I chose J. C. Leyendecker, one of my all time favorite artists, to do a trace study on. His paintings always look so complex, but when I separated the different elements, I started seeing how they balanced each other out.
And this is the result of the notes I took from that study. I started this feeling like I was trying something new, but it was actually kind of similar to the types of things I used to draw back in 2012.
Of course back then, I used royalty free frames, so I’m really proud of myself for making my own frame. It’s just kind of funny to think that after I’ve improved so much and tried so many different things, I’d end up doing something similar.
The last time I drew these two was over a year ago, so it was about time I tried again.
Ives is a musician from the medieval era who, in trading his humanity for the chance to be ye olde rockstar, became a vampire.
Clio is a human who was disowned by her family after her abusive husband was found dead from poisoning and his side of the family accused her of doing it.
The two meet in the 1820s when Clio, who was living on the streets, saw Ives leaving a party mildly intoxicated and tried to mug him. Like any reasonable person, Ives invited his attacker inside his home for some tea. From there, they talked and got to know more about each other.
Because Ives is a total sap, he really feels for Clio and does what he can to help her, including letting her live in his house, giving her music lessons and introducing her to people who could help her with her career as a performer and singing teacher. He genuinely believes in her resilience and talent and wants nothing more than to see her succeed and be happy.
Clio is VERY suspicious at first, and can’t seem to shake the feeling that Ives and the people she’s introduced to have ulterior motives in helping her. And while she learns that Ives has quite a few secrets, she grows to care for and admire him for his gentle nature and optimism. Through their companionship, she gains trust in him and in herself.
Hot diggity damn where do I even start?
The hair and the way it flows looks fairly natural (plus the highlights/lighting in general are very well placed). The clothes are so damn beautiful and the outfits themselves are complicated yet extremely neat! Some people tend to add too much stuff to their character's outfits just so they can be complicated but not you, dear ma'am! You managed to get them to look elegant enough by placing details (such as the detail on the girl's dress!) in just the right places!
And oh lord don't get me started on the facial expressions! The character's look very lively and that's due to their natural-looking facial expressions! I still have trouble when it comes to making a facial expression look natural but damn did you nail it!
The frame that you put around the characters just makes the whole thing even better! It gives it that good ol' vintage feel, you know? Hell, the characters themselves look like they're meant to be together (be it family, friendship, or romantic relationship. No idea who these characters are exactly so I'm just assuming things oops)!
Overall, this is a really good piece of art! good job
I’m so glad to know the lively mood and closeness I was going for are showing through.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with exaggerated expressions when that’s what you’re going for. I think making them look natural is just a mater of finding some good references to guide you.
Sorry about the bow, haha. I’d like to think he’s responsible enough to not break it, but it all depends.
Anyways, might I start off by saying you are an amazing artist. The line-work, the shadowing, the details on the clothes, the background, the sense of real movement and motion is all top-notch workmanship. This is an absolutely stunning picture, and that is most likely why it caught my eye in the first place. The sense of old-charming fun and sense of wonder jumps off the picture, true to life indeed. I especially like the contrasting color of the two main characters in this piece. It shows a sense of being from social groups or maybe different personalities drawn together in harmony and I love it for that. Gives a real sense of a Romeo and Juliet kind of vibe, you know? It’s fun, romantic, and just so lovely and for it. You absolutely did a fantastic job on this particular piece.
If there is one aspects I have to choose not gripe about, it would be the guy’s head. It’s simply too long, giving him a less-than-human appearance almost? I don’t know, maybe that’s just your style and it suits you, but it kind of makes him seem like more of a villainous character. Was that intentional? Either way, still fantastic work you have here.
The man is intended to have a bit of a long face because I felt it would best match the rest of his elongated proportions, and also for the sake of having more of a variety in the face shapes of my characters. I can definitely see what you mean about it looking too exaggerated here, so I may try to shorten the chin to have it look a little more natural.
Thanks again for taking the time to comment
Also I love the way you broke down the studies. I think I'll try this technique next time I work on my own studies!
It's neat how your inspirations have just reinforced what you like about your own style and preferences. It usually tends to be that way but we don't really think about our styles that much until we experiment and breakdown the works of others. Kudos on making your own frames this time around. The shape looks so fluid and fun and really cements the overall mood!
It’s always really encouraging to notice little similarities between your own art and art you admire. I used to obsess a lot over style and get stuck in a rut quickly, so it’s also helped me try out different things.
I wonder if or when will Ives and Clio's relationship will become something more than... just friends. Hehe!
I'm usually iffy about having a lot of stuff happening on the drawing (since it can get too busy and cluttered)
but I love how you can still clearly see the focus of the show!