was a little busy with moving to get involved at the time. But I promised myself I would do it next time and this year was 'next time'. You can check out my submissions on instagram here: @ranibeanart
To end out this month, I wanted to finally share with you a children's book project I worked on that recently got published.
This book was a milestone for me both professionally and personally. It definitely didn't happen easily and it pushed me to grow as an artist. It also made me appreciate the work of the greats who make it look so easy even more!
The biggest struggle for me was taking a character that meant so much to someone, create a visual representation of them and feel like I did that character justice. I drew so many versions of this little boy, Jellybean, that when I finally captured him in an image, I was indescribably happy. Finding Jellybean made everything else for the book fall into place.
I had initially illustrated this fish spread to be pretty cartoony, but once I nailed down the look of Jellybean, that changed to fit the characters environment as you can see in the before sketch and after painting:
Like I said, this book was a stepping stone for me as an artist and I hope to be able to create many more children's book that are meaningful to others.
I need to thank so many people for helping me make this happen:
-The models who posed for me including, Cedric Petersen who posed for facial expressions. And the father and son team, Kody and Kyler Quast pictured above, who did a LOT of scene posing.
-Will Terry (Illustration Guru) for his words of wisdom and for always being so willing to give me guidance when I ask for it.
-My family and friends who boosted my spirits when I was struggling (and badly injured) to keep going.
-And of course to the author, Joseph Heywood, for your patience and belief in me and the opportunity tell your story.
Spring means the weather is finally starting to warm up again and sunshine is my happy place. I decided to draw a Springtime fairy waking up from her winter hibernation, because that's what spring feels like to me! Below is the finished image, followed by my initial sketch. Then a color blocking with a close of the finished detail beneath. I left the live work pretty rough on this one... I plan on reworking this a little more and tightening up the line work. Happy Spring!
I thought I'd share an example of what happens when I'm sketching out an idea. I like to play with basic shapes and composition a lot in the beginning. Once I like the general direction of where a piece is going, I redraw it with more defined shapes. I look at reference images of animals and instruments (or whatever it may be I'm trying to draw) to get a more accurate sense of what to draw rather than rely on just what I see in my head (I obviously didn't know how a french horn was held and ended up changing that!) Hope to share more drawings and processes soon!
If you haven't read the book or seen the musical 'Wicked', it is the story of how Elphaba becomes the Wicked Witch of the West from the 'Wizard of Oz'.
I read the book before there was talk of a musical and loved Gregory Maquire's take on the iconic character. When I saw the musical, Elphaba's performance of "Defying Gravity" hit home for me pretty hard.
It seems like misunderstood beings in fiction are represented a lot with the color green... Elphaba, Kermit the frog... Slytherins. I'm sure we've all had moments in life when we've felt a little 'Green'.
This weeks movie theme, "Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang". I decided to start with a redo of an image I did 3 years ago for an 'Illustration Friday' topic posted here.
I always enjoy it when artists post 'redo' images side by side. You can see the improvements or changes in their style and that can be motivating when your day to day doesn't feel like it's getting anywhere. Here is Truly 3 years apart... Progress?
I have a slight obsession with movies and tv shows that have great characters, storylines and visual appeal. I have been wanting to do a series of studies from so many shows and movies and finally got the chance to start this week. I had just finished the first season of Lemony Snicket's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' on Netflix so decided this would be where I start:
The Baudelaire Children: Klaus, Sunny and Violet:
Llama shapes, initially inspired by the Peru scenes:
Violet Baudelaire's Outfits:
(Her undergarment is not an outfit from the show, just my own addition when I was creating this digital paper doll)
I'm excited to do more Movie and TV show themed studies!
Happy Australia Day!
For a while now, I've been wanting to do a series of Travel posters and decided to have the first one finished in time to celebrate the place I grew up. Australia Day falls on January 26th, but since the aussies are a day ahead of the US, they are celebrating it today. This print was inspired by the warm summers at Sydney Harbour and is now available at my Society6 store.
My first post of the year is this 'Small World' piece I created as a tribute to Mary Blair.
I originally did a paper cutting version for a Holiday art show I participated in last month:
Then decided to also create a digital print version which is now available on my Society6 Store.
I love that we have so many amazing histories and cultures in this world thatwe can share and celebrate with each other... I couldn't fit them all on my piece, but I'd love to hear what cultures represent and influence you!
It's that time of the year... Christmas movies and music are my obsession for a month! Some of my favorite movies to watch during the holidays include: "Home Alone", "Elf", "Meet me in St Louis" and "Love Actually". For this image, I was inspired by both Casey Nelson's 'Nancy' from Summer Magic and Hollie Hibbert's 'Dani' from Hocus Pocus. I decided to draw Cindy Lou Who from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" because I love how the Dr. Seuss characters were captured in the live action movie... especially Cindy Lou Who.
