Thursday, December 2, 2010


It has been long time since I posted some quick sketches.
Last Sunday we went to our cottage by the sea, and notice a couple of swans still staying here despite the hard, cold climate, and the ice slowly covering the sea surface. It would have been nice to take a picture, but the birds weren't that close, so I tried instead to take some quick pencil sketches while watching them with binoculars (not the most comfortable way to draw, but I think it is used by many birdwatchers).
Once at home, I sketched them quickly in Photoshop after the pencil drawings.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Madonna Lois Griffin

Again, I've got a new idea for the contest "From Comical to Classical" in the DeviantArt group The Digital Painter where I already participate with the Barbabella da Vinci showed in the previous post. 
This time is the turn of a much respectless subject, and the Madonna Colonna:

from Raphael Sanzio is the innocent victim of my latest work, since She and her Son have been personified by a couple of members of the Griffins family (the one of the controversial Family Guy series).
Given the subject, I had to paint something controversial as well, so I tried to depict their daily family drama in a way that Raphael and other more pious than the Griffin family would almost find blasphemous and surely irreverent.

Just take my painting with some irony rather than the original meaning of the true Raphael masterpiece, and don't forget what the cartoon is about.
Technically, this work has been done in a lack of time, since the contest deadline is very close, so I'm not really satisfied with its quality.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Barbabelle da Vinci

A couple of weeks ago I read that the DeviantArt group The Digital Painter announced a contest among digital painters. The subject is "From Comical to Classical", and, in the middle of two paintings which aren't satisfying me, I decided to take a break and participate in the contest, just for fun since I don't really hope to win something. 
The matter is, in short, to take one or more characters from a published comic, anime, or toon, and paint it in the style of a classical painting.
My son and his books inspired me to use Barbabelle from the Barbapapa family and turn her into the Lady with an Ermine from Leonardo da Vinci:

It had a lot of fun painting Barbabelle, and it went quite fast if compared with my usual standard. Even if I will be far away from getting some rewards, it was a good idea for finding something to decorate my child's room. A challenge was also to paint without color pickup, and also to get a kind of old patina to the painting itself.
Instead of the ermine I put a dog, which should resemble the Lolita dog of Barbapapa. I'm also aware that the real Barbabelle wears yellow flowers, but in this case I used red ones, since they better match the red dress, and, you know, she's a fashionist indeed...
I feel a little annoyed about the necklace not casting a shadow on Barbabelle's skin, but in the original da Vinci I cannot see that shadow as well, and I had to keep the same style as the original, so here is it:

Plus a couple of closeups:

And now I'm going to submit Barbabelle to the contest. Wish me good luck!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I painted this one from the idea I had in the previous post. I wanted a sea creature in human shape, but not the usual mermaid. This character is a sad one, longing for contact with the other creatures in the ocean, but she frighten away them because of hers beautiful, but poisonous and urticants tentacles.
The name Medisinae is an hybrid between the mythologic creature Medusa, who petrified everybody looking at her, and Medusae, or jellyfishes in zoology.
Painted in Photoshop, whith a custom brush for some of the tentacles. This time I tried to be quick, even if I wanted a enough detailed painting. Since she is not a human creature, I wasn't looking for perfect proportions in anatomy and face.

I put also a couple of closeups:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The beauty and the beast

This is a very quick concept for a children book I would like to illustrate one day, here I wasn't pushing too much for details.
I'm back to my beloved marine subjects, as one can see. The beauty and the beast aren't, apparently, very alike, but both of them are longing for hughs and both of them cannot be easily touched...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Alexander the Little

When your mother-in-law asks you for a portrait of your child, of course you try to do your best. Anyway, I decided not to paint something traditional, but a picture closer to my own taste, so I put a hint of fantasy in this picture.
Both subject and painting title ironically enough refer to the "dictatorial" attititude of our toddler, but more fit to his age: so, he wouldn't ride a powerful horse, but a frog; his head will not be crown with laurel, but with blueberry leaves and wild strawberries, which are the fruits he loves the most. The landscape and vegetation are typical of Northern Sweden, where he's born, but the dress has something to do with his half-mediterranian ancestors.
This work has experienced some annoying hardware problems (mentioned in the post below), so I had to re-paint it; however, I was happy to realize that the re-painting process has been much faster.

