Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Entries in forest (4)


Doodle: Curiosity (and thoughts re: my cutehappy vs creepydark doodles)

Title: "Curiosity."

I recently had a great conversation with illustrator Jan Dolby about having multiple styles (both of us do). I told her that I've noticed my cute and happy illustrations always get way more Likes on FB than my darker/quirkier pieces, and I've been letting that influence the kind of doodles I create and post.

Friends who have known me the longest are familiar with my Edward Gorey-ish side (yes, I'm a huge fan!), and I've decided that while I'm still going to post my more joyful doodles , I'm no longer going to try suppressing my DarkerCreepyCute sketchy inclinations. 

Thanks, Jan, for the encouragement!

Above: I took a Limbo-influenced doodle I did back in 2012 and tweaked a figure a bit.


Experimenting with mixed media

Tried experimenting with mixed media this afternoon, after I did some book project work. Here's how I created the image above, in about an hour:

- Did the ink drawing first, no color, on ordinary sketchbook paper.

- Went out into the garden and picked a bunch of stuff. 

- Tried adding the stuff to the sketch outdoors, but the wind kept blowing it off. :-(

- Arranged stuff indoors.

- Took a photo.

- Imported the photo to Photoshop. Cleaned up gritty bits.

- Added colour on separate layers using the Multiply method. Not totally crazy about this technique, though, because it means having to mask out the vegetation bits. I was too lazy to do this, so I tried to Magic Wand out the white bits instead. But again, I was too lazy to do this carefully, which is why you'll notice odd shadows and discolorations here and there.

Conclusion: This wouldn't be a technique I'd want to use for an entire picture book project, but it'd be fun to play around with if I can figure out a better way to add colour. I might try real-life watercolor next time.


Daily Doodle: The Ladder

CreepyBrownForestHeart v3flat600

Felt like doing an illo that was a tad creepy. Created in Photoshop CS5.


Daily Doodle: Autumn Dance

AutumnDance 06 500

Playing around with more Photoshop CS5 brushes, including some wonderful grungy brushes by Dawghouse Design Studio.

Edited: Thanks SO much for all the positive feedback I've been receiving on FB & Twitter about this image! I hadn't expected that at all. To those who have been asking me about the "Daily Doodle" aspect: It's the name I give the daily drawing I do purely for the fun of it -- usually at the end of the day (as in this case), and usually not taking more than 30 minutes. Sometimes digital, sometimes not. Sometimes I share it online, sometimes I don't.

I've posted about how I created this image on Pixel Shavings.