Friday, June 14, 2013


Happy June everyone! I know it's been a while since I've posted, and would like to explain as to why that is. On June 19th I will be moving across the country, from Ontario to Alberta, to pursue a career in sign making. This change has brought with it some emotional craziness, so my art has suffered a bit, but not to fear, because I'm back on track and doing the Illustration Friday work again!

Word of the week was children, so I started drawing babies, and erasing them immediately. I'm not very good at drawing infants. After drawing and re-drawing I finally got to a point on my toddler sketch that I liked. Then it occurred to me that I could do a comparative piece, so I came up with this idea to have a toddler sitting next to an alien toddler, and they could wear shirts with simple graphics of the other species.


After completing my sketch I placed a piece of marker paper on top of my sketchbook and traced the lines with black ink pen.


Next step was to put in a bit more detail with ink and darken the lines. I used the same black pens to make the lines thicker for shading, as well as fill in the pupils.


Next step I took my prismacolour markers and filled in the colours. I decided to leave it simple, with minimal shading to keep it bright and maintain the graphic kind of look.


After uploading all the images to my computer (all of which were taken with my cell phone camera) I brought the coloured image into Photoshop and made some adjustments including a high pass filter and a brightness/contrast layer. This final image looks much closer to the real final product but I couldn't get it to look any less blurry.


So there we are! Children and children are children. Doesn't matter where they're from, who their parents are, or the colour of their skin. A child is a child. Thanks for reading!

"If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children."
Mohandas Gandhi

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tweet Tweet

Good day to all!

This long weekend I was up at my family cottage/trailer and decided to practice some watercolour work. I love the look of watercolours so this is something I've been really wanting to improve, and it was a lot of fun to do.

Because it's still really practice for me I didn't really take pictures of the process, but here is the original sketch I made, which I then transferred on to watercolour paper. These birds were not drawn after and specific type, they were just a doodle I came up with.


Here we have the finished product! Ta-da! I love to use a lot of colour in my paintings so yellow and blue was just a fun choice for me, and green was a no-brainer for the leaves in the background. I started by painting the background completely first, then the birds.


Well that's all for now! Be back soon with more stuff going on in the world of Melissa!

"Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?"
Rose Kennedy

Monday, May 13, 2013

Old is New

Hey there!
Today I've decided to post some older works that I've done but don't really get enough attention.

Here is a digital painting I made on Photoshop. I call it "I Spy - Bionic Eye" Kind of a 'look' into the future I guess.

I spy- Bionic Eye

Here's my first attempt at a steampunk character. Also done with Photoshop digital painting


And finally for today, this is a t-shirt design to promote a fictional brewing company. Modelled after the popular 't-rex trying' comics you can find all over the internet.

T-Rex Can't Drink Beer

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress."
Frederick Douglass

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Oil For Me

Hello all!

Welcome back to another exciting post with Melissa! Today I decided to try my hand at oil paint. This medium has always intrigued me, as I love to blend my colours. I've been told that my style really lends itself to oil paints, but I've also heard many people complain about the medium, saying that it takes too long to dry, it's finicky, they're too expensive... Well I didn't let all the nay-sayers stop me! I wanted to try them, so I did!

And here is the finished product after editing with filters on Photoshop!


As I have never used this medium I bought an inexpensive set from Wal Mart, and I used a very small piece of illustration board to paint on. This board didn't have much of a tooth so it's not exactly like canvas, but for my experiment today I figured it didn't really matter. Next time I will definitely be using a small canvas though.


My first step was to map out my image with colour. There was no original sketch or idea really, so I just mapped out a dandelion on a greenish background.


After mapping the image out I started layering on the yellow section. I decided to improve the balance it would be well to include a dandelion leaf, so I added that to the image as well. Because oils blend so much I had to use a thick layer of green to make this addition.


Next was to add a bit more depth to the focus. By adding a yellow ochre colour to parts of the flower and thicker, darker green to the stem and leaf I was able to give it a slightly more 3-Dimensional look.


After adding the darker shades, it came to adding the lighter ones. Again because of it's blending powers, I decided to use straight white to mix on to the flower, stem, and leaf, applying the white to the highlighted and reflecting areas.


And after blending in the highlights and shading, I said voila, it is finished. Of course I messed around with the background a bit, improving the gradient, but in the end it turned out to be a simple, neat little painting. This is my very first oil painting!


Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more adventures in art!

“I was a dandelion puff...Some saw the beauty in me and stooped quietly to admire my innocence. Others saw the potential of what I could do for them, so they uprooted me, seeking to shape me around their needs. They blew at my head, scattering my hair from the roots, changing me to suit them. Yet still others saw me as something that was unworthy and needed to be erased.”
― Nicole Bailey-Williams

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ready to Rumble

Fresh out of college and ready to go!
Hello world, here I am! Melissa Forde, the very recent Mohawk College Graduate. I may be green, but that just means I have a fresh perspective and an open readiness for the challenges that lie ahead.

Currently I live in Ontario, but in 2 months I will be off to Calgary to start the next phase of my journey! Excited to go, I've decided to make a new blog to showcase my work and ideas. Throughout this blog I will be doing challenges from Illustration Friday as well as my own personal concepts, ideas, and commissions.

I had a blog during my final semester at Mohawk College called First which can still be viewed, but now that school is done, I feel it is imperative for me to continue with my own work, my own ideas, and my own tenacious vivacity! My old blog does include some work which I am personally proud of, but I will not be making new posts on this blog with work from the other. My goal is to be 100% new and original here, nothing from school, nothing I don't love, and only what I am proud to show to the world

So read along if you like, sing along if you think it's fun, but most of all, follow along as I embark on the first steps toward my dream of becoming a concept artist and illustrator. Starting at the bottom, lets see how far I can go :D

"It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish." J. R. R. TOLKIEN