A Flock of Misfits for Illustration Friday

Flock of Misfits, Copic Markers with Digital Help

She worries over them all, her adopted family. Sometimes they stay just a little while. Some, like Vicente the sleepy fellow to her right (and her common law spouse), have been together since the beginning. Some say Mariella is the oldest bird living. Others say she is immortal. Only one thing is certain: she’ll never tell.

The topic is “Return” for Illustration Friday. I like the idea of a misfit family of birds, though I am not happy with the execution. You’ll see in the progress pics below that the original background had a friskety swirl like many of my recent entries. But the color was too close in tone to the birds, and though I started to darken it, I kept smudging the black ink so I decided to repair the background by replacing it with some digital clouds (one of my few Paint.NET skills!)

And here’s how it went:

Flock of Misfits Sketch

Flock of Misfits Frisket

Flock of Misfits Color 2

Flock of Misfits Color 3

Flock of Misfits for IF Return

Flock of Misfits with Digital Background

I think I have decided I like my illustrations best where I’ve referenced a photo, even if I only use it for the initial sketch. Though I like many of these silly birds, the tallest one didn’t work out quite right and some of the others might have benefited from just a bit of photographic inspiration. Live and learn and all that!

[On the off chance some of you wonder their names: Top row: Jodi, Podi, Bodi, Kodi (sometimes grumpy). Branch 2: Moppet (sometimes ornery), Braenwyn, Quoc, Afri (top), Bobek. Bottom left: Mariella, Vicente, Radhika (the sweet Auntie, everyone’s favorite), Deva. Right branch: Tiki, Fatima.] The font is Gisha.

Thank you as always for visiting! Brutal critiques (within reason) welcome!


29 thoughts on “A Flock of Misfits for Illustration Friday

  1. Beth Parker

    This post is just wonderful, Cindy. I am locked away inside my sign shop today, playing catch-up. When I stopped for a quick break, I was gifted with this beautiful little fantasy of no bird turned away. I like that idea a lot and you made my day! :)

  2. Gay McKinnon

    I really love this one. You say you aren’t happy with it but I think it’s a new look and a new direction! The plainer background definitely sets off the birds better – it has depth and makes the birds pop. The birds are great and some look like kookaburras. I really like the tallest bird so even if it’s not what you expected, it’s still good.

  3. Beth

    I know what you mean about finding reference material. I like making things up out of my head, but sometimes I think it’s better to find a reference, even if your final picture doesn’t exactly resemble it. Anyway, your illustration looks great to me!

  4. Leslie White

    OMG! This is priceless, Cindy! I think you have just painted some branches of my flowering pear tree in my back yard. I have taken to feeding the birds and enjoy watching their antics. The expressions of each bird is wonderful. That big tall one has got to stand for the pileated woodpecker that visits here and pecks away at my woodpecker block so he or she is just perfect in my eyes. Fascinating and creative is what I call it!

  5. Jennifer Vitale

    Such a lovely little story and I love all of their names so cute. All the little birds are so adorable and I love how each one has it’s own personality. Color 2 is possibly my favorite but recently I have been a big fan of softer colors and that one just really appeals to me.Well done the finished drawing is lovely!

  6. Mary Jane

    Hi Cindy! I am so glad you came by my blog today because now I know of your blog and those delightful birds with the cute story to go with the artwork. Great colour and original characters! A treat to look at.
    And the sharing of your process is so interesting and inspiring.
    PS. Thanks for your kind comments about my stuff today.

  7. Yoyo

    You illustrated each one of their “personality” and I enjoyed looking at them all, amazing! I also enjoy your step by step images!

  8. mardi speth

    Cindy, your posts are delightful! I thoroughly enjoyed your storytelling (and sense of humor). The variety and personalities of birds is great – and your two goats, well I just about busted a gut reading about Sheldon. Hahahaha!

  9. Karen Sagovac

    Fantastic! This is definitely one of my favourite Cindy artworks! Love the sky (amazing what a mistake can lead to?). I really like the composition too and the whacky branches – esepcially the little fella sitted on top of the curly end… :)

  10. angel

    Cindy, such wonderful birds! Each with their own unique personality. Love the addition of interesting and (some) funny names. I look forward to seeing your work and reading your stories every week.

  11. karoeza

    wow, that this is possible with copic markers (you can tell i don’t know much about this technique).

    thanks for your visit to my blog ;)

  12. Cathy Holtom

    Amazing fantasy, I really like how they all have personalities, although I preferred your original idea for the background.
    I’m just off to work for a lady called Mariella, so this will keep me smiling all day :)

  13. bella sinclair

    Goodness, you named them all? But of course you did! What a wonderful family they are. Together, there’s not a misfit among them. Beautiful! And I really like your original sky too. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

Comments are closed.