I got my first tattoo last year, but I have been obsessed with them since I was a teenager. I’m currently working on designing a Doctor Who themed sleeve (a tattoo that covers my arm)… I don’t know if you knew I was such a big Whovian.
I thought tattoos would be a good source of inspiration for knitting because tattoos can be so artistic and they’re worn on the skin! You can do a lot more with color and lines using a tattoo needle than you can with knitting needles, but with a little imagination these tattoos can be the start of a great new knitting project! Click through to the board to read some of my ideas for translating these tattoos into great knitting projects.
One of my goals for this year is to illustrate a children’s book that John has written.
Drawing used to be a huge passion of mine. I could spend 5-8 hours at a time drawing in high school and college.
And then I didn’t have a reason to keep drawing. I had finished school and no longer had drawing or art classes to force me into it. It’s a bit strange when you love something but you find that you need someone to tell you to keep at it.
I assumed that I’d end up needing illustration skills a bit more in my career. Someone would need an icon for their website or something, right? But no one wants to pay you to make one from scratch when they could buy a set for $10 somewhere.
My skills got stale.
When I picked up the pencil again to start drawing for this book, I was discouraged at first. I am way out of practice and I don’t really have my own style.
And just started sketching, trying not to be too hard on myself for having completely weird-looking animals.
I found that the inspiration board I made helped me play with different styles for the animals. For example, the cow on the bottom right of the collage is in a style that I would draw on my own, but the one to the left of it was inspired by other cow drawings I found on Pinterest. I’m not sure which is better, but the one on the left is definitely easier to draw in repetition.
The alpaca is definitely the hardest animal to get right. She’s the main character of the story, so I want to make sure she has a lot of her own personality.
Then I switched from pencil to Photoshop / Illustrator. I was having trouble getting a good face on the alpaca. I’d either get the eyes and nose and mouth right, but mess up adding the hair, or vice versa. So I drew a face that I liked, drew some ’empty’ alpaca heads, then attempted to put them together. With this technique, I feel that I got a lot closer to a more finalized character than I had sketching on paper.
I’m not sure which alpaca will win. The curly hair is fun and fluffy, but I kind of like the spunk the shaggy/straight haired alpaca has.
I’m noticing that I am more comfortable in Photoshop and Illustrator than I am on paper, at least for getting a more finished look to my drawings. I can’t seem to sketch on the computer or refine very well on paper, so I guess I’ll have to merge the two. Sketch, scan, trace with the Wacom tablet.
After wearing myself out on sketching animals, I attempted human figures.
At one point in the story, there is some spinning of alpaca fleece. I scoured the internet for good reference photos of women at a spinning wheel. It was a bit more difficult than I thought it would be, mostly because the photos you find are of women in giant dresses, so you can’t really tell much about their bodies.
I want the woman who is spinning the fleece to look relaxed. She almost does, but she also looks really stiff, so I’ll definitely need to keep working on it.
I don’t think I’m quite there yet. I need to keep sketching, refining and practicing before I think I’ll be close enough to start really laying out the illustrations for the pages of the book. I definitely have more confidence in my skills than I did two months ago. I don’t know if practice will make perfect, as they say, but it’ll definitely increase my confidence and get me to a final product.