Inktober Logo: Inktober.com

*POW* Inktober 2017 *SMACK*

illustrations, Uncategorized

Soooo stoked to start Inktober for my 3rd year in a row!!

Last year I decided to do a horror theme, this made planning and illustrating much easier! This year’s theme is going to be *insert drum roll here* Super Heros!!

My focus this inktober is to work on figure drawing with these dynamic characters. This is also the first time I am using the inktober prompt list.

I am super (no pun intended) excited and will be posting them here and to all my social media pages, so be sure to follow me on instagram or twitter for live updates!

More about this awesome challenge can be found here: Inktober – Where it began

Check out my Inktober 2015 and Inktober 2016 and let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Graduating To “Official” Watercolours

illustrations

Taking what watercolour pencils taught me (previous post) not only made me more comfortable but gave me the trial and error I needed without as much frustration to go back to using official watercolour paints.

The first time I used watercolour paints (excluding those sets you get when your a kid) was in university for an illustration course, where we were assigned 1 landscape watercolour project – it felt like the hardest project I have ever had to do – landscapes are a bit challenging on their own, but throwing watercolours into the mix made it exponentially more difficult. My professor was a bit surprised as I really enjoyed doing washes with ink, acrylic and gouache but found watercolours a completely different beast to tame! So after all the practice with the watercolour pencils I have decided to “graduate” myself to using “official” watercolour paints and the first piece done using the medium in almost 5 years!

The subject chosen for my first “official” watercolour illustration/painting was inspired by a blogger/photographer I follow on Instagram: @bumblebria (check her out!)

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The lighting, composition and colours of this lemon lavender loaf caught my eye, encouraging me to recreate a version in “official” watercolours. I took a screenshot for reference, and to note the photographer’s handle so I could tag them when posting my WIP (work in progress) and final outcome online.

I started with a light pencil outline, using a mechanical pencil and Fabriano Studio Watercolour Paper.

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The sketch actually sat in my sketchbook for a little while, I decided to watch a couple watercolour tutorials online for different techniques and tricks before painting; really enjoying the image I did not want to mess this piece up, even though it is more for practice to grow my skillset; that said, I am a perfectionist and am trying to embrace the imperfections of art as it makes things more organic and interesting…not to mention a lot less stressful and more fun!

A couple of days before starting he painting process of this piece, my boyfriend actually bought me some new watercolours (not knowing I have a little stash as he has never seen me use “official” watercolours before lol) and some water-brushes for us to try out. I bought a water-brush a couples years back but was not a hundred percent sure how to use it and was afraid to wreck it; a silly thought as this is what they are made for, but again the perfectionist and fear of messing up took over so I never actually used it (more to come on this topic in a later post). These water brushes are a but of a game changer!

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I was excited to try “official” watercolours again already and the new brushes made me even more enthusiastic to “graduate” myself to the next level of watercolours lol

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The level of control with the water-brush made my experience more relaxing and fun – I was not worried about using too much water or accidentally dripping water or pigment somewhere else on the page when filling the brush with more paint. I would highly recommend getting one of these and trying them out, they are pretty inexpensive (depending on where you go).

I thought I was done the piece when I recorded this video removing the tape, but something just wasn’t right and I HATED the dark background – I wanted it to feel more like a marble finish but was not able to create the perfect cream colours, so I tried to use some blue tones – clearly I had a brain fart – there is already blue in the cloth that the background then blended them together; so in a dire attempt to fix the background, I attempted to make it look more like the cracked concrete in the original photo…I was not happy with this and even debated on making a new background and just cutting the old one out and pasting a new one in.

Looking at the piece a couple days later, it began to grow on me, but something still was missing. Taking a black studio gel pen, I outlined the edge of the cloth that meets the background – looked like I was onto something – then went over this with some black watercolour to make a shadow that created more contrast. Later, I used the same gel pen to add some subtle outlines to other areas to really pull it all together as a finished piece.

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Not going to lie, I am still not 100% happy with the final outcome but am glad it turned out much better than expected using “official” watercolours. I am trying to not be so hard on myself and embracing imperfections, especially on pieces like this where my intention is to better learn the medium and just have fun experimenting.

Please let me know what you think and about your watercolour experiences/preferences.

