When it’s hot out, like right now, it can be almost impossible to get a smooth wash. The heat starts to dry the paint faster than you can get it down on the paper, and you end up with uneven washes like this. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though…
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:
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!
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.
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!
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!
I’m hoping to use these guys in an upcoming project, so hopefully I’ll have more doggy things to share soon!
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.
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.
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.
I’ve had a stash of Lumi’s Inkodye for a few months now, but finally got all the materials together to use it about a week ago. It’s pretty amazing! I’m still experimenting with it, but the process has been a lot of fun.
Step 1: Have something that you want to print. I went with some whales I painted a few weeks ago.
Step 2: Print out your image on a transparency. This is where I got a little hung up, as I had to buy new ink cartridges and find the right kind of transparency for my printer. The transparencies should be printed with the black and white inversed, like a film negative.
Step 3: Put some Inkodye on your fabric! But not too much. Just enough to get the fabric damp and cover the area you want covered.
Step 4: Place your transparency on top of the fabric, and get that baby out in the sun! The fabric will start changing almost instantly.
The blue started to appear after about a minute. I have my fabric and transparency sandwiched between two pieces of plexiglass and held together with bulldog clips, so there’s no way for things to accidentally shift during the exposure time.
Step 5: Wait. Seriously, wait. It’ll take about 15 minutes to get the strongest color. I brought a chair and book outside to keep myself busy.
Step 6: When you can’t stand it any longer, bring your fabric back inside to a place where sunlight can’t reach it, take off the transparency, and start rinsing. I ended up having to wash my fabric by hand for a few minutes, then run it through the wash twice to get all the leftover dye out. Which is something you really want to do, unless you’re cool with your fabric turning blue when you take it outside.
Step 7: Be proud! You made something cool!
I made one for myself, and a few for Etsy. I’ve gotta say, they’re great for small grocery store runs.
Yesterday, my roommate posted a link on my Facebook to a competition to design a scarf. Pretty cool. The catch? The deadline is tomorrow.
Bring it on.
First, sketch. The theme for the contest was “words”. Inspiration could be a single letter, a single word, or a quote. I chose “Le Chat Méchant”. The Wicked Cat.
Next, get to working on the real deal!
Things changed a little bit when I started drawing. I liked the idea of a border of eyes, but the scale didn’t look right. So I made them smaller and threw in the rest of the face. I liked the shapes the ears made.
Here’s another in progress photo, with a better view of the ears.
After finishing the base design, I did some text and extra shapes on a separate piece of paper, then scanned everything and opened it up in Photoshop. Wham bam a few dozen minutes later, I was finished! (Honestly, I just forget to take in progress screencaps when working on the computer).
Here’s what the layers looked like:
Their styles are multiply, overlay, screen, and multiply again.
Not too shabby in less than 24 hours! Here’s a link to the company holding the contest. Wish me luck!
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.
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.
Edit: I’ve had a few inquiries, so I’ve made the original painting and prints available in my Etsy shop.