Sunday, November 8, 2020

The Snow Queen

I've got such a backlog of artwork to share that it's difficult to know which order to even go in! I've written out a list and there's literally 20 things on it that I need to post here, so buckle up I guess as I'll try and post as much of it as I can over the coming weeks.

My recently completed Snow Queen project feels like the most natural place to start, as it's been occupying a large part of my mind for most of the year. Back in June I shared some original sketches that I'd created back in May, and even before then it was a project that I knew was looming for me. 

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen is probably my all time favourite fairy tale, and it's something I go way back with. When I was in my foundation year of art school for my big final project I decided I wanted to illustrate my own version of The Snow Queen. The artwork is 10 years old and kind of cringey to me now, but it was a labour of love as The Snow Queen is an epic in length for being a fairy tale, and a lot of background research went into everything.

This feels really embarrassing to be sharing, but I also think it's really important to show that we all start somewhere as it's easy to fall into the idea that people can just magically draw like that when in fact it's taken years upon years of practise, hard work, and trial and error. I was definitely bound by the limitations of my skill level (perspective, what's that??) but when I look at all 23 illustrations I can see that I had some good ideas, and it's something I've been wanting to update for a long time. I'm still undecided as to whether or not I'll recreate the whole book as like I said it's a long one, but I'm really proud of these illustrations as they stand right now and am pleased to add them to my portfolio:

The Snow Queen illustration

You can tell that this is supposed to be a direct update of one of the old illustrations above, and I think because of that it really shows just how much I've grown as an artist. One of the biggest things I learnt at art school was the importance of backgrounds in telling the story and setting the scene - I can distinctly remember my tutor looking at my illustration of Baba Yaga and suggesting giving the fir trees a character of their own: "maybe they could look like they're leaning in and listening". And as much as I loathe backgrounds, it undeniably makes a huge difference! I did take Danish architecture into account, although I think there's so little of the buildings on show that it could also be anywhere which isn't necessarily a bad thing. 

I think my biggest struggle with this particular illustration was whether it matched the mood of the others and looked cohesive next to them as the colours are much brighter, but it's also at the very beginning of the story before the Snow Queen tries to ruin Kai's life so I figured it worked in that sense. The Snow Queen is essentially a coming of age story detailing the passage between childhood and adulthood, so I wanted them to look on the cusp of that.

The Snow Queen illustration

I've always loved this section of the tale where Kai is looking out the window at the falling snow, and suddenly the Snow Queen appears and looks at him through the window and beckons. Considering the magic mirror hadn't entered his life yet I've always found this passage a really interesting part of the narrative. This was the very last illustration I created, and it underwent the most changes from sketch to final piece as I'd originally envisioned the Snow Queen smaller, almost like a fairy, as she's described as a snowflake getting brighter and brighter until it formed the shape of a woman. But I didn't like the idea of her shifting sizes as it didn't make much sense, and as her size isn't mentioned in the book I changed it and I like it much better this way. 

The Snow Queen illustration

The mirror falling into Kai's eye and heart while it snows. I intended this to be more of a spot illustration to be surrounded by text.

The Snow Queen illustration

This was the first illustration I digitally painted, and it really set the mood for everything else. It's when the Snow Queen comes to take Kai away and kisses his forehead and touches his heart to freeze him where the shards of mirror are. 

I really wanted to keep some design elements of my original Snow Queen, as well as keeping it as far removed from anything to do with Elsa as possible! The character is always portrayed as a woman so white she's almost albino with equally white hair, and it's an interpretation that's never made much sense to me as I always figured she'd look more indigenous than anything else. But at the same time I didn't want to appropriate Sámi culture or identify it to any particular real world group in any way as she's a magical being and not a person. I tried to make her dress quite fantastical and kept it from following any historical period to keep that other worldly vibe, and as she lives in the mountains I figured she'd make do with the things around her such as a cloak made from the hide of a polar bear, and a crown fashioned from reindeer antlers strung together with brambles. 

