Catching Up

I haven’t just been doing nothing all this time, I promise!  Here are a few pieces that I have completed or worked on Since my last post in October (how are months flying by so fast?)

Two more versions of the “Halo” painting, in green and blue.  I have prints of Halo and Halo Green available in my Etsy store!  These are special prints, as I have detailed each with gold or silver paint so they will sparkle and shine.

I also finally used a sketch that I had set aside for quite a while to create a painting for my boyfriend’s father for Christmas.  This is likely a sketch I will use to create different versions in the future.

 

A few watercolor paintings that were gifts,  quite similar in style.

 

And finally, one adorable kawaii style fox.

You can find all of these images on my Traditional Art page, and some originals will soon become available in my Etsy shop!

 

 

Inktober: week two

So week two has actually come and gone.. almost a week ago.  I am super behind on getting this Inktober thing up to date!  I had a moment of despair last week where I thought I was too far behind to complete on time, and then I realized – who cares?  If I complete Inktober in November, at least I did it, and that’s what matters the most to me.

This week’s prompts started with “Crooked”, and originally I was going to do a shepherd on a hill with a bunch of sheep, and I even got so far as to sketch it out, but just wasn’t feeling it.  Instead, I decided to draw a crook, and take the word a little less literally.  You’ll notice a trend in the first five days of the week too..  circles. For some reason, circles everywhere.

Day 9’s prompt was “Screech”, so I drew a Northern Screech Owl.  Cute little buggers.  And of course he needed a moon behind him.  Circle 2.

The tenth day’s prompt was “Gigantic” and I fell in love with the idea of trying to convey the scale of a giant monster invading land.  What better monster to do this than Cthulhu?!  He’s also a pretty cute little bugger.  And I put him in a circle.

For circle four – I mean, prompt 11 – the word was “Run”.  Honestly, I wasn’t really feeling this one and I feel like I phoned it in a little bit.  I certainly wasn’t feeling inspired by the word, and I was feeling like I was wasting a lot of time, so I just drew some horses running in front of Mount Shasta.  Meh.  Not my favorite.

Prompt 12 was “Shattered”, and I’ve been wanting to draw a cow skull ever since I ate dinner at Longhorn.  Is that weird?  Anyway, it needed a gold circle, so it got one.

The 13th prompt was “Teeming” and I was feeling a lot like I did on day 11 for this one as well – completely uninspired.  I did the lamest thing and just looked up “teeming” as a google search and saw a picture of a bunch of bees.  I actually really like the way this one came out, and not just because it’s not a flipping circle but I think it has a lot of successes.  It was very hard to photograph without washing out one of the gold bees, so there you have it.

Prompt 14 was “Fierce”, and although this may be one of the subjects a ton of people probably went to with this prompt, I was determined to make it look decent.  I am actually not thrilled with this one just because I know the image I was looking at and I feel like some of the proportions of the tiger’s face just aren’t correct, but I think the style of the fur and the values were a success so it was kind of a mixed bag for me.

Will I be able to complete Inktober on time??  (almost certainly not)
Will I get distracted with the PC Destiny 2 release next Tuesday?? (almost certainly)
Tune in and see what happens next week!

Inktober: week one

It’s October, and to those of you involved in the art community online you’ll probably recognize that as a sign that it is the month of the very popular Inktober challenge!  For those of you not familiar with it, Inktober asks that you draw a picture every day in October.  You are encouraged to use ink and there is a list of prompts for every day of the month which you can use (but it’s not necessary).

This is my first year doing Inktober and I’ve been pretty happy with it so far.  I don’t generally draw using only ink and pens so it’s been really quite nice to push myself out of my comfort zone.  I’ve been using the prompt list because I fear that if I didn’t I would just draw the same stuff I usually do!  Inevitably I am going to draw some of the things that I generally like drawing, but I am using this month as a push to get me further outside of my comfort level and I am trying to draw some things I normally wouldn’t.

Here are my Inktober drawings for the first week.  I’ll be talking about them a little more individually below the gallery.  Click on the images in the gallery below to see them in greater detail.

The first day’s prompt was “swift”.  At first, I attempted to draw a swallow, but gave up on that quickly.  I wish I had followed through with it because I have seen some of my other attempts at doing something different and have been very happy with the results.  I should have pushed through that first day, but I didn’t. Oh well.  This also was the first day I had ever used Copic markers.  I got a set of greyscale Sketch markers for Inktober specifically so you’ll see me using them in every picture this week.

