Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Honeyed Words

So. I finished him. There is a lot that needs fixing, but I really need to take a step back and work on something else for a while. If I don't I'm just going to get sucked into tuning it until I start to eat my own hair out of frustration. I had something to say about this, but my brain is a bit foggy and I don't actually think any of my rambling will be even halfway entertaining. I am, however, getting better at facial anatomy. Also, I can't seem to stop listening to The Knife, which I think has a direct influence on how my pictures come out. Trying to decide if this is a good or bad thing.
Anyway, I need to get back to writing and thumbnailing. Maybe eventually I'll have something interesting to share.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A shot from my drafting table.

Fuck, it's been a rough week. I've been such a wreck lately, but I'm trying to get back on the horse and push through. I don't have a lot of terribly interesting things to show for, partially because I've been writing and thumbnailing for some rather smutty comics in between episodes of distress.

I will probably only finish the portrait of Gabriel. As my oldest and most critical muse, he demands a special kind of attention. I finally managed to get a quality white ink! Kinokuniya is carrying Deleter 1 and 2 White inks now, which are probably better than the Holbein stuff I was using forever and ever. A single pot of the Holbein ink saw me through probably two and a half years of heavy use, so I do still stand by it, but I am enjoying my Deleter White #2. Do not waste money on Higgins white ink, for it is thin and not very versatile, in my experience.

I think I might do a separate post with all my projects in progress, but that depends solely upon whether or not my rather scatterbrained sense of direction will allow for it. I have to work my ass off for all the conventions I'll be at next year, so I am trying to make a more varied and interesting body of work.

Sometimes I feel like I spend a lot of time talking to myself.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Big post about process/tools and some more sketching.

When I started this blog,  I figured I would try to talk as little as possible because A) The art should speak for itself and B) I'm a babbler. Well....

Right. I figure if I just want to post images, I'll just get a tumblr or something.  I was looking over one of my many pencil cases and figured I'd do a healthy bit of rambling about some particular tools I use frequently or find indispensable, starting with some of the uncommon ones.

This awesomely ridiculous ballpoint pen cost practically nothing at Daiso and comes with six colors in black, blue, green, pink, purple, and red. I always have it on me and use it for shading hair, skin, lining, whatever. It's actually quite a decent little pen and has seen a lot of use, so I recommend it fully to anyone who is looking for a cheap way to color or line with color. Sure it's sparkly and stupid, but if you're an artistic person, you can get away with eccentricities like this, goddamn it. They probably sell less girly versions of this pen at Daiso, but I wasn't paying attention because I am naturally drawn to things that are tacky and silly.

From right to left: Two kuretake portable waterbrushes, a pilot choose ballpoint pen, and a purple gel pen that smells like grape from Korea.

First, the waterbrushes. These are excellent tools for exploring aqueous media on the go. The one on the far right is filled with a half-and-half mixture of walnut ink and water, which I use to shade neutral things or add depth to sketches. It also has a slightly thicker brush tip than the one next to it.  I carry a separate pencil case filled with watercolor pencils, and what I like to do is use my waterbrush to load color directly onto the bristles, then apply the color in the areas of the picture I am working on. Of course it also works to color with the watercolor pencils and then go over what you've done with the waterbrush. I also use my waterbrush to transform old markers from cheap brands, using them in much the same way as I use watercolor pencils. Waterbrushes are awesome.

The Pilot Choose pen is my favorite brand of white gel pen, which finds use mostly in highlighting and tweaking. It has a very thin tip, which is nice because I work quite small, the ink is opaque, and it can also be diluted once applied if you use a waterbrush.  If you can't find a pilot choose in your local art store (I had trouble finding it outside of Sekaido), you can buy them at, which is a great resource for markers and pens. I also use a white gel pen called a SoufflĂ©, but it is a bit thicker to apply and can be a little tricky if you are impatient with drying ink.

My favorite little smelly gel pen is cool because it smells like grape, is purple, and is easy and smooth to write with. Use a waterbrush to load color from the tip, and it opens up new worlds of versatility. The ink dilutes wonderfully with water and looks beautiful once applied. Also, whatever I use it on smells like grape, which makes me smile. Discovering the potential in this cheap little pen was a total accident, and is what originally led me to start spilling water on all sorts of things to see what can be used in a more painterly fashion. Certain gel pens are very good for this, so my advice is to play around and see if you can't find new ways to use old tools. You might find something great!

This is where the magic happens, which is a bit more like "this is where I draw wangs and write the word FUCK all over everything and these are the things I use to do it with". I know I mentioned before that I have a great affinity for ridiculous looking things, and my pencil case is very, very ridiculous. It has two pouches and folds out with a few pockets for erasers, and I keep my pencils, waterbrushes, bleedy gel pens, and liners in it. Iced tea and cupcakes are optional but greatly appreciated additions to the creative process.

Speaking of the creative process, here's some new stuff!

Haha, those of you who follow will recognize her style in the drawing in the corner of this page. It's cute and inside-jokey and I love it. :D Also belonging to her is Lucifer, who is naked and studly with Canta. They're so cute together that it makes it hard to not draw them all over everything. My big problem with this page is how messed up my crappy anatomy is. >:| Whatever. Moving on!

This is mostly a reference for my own use. Those of you familiar with my Crux project (which is probably no one, because I never talk about it), know that the main characters are big looming giants. Because I will have to visually direct their gargantuan freakishness, I need to be certain that I am establishing everyone else in a consistent manner. I'm still not totally satisfied with how everything looks, but the gist is important. Canta and Jupitor (far left) are anomalies as far as the general population is concerned, but I don't really feel like talking about the specifics of their unique physiology right now.

Time to go back to painting!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sketching and rambling.

I knoooowwww I just posted a hugeass sketchdump on deviantart, but I don't feel much like talking about it right now. Maybe tomorrow if I have energy after work. I've been under the weather for the past couple of weeks and it's been kind of hard to muster up the attitude to work on art. Everything I'm doing seems so meaningless and contrived. I don't think I'll have any future as an artist and looking at my paltry little scribbles makes me so upset sometimes I can't even touch my sketchbook.

I just need to get out of my head. I think I spend too much time alone. Today I took a nice long walk and after a long sit in Starbucks, and I managed to get something out. It's part of the sketchdump, but here's a better picture of the entire page, with some scribbly process notes.

I don't usually draw animals or dragons or whatever, but I had a lot of fun with this one, even if some of my anatomy is obviously invented. 8D; Maybe what I need to do is draw creatures and scenery instead of all my usual effeminate elves. It's a matter of keeping my eyes and ears open and maintaining a willingness to learn new things.

Sometimes you have to fight a little harder to believe in yourself, and I don't always succeed in that, but it doesn't help to feed the negativity. Sometimes, when you feel your worst, you have to paint on the biggest and brightest smile you can and fight until you can't fight any more. Nobody can make you feel shitty without your permission, and if you're the person who gives you the most grief, you have to kick your own ass. That, at least for me, is the biggest obstacle in my life.

Do your best. I'll keep trying every day, even when I don't feel like I have anything to give to this world.

I'll post something happier in a day or so.