Monday, 12 February 2018

Keeping a Sketchbook - Drawing everyday & art challenges

Every new year or every so often when I make a list of goals, one of them is always to draw more. I'm sure many artists do this too and when people ask illustrators how to get better or how to find your style. The answer is - draw a lot! Create as much work as possible. Keeping a sketchbook is great practice. Scribble, make a mess, make mistakes, that's what they are for! Try not to get too caught up on creating that perfect drawing to post on Instagram. If it's for a challenge, post it anyway, at least you did a drawing today.

I created my own art challenge last November, see the prompt list here. I post most of my drawings on my Instagram and you can see my portfolio on my website.

Here are some of my recent sketchbook pages including some from the challenge.

Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

A Character a Day Art Challenge

I never had enough time to do Inktober this year, so after pondering this idea for a while I have decided to create my own art challenge, which will be to draw a character a day for the whole month of November. I thought about creating this challenge for a while because I want to get better at character design such as people and animals. 

Guidelines: Create one character a day in any medium - ink, watercolour, pen, pastel, digital or it can even be a quick pencil sketch. Each character can be human, animal, mythical or alien. Post it on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #acharacteraday. 

If you want to join me in this art challenge you can make up your own fantasy creatures or you can follow my prompt list. Each character design can be your own interpretation, you could put your own spin on a griffin for example.

Anyone can join in, don't forget to use the hashtag #acharacteraday or #littleinkings and have fun :)

This is my official prompt list of ideas. I will be posting on Instagram and Twitter.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Scotland Visit

I recently arrived back from a visit back home to Scotland. It had been around 21 months since I left so I was looking forward to going back to see family and friends. Here are some pics from the past 2 weeks. I was at a wedding at Brig o Doon house in Ayrshire and managed to fit in a trip to the Isle of Skye. It was lovely driving up to Inverness through the lovely autumn scenery.

Ashton Lane on a rainy day in Glasgow

Storr, Isle of Skye.

At Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Arctic Fox

It's October and most people in the internet art world are doing inktober right now. I've kind of given up on it already due to being too busy but I will definitely try to do a few more ink illustrations before the month is over!
This illustration was drawn entirely using inks and it is now available on my TeePublic shop.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Warrior Knight

Character design - From initial sketch over on my Instagram @little_inkings to the final illustration. I wanted to do a female knight/warrior or heroine from a fairy tale. Not necessarily a big strong woman... maybe she is a princess who secretly wants to be a knight? I don't know where I will go with this character yet but I am really happy with the finished illustration. Which in art world logic means if you spend hours on something you love, it doesn't always get the best reaction compared to the sketch you scribbled in 10 minutes?! That't the way it goes.

I actually drew the initial sketch for this using a male reference.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Halloween is Coming

Autumn is honestly my favourite time of year, although it is quite different living in the southern hemisphere, autumn comes in Easter. I still wanted to do an autumn and Halloween themed collage style illustration. Since I will be visiting home in Scotland in a few weeks, I will hopefully get to experience it (praying it doesn't rain too much).

I used ink and watercolour for these and played about with the layout in Photoshop. I like how it turned out, it was fun!

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Character Illustration & Sketches

I created this character from a sketch using inks and watercolours. I embellished a bit and experimented with the colour in photoshop. 

Childish expressions, a fat cat and giant birds?

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Anne with an e

I created this illustration a couple of months ago after watching the series 'Anne with an e'. The series is based on the book 'Anne of Green Gables'. I have only read some of the book but if you like light hearted period dramas set in the country with warm childhood vibes then I would really recommend it. I really enjoyed it. This illustration was quite quick, I drew Anne from how she was shown on the promo poster and coloured with watercolour, ink and digital. Just some fun fan art!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Mermaids and Whales

The two mermaid illustrations were done back in May, the second one was maybe even done earlier.... How is it August already?!

Each of these illustrations were sketched and painted with colour and backgrounds added in PS. I just really felt like drawing a whale shark. I used watercolours, acrylic inks and masking fluid to create these.

I post most of my artwork over on Instagram most days.

P.S. I have recently set up a Red Bubble account here.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Creating an illustration with acrylic inks

I have been using the same watercolour set for a few years now. It's a huge Windsor and Newton set with about 50 colours and I love it, but sometimes having a load of colours to choose from can actually make things more difficult. When layering watercolours it can be hard to keep things neat, so I decided to give acrylic inks a go. I just got three colours - process yellow, process magenta and indigo. That way I'm not overwhelmed by a million colours, I am forced to mix my own.

I created the illustration below as a test and I'm really happy with how it turned out - nice and vibrant. These inks mix really well and are buildable, they have the consistency of thick watercolour paint. The only con is they dry quite quickly and cannot be reactivated with water. For the black outlines I just used regular indian drawing ink.

Hope you enjoyed this mini review. I post most of my drawings on Instagram, I'm at @art_by_nicola. :)

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Purple Hue Mountains

I thought I should do an update with an illustration I have finished lately. I have been enjoying painting mountains in pinks, purple and blues. I also recently opened a store over on Redbubble - This should help encourage me to complete more finished pieces and get them online!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Little Winter House

 Hello there blog, sorry I have neglected you for seven months! When I have found time to draw, paint and create characters I drew this little girl. Her house is supposed to be a Georgian period house. I sketched the little girl a few times and messed up her nose but fixed her up in Photoshop. I might do this illustration as a series and have the house in spring, summer and autumn. I used colour pencils, watercolour and fineliner pens for this illustration. With a bit of colour adjustment to get rid of the yellow.

Cute details. :)

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my work. :)