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.

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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.

You’re The Swan That I Want

Hey Sam, a distance voice cries, will you ever just quit it already with the bad animal puns? To which I lovingly whisper my reply: absolutely not.

I know, I know, it’s still January but Valentines Day isn’t that far off, and that’s as good an excuse as any for yet more heinous incredible puns! So here’s this year’s collection of animals, which you can check out in my Redbubble Store, and purchase to inflict upon your loved ones this year. That being said, if anyone has any evil pun ideas they’d like me to inflict upon the world, then hit me the hell up because I am down. Also because every time I do one of these I get to experience the pain of learning to draw yet another animal, and if there’s one thing artists love, it’s constantly trying to draw things they have no idea how to draw.

 

We Can’t Be Alone Out Here

This piece was created as a response to a work on Pop My Mind by Drew Burrett

The Fermi Paradox is the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial life, and the high probablity estimates of its existence. In other words, if the universe is so big, then how can we possibly be alone?

Do they communicate in ways we can’t detect? Are they avoiding us? Are we simply in an out-of-the-way corner of the galaxy? Did humans evolve too late, and everyone else is already dead? Or is it exactly as it seems – that in the infinite vastness of the cosmos, we are alone.

I’ve wanted to make something with a circular crop for ages and with this piece the stars – if you’ll excuse me the pun – finally aligned. I used india ink and white acrylic with this one, instead of the usual quink and pencil, and added some details digitally. The keen eyed among you may notice that the monsters are similar to the ones I used for Journey Into Mind. I’m liking them as a part of my visual language at the moment, so no doubt they’ll pop up again later. All in all, I’m satisfied with how this one turned out, and as it’s the first piece I’ve finished in 2018, I’ll take that as a good omen for the rest of the year.

Human Confusion

Human Confusion web

A piece I made for the seed ‘Human’ on Pop My Mind.

To me being human is the drive to express oneself, to communicate ideas and emotions and thoughts to others. Being human is also doing that in flawed, often confusing ways. Being human is continuing to try again and again until we make that connection and express the concepts we have inside.

Reflections & Expectations

So, 2017 huh? That sure was a…uh…a year. But let’s ignore the world stage for a bit and focus on me, because I’m a narcissist. Things actually went relatively well, I made some art, learned some stuff, had some fun. Let’s have a look back, shall we?

Year In Art Summary

I made more progress between May and December of this year than I did in the whole of 2016 and I entirely put it down to quitting retail and working on my improvement full-time. I still have a lot of things I want to work on and get better at, which is what 2018 is all about, baby.

And since everyone does it at this time of year, here’s  my 2018 art goals:

  • Finish one painting a month
  • Complete the next 2 chapters of Wyrdhope
  • Add daily sketching into my routine
  • Spend more quality time with projects, rather than getting caught up with quantity
  • Promote myself more
  • Work the things I need to improve on into sketching and projects, rather than keeping studying seperate from actual work

I try to keep my New Years goals fairly broad and allow room for interpretation and modification as the year goes on (apart from like, finishing more of Wyrdhope. That’s non-negotiable at this point). In line with one of them – focusing on quality time rather than quantity – I may end up posting less to the blog. There’ll still be at least one post a month, I can guarantee that, and there will likely be more happening on my sketch blog – in line with the ‘sketch daily’ goal. But towards the end of 2017 I found I was worrying more about completing enough work to fill out a blog schedule than actually concentrating on just making the best work that I could which is…not a way to live your life.

Aside from art goals I also have a bunch of other personal goals I’m working towards and, hyper-organised list-maker that I am, I’m super pumped to get started. Bring it on, 2018. I’m so ready.

The Fragile Tower

As an artist, you walk a tightrope between feeling worthless and priceless. A towering ego, constantly fed and created by an ouroboros of delight and despair – all in the view of the public, who can build you up or tear you down on a whim. This piece is an attempt to describe that in imagery.

Originally created as a response on Pop My Mind

This is my last post of the year! Hope everyone’s had a wonderful winter holiday season, and that you all have an amazing new year – you better believe I’m already planning the next 12 months of my artistic life, and excited to get started with it.