Few weeks ago, I had the idea of making digital bottle charms. I love making the real thing, but there’s no need for them right now. Also, I absolutely adore all those images people create, where an object or person is filled with something, usually a liquid with objects in it. I tried making a night and day soda can a while ago, which I think turned out really fine, but I wanted something more. Something magical.

I grabbed my physical bottles and sat down with pen and paper to try and sketch something I could digitalize. Even when using the perfect reference, it took me 3 tries to get a result that I was happy with. I then scanned it and made the line art in Inkscape, after which I printed a lot of bottles on a sheet of A4 paper. It was easier to just sketch my ideas like this, and I was also having a friend over, so sitting in front of the PC all the time would have been rude…

The next day, I sat down to fill my first bottle, and it was with something I hadn’t even sketched, so go figure… It wasn’t hard to create the water surface, clouds, moon, stars and sparkles, but what got me aggravated was working with layers and gradients. Inkscape is not layer friendly at all, and the more layers you need, the worse it gets. Also, gradients seem to work in mysterious ways. I just want to fill my layer with a gradient and change the color of it when needed, but somehow it changes color on its own, and even worse is, when it decides to add another color to your gradient, that you never even asked for. I’m sure that there’s an easier way to do this, but I just haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe I’ll go watch some tutorials.

After adding gradients to basically every layer possible, I liked my outcome, and my first bottle was done. I kept everything pastel on purpose, and wanted to go with such colors for my next bottles as well. My second bottle was an inside joke from the Line chat, where I sketched some tentacles in a bucket, because I got it as a prompt from a website, and just went with it. This time, it was of course a tentacle in a bottle. I had to scan the sketch and draw the tentacle along the lines though, since it turned out horrible when trying to draw it freehand on the screen. It ended up looking really cute though, and is probably my favorite one so far.

My third bottle was a classical Alice in Wonderland bottle, with a tag that says ‘Drink me’. The contents of the bottle were easy and pretty straightforward to create, but my challenge came with the tag, and the string/chain that attached it to the bottle. I don’t know what went wrong, but it took me the absolute longest to create that simple tag, and I kept changing up the chain as well, because I was never really satisfied with the colors, the shape or whatever. In the end, I even managed to fiddle with the contents of the bottle again, because… I don’t know. I like how it turned out though.

So after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I had 3 finished bottles, and I love them! They’re all uploaded to Redbubble, but I’m having issues with Society6, so they’re not all there yet, sadly. I’ve got plans to create more, but not right now. I really need a break from all those layers and gradients. In the meantime, I created my first brush in roughly 10 years, and also made my first custom shapes set for Photoshop. They’re on sale over on my Ko-fi account, so check them out!

Read about my journey into creating my first full artwork using Inkscape here: Thief King Bakura – The 2 years project

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