Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Enchanted Visions"

   "Enchanted Visions" finished.  This was the May 2012 theme for the Enchanted Visions Project, a fantasy artists collective.  This marks our 30th theme and also the last one before going on a hiatus for the summer.  We'll resume monthly prompting in September.

   For some reasons, the EV has seen a decline in participation.  Although there are over 200 member artists at one point, there has always been a core active membership of about a dozen or two who regularly contributed in a timely manner.  As far as I can see, participation has been small in recent months especially since around the last holiday season.  Coming of the new year didn't pick up the activity level, which puzzles me completely.

   I have always produced work for the monthly themes since I became a member with an exception of the stock photo 'theme' where we were expected to choose a pose based on several stock photos and I just didn't feel like it -- seemed a little too restrictive in approach.  But I've steadily created pieces and I h ave a decent number of works accumulated, thanks to EV.   All of my licensing contracts came to me because of the pieces I made for EV themes.  It's really a shame that more artists do not take advantage of this organization by producing full-out paintings on a regular basis.  There's so much to be gained by it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Enchanted Visions" WIP2

   Now the little fairies got some colors.  Slowly coming into being...  Anyhow, the number of layers is kept low this time.  I have the background wash, item colors, line highlights, and soft highlights, sitting on top of the 'canvas' (line art) layer, so a total of five so far.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Enchanted Visions" WIP

This one is going slowly, mostly because I have been working on other projects like the chicken coop we're building in our backyard. XD  It's spring and although it is starting to get hot during the middle of the day, it's so nice outside and after being cooped up all winter long, I'm enjoying the outdoors way too much and keep finding things to do. At least, this will give you an idea for the general color scheme I'm going for. ^_^

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Enchanted Visions" Line Art

   I have not been able to work on my art consistently in the last few weeks with increased school activities (end of the school year), gardening (setting things into motion), and other projects around the house.  I finally managed to get the pencil sketch inked.  Unfortunately, this didn't make the deadline, but considering all the extra things going on in spring, I feel OK about that. ^_^  I'm looking forward to the coloring phase though.  I think I see pink, green, and lavender and lots of sparkles.

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Enchanted Visions" Pencil Rough

   "Enchanted Visions" is our latest theme before going into the summer hiatus.  Both Lisa and I (the humble administration staff at the Enchanted Visions Project) have other things/projects that need our attention.  The participation level has been really low in the winter months, and since this is a volunteer position, priorities had to be straightened out and we have come to the decision to put EV on administrative hold for the summer.  No new members will be accepted until September and there will be some changes made to the overall system at that time.  It is good to see, though, now that we told the members that this is the last theme for the first half of 2012, we've already seen more submissions into our gallery.  Way before the deadline, even. ^_^

   And here is the pencil rough of my "Enchanted Visions".  I have always liked the infamous 1917 Cottingley Faries photos taken in England by the two cousins, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, and the inspiration for my "Enchanted Visions" comes from one of their photos from the series.

   I myself think these photos, including the one above, are fakes made with cut-out drawings of fairies placed in front of the girls, but I do appreciate the fact that these two girls took these photos that played so much on the imagination of the people.  They are whimsical, delightful, enchanting black and white images -- especially when shown at low resolution, sepia-toned, and/or torn at the edges.   I enjoy the imagination and vision of these girls.

   What I didn't like in the original photo by them, especially on this one shown above, is that the girl appears utterly oblivious to the magical parade of the fairy in front of her.  Maybe what they were trying to do was something like, "I was just taking a photo of my cousin, but look what else was caught in the photo when it came back!"  After all, back in the days, things took time to develop... ^^;  Anyhow, I wanted my "Enchanted Visions" to have the interaction between the human girl and the mischievous fairies.

   The inked version, which I will be working on later, will probably have changes made to this rough sketch.  Looking at the scan, I'm already finding things I'd like to tweak here and there. ^_^  This should be a fun image to both draw and paint.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My New Gardening Blog

My blog banner for "Little Patch o' Green"

   I love to garden.  In fact, my love of drawing flowers probably has its roots in my early interest in gardening.  I have always enjoyed growing flowers and vegetables from seeds since my childhood.  This year, my family has started a new project -- backyard vegetable gardens, Square Foot Gardening style.  I have been having so much fun that I decided to make a blog dedicated to documenting the project in both photos and words.

   I had always gardened the traditional way -- in the ground, tilling in spring and generally lots of back-breaking work.  Things had gotten to the point of costing too much money (We live in the very dry area with poor clay soil.) and requiring too much work, and generally discouraging.

   Early this spring, my husband started making a better use of our backyard space, but he and I weren't interested in just growing lawn, which will guzzle up water and provide no tangible return of that investment.  We cracked open Mel Bartholomew's original Square Foot Gardening book, considering that we might give it a try.  Then at a book store, we saw the updated and revised version of the book by the same author with so many radical changes to the original versions.  Things were sounding so tempting in the book we just had to try them out!

   Right now, we have some spring vegetables that are big enough to start eating, like salad greens, and things are growing greener every day.  And there are a lot of flower photos from around our house.  Please stop by if you like nature, veggies, and flowers! ^^

Friday, May 4, 2012

"Lost in the Woods"

   "Lost in the Woods" with Tomte and Snailee is finished for my friend, Vera-chan, on deviantART.  This was my part of the art trade, but of course, it takes me real long to get anything done, always. ^^;  Sorry to have made you wait for so long, Vera.  Hope you like it.  :D

   This duo first appeared in my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project 2011 and pretty much took over the entire book.  It basically turned into a children's picture book of Tomte and Snailee's adventure.  All the drawings were done in biro and colored in colored pencil, so it had the storybook feel.  I wanted to give these guys the same softly traditional feel once again, so I experimented with added paper texture in addition to my usual 'digital watercolor' technique.  I personally like the finished look.  It's simple and ... somehow, cuddly. ^^


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Artist Spotlight Interview on EMG-Zine

   The interview is now published! :D I was interviewed a few months ago by the wonderful Miss Constanza Ehrehnaus, who regularly contributes to EMG-Zine, the online magazine for the artists and writers of fantasy and science fiction.  I've contributed artwork in the past and have been fortunate to have three cover art features to date, but this is the first published interview about my art, approach, and tidbits about me that no one had asked me before.  I really enjoyed responding to her questions because she comes up with different questions to ask each of the artists she interviews and none of her questions was 'generic' or 'tired'.  So it was a fun interview for me to participate, and I humbly hope it's fun for people to read as well. ^^;

   You can read the interview in the May 2012 issue of EMG-Zine.

   Two of the four pieces featured in the interview: "Pansy" and "La Sylphide"