Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Updates on Sketch Fest Pieces

I managed to finish the Owl Masquerade.  Got sidetracked to post here.  ^^;  It's been a lot of fun to paint traditionally with watercolor.  The scanning and subsequent digital adjusting in a feeble attempt to make the scan look more like the original is always frustrating and reminds me of a big point I like about digital work.  But the browns are usually seen very well by the scanner and it's not too painful to tweak to look pretty close to the original.  I went for a soft, sepia look with this one.  I love the results!

WIP 1: The "Bone Queen" was inked and then given a wash in red all over here.  I started adding the background dark.

WIP 2: The poppies and feathers and a little bit of the face paint colored.  I want to add skeleton paint on her neck and ribs before splashing and dripping red of the poppies into the lower part of this image.  I got sick with flu at this point, so she's shelved for the time being, while I recover and try to work on the EV theme "Le Serpent" before the deadline.

And this is a rough concept sketch for my piece for the Enchanted Visions Project's "Le Serpent".  My piece's inspiration comes from a Chinese folklore, "The Tale of White Serpent".  A love story between an immortal white snake spirit, Bai Niang, and a mortal man, Xu Xian.  In a 1958 Japanese animated movie version "Hakujaden", there was a scene in which Bai Niang plays the erhu to express her feelings towards Xu Xian.  Something about the scene really captured my imagination.  I plan on adding subtle snake skin texture to her skin,  as well as peony flowers all around and behind her for a dreamy feel.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fun with Sketch Fest

Last weekend, I finally got to join in on the fun at Sketch Fest #32 (Noon to noon Alaska time Jan. 18 - 20) - the 48-hour creative session where artists from all over the world sketch to various prompts posted by people.  Each artist has one hour to work on a sketch (or stop at a good point anywhere within that hour), and then post the sketch.  I started with a floral ACEO in ink and watercolor, which I was able to fully complete in one hour on Friday.

The prompt was "Hellebore (Christmas Rose)".  Since I recently painted this flower in my "Winter Lullaby", I was already familiar with it, so it was my first choice for a quick sketch. ^^

On Saturday, I had some errands to run in the morning, so I didn't get to work on a prompt until afternoon.  The second prompt I picked was "Owl Masquerade".  Did a graphite sketch on 5 x 7 vellum for about 15 minutes.

The second shot shows the work-in-progress in watercolor (and salt!). ^^  Should be able to finish this one today.

For the next one, I decided to go with ACEO.  The prompt was "Black Orchid".  There's no way I can resist a prompt like that.

Again, ink and watercolor, and barely managed to finish as the the time was up.

After this, I wanted to just do a pencil sketch.  While I was looking through all the prompts as they were piling up as the Sketch Fest progressed, "Steam Punk Goat" caught my attention, and I just couldn't resist...

This was done in graphite on 6 x 8 vellum.  Finished with quite a bit of time still left of the one hour.  I had the most fun with this guy. ^^  It's not just another fairy, or pretty face.  It's a Steam Punk Goat! :D

The last one of Saturday.  The prompt was "Floral".  I decided to quickly sketch peony flowers in colored pencil and go over it with watercolor.  Stopped at one hour.  5 x 7 vellum.

Finished version of the "Peony Floral".  The scan is a bit bright...

Sunday's first sketch was to the prompt, "Snow Queen".  Graphite on vellum 5 x 7.  Stopped at about 15 minutes.

Inked in the afternoon AFTER Sketch Fest was over.

Colored in watercolor for the final version the day after.  She was a lot of fun to paint.  I've always liked Hans Christian Andersen's "Snow Queen".  I believe this is my second painting of her.

The last sketch for Sketch Fest #32 was for the prompt "Bone Queen".  Wanted to do something wicked and wild with skull painted face and bird skull accessories.  Graphite on 5 x 7 vellum.  About one hour.

Interestingly enough, I have done these all in traditional media.  I plan on completing all works in traditional media as well.  Although I do not like the inevitable frustration an artist faces when scanning or photographing a traditional piece of art, I do enjoy the feel of pencil on paper and the wet brush on paper... or watching the flowers bloom from table salt randomly sprinkled into wet watercolor on paper.  I'm definitely having a traditional phase at the moment. ^^  But the end of the month approaches, which means deadline for the Enchanted Visions Project.  Theme for February is "Le Serpent".  For this, I will return to my usual tradigital approach - line art in ink, color in Corel Painter.

At any rate, Sketch Fest was more fun than I had anticipated.  I hope to participate again in the future, and hopefully often.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Colored Version of "Winter Lullaby"

   Got the sepia version of the colored illustration done tonight.  I still want to see this in blue though. ^^
Coloring was done in Corel Painter.  This one is definitely my looser style, but I like it a lot.

Pencil Sketch for an EV Theme

  This one is actually due today, Jan. 3, 2013.  The first one of the year and I'm going to have to hurry to finish it. XD  Thinking about doing this one in the same style as "Oblivion" and "Forgotten Summer".

  The theme is "Winter Lullaby", so the owl will be mostly white snowy owl, and the flowers will be helleborus, also known as 'Christmas Rose', that are often seen blooming in the snow.  I'm thinking about mostly blue for the color scheme, but not sure.

   I also want to make a second version of the inked line drawing with colors, and a third version in paint on canvas.  Too many ideas. XD

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Making Some ACEOs

Most of the month of November and December ended up spent on finishing up commissions and I didn't get to do fun stuff for myself.  (We all know how the saying goes, "All work and no play...")  I was also spending most of available time making listings for my new Etsy shop (  These ACEOs that I started making are definitely part of that 'building my shop' work.  Only, to my surprise, they've been selling so fast that I can't seem to get the number of original pieces of work for sale up at all at the shop.  I'm very happy though that people like these tiny works enough to buy them.

The first one I made was of my little Tomte from the Sketchbook Project 2011.  I loved her adventures in the forest, field, streams, in the rain, etc.  I just had to revisit her for my first ACEO.  The tiny format (2.5" x 3.5") just seemed perfect for her. ^^  "Toadstool Tomte"

Then came my flower series.  "Pale Rose" was done in colored pencil only.

"Ephemera" -- now experimenting with a bit of watercolor wash with colored pencils.  The colors were so difficult to capture and adjust for it reminded me why I loved digital art so much... ^^;

"Purple Calla" -- again with watercolor wash and colored pencil.  This was a commission for someone who wanted to buy "Pale Rose" shortly after I posted it.  It was bought before I could deactivate the listing, so she got a commission, specifying the favorite flower and dominant color.

Last night, while watching TV and relaxing with family, I prepped up some ACEO sheets with watercolor and salt.  This is done with one of the sheets I played with.  "Sakura" because I can't wait for spring after so many days of bitter cold... ^^;