My Creative Process: Ailani

Hello Citizens of The Blogosphere,

I’ve only been to Hawaii once, it was on a cruise several years ago. I remember it being a calming and beautiful place, with a clear sky, plants and flowers everywhere and a deep blue ocean. To commemorate my trip, I purchased a faux kukui nut necklace. The necklace is composed of kukui nut shaped beads made of plastic, strung on a dark brown ribbon. To this day, this necklace is still one of my favorites and it inspired the art piece I will share with you today.

My Faux Kuki Nut Necklace

After inspiration struck, I got to work…

The first thing I did was create a light pencil sketch. After I was happy with the composition, I darkened some of the pencil lines so that I could easily see them as I colored.

Pencil Drawing.
Completed Pencil Drawing.

When the drawing was complete, I gathered my colored pencils. For this piece, I used my Prismacolor Premier colored pencils.

I rarely have a set plan for the exact colors I’m going to use in a piece, but I do typically have a general idea of what I want the piece to look like. Often times, I like to start off by coloring the main figure and then work my way out to the background. This is so I can ensure that I select a background color that is compatible with the skintone.

Her face comes to life with color.
Coloring in her skin.

After her skin and facial features were done, I began to work on the objects in the foreground, such as the flower in her hair and her kukui nut necklace.

Details and outlines.
A Flower in her Hair.

For her hair, I decided to use different shades of blue to mirror the deep blue Hawaiin ocean of my memories.

Deep blue hair, like the deep blue sea.

Once the foreground image was complete, I chose a somewhat neutral background (apricot) to tie the colors together. To create a more polished look, I used a colorless blending pencil to burnish any areas where the white paper was visible.

Burnishing with a Prismacolor Colorless Blender Pencil.
Burnishing with a Prismacolor Colorless Blender Pencil.

To add some finishing touches, I used a dark brown colored pencil to intensify shadows and refine details.

Standing back to admire half a day's worth of work.
Standing back to admire half a day’s worth of work.

When the piece was complete, it was time to give her a name. I chose Ailani, meaning “high chief,” in Hawaiin. I chose this name because she is strong and regal, and I remembered reading somewhere that historically kuki nut necklaces were worn by royalty.

Ailani. Copyright. Annotated Audrey. 2015©
Ailani. Copyright. Annotated Audrey. 2015©

Although this piece took quite a while to complete (several hours), I really enjoyed creating it. It was fun to get inspired by a memory and to sit down with my colored pencils and take time to make something nice.

sign off

Read More About My Creative Process:

If you like my art or even just found it interesting, follow this blog @ Also, like my Facebook fan page and follow me on Instagram to get updates about new works that I create. If you would like to find out more about me or connect with me on other social media networks…click here to visit my about me page!


Copyright Notice:

All images contained in this post are copyrighted by the artist. All rights reserved. Please do not use these images without permission.

I encourage you to share these images, but if you do please give me credit as I worked hard to create these pieces.

Thank You!

3 thoughts on “My Creative Process: Ailani

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