Challenge 1 Complete. . . Challenges 2 + 3 Begin! (Sketchtember, Inktober, Plotober)

As of two days ago, Challenge 1 for Autumn 2017 is complete!  I’ve updated my portfolio with a project page gathering all eighteen drawings I did for Sketchtember, so you can check that out here. Here’s a little preview:

(Psst. . . There’s also some character designs + other sketches for our NaNo project!  And I’ll announce the project’s details this week, so please look forward to that!)

Continue reading “Challenge 1 Complete. . . Challenges 2 + 3 Begin! (Sketchtember, Inktober, Plotober)”


The Calm Before the Storm; or, The Impending Doom I Myself Created

As September casually rolls around, there is a breath of crispness in the air.  Even in the hot, humid area where I live, the nights have a touch of coolness.  Autumn is definitely coming, and with it, several events that inspire both excitement and nervousness.  Chugging along with my everyday work as I am, there is also a sense that this is the final calm before the craziness that will be Autumn 2017.

I am speaking, of course, of the no less than the three-plus events I have looked forward to all year: Sketchtember (this very month!), Inktober (which will also be my Plotober), and NaNoWriMo in November.  Three events – plus prep for the third, which in itself may be its own event – and three months of intense creative effort.  Am I crazy to try to tackle all this?  Maybe so.  Especially since I’m also juggling making the buffer for Upcoming Webcomic.  We will just have to see. . . .


Cloud as the Lady of Spring - small version - by River on Strike A Spark
A sketch I am particularly proud of: Cloud as the Lady of Spring. I want to paint it soon – just in time for winter, haha! XD

Sketchtember is by far the most low-key event.  Every day for a month, artists sketch something every day and share their sketches with the hashtag #sketchtember.  For me, September is a month to return to the foundations of drawing and reinforce the habit of daily warmup sketches.  Though September is half over, and I’ve only just begun – oops!  May the rest of the month fare better.  (If you are interested in following along, head on over to my Twitter. . . . )

Continue reading “The Calm Before the Storm; or, The Impending Doom I Myself Created”

Summertime Portraits

Summertime Cloud - a painting by River of Studio Luminessa.

I’ve been collecting professional artists’ markers for a while, but I’ve always been a little nervous to use them.  Unlike digital art, traditional work – with paints, with pens, with markers – has no “undo” button.  Yes, there are techniques to cover and incorporate mistakes; still, it is nerve-wracking for an artist who grew up with the safety net of CTRL+Z.  So while I sketched these portraits in June, they remained only sketches while I thought about what to do with them.  Leaving them as a sketch was no good, of course, so with a little nudging from Cloud, I finally sat down to ink and paint them last week.  And if I messed up horribly, I could always re-do them digitally, after all. . . .

Luckily, I did not mess up horribly, so here they are!
Summertime River - a painting by River of Studio Luminessa.
Summertime Cloud - a painting by River of Studio Luminessa.

The markers were a mix of Promarkers and ShinHan Touch markers (both alcohol-based) and a single pink Aquamarker (water-based).  I found that the Promarkers and Touch markers blended quite nicely, and the Aquamarker layered nicely after the alcohol layer dried thoroughly.  My Sakura Gelly Roll pen provided highlights – a real life-saver when you accidentally color over, say, the whites of the eyes, haha!


Time: 22 hours for both

Materials: mechanical pencil, Prismacolor Premier .05 pen, ShinHan Touch markers, Promarkers, Aquamarkers, Sakura Gelly Roll (white)

Digital Painting “Heiress” – Finished!

"Heiress" by River - watermarked version.
"Heiress" by River - watermarked version.
For her seventh birthday, they had her sit for a portrait, that their people might see their future queen.

After weeks of work, “Heiress” is finally finished!  ~(˘▾˘~) (~˘▾˘)~

Continue reading “Digital Painting “Heiress” – Finished!”

Superhero (Sketch)

Grayscale sketch of a girl in a cloak.

Grayscale sketch of a girl in a cloak.

Playing in GIMP again.  This sketch took around ~30 minutes (threw a couple attempts away first, haha).

I like working in blue first for the sketch, even in digital art.  Added some quick grayscale shading to check lighting/values. I intended this to be a fantasy piece, but it looks more like a panel from a superhero comic now! XD

If I continue painting this piece, what do you think the colors of her dress and cloak should be?  I was thinking black & red, but I’m already using those for the Onyx and Sardonyx piece, so hm.  Any suggestions?

Heiress (Digital Painting WIP)

Work-in-progress digital fantasy portait of an elf lady.

Work-in-progress digital fantasy portait of an elf lady.

I meant to post this earlier and forgot! Haha.  This piece, “Heiress,” evolved slowly from a warm-up sketch, and I’ve been working on it whenever I want to – instead of for a deadline.  It’s very relaxing. 🙂

This screencap is from the lighting check.  I painted it in black and white first to get a good grasp of the values.  I like using this method because I have trouble with lighting, but placing colors on top of grayscale is a struggle. :’)  Even if the colors look good in the end, they aren’t exactly what I envisioned at the start.  Flatting with colors fixes that problem. . . but then I struggle with getting the lighting right.  A conundrum! LOL