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!”

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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

Digital Painting: Falling (finished!) + Thoughts on Improvement

"Falling" - An Alice in Wonderland-inspired digital painting by Studio Luminessa's River. Postcard size version.
"Falling" - An Alice in Wonderland-inspired digital painting by Studio Luminessa's River. Postcard size version.
Last night I had a strange dream. Wearing my favorite dress, I was falling through the air. Was it to Wonderland or. . . ?

Today I am happy to share with you the final version of “Falling”!  It took a bit of work, but I think I finally managed to get the dream-like atmosphere I was aiming for.  \(^o^)/

Stats

  • Time: ~20 hours
  • Materials: GIMP 2.8, Wacom Intuos 3

“Falling” is definitely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, but personally, I don’t think the girl in the picture is Alice herself.  Perhaps Alice in Wonderland was one of her favorite childhood books. Perhaps she’s always longed to go to Wonderland.  Perhaps that’s why she looks so calm. What do you think?

If you asked me if I’m happy with “Falling,” I would have to say yes – and no.  In many ways, “Falling” represents the current level of my digital painting abilities.  It was also an experiment and a challenge: Different style, focus on shading, and the sheer number of objects to paint gave room to explore and hone my skills.  I’m quite proud of how much I progressed just in the painting of this piece.  Yet at the same time, I felt myself bumping up against the upper limit of my skills.  It was a delight to paint, and yet frustrating at the same time.

At some point, though, you just have to say: “It’s done now.”  No, it isn’t perfect.  Yes, I’m sure with more time/energy/practice it would be more polished.  But I feel that right now, this is the best I can do with this piece.  So rather than going over it again and again and again, or putting it away where it will be forgotten, I’d like to share it with you. 🙂

So, yes, I’m happy with “Falling.” Happy and proud both. And no, I’m not.   But I will take everything that I’ve learned in the hours that made this piece and use them on the next piece, and the next.  No painting, no matter how dissatisfied I am with it, is useless.  Each one takes me closer to my dream.  Hopefully I can just remember that. . . 😛

How about you? Are you a perfectionist?  How do you decide when a piece is “done”?  Let me know in the comments below!

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~ !

Art from the Archives: Great Fire Dragon

Great Fire Dragon by River

Happy Friday!  Are you looking forward to the weekend?  I know I am! =^w^=

Welcome back to the third installment of Art from the Archives!  Today’s picture is the companion to last week’s post.  It’s the Great Fire Dragon!

Great Fire Dragon by RiverJust like Blue Mountain Dragon, Great Fire Dragon looks better in print than on my monitor.  It’s a mystery~

Continue reading “Art from the Archives: Great Fire Dragon”

Art from the Archives: Blue Mountain Dragon

Blue Mountain Dragon by River

Hello and welcome back to Art from the Archives!  Today I’m sharing with you one of my favorite pieces that I made, oh, about five years ago, I think?  Simply titled Blue Mountain Dragon, it took about 8-10 hours to complete and was the first in a planned series of elemental/nature dragons:

Blue Mountain Dragon by RiverThis picture (and the one I’ll post next week) actually looks better in print than on my monitor.  I don’t know why?  I feel like it’s usually the other way around, but eh!  I’ll take it. XD

Continue reading “Art from the Archives: Blue Mountain Dragon”