Drawing Process of The Smoking Frog
This blog is to talk about what I learned through the process of this piece, what challenges I encountered, and the ideas it brought me. I started this piece off of a reference photo I saw on Pinterest of this frog, from there I added a world scene for it.
I decided to put him on a mushroom surrounded by other mushrooms, with some mountains in the background and a lake in the middle-ground. I put on a floppy hat cause I felt that fit the character. I tried to create visual variety with the kinds of mushrooms, and foliage, the tree stump was a decision I made when I realized there was too much blank space on the piece; I wanted to create a sense of balance to the scene with all of the elements. A challenge for me when doing this is that I don't work with landscapes or world creation much, it's something I want to get better at though. I feel like those make for a more polished feel to a piece. Next i moved on to inking, the inking process was also supposed to be where I transferred the piece onto a canvas for the other elements of the series, initially it was going to be a two piece series, one watercolor, and one acrylic, but the first pass at trying to transfer to the canvas wasn't successful so I added this ink scene to it and made it a three part series.
Sometimes things don't go according to your initial plan with art, and that's okay. When you remain loose and flexible, you can go with the direction that it takes you and who knows, maybe you'll even end up with something better and cooler than you were first thinking.
The inking stage is one of my favorites, it really makes things pop. Since this piece became an all inked drawing, I had to create texture and depth using hatching, stippling, and cross-hatching. I'm still learning how best to do that, it can be a pretty time consuming aspect, and the biggest mistake I make is that I sometimes rush myself on that portion of it. But when you really take your time with it, it pays off. I sat with this stage for a while, I was constantly toying with the idea to add solid black areas to add more contrast and intrigue. I was so scared to do it because I was afraid of ruining it. While making art that is such a big roadblock that can occur, it can be paralyzing but you'll never grow if you don't make those calls. It's easy to hold your artworks as something precious, they're a part of you, but if you're too precious you won't make things. So I try to remind myself that I'm in this to improve, and "failure" isn't something to be scared of, that "failure" is a learning tool, you can take what you learned and improve yourself for next time.
I finally added the water and used a white pen to create the light on the water. I was so happy that I made this call it really brought it together more. My risk paid off. But now that left me with another dilemma, do I risk coloring in the sky as well? Would that be what the piece needed? Long story short, yes. Yes it was.
The night sky was such a good touch! It also let me add the stars and more elements to the piece as a whole. It added a lot of variety, and gives a lot of places to look at with the piece. I slept on that point and where it was and when I came back to it I realized that it still needed something. So I went back into it and did some more work. I'm reminded of something I heard once, that art is never finished, it is only abandoned. At some point we have to put down the piece and start on something else; that goes into what I was saying previously about being too precious. So here we go, another change hoping it pays off, at this point I've probably put in about 7 hours into the piece, and it's only one part the multi piece series, so the time investment is gonna just keep increasing. I'll probably put in close to 30 hours in total when everything is finished.
So with this step I added some pencil shading and some grey tones with a marker. I also realized I should make the moon a full moon to make the lighting make more sense. I think I'm content with it at this point. I framed it and am done with this part of it. There's still some areas I'm not a fan of, but I need to put it down and start on other pieces. I want to start the acrylic and watercolor pieces, but I really want to start making youtube content and to start that I need to get a new desk so I can set up my recording studio. Everything is a process, I want to be able to document it all, to provide an avenue for people to see my process and to make entertaining content that might also inspire others to start their own journeys.
So what are the take always of this? I learned to take risks, to be patient, to accept that it is good enough. Life is not a competition with other people, it's easy to see other people's level and progress and wonder why you're not there yet, but I can say that everyone is at their own places, those people we look up to are people too; they are going through their own struggles, they're not where they want to be either. So be gentle on yourself, take pride in where you are and how far you've come, and just enjoy the process!
Thank you for reading, and learning about this piece. If you would like to see more of my content I'm on most social medias as @devkrea or @deviantkreations. If you have any questions or want to chat, feel free to reach out!