Mafdet the First Born

"Raidiant
The blue morning dawn
Her breath rustling the corn feilds
The scent of green warmth
Golden Lady of the Corn Silk”

M. Fredette
1/7/14

The third and final illustration for my  three-part mini project. A character from a novel currently being written by my buddy, Laura Jennings. In her story, Mafdet is a Sun Dog, child of Coyote, and the eldest of her siblings. Mafdet’s design is a collaborative effort between Laura and I, but the character belongs to her.

I am pleased with how the mane turned out. Even learned a few new tricks. Including how to draw corn!

Brush and ink on bristol. Colored in Photoshop using Kyle T. Webster’s Wet & Wild Watercolor Brush.

Mafdet the First Born

"Raidiant
The blue morning dawn
Her breath rustling the corn feilds
The scent of green warmth
Golden Lady of the Corn Silk”

M. Fredette
1/7/14

The third and final illustration for my three-part mini project. A character from a novel currently being written by my buddy, Laura Jennings. In her story, Mafdet is a Sun Dog, child of Coyote, and the eldest of her siblings. Mafdet’s design is a collaborative effort between Laura and I, but the character belongs to her.

I am pleased with how the mane turned out. Even learned a few new tricks. Including how to draw corn!

Brush and ink on bristol. Colored in Photoshop using Kyle T. Webster’s Wet & Wild Watercolor Brush.

Sir Rabbit Grimm

"And on the eve of His Resurrection
Mr. Rabbit Grimm sat in contemplation,
painting cheerful colors upon an egg,
at the request of his good friend,
in celebration of His Return”

1/31/14
M. Fredette

One of three illustrations and short writings done as part of the mini personal project I completed  earlier this summer. My first try at inking with a brush. I managed to keep the creative “flow” while working on this, and am actually quite amused by my mistakes.

I should like to tell this Easter Bunny’s story one day. He didn’t always paint eggs…

Brush and ink on bristol; gouache for color accents.

Sir Rabbit Grimm

"And on the eve of His Resurrection
Mr. Rabbit Grimm sat in contemplation,
painting cheerful colors upon an egg,
at the request of his good friend,
in celebration of His Return”

1/31/14
M. Fredette

One of three illustrations and short writings done as part of the mini personal project I completed earlier this summer. My first try at inking with a brush. I managed to keep the creative “flow” while working on this, and am actually quite amused by my mistakes.

I should like to tell this Easter Bunny’s story one day. He didn’t always paint eggs…

Brush and ink on bristol; gouache for color accents.

A list of songs for nicholaskole.

___Enya
Cursum Perficio 
Boadicea
Tempus Vernum
Storms In Africa
Exile
Evening Falls 
The Longships
Na Laetha Geal M’Oige
The Memory of Trees
Deora Ar Mo Chroi

___Faun
Zeit Nach Dem Sturm
2 Falken
Rad
Sieben

___Loreena McKennitt
Prologue
The Mummers’ Dance
Skellig
Marco Polo
The Highwayman
La Serenissima
Night Ride Across the Caucasus
Dante’s Prayer
The Mystic’s Dream
Full Circle
Santiago
Ce He Mise Ie Ulainght? (The Two Trees)
Prospero’s Speech
Samain Night 
Huron ‘Beltane’ Fire Dance
Standing Stones
Breaking the Silence
Ancient Pines
Incantation
The Gates of Istanbul
Caravanserai
The English Layde and the Knight
Kecharitomene
Beneath a Phrygian Sky

___Richard Burmer
Waking the Icons

A list of songs for nicholaskole.

___Enya
Cursum Perficio
Boadicea
Tempus Vernum
Storms In Africa
Exile
Evening Falls
The Longships
Na Laetha Geal M’Oige
The Memory of Trees
Deora Ar Mo Chroi

___Faun
Zeit Nach Dem Sturm
2 Falken
Rad
Sieben

___Loreena McKennitt
Prologue
The Mummers’ Dance
Skellig
Marco Polo
The Highwayman
La Serenissima
Night Ride Across the Caucasus
Dante’s Prayer
The Mystic’s Dream
Full Circle
Santiago
Ce He Mise Ie Ulainght? (The Two Trees)
Prospero’s Speech
Samain Night
Huron ‘Beltane’ Fire Dance
Standing Stones
Breaking the Silence
Ancient Pines
Incantation
The Gates of Istanbul
Caravanserai
The English Layde and the Knight
Kecharitomene
Beneath a Phrygian Sky

___Richard Burmer
Waking the Icons

Perfectly Imperfect 

In this post, I had intended to write about how and why my approch to art changed this year, but the subject has proven complex enough to merit its own entry. For now, I think it is enough to simply say this: I have realized that a single, imperfect line will not utterly destroy the emotional impact of an otherwise good illustration. Storytelling — the conveying of an idea — can take priority over technical perfection. 

