How to draw a Copic Disco Ball (Disco Chicken Part 2)

How to draw a Copic Disco Ball (Disco Chicken Part 2)

I THINK I DID IT! Oh man. This one was just a little more bitten off than I might have been ready for….it was days of work and study, and that doesn’t even count the chicken dancing! 🙂

I asked AI to give me a description of my disco chicken to post on the Copic Award page….it did pretty well!

A flamboyant rooster is captured mid-dance on a reflective dance floor, a shining disco ball overhead casting light around the room. The rooster’s wings are spread wide in a dramatic pose, evoking the sense of movement and dance.

Before we get underway with the video…..I posted a reel on instagram and a short on YouTube showing a much simpler disco ball than you’ll see in today’s main video. check it out to see how simple it CAN be! 🙂

Tutorial: How to draw a Copic Disco Ball

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!

Drawing a disco ball

You can use any earth modell with longitude and latitude lines as a model – the above pic is looking upward at the globe, and you can see how the lines curl around on the left/right and top/bottom.

Mine is far more complex than it needs to be – you could make one with significantly smaller mirror pieces, and without the airbrushing too.  But the principle is the same.

  1. Place blocks of color on the disco ball, lighter where you want highlights.
  2. Mask out a few of those blocks so they remain bright and sharp.
  3. Color OVER all that initial color – airbrush works, but how about distress inks with a very soft brush? Powdered colored pencil or charcoal? A watercolor wash? Whatever you use, let some color show through and some get covered.
  4. Draw in some of the lines between mirror panels: in the light areas use about an 80% dark color (a grey blue or purple) and in light areas, drop in a few dashed highlights.
  5. Stand back and admire!

Draw a disco floor

Basic perspective lines will really help here – with all the lines leading back to a vanishing point in the middle, on the side, wherever.

  1. Draw the underlying color in any pattern.
  2. Add tje perspective grid on top, with the tiles being dark with glowing light parts, and light popping up through the grout.
  3. Add a little bit of line work but only if needed.

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Make it *sparkle*

To create a feeling of magic — throw in some pixie dust! Not only will this add the feeling of magic to your drawing, but it can cover any messes made. I used a colorless blender for some of the lighter dots, and a gel pen on top as well.

Copic Award Entry

I sent it to the Copic Award contest – wish me luck and go add my drawing to your favorites!

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

  1. Copic Markers – https://bit.ly/31g1FYN
  2. Copic Hex Chart – https://bit.ly/3rq3AEX
  3. White Uni-ball Gel Pen AMZ  • BLICK 
  4. Masking:
    1. Frisket Film roll 
    2. Frisket Film sheets
  5. Fingertip Knife
  6. Paper:
  7. Neenah Cardstock, Solar White; I found a 12″x18″ pack of the 110lb at my local Kelly Paper but it’s the same as this smaller size that’s more affordable/available: Neenah
  8. My normal fave paper is the 80# 
Copic Feathering Techniques (Disco Chicken part 1)

Copic Feathering Techniques (Disco Chicken part 1)

Oh, the crazy things my art makes me do. 🙂  BRACE FOR SILLINESS. As well as learning.

A little behind the scenes: I almost always have chickens/roosters on the brain. I collected anything with chickens on them for a long time (De Colores! iykyk!) Last year this time, I was in the middle of a giant PURGE and renovation of my home and got rid of a lot of chickens. But….I still have a lot. And when a chicken related holiday crops up….I gotta do SOMEthing.

Thus I bring you….Dance Like A Chicken Day. Today!

 

National Dance Like a Chicken Day is celebrated on May 14, and encourages people to dance like chickens. The holiday has been celebrated since the 1970s as an alternative to May Day. It’s a day to express oneself by flapping wings and strutting around like chickens. 

 

-some guy on the internet

Tutorial: Copic Feathering (Disco Chicken part 1)

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!

When you don’t need feathering

If adding a lot of texture, say on the comb of the rooster or some detailed feathers, blending doesn’t matter. It’s underneath all that detail and isn’t required to be “beautiful” blending. It’ll give an overall feeling of transition from light to dark, but the line work covers it.

Also note that my coloring isn’t “perfect” when your nose is right up against the paper. Or, er, the jpg. Maybe there are some people who strive for that and achieve it, but I find it overrated! Step back from your work and look at it as if someone else made it. I guarantee you’re doing better than your close-staring will tell you.

