Oh look, Little One dreams of Springtime! Dressed as a pink bunny, she is taking photographs with a huge camera her boyfriend had lent her. They both enjoy nature photography, and she is trying to decide whether she should get her own. Surrounding her are a pair of cute little fairies. How pretty they look! And so my inspiration began. Last few weeks, I was busy following an online course by U.S. illustration artist Mindy Lacefield. “Procreate Cuties” was about, as the title suggests, learning to digitally create cute characters. What a perfect opportunity this was! Although I have been technically improving at digital art and already knew some of the stuff, this class was for enhancing what I already know, picking up more tips and developing more creatively. Over the lessons, I worked and practiced on the app creating quite a few cuties here I would like to share. And nowthe first one!
Importing Old Paintings
One of the useful tools Mindy introduced to us was importing an image of an old drawing as a start, then working on it digitally. As I normally sketch straight from scratch, I found that such a brilliant idea! Rummaging through my camera roll, I came across a photo of a cute little sketch I had done some three years ago at a polo match. I did a quick pencil sketch at the time of me practicing photography on my boyfriend’s large camera with the big tele lens. It’s in a form of Little One dressed as a bunny taking photos! The drawing somehow never developed any further and I left it at that. What a pity, but I didn’t want to ruin it and liked it the way it was. This was a perfect opportunity for me to tweak it whilst being able to retain the original drawing! And hence I imported the photo and then trimmed the area around the drawing by erasing the original white background. So far so cute!!
Coloring me Beautiful!
With this imported photo being the first layer, I added another layer to color Little One. Mindy, by the way, introduced us to a few add-on brushes for Procreate which may come handy. A few of them are perfect for cute cartoon illustrations. Others that came useful are the brushes and stamps which are great for adding texture to the painting as we shall see later, Here, I went for Oberon brush to fill Little One in. In order to be cautious and be able to play around easily with the texture, light and shade later on, I incorporated different layers for various parts of the drawing, ie. bunny ears, face, hair, camera body, camera lens, etc.
Frolicking with the Fairies
After incorporating some textured patterns on Little One’s costume and the camera body, I decided to develop further this idea of importing. I searched through my camera roll again and came across this cute little painting I had made many years ago too. A marker and watercolor drawing of Little One dressed as a fairy! Like the main drawing, the painting was imported and trimmed, but this time I also shrunk them in size before duplicating her into two fairies!
Building the Background
I usually paint the background first, but in this case, I was not sure what I wanted yet. It was not until after the subjects were painted that I decided that we go for the sky and grass scene. One of the wonderful things about digital painting is that you have the flexibility to choose before or after, or even during. All you have to do is make sure the background layer is the bottom one but above the background color if applicable. Here, the ground was firstly colored in light green, followed by some green stamps on top (another layer). Light blue was a logical choice for the sky after which I dotted in some white clouds on top. And here we have it, camera action!
What fun this first practice was! The idea of importing from an old painting was novel to me, and I am glad I got introduced to it. Now I can develop or enhance my artwork without having to worry about ruining the original! Discovering a new variety of brushes and textures was also wonderful as now I can enjoy painting with a diversity of sources. I am very happy with this newly developed painting and being able to enhance the cuteness of Little One. Looking forward to doing more as you will see shortly!
Click here for more on Mindy Lacefield and her cute whimsical pieces!