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Monday, November 21, 2011


Here's a couple of sketches of some things I'm tinkering around with. The first is a character from a story a friend and I wrote a while back, the second is an idea for what could be a MTG card of an angel.

I like the angel sketch, but I'm not really feeling the armor so I'll probably tweak that some more, and I'm thinking about doing some kind of a Celtic knot pattern in her halo.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

WIP: Regeneration

I realize that I haven't been posting much on my blog lately and it's because of a few reasons. Firstly is that I just moved into a new house and it took a while to set up a work space. Secondly is that I have been in a slump in concerns to art making. A total lack of motivation which I struggle with off and on.

But I do have something to post! Talking to some artists at previous conventions it was recommended that I try to work with mixed media, which is a process I am greatly enjoying. During a portfolio review I received a lot of feed back, and a high point was that I have solid drawing skills but need to work on making my work look 'finished. This, I am sure, is an uphill struggle for most artists as one of my college instructors once told me that we spend more time growing into our skills drawing than painting.

Raven Mimura suggested to me that I scan in my drawings and print them on watercolor paper and paint, then try to render in color digitally. So I tried exactly this with this piece.

 Originally I had this drawn directly onto my watercolor paper in pencil and after an initial wash of all water I went straight into paint. However I really disliked my use of color in how the piece was turning out, so I traced the image and started over.

Which lead me to flipping the image and inking it in with a sepia colored micron. I really love to do ink work, which I find relaxing but takes a serious toll on my working hand.
From there I went ahead and scanned the image in. I had to piece my scan together digitally since it didn't fit on the scanner, and I also reduced the opacity to about 60% so that my lines wouldn't be so saturated. Once this was done I printed it out on 140lb hot press watercolor paper and set it aside to dry. 

When it was ready I taped it to my Masonite drawing board and washed over the entire work area with sepia watercolors. I made the mix using Indian red and yellow ochre paints. From there I went ahead and painted in my tones, then used a white Prismacolor pencil to add in some white.

Normally when I paint I like to leave the white of the paper, but I was trying something new here, which I like just as much.

 That done I scanned the image back in and did some small adjustments to the contrast before adding in some colors. I have a few layers here with color at reduced levels of opacity, saturation, and on varying layers of overlay and multiply, with my whitest whites on normal. This only about 20-30 minutes of experimenting with colors but I am liking how it is turning out.

So far this has been a really great process as I am able to enjoy inking in my piece, painting with my watercolors, and experiment with digital. I admit to disliking rendering on the computer for reasons I can only say are personal, but I am sure are tied in with my lack of time learned rendering on the computer vs painting traditionally. I also like the textures I can get while painting on paper.

I plan to finish this piece and submit it into the next Spectrum call for entries, and to continue to work this way.


This piece is based off a MTG card image that I reworked into a new concept, which was another suggestion by an artist I met at one of the conventions. Here is the original image.