Linear ink drawing of a fairy woman in a long dress, curtsying. Pens are lined up next to the drawing.
Drawing,  Sketchbooks

Butterfly Wings and Curtsies

I woke up feeling like I had no idea what I wanted to sketch today, so I decided to run with an idea from earlier this week of studying butterfly wing anatomy a little more closely. Then, because I wanted to have an ink drawing to test out my Ohuhu markers on, I sketched a fairy princess character. I’m going to behave and let the ink properly dry overnight before trying to apply any color to it this time.

I looked at a mishmash of costumes and curtsying reference photos on Pinterest, rather than any single photo for the pose. I was going for a kind of fancy Victorian collar on the dress, but it came out more “sailor scout”. Whoops ^_^.

Linear ink drawing of a fairy woman in a long dress, curtsying. Pens are lined up next to the drawing.
A sketchbook page with ink drawings of butterfly wings.

The sheet of wing studies was very relaxing. At first, I studied a butterfly wing diagram from Wikimedia commons that is listed as public domain. Then I searched butterfly wing diagram photos on Google images, loosely altering them slightly while trying to also match my first studies.

I’m trying to get the hang of using references by combining multiple references, rather than studying a single image. Even though, when it comes to single photo studies, I’m careful to use CC0 (i.e. public domain) reference photos almost all of the time. Other times, it’s a reference photo from a photographer that allows for artistic reference use without credit. Even though I try my best to still give credit and link to the source, it’s nice to know that if I post my art to social media, etc., and don’t include a link back, I’m not violating any rules of the photographer.

Oh, and I suppose sometimes I’m referencing a photo a took myself. I have quite a lot of photos I’ve built up that I want to use for drawings (mostly from hiking around the Midwest), but I seem to forget about them! I’ll have to plan more carefully to remember to use them in studies.

I also just bought a few pose photo packs from AdorkaStock (formerly SenshiStock on DeviantArt), so I’m excited to use those! Two of the packs are underwater (for drawing more mermaids! And possibly water sorceresses!). The other pack I bought is facial expressions.

Back to today’s sketchbook page – the wing page is definitely a little rough around the edges, but I went into it knowing I was using it for warm ups. That perspective made it easier to stay relaxed and less worried about the outcome. I want my sketchbook art to alternate between more finished pieces and very loose exploration and studies, so this page was good filler. And being warmed up helped complete the fairy drawing while also being relaxed.

Still, while I was mentally relaxed, I’ve been muscularly-tense all day. Booo. I have a low-level tension headache since last night. It’s already 10pm, but perhaps I have some time to do some yoga before getting ready for bed.

‘Til next time <3

Listening to: The Ashgrove, Blackmore's Night
Current mood: accomplished

I'm an illustrator and web developer honing my skills and learning all I can about drawing, painting, and storytelling through visual art.