Kai's design is the only subtle reference to Frozen as I wanted him to kind of resemble Prince Hans.

The Snow Queen illustration

Again this is another illustration directly based on one of my old ones, except this time I actually used reference for a running reindeer (I think I used a reference for a horse before and it shows!) I kept the red cloak as I love the pop of colour it gives to an otherwise very muted palette. I generally made Gerda very warm toned, and Kai very cool toned which I felt matched their character arcs.

The Snow Queen illustration

I think this one took the most work, but it paid off in the end! The hardest part was getting all of the ice to actually look like ice and not rocks or pieces of slate. I also tried to adjust Kai's skin tone to show how he's slowly freezing. I looked up pictures of frostbite but that was a bit too knarly for what I was going for! I also gave him heterochromia to signify the shard of mirror in one of his eyes.

I tried to create a selection from all different parts of the book, in the hopes that it would tell a condensed version of the story regardless of whether I expand on it. I'd love to create the whole book and self publish it, but at the same time these took so much work that I just need a break from it so I guess we'll see if that ever happens! I created these for my portfolio more than anything, as a self commissioned project to show an example of sequential illustration to any potential clients, but it seems a shame to just shove it in my portfolio and forget about it so I'm hoping to perhaps create some things for my shop out of the designs. Definitely a postcard set, but I'd like to do more with it if possible as it's all of my own original design and I want to move into selling my own characters more. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Ohuhu markers

ohuhu markers

I've heard a lot of buzz online about Ohuhu markers, and as alcohol markers are my favourite traditional art medium I've been intrigued for a while. The only brands of markers I've ever used before have been Prismacolor and Copic, but I've been using those brands for about 15 years so I feel like I know what constitutes a good marker! Still, I couldn't justify buying a whole new set just to satisfy my curiosity when I have literally hundreds of Copics and Prismacolor markers at my disposal - or at least I did until I came to Japan.

I've bought a modest collection of Copic markers since being in Japan - they are Japanese afterall, and much cheaper here than they can be bought for in the West. But I'd often still feel limited by my colour palette, so when I saw the Ohuhu markers on offer on Amazon for what translated to £23 for 80, well I couldn't resist!

ohuhu markers ohuhu markers

And so far? I absolutely love these markers. To my mind they're on equal par to the Prismacolor markers - particularly as I got the bullet nib set. I've always found Prismacolor more vibrant and punchy than Copics, and the Ohuhu are the same in that regard. The Ohuhu are also super juicey, and I used them on thick watercolor paper that would dry out my Copics in no time yet these still feel like they have ages left to go.

So if like me you've ever wondered about Ohuhu markers, I wholeheartedly recommend them. They come in a preselected set, which I don't mind as it's a good starting off point. They're not sold singularly so if one does dry out you're a bit stuck, but you could always replace that one marker with a Primsacolor or Winsor & Newton or even a Copic to keep your set. I also like the case the Ohuhus come in - as I'm travelling it's absolutely perfect for me, and it comes with a plastic sheet to stop bleed through and paper swatch sheets to fill out which are welcome additions.

I did a quick drawing of Fiyero and Glinda as they're two characters I draw a lot and are familiar with and I was really pleased with how they came out - it's 100% Ohuhu markers. I think they'll work really well with the Copics I do have here and I'm really excited with how much more option I have now.

ohuhu markers art philosophy watercolor confections decadent pies

Not related to Ohuhu but another art supply I got lately were these watercolors by Art Philosophy. This is another art supply I saw online and got intrigued by, and as I have no watercolors here I decided to go for it.

