Hire me to design your heavy metal band’s album covers

Basically a stream of consciousness drawing. Used a nice, big dip-pen nib and some lovely gooey Windsor & Newton “Nut Brown” ink. Got very, very into working big globs of ink into feathery little lines.

Harvesting Snakeweed, linesThen I painted it! Forgetting that Nut Brown is not one of W&N’s water-fast inks! Ah well. I think the bleeding actually worked for this sketch.

Harvesting Snakeweed, colorIn the future, I’ll use some Dr. PH Martin’s Bombay, or maybe just ink on top of a prepared watercolor layer. Did try using FW Acrylic’s Sepia, but it’s just too damn dark, and doesn’t spread nearly so nicely.

What do you think? Is this a method I should explore in greater detail?

A little proto-avian in the morning

Just sharing this little sketch. I’ve started using a Strathmore watercolor postcard pad as a watercolor sketchbook, since I’ve been unable to find a decent pocket-sized one elsewhere. So this is only 4 x 6″.

Confusciusornis Sketch

Confuciusornis Sketch

Confuciusornis is one of the most common fossils we have. Literally hundreds of fully intact, which means we know a bit more about it than many other early birds. It lived during the early Cretaceous, and had a toothless beak and a fused (pygostyle) tail, which is what allows birds to flex and flare their tail feathers. It couldn’t lift its wings above its back, and that coupled with its wing-claws indicates that it was more of a climb-then-glide sort of bird. Still, pretty neat how close it was considering it evolved to this state 125 million years ago.

This is just a quick sketch, so not wholly accurate! For one, there’s no indication that they had tertiary feathers, or any on their upper arms… I’ll have to do another Confuciusornis soon, I really like the species. The tree it’s sitting on is period-accurate as well, but I can’t for the life of me recall what it’s named.

Everything goes back to normal

So I think my art crisis is over. I’m back to painting in about the same way I did originally (save for the fact that I ink last, rather than first) and I no longer feel quite as convinced that my color work is terrible. I do think that the experimentation was really useful, but it’s nice not to feel so panicky whenever I think about making work for someone. Expect more of that sort of thing next time I start feeling insecure about my art (which knowing me will probably be next week).

Three creaturesI tried using gouache for the first time in this one! And I also used salt successfully for the first time! So I guess I’m not actually done experimenting, but at least it’s more typical to my work. Ink, I missed you. I think I’d like to practice painting slimy things some more.

I was having an extremely strong urge to draw pokémon fanart, which I channeled into this instead. So I guess this is what pokémon would look like if I’d been the one to design them. This must be your three starter options. Which would you choose?

I forgot to get a scan of the initial pencil lines, but I do have an ink-less and gouache-less stage below the cut, if you’re interested.

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Summer is here

And the AC has already broken twice this season, both times on the hottest stretches of the week. This time, it was three days of no air conditioning + heat index of 105*F = lying on the couch beneath a ceiling fan drinking water and feeling miserable. Occasionally I got up and changed the cats’ water, or attempted to bathe them so they’d be a tiny bit less miserable themselves, but that was about it. Oh, I managed one sketch in my moleskine.

Waiting-for-AC dragon sketch

Thanks for not bringing the fire 'round, dragon. Looks nice and cool in that lake.

Summer is not my favorite season. More art and sketches soon, now that the AC is trundling along again.

Just some quick paint

He hunts by night

The canny might recognize a recurring character, here. :3

Not much to this post, I’m afraid. I forgot to document the WIP steps for this one, which is really too bad since it’s another one of my experiments (and one I rather like).

Contrary to what I said of the Alice piece last time, I ended up using that watercolor outlining technique again. Worse, I’m starting to think and plan my paintings in terms of it. :| I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, yet. Input would be greatly valued.

I also tried something a bit differently with the way I planned the color scheme, simplifying each background object down to a single color, and each focal point to a main color and at most one or two secondaries. I’ve always really admired artists who worked that way, and I enjoyed it myself. Might be a tack to take in order to fix my eternal color-scheme illiteracy.

So I said I was experimenting…

This is one of those pieces I mentioned in my last post! It started out as a sketch for a birthday present, became super serious and then became a great big mess of a project that took far too long… but I could list grievances for every piece I work on, and I’m not really that upset with the end result. Though the cat’s face… *sigh*. I tried using watercolor for the linework, as I did with the Eeyore painting, and it turned out a lot chunkier than I intended. Not certain yet whether I consider that a bad thing…

Ah well, you win some… But you always win at art, because you learn something new, right?

Alice Liddell meets the Cheshire Cat

Alice Liddell meets the Cheshire Cat

Several other projects are coming close to a finished state too, so stay tuned!