As a promise to myself to improve my figure drawing, (the male form in particular), I was surprisingly satisfied by the end of this piece. My current displeasure with my work was that there was something off about how my figures in my watercolour paintings were looking. There was a flatness that I didn’t really like, and really wanted to improve on. Therefore I went back to the basics with graphite. Obviously a much more forgiving medium, it gave me the chance to really analyze what I was missing in how I presented the male/female form in my work; taking a slower pace, and building up each layer with shadows, highlights & textures. I think the next step will be to play around with much more dramatic lighting to add more dimension to faces and figures.
It was also really fun to play around with some of the graphite shavings/residue I had saved from sharpening my pencils. So do save them if you sharpen your tools with a blade! 🙂 Although scanners don’t do a very good job at picking up the subtleties in traditional work, I hope you can at least see the attempt to create more solid black planes. I’ve wanted to incorporate this technique for a while now, without using black paper or ink washes. Although easily created (as seen in the halo), there will inevitably be a visible texture no matter how dark the graphite. So this technique was quite interesting to try out, as well as figuring out whether I like graphite better on white or tan-toned paper. The verdict’s still out on than one.
I hope you all have enjoyed The Mandalorian as much as I have; it has given me hope for the Star Wars franchise on the big screen. Although I’m not part of the fan-base that have felt rage at the new movies, I was rather disappointed at the failure to develop the characters & plot in the manner that The Force Awakens seemed to have initially been heading towards. I can be satisfied with The Mandalorian however, and continue to enjoy the animated series, games, and books that Star Wars creators do well.
Having had the benefit of growing up with 2 older brothers, I was never short of action and sci-fi/fantasy media growing up. The Star Wars trilogy was watched to death on VHS, and my generation of course enjoyed (and criticize today 😅 ) the prequels when they came out around 2000s. Other than the unforgettable introduction of Darth Maul in the prequels, Ewan Mcgregor’s Obi-Wan really got me interested in the character and continues to be my favourite to this day. (Well ok…Obi-wan and a certain red-eyed, blue-skinned, art connoisseur 😆) Therefore, seeing director Deborah Chow behind 2 of my favourite episodes in The Mandalorian has gotten me very excited for the upcoming Obi-wan series which she’ll be behind. A really good sci-fi/fantasy show also means a longer wait for Season 2, which I shall now impatiently be waiting for.
A slow end of October; in terms of sharing more work here that I had originally planned. Trying to get more paintings done for portfolio updates, as well as certain personal deadlines I want to meet. Hopefully I’ll get more new work up here soon. 🙂 Until then, a little toned paper sketch from ITV’s Sanditon. Little bummed we didn’t get a proper Austen ending from Andrew Davies. 😆 Still, a huge fan of Davies and love every adaptation he’s done.
Also, you can follow me on Instagram & Twitter if you’d like a glimpse into what I’m working on, I try to get more updates for you guys on my socials anyways. 🙂
This drawing is probably the most fun I’ve had on an artwork this year. The initial research and reference stage had me a bit confused at first, as I hadn’t really thought about Odin’s eye until I looked at some old drawings and paintings online. I noticed a constant switch of direction of his missing right eye; my guess is mirroring had resulted in artists switching to the left side of his face. All in all a fun little project. (A side note, I had no idea how big ravens were. 😶)
I’ve been really enjoying working in my new mixed-media sketchbook from Stillman & Birn. On the other hand, getting back into doing life-drawing studies/sketches is easier said than done, as I sometimes find myself bored of typical poses that you find online; in terms of reference photos. Aside from my general admiration of their work, artists Noah & Rachel Bradley have come out with a bunch of reference photo packs on their website (which I’ll link below) that have been quite helpful. If you’re looking for some quality references I highly recommend you check out their photography.
In between the painting I’ve been working on, I decided to take a little break – which basically meant binge-watching all 3 seasons of Stranger Things last weekend. I had some catching up to do. Naturally that resulted in some sketches; well one character in particular. I’m really looking forward to seeing the talented Dacre Montgomery in more roles in the future. As for Billy Hargrove, I knew I’d love the development of his character from the very beginning. And I’ll leave it at that for those who are still catching up. 😣
With the Shadowhunters Tv series coming to an end, I feel like it’s inevitable for it be an inspo at the moment in my work. Also lots of demons, and fantasy themed architecture, sets & other pretty visuals. 😊
A quick update for my social media followers. A few of you had asked about my Instagram a while back; I’m pleased to say I finally have one I can share with you guys. So follow me at shaima.art on IG, and I hope to chat with you guys there as well. My next few pieces will be more original art rather than fanart related pieces so stay tuned for that. More darker demonic themed paintings, some nordic stuff thrown in as well. ✌️