I love the unusual colour choices they offer, and I went for 'Decadent Pies' as it seemed like a good all rounder. I hate the usual standard watercolor palettes as I find the colours too vibrant for what I like to paint, so I really loved the idea of these but unfortunately I was disappointed when it actually arrived. The colours are nicely pigmented as you can see from the swatches - in that regard they're everything I wanted! But half of them are also metallic, which is not advertised and certainly not what I wanted. You can't tell from the swatch sheet, but basically the whole top row except 'pecan' has micro glitter which is pretty but not very practical and means you can't really mix them. I suppose these palettes are OK if you want to collect all of them, but I don't, and it certainly stops them from being as cheap as they appear. Oh well, not everything can be a winner!

art philosophy watercolor confections decadent pies art philosophy watercolor confections decadent pies

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Planner product research

Oh wow, I didn't realise how long it had been since I updated! Because I'm not uploading everything to Instagram as soon as it's finished for my experiment I keep forgetting to post anything to anywere! So a giant catch up is definitely in order. But in the meantime, some fun research!

Now it's autumn stores are full of 2021 diaries and planners which are one of my favourite things to browse. It's such an exciting time for me, getting to pick which planner I want to stare at for the next 365 days! Which is the most practical, and will fit my needs? It's particularly exciting as I currently live in Japan so it's interesting to me to see how planners differ here.

Because I'm really into the whole planner thing it's always been a dream of mine to one day create my own featuring my illustrations. So I figured as Japan has a lot of cute illustrated planners I'd make the most of being here and buy a few as research so that I've still got them for reference when I eventually have the time and money to invest in creating my own. And I thought I'd share them here, partly because I know this stuff isn't accessible and maybe it'll help others with similar research, partly in the hopes of getting some feedback in what you look for in a planner, and also just to nerd out over planners a little because stationary and art supplies are my favourite thing in the whole world!

These are the three I bought! They're not full planners, these 'schedule planners' seem to be far more popular over here. They're like little exercise books and show each month at more of a glance. For me this isn't detailed enough and I would make more of a full planner with weekly spreads, but these are a nice kind of thing to slip into your bag and take on the go, allowing me to leave my larger planner at home.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Doubt Comes In

I've really fallen head over heels in love with Hadestown lately. I've been listening to it for a long time, but as I've had renewed interest in Greek mythology and love musical theatre so much it's scratching both itches for me. I wanted to go see it when I was in New York but it had recently won it's slew of Tonys and the only seats left were in the nosebleeds and for ridiculous prices considering they were restricted view so I left it - which right now I'm feeling regretful of, especially with everything shut down as it is!

Originally this was just going to be Orpheus and Eurydice from the myth, but then I figured why try and fight making them look like their musical counterparts and not just go with it? So I did. Reeve Carney kinda looks like my characters anyway so it's perfect! I tried to combine it with the myth, which is why I gave Orpheus an actual lyre and not the guitar he uses in the musical. I took inspiration from this painting by Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein-Stub, and this painting by Emily Balivet.

My favourite aspect of Hadestown is how it re-characterises these well known figures. Orpheus is quite arrogant in the myth, very sure of himself and his own abilities, and he enters the Underworld with complete certainty that Hades will return Eurydice to him. When he turns back to Eurydice it's with a triumphant air of "I did it!" before he realises that Eurydice isn't in the light yet and so the task is failed. I much prefer the anxious naive Orpheus of the musical, so consumed with self doubt, his journey from optimistically seeing the way the world could be to seeing it the way it is. It makes the tale far more of a tragedy than the original myth for that reason alone because the world beats us all down eventually, as Eurydice knew from the start.

"I'll tell you where the real road lies:
Between your ears, behind your eyes
That is the path to Paradise
Likewise, the road to ruin"

Friday, June 26, 2020

Daedalus and Icarus

I've always really loved Greek mythology. I'm not sure why it's always held such allure to me more so than any other mythology, but it has and as a little girl I carried around an illustrated book of Greek myths everywhere I went in the same way other children carried around security blankets or plush toys. I loved it so much that my mother took me to Ephesus when I was 6 so that it could be brought even more to life for me (I think she was kind of hoping I'd grow up to be a learned historian, but no such luck!). I was obsessed when Disney released Hercules and combined my two biggest interests into one, and as a teen I developed some minor internet popularity for creating a series of illustrations around Disney's Hades and my own design of Persephone that blended the traditional mythology with the Disney universe. Because it was something I began to be recognised for drawing for a long while it became all I drew, and naturally from that I went the other way and completely lost interest. I don't know what's piqued it again recently, but I'm back and I can't get enough!