Don’t forget to follow my on Instagram and/or Twitter for live updates.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Buffalo Dreams

illustrations, Redbubble Shop, Skulls

I made an abstract post a while back called Playing with Pastels that had close ups of this piece as a work in progress…though the piece was finished quite a while ago I did not post the final outcome because I wanted to have it professionally framed – fun fact, this is the first piece I have ever gotten professionally framed!

This started off as a quick pencil sketch I did at the end of inktober 2015 (this was the first inktober that I participated in, more about that here).

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Inspired by a piece I did about 2 years ago, where I wanted to experiment with a couple of black canvases I picked up from Michael’s and my tinted charcoals (more about this piece here) where I took my #31 inktober 2015 piece as inspiration to build upon.

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Inktober 31

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Using my small sketch for reference, I penciled an outline on a black 18″x24″ canvas, then applied layers and layers of pastel, pencil crayons & charcoal; constantly switching between the three mediums until I was sure the piece was complete.

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Due to the dusty nature of chalk pastels, I started at the centre of the subject and worked my way out, saving the background for last; not wanting to risk smudging any loose pigment onto the black surface.

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This sat around in my studio for months, I was afraid to transport it anywhere!

Now I know what you are thinking “isn’t there a protective spray you can use to prevent smudging?” believe me, I tried it! The drawback of the protective spray was that it was not 100% protected – chalk pastels being more loose than graphite there is also risk of some loose pigment being scattered among the work – plus it dulled the colours, so I needed to go over the piece again with the pastels to revive this lost vibrance.

When it came time for framing I carefully wrapped the piece in brown packing paper. I am very proud of this piece and due to the risk of smudging I was pretty leery to leave it in the hands of strangers. Not sure if there were any good framers in the area, I decided to go to our local Michael’s, where they made a special note to be vary careful with the piece as it is prone to smudging; needless to say the staff there did a fantastic job and were very gentle with the piece 🙂

I couldn’t believe how many different combinations and choices there are for frames & matting; in fact, we probably spent about an hour looking at different matting choices!

For me the frame was simple, I wanted something a bit more modern and black – fortunately they had a 40% deal when I went in (framing this 18″x24″ beast was just under $500 CND and would of been over $700 CND without the deal…highway robbery if you ask me lol but they need to run their business too lol). The matting on the other hand is what took the most time, is was very interesting to see how different combinations looked with the piece and how it could go from a strong masculine piece to a dainty feminine piece in a flash! Personally, I prefer a more masculine, modern look (makes sense with what I have learned about my work during my first Artwalk haha). So I chose a black frame with charcoal grey, pomegranate red wine and black matting – I really wanted to have the red wine accent colours pop – some of the other matting was either just not the right colour combinations or were too much like the dominant colours that the piece felt pale and blended with the matting.

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I also asked if I could write the name of the piece & sign the matting – since this was my first original being framed I thought it would be a nice touch – and the staff were more than happy to oblige. When the matting arrived, they called me and I went in (bought a couple of jelly roll white pens) and decided upon the name “Buffalo Dreams” and signed the matting.

Buffalo Dreams seemed like a perfect fit for the piece, making it whimsical and spiritual. Growing up my mother had a huge dreamcatcher – made of red wood with purple crystals, black leather ties and feathers – when we had nightmares my mom would either put the dreamcatcher in our rooms for the night or longer if need be (probably to keep us in our own beds to get some proper rest, smart lady!). That was until she got us our own small dreamcatchers. She would tell us that they are made special to protect us in our sleep; if you have a nightmare it cannot hurt you as the dream catcher acts like a spider web, catching all the negative dreams, spirits and thoughts to purify or trap them in the crystals so you can sleep safe and sound.

If you have a piece that is special to you or are very proud of go ahead and spoil yourself a bit and get it framed! I find frames (even cheaper ones from department stores) really make a piece look polished and complete.

Prints and other swag available in my Redbubble shop of this piece (more about my shop can be found in an earlier post here Redbubble shop). If you are interested in purchasing the original please contact me and I can let you know the price and we can work out shipping/pick up arrangements.

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Remember to follow me on Instagram & Twitter @noelle_fontainec to see what kind of creative mischief I have gotten myself into.

Thank you for reading 🙂

My First Artwalk YEG 2017 

Events

Participated in my first Artwalk this year, it was such an awesome experience. I was excited and terrified to see my work displayed next to other artists lol all of the feelings were felt!

