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Inspired by my secret spot on a Brazilian farm in the middle of nowhere.

Watching Your Art Improve – Secret Spot

A/N: For context’s sake, I wrote this post in January 2019. I was temporarily living on a farm in the middle of nowhere near Sao Jose Du Divino, MG, Brasil.

Alone time is difficult to come by on the farm that I’m currently staying at.

I share a room with my dad and brother, in a space that doesn’t accommodate much outside of 3 beds and a dresser. My little cousins are also on holiday from school.

Hence, there are about 5 kids between the ages of 5-13 in this house at a given moment.

Practicing art becomes quite difficult when children are constantly hovering over you while you’re attempting to be creative. It becomes even more difficult when they try to play with your limited (and expensive) art supplies, but I digress.

One of my two “secret spots”, as I’ve deemed them, inspired me to create this illustration. Although calling them my secret is a complete contradiction considering they were both compromised within half a day’s time.

Secret Spot
When you’re in need of some alone time.

One of my safe havens is away from the farmhouse, underneath an avocado tree. Note that I fell in love with the spot before I realized that a glorious fruit from said tree can fall on my head at any given moment. Still, it’s small price to pay for some alone time in my opinion. Plus, who doesn’t love avocados?

An avocado I found near the tree!

I used my Arteza watercolors to create the character of this piece,

along with my Sargent Art watercolor pencils to complete the background. This was the first time I drew pose involving foreshortening without posing in front of a mirror myself. I’m really proud of this because it shows that my sense of anatomy is improving.

A/N: Although keep in mind that references should be used when possible. I just didn’t have access to internet or a full-length mirror on the farm.

This illustration continues my love of drawing characters wearing jeans. When DrawingWiffWaffles first mentioned that she loved drawing and coloring in jeans in one of her YouTube videos, I was against the notion. Mostly because I greatly dislike wearing them myself (leggings for the win). However, I’ve grown fond of the act ever since figuring out how alcohol markers work a couple of months ago:

Coffee shops
The start of my love for drawing jeans. Also, I love how her hair turned out.
Snow Days
Jeans + Snow

The woman in the Secret Spot illustration was originally meant to be in a t-shirt or tank top, but it felt like a nice change of pace to draw her in a sweater. Upon conception her hair wasn’t intended to be orange; but alongside her purple sweater, blue jeans, and the greenery in the background, orange felt like the nicest complement to tie the image together.

Drawing small squiggles in her hair was a stylistic choice, but this doesn’t change the fact that I’m not very good at drawing hair in general. I really need to take the time to study how to properly capture highlights and shadows in different types of hair.

Additionally, I intended to create this character with skin a few shades lighter; however, due to my lack of skill in creating skin tones from scratch (in other words, without the help of my 132 set of alcohol markers), this is what I ended up with. I’m just happy that it still falls within a realistic range of skin tones. Especially since I’m no stranger to whipping up colors that a little too green or red to be considered human.

Overall, I’m quite satisfied with this piece.

It’s nice to know that my anatomy is improving and that I’ve learned how to color in jeans pretty well. It might sound kind of silly to a seasoned illustrator, but as someone who is still learning the ropes, I consider these two factors a step forward.

A/N: Thanks for having a read through this article. Let me know what you think and if you have any advice going forward. Also, please feel free to share your own art work. I’d love to see what you’ve come up with!

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