A super long post about making a children’s book

Hello! Happy saturday everybody! I’m having my first day off in what feels like forever, and it’s well needed. I have a lot of things I’d like to do with my free day, like rebuilding my working space, finish sewing a dress I started on two years ago, fix my boots, repair the fence… I probably won’t be doing any of those things though. My only plan is to take a really long walk with the dog (she truly deserves a day of attention), finally drink that beer that’s been waiting for me in the fridge for months, and to write this blog post. So here we go.

 

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More lighthouse

As you can see, I’ve continued on the lighthouse-track. I really liked the motive, and since I’ve been forcing myself to practice, I feel a bit more confident in drawing buildings. I thought I’d make a little more elaborate lighthouse(-house).

It started out as just a sketch, during some downtime in the playground. There’s not much to do there on the rainy days, so I get a lot of drawing-time.

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So, after making the sketch, I wanted to make more out of it, and so I traced it to a watercolor paper, with the help of a window.
I’m going back and forth between the brown pencil and the ink right now, I thought this one would look good with pencil.
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And the final result:

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I’m quite happy with it. I’ve never used this particular color palette before, but I think I made the right choice.
Every painting is a new learning experience, and here I’ve noticed that I should practice drawing rocks. Those are obviously not correct in any way in this one. Maybe tomorrow.

That’s all for today. Have a nice Sunday!

Em

A poster for the playground

Here’s yet another sleepless night-project.
A poster for the playground where I work. I guess I didn’t tell you about that. The reason for why I’m going back and forth between Sweden and Denmark all the time is that I now work at a playground in the weekends. Cleaning, planning activities, lending out bikes and stuff like that. It’s an awesome job. Only problem is that when you tell your new boss that your primary job is illustration, you suddenly have a bit more work than you planned for. Such as advertising for the park.
I did get some extra hours of course, but not nearly as many as I spent on making this. I think I need to become a little tougher regarding this stuff.
No use to complain now though, as it’s already done, and I’m really happy about how it turned out. Also, not having to worry about the taxes (as they’re payed automatically when you work for the city) is a big relief.

Here’s the initial sketch:scan0059
And the final illustration:LvpIllustration2

If you’re around Copenhagen, come by Lindevangsparken some weekend and say hi! Next week we’re starting up a tiny community garden :)

Realism

The past weeks I’ve been getting a lot of work involving depicting photographs. Usually when a commission involves a photo, it’s more about artistic interpretations of them, but lately I’ve been doing a lot of realistic depictions.
This is something that I haven’t done much before I started doing commissions, and I still never do it unless it’s for a job. Because, honestly, it’s a little boring.
For me, the fun part in painting is to make something that wasn’t there before, and while copying surely is a challenge, it’s just not the same.
Nevertheless, these commissions are always very welcome, as it is such good practice for me.
Here are some paintings I’ve done recently for different clients:
City.jpgFor a blog

2184.jpgplant 001.jpg
For commercial purposes

 

 

Birthday2.jpg
Birthday party invite
Teacup.jpg
For an article

 

80dollars.jpg
For personal use

The best thing about depicting photos is the awesome sense of accomplishment when it’s finished. Not only because it takes a long time, but also because I’m always happily surprised by the result. Like “wow, did I just make this??”.
When making all the childish cartoony stuff that I do, I easily fall into self doubt. I can feel that my work is too simple, that my success is undeserved and that I’m not a “real” artist. But creating paintings like these makes me realize that I can actually do things other than just cute doodles.
So, these commissions are great for practice, and most of all, they’re great for boosting my confidence.
Thanks to all my lovely clients for trusting me with your projects!

Hope y’all are having a great day!

Embla

Angies Website

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Hi Guys!
In addition to the last post about a bad commission experience, here comes a really good one.
Last week I was commissioned by a woman named Angie McHenry to make a few images for her website:
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She’s a really talented photographer, specializing in children’s portraits. And they are so, so beautiful!
I was really nervous about living up to those standards. But it started really well with her loving the sketches I made, and it was decided that I do not only draw the main image and the logo, but also a bunch of small details, such as these:AMPfireflies.jpgAMPgirls2.jpgAMPdandelions.jpgAMPtrees.jpg
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I’m very happy about them, but it’s the big picture that I’m really proud of. When I get a commision that is really fun, the perfectionist in me starts exaggerating, and I can’t slow myself down. Usually I need to tell myself that it doesn’t have to be that perfect. Stick to the clients requests and don’t spend ten hours on something when I’m only getting paid for three. I mean, of course I want to do my very best every single time, but overdoing it means that I get very little sleep, and a very low income. So sometimes I just have to restrain myself.
But, well… not this time. This time I stayed awake pretty much all night for three days, and here is the result:ampbigpainting
Oh, man. Those trees were such a pain. But so worth it!
I’m really happy about it. And of course, the best part is that Angie loved them. Which was the whole point.
The reason I loved this project so much was because it’s rare that I get to paint a motive for someone else that is so much in line with my personal work. Mostly it’s just “draw this car, a butterfly, a portrait of my kid..etc….”. That’s all fun in it’s own way. But when the description is “It’s a few kids, in a mystical fairytale forest with really tall trees, on an adventure” that really gets  me going.

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I’m so glad that I was chosen for the project.
Angie is really an amazing photographer. Her photos are beyond beautiful, and if you happen to be anywhere close to her and have children, go book a session.

Find her website HERE
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