This week was a funny one, I started off super productive but it kind of dwindled out near the end. I am most proud of my series of houseplant illustrations that I posted on my Instagram each day and my reproduction of one of Gustav Klimt's pieces. I also managed to get myself outside to sketch the real world!

Houseplant illustrations

I created these houseplant illustrations using the Procreate app on my iPad Pro. I began by sketching them out using the Narinder pencil brush which gave me a black and white outline. I then added colour using a Tinderbox brush on separate layers. I found the outline gave the illustration structure and definition so duplicated the outlines layers and recoloured them to match the shade of the leaves and pots etc. I chose to use different shades of green that closely resembled the real plant and also to add variety within my series.

I love houseplants so this was great to do and share with my followers. I think this could be part of a larger set as there are many more houseplants that could be illustrated!

Gustav Klimt

I spent Tuesday looking through my favourite pieces by Gustav Klimt. I loved how he used symbolism and pattern within his work especially when filling in the clothing of his figures. Unlike traditional painters he filled in dresses with shapes and different strokes. It reminded me of doodling and illustrating rather than painting. I particularly liked the Stocklet frieze which is made up of 3 mosaics that was commissioned for the Palais Stoclet in Brussels. The panels depict: a swirling Tree of life, a standing female figure (Expectation) and an embracing couple (Fulfilement). I decided to replicate the Expectation.

I didn't have a solid plan and began by drawing it out. I didn't want to replicate it too closely but loosely base it on his original so I took the main structure but applied my own doodles within each triangle that made up the dress and also included some of his symbols and decoration. After looking at it for a while I realised this could lend it self well to a collage made of paper. I found some gold shiny card that fit perfectly with Gustav's Gold Era. I gathered some black, cream and white paper and began cutting out the major shapes. Piecing it together was very rewarding somehow. The different coloured paper layered on the gold card was instantly effective! I trialled different ways to get the doodled triangles onto the dress but settled with cutting individual white paper triangles that I fixed in place using a glue stick. I then filled each triangle using my previous sketch and Gustav's original for reference.

This has to be one of the more rewarding and fun pieces I have created during my journey. The arts and crafts element took me back to school days and felt more experimental. I liked how I took an original and remade it in my own way and applied my own illustrations/doodles.

Sketching the real world

This week I changed up my timetable a little and have now incorporated scenery. By this I mean learning to draw and compose backgrounds and environments such as landscapes, buildings and props that could feature in my illustrations.

One of the best ways to explore this subject is the observation of your real-world and sketching whenever possible. After flicking through some pages of the wonderful book: Cozy Days, The Art of Iraville I decided to pack a small bag and venture outside for a short stint of drawing. I borrowed a camping stool and plonked myself down around the corner from my house in a green that faced a development of houses. I sat and sketched my view. The plan wasn't to produce a polished illustration or even to replicate it exactly but to take note of the shapes, the different elements, and the composition.

I started by drawing a rough lay of the land, by outlining a few of the houses, the grass verges and scribbled in the trees. After that, I slowly added layers of details that I thought would be necessary. I found some of the angles to be tricky but I persevered till I was happy with something that loosely depicted my view. I spent about an hour creating my sketch but the midday sun got a little too hot for me (I was wearing all black) and the stool became uncomfortable so I headed back inside.

I find that going for walks leaves me with lots of inspiration. Most of the time I take a quick photo but I rarely refer back to them and create anything. I hope to replace this habit with a quick sketch instead. I know these activities can be invaluable so I ordered myself a lightweight foldable camping stool that I can easily pack in a bag. Whilst it's summer I should make the most of it so will hope to take myself on more mini expeditions and revisit some of the pretty buildings and views of my local neighborhood!

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