Wendy Brookshire

Artist, Designer and Illustrator

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Guardian of the Oceans

Hi Everyone,

It's taken me awile to be brave enough to post my work, but I'm jumping in now! I have been doing lettering projects for my own enjoyment for a couple of years but have until this point finished the projects by hand, with ink/watercolor (I'll post some of these to MaryKate's first class soon). This is one of my first attempts at vectorizing my artwork and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would! Thanks MaryKate!

To avoid the "I don't know what to draw" conundrum that happens with me all the time, a few weeks ago I made little cards with a different theme topic on each one. This one was Whales, so I started brainstorming on the topic to see what kind of visuals I could come up with, and then wrote several little poems/phrases to go along with my topic.

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I was liking a few of these characters so after I wrote my saying to go along with the images, I did some thumbnails. (Just one page shown here, I usually end up doing 10 or more thumbnails to get the composition right).

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Then I started on the pencil sketch full size:

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After a LOT of erasing I got it to a place I liked and started inking. I am learning how to draw elements seprately so when I assemble in Illustrator I can create different colors. I sometimes do this right in Illustrator by copying the object and erasing some parts so the leftovers I can colorize. Both ways work well, but If I want the different colored elements to align perfectly I find manipulating them right in Illustrator works best, however I enjoy the process of drawing the parts separately better. So I am doing both.

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I had some ropes as the top decorative element at first, then changed them to jumping fish that you see in the final.

I also created my own textures, like a halftone pattern:

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And an edge distress with a dry brush and paint:

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I also created details for within the lettering for some texture and depth. I like to create all the textures and details by hand as opposed to using digital means, so here I am showing the inline in "songs" and the dot texture in "guardian" and "secrets". (The top eyebrow looking things were shadows I was using in the rope before I deleted that part).

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After assembling everything and working with the colors, my final illustration turned out as shown here:

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Thanks for your wonderful classes! It has helped so much to take the little bits of knowledge I had previously and make them cohesive to create much stronger artwork. As someone who always wants to do the entire process by hand, learning the digital process from your classes has expanded my toolkit exponentially and surprisingly, I really enjoy that part of it! Thanks again!

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