I've been posting a lot of journal pages lately (and I do work in my journals a lot!) but, behind the scenes, I've also been furiously practicing my illustration skills. In general, this means I've been working on increasing the range of facial expressions and body positions I can render. I practice with all types of creatures, from doe-eyed girls to funky robots, but the one character I've devoted the most attention to is a little fox kit named Bramble.
I first started drawing Bramble back in 2010, although at that point he didn't yet have a name. In fact, I wasn't even sure if he was a he! This first scan is from my sketchbook in 2010 showing the initial incarnations of what was to become Bramble. At this point, I was just working on trying to get the fox coloring right, tentatively testing out a few poses and trying to decide what type of face I wanted.
Here's a scan of Bramble illustrations from this past week. Note how the face has evolved into something a bit more realistic while still retaining that whimsical quality. I've settled on the type of eyes I want to use and I am starting to practice different facial expressions to see how much emotion I can convey with Bramble's features.
I've been so enamored with Bramble that he was one of the first characters I rendered in my love of the past year, clay sculpture. This picture of my Bramble sculpture marks the first time I've ever shown a picture of my clay work here at Lost Coast Post. I've kept this new avenue of artistic exploration a secret for almost a year now as I allowed myself to experiment and play without the pressure of an audience. I find working with clay to be incredibly satisfying and engaging, perhaps more so than any other medium. There's something quite delightful about having a 2-D concept spring to life beneath one's fingertips.