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.

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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.

The Phoenix

The phoenix is a symbol of rebirth, of new energy rising from the ashes of the old.

This piece was joint winner of Pop My Mind’s February Invention Award. Thank you Pop!

You can find the other winner here [autoplay warning]

Created as a response on Pop My Mind to Rebecca Freeman’s piece New Life, which itself was based on the prompt of ‘New Beginnings’. I wanted to explore the idea of a new start coming out of the old, and drew on elements from Rebecca’s work to inspire me, particularly her bold and lively colours (something I don’t use often in my ink works), and her imagery of the bird emerging from the egg. This was a really fun piece to work on, and a large one too – the original artwork is A2 sized! I know, I know, that’s not that big, but it’s big for me, when I usually work A3 at the largest and like making little tiny ink drawings in my sketchbooks.

I think, out of all the pieces I’ve made for PMM, this one I feel like I drew on the piece I was inspired by the most, while still changing and taking my own route with it. It also makes me want to try out some more fantasy creatures in this style, see how they turn out. I’ll add that to my neverending art to-do list, and get to it sometime in the next decade.

Storm Witch

Let me just preface this with the fact that I didn’t intentionally follow up my first painting of a fiery demon with a water-themed witch. The elemental theme was entirely accidental but I’m gonna roll with it.

Once again I set out to challenge myself and learn new things with this one, and once again I succeeded and fought my way to finishing this. Painting water is hard, you guys. Like, really hard. Even more so when you’re using multiple unnatural light sources. *makes mental note to acquire coloured lights for reference-photo purposes*.

I’m happy with how much I learned from doing this, though, and the next time I have to paint water I’ll be a little more prepared. This one is closer to the way I want my paintings to go – this kind of semi-realism, painterly-but-not-overly-so kind of thing. Not 100% where I want to be yet, but that’s half the fun of making these.

You can get notebooks, stickers, prints etc HERE and HERE

Out In The Void

While I was making We Can’t Be Alone Out Here, I was playing around with a bunch of ‘eyes in the void of space’ concepts, and I liked this one enough to clean it up into a finished piece! The horrors of deep space are neverending, and always inspiring.

Roll For Romance

I love D&D. Like, a lot. Really it was only a matter of time before I made something related to it, and here we are, just in time for Valentines Day. And of course I had to make a bunch of LGBT flavoured versions as well because A) well duh, and B) the pride flag colour schemes are awesome.

As always, if you want to get any of the above as a gift for yourself your loved ones this year, they’re available in their own collection over at my Redbubble store.

The Daemoness

First painting of the year finished! This one is of my Daemoness character, who is just a warmongering, bloodthirsty warrior queen, travelling the universe to destroy planets and burn the remains. You know. Happy fun stuff.

And know for the process stuff. With each painting I do I want to try at least one new thing to push myself, and the main thing I wanted to try with this was a more complex perspective than what I usually do. Fifty photo references and a few hours of drawing later, I managed to get it down, and then spent the next two weeks fighting with the painting. What I want to do is push my flatter digital illustration style (the way it is in my fairy illustrations from last year), and this painterly style closer together. This one wandered way over into the painterly style, which is great because I’d love to get better at it, but also frustrating because I want to be pulling the styles together, not going further in one direction. Not sure whether the frustration is from how long this style currently takes me because I’m not that strong at it yet, or because I want to pull away from super painterly.

Other lessons learned: use reference. USE REFERENCE THE ENTIRE WAY THROUGH. I kept getting stuck and spending frustrated hours achieving nothing but muddying the canvas, only to realise that all I needed to do was grab my camera and snap a couple quick pictures, or grab a style inspiration pic from the many I have saved. I know I need to do these things, but it seems so easy to forget when you’re in the middle of a two-hour ‘let’s glare at photoshop angrily and wait for the painting to paint itself’ session.

I was going to put a process gif, but I realised I forgot to save any painting stages between ‘flat colour’ and ‘fully rendered’. Whoops. The initial sketch is up on my instagram, if you want to do an extreme before and after, and she’s up on my Redbubble if you want her (and will probably be up on my other stores at some point over the weekend)

Onto February! I have no idea what I’m going to paint this month, but I’m sure it’ll be fun.