Monday, May 3, 2010

Evolving Your Style

I'm at a tipping point again with my style. I posted about this here a few weeks ago, and I thought I'd do a little walk down memory lane. The above image was from 2001, a phase where I obsessed over mother and child hugging, intertwined, usually in a winter scene with scarves. Faces were the barest of details - pencil drawing, colorized in photoshop.
Zombie Chicken! Look at those strange muppet-faced kids! Ink and watercolor. REALLY bright colors.Colored pencil over watercolor. I'm still proud of my composition and wallpaper design. The character design however, frightens me!The faces improved a bit, but how gaudy are those colors - yikes!Aha! I finally struck upon something that worked for me. Same technique, but more skill through practice and better subject - animals!So I got better, and the compositions became more complex. I went as far as I could, then realized my hand hurt and I was spending WAAAY too long on each piece. This was about the time I started actually WORKING in children's illustration. All the earlier stuff was never submitted to anyone. Well, except relatives and this blog's supportive critique group.At the urging of Ann Marie, I took a fantastic gouache class that really inspired me. With gouache, I found my signature color palette and became more adept (and interested) in illustrating children as well as animals (and monsters, of course).
Here I'm back to my 'alligator' stage of proficiency. I've got my colors down, and the faces are more rendered and complex.

And when I couldn't take those dot eyes anymore, I added pupils. I'm excited to share my next stage on my next post. It sort of combines a few of these iterations from the past 9 years, and hopefully is an improvement.


  1. Oh, I love it. Thanks so much for showing the evolution. Rarely do you get to see this.

  2. It's amazing! You've come such a long way! You can still recognize your style even in the early days, still distinctly Gina! However, your latest work is great, and I love the pupils!! :)

    I can't wait to see your next post!! Thanks for sharing your evolution Gina!

  3. Thanks Kate and Michelle! It's hard to look at some of these for sure. And I could have shared some FAR uglier things, LOL!!!

  4. Gina, this is so surprising for me to hear your own thoughts about how your work evolved! I was consistently wowed by what you would come up with. And I continue to be! Keep up the great work and progress!!

  5. I agree with Ann Marie! I think you're hand is evident in all of your work... art evolution is just a natural progression of time, right? I don't think your colors were all that bad :) Too hard on yourself!

  6. I agree with Vita in that the colors weren't bad before, but I do like the color palettes you've achieved with gouache.