Melanie comes from a family of hobbyist artists - her grandfather is a retired electrical engineer who dabbles in multi-media art on the side, her entrepreneur uncle used to also doodle for fun as a cartoonist, and her late aunt was an impressionist painter. Mel drew, colored, and painted until she was 9, but unfortunately gave up art until she was 22.
Thanks to the end of school, Mel was able to start @drawingwithyu on Instagram and TikTok in 2021, with a focus on photorealistic drawings and colored pencils as her favorite physical medium. Each piece is approximately 11 x 12 and takes 30-40 hours to complete. See if you can locate her very first portrait!
One of Mel's dreams is to someday host or even own her own art gallery.
She is now trying out her hand at digital art. More coming soon!
Feel free to send me a message down below for any other questions too!
For physical art - when I was 8, my parents finally saw my passion for art and enrolled me in a local art center. I was in the class once a week almost every week for a few months, and right as I was about to move up to the more advanced classes, my parents pulled me out for other activities instead. From then on I wasn't able to draw or paint as much due to lack of time with school and lack of supplies, so I gave up on art for years. I would sketch and doodle occasionally throughout the years, but I never had the opportunity to take another class after that. The portraits, drawings, and everything you see above are pieces I did all in the span of Jan 2021-Mar 2021. I haven't drawn recently due to work, but will be back on it soon enough!
For digital art - nope! I've been waiting to get my iPad and finally got it this year. I'm experimenting with it and just learn based on short clips on Instagram from my favorite digital artists, or from the occasional TikTok! Otherwise, it's all experimentation.
I've found that it helps to find an image I really like, and then put it next to me as I'm drawing, zooming in here and there as I'm focusing on a particular feature of the person or image. It helps me picture the proportions in my head and how they would look on paper - I lightly sketch a pencil outline, then start coloring on top of that while softly erasing the pencil outlines. I've tried the shape methods (drawing circles and ovals and squares, etc.) but they don't work as well for me. Also, the key to the colored pencils is Prismacolor! I love love love Prismacolor colored pencils - once you go Prismacolor, you can never go back. I also use a blending pencil and an eraser pencil (pencil but instead of lead, it's an eraser). I also love using Strathmore paper!
Considering the amount of time, effort, and used materials, I have made it a personal goal to only draw for myself. I have done paid commissions before for various requests and art styles, but they take a lot of time that I unfortunately no longer have. I've been considering continuing my portrait series, and if people like them enough I might sell art prints! If you're interested, shoot over a message - would love to gauge interest!
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