Ember is one of my two graduate beanie baby owls. Her cap says “Class of ’00” but she was actually given to me in the winter of 2001, to celebrate the end of my time at Herzing college, after which I finally managed to get a good job. 😉
I definitely experimented a lot with different colors and textures in Ember’s portrait; graphite pencils for the outlines, as usual, colored pencils and crayons for the details like the coat on her back and wings, the tassel in her hat, her nose and feet. I think I even used charcoal for her hat and tie. I remember that I used the ‘negative space trick’ to draw the outlines of the letters in her cap without getting thrown back into left brain mode… that’s something I learned from the Betty Edwards book. When you concentrate on what’s around the letters, that makes it easier to draw their shapes without thinking of them as letters. When you–or anyway, when I think about what the letters read, that keeps me from seeing the shapes that the letters actually are.
Ember is also the first of my stuffed animals to actually point out the connection between the way they talk back to me and the inspiration for my writing, so ever since then, she’s been very special to me–kind of my muse. 😉 Do you have a face for your inspiration?