I didn't really think about this too much as I was painting it, I just had an image in mind that I wanted of Daedalus reaching for his son Icarus and just went for it. First page of a brand new sketchbook and I approached it without a second thought, a bravery I'll likely never see again! I messed up in that I forgot to make Daedalus look older than Icarus, and by the point I realised it was too far in and if I'd given him white or grey hair it would've thrown off the whole palette and distracted from his wings, so I just gave him some grey temples and hoped for the best. Hopefully the myth is obvious enough to get away with it!

I coloured the sun with a gold sharpie, and I love the contrast it gives the piece. The rest is gouache, touched up with a little coloured pencil for the outlining and such. I'm enjoying painting a lot lately. I turned to digital as I didn't feel like I could get the results I wanted from traditional mediums with a cohesive colour palette, but I feel like painting digitally has taught me how to paint traditionally too.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Sister Alyonushka, Brother Ivanushka

Another Russian folktale, this one based on Sister Alyonushka, Brother Ivanushka. You can read the whole tale here. As in a lot of these stories they were orphaned as children and set out across the forest so Alyonushka could find work. Her younger brother Ivanushka soon grows thirsty on the long journey and begs for water each time he sees it, but each time Alyonushka says no and warns that he'll be transformed into various animals. Finally he's so thirsty that he doesn't stop to ask at the next spring, and Alyonushka is devastated to see him transform into a goat. There's much more to the tale, and you'll be glad to know that it works out happily - Ivanushka is able to save his sisters life and gets transformed back into a boy.

It definitely has elements of that scene in Pinocchio. I feel inclined to say that Ivanushka was less deserving of the punishing transformation as literally all he wanted was a glass of water, whereas Lampwick and co got up to all kinds of shenanigans - but really no one ever deserved that.

Anyway, when I was deciding to draw The Armless Maiden I initially couldn't decide which folktale to illustrate so I decided to go with both. I've never drawn a goat before, but I think it came out OK? I tried to include elements to hint that all isn't what it seems by giving him the same coloured fur and eyes and Alyonushka.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Inside my sketchbook

Like I said in my last post, I've been drawing a lot in my sketchbook lately and thought I'd offer a peek at what I've been working on. Not all of it's finalised, much of it is simple sketches that are waiting to be digitally coloured, but I always enjoy 'behind the scenes' glimpses so figured I'd offer one!

Y'all know how I love to draw a ballpoint portrait of Aaron Tveit 😅 I found this photo saved on my iPad when I was clearing it out and realised that I'd meant to draw it way back. I actually find drawing portraits a good way to unwind, and I like to stay on top if my skills. In the past I've either focused exclusively on realism or exclusively on illustration and then gotten frustrated when I've lost skills in the other.

I am often asked if I'll do portrait commissions, and I'm afraid the answer will always be no. It's something I do for fun and it's difficult for me to put my heart into it when I don't care about who I'm drawing, which is why I draw the same people over and over. It's also why I stopped sharing my portraits for a long time as I didn't want to create a business of it and get stuck drawing strangers.

