fantasy

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.

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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

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.

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.

Carrion

The second of my entries for ArtOrders Tiny Dragon contest! They added a Not So Tiny Dragons category, and this was what came to me – a tiny dragon that goes after the dead like a carrion bird. I imagine whole flocks of them descending on battlefields after the fighting is done, like pale ghosts that leave after a few hours, rising from skeletons picked clean with blood on their scales.

This one decided to be a challenge for me, and took a whole week longer than I thought it would but I got it done anyway, and that’s what matters. Lighting is unreasonably difficult to paint. Still, I’m pleased with how the head turned out at least, even if the rest of it doesn’t entirely make me happy. Progress, progress.

#DragonAesthetic

One of my entries for ArtOrders Tiny Dragon competition! Judging is going on this month I think so I’m crossing everything I have right now. This painting was inspired by the fact that if dragons existed there would absolutely be a whole Instagram community based around their aesthetic, and also the fact that I would be one million percent invested in it.

I’m actually pretty proud of how this turned out, given how little painting I’ve gotten done this year. One of my goals for 2018 is definitely to work on my digital painting skills, and who knows – maybe I’ll actually learn to paint in Real Life with Real Paints one of these days.

Wyrdhope Launches!

It’s here at last! Wyrdhope officially launches today, so head over to the site HERE and check it out! The cover and first page are up today, and the comic will update once a week every Tuesday. And since comic days will now be Tuesdays, posts here on the blog will be switching to Thursdays, so this week you get two posts. I’m so generous.

If you want to know when a page is up you can follow me on all the social media, or subscribe to the comic feed on the site.

I’m so excited to finally start telling this story – though forgive me the first few pages of art, they are by this point slightly old art, but such is the case with making something like this. Ah! I’m excited! This story is so fun – in my totally unbiased opinion – so I hope you all enjoy reading it as I tell it.

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