Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Fairy of the Bleeding Hearts

Sounds a lot creepier than it actually fact, it's not really creepy at all.

Anyway, This fairy has been my project for all of last week. It was my Mother's Day gift for my mom, since she's always been my biggest fan. Isn't that true of all good moms?

I knew that for a Mother's Day gift, I wanted it to be something flowery and Springy. My mom is an avid gardener. A few weeks ago, I was out in the yard and noticed that the bleeding heart flowers were just beginning to bloom. Bleeding hearts are probably my second favorite flower, next to poppies (which are also just starting to bloom in our yard). I decided that bleeding hearts would be the basis of my painting, so I took some photos, as I like to do.

for me, and for most illustrators, I think photo references are essential! Very few people have picture dictionaries in their heads. I definitely don't. Flowers are one of the big things I like to get pictures of if I'm going to do an illustration with them in it. There are so many little details and nuances in flowers. And plus, you don't want them all to look like the same flower. Flowers, love them, love to draw and paint them, but I will agree that they are a pain in the bum!

After thinking of the flower, I thought of fairies. I used to put fairies in EVERYTHING I drew! I was so into them back in High School. Those were some of my mom's favorite drawings of mine. So I thought adding a fairy was a nice touch. Plus, she could be the Fairy of the Bleeding Hearts.

I started out with a rough sketch in my sketchbook ( I don't have a photo of that, at the moment), and then moved on to the watercolor paper. I, once again, should have used nicer paper, but surprisingly, the paper didn't warp much at all, once paint was added.  I didn't do a base coat of a wet-in-wet for this piece because it wasn't going to be covering the white of the paper completely. I believe this is it for Day 1. Doesn't look like much, eh?

Day 2, 3, and 4 combined. I fixed her face to make her a little more dainty and pixie-like. I noticed that I always draw people (or human-like characters) extremely tall and lanky. It may look stylistic, and it is, sort of, but I'd like to draw a proportionate person at some point. I think it may be due to the angle at which I view the paper when I draw.
also Day 4...added paint to the flowers...the most dreaded part. I had my picture out, studying every detail. I still think it needs a lot of work (even in it's finished state).
Day 5 painting part finished. All that's left to do is inking.
the finished product:
Of course, I altered it a little in Photoshop...just for color and lighting and cropping. The quality still bothers me. We will be getting a scanner sometime soon. And yes, my mom loved the painting!


  1. Wonderful,
    I really loved it :)
    nice idea and perfect gift.

  2. Mahvelous dahling! I wish my faeries and mushrooms would come out like that, but they never do. I have a vision of them in my head...and can't bring it to fruition.