Influx

My site traffic had the biggest spike in the existence of my blog yesterday, thanks largely to the kind mouth-words of the incredible Galen Dara and magnificent Tracey Hurley (who you might remember from Prismatic Art Collection fame).

Potatowl

So in celebration, I have kicked my butt into gear and finished these two little creatures that have been drifting somnolently through various stages of completion for the past several months. Enjoy!

Kestrel drake

Cheers of thanks to everyone who takes the time to ogle my poor drawings and peruse my scant little words. I appreciate all of you.

Perfect for hanging on your wall

Elm 1, An old forest

Some new arts to share! Because The Future Fire, feminist magazine of speculative fiction, is finally back from hiatus! I provided these two illustrations for the story Elm by Jamie Killen, which is a poignant love story about a girl and a dryad and making difficult choices. My images are a tiny bit spoiler-y seen together, but not too. Go read it anyway!

Elm 2, Flora and Fauna

In other news, have you heard about Turning Art, the monthly subscription service for wall art? Well, I have a profile there! Just in case it’s something that seems like your cup of tea. I mean, new art every month! Supporting individual artists! Buying things easily! What’s not to like?

There’s also my (recently refreshed) etsy shop, if you want just my art in particular. Or you could request a commission. I like those. ;)

Drawing inspiration

You’ve heard the recommendation to draw studies from the work of folks who inspire you, to get a sense for their craft, right? I’d add that it also helps you appreciate their work on an entirely different level. Take these sketches I did from Rembrandt the other day. I love the intense darks and smoky sepia tones in his work, but it took sketching from him to realize just how subtle and mischievous the facial expressions of his subjects are. For anyone who’s painted or drawn from a live model, you’ll realize what a challenge this is–over very long sitting periods both artist and model tend to settle into a grim and rigid expression. The number of quick sketches he did for these must have been extensive.

Rembrandt sketches

The look of bemusement on the man in the gorget’s face–I’m imagining that this is a ridiculous outfit even for the wealthy of 17th century Holland. Or the sly and considering look of the woman in the door, her wedding ring just peeking over the top of her blouse. You can really see why his work is so enduring.

Manhunt, an illustration

An illustration I very recently completed has gone live on AEScifi.ca, The Canadian Science Fiction Review, so now I can share!

Manhunt

What. No men here.

I was extremely flattered when the editor sent me this story, telling me that he felt my style suited it. It’s strange and poignant and grotesque, all the qualities I love best in one place.

So check it out, and read the entire issue while you’re over there!

The thumbnail sketches from the project are after the cut, for the curious.

Continue reading

Beastly

A sketchbook spread using the idea of ‘beauty and the beast’ as a stepping off point.

Beauty and the Beast

I’m working on a number of things that can’t really be shared until the projects launch, so this is all I have to show for myself at the moment. Enjoy?
(You can click it for a full view, since my blog’s format wasn’t wide enough for it. Any suggestions for stock wordpress themes that are more accommodating to art?)

(Oh, and it’s ebony pencil in a moleskine sketchbook, for anyone curious)

Pleased to make your acquaintance, Monami: a product review

Some of you may recall my love of Jetpens.com and all the wonderful pens I’ve gotten from them. How I coped before my beloved sepia Tachikawa fountain pen, or my Zebra G nibs I do not recall. I’m still on my very first of the nibs, by the way, and it’s lasted me close to a year at this point!

In any case, Jetpens has sent me a random pen to review. A highlighter, to be specific. I was surprised to see it, as I don’t believe I’ve used a highlighter in more than five years, and the ones I recall were pretty terrible. I always got those Avery brand Hi-Liters, with the horrible and easily frayed felt tips that dropped giant puddles of ink on everything they touched.

The pen, itself

The highlighter they sent, the Monami Essenti, was probably as much of a contrast to the the Hi-Liter as probably exists in the highlighter world. It’s slim, for one, with a very pleasing pen-like profile and a hard chisel tip. Very hard, in fact, for being the “soft” version.

The nib

The ink comes out smoothly, with only an initial pooling when the nib first hits the page. The nib being a lot harder and narrower than I’m used to (the effective width is just barely wider than the lines of text I was testing it on) it took some practice for me to get a straight, consistent line.

The 'lite

As with any pen, the final test is whether it bleeds through common substrates. The initial little dollop of ink soaked through just a little on medium-weight printer paper, but the rest of the line didn’t. I don’t have anything bible-weight to practice on, but in my estimation it would likely soak through such thin paper.

The bleed

Conclusion: It’s a nice, lightweight highlighter with a lovely pale blue color and a firm nib. Would be ideal for books and copied pages, but would likely bleed through anything super thin.

Introduction

Bonus feature: Instead of a standard pocket clip, the Essenti has a nice little spring-loaded clip.