Thursday, December 18, 2014

distractions ii

"What she wanted was to see something no else could see or would see,
and maybe that was asking more magic than was in the world."
(The Raven Cycle, Book 1)

I like The Raven Cycle.
I like colored pencil art.
I like drawing.


medium: not colored pencil.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

distractions i

I fanarted. Not sorry.

In writing (the commercial stuff at least), they say if you can't summarize your epic story in one or two sentences then even you probably don't know what your own story is about.

Given my geographical bearings, even a stodgy old lady such as myself gets to do something ridiculously cool every now and then.  Via a ridiculously cool friend, I got to attend an early screening of Big Hero 6 and it inspired this bit of ink and watercolor as a thank-you gift for letting me tag along.

To me, this is the story in a nutshell. Spoiler-free: it's Baymax softening the hard edges of Hiro.

As a social-media-stunted shame to my generation, I don't use my tumblr as a tumblr so you can go to Ridiculously Cool Friend's tumblr to get in on this tumblring action (am I even using real words anymore?) and see more great fanart from the event in question under a very official #BigHero6MeetUp tag.

(I'm the chemist!)


Saturday, October 4, 2014

various school things

More things from my time at Art Center.

Painted traditionally (watercolors, gouaches, acrylics, inks....acrylic inks.  I was very adventurous). 

Painted traditionally, for the most part, I should say -- there was digital adjusting to the last two.  I met a fine artist once who denounced the use of digital at any stage in the creative process. 

"T'is cheating," he said. 

"I cheat," said I, hand raised in dutifully demure shame.

Horror-struck that he mistakenly thought himself amidst like-minded holiness,  I confessed to him my sins.  He patted my head, pitied my youth, and I walked away humbly absolved.  I'm afraid to report that, years later, I've continued in my dereliction and have degenerated further still in my delinquency.  Call me cheat, scamp, lady of the night.  If you ask me, I bet Da Vinci would've happily and readily digitally edited his sketches before committing them to (very expensive) paint.  His purity, methinks, was less about piety and self-punitive regulation and more about a lack of resources.       

Can you see the violin?

A wine list for children 

A J-rock themed thing.

A mollusk.

medium: watercolors, gouaches, acrylics, ink, acrylic inks, and whatever else pleased my reprobate soul.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

digital things

I think I'm just going to throw my digital stuff into this post.  Some pieces from here and there, accumulated during my tenure at Art Center.  

This  was another one of those projects where I ended up liking the sketch better than the final. 

Nuance-y, process-y, technical bits for those who like that kind of thing.
(I happen to like that kind of thing):

Here's where you take the photoshop lessons, the digital matte painting lessons,
and the perspective lessons you've accumulate over the years and mix it all in a pot.

This is just vector art.  From adobe illustrator lessons alone.
Sola illustratio.

A self portrait.

A painted desert. Pft. See what I did there?

Yet another: sketch preferred over final. Sigh. Mastery is a process, right?
medium: digital

mythological things

Some paintings from a project from way back when.

These served as a series of illustrations for a friend's website.  Each character was to have their own personalities and traits which I attempted to capture through watercolor and gouache.

I'll post a few of them here (I forget how many there were).  I may post the rest some day.  Who knows.  My feelings towards blogging wax and wane irregularly.  What are you regulated by, O Feelings o' Mine?  The moon?  The sun?  The vengeful spirit of Pluto?

medium: watercolor & gouache

Friday, August 1, 2014

intermission iii

 Been a busy bee--so I entertain you with this piece from a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...

Not that long ago actually, lol. But I'm in a bookish mood because I just came from my first day at this amazing thing. So I share with you this bit of fanart from way back in 2011 for a book I immensely enjoyed, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

"Being dorsal was real flying - the wind in her face,
and sky in all directions..."

Even after all these years, this piece really stayed with me. I edited it quite a bit--with watercolor, of all things! It was originally in oil and acrylic, but it just wasn't catching the brightness and skyiness I wanted Deryn to be surrounded by. I loved her freedom and her solitude. It was equal parts liberating and restricting, and I found that dynamic fascinating!

The inspired Mr. Westerfeld was wonderful enough to feature it on his weekly Fanart Friday blogposts and you can see the original version here. You can also see the Broadway musical poster version of it here (lol!) as well as a few cutesy, chibi versions of the two main characters I did back when I was experimenting with photoshop.

Maybe in the third round I'll try pen and ink. There's something nice about the gesture in the original sketch I really like:

Heck, I even like the back of the sketch, roflol!

 I think that's part of the magic of illustration sometimes. You don't know why something's working, it just feels right. So you just run with it and see where it goes....

Nice memories.

medium: Started acrylic and oil. Then digitally edited to a watercolor background. World is so forgiving with computers in it. Though I guess not so much with the internet in it too....balance?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Whencesoe'er I came...

This baby we christened Octobook.

Jackie came over one day with this beautifully-engineered little thing and entrusted him into my care.

He was....challenging. Stubborn. Refused to submit to my authority. Sigh.
But I love this little guy.

You do your best to prepare the little ones for the real world and, with all your advanced worldly experience, you believe you've done what you can.

You reasonably expect your progeny to see clearly the path you've laid before them and to reverently partake of the wisdom you freely give--until, bit-by-bit, your carefully laid plans unravel and the wee little thing takes hold of his ever-strengthening faculties, dismisses your unsolicited assistance, and (by the power of his own fierce conviction) becomes a thing you could not have foreseen, could not have contrived, and would not have wanted to try to foresee or contrive if you could do it all over again because that would only ruin the delight of the surprise.

And so the artist finds herself a master, leading the vision, yet also, a servant, paradoxically, being led by it.

Whenceso'er I came / Whereso'er I go
The quote is from Moby Dick.

I pitched it to Jackie and she approved. I think it appropriately embodies the paradox of a character being led on by Fate while retaining his agency as a Hero--ever-willful and carving his own path; Fate be damned. It sounds contradictory and yet there it be. We demand that the Universe be linear, and the Universe, in turn, says "Screw you, puny human."

Who can fathom it.

We only cared to make 50, signed and sealed. You can purchase them here on Jackie's etsy shop. Object is smaller than it appears (a 3.5' square) but a warning: this is a very serious pop-up--not for the faint of heart.

Update (14.08.02): as of this week, Octobook is sold out (Comic-con 2014 was its fated last appearance). Alas! It's time has come to an end. They've all found good homes, I'd like to think, and I hope for their bright futures.

medium: watercolor scanned and re-printed to cut, folded, and packaged between two slices of book board.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

holiday vii: christmas 2014 and some miscellany

Illustrious Colleague and I repeated last year's endeavors for this past Christmas' warm and fuzzy sharing and holiday cheer and all that crap.

This year it was a holiday version of an old favorite.

Again, Illustrious Colleague did the hard engineering part and I did the fun designing part. She says she prefers the engineering over the illustrating, but, in my myopic microcosm, I cannot comprehend people not liking the things I like and liking the things I don't like.

It's an "old favorite" because this was our first version. Think of the santa card as "Carriage Pop-up 2.0: the Holiday Edition."

The reindeer also propagated.

I may or may not have slipped them an aphrodisiac.

If you want any of the above, you may go bother Illustrious Colleague about it on her Etsy shop.
In retrospect, I probably should've blogged all this before the holiday season, but I can't seem to bring myself to care.

medium: sketches mostly done in pencil. some digital. everything else i's been a while.