This year I decided I wanted to give mostly handmade gifts for the holiday season. This would allow me to spend more time than usual making things (since it's for someone else, I have to put in the time!), and not go too crazy, budget-wise. Of course, I underestimated the time needed to hand-sew the binding on a quilt for my parents (next time I'll know to plan for my initial estimate plus 3-5 hours), which cut into my time for other projects. With a strict deadline looming, I knew I had to sit down and draw until it was done:
This is a portrait of my grandfather Edward in the Army in 1944, just after receiving a medal at Anzio Beach. He recently sent me a few photos of himself from that era, and I was excited to use them as drawing inspiration. After one disappointing attempt at a realistic drawing, I decided to go with my heart and make it cartoony. My grandfather loved the drawing, but told me that I'd drawn him wearing the wrong boots. It's ok, he didn't make me re-draw them.
I've enjoyed playing around with some watercolor for the shading and am going to try to implement that in a few more projects I'm working on right now. Color can feel so daunting when you're used to working in just black and white, but I like the challenge of stretching a limited palette to its full potential.