Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sketch Fest #35 March 26-27, 2013

This Sketch Fest was the second of the month, celebrating the 3rd birthday of Sketch Fest, which started in 2010.  I won't go into the history (You can learn all about it at the site.  http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest) since I'm one of the SF newbies and feel hardly qualified to talk about the history.  Anyhow, this birthday event was supposed to be just 24 hours starting at midnight.  The site had encountered a few server crashes, so there were time extensions and ended up running from 26th to the 27th.   I've only started participating in January 2013, but it's been fun and I do produce a lot of sketches and quickie mini-pieces, which I tend not to do on my own.


Started with the prompt, "Entwined Pearls (in Her Hair)".  I like drawing big hair with objects such as flowers and pearls embedded, so this was a given.  I also noticed that the prompter was the same person who gave the "Stars Entwined in Her Hair" in the last SF, so I thought it might be cool to have a pair of pieces.  This scan shows the ACEO (2.5"x3.5") after 1 hour of pencil sketch and going over the lines with ink.


Next I did "Poppies", a prompt by the same prompter.  I guess she gives out prompts that appeal to me.  This one was stopped at 1 hour.  5"x7" vellum.  I am still working on it. ^^;


Then I did "Dogwood Blossoms".  I thought tucking in a little owl would be cute. ^^;  I like drawing owls and this just seemed like a perfect setup since dogwood is a tree with a lot of delicate branches for perching little critters on.  ACEO.  Pencil sketch was inked over.  35 minutes.


The fourth one and I promised to myself that this will be the last one of the 'sketches'.  I've already accumulated several pieces of sketches that I would like to finish, but new Sketch Fest event seems to come around before I finish all of them.  This time though, I'm determined to finish all these small pieces.   At least within days of the Sketch Fest.  ACEO "Daisy Fairy" -- 35 minutes from pencil sketch to inked lines.


The cool thing about Sketch Fest is that comments pour in during the event, so you get immediate feedback on buyers' interest if there's any after you post the sketches.  I tend to tackle the ones with buyer interest first with color to finish.  This one was colored in watercolor, and sold to the prompter.  ACEO in ink & watercolor on bristol 115 lb.


I ended up doing all of my ACEOs this time on bristol for the smoothness of the surface, hoping to color some in colored pencil.  I did the Daisy Fairy in Prismacolor.  It does take quite a bit longer than watercolor, but I do enjoy the look of colored pencil, although the scan ended up looking a lot like watercolor. ^^;  Sold to a collector.



This is probably my favorite of SF 35.  ACEO "Pearls" in ink, watercolor, & iridescent acrylic on bristol 115 lb.  The scan does not capture the iridescent paint, but some of the pears, flower petals, and her skin has a hint of iridescence which can only be enjoyed if you're holding this piece in your hand and be able to angle it to the light.  I think original ACEOs with things like that are fun for the collector (and fun for me to make).  Sold to the prompter.

I still have the "Poppies" that I'm working on.  The lines are all inked and it just needs to be colored now.  Nothing else is hanging over my head to be finished later, which is good! :D

UPDATE (March 29, 2013): "Poppies" has been finished.  Decided to go black & white with stippling for shading the flower petals rather than coloring in watercolor.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Sketch for a New EV Theme

This month's theme is "Changes" for the Enchanted Visions Project.  I was unable to get started on a piece for the last month's theme, "Forbidden".  I am allowing myself a little extra time and getting started relatively early ahead of the April 9th deadline.


This is the scan made of the good support.  I did the rough on 8.5 x 11 sheet originally, but before inking the image I decided to transfer the lines onto a nice vellum so that IF I decide to do a traditional version of it, I'll have a good paper that will take mixed media.

The paper I am using for this piece is actually 9 x 12, which is slightly wider than the width of my scanner and that is why there's grey across the bottom of the image.   I am doing this theme in Japanese setting with different noh masks and kimono all around the central female figure.  She will be holding the hannya mask when it's all done.  I expect this one to be quite colorful and detailed when it's all done.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sketch Fest #34

My goodness, the past three entries are nothing but my talking about Sketch Fest stuff, as if that's all I ever do any more.  That's hardly the case. ^^;  I was working on a couple of commissions at the end of the month and missed the deadline for "Forbidden" for EV, and I think I'm pretty much going to have to scratch it until we go into probably yet another hiatus for the summer (We can start calling it EV summer break/holiday.).  I'm going to go on ahead and tackle the current month theme, due April 9th, after I get some commissions (hopefully) out of the way during the second half of March...

