Saturday, May 31, 2014

New Release and a Sketch

I've been ill for the past few days.  My fever is almost gone and I feel maybe 70% normal, despite serious weakness issues in my hands and knees.  I think I overworked in the heat in the garden, trying to get everything done and in place, and my body just kept on aching worse and worse.  I knew I should have given myself a break, but family had things that needed to get done and I happen to be the one with the most flexible schedule, so I ended up doing a lot more than my fair share...  Funny how the body seems to shut down and tell me "Just give me two days' bed rest!".

The frustration, though, when you're involved in many things, even without meaning to be a micro-managing control freak, things just don't get done right when you're not the one doing it.  Gardens being underwatered... Chicken coop not correctly secured... Things not getting picked up... T_T  Yikes.  It didn't help that I had just started sunflower fence project 5 days ago and the seeds needed to stay moist.  This is trickier than it sounds - the business of "keep soil moist until seeds germinate".  LOL

Well, enough tangenting even before I get on the subject... ^^;
I've been itching to draw something new.  Heck, I've been itching to do any kind of drawing or painting for a while!  The spring planting required way too much clearing and weeding before I could get to the planting.  That was a big problem, which took time away from art-ing.

Finally got this little charming image inked and processed.  This is called "Elf with Baby Dragon".  I thought I should draw a male character more often... and a cute one at that.  And this is the result.  More may be coming later in the year...  He is available at my Etsy shop here.

And I finally got started doodling on Marie Antoinette!  This was an idea I've been mulling for a while, but she was always way back in the far end of the proverbial 'back burner', I thought I'd never get around to it, but once I sat down at the work area (first time in 3 days!), she appeared.

I know that the famous (infamous?) quote "Let them eat cake" didn't actually come from her, historically speaking, but it's so often used to illustrate just how clueless she was about the wide spread bread shortage in France among the peasants.  Anyhow, lots of artists do love drawing/painting her with the cake reference nonetheless.  It's just too iconic. LOL  Besides, the period hair and costumes are just so fun to draw - huge powdered hair, feathers, pearls, flowers, ribbons, gems, whatever you can pile on.  So here's the pencil scribble of my Marie Antoinette.  Last summer, I got to watch the anime "ベルサイユの薔薇" (The Rose of Versailles) from the beginning to the end in pretty much one weekend (Don't you love marathon-watching your favorite TV series?), and it was so fun.  It brought back memories of my childhood in Japan, but I also realized that I had stopped watching the series for whatever reason that I can't remember, and pretty much the last 2/3 of the series was brand new to me.  (Thank you, Crunchyroll!!  I love you.)  She wasn't the main character in the anime, and I would say she was more or less sympathetically depicted, but the main line of the story was of a fictitious character and her tumultuous life in the chaos of the French history's violent era. :)
It's funny how it felt as if I hadn't grown up since I was 6 or 7... well, not much, anyway ... while watching the series.  LOL  I hope to get her inked very soon. ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Update on the New Drawing

The day after I started this drawing, I ended up prepping my garden for planting as the weatherman was forecasting some precipitation and cloudy skies toward the weekend.  Such perfect gardening weather is hard to come by here in the desert west, so I just had to take advantage of it, despite my finger injury. :D  Double BandAide and rubber glove on top kept it clean from the dirt while I dug and moved soil and planted flowers.  I'm happy to say we're 95% finished.  Just a little bit left to go, but I can do it in one cool morning now.

After the cooler temperature, nice cloud cover, and steady precipitation over the weekend, it's finally back to business as usual for the weather around here.  Sunny and hot!  The inside of the chicken coop was 100 degrees, so it was clearly too hot for gardening outside.

Finishing mowing and sowing sunflower seeds this morning, I was able to sit at my work desk and finish inking this piece for a digi. :D  I can only show a snapshot taken at a funky angle and in bad light for now as this has not been released yet.  But you get the idea.  Skull, spider, and lots of poppies. This time, though, the poppies referenced are opium poppies.  Death and eternal sleep are symbolism associated with poppies.
I'm calling this one "Memento Mori". ^_^

On the lighter, more whimsical note, I also did a quick sketch in pencil of this elf boy holding a baby dragon up to his ear.  I probably draw some leaves to the lower right of the image to frame the duo later, but I like the way these guys look so far. ^_^

Now that the outdoor work is almost done (until next weeding, of course), you know what else I need to complete?  "Leanne's Angel", the original watercolor.  She's been sitting on my shelf half finished.  I really need to get to her. ^^;

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Back to Drawing

I've been trying to catch up in so many areas lately that I have not been able to sit down and work on a drawing for a while.  The chicks have arrived.  The weather has warmed and the garden needed planting, not to mention the front yard needing a mow.  And my web site's digi shop is still a work-in-progress (since January).  I am making progress, but there's always something that needed to be added to the list of 'things to do'.  Well, at least, my daughter is out of school for summer, so there's no extra things happening on that front ,at least - for the next 3 months!

