October’s Create This Book challenge page was a fail from the start, because we should have picked a page we could complete with a Halloween theme. Fail #2 was not posting it within the actual month of October. But the page itself isn’t a fail, because I’m really happy with how it came out!
For anyone not following, every month in 2020 my 11yo son Henri and I are choosing a page from Moriah Elizabeth‘s Create This Book (vol 1) and each of us completing the page in our own books. There’s a link to all past pages at the bottom of this post.
For this month Henri picked the “favorite cartoon character” theme on page 175.
Henri’s still on a Henry Stickmin kick and drew a few moments from the game. He traced a glue stick to get perfect circles for Henry, Ellie and Charles’ heads, and then freehanded the rest.
I love how easily he’s able to recreate what he sees freehanded (and often without reference photos), and I especially love the touches he added like the shadow under Ellie.
I was going to sketch up Harley Quinn but decided instead to go with my girl, Betty Cooper (from the comics, not the show). I found an image I liked online, and I’ll be honest- I was going to trace it. I was in the mood to color, but not to draw so I planned to take the easy way out.
And then I decided to draw after all, and accept however it turned out.
I started by sketching the outline of the face and then started blocking in the features.
Thickening the lines to match the widths of the comic really did a lot to make it look more accurate, though it did take me a lot of erasing and redoing until I got it to a point I was happy with.
It’s not quite perfect – her face should be longer so she’s a little squished between the nose and chin… but all in all I’m happy with my accuracy.
I filled in the inking lines with the brush end of my Feela markers. (There will be a full review on those coming soon, I’ve been using them a lot and really love them, especially for coloring book fans). Adding the black lines really helped me to see what worked and what didn’t. It still looks pretty good, but I can still see the shortened face.
The paper in this book is thin, and the water-based marker does bleed and ghost. But the page on the back asks one to “attach” something so I don’t think it will be an issue to cover in the future.
The next step was coloring, which I was really down for. I was watching the Big Brother 22 (All Stars 2) finale and it was something relaxing to do while enjoying the drama on screen.
Betty’s pretty simple, in terms of color. No shading, no highlights, just block color fills in the outlined areas.
I could have left the page as-is, but long-time blog readers will know I’m growing addicted to colorless blenders. I have a bad habit of “saving” things I like and not using them, and I’ve been trying to force myself to USE these things and not worry I’m “wasting” them by using them for their intended purpose. (Plus, it’s 2020. If ever there was a time for enjoying the little things, it’s now!)
Here you can see the difference before and after. Betty’s face was colored only with the Polychromos, but her neck has been gone over with the colorless blender. Just colored as you would normally, only instead of adding pigment, it blends the existing pigment together, smoothing it and filling in the white areas left on the paper. (Effectively, this burnishes the coloring, so you only want to do this after you’re done coloring, because it would be very difficult to lay down any more color afterwards).
Here’s Betty after I’ve blended the whole page. It really transforms the look! I find it makes it look more complete, and more professional. I’m always looking to improve my skills so these blenders are one tool I’m thrilled to have discovered.
Finally, I went back over some of the black lines with the brush end of my marker, to touch up areas where I’d gone out of the lines and the colored pencil showed on top of the borders.
Complete list of 2020 Create This Book Challenge pages:
- January – page 163 “Create an Empty Setting“
- February – page 208 “Decorate This Page With Food”
- March – pages 206-207 “Create a Different Drawing”
- April – pages 22-23 “Create Folds”
- May – page 47 “Bumpy Texture”
- June – page 39 “Create Quick Sketches”
- July – page 99 “Create an Advertisement”
- August – page 35 “Create an Unusual Combo”
- September – page 88 “Create a Shared Drawing”
- October – page 175 “Create a Page for Your Favorite Character” – this post
- November – page 185 “Create a Combo”
- December – pages 52-53 “Create with Wax”