The second prompt was “divided” and I was simply attempting to “divide” the sun and the moon.  The Earth seemed like a good thing to put in between!

Day three was “poison” and I went very, very literal here.  I was excited about this prompt but just couldn’t come up with anything super original so I just drew a poison bottle.  I used some India Ink for the background, which is why it looks a little shiny.

Day four was “underwater” and I think it is my favorite so far.  I love the idea of a dark and scary ocean, and animals bigger than we can comprehend, and I was happy with how it turned out.

The fifth prompt was “long” and I really struggled with inspiration for this one as well.  I ended up deciding to draw a giraffe’s face and I’m quite pleased with how this one came out as well.  I started learning here that doing the tedious little details can really pay off in an ink drawing.

Day six was “sword” and I again went very literal, deciding to draw the sword in the stone.  I spent a lot of time on the trees around the sides of the picture and I’m glad I did, I think they look decent.  The background is again India ink so it’s a bit shiny.

The seventh prompt was “shy”.  At first, I attempted to draw a shying horse but I didn’t like how it was coming out, so I decided that I wanted to draw a woman’s face (comfort zone!) but that she would be covering it up with a sweater.  I decided to go all out and give her a winter hat as well, so I suppose she might look more cold than shy.  Oh well.  Again I tried to concentrate on the details of the hat and how the knitting might look.  It’s not my favorite but I’m still happy with how it looks.

And that is the first seven days of Inktober!  I will post another update in a week with my second week of prompts.

Progress

Buzz told me recently that he was really glad that I have stuck with something.  It made me laugh but also made me feel deeply proud.  I know I have the tendency to try out new mediums, go all-in and intend to create a thousand things using one medium and then get tired of it, or bored, and let my progress fall by the wayside.

Watercolors have really held my attention and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why.  When I was a child I hated watercolors, and because of that experience I am certain that it colored my view of it as an adult.  I was staunchly unwilling to give it another try until I was in my 30’s because I was convinced that it was a form of art that I wasn’t interested in.  It was too delicate, it was too fussy, the colors always end up looking muddy.

At some point I started watching “speed paints” on youtube and realized that I hadn’t been entirely fair to watercolors.  They can be fussy, sure, but that’s part of their beauty.  With experience, you can be relatively certain how a watercolor picture is going to look by the time you’re done, but as a novice there’s certainly a lot of trying and guessing, putting things down on paper while being completely unsure of how it’s going to look in the end.  That’s certainly an adventure in itself.  And watercolors can be beautifully bold, but when they are delicate they are just as gorgeous, and the paint’s subtlety is one of its greatest strengths.

All of this is to say that I am excited about my progress.  I know I have the tendency to focus on female faces, and night skies, but I’m okay with that.  It may seem like I am repeating myself over and over again, but the more I do, the more finely tuned my art becomes and that’s exactly what I want to be working towards.

“Europa”, watercolor and white ink, was done for my sister and now resides on her dining room wall.  I feel like she has more of my original artwork than I do!

Another thing that I have been consciously trying to make sure that I do are color compositions.  I hadn’t really thought about having “drafts” of my artwork since school, but printing out  paper with mini versions of my final image and experimenting with different colors and values has not only been a really fun way to figure out a final version of a painting, but has given me more opportunities to experiment with different techniques and allowed me to practice how I want to set up the larger, finished painting.  Nothing is worse than thinking that I have the perfect vision in my head only to ruin the final version because my vision doesn’t jive with my paints.

Having this process also lets me mull over different possibilities over the course of a day or more, and go back and recreate the same colors  and test them on swatches of white in between the compositions, work out how I want to color in the detailing, or make sure that I have the colors on my palette mixed properly.

And here is the finished verison of the painting that I was working on the compositions for!  I will likely draw the same image again on more watercolor paper and use another composition from the above four to create a second version of this painting  because I like the composition, and of course because practicing makes me better at my craft.

From a different angle, to show the gold detailing.

“Halo” will be available very soon in my etsy store!  I will provide a link when I have the stock in my hands.  There will be two sizes available – an ACEO size, and a 5″x7″.  Both will have the gold detailing hand painted on them (The prints I have ordered of “Halo” were of pictures taken before any of the final gold detailing was laid down), and if you are interested in purchasing a print, please be sure to subscribe to my blog!  The second version of this piece will likely also be offered in prints as well, and I will update you on that as soon as I have them done.