Thursday, April 17, 2014

First WIP Look at the Angel Piece

Second posting in one day!  Now this doesn't happen often... hm, like never, is more accurate. ^^;  Because I was resting my hands from all the weed pulling (and digging and mixing) I've been doing, I actually got around to get started in watercolor on the angel piece I showed earlier this month.

The color phase is always more fun for me than the extreme mental effort (absolute focus required) of inking phase. :D  This is a lot more relaxing and if I make a mistake, I could always follow the advice of Bob Ross ("There are no mistakes.  Only happy accidents.") and turn a mistake into a happy accident... or lift the color a little and rework the area again later.  Things are not as unforgiving as they seem. ^_^

Anyhow, the first phase was a wash in the shades of brown with some table salt for random texture.  Now it's back to being warm (higher than average daily high again) and dry, speed becomes an issue.  (I love painting with watercolor in the middle of a thunder storm where things don't dry out so quickly. :D  )  After it dried, I started out putting in the shades.  Probably about 1/3 of the way through... maybe?  Nowhere near done, that's for sure, but she's been a joy to work on.  Something magical happens when I'm working on her -- the energy that comes to me is very calming and loving ... angelic and peaceful.  Overall, a very good, positive feeling.

I'm planning on making the roses some shades of pink and have more subdued color to this.  It's not planned as a monochromatic in a strict sense of the word.  It's just looking that way so far. ^_^  Would be putting highlights and maybe even give her wings some slight iridescence with some acrylic paint.  I love working with brown wash as a base.  It seems to help ground my mood as I get going with colors.

New Digi Releases

Just now catching up on this blog... ^^;  The yarden (yard & garden) required much of my time in the past week with planting of the seeds and lots of weeding.  My hands needed a break from gardening, so I'm getting up to date on my art stuff today.  

In the past several days, I've released a few more new digis.  These were all digitally drawn for a change because I was pressed for time.  I really prefer to do my lines the traditional way with my ballpoint pen on paper as stylus on my Intuos 3 tablet is just too slick and I feel a bit out of control and I definitely prefer the line quality of pen on paper that I get.  But hey, compromise is not a dirty word. :D

Though not a fantasy piece, I've been wanting to add a wedding image to the digi collection, so here it is.  And I know how popular calla lilies are with a lot of my fans, so I just had to throw that in there as well. XD  Drawing this image made me want to find a couple that is getting married just so I could use the image to make a card! LOL   This digital stamp is available at my Etsy shop here.

Next, I took on the task of inking (digitally) the two sprites that were sitting as pencil scribbles on my shelf for the past several weeks.

Here's Easter Lily Sprite, which is, I'd say, a cousin to my Tiger Lily Sprite who was born earlier last year. :D  Basically very similar, but this one holds a bloom of Madonna lily and she has arms that are more like human arms.  ^_^  Just changing things around as the mood strikes.  Nothing too complicated about these sprites.  They are meant to be simple and whimsical.  She is available here.

This guy's got to be one of my top 5 favorites, along with Little Lotus Sprite (the one that is sitting in meditation, but peeking with one eye open) and Snapdragon Sprite (holding a baby dragon).  I was missing some Japanese early spring greens.  We usually had to go up in the mountains to forage some tender shoots of various ferns, trees, and grass.  Bamboo shoots are so nice and tender and YUMMY!  :D  So when I started thinking about them, I came up with this guy - Bamboo Shoot Sprite with Baby Bro.  I love how he's babysitting the wee one on his back and holds a branch of bamboo as a rattle.  Another fun detail is that he wears Japanese tabi socks and not those curly, pointy, sprite booties I give to many of my Sprites. :D  Variety!  This guy can be found here.

I've been working again on the listings at the web shop .  This digital stamps shop on my web site is separate from my Etsy shop that I've been working on little by little.  My digi collection is divided into catetgories by style and subject to make navigation slightly easier than the Etsy shop.  Another positive is that you don't have to make an account to just shop there.  You can just drop by, put your items in shopping cart and check out via PayPal (you can use all major credit card without setting up PP account).  Just  be sure that you'll be able to download all your purchases within 24 hours.  The shop will send a download link and you'll have 24 hours to download. ^_^

That's it for today. :D  I'm hoping that I can finally get to the angel illustration with watercolor today.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A New Work in Progress

Finally getting around to a request from a dear friend that I've been wanting to get to for weeks.  I was asked to do an angel with roses and pearls.  I had a definite image come to me the other day when I was in the middle of something, and of course, I just grabbed a small piece of paper that happened to be near by..