Dmitri and Anya from Anastasia, they'll be coloured digitally at some point. I wanted them to be similar in style to my Wicked illustrations, with the background elements specific to each character. Dmitri is in St Petersburg, and supposed to look like he's casually playing with the music box by throwing it from hand to hand - I was really stumped with how to pose him, and this was the first character illustration I'd done like this in a long while so I felt like I was getting back into it. Anya came much easier, and it shows in her more natural posing and flow. Pooka is perhaps too small, but eh. There's the sign in the background where she meets her crossroad - one pointing to St Petersburg, one to the Fishermans Market where she's been given a job out of the orphanage. It's a pivotal moment for her, so it felt like the perfect backdrop. I just changed the writing to Cyrillic because that's the one thing that bothers me about the movie - in all of the Russian locations, all of the background writing is in English and I think it's details like that that can really solidify a setting - or not in this case. Especially as I watch the film with Russian audio so it's even more jarring!

I got some new Copic markers and wanted to try them out, so I sketched this based on a publicity photo of the London production of Wicked. I love this scene in the musical because it's so short but so telling of how the distance between Glinda and Fiyero is growing.

Another sketch to be coloured digitally. I've always liked the movie The Little Mermaid but it's never been my favourite, but it's really growing on me lately. I'm at a point in my life that I can relate to Ariel more, and that feeling of being stuck and yearning for change and the freedom to be who you want to be. Which isn't a million miles from why I relate so strongly to Elsa, who is my favourite, and they're both obviously Hans Christian Andersen characters so I thought I'd create a little homage to that.

Hans looking suitably pissy which is my favourite way of drawing him, and I tried to add some little historical details to his outfit as I've fallen down a rabbit hole of watching historical costumers on YouTube and those videos showing what the princesses would look like historically accurate. No one ever does the princes or focuses on male historical fashion which is a shame I think, I'm almost tempted to try and perhaps create a little series of them myself. And a ballpoint portrait of Mika, my other fave who I draw all of the time! I want to try and translate him to my illustrative style some time and see how it works, as he is very distinctive so wouldn't be that difficult.

I don't know if I've mentioned about it on this blog before, but way back when I was doing my foundation degree in 2010-11 I created a whole illustrated book of the original tale of The Snow Queen. I found the original book I'd created when I was clearing through stuff to move and it felt a bit cringey to me now as my skills have developed so I decided to update it. I'll go into it all in more detail when I've finalised and digitally coloured some of them, but these are some of the rough sketches I'm working with right now. I'm super excited for how they're coming out! I obviously don't want it to reference Frozen as it's such a different story even if it is what inspired it, but as I'm such a fan of Frozen I have thrown in little 'easter eggs' here and there, such as basing elements of Kai on my design of Hans - I made a big post on my personal blog about how I feel Hans is an interpretation of Kai anyway, so it fit. It won't be too obvious where you think "OK that's Hans", but enough to link the two when you think about it.

I've been drawing so much that I had to buy a new sketchbook! I've nearly finished my Leuchtturm, which is a shame as they're my brand of choice and not easily available here. I picked up a Handbook Travelogue Journal which I've been intrigued about for a while, and got the watercolour edition as I'm really enjoying painting lately. I've already begun, but you'll see more of that soon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


I've been drawing a lot lately - more than I think I ever have before? I don't know where all of the inspiration and drive is coming from, but it feels endless. A lot of it is currently in progress; works that are sketched and being held up by needing to be digitally coloured. I want to take the backlog to do an experiment of sorts on Instagram. I know the platform favours those who post everyday, which really isn't artist friendly and promotes quick, disposable art that's easy to both create and consume which makes me sad. But at the same time there feels no getting away from it while it's still people's preferred platform of choice. I've tried Twitter and had even less success, how anyone gets their work noticed on there is beyond me. My Instagram account has been stagnant for a while as my posting is so sporadic, so I've decided to just completely avoid posting there until I've got this mass of work I'm currently working on finished, and then I shall attempt posting everyday and see how much truth is in the theory. So all of that to say that this blog will be kept far more up to date than my Instagram for the time being!

