Adding a little colour

I’m adding watercolours to my gouache! It’s usually the other way around… I’ve decided to try underpainting in watercolour since I like to work wet in wet for those first layers anyway. It would be interesting to see how much of the underpainting shows through.

These are all Daniel Smith watercolours:

Hanza Yellow Light, New Gamboge, Quin Rose, Pyrrole Scarlet, Phthalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Pyrrole Orange, Sap Green, Carbazole Violet, Sepia, Jane's Grey, Moonglow, and Phthalo Blue Turquoise.

Hanza Yellow Light, New Gamboge, Quinacridone Rose, Pyrrole Scarlet, Phthalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Pyrrole Orange, Sap Green, Carbazole Violet, Sepia, Jane’s Grey, Moonglow, and Phthalo Blue Turquoise.

Unveiling the bride

This journey begins with the Bride. There are stories about this figure, a Palestinian woman dressed in traditional gown and decked with her wedding finery, lurking in the forests. She compels men and drains them of their energy. Below are some early concepts. The reference is from the “Witch” photo reference pack by Satine Zillah. The first concept is using a digital art program, and one in gouache on cold press paper. Finally, my most recent concept, in gouache on hot press paper.

These concepts helped me arrive at the design decision to use hot press water color paper with gouache. I like the textured marks I could make on cold press paper, but not for the rendering I wanted on the face. I also struggled with how to get the sense that this being is both alluring, supernatural and dangerous. In the stories, it seems that she looks human and easily fools her prey, but telling that story visually requires some context clues to the viewer.

I asked for feedback in one of the professional forums I have access to. They told me to hire a professional illustrator! No, this is my journey to take, for better or worse.

I’m ready

It’s time for a new start. The momentum for the comic did not continue once I lost 90% of the work; the old computer’s hard drive could not be saved. But I am ready to return to exploring Palestinian folklore in a visual and literary way again.

I’ve been teaching myself to paint with gouache, a sometimes harrowing experience. But I’m in love with it now. There’s no going back. My first series of gouache studies, based on landscapes and the seasons, is available on my Ko-fi shop, if you want to get a piece of history– they are limited edition prints.

Are you ready to come with me on this journey? I hope to see you all along the way!

Gouache study of a Palestinian field in spring by Sonia Sulaiman.

Figuary 2021

As I ramp up redrawing the comic pages I lost when my last computer died, I’ve been taking part in figure drawing. Figuary is a challenge of sorts to draw figure studies from reference during the month of February. Since I’m still getting used to working digitally, I’m also taking advantage of this by doing all of my studies in Clip Studio Paint. The following are poses from Line-of-Action, starting with 30 seconds and building up to 10 minutes:

Save Tim?

My main computer, Tim?, might have a problem with his hard drive. I’m in the process of trying to fix the problem myself. I’m not the greatest when it comes to computers. It has a ‘no bootable device’ error. So far, I’ve tried a few of the recommended fixes and am moving on to the more invasive solutions. I had to order some equipment for the repair. Nothing too fancy or expensive. But if you’d like to help out, it would be appreciated.

You can buy me a coffee or two by donating through my Ko-fi account here.

The Dib-Dib-Dib

I’m rebuilding my portfolio, and decided to rework some old illustrations now that I’m doing digital art. This one is an illustration from the Palestinian folktale ‘The Dib-Dib-Dib.’ It’s a hilarious story of much ado about nothing. And panthers.

The original was an Inktober drawing made with pigma micron pens, and TOUCH alcohol markers.

Ex Pro

I’ve finally upgraded the license for Clip Studio Paint from Pro to Ex. This mostly means I can now make files with multiple pages! Very handy indeed. I like being able to see the layout of the entire project as it comes together.

I had much fretting over the size of the pages. I went with A4 because that seemed like the best option for printing but a part of me is unsure. I had to scale down the most recent pages, and the buffer is far too small. So hopefully I’ve hit a Goldilocks size for the pages going forward.