Gemstone Challenge, Day 14: Onyx and Sardonyx

A sketch of a mysterious cloaked woman.  By River. The final theme of the Gemstone Streak Challenge was Onyx.  Before yesterday, I thought that all onyx was black, but apparently onyx comes in many colors! And it also has streaks, like tiger eyes.

Besides the standard black, the variety of onyx that caught my eye was sardonyx, or red onyx.  So this piece was inspired by those colors.  The setting is the dark of night (for onyx), and her dress, the gems on her cloak, and the fairy lights will be red (for sardonyx), I think.  We’ll see how it goes when I do the color test. ^u^

Thanks for following along with me as I tackled this challenge!  It was a lot of fun, and I hope you enjoyed it as well!

Gemstone Challenge, Day 13: Tiger Eye

A digital painting of a woman modeling a tiger-eye pendant.  Made with GIMP 2 by River.

Day 13’s theme is Tiger Eye.  I intended to stop after doing the sketch, but I was having so much fun that I kept going until I finished the flats!  I had fun painting the tiger eye pendant and trying to capture the way the colored bands seem to glow within the gem.


  • GIMP 2
  • Wacom Intuos 3

Don’t forget to check out the Gemstone Streak Club page!  There are a ton of creative submissions – over 70, last I checked – and everyone is doing such a wonderful job.

See you all later tonight for the final theme, Onyx!

Gemstone Challenge Day 12: Turquoise Amulet

A pencil sketch of a child wearing a protective turquoise amulet and bracelet.The birthstone of December, turquoise has also been known for its protective qualities.  I imagine that it’s the perfect gem to create an amulet for those you love, so today’s sketch is of a child wearing a turquoise amulet and bracelet.  They were given to her by her parents and grandparents to protect her when they could not.

Unfortunately, my hand became a little cramped today, so we’re back to posting the pencil sketches.  I’m still planning to complete the Gemstone Streak Challenge, but I’ll probably stop at the pencil sketches for the last two themes as well.  After my hand’s had the chance to rest up, I’ll go back and ink and color them.  It should keep me busy for a little while. ^u^

Today marks the end of the monthly birthstones!  Tomorrow’s theme is Tiger Eye.  I’m looking forward to it!

Gemstone Challenge, Day 11: November’s Child (Sketch) for Topaz

She said that topazes always reminded her of Autumn, when the maple leaves fell.  It was her favorite season.

She said that topazes always reminded her of Autumn, when the maple leaves fell. It was her favorite season.

Another sketch day. . . .  This piece is more melancholy than most of my works, though I like to think that there is a good side to it as well.  I don’t know if I’ll finish this piece, but I already have a color scheme I’d like to use! Haha.  It goes like this: A cool blue for the wallpaper, either natural wood or painted white for the table, orange for the topaz ring (naturally), and bright red for the maple leaf.  That way, the ring and leaf will hopefully pop!  And I want to color the portrait nicely as well. ^u^

This was inspired by/created for the Gemstone Streak Challenge.

Gemstone Challenge, Day 10: Opal-Eyed Animals

gemstone-challenge-opal-eyed-animals-v1Today’s concept comes courtesy of my mother, who suggested I do animals with eyes like glowing opals.  (Thank you, Mom!)  Here we have a cat, a fox, and a mouse sitting together at dusk, their eyes glowing in the low light.

This piece took me about five hours from start to finish, and it’s the first colored piece I’ve completed in about a week.  It’s actually a crop of the full piece; I wanted to really feature their eyes.  I’m pretty happy with it!  (Though I’m sure tomorrow I’ll think of things I want to change. . . .)  I’m glad I was able to try something a little different!

Now it’s really late and I’m ready for bed!  See you tomorrow for Topaz~

EDIT: I forgot to mention this, oops!  Today I used custom Fur Brushes by Lhuin on dA.  They were free and very cool!  Even though they’re Photoshop brushes, they work in GIMP too; just put them in the Brushes folder like other GIMP brushes (here’s the article that taught me how to do this).  Thank you, Lhuin!

Gemstone Challenge, Day 9: Sapphire Potion

An apothecary holds her sapphire potion up to the light.Yesterday’s theme was Sapphire!  In the past, sapphires were believed to be a medicinal stone.  It was said that they were an antidote to poison, and that it could cure stomachache, colic, and other complaints.*  So here we have an apothecary who has made a sapphire tincture for a patient!  (Hopefully, in her world, it actually works. 😛 ) I really like this character design, so we’ll see if she pops up in a story one day. ^^

I was pretty tired last night, so I was only able to finish the pencil sketch.  Normally, my process goes mechanical pencil sketch –> digital inks –> digital coloring.  If I’m planning to color traditionally (like I did for Inktober), then I’ll use my non-photo blue pencils instead (link to Amazon, review coming soon-ish), but they were expensive and too precious to use if I’m planning to color digitally, haha.  (Also, they’re non-photo blue.  So they don’t scan too well, I hear! XP I should probably try it anyway though, hmm. For science.)

Today’s theme is Opal, and I’m excited to share it with you!  I’m hoping that maybe I can paint it today, depending on when I finish my homework, so it might be uploaded really late tonight.  Keep an eye out!

In the meantime, you should really check out the Gemstone Streak Challenge main page if you haven’t already.  Everyone’s done such awesome work!  Really creative!  And really inspiring, I don’t know if I’d have made it this far if I didn’t have their work to look forward too as well.


Gemstone Challenge Day 7: Peridot Clover (wip)

gemstone-challenge-peridot-clover-sketchToday’s theme was Peridot!  Up until now, I’ve seen each day’s gemstone at least once in-person, but peridot is the first that I don’t think I’ve seen before.  When I looked it up, the cheerful green reminded me of clover flowers, so today we have peridot-colored clover!

I was able to take this piece a bit further than the last three and begin flatting.  I was happy with her hand when I drew it, but now something seems a little off. . . hm. . . I may have to redraw it.  😦  Despite that, overall I’m happy with this piece.  It was a bit of a struggle for such a simple composition, but of course the most important thing is that I sat down and drew it, no?