Anatomy has been a big issue in this painting, since it is very hard to convince a 2-years old to stay quiet a couple of seconds and pose in the way and light you wish; thus, I had to use several photo references to deal with it, and I'm still not satisfied. The child was drawn by pencil after photos, then scanned and painted over in Photoshop (I find Photoshop not very suitable for sketching, since its pencil is too slow compared with hand's movements), everything else was painted directly on canvas.
Other photo references of mine have been inspirating for painting the frog, some plants and the background, and much work was done going around in nature and looking at landscape elements. This painting has been the most demanding work I've done in Photoshop until now, but I hope I'll be better with time.

Below follow some close-ups:

Saturday, August 28, 2010


This is a Memo for myself: if you have a very important work, DO SAVE it, always, often, with several names, in different places, in your computer (it may crash), in a external hard disk (file will get corrupted), in a USB memory key (you can loose it): because there are infinite ways to loose your very important painting, and it will happen exactly when you're going to complete it.
This time the file went damaged in the external hard disk, don't know why, just that file, of course. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), I had a copy somewhere else saved in the computer since a couple of weeks ago, so I don't need to repaint from zero. But, I have to repaint all I did in the last twelve days.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I've not updated for a while, since time for painting has been scarce, and I'm actually working at a very detailed and probably too ambitious painting which takes me an eternity.
In the meanwhile, I had a very quick project, it means helping my boyfriend with a deadline. He had to produce some characters for a boardgame, and wanted to have some female ones. So, he drew this archer:

Which I chose for a very quick (maybe 1 h work) transgender-surgery:

The final drawing should be quite small so I wasn't requested to paint a well-detailed image. Anyway, it was funny; not least to see how a guy is more specialized in painting males, and myself drawing females, instead. In the future there will be some more female contributions from my side, I suppose, ahah.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Sorceress of the Hound

Among vacations, a no-sleeping child and many things to do, I didn't update here for a while. Anyway, in April I got a commission from a colleague and friend of mine, who owns a caravan and some competition dogs together with another girl. They asked me to draw a decal, which should be 100 x 30 cm, and be put on their caravan.
There must be written "LC witch on the way", in Swedish since this is their nickname in the world of dogs competitions. It should also represent a self-confident witch mastering two dogs of defined breed (afghan and whippet), which must be also easily recognisable from the picture. The dogs would like to run after a hare, but the sorceress would not let them go as they want.
She provided me with own photo references of the dogs, while the witch is not intended to look like the girls.
My idea was to use a cartoon style, since it's ironic and requires strong colours and shapes, which could be seen on the way by other cars. This was a very interesting and funny challenge for me, since I'm not really a cartoonist.
The first idea was to use a Disney-like approach, so this was the first sketch of the witch, plus the whippet:

I wasn't really satisfied with the characters, since they weren't coherent with each other, anatomy was annoyingly bad and the whole concept non that funny.

After some weeks I got a completely different approach, so this is the final result:

The sorceress haircut recalls the afghan ears and tail, as well hers slim arms should resemble the thin complexion of the whippet hound. She doesn't need to make such an effort to held the running dogs, since a couple of magic hands is working for her. On the other way, the hare is very aware of the situation and takes its time to drink a cocktail. The background contains very few and simple elements inspired by the swedish landscape (mushrooms, blueberries and fir forest), and is dark to highlight the magic thunderbolt and the dogs.
My friend said she was satisfied with the work and concept (for them, dogs anatomy was an important issue), hope they like it... for me, I had a lot of fun doing it.