APOLOGIES!

If you came by last weekend and my blog had blown up – please feel free to go back and check out the sweet kitties now. All is fixed, as you can see…..I tell ya, I’m tired of html kicking my butt!

Long vs short runways of feathering

The shorter the space that you’re filling, the harder it’ll be to create a soft, feathered edge, whether in one marker hue or multiples. It’s just too tiny a space to expect perfection! 

But in long feathers, you’ve got a lonnnnng runway to get from a marker’s darkest value to taking off like a plane into the atmosphere. It doesn’t mean you can slow down, especially with a juicy marker—a nice consistent, speedy motion will give you the best results but it takes practice!

It’s all about value

Looking at where the chicken ended up—excuse me, the rooster-—you can see the value differences that give him dimension. I had in my head where that disco light or spotlight will be cast on him, and I did opt to go lighter, just so I have “room” to get darker if needed when adding the background.

By the way, he practiced a LONG TIME on that toe-point. Roosters can’t normally bend their feet like that, so, ya know…

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“What good is this if I don’t draw?”

Well for one, you clicked on this post or video. And if you showed enough interest to click to see what’s going on and how the magic happened, well, you could get here. I don’t know your current level of experience, but I promise you can do so much more than you think you already can.

And secondly, you can apply this in much simpler coloring projects! If you’re coloring a bird that has no detail drawn into the outline, you can add a few feathers. Even a hint at them is better than a blobby shape that doesn’t look like a bird!

You can also use feathering to blend colors in anything! Remember to match the value of the two colors: if you’re blending a midtone yellow and midtone purple, it’ll be easier than blending colors with vast value (dark/light) differences!  Light, pale colors are easier when you’re starting out – and more practiced colorists can learn a lot from blending strong colors into each other.

Send me good wishes!

I’m elbow deep in studying my disco ball and figuring out how to render it realistically. Come back Saturday to see if I did it! Also – pop into the Zoom Open Studio at Artventure….log in and go to the events tab to see what time it’ll be in your zone.

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

  1. Copic Markers – https://bit.ly/31g1FYN
  2. Copic Hex Chart – https://bit.ly/3rq3AEX
  3. Neenah Cardstock, Solar White; I found a 12″x18″ pack of the 110lb at my local Kelly Paper but it’s the same as this smaller size that’s more affordable/available
    My normal fave paper is the 80# Neenah

Magical Rainforest Class: A peek into one lesson with a dinosaur!

Magical Rainforest Class: A peek into one lesson with a dinosaur!

Is a dinosaur magic? And do they live in the rainforest? Frankly both could be true, but I’m going to guess not. I’ve mashed together a bunch of things that have been going on in my head and in my news feed – and turned it into some really fun art you can learn to make with your alcohol markers in the new Magical Rainforest Class!

Let’s deal with the rainforest first; Have you seen the news stories about the children who were lost in the rainforest for 40 days? Oh my, what a story of tragedy – and ending in the blessed survival of the children! READ THE STORY

And then there’s another story about the Brontosaurus being restored to its rightful place after being displaced for 100 years (ineffectively!) by the Apatosaurus. It’s a rather long crazy story I tell in the video but you can read more in an article here. I decided the Apatosaurus would win the battle for who gets into my drawing.

Tutorial: Dinosaur in magical rainforest

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!

Scene first?

Typically I don’t color a scene first – I start with the featured image. But in this case, the scene is the bonus lesson in the new Magical Rainforest class, and the dino was just for YT – and thus, it’s scene first.

Dino sketch

The sketch for the dinosaur is also included in the bonus lesson, in case you decide to try this kind of a scene!

Colors

In class I use Copics, but you can also adapt to other brands. Note that Olo doesn’t have the pale colors that the other two do, but…..Olo users are likely used to finding adaptations 🙂

Magical Rainforest Class

This is a level 4 class – and a little of the backstory is that I wanted to have a Level 4 alcohol marker class that wasn’t as pricey as the Enchantment series or other advanced classes. Magical Rainforest Class is a good chance to see if you’re at that level without having to break the art bank to pay for a big class! So it has fewer lessons in it to keep the price manageable.

A little reminder: use code SUPERPOWER to get 10% off throughout June on all adult classes!

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

Subscribe to receive blog posts by email:

Drawing of Emmanuel Todd Lopez!

Drawing of Emmanuel Todd Lopez!