As someone who stuggles with being a perfectionist, this insight is huge for me. At heart, it is the story that is most important to me. It is story that drives my creative passion. The drive for technical perfection in every drawing is what hinders me and inspires doubt. 

So now my goal is to try my best to tell the story while maintaining the creative “flow”. When technical corrections become tedious and discouraging — when I begin to lose the “flow” — I will accept the imperfection; note the need for future improvement; and move forward. 

With that in mind, I’ll be sharing the first project I’ve completed following this approach. 

Before I gave birth in February, I had set out to start a personal project writing and illustrating a series of short stories. My initial vision was a bit ambitious for me at the time, so I simplified the goal: three vingettes each accompanied by a paragraph’s worth of writing. A mini project. 

Two months after I gave birth, I had to fight to make the time for art, but I finally finished my mini project earlier this month (July). 

I’ve already posted one of my drawings and written piece in a previous entry. I’ll update this post when I upload the other two later this week.

Keep flowing
Onward and upward!
MF

Update:Illustration 1 - Sir Rabbit Grimm 

Illustration 2 - Dawngate’s Zeri and Artist Nicholas Kole

Illustration 3 - Mafdet the First Born

Perfectly Imperfect

In this post, I had intended to write about how and why my approch to art changed this year, but the subject has proven complex enough to merit its own entry. For now, I think it is enough to simply say this: I have realized that a single, imperfect line will not utterly destroy the emotional impact of an otherwise good illustration. Storytelling — the conveying of an idea — can take priority over technical perfection.

As someone who stuggles with being a perfectionist, this insight is huge for me. At heart, it is the story that is most important to me. It is story that drives my creative passion. The drive for technical perfection in every drawing is what hinders me and inspires doubt.

So now my goal is to try my best to tell the story while maintaining the creative “flow”. When technical corrections become tedious and discouraging — when I begin to lose the “flow” — I will accept the imperfection; note the need for future improvement; and move forward.

With that in mind, I’ll be sharing the first project I’ve completed following this approach.

Before I gave birth in February, I had set out to start a personal project writing and illustrating a series of short stories. My initial vision was a bit ambitious for me at the time, so I simplified the goal: three vingettes each accompanied by a paragraph’s worth of writing. A mini project.

Two months after I gave birth, I had to fight to make the time for art, but I finally finished my mini project earlier this month (July).

I’ve already posted one of my drawings and written piece in a previous entry. I’ll update this post when I upload the other two later this week.

Keep flowing
Onward and upward!
MF

Update:
Illustration 1 - Sir Rabbit Grimm

Illustration 2 - Dawngate’s Zeri and Artist Nicholas Kole

Illustration 3 - Mafdet the First Born

Zeri from Dawngate and the artist who designed her, nicholaskole.

Nicholas,

I just wanted to say thank you for being you. I gave birth back in February, and wasn’t able to work on art for nearly three months after. Reading about your recent projects and seeing your career really blossoming has been greatly encouraging. (I first found your art on Behance some years ago.) I also wanted to say I think you’re very courageous to open up as much as you do, especially concerning your faith. I hope to be so brave one day. 

Anyways! As part of my thanks, I am entering your Zeri contest, with — I am proud to say — the first real illustration I’ve managed to finish since my son was born. It is a bit rough, but I hope you enjoy it regardless.

Keep letting your light shine!
- M. “Rae” Fredette

Zeri from Dawngate and the artist who designed her, nicholaskole.

Nicholas,

I just wanted to say thank you for being you. I gave birth back in February, and wasn’t able to work on art for nearly three months after. Reading about your recent projects and seeing your career really blossoming has been greatly encouraging. (I first found your art on Behance some years ago.) I also wanted to say I think you’re very courageous to open up as much as you do, especially concerning your faith. I hope to be so brave one day.

Anyways! As part of my thanks, I am entering your Zeri contest, with — I am proud to say — the first real illustration I’ve managed to finish since my son was born. It is a bit rough, but I hope you enjoy it regardless.

Keep letting your light shine!
- M. “Rae” Fredette

Ahoy thar, webfolk! It’s been a hot second (read: three months) since my last post. As it turns out, giving birth, recovering from birthing, and caring for a newborn is exceedingly taxing on both my time and energy! Even three months later, I am having to write this post a few sentences at a time.

My art has been coming along at a snail’s pace, but to be fair to snails, they have the advantage of being able to appreciate where they are in their journey rather than speeding through it.

In the mean time, when I am unable to work on my own art, I feed my inner artist with the inspiring works of Nicholas Kole and the adventures of his developing career. His use of color could easily be slurped-up with eye-straws (that’s straws for your eyes)! 

 Disney’s The Curse of Malificant cover art by Nicholas Kole 
Nicholas Kole recently illustrated Disney’s young adult novel, The Curse of Malificant by Elizabeth Rudnick. He’s also currently illustrating The Dawngate Chronicles web comic for Waystone Games, with  John Loren on colors. 

