Saturday, 7 November 2009

Portraits For Pleasure - Blue Eyes

For this project we are doing for Mika, I didn't intend on drawing for his song "Blue Eyes", but found myself increasingly thinking about it and wondering what to do for it. My mind wandered to the images I saw in his EP book and tried to draw inspiration from them, but found nothing.

I was at work one day, when I decided to grab a bit of till paper, a ballpoint pen, and doodle (I tend to do this quite often). This is what I ended up drawing.


This piece became my blueprint and started to work on the actual piece a couple of days later. The pictures in Mika's EP show pictures of a girl with an intricate jungle-like background (and other various pictures, too) but I couldn't come up with any full length pictures of my own, so I just decided to focus on the eyes instead. They are the windows to your soul, after all, and can speak much more than words sometimes.

As suggested by another artist I know, I tried to use "The Grid". This is where you get the drawing you want and place a grid over it, and then draw a grid on the paper. You then use the guidelines to create your picture. I wanted to use my own eyes in this picture:


However, the printed picture was in A4 and the paper that I wanted to draw on was A3. It was difficult, an absolute mess and a total nightmare so I scrapped it. I won't even show you the picture of it. That's when I decided I should do freehand all the way! I don't use A4 paper anymore.

However, instead of doing realistic eyes, I chose to do Animé eyes. I figured that an upset toon is easier to look at than an upset real person, but still decided to use greyscale with a splash of colour. This is the first draft.


I like the realistic shading mixed with the cartoon-like features. One thing I didn't like was that I shaded the nostril too prominently, and it made her face seem chubby (or is that just me?) and mixed too much realism with the cartoon-like effects. I used watercolours for the eyes and the hair, and even for the big black outlines, but sometimes I also used a black Manga Pen.

I decided to give this woman red hair because I see the character "Blue Eyes" as someone who used to be strong but became broken, as suggested by the lyrics "Your heart is broken to your surprise". The red hair represents her strong and unique character, but the blue, watery eyes suggest a damaged soul.

This is the final piece.


I decided to do the background completely black and hide a lot of her face because then it's like she's drowning/being swallowed into her own despair. Plus it also concentrates on the eyes, which is what I wanted. I wrote the lyrics on the side because it's like there's a tiny voice - whether it be hers or someone else - trying to get through to her.

I quite like this piece. It's deep. In my opinion anyway :-)

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