Finishing Drills for a Chronic Dabbler.

  • Week 4:

    For this week, I will be taking this page of character drawings in my sketchbook to a finish!


  • I have this sketch so far as part of my progress for this week.:


    One thing that's becoming increasingly clear to me about my ideation stage is that whenever I start with something vague and attempt to draw more details in without knowing what the story is going to be about, it almost always feels lacklustre. This at the moment feels vapid to me because I've no idea what this little girl's story is! She's a wonderful classical dancer, and that's all I know of her story right now.

    In other news, (since this has become my sketchbook/journal), I feel like I need to change my IG handle to my name. "animatosoor" can't stay, I think, despite it having part of my name in it. My options are: sooryaart, sooryaillo, sooryaillustration.

    The same will go for my website name:,, or

  • @animatosoor I like the first one: sooryaart the most

  • @MichaelaH Thank you! The only thing stopping me from going with that is the fact that it's taken on FB, haha. My next choice would probably be sooryajart, "j" being my initial.

  • @MichaelaH I've settled on sooryajart! Thank you for your input. 🙂

    I'm ditching the little dancer illustration this week, and replacing it with this one, which is my interpretation of the poem "Our Little Ghost." I'm shooting for a series of three illustrations with this one, to complete over the coming weeks.

    Thumbnails and linework:thumbnails.jpeg

    Our Little Ghost.jpg

    I'm still fleshing this out - especially the girl (who's going to be a ghost) - but if anything stands out as being problematic at this stage, please do point it out!

  • Value and colour studies:

    I was really struggling with the first colour study, and I think it was only in the second one that I started to figure things out a little more. I know I want the colour palette to be warm for this piece, and felt a bit stuck on how to use colours correctly while sticking with that palette.

    If anyone is able to chip in, I'd love to hear if 1) the story reads clearly, and 2) you've any tips on improving on the colours/lighting? 🙂

    value studies.jpg

  • @animatosoor Shee looks beautiful, what about looking little bit through her?

  • @MichaelaH Aww, thank you, haha. I did paint her on a different layer and lower the opacity, but that doesn't show very well here. XD I shall give the see-through look another go. I'm also not entirely happy with the overall colour scheme yet, so I'm going to give that another go as well.

  • This is a colour scheme I'm slightly happier with. The last one I did was a little too muddy for my liking. I'm going to take this a bit further and up the contrasts.

    colour study.jpg

    I've also made her a little bit transparent, @MichaelaH! I'm going to work on this some more to see if I can exaggerate the effects a little more.

    Is it clear what the character is doing, by the way? XD

  • Progress:
    Our Little Ghost_2.jpg

    I'm going to put in all the darks - I feel like it would look better with them?

  • Moderator

    This reminds me a lot of an old 1977 Disney TV movie called "Child of Glass". Maybe it can guide you regarding how much of the dark lines to put in? Please note it's bad 1970s special effects... hehe...

    The soft halo glow around her helps with her ethereal quality. I wonder if maybe she has a bit of shading but not lines? That soft blue you've got works. Maybe that's the color of her shadows? I wonder if you have enough specific shading you won't need line to outline her shapes... Hm...

  • @Coreyartus I've never heard of this movie. I love hearing about stuff like this, so thank you!

    I'll take a look at how I can work those darks in. And yeah, I do want this painting to be without lines, which is just something I want to try out before I choose to go with any specific style. It's adding a lot more hours to the painting process, but I really want to figure this out, lol. I'm going to see if I can shade her with blue just a little more and see how it works out.

  • SVS OG

    I think this is really nicely done so far. You asked if it is clear what the character is doing and to me it looks like she is waiting for the cuckoo clock to chime. I’m looking at it on my phone though so if that’s not your intent, I might just be missing it due to size.

  • Thank you, @demotlj! It is not what I intended with the story, but don't worry about it - I really appreciate the guess! It tells me what's not working.

    I went and changed it a bit to see if I can get the story to read clearer:

    Our Little Ghost_3.jpg

    Does it still look like she's interacting with the cuckoo clock? 🙂

  • Yes and no, after I read the comment I can see her looking at the clock...or also communicating with the picture lady...Where does she has to lool?
    And it is lovely without the lines, have the same problemn, would like to draw more without lines...Great colors and love the litle figurs and the clock also, has many great details

  • @MichaelaH Hahah my intention was to have her talking to the lady in the picture - that’s where she’s supposed to look. I wasn’t intending for her to look at the clock at all, but I think my previous picture wasn’t very clear. Is this reading clearly?

    Thanks for the note on the rendering! Ditching the line work was making me a bit nervous. I’d love to see your explorations without lines as well!

  • Maybe it is the bodylanguage, she is talking to the lady in the picture, but her right feet is back, usually if I am talking left, I put my right foot also infront that I am more aiming for the lady. What about doing some small magic, making the lady in the picture little bit brighter? Like shining from the ghost light?

  • Ohh my, thank you so much for these tips, @MichaelaH! Great ideas that I'd not thought of. Here's my altered version after taking that feedback into consideration:

    Our Little Ghost_4.jpg

  • SVS OG

    Adding the white to the eye of the lady in the picture really helped because I hadn’t noticed the direction of her eye before. I agree with @MichaelaH about the body direction but when you changed it, I think you changed it in the opposite way she was suggesting though I may not be able to see it clearly on my phone. Her body should be angled slightly toward the picture so her right foot would be farther to the right, with the left foot slightly back. The eyes, however are much more clear.

  • @demotlj You're right - I only realised after posting it that I'd put the opposite foot forward from what @MichaelaH had suggested, haha.

    Just so I'm clear, the suggestion is to angle her body a little bit more towards the picture, and also to have her right foot forward, yes? I shall experiment with that and post an update soon.

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