Pencil scribble was done on a piece about 5" x 7" and needless to say, it was too small for me to give her the glorious wings she deserved to have.  But I really liked her gentle expression and the pose with the little bird on her hand. :D

Several days later, I was finally able to transfer her to a much better paper (my usual Strathmore bristol vellum 140 lb. that is great for my kind of ink & watercolor mixed media) today and get her inked. :D  After doing a lot of small scale pieces (ACEOs at 2.5" x 3.5"), A4, which is about 8.27"x 11.69" (I trimmed my 9" x 12" paper with the paper cutter - A4 was marked on the board to make my job easy!).  Plenty large enough for me to comfortably put in details where it's called for and leave plenty of breathing room for the image. :D  Kind of refreshing!

I didn't realize while I was drawing her, but this is actually my first angel. :D  I don't have anything against angels, ... the thought of drawing one didn't occur to me until now.  Well, everything in its due time.  This is a very special piece for a special friend, so I wanted to take some extra time and make sure I did my personal best.  I'm really happy with the way she came out so far.  I'll be coloring her in the next day or two. :D *excited*

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Giveaway on My Facebook Art Page

It's been a while since I ran a giveaway on my FB art page.   Things were going like crazy for a while and I simply didn't have the time to do much on that page, but now that I'm managing to pace myself a little better, I can do these once-a-month special events. :D

Please go to my FB art page if you'd like to be entered into this drawing at the end of the month.  This is a very nice, off white, 100% cotton canvas tote bag measuring 14" x 14" x 3", printed with my "Black Lace Angel Fish" design (print area is approximately 8" x 8").  The details of the crazy lace fins and tail are beautifully reproduced in this black and white image.  Quite stunning, if I may say so myself. XD

I usually only give away prints, so this is something different.  Yet it's practical for me to offer since it is lightweight and doesn't cost me a lot to ship if the winner happens to be from outside the US. ^^;   Once I made a mistake of offering a porcelain mug in a giveaway, which was subsequently won by someone in England.  The postage far exceeded the retail value of the mug itself.  Yeah, that one didn't make sense. LOL

Live and learn.  Now that I've been on Etsy for almost a year and a half and I've streamlined the shipping process and figured out where to buy my packing and shipping supplies, I won't be making that kind of mistake again. ^_^

I would like to also offer tea towels, but I have not been able to find a cost-effective solution (= a printing company with reasonable price structure for small businesses).  I've had offers from a few printers, but they always want such huge 'minimum', it's making me stop and think twice about the whole thing. ^^;

Meanwhile, the next product is in its planning stage.  I'm waiting to hear from the 'people' before I can mention it here.  *fingers crossed*

Saturday, March 29, 2014

As April Approaches

Things have calmed down considrably after the launch of Aurora Wings Challenge Blog for the digital stamps/crafting community.  I feel I can once again redirect my energy more towards creating.  And I do have a lot of ideas just keep coming.  One thing I'm never short of is ideas and inspirations.  No such thing as an art block with me (well, so long as people don't send me weird requests for commissions LOL).

"Buddha & Willow" ACEO in ink & watercolor on bristol vellum (140 lb.)
Just finished this commissioned ACEO for one of my biggest digi customers and active members of the Stamps by Aurora Wings group, Fernanda.  She rescues dogs and these are her fur babies Buddha (pitbull) and Willow (American Eskimo).  It's supposed to be a present for her special someone.  I was glad to be able to finish it in plenty of time.

I believe these guys are my first dog images. XD  Everyone pretty much knows what a Crazy Cat Lady I am and I'm quite comfortable around cats and drawing cats is easy.  Although I'm perfectly comfortable around most dogs, I can't say I can draw them with my eyes closed... ^^;  So I'm pretty happy with the way these guys came out for this digital stamp/ACEO combo.  I actually had more fun than I anticipated ("Dreaded" may be more accurate a word for this scenario...?).