 A preview of The Dawngate Chronicles 

In my next post, I’ll get to talking about my current art project and the crazy epiphany I had while working on it. Until then, keep an eye out for snails, and should you happen upon one, say hello for me!

Ahoy thar, webfolk! It’s been a hot second (read: three months) since my last post. As it turns out, giving birth, recovering from birthing, and caring for a newborn is exceedingly taxing on both my time and energy! Even three months later, I am having to write this post a few sentences at a time.

My art has been coming along at a snail’s pace, but to be fair to snails, they have the advantage of being able to appreciate where they are in their journey rather than speeding through it.

In the mean time, when I am unable to work on my own art, I feed my inner artist with the inspiring works of Nicholas Kole and the adventures of his developing career. His use of color could easily be slurped-up with eye-straws (that’s straws for your eyes)!

Disney’s The Curse of Malificant cover art by Nicholas Kole

Nicholas Kole recently illustrated Disney’s young adult novel, The Curse of Malificant by Elizabeth Rudnick. He’s also currently illustrating The Dawngate Chronicles web comic for Waystone Games, with John Loren on colors.

A preview of The Dawngate Chronicles

In my next post, I’ll get to talking about my current art project and the crazy epiphany I had while working on it. Until then, keep an eye out for snails, and should you happen upon one, say hello for me!

Creative Passion

I do not often read any specific blogs on a regular basis, but as I grow continuously more interested in learning how to make a career from my art, I find myself time and again returning to one site in particular: ChrisOatley.com . Chris’ blog and podcasts provides practical, forward-thinking insight into the creative industry, which has helped me greatly in realizing the possibilities for me as an illustrator. Most recently, Chris has been working on a series of articles on personal projects — the different kinds of personal projects creative folk can undertake and the various rewards to be gained from them. Though he gives advice on how to earn an income from one’s personal projects, Chris emphasizes that money does not drive success, passion does. Passion.

I look forward to the next few articles, which will complete the series. But in the meantime, I’ve been inspired to start my own project, and I strongly feel the advice given by Chris Oatley and his guest writers will provide the framework needed to help me see the project through. I plan to update this blog as my personal project progresses, but in the meantime, you can check-out Chris Oatley’s series at the following links:

Will Your Personal Project Make Money? (Part 1)

The Geek-Out: Will Your Personal Project Make Money? (Part 2)

The Skill-Builder: Will Your Personal Project Make Money? (Part 3)

I also suggest listening to his artcast #58:

Artistic Growth is NOT A Goal & How To Become An Early Riser

Enjoy and keep moving forward!

Umber Tones

I’ve found several interesting examples of painting processes in which values are first established with tonal washes and then color is carefully glazed over top.

The approach helps to ensure a composition reads well by prioritizing value over color (if your values read well, you can do nearly anything you’d like with color). It might also appeal to those who, like myself, still struggle with balancing an awareness of color and value patterns at the same time (especially when working from the imagination). Finally, I personally like the look of paintings that have been unified with a monochromatic underpainting.

I’ll probably try my tones in raw umber first, as William Stout’s technique does, to give a bit more warmth and “ground” my painting in a nice earth tone. Laying tones in with black is something I might try later, but I hesitate to try it in a transparent watercolor painting as black will quickly desaturate any colors laid over top of it. Perhaps this is why JAW Cooper glazes over her black washes with gouache (opaque watercolor) instead, as the pigments depend less on the white of the paper for their vibrancy.

Check-out the following links for examples and more in-depth information on this approach, and feel free to share your opinions. I’d love to see links to similar techniques!

image

Oberon and Titania by Arthur Rackam

William Stout’s Rackham/Dulac Technique

William Stout’s Rackham/Dulac technique is based on the techniques used by Golden Age Illustrators Arthur Rackham and Edmond Dulac. In this very thorough explanation, he first establishes his values with a quick wash of raw umber watercolor. Watercolor is again used to add color to his illustrations. Stout also offers advice on how to keep your inked lines dark if you use this method on an inked drawing.

image

St. George and the Dragon by Justin Gerard

St. George Watercolor & Ink

St. George Process: Digital vs. Watercolor & Ink

Over at Muddy Colors, Justin Gerard demonstrates Stout’s technique in his painting “St. George and the Dragon”. He also shows a little of his process in creating a digital version of the work following a similar method.

image

Sacrifice by JAW Cooper

Tutorial: Old Painting Tutorial From 2009 (Ink & Gouache)

Tutorial: Painting “Sacrifice” (Ink & Gouache)

Both Stout’s and Gerard’s examples reminded me of a few demonstrations by JAW Cooper, which follow a similar process (don’t let the titles fool you; Cooper’s older tutorial is a bit more in-depth in her explaination than the second one, but I find both to be valuable demonstrations). Cooper’s process begins with thin washes of india ink (black and sepia in one example; only black in another). Thin layers of gouache are then built-up to give color to her paintings.