Portrait Illustration

In an attempt to learn Procreate I’ve been taking a few SkillShare classes. As a visual thinker I find watching another artist’s process more informative than just a how-to-use guide.

‘Illustrating Expressive Portraits in Procreate’ by Maia Faddoul

The class project asks you to chose someone you find inspiring to paint a digital portrait of.

Vivienne Westwood is someone I’ve always admired. Not only for her amazing fashion designs but her risk-taking. She is not afraid to say what she thinks or use her position to speak out against injustice. 

Her style is so bold and expressive. Very daring andĀ avant-garde, with appreciative nods to historical fashion that I find fascinating.

The first task was to create an inspirational mood board.

And then sketch out our portrait to be used later as a guide for painting.

This is my final piece. I used the Procreate calligraphy chalk brush in varying sizes to paint. Inspired by Westwood’s use of bold shape and line, I went for a funky asymmetric background in a dark colour to create a bold contrast to her bright orange hair.

Words and Pictures

I took a painting Skillshare class over the weekend. Needed a break from the screen. – Illustrated Words & Monograms: Paint and Print Techniques (for Wall Art and Greetings Cards), by Illustrator Claire Picard.

Using a variety of methods, the brief was to illustrate words and letters with paint and liquid mask practises.

In the first task I used liquid mask to block out the word “j’adore”, then painted a mixed watercolour wash over the top. Adding hand painted hearts once the wash was dry. Finishing off with a small splatter of paint made with a toothbrush.

Filling the page with colour was a lot of fun. Although I did struggle with what to layer on top of the background and didn’t really take any risks. On my next attempt, I will experiment more. I lack somewhat in confidence when it comes to watercolour washes and was so pleased with how this turned out, I didn’t want to ruin it by overpainting.

I need to get over my fear of florals, so decided to use this assignment as practice. I resisted the temptation to view flower photo references and started by just painting flower shapes. Then I added detail with a black Micron fine liner.  

I wasn’t as happy with the results of this piece. I didn’t spend enough time thinking about what flower shapes would work well inside the letters or how they should be placed. It is very rudimental, to say the least. I will try again with just one big letter. Think I tried to run before I could walk with painting a whole word. The curse of being dyslexic…. my brain runs away with an idea that my physical self has no experience with and can’t keep up. 

Feel the fear and do it anyway….. Is how I felt doing this class project. Abstract, although a style I like, is something I’ve never tried before and I usually avoid florals. Especially loose expressive designs. I’ve kept my distance from such designs on account of not knowing where to start.

Claire’s class was the perfect introduction. And although my results are a little haphazard and very rough, (don’t think I’ve ever drawn so many flowers on one page), I’m totally inspired.