The Lady and the Bear – Illustration

I created this illustration of a lady and her bear friend in the process of re-drawing this older piece. It looks almost nothing like the original image and I’m super satisfied with the outcome. During the drawing process of this illustration I learned some new things and it’s interesting to see how the whole piece came to be, so I thought I’d share the journey with you.

I started out sketching the main characters. At first I wanted to draw the characters in horizontal format sitting on the picnic rug together. In my original sketches I drew the lady as she was leaning onto something rather than standing. I quickly ditched this idea though, since the characters were too far apart for my taste and I wanted to show them in a more intimate and closer kind of composition.

Next I drew the second sketch version out in Procreate. Originally I wanted to frame the characters with roses and even though I liked that idea in the sketchy version, I thought it looked way too heavy in the more colored one. I started out with coloring and applying texture to the main characters. As soon as I was done with the two of them it was time to draw the background.

I struggled a lot with the background/ framing of the illustration. Since the roses were too heavy for my taste I needed to come up with a plan B. I brainstormed some objects to put on the edges of the illustration and in the end I came up with a forest theme. I wanted to draw plants and mushrooms using a soft color palette to convey the calm mood of the piece.

The composition was the hardest part of this artwork for me – I didn’t do a proper thumbnail and just went head over heels into the illustration. This piece taught me that thumbnails are a very important part of the art process and that you can safe yourself a lot of time and discomfort if you plan your composition out beforehand. After a lot of planning and trial and error I came up with the final composition.

Lastly I combined the white frame with the illustration and after a total of 11 hours of work I finally finished my lady and the bear-piece.

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