#Mermay: Chibi Mermaid Claire

Mermaid Chibi Claire - Small Version - by River on Strike A Spark

Wow ~ the colors are very dramatic today ~ OwO

Hello hello!  Hope you all had a good weekend. :3  Today I have another sketch to share with you!  Presenting Claire, another character from our upcoming webcomic, in chibi mermaid form!  😀  Can you spot all the fishes swimming around her?

Mermaid Claire was a lot of fun to draw, even with the difficulty of drawing her hand(s).  I feel like my style is slowing evolving towards a style that is consistent and something I can be happy with.  I’d like to improve my sketching speed, but I’m sure that will come as I continue practicing. 🙂

Cloud noted that the watercolor paper we were using was a little thin, and rippled when she was painting, so today I sketched on a thicker 300 gram paper from Strathmore.  The texture was different, more like little blocks – a more mechanical texture.  It holds pencil well, though, so I was happy with that!  I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks when painted. :3  If you paint with watercolors, what’s your favorite paper to use?

Stats

  • Time: 2 hours
  • Tools: Strathmore 300 gram watercolor paper, 0.7 mechanical pencil

 

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!

Chibi Mermaids for #Mermay

Mermaid Chibi Cloud Sketch by River

Cloud as a mermaid!

On Twitter this week, I’ve seen a lot of people drawing mermaids for May (Mermay, get it?), so I was inspired to draw some, too!  I won’t be doing one every day as I’m working on a few other projects right now, but I’ve had fun with these sketches. ^u^

Mermaid Chibi River Sketch for #Mermay by River on Strike A Spark

And River as a mermaid!

These pictures are a collaboration with Cloud, who will paint them!  Recently, Cloud has been enjoying painting with watercolors, so these sketches were drawn on watercolor paper.  I really like the toothy texture – it picks up pencil well.  We decided not to ink them to give a softer impression.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how they look painted! (◕‿◕✿)  Cloud will post them on her blog when she’s done, so keep an eye out! ,

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

"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!

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

 

Colored Pencil Painting: Portrait

Worked traditionally with colored pencils for a change of pace!  Portrait of a girl I saw in a dream – I’m pretty sure she has a story to tell, but I don’t know what it is yet. . . .  But kimono remain one of my favorite things to draw, so I’m happy!  I got to draw a hakama too. (^u^)  I was a little careless, so the paper got a little crinkled, but otherwise it turned out quite well!

This time I used a new brand of colored pencils, the Staedtler brand.  They seem a bit softer than Prismacolor Premier pencils, and I liked them a lot.

Here’s a close-up:

I enjoyed working on “Portrait” a lot, more than I thought I would.  It was very relaxing. . . I’d like to learn more colored pencil techniques and try them out, too.

Time: 10 hours

Tools

  • uCreate sketchbook with 75lb paper
  • Staedtler colored pencils, 48 pack

Falling (Digital Painting WIP)

Falling (WIP) by River. Digital sketch produced in GIMP 2.8 using a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet.I was going to add this to a sketchdump later this week, but as I finished the inks today, I thought I’d go ahead and post it. (^u^)  Here is the finished inked version of a new print, “Falling”!

Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (one of my favorite books), this print features a girl falling in a dream.  I wonder if she was watching Alice in Wonderland before bed?  Or is she Alice, herself, falling down the rabbit hole. . . ?  I haven’t quite decided yet, so we’ll see what happens when I color it. \(^o^)/

Fun fact: This piece took me three days to ink.  Whew!  All those little details were quite intense.  Any bets on how long coloring will take. . . ?  Haha.

Tools

  • GIMP 2
  • Wacom Intuos 3