This was a busy weekend with a couple of events going on for me, but I managed to scribble out 7 sketches, of which, 4 are now finished, with 2 already sold. ^^  A BIG part of what makes Sketch Fest addictive for so many artists out there is this quick sale opportunity.  Especially the more affordable ACEOs seem to sell very well.  Also, many of the people who give the prompts are buyers.

I was invited to a local library's Graphic Novel Club on Friday afternoon.  This is a group of teens who like graphic novels (both American comics and Japanese manga) and anime.  The guy who is in charge of the group thought my art might be interesting to the teens in the group, so I was invited to go and talk to them about my art and process.  It was a fun hour that flew by very quickly.  ( I frankly had no idea what I was going to do, but was glad I had brought my folder of original inked drawings.)

So I got to the prompts after I got back from the library.  The first one I decided to do was "Oriental Mermaid".  This one will have to be worked fully (preferably in digital) with lots of texture for me.  So I decided to stop working on it after 20 minutes of scribbling.


The first sketch of the day/event is like a warm-up, so I just scribbled this one on a printer paper.  Just wanted to map things out before eventually transferring it to a better support for the line art and possibly watercolor, if I want to make an 'original' for a collector.

Second one was for a hilarious prompt, "Handsome Male Elf".  I just found it funny and did a quick 5 minute scribble on an ACEO paper.

Still makes me laugh! XD

On Saturday, I had some volunteer duty to do for a fundraising event for a local charity.  I began my day at 8:30 and was gone till 3 in the afternoon.  No time to draw.  After I got back, I looked at the new prompts that had since been offered and tagged some for easy reference at Sketch Fest.  Then proceeded with  "Black Calla Lily".  I like florals in general.  I find them easy to draw, and I've done many.  I can draw a lot of flowers without reference.  With calla though, with their bold simplicity of form, composition is sometimes tricky.  I sat at my desk with a blank sheet of vellum cut to ACEO size and things took off pretty quickly.  I was able to finish this one in less than an hour -- 47 minutes to be precise.


I love it when things move quickly without too much trouble.  When I was working on this piece, there was a storm rolling overhead without actually producing rain.  The air was noticeably humid for change (for my area anyway), and it slowed down the drying time for the watercolor and I had an easy time manipulating it. ^^

Next, I decided to do a larger piece on one of the vellum sheets I cut from a 9"x 12" pad.  The prompt I picked was "Dance of the Jellyfish".


She's a mermaid with a "jellyfish" hair-do. XD  Couldn't quite decide what to do with her pose.  This was a third one I tried on the same head.  I liked her face and head angle for some reason.  This should be fun to ink over and color. 7" x 9". That was all for Saturday.


I ended up waking up (rudely awakened by a noise made by Jr....) at 5:30 am...  Couldn't go back to sleep, so I decided to get to Sketch Fest and be productive. XD  This was the first one I did.  An ACEO for a prompt, "The Star Tree".  Sold to a collector.

Next up was a prompt, "Stars Entwined in Her Hair".  Sounded pretty and I love drawing big hair, so this one was a go.   Didn't want to do anything serious or big, so I did a small piece for an ACEO.


From pencil rough to inked lines took the whole hour.  Things like hair with other elements involved tend to take a while to figure out (to see what's in front of what, etc. XD ).

Next, I decided to work on another flower-inspired prompt, "Cherry Blossom Fantasy".  As a Japanese, I can't resist anything involving cherry blossoms.  Would have loved to have done this on a larger scale, but I don't like the feeling of having a lot of unfinished pieces laying around my work area, so, another ACEO.  I've finally lost that feeling of confinement I initially felt when I first started working on ACEOs.  Still, 2.5" x 3.5" is TINY no matter how you look at it...


I really like the way this one turned out.  I think it looks a lot like my old "Kaguya Hime" image that I did in digital.  Very similar concept with the flow and sentiment.  I do love the sight of cherry petal storm, but at the same time, I feel a bit of sadness taking over me, and every time I make a scene like this in a piece, I feel a little blue...  Sketch Fest #34 ended shortly after I finished this piece in an hour.


I finished "Stars Entwined in Her Hair" (called it just "Stars") after the SF.  Sunday afternoon was unpleasantly windy, so I figured I might as well stay indoors and be productive, finishing up my sketches. ^^  Sold to the prompter.

I will post any completed pieces later.  I really hope I get to finish the EV piece and other stuff, too.  :D