Monday, April 22, 2013

Update on Pieces from Sketch Fest #36

Here's a snap shot from tonight.   First up from the stash of ACEOs inked during last weekend's Sketch Fest: "Honeysuckle" and "Lotus".  Both were colored using watercolor.  "Lotus" for sure has the prompter ready to purchase as soon as she is done, so I will be posting a scan of her at the SF web site tomorrow as soon as I get a decent scan.  As for "Honeysuckle", I'm not sure what I'll do yet. ^^

I also prepped "Fairy Sitting on a Toadstool", but she just has the first wash of green.  I still have a long way to go with that one.  I took most of today off from art making and took care of things around the house. ^^  I'm adding 2 more Square Foot Garden boxes in the backyard for planting.  We'll also be building an extension to the chicken run this spring... just as soon as the weather gets reasonably and consistently warm.

Daily Deviation #5: Nephele

Woke up this morning to a nice surprise of a Daily Deviation on  Because of the sheer number of members on that site, the odds are pretty small that one comes across one of these ( I'm pretty sure some artists are used to this. XD  I think there's a limit ... like once an artist receives a DD, he/she can't have another for 3 or 4 months, though I'm not 100% positive on this policy.  Just vaguely remember reading about it somewhere.).  At any rate, it's always nice to receive recognition of this kind.

This was done entirely in stippling, taking me about 6 to 7 hours total.  It was fun to do.  I remember doing a lot of commissions last summer, which were many pieces in a series, and naturally repetitive and after a while, it just got a little boring.  When I was finally finished with the series, I had to do something just for fun for myself.  This drawing was born during that time.  It's simple in color scheme and overall design.  Because of that, I think it's easy to overlook next to more boldly colored, dynamic pieces.  But it must have spoken (or whispered softly) to some people out there to suggest to moderators as a future DD.  I'm grateful for the suggestion and features by the fellow dA artists/members for their kindness to recognize this little piece. :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sketch Fest #36 April 19 ~ 21, 2013

Because we had two Sketch Fest in March, it felt like this month's event came in a hurry.  Although I had a lot of projects on my list, I couldn't resist participating again. ^^  This has been my most productive one since I started drawing at Sketch Fest in January 2013.  I managed to sketch 10 pieces this time around, though not a single one did get finished during the event. :D  I'll get to the already-claimed ACEOs in a day or two, and probably have to tuck away the pencil drawings to be inked and otherwise finished much later.

"Lotus" for the prompt "Lotus Blossom".  I envision soft greens and pinks... maybe a bit of lavender/purple for this ACEO.  Ink on vellum (140 lb).

"Fairy Sitting on a Toadstool" for the prompt "Sitting on a Toadstool".  This is something I've been meaning to do since it's such a classic (if not a bit cliché) imagery.  I like how detailed this ended up looking.  2.5" x 3.5" may not seem very big (sure, it isn't!), I sometimes surprise myself with just how much detail I can squeeze into the limited space.  I'll probably regret it when it comes to coloring in the tiny details. XD  Ink on vellum (140 lb), ACEO.  This is it for Friday.

"Black Lace Angelfish" for the prompt "Black Lace".  This is probably my favorite from this Sketch Fest.  It's  not my usual style or a subject, but it's whimsical and fun.  I am going to ink this drawing so that it will be a black and white simplicity to compliment the complex lace detail.  I'm sure it would look beautiful in a black mat with a juicy fat frame in some metalic shade. ^^  Graphite on illustration paper (150 lb.) 8" x 8".

"Kitten in a Teacup" for the prompt "Compact Sweetness".  When I read the prompt, this was the only thing I could think of -- a kitten in a teacup.  It's super sweet.  The kind of sweet that can give you cavities just by looking at, but hey, I like fluffy kittens, and it's fun to draw them, too.  Ink on vellum (140 lb), ACEO.

"White Kitten in Flowers" for the prompt "white cat with spring flowers".  Two kittens in a row.  I know!  The Crazy Cat Lady caught a Sketch Fest kitten fever~!!  Well, I love drawing flowers, and when a prompt asked for a cat and flowers, I couldn't resist.  Ink on vellum (140 lb), ACEO.

"Ribbons Entwined" for the prompt "Ribbon entwined in her hair".  This is the third in the series of prompts ending with, "Entwined in Her Hair".  I started drawing with the "Stars Entwined in Her Hair", and then "Pearls Entwined in Her Hair".  The prompter has purchased both of these in the past, so I figured that I'd give her something else to possibly add to her collection.  I love drawing hair.  It's a fun opportunity for me to work on detail.  I like how this one came out with areas of a lot of details up top with a lower area that is generally sparse. ^^  Ink on vellum (140 lb), ACEO.  This is it for Saturday.

"Honeysuckle" for the prompt "Honeysuckle".  First one on the Sunday morning.  This one got done very quickly.  I guess I love honeysuckle fragrance and the memory of the scent gave me the inspiration. ^^  Ink on vellum (140 lb), ACEO.

"Forget Me Not"  for the prompt "forget me nots".  Wanted to do something simple with one of these big doll eyed girls.  This will be mostly in the shades of blue.  Ink on vellum (140 lb), ACEO.

