Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Gnome Pollinator

 Last year when I had some inked commission slots open, a fan asked for a Gnome gathering flowers while interacting with the bees who were drawn to the smell of the pollen.

I was thrilled to get to play in the world of Gnomes again. Years ago in 2017 I participated in a month-long draw challenge called Gnomevember (You can see the several posts about it here: 

Today's post is about the process of creating the art you see to the left.

But, before we do, I wanted to let all of you know that you can purchase my Gnomevember art (including the piece I'm showing today) through my Society6 page: 


There you can get framed prints, pillows, greeting cards, phone cases, totebags, coffee mugs, comforters, clocks, credenzas and more––all with my gnome art.

To start this Gnome commission, I drew out the gnome, basket, and bees all separately on copy paper. Then I scanned them into Photoshop to resize and assemble them into a single working composition. I tinted the gnome and the basket pencil art different colors to help me see them and make sense of which lines belonged to which objects. 

I then did a quick digital color blocking of the forms I'd already drawn, as well as painting in the flowers, spots for a few more bees, and notes for the background. I printed out this digital workup to move on to the next stage.

I physically inked the piece on a Hunion light pad. By taping the above printout to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol, I'm able to see the printout as a guide on the lightpad as I ink. For the inks themselves, I used Copic SP Multiliners (the 0.7 & 0.3 nibs mainly)

Some of the inking was tricky because I only had my rough digital painting to go by––and it's been long enough I don't remember if I did any additional penciling on things like the flowers or the bee on the rock, or if I just inked those with no guide.

The fan who commissioned me was sent the original inks for the piece. But, before Julia shipped it off, I'd scanned the inks to do a digital color job for my own purposes.

The first step of which is to lay in flat color for each form. It's a professional version of color-in-the-lines. At this stage I also established all my color holds (areas where I want the inkwork to be a color other than black) like the wings of the bees or the background flowers.

The last step was to do the final rendering of the colors. I used the Dodge and Burn tools in Photoshop to do this, adding highlights and shadows and texture where necessary to make the image feel complete.

As I said above, this piece is available as a print (and several other forms) on my Society 6 Gnome page:

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