The Art of René Campbell

Artist(s) Drawing
The general art blog of René Campbell, a 20 year-old female currently residing in a little city in South Australia called Adelaide. I study Marine Biology by day, work as a bartender by night, and draw everywhere and anywhere inbetween!

I post my finished pieces of artwork and drawings, sketches, works in progress, photography and thoughts. I will also tend to reblog things that inspire me or what I enjoy. If you want to see nothing but my artwork, you can find it here or through the links below.
NOTE: I do not take commissions at this time and most certainly do not take art requests. Thankyou.

darklordnivlek said: Hey my names kelvin and I was wondering what do you use for your skin tones. Cause I have been looking into getting skintone color pencils and I wanted to see what other great artist recommend.

Hello there! For pencils I use the Derwent brand (usually the Studio set which have harder pigments for details but I sometimes the Artists set which have softer pigment). It’s not really about the brand though, it’s about picking the right colours and knowing how to use them.

I start by making a gradient with one colour (the mid-skin tone, if you will), and overlap that gradient with other colours to blend. I’m not the most proficient with skin tones but I have tackled some relatively realistic pencil pieces in the past with both pencils and a skin-tone set of pastel pencils. Skin tones vary, and it’s important to remember that skin is NOT one colour. There’s a lot of biology going on underneath the flesh, and this changes with anatomy and lighting.

For example, the shadows on skin aren’t just a darker tanned/brown colour. Use a darker colour of the skin tone to lay down some basic shadows, but when getting it realistic, purples, reds, blues and even hints of greens embody shadows really well. The same goes with highlights; a lighter colour of the skin tone to get that gradient down, but yellows, creams, whites, even light pinks, blues and purples make for good highlights. In some of my pieces, I like to use white and black pen for shadows and highlights and to break away from realism and stylise the drawing a bit more. When doing realistic pieces however, it is important to never use just straight whites or blacks to shade (and if you do, use them sparingly or mix them with other colours).

As said before, you can actually buy specific skin-tone sets of coloured pencils and pastels, but these are usually just a range of shades in the tans, beiges and browns, with a peach, yellow or pink colour thrown in and black and white to finish it off. Don’t rely on that set. Remember to pair it with the other colours I’ve mentioned to get a natural look. I’d post my skin tones but I’m about to head off to bed so I’ll do that tomorrow (I might make a basic tutorial if anyone is interested!).

Here’s a basic tutorial on pencil colours to use for skin tones and how to blend them. There’s plenty more out there if you search. Hope that helps, and if you need me to specify anything let me know :)

My phone battery died so I had no music and decided to end tonight’s art session, so here’s a small update. Also showing the colours I’ve used :)

Problems drawing in a traditional medium after drawing digitally.

Problem 1: Trying to erase a mistake by pushing ‘Ctrl + Z’ in one’s mind.

Solution: Grab a real life eraser and use accordingly.

Problem 2: Trying to use the eye dropper tool to select a colour.

Solution: Physically pick up the coloured pencil/paint you want and blend.

Problem 3: Trying to save progress before getting up to grab a cup of tea.

Solution: Just leave it; there’s no risk of it crashing.

Problem 4: Trying to rotate the image using Photoshop commands.

Solution: Just use your hands.

Coming along slowly. I was really hoping to have this done by now, but I should have it finished before holidays are over!
Animation comparing 'Deceiver' with the new coloured version I’m working on (~25% completion).
Will update with proper comparisons when I’m finished :) 

Animation comparing 'Deceiver' with the new coloured version I’m working on (~25% completion).

Will update with proper comparisons when I’m finished :) 

Getting some highlights in. Still a while to go yet!

Various Tattoos people have of my art work - ‘Prevailer’ and ‘The Fabric of Life.’

Unfortunately tattoo artist names and locations cannot be provided at this stage.

Various Tattoos people have of my art work - ‘Fissure,’ ‘Echo,’ ‘Gengar’ and ‘Curiosity.’

Unfortunately tattoo artist names and locations cannot be provided at this stage.

Various Tattoos people have of my art work - ‘Observer’ and ‘Deviser.’

Unfortunately tattoo artist names and locations cannot be provided at this stage.

Took some advice from RJ (Arvalis) and decided to re-evaluate how I shaded the metal (the legs and torso compared to the rather over-the-top fore wing). I’m planning on adding more textures, dents and scratches that also show fleshy tissue underneath for a more ‘organic’ look.Due to university restrictions and family issues, I won’t be working on much art for the next week or so.
Starting to add detail and stuff.
Skarmory progress. Time to actually make the metal reflections look how they should in the real world.
Skarmory, working on the lineart! Nothing like some fanart between essay write ups :)

A lot of people have asked me if having a print account, such as Society6, is ‘worth it.’ Of course, it starts out slow as you expose your work and build up an audience. And of course, you only make a small profit from the prints and merchandise sold (however, you are able to choose what your work sells for and thus the profit gained from each sale). Most popular print sites such as Society6 and Redbubble are quite flexible and are assertive towards the artwork of the artist, the quality of the merchandise sold and to the customers who buy the product. In addition, the companies tend to share artist’s work and link to their print accounts on the front of their websites or through Facebook, and even personally contact artists and address questions made by customers.

The $1,633 that’s been paid completely has accumulated since I first started my Society6 account in around May, 2012 (the first image). The $677 pending transactions and the $95 that have been cleared have been all from this month (thanks to ‘I Fucking Love Science’ for sharing my work and linking to my Society6 page, 95% of those sales were made within a few days). So, exposure is a good thing! And often these websites double in another online portfolio and art-based community which is neat.

On my first month, I made $15.60, then got around to the $40-$70 mark (the second image). By this year, I was making over $100-$150 each month and in this last month I’ve made over $700. Most of my sales come from only a few select pieces of work, others are not very popular, which further goes to show what types of artwork are appealing for merchandise.

Another great thing about Society6/Redbubble etc. is that you retain the copyright to your artwork and designs. I’ve been offered to sell my artwork via many small, independent companies (often overseas) that wish to commission me or buy the rights to already existing or future artworks and use them for merchandise. I always decline because I don’t know how my artwork is being utilised and managed. Bigger companies are much more trustworthy and have a huge array of amazing artists that recommend them. I will be adding more and updating my Society6 in the near future and possibly making a Redbubble account as well. Other worthy websites to check out include Behance and Etsy. Here’s another whole rundown on other websites that offer similar features.

So yes, having a print account is worth it if you’re willing to expose your work like you do with any other website and to update it frequently, and of most importance, appealing to a target audience (some things make cooler prints than others, or cooler T-Shirt designs than others). There are some hugely popular and amazing artists on these websites that are so well established with their work and the products they sell, that they make a rather comfortable profit. While these websites probably aren’t enough to pay your rent consistently, they offer a good opportunity to gather cash on the side and to showcase your work as well. 

Edit: I’ve now made nearly $1,000 this month now. Worth it!

Society6 FAQ | Redbubble FAQ

I haven’t worked on ‘Lady Lionfish’ for a few weeks so I decided to do a tad more. I apologise about the lighting, I was using a lamp.