Art lessons from drawing Hermey the Elf

Art lessons from drawing Hermey the Elf

Hey it’s HERMEY! If you’re a fan of the Rankin/Bass productions of holiday tv shows like I am, Hermey will be familiar to you. If not – go watch Rudolph!

There are three reasons I chose this subject today:

  1. Jules Bass just passed away in October….so I thought a tribute to thank him for years of holiday cheer would be appropriate.
  2. A stop-motion image has simpler shapes and shadows for those who struggle with “seeing” shadows and highlights. These are well lit even if from a couple angles.
  3. I resonate with Hermey’s desire to be a dentist! Sometimes other people want us to do things that benefit them, like Hermey’s boss the grumpy elf.  I get that a lot – folks who want to tell me what medium or project they think I should do more of.

Tutorial: Art lessons from drawing Hermey the Elf

This video is speedy – but I hope that helps you see the changes happen faster. Sometimes if I work on the same area for 10 minutes it’s hard to notice changes in real time.

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Benefits of simpler images

A simpler figure like Hermey has a deliberately round head – it has some variations, for instance the eyes are inset a little, the nose protrudes…but it’s not like looking at a human figure with softly gradated cheek bones, or an animal with fur on a curved plane.

Beware that you’re not always replicating someone ELSE’s shading. Even mine. You’re getting one step removed from the original…it’s like a photocopy of a photocopy, and it loses something in the translation.

So if you’re looking for a reference so you can color a bird stamp – find a photo of a bird to work from, not someone’s coloring of a bird.

Layer, layer, layer

Don’t be afraid to add a lot of layers to slowly change the color. If working on tiny images that requires more rest time in between layers at times, because if the paper gets completely saturated you’ll find it bleeding. But the smaller you make each color shift – like in the hair where I added purples after the yellows, then more yellows – the easier it’ll be to get to where you’re headed without overdoing it too fast.

Need this drawing?

It’ll be for sale over on my fine art site on Friday – along with a bunch of ornaments and other fun things created just for Black Friday. Hope you find something you like!

No sabbatical this year, but….

The last few years I’ve taken a YT sabbatical in December. It was from the exhaustion of the runup to the holidays, keeping up with new releases, and throwing videos out as fast as I could! 

Now that I’m off the affiliate train (I still post affiliate links, it’s just no longer a focus since I lost so many thousands of dollars in payments due)…….I don’t feel nearly the exhaustion!

However – December is a low month in general for viewing YouTube videos, that’s always been the case. Instead of working hard on tutorials, I may create more pieces like today’s, as well as some DIY decorations, or other fun things. I may put out more Shorts instead. I’m not really sure but I’ll give myself permission to spend December playing. And that will hopefully help in not having to totally start the engines up all over again in January!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

  • Main product
  • Medium
  • Paper
  • Other
  • Brushes

 

From Value Study to finished drawing

From Value Study to finished drawing

A bit ago I said I was going to do more studies before finished works….this time I did it! Do I get applause? hahaha! Sometimes we just need to take a bow in our own studio so I’m doin’ it!

The study here was done on toned paper – sometimes it’s easier to add highlights and shadows rather than trying to create so many midtones! Conté crayons are messy but they make me work quick and easy rather than laboring. I didnt even stress much about any blending, just blocking in shapes and tones. Once I finished this I had a much better idea where this piece was headed.

Video

Can you guess from this picture what my favorite little vignette part of the drawing is? Scroll down to look at the finished art before you click to watch and see if you found my little treasure. Watch the video below or click here to see it on YouTube.

The finished piece was a lot of fun! About three days taking up space in the studio – but worth it, methinks. My favorite spot is that window peeking through the archway. I was surprised I actually pulled that off.

That taxi gave me fits. It’s a little rounded and pudgy now, but at least it seems like it might be a car. Ha!

Original drawing for sale

That’s right here if you need it hanging on your wall.

ICYMI

In case you missed this week’s social media tips with silhouettes….Click on the linked text in the captions. The bunny stamp is here, and Lamp black and Lunar black are compared in the telephone pole video.

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Copic Cherry Blossom Branch (part 2)

Copic Cherry Blossom Branch (part 2)

We’re at the end of cherry blossom week – and during this speed Copic drawing I’ll talk through some of the things I learned about color, about masking, about my less-than-perfect airbrushing…..and much more!

NOTE: the date got moved for cherry blossom week so I know the original art won’t make it in time for Mother’s Day *unless* you’re local – in which case I’ll drive it over! 🙂

Video

Watch below or click here to see it on YouTube.

As you see by the ginormous pile of markers I used almost all the pinks and purples! It was sure one way to learn the colors more and see which ones shifted the color to the warmer or cooler temperature.

Hopefully the rest of our neighborhood cherry trees will stay vertical for years to come – that street cornr is one we walk along regularly, and each time I see the hole in the ground I feel bad for that poor tree!

Classes on sale

The classes on sale for the month of May are all the florals, check them out here!

ICYMI

Below are all the cherry blossom posts you may have missed this week on social media!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Copic Cherry Blossom Branch (part 1)

Copic Cherry Blossom Branch (part 1)

It’s cherry blossom week around here! Even though the cherry blossoms are gone by now (boohoo) I’m mourning the loss of a neighborhood tree. And using art to cope. Join me to learn how to make this pretty branch – it’s just blobs, YOU CAN DO IT! 🙂

Video

Watch below or click here to see it on YouTube.

Copic colors: C3 N6 N10 / RV10 RV02 RV13 RV17 RV69

This is easy to do with just blobs of color…no fancy drawing needed! The only dodgy part is the branches, and I hope I gave you enough tips in the video for using the chisel nibs.

Classes on sale

The classes on sale for the month of May are all the florals, check them out here!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Illustrating a dream in Copic Marker on Ingres drawing paper #earthday

Illustrating a dream in Copic Marker on Ingres drawing paper #earthday

Happy Earth Day! It’s that holiday when we look around at this big beautiful planet and figure out how we can be part of helping it stay healthy – it’s up to us! My project today is….a little odd, but goes well with the theme – it’s an illustration of a dream I had of being a snail on….Mars?

Video

Watch the video below or click here to see it on YouTube.

Another drawing for the stash drawer! Some day someone is going to clean that out and wonder if I had a good psychiatrist while alive. LOL!

Freebie

Whilr creating this week‘s tiny tutorial, I also created a free Earth Day printable! And when you print out an image like it so big there’s no room for the sentiment… you have to get creative with trimming! 🤣 (although I think it’s pretty effective like this, what do you think?)

ICYMI

In case you missed the fun earth day plant and animal projects on social, here’s links to them!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Nina Simone – Copic marker portrait with texture technique

Nina Simone – Copic marker portrait with texture technique

I might be squeaking in at the end with an official portrait for Black History Month – but it’s still February so let’s get to it!

Nina Simone is one of my favorite jazz singers – she has a unique voice, and a unique boldness in her music. She’s no longer with us but her YT channel still uploads old footage of her in clubs and other venues, so I used some of that as well as the few color photos to add my own color to this AP/Time photo:

Video

Watch the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.

ICYMI

In case you missed these – I did a lot of different types of hair on social media this week!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art