13 Days of Halloween – Witches

13 days of halloween

One of the things on my 20 Before 20 list was to do a line art swap.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t felt like I was good enough to do it.

The lovely NinaHah, who drew this awesome art for me, agreed to swap with me.  We settled on a full body drawing, without a background, of one of the recipients characters, and given the time of year, we went with a Halloween theme.  We were gonna draw the characters in a Halloween outfit.

I had a look at Nina’s Deviant Art page and picked her character Mariola.

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After a quick sketch…

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… I got started on the piece to swap.  I wanted to put her in a witch outfit, because witches are awesome.  I didn’t want to be boring and go traditional though.  So I added some style.  I don’t know if it’s good style – I have no fashion sense.  But I like it.  I appear to be a little obsessed with striped socks.

line art2.png

It’s very weird drawing a piece when you have no intention of colouring it.  Very weird.  But I scanned the drawing into the computer and tidied it up, then sent it to Nina.  She was very excited to start planning colours.

So what did she draw for me?

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Another witch!  I guess great minds think alike.  This is my character Wren.

I considered printing and colouring her traditionally, but I really want to work on my digital skills.  The method I’m used to using to colour images is to make clipping masks, but that requires transparency instead of white.  I figured out a way to make the white transparent, but then I spent an hour deleting individual pixels from the intricate bits.

Screw this.  I’ll just colour around the lines.  This wasn’t as easy as it sounds.  My tablet isn’t a proper graphics tablet.  It’s just a touch screen.  And so the stylus that I have to use is a great big thick rubber end – it’s hard to be accurate.  The colouring around the lines took forever.

And then Nina taught me about multiply layers.  All of a sudden it was a lot easier.

I had a lot of fun doing it.  I’m continuously learning new skills with digital art – this time I figured out getting the gradients in the hair.

before background

Figuring out how to add a background was also a bit difficult, but I got there in the end.  I’m pretty sure that most things I do digitally I do the long and complicated way round.  But I’m learning.

One of the biggest things I’m learning is to not obsess over every tiny pixel.  When I work, because of the tablet style, I work very close up.


It makes me want to make sure that every single pixel is perfect.  But I’m trying to resist that, and I think my finished piece looks freaking awesome.


Thank you for doing this collaboration with me, Nina.  I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with my drawing of Marie.

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Author: Colette Horsburgh

A 30-something creator/baker/writer/artist/crafter living with several (but not enough) scatty animals.

4 thoughts on “13 Days of Halloween – Witches”

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