Other things that were sort of tucked away on the upper shelf at my work station are two sprites. ^^;

Sprites Sketch -  "Bamboo Shoot" and "Easter Lily"
I scribbled these guys on two pieces of scrap paper (Once a doodler, always a doodler.) while I was taking a break from some of the more tedious aspects of life as an artist (like getting files ready for copyright filing... that sort of stuff... fun fun).  It's spring, so I was thinking about gardening and weeding ... the general 'green thumb' things.  And these guys just popped onto the paper.  I'm particularly fond of the bamboo shoot with a baby brother on the back.  These guys are always fun to draw.  And they are popular both as digi's and ACEOs.

In the next week or two, though, I'd love to be able to work on a larger pieces of pure fantasy.  Haven't  been able to do that in a while and I'm starved for it! :D

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Floral Masquerade

Started during the Sketch Fest of January 2014, this little piece (3.5" x 5"/ 8.9 x 12.7 cm) did not get the first wash of color until February 6.

That's even slower than my usual pace even for me. XD  I've been so busy since the end of December with business-related work (revamping of the web site, getting ready for a challenge blog launch, all sorts of digital editing on images), I haven't really had a chance to do a whole lot of painting.  I really miss working on larger pieces purely for my own pleasure. ^^;

I finally got this one finished yesterday.  Lots of interruptions - not the way I'd like to work.  I sometimes miss the period in my life when I was single and didn't have family members to worry about and just paint all night if I wanted to.  The last thing I want to think about when I'm feeling "the flow" is what I'm going to cook for dinner. ^^;  But that's a luxury I don't have any more, and something I can get around with with a better time management and planning ahead.

The little original looks so much better than either the photo or the scan, but that's just mechanical limitations.  (I just feel human eyes are vastly superior when it comes to seeing and appreciating all the subtleties. I always complain about reds and greens. LOL)

Got the digital stamp version listed at the shop already.  I will be getting the prints ready for ACEO and a few sizes larger, too.  Still have a few things I have to get out of the way before I can tackle a larger fantasy piece to my heart's content. T_T  The sooner I get these things out of the way, the sooner I can get to what I really like to do. :D

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Another ACEO Commission

One of my favorite types of commissions is my Sprites series. :D  Whimsical and adorable, the small size of the ACEO fits perfectly with these wee ones from the plant realm.  I love the creative challenge it brings to the table.  Some flowers are more easily incorporated into a humanoid design than others.  I love brainstorming the character design when the shape and nature of a particular type of plant makes it a little difficult -- like tulip, broccoli, and corn.  But I'm happy to say that I've had fun with them all.

This new commission was for another active member at my "Stamps by AuroraWings" FB group.  She had asked me to create for her a Petunia Sprite.  Petunias are one of my favorite annuals for their bright colors, reliable performance throughout the season, and ease of care. :D  Really, they bloom day after day for a prolonged period once they get going.  I think I've had petunias in my garden or window boxes for as long as I've gardened.

"Petunia Sprite" ACEO in ink & watercolor on bristol vellum (140 lb.)
They come in an amazing array of colors and new varieties are developed constantly.  My client asked for red and purple scheme.  And this little baby was born. :D  I originally drew her in a flower dress, but thought a tunic and the pants would be cuter. (I love these pants I put some of my sprites in!)

Since my client was a stamp enthusiast (both rubber and digi), so I asked if she'd be interested in the digi version.  Of course, she was.  And a permission to make the digi available in the shop was obtained.

Partially colored sample/preview of "Petunia Sprite"
I think this baby will be so much fun for colorists to play with.  I would love to do some variations on a theme myself.  I've had a beautiful pot of soft yellow petunias that I adored, and fuchsia, purple, and soft lavender are also my favorite petunia colors.   We are so ready for the spring and warm weather, and FLOWERS!!  Once my garden starts to have spring blooms, I know I'll be bitten once again with the urge to draw more of these Flower Sprites. ^_^