Category Archives: Illustrations

Rejected sketches

Most of my sketches hardly see the light of day. They have been crumpled up, stashed away in folders both real life and on my computer. Some of them I end up throwing away. Especially the unfinished ones. I know it’s a bad habit, but I hate to be reminded of illustrations that didn’t work out or frustrated me. Sometimes (especially with commissions) I really like the sketch but they do not match up with the wishes of the client. Sketches can also be a ‘light bulb’ moment, reminding the client that this is not what they were looking for. That’s okay, that’s why I make multiple sketches! Sketches are a crucial part of the journey to a finished illustration.

Here is one of the sketches I made for a recent commission for a school:
rejected sketch
This sketch wasn’t chosen. I ended up making something that better suited the clients wishes. But I still liked the sketch, I liked these kids! It’s also a style that’s been missing in my portfolio. So instead of having the sketch disappear into the black hole that is my computer’s hard drive… I wanted to bring this group of kids to life. Here’s the final result (click on the illustration to see the bigger version):
Rejected sketch brought to life
I really enjoyed finishing it! I’m pleased with the colorful result. Who knows, maybe some other old sketches will turn up in the future…

Portrait commission with a twist

I was asked to draw a portrait of S, based on a rough sketch I made last year. It’s going to be printed on A2 sized paper. So the final illustration ended up pretty big on my computer screen, combined with all the layers I used in Photoshop I could almost hear my computer groan! I learned a lot while making this portrait. I’d probably wouldn’t add so much detail next time. I have a tendency of going too far in details and that can make it look static. I’ll continue to nurture my eh… rough side, but drawing birds is so much fun!

Zeenaxe

I took the liberty of adding some symbolism: a pomegranate, a raven on the left and a crow on the right (there’s a difference in size and feathering).

By the way, you can now also find me on Instagram. You’ll find sketches, snapshots from daily life, that sort of stuff. Follow me if you’d like.

Check out the details of the illustration behind the cut.
Continue reading Portrait commission with a twist

Finish what you start

I started this illustration back in June and posted it on my facebook page. But it wasn’t finished yet. I had a lot of great commissions from both old and new clients, so illustrating for clients kept me busy. So I worked on it little by little.

In the mean time a lot happened. Not just good things, but also bad things. In July my grandmother died at 84, a strong proud Surinam woman. I will remember and miss her laugh and her hugs. On August 8 we had to say goodbye to my father-in-law. I will miss the discussions we had and his sense of humour. Strange how life just ends. I still wanted to post this, there’s pieces of me in it that were sometimes happy and sometimes sad, or angry or everything at once.
Illustration - loved by crows

New old acquisition

I’ve been practising landscapes concepts on my Cintiq. I got it second-hand for a good price. It’s an older generation model, but still works really well! A Cintiq is a drawing tablet with a screen inside. Unlike normal tablets with screens (like ipads and such) it has a pressure and angle sensitive pen. It also detects your pen even when it’s a centimeter above the screen.

I had some free time today to aquint myself with the device, so here’s the first official illustration I’ve done:
landscape3e-erged

It feels a lot more natural drawing on a Cintiq than on a normal tablet. Hope this old Cintiq will last me a while!

Blotches of digital paint

Wow! It’s April :D Hope you had a lovely Easter.

My birthday is this Saturday, I’ll be 33. For practice purposes and for fun I made this digital paint portrait in a single evening. The reference photo I used was me at 31. Time flies!

This is me at 31

It looks a bit unfinished, but I like that look sometimes, where you can still see the blotches of (digital) paint. This is also why I love looking at concept art. It’s amazing what artists like Aurelien Fournier can do with colour, textures and light.

Secrets of Secret Keepers

Here is the third book cover of the novella trilogy titled Secret Keepers by Gwen Gardner. This is by far my favorite one, it also has the most detailed bits of the three covers. On the cover you see Hazel, a witch who helps the main character Indigo Eady. She also has some secrets of her own. In this post I’d like to show you more than just the end result. I guess you could say I’m also revealing secrets :) So please scroll down to view the sketches and the different stages of progress.

First, here is the finished cover, click to view a bigger version:

And this is how it all started, with a rough grey scale sketch. As you can see the idea is still the same in the end result, the end result just looks a lot better (I hope ;)!

sketches

I always save multiple drafts and versions of an illustration. So a lot of space is taken up by ‘concept A’, ‘concept B’ and so on till I start running out of letters. Still, it’s necessary to do this, because you never know if you need to get back to an older version of the illustration. In the finalization of an illustration I often tend to leave it alone for a day or two. Being away from an illustration is important. It gives you a fresh point of view. Here’s the adjustments I made before and after my ‘pause’.

Hazel adjustments

To make the changes more clear, I’ve made an animated gif. The difference is also important in Hazel’s eyes. She looks much more ‘blank’ in the early version.

secretgif

Hope you liked seeing how this book cover illustration came to be. Secret Keepers is now available on Amazon.