Blogging break! + Random question!

Just wanted to let you all know that I’ll be on a blogging break for the next 2-3 weeks as I will have limited access to a computer.  I’ve scheduled a few posts to show you some of the work-in-progress paintings I’ve been working on in my free time, but I won’t be around to respond to comments – sorry! 😦  But I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.

And, so this post isn’t just depressing news, how about a random question?  For all you artists, writers, and crafters out there, this one’s for you: What’s your favorite technique to use, and what new technique are you excited to try out?  Let me know in the comments below!  I’m looking forward to seeing your responses when I get back! ^^

By the way, my current favorite digital art technique is to use a grayscale layer to check values.  I did this for Onyx and Sardonyx, and whoa did it help me with the lighting!  For example, here’s a wip of the grayscale layer that I saved but never posted LOL:

Screencap crop WIP of Onyx and Sardonyx.

She looks kinda scary in black-and-white. (^_^);;

So yeah! Let me know what your favorite technique + new technique you’d like to try are in the comments!  And I hope you all have a wonderful few weeks! (^u^)

Cloud Finished Painting a Mermaid!

Today I’m happy to share with y’all that Cloud finished the first of the mermaid paintings!  ~(˘▾˘~) (~˘▾˘)~  This sketch:

Mermaid Chibi Cloud Sketch by River

. . . is now a lovely watercolor!  I’m so happy. (。◕‿◕。)  Please head on over to Cloud’s World Of: and check it out!

A Little Announcement: What I Used for Inktober Review Series Starts Tonight

Starting tomorrow, I’m pleased to begin a series of reviewing art supplies!

We’ll start with the supplies I picked up last year for Inktober.  As I started NaNoWriMo right after Inktober ended, this series is a little late in the game, but hopefully my review will be useful no matter what time of year it is. :3

As last October was the first year I challenged Inktober, I had only a few inking supplies: a few calligraphy pens, a set of Prismacolor pens, some gel pens from the dollar store, and a box of Crayola markers left over from my school days.   While technically that was more than enough to do the challenge, I saw an opportunity to go shopping and I took it. :3  I was able to try out a few supplies I’ve had my eye on for a while, so I’m glad for that!

These are what I bought last September:

  • Caran d’Ache Non-Photo Blue Pencils (like animators use!)
  • Tombow Dual-Brush Pens in Grayscale
  • Sakura Gelly Roll Pen in White

Added to my Prismacolor markers and colored pencils, I had a lot of options for the challenge.  :3  Since then, I’ve picked up a set of Lestrat AquaMarkers and ProMarkers and a set of Staedtler colored pencils, so I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with those as well.  I’m pleased that I’ll be able to share them with you!

Since I have supplies that cover the whole drawing process from sketch to final touches, I thought it’d be interesting to use all the supplies to draw and paint a picture (or two!).  Here’s a sneak peek of what I’m working on, starting with the blue animator pencil:

Sketch for the review series – comic!River!

Reviews will start later tonight with the blue animator pencil and will be published every Tuesday for the next few weeks!  (Posts on Friday / any other day will continue to be “what I’m working on” and process posts. 🙂 )  I hope you enjoy!  And if there’s any art supply I’ve used before and you’d like it reviewed, let me know and I’ll add it to the pile. :3

 

Strike A Spark’s 7th Anniversary!

winter-sketch

Happy Holidays!  Though it isn’t an anniversary picture, here’s a quick snap of a sketch I’ve been working on with a “Winter” theme.  Pencil is done, it’s time to scan it and ink it digitally!

As of this week, I’ve been blogging for seven years. It’s a little strange to think that Strike A Spark has been around for that long. On the one hand, I hoped from the start that this blog would continue for many years; on the other, I cynically  wondered whether something I started just for fun would be able to survive, or whether I would find something else to spend my time on.  I’m happy to say that Strike A Spark has not just survived, but has grown beyond what I originally imagined!

It’s been an adventure, all right.  In the beginning, I struggled just with writing reviews every week.  Now that I’m posting more about my writing and art, I’m determined each day to improve my craft so that I can take pride in what I share with you.  Even during the times the blog was on hiatus, it was in my thoughts as I planned posts I wanted to write and thought about the design and layout.  From something that started as “just for fun,” Strike A Spark has become a major, and beloved, part of my life.

To everyone who has watched over me since the beginning, and to new readers who have just found Strike A Spark, thank you for joining me on this adventure!  Though I’m not the best or most prolific blogger, I’m grateful for the opportunity to connect and grow along with you.  Let’s make Year 8 of Strike A Spark a great one!

~River

Announcement: I’m now on Twitter!

I have a small announcement:

I now have a Twitter account!

You can now follow @Rivers_Reverie to keep up with what I’m doing. As we’re in the middle of #Sketchtember, I’m mostly just posting the daily sketches for the moment, but I’m sure I’ll be using it more in the coming months.  :3

Stay tuned for today’s #Sketchtember post!  (Though it’ll probably be in the evening again. (TT__TT) )

A Gentle Wish Sketch Watermarked

 

I’m Doing #Sketchtember! Day 1: White Noise

 

In White Noise Sketch, a girl wearing headphones is lost in her own world. (c) 2016 River at Strike A Spark.

Sometimes I just want to shut out the world.

For the month of September, I want to post a sketch every day!  So #Sketchtember begins. . . .  It should be a good warm-up for #Inktober next month.

Have you tried any month-long challenges before?  How did it go?

River and the Muse

I have wanted to write more. . .

I’ve felt it like a heartbeat these past few months.  Every time I sit at a computer, the urge to type out a thousand words is a wave so intense I think it is going to wash me away.

And that wave is just one of the thousand in a typhoon.

. . . and yet, the words wouldn’t come.

They are there in my heart, locked up in a cage.  The bars are loose enough that I can see them, reach my fingers through the gaps and try to reach them. . . but close enough together that each attempt fails.

And I don’t have the key.

It seems the Muse went on vacation. . . and took the key. (Traitor.)

A vacation I did not authorize. And as of this moment, it is officially over.

Strike A Spark is back!  Posting will resume March 2016!