There were also some things discovered about me and my work: a lot of my illustrations are more masculine, I still have quite a variety of different styles of work – some people thought there were 4 different artists in my tent lol and stepping out of my comfort zone to engage with people looking at my work – being some one with social anxiety, this was terrifying to say the least, but it is one of those things that help you grow as an individual to better yourself and your skills so you just gotta power on through – which was becoming a little less terrifying each time 🙂

I was on 83rd Ave all weekend (July 7, 8 & 9th, 2017) from 10am-5pm each day. The spot I had was fantastic: right across the park where there was live entertainment, between both the crafter’s market and Farmer’s market; however, the majority of people walking through this area were of an older and a more family orientated crowed – now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with an older and more family orientated crowd, it is just that my sales were not so great. It was my first year, so there have been a couple of lessons learned, one of them being that my work appeals to a younger/more niche crowd. So next year I will see if I can be positioned along Whyte Ave as this is more of where my target market will be; I just hope the weather is as beautiful next year as it was this year!

Special thank you to my volunteers, supporters and @thepaintspot plus all the sponsors for creating this great event!

Follow my Instagram and Twitter for live updates @noelle_fontaine

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PLASTER SKULLS

Skulls

Hand molded & painted plaster skulls, open to commissions.

These make a great gift!
Want to paint your own design? Blank primed skulls also available!

Details
:

• 3.5lbs solid plaster

• 6.5″ wide x 5.5″ high

• Sealed with a clear gloss finish (excluding primed white, please request sealed)

• All skulls engraved with signature mark

• All skulls numbered (1-12, 2016 series)

*Please note colours may vary from photographs

Click Here for Prices

 


  
  
  
  
  

Please contact me if you are interested in taking one of these custom skulls home.

Purse Plastic Bag Holder

crafting

If you read my previous post about my Plastic Bag Holder (LINK) you know that i have a serious plastic bag hoarding problem lol but in all seriousness I have all these bags but always forget to bring bags with me to the grocery store!

So I decided to make a small bag holder for my purse, I actually made this before I made my large tea towel bag holder, to try & not bring so many bags home again lol I have been using it for about a month & so far it is working out great!

I bought the fabric at Walmart, they sell those patterns in however big squares, so you can use any pattern or material you like, the one I used was either 100% cotton or polyester…sorry, I cannot remember.

Finally, the sewing pattern for this compact bag holder is actually a pattern for a no zipper pillow case, scaled down a lot lol

Here is the link to the sewing pattern.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Hanging Plastic Bag Holder

crafting

If you are cheap like me, you reuse your plastic bags for many things, though you find your collection just keeps growing & growing & growing!!!

After I get a certain amount I will put a bunch in the recycle, though for those ones that I may need to use in the future I keep…but these crazy things just keep multiplying!! I tried a “life hack” from Pinterest, putting your plastic bags in an empty kleenex box…then ended up havin 3 kleenex boxes full & was still putting more in bags hanging on the cupboard door knob lol

So I finally had enough!!!

I decided to make a bag holder, turns out it is super simple & you do not need to be a sewing magician to make one! AWESOME!!!

All you need is a tea towel, needle & thread or sewing machine, scissors & thread.

Here are images I took throughout my process:

Finally, here is a link to the site I found the idea from:
Plastic Bag Organizer

Don’t forget to follow me on my social!

Thank you for reading 🙂

Halo Master Chief

illustrations

My big little brother is a Halo master! Master Chief CJ, Halo MASTER!!!

He lives, breaths, eats halo & it shows! The things he unlocks in the game & how good he is at playing it amazes me, not to mention his online gamer friends! I wish he would post his gaming skills because they are insane.


REWIND: He is my “Big Little Brother” because he is the baby of the family but is about 6 feet tall. He just turned 20 January 23rd, its hard to believe he is already 20!

So it is clear the inspiration for this illustration (which was his bday present 😛 ) is my big little brother, Justyn.


The Materials:
• Bainbridge Illustration Board
• X-Acto Knife
• Watercolour Paint
• Masking/Transfer Tape
• Faber Castell Watercolour Pencils
• Prismacolor Premier Pencil Crayons
• Steadler Pigment Liner 0.1
• Sharpie Extra Fine Point
• Jelly Roll 08 White Jelly Pen
• Reference Pic
• Pencil & Eraser
• Wooden Board
The Process:


1. On the Illustration board I sketched out the rough image, using reference image, then added the details

2. Outline final sketch & details with Steadler Pigment Liner 0.1

3. Mask off entire sketch with the transfer tape

4. With the x-acto knife lightly trim round the boarder & character. (Be sure to use a sharp blade & do not push down too hard, you do not want to cut the illustration board)

5. Peel the pieces of the tape off the background (only in areas you want to be painted)

6. Painted the background with water colour paints, starting with a light purple, gradually fading into darker a darker shade of purple to blue to black.