This morning, I accidentally sliced my left index finger at the first joint in a shape of an L with a piece of glass.  I was just finished with feeding the cats for the morning, and didn't have my contacts in yet.  One of the kitties decided to cozy up next to my legs as I started to walk away from their food dishes.  Trying not to step on or kick the cat, I ended up stumbling and throwing my hand randomly out onto the shelf, which had some sheets of glass for stained glass...  Ouch!

This injury pretty much prevented me all day from doing any more work in the garden.  And it was a nice, overcast, cooler day, perfect for gardening!! *mad* So I decided it was time that I was going to work on the digi I've been thinking about making...

Themes on the dark side are something I go back to from time to time.  Sprites and fairies are nice, but I also like things that are creepy and ... dark!  After working on "Leanne's Angel", which was A4, and enjoying it so much, I decided to get this started on 8.5 x 11 inches.  With space, comes details.  I like adding a bit of stippling when I draw skulls.  You know I'm drawing for fun when I start shading dot by dot like this. :D  I'll probably also end up shading the poppy leaves with a bit of stippling at this rate.    I almost forgot how much fun it is to use my favorite drawing tool  - ballpoint pen.  It just suits my personality the best.

I'm calling this one "Memento Mori".  I couldn't think of any other flower to place by the skull than poppies.  I do draw a lot of poppies.   They are one of my recurring themes.

I hope my left index finger will feel better tomorrow.  At least, good enough to do light yard work.  I should be able to finish inking this piece in the morning with just the blooms, seedpods, and buds left to go... oh, and the spider !!  How could I forget?!

Friday, May 9, 2014

New Release, Freebie, and More at the AW Special Event

Ohhhhh, my! (Got to say it like you know who!) Stamps by AuroraWings FB group is celebrating 1,000 + members today. :D  That was quick!  I remember when I first started the group in November of 2013 with modest number of members.  It was cozy and wonderful.  A lot of these early members have joined me as the Design Team for the challenge blog and I have become such good friends with them.  It's all been a wonderful journey.

Fastforward to today, and we're celebrating a huge family of over 1,000 members.  This milestone called for something really special, so I put just a little bit more forethinking and planning than usual (which is a feat for this MOMtreprenuer who wears so many hats! -- making things work out at the last minute is our specialty LOL ).  Although mostly surrendipitous than my planning ability, we were able to mark this occasion with a special showcase with many of my DT members creating special pieces with the new release, Anima Sola.

To be honest, I really did not like this theme when it was posted at the Enchanted Visions.  A bit restrictive, I felt, and overly religious.  The iconic imagery was already so established (that of a chained lady with arms outstretched skyward, standing in flames...), having such influence on many members' renditions, but in the end, I stylized the flames into poppies and hair, with a touch of goth mood thrown in and I was somewhat happy with the end result.  ^^;  I was surprised but happy to see Sandra Carey (my DT member) ask for it in digi format, and the positive feedback from other DT members following the initial unveiling came the idea of a special showcase.  It all worked out wonderfully! :D  This digi is now available at my Etsy shop here.

Even more amazing was how I managed, in the middle of the chicken coop building and extra yardening to remove weeds from the backyard, to make two new sprite digis! *_*  One, Dandelion Sprite has been unleashed as a special edition freebie.

There's a Special Flash Contest (short challenge) at the FB group using this freebie digi.  Closes on next Friday.  Every entry will be showcased on our Showcase Blog, and a lucky winner (chosen by me on merit) will win $20 worth of digis. :D  Use a freebie to get more freebies.  Not a bad way to to keep your craft hobby going, huh? LOL

There will be one more new release today, but that will have to wait. ;)  Now, off to grab a bite to eat.  The morning hours have flown by.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Special Giveaway of a Coloring Book

I'm giving away a special coloring book on my Stamps by Aurora Wings FB fan page for the month of May.  This page was just started recently for the digital stamps collection of my art.  And it is connected to the new Etsy shop that will be dedicated just for digital stamps.  My original Etsy shop Aurora Wings will continue to carry original art, prints, ACEOs, coloring books, and other merchandise, but the digital stamps will be phased out gradually and eventually be moved completely over to the new shop.

To kick off the new fan page, I am giving away a copy of "Gardens & Goddesses" coloring book, which has been  well received (So much so, the volume 2 is in the talks.).  The book I'm giving away this time will be signed to the person who wins the random drawing, and it will have one of the pages colored by me in Prismacolor pencils, so that it will be a one-of-a-kind, collector's item. :D  I have only made 2 other offers like this in the past.

I hope you enter for a chance to win this very special coloring book!  You can find the giveaway info at this link here.  It's the pinned post at the top of the wall. ;)  Good luck!  I hope to show an update of the coloring as I work on one of the 19 images included in the book.