Retro illustration

This weeks’s Illustration Friday theme is “retro”.

I really like illustrating in a retro style; starting with an inked pencil sketch, scanning and then adding a few flat color’s in Photoshop.

Portrait-on-easel

The inked drawing before colouring:

Portrait-on-easel-inked willem-art

Here’s another one I did recently, with a more modern vector finish:

reed-pen-sketch-lichtbak-en-pencil-edited

Sketching in Denmark

We just came back from a long holiday in Denmark. The landscape was very inspiring. We went for many long walks along the beautiful coastline and I always had my sketchbook with me in my backpack.

I have made a lot of drawings that I hope I can turn into larger paintings someday.

Sketching-in-Denmark-4

Sketching-in-Denmark-2

Sketching-in-Denmark-3

Sketching-in-Denmark-1

A work in progress: portrait painting part I

WIP Portret Harold Speed book Willem Art 6

This is a portrait I’ve been working on today.  I hope to finish the painting tomorrow.

The painting is published in a book by Harold Speed in which he explains the stages of the portrait. I printed a photo of the finished painting and followed the instructions in the book. It was a great exercise, I really learned a lot.

I wanted to take lots of pictures of the work in progress , but I was so busy painting that I forgot to stop and pick up the camera.

WIP Portret Harold Speed book Willem Art 5

Here I painted the clothes in flat colours and did some more work on the nose, mouth and eyes.

WIP Portret Harold Speed book Willem Art 3

Adding a few lights to the hair and softening the edges.WIP Portret Harold Speed book Willem Art 2

Blocking in the background and local color of the hair and the planes of the head.

WIP Portret Harold Speed book Willem Art 1

A loose charcoal drawing, transferred to the canvas with help of a grid.

Harold Speed Oil Painting techniques bookThe book by Harold Speed, originally published in 1924.

Still life with peppers

Still-Life-with-Peppers-oil-sketch


Still life with peppers
oil on canvas paper
18 x 24 cm

This is a quick color study. It still amazes me how bright and colourful a ‘dull’ color like yellow ochre can appear against a greyed background.

For this sketch I used two earth colours: Venetian Red and Yellow ochre, together with black and white. Ivory black is a blue black, so mixed with yellow it makes green and mixed with red, purple.

The palette I used:


Color-Palette-still-life-with-peppers

Dutch Landscape Painting

Dutch-Landscape-Painting-800-Willem-Art


Dutch landscape
Oil on canvas
50×70 cm

December has been a very busy month and this commissioned painting had to be finished and dry(!), before Christmas.

Here’s how I started the under painting.

Dutch-Landscape-Painting-beginning-Willem-Art-800

I liked the way the clouds turned out so I decided to keep them, instead of painting a second layer.

Portrait Sketch #12

Headsktech-#12-willem-art

Pencil on nostalgia paper

While I normally use Photoshop to crop and edit my drawings, this time I used the free Gimp 2.8 software to see if I could get similar results.

I had been looking for an easy way to apply a halftone effect to my drawings and Gimp has a filter called ‘newsprint’ that can do this. It’s hidden in the distorts menu ( Filters -> Distorts -> Newsprint).

After some trial and error, I ended up with the settings below.

Gimp-newsprint-plugin-settings
Gimp plugin settings

Cell size is the most important parameter here. The line option in the spot function menu gave also interesting results.

The halftone effect was a little strong, so I duplicated the original layer and applied the plugin to this layer. Then I changed the layer mode to multiply and adjusted the opacity down to 55%.

Gimp-layers
Gimp Layers Window

Fine Art & illustration