ILLUSTRATION: Changing it up...

As the academic year comes to a close and I'm having time to just do nothing, I have been stumbling upon bits in my room, I didn't even realise I had - mainly work/drawings I forgot I had done... Looking through all of them, I started feeling slightly frustrated as they all looked quite different. One of the main things I like looking at in people's work are the details (or sometimes lack of) that create that distinct look and style. I have always felt that is important because as artists or designers or 'creators' we don't need to be known for our words or what we do in our spare time or what we look like! Often we are recognised by the work we do - whether the recognition is from a classmate, teacher or someone who you've never even met! And that alone is the an achievement on its own - and I'm finding that, for me, I want to come up with a style that's recognisable and truly just mine...

One of the things I struggle with is the fact that my designs are very childish - often resembling cartoon characters. Even with that in mind, I always start off thinking of a darker image, a darker, more Gothic feel that I would want the drawings to have and I think it's always appropriate for Autumn/Winter collections. However, despite that train of thought, I always just lose the feel about 15 minutes in when I realise I've added too much colour, or the eyelashes look too fake to even pass as falsies or just anything that stops me from reaching that goal! So instead of kicking myself up the arse, I'm setting myself a goal to produce as many illustrations as I can (I'm thinking mainly faces) - or as many as it takes for me to produce a piece that I'm happy with.

The first image is the original, produced on a canvas. 
Media used: watercolour only. 
Time taken: 2 hours approx

I tried experimenting by accentuating features I usually don't, using a heavier hand with the brush and sticking to very few colours. I think it looks okay, yet lacks something - something which I'm not sure of... However, the three images below are edited (I use the term edited very loosely as the most basic of all basics have been used to render these...with the help of good old Microsoft Powerpoint!) and I think they all have something that the original doesn't which give it that little something extra...

1:I love the simplicity of the rendered image on the left; the lack of colours give the face a whole different feel. I think that the contrast between light and dark is effective, usually this emphasizes a look; brings it more contrast, often making the image feel darker. However, here I think it creates a feel of innocence. The vast contrast looks as though the image was drawn on using an inky pen on plain, white paper.

2: I absolutely hate how hours upon hours spent on a piece of art doesn't give you what you aimed for, and yet with a simple click of a button, the image is suddenly transformed! Once again, I had the hope for a darker, more Gothic illustration, and somehow managed to add more colour. I do like this edited version though, as it shows me what I aim for and how the same piece that I have done would look like if it had been done differently. 

3: Although this isn't something I would do - one of the main reason being that I wouldn't want to get bollocked by the tutor in front of half my class, I still think it's a cool effect. It might come in handy for a themed collection; something more stylised, or something more exaggerated. 

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