Stippling is tedious work and I always get asked about how long it takes to create a piece. Here is a little insight on the progression of my art!
First things first, inspiration!
I find inspiration in many things, other artists that I admire, things around the city, tv shows or film, even architecture. This piece, Lexi, was simply inspired by my niece Lexi (very original title I know). My sister had reached out to me about doing a few pieces for Lexi’s room, she wanted something girly, pretty, and colorful. Of course I started with a couple of fashion sketches of some feminine dresses and then came along a picture of a girl with a top bun. It was girly it was cute and it was something I had never done.
Inspiration done √
The Sketch part is always difficult for me, I’m a perfectionist and I hate using pencils so I never really truly like my sketches in the beginning. There’s no dimension, no color and I do not really show the details in the sketch. For me it is really just an idea of where shading and highlights are, and the outline of the picture itself. Sketching can take me anywhere from 30 min to a few hours; this particular piece took about an hour and a half.
Next, is my favorite part, breaking out the pen and ink and rendering. I start usually with the easier parts, that way when the majority of the picture is done it motivates me to do the harder parts with more shading or details. The closer you get to being done the more you want to work on it and the better it looks! I typically will render the whole section I am working on with the same distance between dots (meaning showing no shadows or dimension) then will go back and add the details such as jaw line, cheekbones, and any shadows. If you are new to stippling always start lighter than you think, you can always add more dots to create a darker look or shadows, but you can’t remove dots once they are done.
The hair is always difficult, there’s always so many different colors with natural highlights and such. Working with pens specifically is difficult when it comes to color. I usually always have to start with a lighter color, then go over the same part with another color or multiple colors to get the correct shade I want. (ex: the three pictures below show the different steps to get one color).
Once that is all done (which the hair alone took about 9 hours of stippling) then it is time to finalize and tweak some things, such as adding those damn flyaways that we can never control.
And of course sign every piece! After 17 hours of work it is all done! Violà!
There you go, a full glimpse of just how long it takes to create! It may take long but it is so fun to create!