Whether or not you know yet about Emmanuel the emu….this might be a fun little thing to watch! He’s a social media star – and I included a little clip of one time when he was being good and not knocking over the camera. LOL

Tutorial: Emmanuel Todd Lopez

Emmanuel is getting over a bout of bird flu that took out all the rest of his bird friends on the farm! He’d been unable to walk for a while, but he’s back to tearing around the farmyard again, fortunately.

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!

Update

I was hoping the new Drawing on Nature classes ready today but….alas, the week got ahead of me. Finding 7 hours to do voiceovers (and more hours because I often do them 2-3 times) just didn’t happen with jury duty and the rest of life. I’m hoping this weekend is going to be SUPER productive though. I’m determined to get this movin’!

Are you following Knucklebump Farms?

Go check them out on Instagram! 

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

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Alternate paper for Copics? (Bear cub drawing)

Alternate paper for Copics? (Bear cub drawing)

I made a little discovery of an alternate paper for Copics than the Neenah and marker papers that I’ve used for decades….and it’s a paper that really shouldn’t, by all rights, be for alcohol markers! It’s my favorite pencil drawing paper, and I was surprised that my little idea worked!

I’ve wanted to use pencils on top of alcohol marker, but hadn’t done so in ages because, well, marker papers and neenah don’t ‘feel’ as nice as Stonehenge drawing paper. So I had the idea to see if I could bring the markers to the pencil paper rather than the pencils to the marker paper.

Caveat:

I do realise that some artists won’t like the more pencil-ly look; totally fine! I’ve always resisted the tendency toward an almost digitally-perfect blend. I love to see the hand of the artist shown in their work. With the advent of that “perfection” in AI, I relish it all the more.

Tutorial: Alternate paper for Copics? Bear cub drawing

This won’t be a solution for everything, by any means; and switching to this paper for ALL your alcohol marker work might get cost prohibitive. But for fur? For fur it’s pretty amazing!

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!

A few more tips

A few things I learned along the way:

  • if your markers are dry, they’ll feel a little dryer on this paper. The soft surface has a little drag naturally, and a dry marker responds. But it’s nothing that more layers can’t fix.
  • Colors are not as cartoony-bright as on some other papers like marker paper or Neenah. But since I love making things look realistic, the slight dulling down is perfect for me. IF you like brighter, just step up the saturation in your color choices.
  • Alcohol can serve as a light blending solution – so how about a Copic? BINGO. You do have to clean off marker nibs on scratch paper, and it can stain them but it won’t have a permanent effect other than nib discoloring.
  • The technique I use with a lot of textures is washing over the area with a glaze of color to soften it and pull it together–and it works even BETTER on Stonehenge than Neenah! 

Perfect for fur

I enjoyed a couple drawings SO much so that I started immediately prepping a class series that a lot of students have asked me for, because this paper, marker, and pencil combo are perrrrrfect for it: ANIMALS! This lil bear will be a lesson in the “big” class (read on.)

Drawing on Nature

I’m calling it the “Drawing on Nature” series of classes; don’t worry, I’m not headed exclusively in this direction, but I’ve been needing to find a way to create more advanced courses without pricing myself compeltely out of the market! I’m so used to making 5-10 lessons out of a topic that I couldn’t figure out what to do when each lesson triples in length from what I normally do!

So instead, classes will be for invididual drawings, not a huge set. Choose your adventure!

I’m hoping to have everything ready in maybe a week or so – join the art-classes email list if you haven’t already, I’ll be shouting from the rooftops as soon as it’s all ready to roll! 

There will be discounts if you sign up for a few of the single classes at a time, so be sure to read to get the coupon code you’ll need; I can’t figure out how to automate it, since the plugin I bought for bulk purchase discounts won’t work on classes, so coupon code it is.

There’ll also be a get-em-all class with each of the 10 drawings in it PLUS the narrated bear drawing. The bear’s the only one with much of a scene – that log was way too much fun to play with! And he won’t be a separate class, he’ll be in the big class only.

On jury duty

I’m starting jury duty today – and I’m one of those weirdos who relishes the chance to perform civic duty! I’d be altogether too happy to serve my community if they choose me. I was on a case a few decades ago and it was a fascinating process – and gave me so much confidence in our judicial system. Crossing my fingers I get selected. 🙂

I may or may not have some creativity for you the rest of the week depending on that –  but as Arnold says…. I’ll be back!

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

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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