Hey, Baby Goat
Here, I'm going to detail the process of a commission for my husband's niece - a beautiful, happy little girl who turned 2 yesterday.
Disclaimer: Before you're all "Pfft, cop out! Drawing things instead of buying things!" We tossed around getting her something cute from Seed/Witchery Kids, or some books to help her learn to read (I don't want to be the one trick aunt who only gifts her own illustrations), but my mother-in-law mentioned they had a few frames they were wanting to fill.
Well actually, before sketching I had to decide what to draw. We settled on a baby goat because a) Have you seen a baby goat?! and b) Her Chinese Zodiac is a Goat and I think nursery prints should always mean something!
I start with the eyes, and a light wash of the colours which I then progressively layer in darker ones. Generally, you want to paint in order of lightness to darkness - obviously you can darken shades, but not lighten easily. I gave the baby goat blue eyes to reflect the birthday girl's.
I used a Micron fineliner for these bits. This step is helpful to create the boundaries and focal points of the artwork.
4. Finishing Touches
No personal artwork is complete without something that says "This was made specifically, especially, undoubtedly, obviously for you."
Now's the time to rub out the pencil work, to make people believe you are so talented you didn't need a drawing guide.
I have special warm and fuzzies when I create pieces with a story, for somebody special. If you've got something in mind for your somebody, don't hesitate to reach out - I'd love to hear from you. Even if you're not 100% about what you want, I've done a fair few commissions in my time so I can help you with ideas :)