Sketch Fest #43 Oct. 25 ~ 27, 2013

I think my record for the pieces done during Sketch Fest previously was 9.  I broke that by 1 this weekend. :D  Most of the pieces were ACEOs and all were small pieces with the largest being 4" x 6".  Still, I have to feel pretty good about it since a lot of other artists seemed to be complaining about art block, etc.

I scribbled, inked, and painted on all 3 days of the weekend, starting with this super adorable sweetness to a prompt "It's So Fluffy".

ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" in ink & watercolor on bristol vellum (140 lb.)  SOLD

I titled this "Mama, It's So Fluffy!".  A chick and a kitten have an encounter and both are thinking that the other is just so darned fluffy!  Like a toddler points to another toddler and says, "Baby!". :D  Sweet and lighthearted to ease me into the groove.

ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" in ink & watercolor on bristol vellum (140 lb.)  SOLD

Next, I found this hilarious prompt, "FORLORN CORN!".  It actually was all capital with an exclamation mark at the end, too.  I've been wanting to design more vegetable sprites, but their shapes make it somewhat of a challenge and I often feel stumped.  But somehow, the phrase "forlorn corn" just did the trick.  I got this mental image of a lonesome and heartbroken corn baby.  It's so cute you just want to give her a tight hug!

ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" in ink & watercolor on bristol vellum (140 lb.)  SOLD

As it gets later into the evening hours on Friday, there usually are a lot more prompts posted by the people.  Some people are regular buyers, while others just want to see some of their prompts turned into art.  I'm sure a lot of the participating artists keep that in mind.  Sketch Fest can be a very nice quick money-maker if you keep the prices low and pick prompts that have mass appeal.  Putting it this way, it sounds like less of a creative venture and more like a business opportunity.  But the biggest benefit to both your wallet and your skill do come when you creatively maximize both of these aspects.  I've painted many flower fairies in the past.  I've also drawn so many roses, it's one of the flowers I can draw very quickly without reference photos.  So it only stood to reason that I quickly whip one up to this prompt, "Rose Fairy".   This was done very quickly with ink, just 3 colors of watercolor and table salt.  Skipped the usual highlights for the mood.  I really like the way this one turned out. ^_^

3.5" x 5" in ink & watercolor on bristol vellum (140 lb.)

Next I chose "Candy Corn Fairy".  Sounded cute.  And I had the mental image of my Little Tomte character (who is a gnome with a pointy cone hat and a dress) wearing her usual gear in the colors of candy corn.  Fancy her up with wings and a magic wand for an adorable young candy corn fae. ^_^

Here's a funny story about me.  As some of you may already know, I came from Japan 20+ years ago.  I'm a college graduate, and I don't even have much of an accent (or so people tell me).  Yet, there was a huge misunderstanding on my part about the candy corn that went undetected for ... well, 20+ years.  I was walking in a grocery store with my husband when we came across a huge display of candy corn.  The hand written sign read "Candy Corn $1.99".  I pointed at it and said, "Haha, some idiot wrote it wrong.  It's candy CONE."  My hubby looked at me a little strangely and said, "No, honey, that's correct.  It's candy CORN."  "Really?!?!?!  But, but, but... look, it's clearly cone-shaped, so it's candy cone, isn't it???"  *facepalm*  To this day, I still see the cone and no resemblance to corn whenever I see candy corn...

ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" in ink & watercolor on bristol vellum (140 lb.)

"Fall Leaves in Her Hair".  There used to be a prompter/purchaser who would leave "(object) in her hair" prompts month after month.  I used to really enjoy doing an ACEO every month to these prompts.  I think there were months either she missed or I missed...  At one point, I no longer saw the "in her hair" prompt any more.  So it was my pleasant surprise to see the prompt "fall leaves in her hair" this time around.  I was able to do a quick ACEO of an autumn elf.  As much as I love working in colder hues of blues and purple, I do have a fondness for the warm tones of red and orange mixed with a little purple. ^_^

I've been watching "The Rose of Versailles", the Japanese anime series, based on a massively successful shoujo manga series of late 70s.  I think I'm seeing a little bit of the characters... or the shoujo manga feel in some of the pieces this month. lol

"Pikachu, I Holla You!" -- ACEO sized quick scribble (ink & watercolor).  Someone put a prompt "Favorite Pokemon".   Really?  Gosh, let me think?  I wasn't going to draw one to this prompt, but in the end, my weak will couldn't resist.  I had to sketch out a gangsta Pikachu. lol  "I didn't choose the thug life.  Thug life chose me."  

4" x 6" ink on bristol vellum (140 lb.) to be finished   SOLD

"Chrysanthemum Festival".  Ahhh, nice traditionally Japanese-inspired prompt!  Couldn't resist once again.  As it turned out, the prompter had me in mind all along when she posted this prompt. ^^;  As much as I love the look of these large chrysanthemum blooms with long petals that curl up at the end, these require a bit more planning and tedious sketching (what's on top of what in the layers), and they definitely slow me down.  I guess I need to draw more of these flowers.

ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" in ink & watercolor on bristol vellum ( 140 lb.)  SOLD

"Blood Tears".  Goth-sounding (= fun) and potentially very simple (= eye art).  I always enjoy super quick watercolor opportunities.  The whole thing took maybe 10 minutes (+ waiting time for salt to take effect and paint to dry between stages).

4" x 6" in ink & watercolor on bristol vellum (140 lb.)

"Le Bleu Fantastique" for a prompt "Feather Fantasy".  Another very quick piece.  Black ink, Prussian blue watercolor and salt.  I like the way this came out, too.  Loose and flow-y.  I think I was starting to get tired of fall colors of orange, red, and yellow around the time I did this...  Also, probably quite tired of small space of ACEO papers.

ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" in ink & watercolor on bristol vellum (140 lb.)  SOLD

"Autumn Rose" for the same prompt.  It just sounded so lovely when I saw the prompt.   In my yard, the last rose of the season is usually a single Peace Rose (although this year, I had a single red bloom...).  So that's where I got the inspiration for this ACEO in fall colors.  The petals are starting to drop and scatter in the northern wind.  I was watching the Episode 37 of "the Rose of Versailles" (total of 40 episodes).  Things are starting to turn sad in the story, and I think it added to my inspiration for this piece.  Fall is breathtakingly beautiful, but at the same time, it leaves you with a heavy heart of knowing that bitter cold of winter is just around the corner.


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