Picture Saturday is back after a shamefully long hiatus! (Yes, I was sick, but still. I could be dying in the hospital, and I’d fuss about abandoning my blog or not helping out around the house.)
While re-reading the American Girl Josefina series, I suddenly wanted to draw Josefina holding a candle and wearing a mantilla.
And the girl actually resembles Josefina, so yay! I love the Josefina stories. Yes, they’re for kids, and the writing could definitely be better; the other day, I was enjoying Meet Josefina and mentally editing it at the same time. But Josefina is adorable: so sweet and caring and earnest and gentle, yet quietly lively. She’s close to her three sisters even though all four of them have different personalities (I should have referenced that in the sibling relationships discussion of the Writer’s Camp. Oh well).
Initially, I drew detailed clothing and sleeve folds, a necklace, a braid with ribbon, and other nice touches. And then had to obscure almost all those details with the shadows. Buh. Speaking of shadows, I was going to smooth the pencil strokes so the light and shade looked smoother, like a sepia photograph. But I changed my mind at the last second because the sketchy strokes contribute to the atmosphere, somehow. Not sure how, exactly. Art critics, feel free to chime in. 🙂
I drew this with no line art, though I did look at a reference photo for a guide. Drawing without line art was a tricky exercise, but a good one because it forced me to study the shapes in the photo carefully before sketching with the colored pencils. And colored pencil is not easy to erase. So I had to be really sure of the shape I wanted and how the light and shadow would fall on it.
Another no-line-art-drawing, this time on toned paper. I think I will re-do this one in watercolor at some point; fluid color rather than sketchy color should look good for this landscape.
Sketch of a primrose, and still with no line art. That technique really teaches more spontaneity and resourcefulness–I often had to figure out how to disguise the wonky angle of a shape or how to cover a smudge of green that ended up in the wrong place.
But for the next couple of pictures, however, I did draw line art. Drew it rather quickly: sketches for three different pictures in one night while watching Jurassic Park with Chris.
This is Josefina picking flowers at the edge of the desert. I wish the books had a few more illustrations of her house and daily life: the 1820s Mexican setting is unique and fascinating to me. To fill the visual void, started drawing fanart like this. 🙂 I also created a Pinterest board called Josefina’s World for pictures of the New Mexico landscape and rancho life.
On a random note, I am inordinately proud of the rabbit brush (the yellow flowers) on the far right-hand side of the picture.
Josefina again, sitting on the bank of the stream. Considering that the stories mention her enjoyment of going down there, she would surely have a favorite spot somewhere by the water. Her skirt is actually a darker blue/indigo on the paper, but the scanner didn’t pick up the hues correctly. No idea why; I drew the tones pretty darkly.
I have a third Josefina fanart drawing in the works, but I didn’t finish coloring it this week. So stay tuned for next week!