One of my lifelong fascinations and artistic inspirations has always been Russian and Slavic folktales. It was my main focus for Folktale Week, and that art has always been some of my favourite that I've created and I've wanted to illustrate something similar for a long time. So I began looking up various Russian folktales to see which one sparked my interest and came across Безручка, or 'The Armless Maiden'. It tells the tale of an orphaned brother and sister, and when the brother marries he takes his sister to live with him and his new wife. The wife dislikes the sister and pulls all kinds of tricks to accuse her, but the brother is never angered. It culminates with the wife giving birth and cutting the head off of her own baby which she then accuses the sister of doing, and in retaliation the brother takes his sister out into the woods, cuts off her arms at the elbow, and leaves her there.

The sister wanders through the woods weeping, until she finally comes across a town and she marries a merchant's son who falls madly in love with her. He leaves his pregnant wife with his parents to go on a journey, and tells them to send word as soon as his child is born. The armless maiden gives birth to a son who has golden arms to his elbow, a moon on his forehead, and a sun on his heart. Word is sent to the merchant's son, but her brother's wife is still obsessed with ruining her life even though they haven't seen each other in years and she intercepts the letter and replaces it with one telling the merchants son that the baby boy is half wolf and half bear. The merchants son wrote back his support, which was again intercepted and replaced with a letter to his parents telling them to send his wife away with the child, so they strap the baby to her chest and cast her out.

When wandering through the woods the maiden stops to drink from a well, but her baby falls in and she weeps as there's no way she can save her baby without her arms. A random old man (who himself doesn't help but offers his sagely advise like they always do in these tales) tells her to reach into the well anyway, and she does and her arms grow back and she's able to save her baby. She ends up finding her brothers home, where coincidentally her husband is also randomly staying, and tells them what her brothers wife has done. Her brother ties his wife's braid to a mare and sends it across the fields, and when the mare returns only her braid is left of her.

It's pretty gruesome, which is typical of all folk and fairy tales - The Brothers Grimm and common European tales have been highly sanitised and edited over the years to make them more palatable for modern sensibilities. But I was still quite shocked at the brutality of the scenes with the brother, but it's important to recognise the symbolism in these stories as they're never intended to be taken at face value and were a way of passing on messages or warnings in the days of old. And so I recognised that the dismemberment could represent any traumatic experience, and the subsequent journey the maiden goes on shows how there will always be many more obstacles to overcome even when it seems like things are better. It's about the ability to not just endure, but to strengthen and regenerate as many times as you have to, and it tells readers that although they may feel alone in their journey, there are always others who have walked the same path before.

< Although it's a fairly long tale, I knew which part I wanted to illustrate on my first reading and I'm really pleased with how it came out. I had some Deleter screen tones which I'd picked up out of curiosity the last time I was at the art supply store. Now I live in Japan I'm having a lot of fun exploring new art supplies. I don't know if these screen tones are used in the West, but I understand they're popular in traditional creation of Manga. Comics and manga really aren't my area of interest and I know nothing about it, but I wanted to just see what using these were like and whether they could be incorporated into my work.

I'd hoped that it would add a sense of depth to the background, but I think because the colours are already dark that it's barely noticeable and doesn't make much difference! I'm definitely going to try again on something less colourful though. I guess they're usually used on grayscale or even just lineart pieces, but I don't want my work to take on a graphic or 'comic-y' look and would rather try and see if I can get the screens to work with my art, rather than adapt my work to fit the screens.

The other half of the screen tone. It's sticky backed and transparent once you peel the backing paper off, and it's made up of tiny little dots. You can get them in all kinds of patterns.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

"It's not's looking at things another way"

I'd mentioned before how I found some old art peices when sorting through some old sketchbooks recently, and decided to rework some of my ideas. This is based on what I believe is my first ever Wicked fan art from I wanna say 2008-ish? It was around the time I first discovered I liked the soundtrack after avoiding it for years due to teenage pretension (all of the other theatre geek girls loved it and I wanted to be different so avoided it like the plague only to discover it was actually really good, I think we've all been there at some point right?), but I hadn't actually seen the show yet so didn't really know how it was staged beyond photos I'd seen and what I imagined in my head when listening to it. This wasn't even really my art style of the time so I guess I was experimenting and I don't think I was feeling it back then either as I don't have anything else drawn with these big heads. I liked my general idea though, which is why I wanted to revisit it and I guess it's a bit of one of those 10 year challenges even if I didn't mean it to be! There is a certain satisfaction in seeing that the subject matter I enjoy drawing really hasn't changed in all of this time, it feels very authentic.