Below, some details:
 The Witch

The Afghan



Friday, April 30, 2010

Flemish Flowers

One dream of my childhood, was to paint flemish flowers. Since it looked quite difficult, i never dared to do it, until I realize that Photoshop is easier than traditional oil. So, I spent almost all my free time in the last weeks to reproduce a Flower Garland from Jan Davidsz de Heem. The reference is one file found in Google, but resolution was not always sufficient, so sometimes I tried to guess some details.
This is the original of de Heem:

And here comes my repainted (no photomanipulated, if one wonders):

Painted using only the standard Photoshop chalk brush, with some jitter, to get a feeling of organic material, and sometimes a little texture.
A couple of flowers in the original seems to have been painted with pigments which have decomposed during  a couple of centuries, to judge from the almost absence of values: the red tulip and a jellow flower. The latter has been completely repainted using as reference a Rosa Foetida, which I guessed it was the flower represented in the original, adding some orange details, just for fun:

I added also a blue Morpho butterfly, just because I'd like to have a little more blue in the picture:

Then another couple of closeups:

Have a nice spring!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Another sea beast

This week I continue to sketch hands and people from magazines and live. It was a kind of funny try to sketch a someone's hand in 30 seconds during a long meeting (to the ones who will object that's not a professional behavior, I can reply that it has been demonstrated that drawing during meetings and presentations helps to keep alert). 
But, for my evening paintings, I did something in the same way and with the same style of the previous post. This time just a little bit prettier than the last one, a kind of mix between a fish, a blackfish and some other species which name I don't remember. I had fun also creating some custom brushes in Photoshop, which I used here.

A couple of closeups follow:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another marine creature

I've realized that it's very funny starting with some casual lines on a dark background, and try to create something out of it. And, since my favourite subject are, definetively, horrific and a bit disgusting creatures, that's what was coming out from the experiment. (well, I love also elfs and similar beautiful things, but painting the beautiful is very difficult, painting the ugly makes much more fun, and maybe is even less stereotyped)

Here follows a couple of close-ups. I'm very well aware that one cannot expect wet surfaces under water, as the mouth of this kind of blackfisk-lamprey is depicted, anyway I find it enhancing the disturbing feeling about this monster. The delicate flowers are used by the monster to attract and bring food to his mouth.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Strange Creature

Since I seriously need a lot of exercise about human anatomy, I wanted to copy a reference photo from an old fashion magazine I had at home, and try to modify something in the composition. It was first intended as a quick exercise, but then I became more and more addicted to details. The anatomy is not satifying, but it looks like I'm on the right way if I compare with my previous works about humans.

Below there are a couple of closer views. I must say that Linda Bergkvist's tutorials are very helpful, even if I'm quite far away from hers wonderful pictures.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Limacina helicina

Today my boyfriend went out with our little child, so I could have some quiet hours to spend for copying a quite cool picture from my sea animals book. This is a snail called Limacina helicina which lives among the Plancton.
With this work, I realized that painting a copy is not the biggest issue. A photo has already a defined shape, correct proportions, perspective, palette and values. The big deal is to paint something completely invented. This one is my big problem, right now.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I need to speed up my way to paint. I love odd creatures, from every kingdom. Today I bought a wonderful book about sea life. Today I had a couple of hours just for myself. 
So, here comes three speed paintings: a Melicertum octocostatum, a Cyanea capillata and a Haliclystus auricula, about 20-30 minutes each. I enyojed it very much.



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Genetically modified #1

This time I wanted to do something almost finished with Photoshop. The strange and odd shapes and colours of plants and mushrooms are always been among my favourites, so I did a quick sketch during a lunch break:
And here is the final version after several hours under the Wacom pen. I wish I could be a little faster.

The original psd. file has a much better resolution, but I had to resize the picture quite a lot to make Blogger accept it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Crystal Ball

It is not a mystery that I love Preraphaelites technique and subjects, so I felt ambitious enough to (try to) reproduce one of their paintings. Here I chose Waterhouse's "The Crystal Ball". There's a little of all: still life, architecture, a human subject with a not too difficult anatomy and simple fabric effects.
This is the original (from the Internet):

Then comes the 90' (well, i would say 2-hours) quick sketch:

I focused my efforts mostly on woman and still life. I couldn't manage to finish the furniture and give the correct perspective to the floor's tiles, anyway those details are less important to me right now.

Then, I wanted to give more details to the woman and the still life, so I worked it up a little more:

I love very much the potential gothic atmosphere which is hidden in this simple and apparently innocent subject: the Crystal Ball itself, book and skull have good potential to turn this painting into a much darker one.
So this is my dark interpretation of it: a sorceress doing divinations in the night. Don't think that Waterhouse would have liked it, but he will never know anyway.