Illustration

Usque Ad Finem

 

trans. – to the very end
__

I’ve wanted to record more work for a long time, and this prompt on Pop My Mind was the perfect opportunity.The process behind this started out far too planned, and I realised I was overthinking the piece too much. So I asked my partner to choose an album for me to work for the duration of, and then sketched and painted inspired by the music I was listening to. This is what came of that.

(Fun Fact: I might have come into possession of a decent camera, but I don’t own a camera stand. I jury rigged one with my guitar stand and a piece of wood. Never call me uninventive.)

Music: The Waning Moon by Anima, licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

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Forest Studies

In the interest of Improvement™ I’ve been warming up with little forest studies on the mornings that I’m working digitally. For one thing I was getting bored and frustrated with quick sketching human figures, and for another Wyrdhope has a lot of forest backgrounds, and I wanted to expand my mental library of woodland to make drawing them more interesting.

All of these were done in about 20-25 minutes, using my own vast library of Blurry And Poorly Lit Photographs of English Forests as reference. Some were done manually choosing colours, more were done by colour picking from the photograph. This process both gave me a bigger palette to work from in the future when painting forests, and also allowed me to focus on the act of painting, rather than agonising over getting the correct colours first.

What I’m looking for in each one is the quickest way to transfer what I see and feel from the photograph into a painting. I have a tendency, as pretty much anyone would agree, to overthink things. And painting forests is a nightmare for this – I look and can’t see the proverbial wood for the linguistical trees. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with thoughts like ‘There are how many leaves in this photo?’ and ‘I didn’t know that many shades of green and greenish brown even existed’. Doing these studies has forced me to loosen up and look for ways to speed up the process. Most of which has been getting to grips with the many brushes I have installed in photoshop that I avoid using because I have my favourites, dammit, and I like my comfort zone. But using a mix of pre-made leaf and tree brushes, alongside my faourite Kyle T Webster chunky chalk and soft watercolour, has really turned out some results I’m quite happy with.

The top four in this post are my earlier studies, the lower four more recent – the one I chose to feature is one I painted yesterday, and I think shows how much just these few minutes a day have helped me improve. Doing these has made me excited for the time when I get to paint forests again in Wyrdhope (for the unaware, the most recent pages have all been set inside, which is a nightmare and I hate it, even though it’s forcing me to get better at drawing interiors.)

So the forest warmups will continue, at least until I get bored and frustrated and switch to something else!

Happy Pride Month, Nerds!

What do you get if you combine my love for D&D with my love for Pride Month? More gay as hell D&D inspired designs, that’s what! Here are the three designs I created to celebrate all my LGBTQ+ nerds out there, who like dice and also rainbows.

The first two were just having fun drawing dice and playing with pretty rainbow colours. During the process I learned that the D12 is the hardest dice to draw for some reason, and that it takes a long-ass time to put numbers on every visible side of 27 dice. It’s good shape drawing practice though, and these designs turned out super cute, in my opinion.The last design that I made was one that leaned more into D&D flavour, because as it turns out, drawing weaponry is hella fun, and I want to draw more of it. It’s already inspired me to start working on some more D&D themed stuff, so that’ll be fun. This last one I also made available in a huge array of pride flag colour schemes, which took way too long. Partly because after doing three I realised the sword was wonky and had to redo that and then re-do the colours; partly because I made them for both light and dark backgrounds; and partly because, well, there’s a lot of pride flags. And I haven’t even made all of them! Regardless, it was still super fun and you can definitely expect more of this kind of stuff in the future. (Also if you want to commission something D&D themed hit me up ~~)

As always, all of these designs, along with loads of other cool art, are available on my Redbubble store, or you can click the images to go straight to the page for the specific design. Happy Pride, everyone!

When I Sleep, My Mind Grows Wings

Another piece from last year that I can share now – for a project that fell through, sadly, but a fun one to do nonetheless. This was actually the first piece I used the technique of dropping coloured ink into water to create the blended, dreamy effect – which I then used to create the wings on the Phoenix piece I made this year.

I also filmed the process of painting this, which you can find here!

Serenity In The City

Something from last year I can share now! For an art proposal, looking at themes of staying calm and centered while living in the busy and often overwhelming world. For various reasons I ended up only having about half a week to get this one finished, but I’m still super happy with how it turned out! Creating an effect in my usually minimal ink style to represent crowds and a bustling city was a challenge – one I think I succeeded at, and which gave me a chance to explore a bit more rough, expressive brushwork than I usually get to do.

On The Inside

We get told so often that beauty is on the inside, and then the world does it’s best to remind us that it’s on the outside.

It’s enough to tear you apart.

This piece was created as a response on Pop My Mind

The prompt on PMM for this piece was ‘Beautiful’. What beauty means, what purpose it has, what it looks like. This piece grew out of thoughts about external and internal appearance, and the emotional impact of beauty on the sense of self. At times it feels impossible to live in a world that tells us beauty is on the inside, while at the same time forcing specific ideas of beauty on us.

I ended up playing with a lot of differnt symbolism in this, which is maybe a little heavy handed, but what can I say – I love me some good good symbolism. I’ll leave you the viewers to decide what means what, because there’s no fun in abstraction if I tell you what it all means.

WYRDHOPE – Chapter Two Begins!

It’s been almost five months now since my webcomic, Wyrdhope, started, and I’ve been enjoying every second of working on it. Well, that’s a lie, I don’t enjoy every second, but at least like, every third second. Yeah, that’s probably right. Anyway, this post is the exciting announcement that Chapter Two of Wyrdhope will be starting up on APRIL 10TH, and also a sneaky early peek at the cover. These are the bonuses you get by following this blog. Mark your calenders, people APRIL 10TH, for the next part of the story that is Marti Gryffin’s boundless curiosity and lack of social skills.

In the new chapter there’s going to be magic! Weirdness! Jokes that I think are funny that maybe three other people also find funny! I’m excited, are you excited? You should be excited, it’s going to be great.

All else aside, working on this comic has already had me seeing improvement in my ability to draw comics, and I’m so hyped to see how much more I can improve as the story continues. So check in on APRIL 10TH to follow along, and between now and then you’ve absolutely got time to read (or re-read, refresh your memory and such) all of Chapter One.