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Maren’s Family Portrait

Hi guys! Long time no see! December is a crazy month for all of us, so I’ve had to re-prioritize a bit and focus on work a lot lately. I probably won’t get back in the swing of regular updates until January, but I’ll always post when I have something I want to blog about! :)

Happily, this means I’m going to have a lot of illustration work to share with you guys!

Maren contacted me about making a portrait for her quirky little family to use on her upcoming wedding materials. She wanted something similar to the one I made for Kate and I was excited to make one for her!


Maren gave tons of photo and personality reference and knew exactly what she wanted, so the sketch process was super easy! We just tweaked some colors and were ready for the final!

The more I do illustration work for clients, the more I’m learning to value and invest a lot of time into the sketching process. It can feel frustrating sometimes to work so long and hard on sketches and worry that it doesn’t show because it’s so loose looking, but the more developed a sketch is, the faster and more confidently I can work on the final piece. I struggle with finding the perfect color combinations and do a lot of reference and editing on my finals, but having that sketch to experiment with and nail down my colors and value scale really helps!

I learned a lot about fine-tuning my process and being more confident with my sketches from Kali Ciesemier. I was lucky enough to see her presentations in person, but she gives tons of awesome, valuable, interesting tips on her blog.

  • http://littleladylittlecity.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    Michelle this is so phenomenal! Seriously every time you post on of your portraits I am just blown away by how amazingly talented you are!

  • http://www.nerd-burger.com Nerd Burger

    So flipping adorable. I love how much detail you put into it including the chest tattoo.

  • http://soyouguys.blogspot.com Kate

    I just love your work! It’s wonderful! I love it when you share. :)

  • http://condensedstarstuff.blogspot.com Danielle M.

    The portrait turned out wonderfully! Glad to see what you’ve been working on, and I am inspired to work on my own art as well. :)

  • erika

    I love the cats – especially the one on the far left!

  • Floor

    Your portraits are great! I really like this one.

  • http://kitschvixen.blogspot.com Caitlin Regan

    Ugh, I love this so much!

  • http://daintyfawn.com Crissy

    LOVE the kitties the expressions and colors! So good.

  • http://laralizard.blogspot.fi/ Lara

    Wow, I love your illustrations :) ! What program / device do you use? I would love to try making digital art as well :) xx

    • Michelle

      Thanks, Lara! I usually use a combo of Photoshop with a Wacom tablet and Manga Studio 5 on my Windows Surface. :)

  • http://www.mindyourmadness.blogspot.com Harlynn

    Amazing illistration!

  • http://hellomartiangirl.blogspot.com Rosa Clementine

    youre so dang good, Michelle!! love that Family portrait soooooo much!

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Zie Darling

Artsy Angel!