Dorothy Fatunmbi has an Instagram!

Hello! I got a small sketchbook earlier this year and started posting some sketches to Instagram. I wanted to build a habit of drawing daily.  I figure the more work I can produce, the more problem solving I can do and the more I can close that gap between good and darn good!

You can visit my page by clicking on the image below. My username is @dorothyfatunmbi. Take a look, follow and comment if you are so inclined! Have a good one!





Photo editing and Compositing in Photoshop to Create a Dreamscape

I am so accustomed to using Photoshop for digital painting, this was an interesting change of pace. I learned some new tricks and tips here that I now apply to my digital paintings!

The purpose of this project was “paint” a picture using a collage of photographs. I wrote down a few words that would serve as overarching themes and guidelines for me as I sketched out possible compositions. This final composite came from the themes – “Whimsy,” and “Contrasting Scale.” As an undergrad, I did research with a passionate ornithologist who got me into birding. This was created in light of my enjoyment and love for birds. 😀

First, I placed the collected images in a general layout. I scaled and edited each photograph to fit the scene.
Then I began manipulating the image with blend modes and scanned textures.

Work in progress of a photoshop composite

Here, I continued working with blend modes, masks, and scale.
Work in progress of a photoshop composite

I changed the scale of the child and the birds and began integrating the birds more into the scene with painted shadows and masks. I also started orienting the birds so that some of them were facing the birder.
Work in progress of a photoshop composite

I have a strong propensity towards warm hues as you can tell in the previous image haha. So I scaled back the warmth here, added binoculars and a scan of my Peterson’s bird book to tuck under the child’s arm.
The final image is below!
Photoshop composite of a contented birder

Every image here is open source except for the tree. Credit for the tree image goes to Louis Dallara. Thanks for looking!

Photoshop Process Illustration – Olive Oil Bottle Layers

Hi there! I am working on a series of illustrations for a little project. This one was particularly fun to do because I happen to love olive oil haha. If you’ve ever dipped fresh-baked bread in herbed olive oil, you know what It’s like – ambrosial.

OK, moving along! Good reference photos made all the difference here. I photo-researched olives and dark brown glass bottles. Below are my Photoshop layers.


Thanks for looking!

Ink illustration of a flower

I love a good ink illustration! The contrast is marvelous and the lines have an entirely different presence on paper than say a pencil sketch would. Also, there’s no undo with traditional ink so my decisions have to be deliberate. That’s helpful for me as an artist. Sharpens the old observation skills!

This first attempt was with an ink pen I had in my bag. The struggle was real haha. I quickly learned to look twice, draw once and embrace imperfection.

I did this one the next day with a micron pen and I just told myself to have fun with it, without stressing about trying to make it look good.

Value Study with a Sphere – Getting Rid of Bad Drawing Habits

In preparation for an illustration that I am working on I re-visited the value scale and basic shading. Below is the sketch that I just finished in my pad. After finishing the sketch I did 2 small quick sketches of a sphere to see how I have been approaching this in the past.

Lo and behold, I realized that I have been oversimplifying my shading into 3 main values – spotlight, highlight, and  core shadow. *slaps forehead!* This is so wrong haha. This sketch reminded me the that there are no edges in the gradations between values. It is a seamless meld. It is good to re-visit the basics.

value study with a sphere



Contour Line Drawing of Organic Forms

I took on the task of creating a contour line drawing of an organic form. My first attempt was to sketch a curled leaf

Leaf Sketch

I knew that this couldn’t be a true contour line drawing though since It looked like a sketch that I would normally do. I tried again with drawing several studies of my hand on an 18″ by 24″ page. In the end, they looked like more line drawings sans shading.

So I thought what is a contour line drawing?! Turns out it is a “close-level observation of edges”. And by edges, I mean clearly visible edges, not “guestimations” based on memory or familiarity with the subject. The leaf above is more an example of a descriptive drawing and wasn’t complex enough to pull material from. So, I turned to a piece of ginger.
Contour Line Drawing of Ginger

That is a contour line drawing. Close-ups of the contour lines are below.

That drawing was definitely a “record of an intense observational experience – Barbara Buckman” and I’m not gonna lie, I and that piece of ginger weren’t exactly on good terms while I drew it haha. 🙂 But we’re cool now. Truth be told, I love lines and that’s what this project is all about. After the piece of ginger, I went back and looked for more subject matter to draw. Enter this lovely loaf of bread.


Before you think – really? I implore you – Check. Out. This. Texture – Beautiful! Those edges? A line artist’s dream.


I wanted to introduce composition into this piece so I pulled out my small sketch pad and did some studies. Before starting, I folded a slice of bread to give me a more three-dimensional shape to work with. Then, I allowed it to dry out over a few days because honestly, I’m not interested in moldy bread or critters. After that, I broke the bread into pieces and got to drawing!

Contour Line Drawing of Bread

That image was 18″ by 24″ making it too big for me to scan. I have included some detail shots below. This Christmas, I’m getting myself a big scanner haha.

This goes to show you, even a clump of ginger and a piece of dried bread can be sources of art!