I've been at my day job for 6mths now and it's been pretty awesome. I love that I spend the majority of my time creating and the rest of my time learning. I recently listened to an Oatley Academy interview with Samantha Kallis and I loved how she described art jobs as mostly problem solving and that it is still 'a job'. Some people outside of the creative field don't realize that professional artists are not just playing around drawing. Sorry friends, it's WORK! That being said, I do get to work on projects that can be more on the fun side. One of those project was for the front page of the company's website. You can see the finished version that was completed by our art director at PolishedPlay.com
But here, I'll post my contribution. The problem solving for this piece came from trying to convey what the company is all about. Polished Play gives people a chance to interact with the stories as well as giving them the opportunity to create their own. I like that the theme of paper is brought into a digital realm with the characters and backgrounds they've created. To convey all of this, I decided to and create a digital pop up book scene, incorporating the lamp logo, that I also got to update from it's previous design.
Before taking this into Photoshop to create a dimensional feel, I build all the pieces separating in Illustator.
You can see from my initial concept sketch that changes were made to create balance and give a more magical feel.
Images from this post are property of Polished Play LLC
My first ever blog post was for Halloween and so every year, during the month of October, I reflect on my experiences and growth since that first scarecrow image. I still have so much to learn in every area of illustration, but that has always been one of my favorite parts of illustrating- being a forever student. At some point I'd like to share more about what I've learned with others, but for now, it'll be practice, practice, practice. So, here it is, a ballerina-vampire. I drew her for this months 'Character Design Challenge' - 'VAMPIRE'
You can now find out what your Patronus animal is on Pottermore!
Mine turned out to be a Grey Squirrel... what's yours?
I also just joined the Harry Potter Character Design group, which I'm pretty stoked about! I missed the first batch of Characters they did, but I've decided to catch up on those after I am done with inktober this month. My first post was for the 'You with your Patronus' Challenge:
I remember the first time I read Harry Potter.
My cousin had read it in her class and told me about it.
I immediately borrowed it from the library and was hooked after the first chapter.
That was sixteen years ago now!
This year is a good one for Potter fans, with the latest play/book and new movie coming out.
So, I thought I'd share a little fan art sketches for fun! They include the usual suspects, Harry, Ron and Hermione with their pets, Hedwig, Scabbers and Crookshanks the orange cat!
A week ago I saw the Laika animation 'Kubo and the two strings'. Being a Laika fan, knowing how original their plot lines are, I had high hopes for this film. That being said, I am also one of those people that gets very affected by what people tell me before I see a show. So naturally when the story line was described as being super original, I was greatly disappointed to have guessed the entire plot before it unfolded before me. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. It was entertaining and SO beautiful to watch. I have seen other Laika animations that have seemed more original with the story than this was though. One of my all time favorite shows will always be 'Paranorman'. Coraline and Boxtrolls were pretty great too. Visually though, 'Kubo' definitely delivered and I couldn't have asked for more. Especially the scenes with the Sisters, which is why I had to create a little fan art:
Real life mermaids came to life for me when I saw Esther Williams movies as a kid. These synchronized swimming beauties made dancing in water look so easy! My sisters and I would do somersaults in our backyard pool and I don't we looked quite so graceful. Watching the olympic event this week made me want to draw this:
It's been a too long since I posted last and let's just say, life has had its ups and downs.
About a year ago I had a foot injury and it got worse before it finally started to get better. I can officially say I am on the mend, but as my doctor told me, soft tissues takes a long time to heal and there are still plenty of days of recovery ahead of me.
At the time I finally started to heal, I got a new job... and it's pretty amazing.
I now work at a company making artwork for games and apps.
It is so fun and I get to work with really awesome people who are super chill and easy to work with.
Since graduating, I have worked at 3 jobs that allowed me to make pretty cool things, but didn't really fulfill what I was really wanting to do. I mentioned in Will Terry's interview that I didn't really have a sure idea of what I wanted, because all options of children book, animation and gaming sounded appealing. But people around me kept telling me I had it pretty good and that I should be grateful that I had a job in art at all. But I knew I would be lying to myself if I did that. So I kept at it, looking for that dream job that made me happy. Some peoples would be happy in the previous jobs I had, but my personality, passions and goals in life are different than theirs. In no way one better than the other, just different.
So now, I'm in a job that allows me to do all those things I mentioned in Will's interview. I'm creating characters and environments for interactive children books that allow for mini games and I'm learning a little animation along the way! I look forward to sharing work projects as those games are released.
On the side I have also been able to work on some freelance projects and I hope to share those soon too.
(Title page I created for a freelance Children's Book project)