During my search for a new theme to draw as a beginner, I found a great post by an illustrator named Dani Jones. The post counts 101 ideas and themes for illustrators and artists who want to exercise and perfect their technique, improve the way they can convey a message, or just to have fun and illustrate something.
I grabbed with my own 2 hands the theme that spoke to me the most:
illustrate your favorite childhood memory
The memory I chose came to me in an instant, a fun day from my youth. I was with mother and brother.We got up very early in the morning and drove 5 hours in order to reach and experience this exciting and rare event in our region: SNOW!
I found a suitable image for inspiration and reference points and began sketching and drawing a few scenes I liked:
Then, I explored some faces for the characters:
Once I had the sketches ready, and uploaded onto the computer, I started to paint in Photoshop to achieve this below result:
Very fast though, I grew to dislike that rendition.
It looks ok overall, but looking closer here is what brought me back to square one:
The shades and gradients were broadcasting such an old-fashioned style; the digital feel from computerized coloring did not transmit any personality nor warmth.
Ultimately it was portraying so poorly the fun memory that I had from my childhood -which I had in mind from the start point- that it made me re-think the whole project.
I started again…:
…had a lot of fun with it…:
This time I colored with Copic markers which were already then becoming one of my favorite technique and the final work can testify to the fact that it just looks better.
I used the same initial picture for reference and tried to stick to lighter and loosened lines; and choose colors that were expressing happiness and fun!
… and here is the Final Work:
What started as an exercise awakened a very strong memory that I am fond of, and ended up being a corner stone for my path to becoming an illustrator.