A Metaphorical Circus

Or, you know, a literal one.

A finished painting to go with all of those sketches from earlier.

It was a blast to get back to my paints after such a long time away, and I finished this piece with no major disasters. I got the dark, saturated color I was looking for, and I think that the color directs you to my central characters in a way I haven't really done before. (I do a lot of warm/cool focus, but it's mostly blue versus red. This has a lot more secondary color and doesn't just rely on warmth, but also saturation and value.)

I darkened the pony, since without the noise that was graying him down in the sketch, it was all "look at me! I'm bare watercolor paper! I'm bright!"

I also spent an entire afternoon painting the tattooed man, mostly trying to get the muddy (and, at least to me, very pretty) colors I associate with (old) tattoos to jive with the vibrancy of the rest of the piece.

In other news, I got into the Spring Alumni Sale! Look for me (with some new adorable animal merch) on May 1st. (And if there's a papergood you wish had my illustrations all over it, let me know.)


Eloise is now a Textbook Illustrator

It's true! I finished illustrating Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 2 way back in November, but got to pick up my copies of the book just last week.

I'm still a little giddy about it, especially this:

Proof! And the illustrations look great! The color translated well, and they didn't have to do too many post-production fixes.

Looking at the book, I feel lucky that I was given this opportunity, that the publisher liked my work (and my personality) enough to commit to the entire book. But I also see all of the work I poured into it. Over the three months it took to produce the 140 illustrations for the textbook and workbook, I skipped a lot of outings, a lot of sleep, and a lot of knitting time. But it was totally, totally worth it.

Plus, I was allowed to indulge for a couple of illustrations. For instance, my tendency to draw lots and lots and lots of stuff:

and adorable animals:

and, if called upon to create a female character that spends too much time staying up late and studying, to draw pale, skinny brunettes:

I also learned a lot, especially about anatomy, and how there isn't any shame in needing a reference photo or two. They are useful, and occasionally hilarious.

Oh, and I drew a whole lot of bicycles.

*All illustrations (except the watercolor, a nice exercise in looseness after three months of very solid digital illustrations) copyright Cheng & Tsui.