I am finally back on track with my horoscope illustrations. I get side tracked quite easily and a piece (like this one) can sit unfinished for months on end. I really don’t know why I put off finishing it for so long!. Anyway my Capricorn woman is complete and just in time for the birthdays of all those little goats (21 December to 19 January). You can purchase both my Sagittarius and Capricorn prints in my Etsy store. As usual more details on the drawing process and the inspiration behind Capricorn continues below.
I know nothing about goats, except that those baby ones are damn cute and I could (ok -do) waste hours watching funny goat videos. It’s research people – research. My initial idea for my Capricorn woman was to give her “hair-horns” of some kind. I didn’t want to be too literal and stick proper goat horns on her head and then I remembered this look from Vivienne Westwood Red Label Spring 2015 runway collection – perfect.
The other thing I know about goats it that they eat almost anything, so my Capricorn had to be chewing on something. For some reason I had in my head that goats eat underwear. I have no idea why I was thinking this. It lead to this BRILLIANT idea of my goat girl chewing on a pair of knickers… Oh yeah… Let’s just stop and think about that… A girl with a lacy g-string in her mouth… Hmm… I was going for cute not kinky. Time for rethink.
I did what I always do when I get (really) stuck for inspiration (desperate times call for desperate measures), I consulted Husband. Straight up “blackberries” he tells me; “goats eat blackberries. Everybody knows that – that’s why people keep goats; to get rid of blackberry.” Ok. Did I know that? Makes more sense than underwear. Let’s go with blackberries.
(Note: for you foreigners reading this blog blackberries are a noxious week in Australia just in case you were wondering why we want go feed them to goats!).
The blackberries took me forever. I had to take my time drawing them as I have never drawn blackberries before (surprisingly). I wanted them to be super accurate and detailed so that they looked like blackberries. I didn’t want to risk one of those awkward self-esteem shattering-argument-inducing comments from my husband “What are those things in her mouth supposed to be?” (BLACKBERRIES … F#$K-wit!!! P.S. I would only every say that in my head not out loud). Just for good measure, to really cement that they are blackberries, I added a bit of watercolor over the graphite.
A short digression… pencil extenders 😳
I have never used a pencil extender before. I always thought they would be completely shit and make the pencil feel really unbalanced. I was ordering a bunch of Tombow stuff online (please Mr Tombow make Ippo pencil sharpeners available in Australia!) and to justify the $17 FedEx shipping for a $3.50 pencil sharpener, I added a few other bits and pieces to my shopping cart. This included an E+M Peanpole pencil extender. Once a pencil gets to below 50% I really struggle to use it and it seems such a waste to keep throwing half pencils away. The E+M fits most pencils and comes in a bunch of different colours. It is just like holding a regular pencil although does feel a little top-heavy at the moment. As my existing pencil gets shorter I think the balance will improve. I will definitely be purchasing more.
Crap of all craps! When I did the text on this one I realised that I had the dates for Sagittarius wrong! But things were about to get worse. I promised when I started my blog to share the good bits and the stuff ups. Well I could have left it at stuffing up the Sagittarius dates but if you’re going to do something do it properly I say.
Once I’d finished CAREFULLY applying the text to my lovely Capricorn woman, I had dinner, watched tv, went to bed, and slept soundly in the knowledge that after three months she was complete. The following morning I bounded in to my art studio (okay… spare bedroom) eager to admire my finished masterpiece.
The lettering still looked beautiful except for a just one little thing…
I cannot explain how I spent several hours on this and did not notice my mistake until the NEXT DAY! It was one of those moments where you have done something so unbelievably stupid that you actually laugh. It is somewhat ironic that I had been at pains to ensure those blackberries looked like blackberries and make it abundantly clear that this was Capricorn… C.A.P.R.I.C.O.R.N. Thank goodness for Photoshop.
I actually did the background on a separate piece of paper, mainly because I didn’t want to risk stuffing up the original drawing. I am not all that proficient with watercolor and can quite easily end up with a muddy mess. I used the same green and purples I had used in the blackberries and just let the watercolor do its own thing. I was hoping for something abstract but pretty.
I then scanned the watercolor and used the Quick Selection tool on Photoshop to choose the bits I liked and paste them in to the background. I manipulated the size and the orientation of the background until it looked right. I also selected a couple of the green paint spatters to sit outside the white border.
“Capricorn is a sign that represents time and responsibility… These individuals possess an inner state of independence that enables significant progress, both in their personal and professional lives. They are masters of self-control and have the ability to lead the way, make solid and realistic plans, and manage many people who work for them at any time. They will learn from their mistakes and get to the top based solely on their experience and expertise.” – Astrology-Zodiac-Signs
Next Stop – Aquarius: the Water Bearer
I am super excited about starting on Aquarius the water bearer. I am seeing water references everywhere in fashion at the moment: wet look hair, swimming caps, swimming goggles, and even waterfalls (Chanel). Hopefully I can stay on track and get her done before Christmas.
Remember Sagittarius and Capricorn prints are available in my Etsy store as A3, A4 or A5 prints. If you fancy another size please just message me.
Arches Drawing Paper 185gsm smooth A3
Tombow mono drawing pencils
Winsor and Newton Artists Water Colour