Constellation Collection, Half Complete (so far)

I’ll admit, I have a very short attention span when it comes to painting. It’s how I knew early on I would never make comics; whenever I tried, I could never get past 15 pages or so. Always, after I’ve made a dent into a project, I get restless and have to switch to something else, probably painted in a different medium to boot.

So, I decided to challenge myself- 12 paintings, done in a relatively timely fashion, with one theme, and stylistically cohesive. Definitely a difficult task!

Well, here I am, half way through! I can feel some creeping restlessness, but I’m also excited to tackle the next constellation (Libra, for all you scale signs out there). Here are the first six signs:

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Aries, the Ram
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Taurus, the Bull
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Gemini, the Twins
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Cancer, the Crab
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Leo, the Lion
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Virgo, the Virgin

As you could probably tell from the in-progress pictures I’ve been posting for the last few weeks, these guys were all painted in black ink, my favorite thing lately. That definitely makes it easier to keep going! Hopefully I’ll be posting the second set soon. In the meantime, keep an eye out for more progress photos!

Send In The Hounds

After a post dedicated to cats, I decided it was time to let the dogs have their day in the sun. On my desk, at least.

As much as I love drawing highly stylized, brightly colored animals, I also want to get better at drawing them a bit more realistically. I guess these guys are still very stylized, but not as much as, say, here. I decided to tackle smaller dogs, but I’d like to try drawing bigger dogs in the future as well. Maybe a greyhound or Irish setter. Or a St. Bernard.

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First up is a Pembroke Corgi, based loosely on one of my parents’ dogs (yes, I am lucky enough to get to hang out with a pair of corgis when I visit my family, as if visiting family wasn’t awesome enough already). I love their oversized ears! For the longest time my drawing didn’t look right, until I made the ears bigger than I thought realistic. But that’s exactly what he needed, larger-than-life ears!

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Second, a Pekingese. I am a huge fan of these little guys, with their flowing locks and little waddling steps. In my opinion, they have one of the greatest origin stories for a breed of dogs- they were bred to look like Chinese lions, and would be kept hidden in peoples’ sleeves, ready to jump out and bite anyone wicked!

frenchbulldog_smallThird is an adorable little French bulldog pup. I don’t know much about these guys, other than the fact that they’re pretty stinkin’ cute.

I’m hoping to use these guys in an upcoming project, so hopefully I’ll have more doggy things to share soon!

Cats Cats Cats

I have to say, I’ve been drawing and painting tons of cats lately. Cats everywhere. Sorry If you don’t like them, I know my last post was about cats too.

First, I’ve continued doing portraits of cats. This is my best friend’s cat; he was rescued from under a house at only a few days old. He looks like a flame point siamese, and yes, his eyes do that- whatever the opposite of cross-eyed is. Wall-eyed, I think. He’s a pretty cute guy, even though he tends to hiss at me.

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Next, I had an idea for a repeat pattern of all cats. I started drawing them all, one by one…

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You can see on the top of the second picture how I started out with a sort of template, then customized each one when it came time to paint it.

Eight cats, some other bits, and a few hours sunk into Photoshop later, I had my pattern!

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Those are catnip leaves and flowers all around them. I like how between the Siamese, the Scottish Fold, the Norwegian Forest Cat, the Japanese Bobtail, and the Cornish Rex, it became quite the international who’s-who of cats. I wanted to use a late summer/early fall color scheme (as even though it’s technically fall, it’s still dreadfully hot here in LA).

And finally, a different kind of cat- a quick drawing of some of the girls from the movie High School Hellcats. If you have Netflix instant, I cannot recommend this movie enough, especially if you’re a fan of campy older movies. Just be prepared to clutch your pearls.

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Jewelry Box

I’ve been on a gem kick lately. It started when my boyfriend and I decided to get membership passes to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. Every time we visit, there’s one spot I have to go- past the oarfish and the coelacanth, tucked away in the back of the mineral hall, are a few cases with raw and cut gems, side by side. There’s something wonderful about being able to see them together, the rough dramatic shapes and the smooth polished ones, each beautiful in their own ways. The last time we went I photographed my favorites, and settled back in at home to paint them.

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I like them as stand alone pieces, but also wanted to try putting them together. I also went back and added plaques around their names.

ImageAnd I liked that so much, I went ahead and made patterns out of them.Image

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Bigger pictures of the repeats can be seen here. I had my swatches printed on a super soft, silky fabric. I just wish I was better at sewing, I’d made myself a gem dress in a heartbeat. And probably wear it to the museum.

 

 

 

Usagi Bugeisha

You guys, I am so excited for the new Sailor Moon show coming out in July. A few copies of my little sister’s sailor moon comics were my first introduction to manga, and are what got me interested in art in the first place. I even dreamed of being a comic artist for a while! I’m sure if I looked around, I could find some of my old comics, but I’m not sure if I want to. Anyway, I’ll be at the Sailor Moon tribute show in Anaheim with bells on. Even though I’m not participating, I thought it would be nice to do my own tribute to Usagi and the series that got me started.

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Sailor Moon as an Onna bugeisha, or female samurai. I went back a little later and added some gold accents. She’s completely painted in ink, with a few gouache touch-ups. The more freedom I give myself to mix colors, the easier painting with ink becomes. I wanted to emulate some of the lines and shapes found in old woodblock prints of warriors.

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Edit: I’ve had a few inquiries, so I’ve made the original painting and prints available in my Etsy shop.

 

 

Team Sansa

I, like so many others, am a big fan of Game of Thrones. But unlike a lot of those fans, I kinda love Sansa. Hell, I could see her maybe possibly even winning this whole thing.

What I love about Sansa is her innate humanness. She makes very human choices, and makes very human mistakes. Whenever people talk about their favorite characters, or who they would be in the GoT universe, everyone thinks they would be Arya, or Tyrion; a total badass. But I bet that if many of us were thrown into this chaotic world, we would flounder a bit, and need some time to get our footing. And maybe never be that great at playing the game. Like Sansa.

Because of her humanness, Sansa is one of my favorite characters to draw. She has been dealt such a bad hand in life. Yesterday I finished a painting of her; it’s really a speculative piece, and who knows if it’ll ever happen. I have a feeling it will though. After being away for so long, Sansa will eventually return home to Winterfell, only to find that her home is no longer there.

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Personality Shift

I’m a bit late with this update, but life has a funny habit of getting in the way sometimes.

Last year, I was invited to participate in Light Grey Art Lab’s Great Personality show. LGAL has quickly become one of my favorite galleries to produce work for; they always have incredibly creative ideas that I would be surprised to see elsewhere. This is the third show of theirs I’ve had the honor of participating in (the first two being the Macro & Micro and GIRLS: Fact + Fiction shows), and this one was a doozy! The artwork for the show was all done with one goal in mind- to be used later in a series of four interactive dating games inspired by the Meyers-Briggs personality types.

For the games, I had the chance to provide two background locations; a classroom, and a theatre prop room.

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In order to save myself from some massive headaches later, I did both scenes in black ink to make a greyscale image first, then scanned them and added color later on Photoshop. I think working like that made it easier for me to find cohesive color palettes for images with so many little bits and pieces and stuff going on.

I was a bit worried about how the backgrounds would gel with the characters painted by other artists, but the team at LGAL did a wonderful job both with the plotting of the story and with matching characters to scenery.

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All in all, it was a great experience to work on such a cool project. Here’s a link to the first of the four games put out; I highly recommend you take a look and play it for a while, it’s a very engrossing choose your own adventure style game! Just remember to save every once in a while so you can go back and explore other endings.