The original artwork, and the redrawn sketch. I don't know if I've ever shared how I work, but I like to draw traditionally then photograph the sketch with my iPad which I draw directly over in Procreate. I can sketch easily directly into the app and have done occasionally, but it gives me a use for sketchbooks and I prefer the more tactile feeling of drawing with a real pencil. Plus it gives me a definite record of before and afters, which would otherwise get lost in the layers of a digital painting.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Inside my sketchbook

Well, I didn't mean to leave it quite this long! Happy 2020! I've actually been working on my artwork a lot this year, I'm about a third of the way in to my sketchbook already just from drawing so much! But it's not really anything 'sellable' in that it's either work done purely for myself, or things to be completed at a later date, but I thought I'd give a peek anyway. It's something I always feel a bit weird about, as on the one hand I want to share work I'm proud of, but on the other social media is such an odd place now in that everything has to be "professional" and "on brand" and it doesn't leave any room to just play. It feels like long gone are the days where I'd just share a picture of something I've made just for the excitement of having created it, and that's a shame. I don't always draw the exact same way all of the time, it'd be boring, and sometimes I like to draw stuff just for me. And that OK! It's actually very healthy.

I've been drawing a lot of portraits in ballpoint pen, and I really feel I've hit my stride with it. I only began drawing with a ballpoint last year, so I'm enjoying seeing my own progress and confidence grow with the medium. Before I was terrified of not being able to erase and making a mistake, but it's not that scary anymore! I've really got to grips (heh) with holding the pen and being able to make different marks with it. It's funny to think that when I drew pencil portraits I'd have about 8 different grades of pencil, now I just use the same 80p Bic for the whole thing. I love drawing these as they're a great way to just switch off my brain, I'll put a movie on in the background and have one eye on that while I work. Plus they're a great way of working on my fundamental drawing skills. They are all Aaron Tveit and Mika because I am unashamed XD

I've also been really into The Prince of Egypt lately. It's long been one of my favourite movies and I've been excited about the stage adaptation since I first heard of it as I firmly believe it's got one of the best soundtracks of any movie, ever. Unfortunately the stage adaptation wasn't great, but it did inspire me to draw the characters from the movie and see how they look in my style. I drew Joseph from Joseph: King of Dreams too, which had the same creative team and I also love. I want to photograph these sketches and play around with them in Procreate at some point, so you might see them again in full colour further down the line. It gave me an interesting challenge of drawing facial hair which I usually avoid, but I think it came out OK? I'm always very conscious of trying to draw different ethnicities too, especially as these movies are so great for portraying people of colour without white washing. It's something I'm always conscious of when I draw Fiyero too as he is canonically not white and I generally focus on nose shape and bone structure, but I'm never sure how well it comes across. It's something I'm very aware of though and working on! I don't want to be one of those artists that just paints characters a different shade of brown and calls it a day.

When sorting through things I found an old sketchbook from about 10 years ago or so, and it's funny seeing how I used to work compared to now, I think old me would be pretty mind blown to see my current sketchbook! It was mostly half finished sketches, and what was finished I was clearly working within my limitations and not pushing myself. I didn't keep the sketchbook as honestly most if it was embarrassing and I don't see the point in holding on to everything I ever drew (do you have any idea how much stuff I'd have to keep for that??) but I did tear out a few pages of things I thought had potential. I've re-sketched them and plan to work on them on my iPad when I have the time. I love that my themes of what I drew haven't changed all that much!

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