7. After 2 layers of this I used a dry brush, dipped it in white paint & spattered it over the entire image to create stars.

8. Once this dries, peel the tape covering the image & start blocking in colour with the watercolour pencils & blend with water, when it dried I did a second layer to add more dimensions with shadows, keeping the highlighted areas light from the start (it is easier to keep the white areas light than trying to add them back in)

9. Once this dried I used prismacolour pencil crayons (they go on creamy & blend awesome) over top to finish adding colour & dimension to the image

10. I did the pencil crayon one section at a time, using the extra fine tip sharpie to go over my existing ink lines to make them pop more, while adding some line work for shading (the pencil crayons pushed the strength of the felt back)

11. Once this was complete I used my Jelly Roll pen to add some texture to the highlighted ares & some stars to the background.

12. Peel off the rest of the transfer tape & framed the image (I made the illustration 8.5”x11” so I trimmed the matting of an 8”x10” frame to showcase the entire illustration)

Let me know what you think of this illustration, & of any critiques you may have. Don’t forget to follow me on my social to see what I am working on in real time!

Thank you for reading 🙂

1968 Ford Mustang Illustration

illustrations

This project was done as a Christmas present for my boyfriend’s dad, he is rebuilding a 1968 Ford Mustang – yellow with two black racing stripes & soft top. I made the license plate his dad’s initials with the number of the month he was born & the year (BN•0462).

Something that was very important for this project is having good reference photos – especially to be sure you are basing your piece on the right model. I had 1 car for the model, 1 car for the colour & two cars with a side view that both had soft tops.

A great tool I just picked up from the dollarstore was a water tray with a brush cleaner that holds brushes around the edges. I bought one for facepainting & then picked up a larger one for painting, the brush cleaner works awesome! Before I would use jars and containers but sometimes I forget to take my brushes out of the water and the finished on the brushes start to crumble & break off – this is particularity annoying when the finish starts to flake off onto the pice your painting.

Another great tool is a Staywet or Stawet Pallet, preventing paint waste by keeping paint moist (even acrylics) for days! It is especially helpful when this painting will take a few days to complete. This is how it works: there is a sponge saturated with water placed in a deep tray & some special paper that has soaked in hot water for about 15 minutes before being placed on the wet sponge. Once this is done you can place your paint directly on the special paper (which is also reusable) & when you are either taking a break or putting the paint away for the day you place the lid on top of the tray – be sure it is sealed tight – to keep the paint moist. Just do not leave it for too long where the sponge or paper could mold – this happened to me while in school, I forgot about it for about a month or two & did not clean it our or let the sponge dry out so it started to mold; I bleached the container & bought a replacement sponge & paper set, which are not expensive at all.

Here is the process & final outcome:


This was another experimental piece, I was not too sure how it was going to turn out as my paining skills & knowledge need some work; that being said, I am pleased with the final outcome & think his dad will really like it.

You can follow me on my social to see my projects & process in real time.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Deer Illustration & Tinted Charcoal – Sold

illustrations

This started off as an experimental piece, I bought a pack of 2 larger black canvases  (18”x24”) to play around with & was not totally sure what I was going to do with it but knew that I wanted to try something new.

After some thought and staring at the blank canvas I decided to re-create number 31 of my Inktober sketches; it is one that I wanted to expand on since the small sketch was created.

I started of with a light pencil sketch – lighting is very important as graphite is a bit hard to see on black, so doing this with angled light or in front of a window helps – once the sketch was complete I used tinted charcoal with some light pastels to make the illustration pop. I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out!

About a day after posting it on Instagram someone I used to work with bought it for a family member for Christmas. I was surprised & delighted at how quickly it sold, at first I was unsure about selling it as it was an experiment that worked out better than anticipated 🙂


Shortly after selling it, I started to sketch out a design for the second black canvas. More on this to come once complete. Follow me on my social to see my process & projects happening in real time.

Thank you for reading 🙂