"Magnolia Sprite" for the prompt "Magnolia sprite".  I didn't even see this prompt pop up till Sunday morning.  It was added to my list of "tagged prompts of interest" at the last minute with less than 2 hours left to go.  I had the image of a magnolia fairy sitting in a saucer-shaped blossom.  It was just the matter of designing the fairy herself.  I gave her the petal hair and transparent wings.  This will be in shades of pink/magenta/purple.  One of my favorite flowers of spring.   Ink on vellum (140 lb.), ACEO.

The last piece for the event as I had less than 40 minutes left on the clock.  "Black Dahlia" for the prompt "Purple/black dahlia".  One thing to keep in mind, don't image search with key words "black dahlia".  There are some graphic photos of the crime scene that pop up at the top of the results...  I meant to check out the dahlia flower, but instead, the search results were full of the famous unsolved case victim. :(   Anyhow, I'm giving her the skull paint treatment.  I think it would be stunning when colored in white, deep reddish purple, and black.  Most Catrina pieces have roses and marigolds, so this will be a little different. :)  Graphite on illustration paper (150 lb.) 6" x 9".

Well, that's it.  I will be posting the colored/finished versions of these as edits to this post in the coming days. Hope you had as much fun looking through these as I did drawing them. :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Progressive Views of "Metanoia" WIPs

After doing a lot of traditional pieces (physical pieces on paper) in rather small scales and feeling somewhat claustrophobic, it was a nice change of pace to do a larger drawing and detailed digital coloring for the Enchanted Visions Project's theme "Changes".  I would like to put together here the WIPs I had saved along the way during the days it took to complete this artwork.

First phase always involves the lightening of the grey scale lines and tinting it with colorizing option.  I usually choose some shade of brown/ red ochre.  And then tint the entire image to set the "paper" color.  I wanted this piece to have fiery glow, so I chose light peach/beige.  As always, I use Corel Painter for the free-hand coloring phase of my work.  The tablet used is Wacom's Intuos 3.

Right on top of the "canvas" layer, which is the treated line drawing file, I created a "background wash" layer and spread the colors in red, orange, and purple.  Going over the colors with the "salt" brush at different opacity and tip size.  This phase of the painting process is very loose and quick.  The brush type used is primarily "diffuse water" from the watercolor tools selection.

Just above the "background wash" layer, I place another layer for the hair.  I erased along the line art for a crisp edge for the hair detail.

In the next step, I started working on the shades in dark purple on another layer set just under the "background wash" and above "canvas".  I do this layer usually before any of the individual elements, but this time I did her hair first and shades second.

Then i set another layer for the red juban (the innermost layer of the kimono).  Still applying colors with watercolor tools: "new simple water" and "diffuse water".

On the same layer as the red juban, I colored all the masks that were not touching the red juban.  The masks that has borders sharing the red juban were colored on the same layer as her hair.  Two layers were added on top of all previous layers for the butterflies to the top and the left of the image.  They were drawn with "soft charcoal" tool in various shades of yellow/orange, then different levels opacity was set for each of the two layers to create the illusion of depth.  A new layer is place on top for the highlights.  I usually put the highlights with the "soft charcoal" tool set at various opacity.

I place yet another layer just above the "background wash" for the kimono and obi's base colors.

The final phase involved a tedious drawing of the kimono textile designs.  It would be easier to just import some patterns, but for some projects, I'd like to do it all by hand.  This piece was one of these occasions.  It can be meditative, but can also test my patience.

Here's a closeup view of the kimono textile patterns.  This piece has a LOT of details in it, and it's hard to see them all in a web resolution, limited-size version.  The best way to enjoy is by actual prints.

I wanted to do an over-the-top illustration for this theme since I wanted to tackle the theme "Changes" from a psychological angel.  Within a single person, many emotional states can manifest.  And in some individuals, there are even different personalities.  At times, we all experience chaos in varying degrees.  And in some Noh plays, a woman is pushed beyond her normal state by extreme anger or jealousy and turns into a hannya (the horned demon).  The title of this piece, Metanoia, is a term used by Carl Jung for the process of reforming the psyche as a form of self healing, a proposed explanation for the phenomenon of psychotic breakdown. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Enchanted Visions Project's Theme "Changes"

For the current theme, due on April 9, 2013, "Changes", I'm making an image that's rather inspired by the Japanese noh masks and a bit of Jungian psychology.  In the noh plays, there are female characters who are regular women who turn into demons (hannya) out of extreme anger and/or jealousy.  The masks are something I often enjoy drawing -- I particularly enjoy drawing Venetian masks with bird beaks.  They are the very essence of different aspects of personality within an individual in this image that I'm working on.

The original ink drawing measures 9"x12", so drawing these masks were a little difficult since they got so small, but I like the overall image as it stands now and definitely like the concept.  I'm going to call it "Metanoia", not in a religious sense of the word as it is used in Christianity, but in a Jungian psychology term describing the event of a psychotic episode which is described as "a spontaneous attempt of the psyche to heal itself of unbearable conflict by melting down and then being reborn in a more adaptive form".  The woman's mask of choice is definitely that of the hannya (demon) out of all others that are around her.

As for colors, I haven't decided what scheme to go with just yet.  I did the line art on vellum so that if and when I decide I want to make a traditional art version of it in watercolor or acrylic, it will be possible to do so.  Meanwhile though, my first coloring attempt will be in digital for the Enchanted Visions Project's submission.