Sketches and Ramblings

Work is going slowly this week. I don’t have any finished pieces to share, so here’s a page of sketches I shared on Twitter:

(This is probably a good time to mention that I usually post daily sketches on Twitter.  They just seem to fit better on Twitter vs this blog.  But maybe I should do like a  weekly round-up of sketches?  A sketchdump?  What do you think?)

Art is a funny field.  Each piece takes a long time, and I only want to post something when it’s ‘done,’ so if it’s still in-progress, it’s hard for me to share. . . On the other hand, there’s this sort of pressure to “post weekly at a minimum” and I produce more sketches than anything else, so on weeks when painting is going s l o w l y, I end up posting sketches anyway.  In that respect, I wish I had a style that lends itself better to quick, finished paintings – or maybe that’s not dependent on style, but rather workflow.  So in that case, I just have to keep on drawing and the speed will come.  With practice.  Yeah.

Then there’s the fact that I love both writing and drawing.  I enjoy both, but I haven’t yet reached a balance where it feels like I’m doing enough of either.  When I’m drawing, I think about all the stories I want to tell, and when I’m writing, I’m thinking about the pictures I want to paint.  And of course, most of my stories are longer-term projects and aren’t “done” yet, so I can’t share those with you in the meantime.  It’s not frustrating exactly, and I’ll probably find a balance one day; it’s just that I wish there were more hours in a day so I can do ALL THE STUFF instead of just part of it, haha.

Oh, even though I said I can’t really share story-stuff with you guys. . . I’ve been revisiting my NaNo project this week & trying to work out some of the kinks.  I think the basic plot is okay, just need to flesh out my characters a bit more. . . and figure out a good logline. . . . Anyway, I should have a few things to share soon!  Like, working title and characters’ names and so on.   So look forward to that!

Header for Cloud’s Blog WIP

cloud-header-sketch-watermarkedLast Thursday I shared a sketch for my new header design.  Today I’m happy to show you a sketch for Cloud’s new header design!  \(^o^)/  And again we have a nice gradient background, so the sketch isn’t so monochrome; I think even a splash of color helps bring an image to life.

Just like Strike A Spark’s design features comic!River, the new header for Cloud’s World Of: features comic!Cloud!  I think her design turned out very cute, and somehow more elegant than River.  Maybe because her hands look a little better. . . ?

By the by, Cloud helped me with the concept for both our headers.  That’s why they match, which I am ridiculously happy about!  \(^o^)/

I’m hoping to finish up the coloring on both pieces within the next week or so.  It largely depends on whether I can continue working around that bug.  For now, plugging in an external keyboard seems to have fixed it, so we’ll see~ !

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.

Tools

  • 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!