The year in review

31 12 2008

This has been artistically a great year. I have improved a big deal, through practicing and the invaluable help and support of people in wonderful places as Epilogue, Pixelbrush, and Addictive Hobby. Through their advice and critical eye I have learned to see my faults, to modify them and work from them. Thank you to each one of you that have helped me in this journey that still continues.


Dre Dre, the elf druid.

Things that I have improved *though need to keep being improved*:

Composition. It used to be so hard to find the elements to draw a good composition, I would have elements guiding the eye outside of the canvas o distracting from the focus of attention of my piece. Now I am more certain on how to add elements to guide the eye around. I still need to learn more, using more complex scenarios, something I started doing in The Kiss, and I want to learn how to use color in enhancing the composition, something I hope my friend Chris Malidore can help me to achieve 😉

Also in the piece that you see to the right I started to use reference from different pictures to get the pose of her body. Something I wish I’ve done before, but that I didn’t really know how to. Sometimes things take time to make sense in your head.

Values. Values have been my problem for ever. Finally, working digitally I am starting to understand them, now my pictures look better because the values are more spread, I have darker darks and lighter lights, making for a nicer range of values than before. I also hope to keep working on this. I am now understanding how to use darks next to lights to make the image more interesting. This was achieved through also changing the way I color, and through the constant advice of Epilogue fellows, especially Karyn, who called me out each time about lack of values range, and explained me how to improve this.

Speedy Christmas

Christmas Speedy

Technique. Since I got the tablet that permitted me to experiment more with different techniques, and go away from cell shading, which I still enjoy but that is limiting. So I have started to mix colors at one side and then blend them on the drawing itself with a transparent brush. I think it is yielding nicer results.

Speed. Also improved a great deal in speed since I started using the tablet (the mouse makes speedies really slowies), now I can do a speedpaint in about 2-3 hours instead of 8-12 and it does look loads better! Compare the little elf to the left, a real speedpaint, with this one, one year ago, with mouse and taking many hours. So yeah… thank you husband for the tablet!

Commissions. Started getting commissions! W00t! They were small and took a lot of work to get them, but hey, you start small and grow, am I right? It was fun and challenging to work for others. So far I always drew to please myself, and drawing to please other people implied a lot of learning and trying to read between lines to achieve the look and feeling that they wanted from the descriptions. A lot of fun! Next year I will post a couple of pieces that I have not shown yet 😉

All in all this has been a very interesting year on the artistic side. I hope the next year finds me working hard in my artwork and learning, learning, learning! I leave you with a big hug and have a wonderful new year!!

Happy Holidays!

22 12 2008

Hi! I wanted to tell everybody Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. No matter what religious affiliation we belong to (if any), we all agree that this is a very special moment of the year at least because we get some time out and we share it with our families and friends.

A Little Christmas Spirit

A Little Christmas Spirit

This year finds with a terrible cold that I hope will pass before too soon so I can start cooking for the 24th. I am planning to bake cookies, one recipe given to me by Mercuralis, and prepare a delicious appetizer, whose recipe will be posted here soon 🙂

I am also away from home but I hope that we can share some time via web cam with my family and my husband’s.

I did a couple of Christmas related speedpaints this year… wow! I usually

Merry Christmas, Sabra!

Merry Christmas, Sabra!

never do anything season related until it is too late. And this time the speedpaints were actually speedpaints, and not several days of work! *is getting better at art* 🙂

One was to send some Christmas Spirit to my mom, since she said there was no Spirit in my home. The other one was for a gift exchange at Epilogue. The person I was supposed to draw for was the lovely Sabra Scherer,
who paints the most whimsical faeries and fantasy creatures you can imagine. If you don’t know her art, go check it out!

With these two pics I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a lot of love, joy and peace, and that you all receive many blessings for the next year.

Sometimes knowledge just needs to sediment

20 12 2008

Hi there! I am back again, after a long time off.

This last semester I taught biology lab classes, in a place that was more time demanding of what I expected. It was highly rewarding on one hand, but it left no time for art. It was frustrating on that respect, and very much. Finally, I had finished my neverending studies to find that I had even less time! I was sad because I felt that I was learning so much each time I sat to draw, and now I had no time to do it. And the few occasions that I did have time I had no energy for creative processes.

So, about two weeks ago I found the time again, classes have finished and now I can do art! And there is so much I need to take care of. And finally I sat down with my tablet and it was like if all this time in which I could not actually apply what I was reading about, what I was learning about, was still prime time. Things made sense in my head in a way that had never before. A lot of the things that I intellectually knew from reading and studying had finally locked together, like a jigsaw puzzle and now they could be practically applied. And I think that sometimes we just need our brains to process the information, let that information to settle and to become part of us.

I do see improvement from the last time I picked up a pencil/tablet. That is not to say that I am a master of illustration, just that I have taken a leap from the last thing I drew about 3 months ago, and now painting in the ‘harder way’ is easier than doing it the ‘simple way’ that I was using before. This has also improved my speed! Who would have known? Light and shadows make more sense in my head too, which I think makes for better art.

And to close my musings, I will leave you with one of the last pieces I’ve finished, which was entered for a challenge over at Addictive Hobby

Norse Goddess in knotwork

Freyja in knotwork

This piece was a last minute inspiration stroke. I was not going to enter because I didn’t find the time and I didn’t know what to draw. But all of the sudden I knew that I wanted to do Freyja and I started googling images of her. I saw this gorgeous painting by Penrose and I wanted to pay homage to it. So I took the goddess’ pose and went from there.

The knot was to follow, and then it occurred to me to adorn it with flowers. There are two kinds of flowers in it. One is a wildflower called Freyja flowers and the other is a variety of Rhododendron called Freya. I am very pleased with this piece and this one pushed me to try and make prints available 🙂