Photoshop Painting Catchup #1



Because of life things, I admit I've been neglecting posting to this space a bit. However! I have not been lolling about eating bon bons. In addition to my jewelry adventures (which I have done a reasonable job of keeping you up to date on) I have been doing quite a bit of hard practice in digital painting.  So much so that I've got some backlog I need to bring you up to date on!

This painting was in response to a request for a griffon with a few modifications. Instead of a eagle/lion, he wanted a vulture/panther. Also, he wanted it to be purple. 

While the vulture/panther part gave the critter a fairly sinister aspect, but the 'purple' part ran a fair chance of turning anything too serious into something ridiculous. So I went with a fairly quiet composition, and upped the 'predator' quotient by having it stalking out of the dark. 

Developmental notes:

Shadows: Nice and deep, and they did work to make the figure disappear into the background darkness. The placement is a little cartoonish though- more 'what you know' than 'what you see', which was probably a reference material failure. 

Light: At the time, I thought I had a fairly stark, directional light source. We'll be talking more about light in later posts- suffice it to say this is not stark directional light. This is pretty ubiquitous light, with fuzzy edges. I think perhaps the depth of the shadows was tricking me into thinking the light was working better than it actually is. 

Coloring: The only texture that works in this photo is the mottled vulture neckskin. The feathers are pretty (particularly the brown/gold overlay that is towards the edges of the feathers) but not really the effect I needed in this instance.



Harvard Square Holiday Fair

High hopes for the Harvard Square Holiday Fair this weekend! neck-asymmetric4

I have heard excellent things about this show, so I'm pretty excited. I've got some new inventory to show off, and a new display to try out. Though the show runs for multiple weekends (and you should totally check out the different artists those weekends) but I'm only there this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It's super conveniently located in Harvard Square, and is open late ('till 7pm!) all three days.

If you can't make it down but still want to see some of what I've got going on, as always you can see more on my etsy page.


Brown Cow, White Wolf (It's okay, his name is Blizzard)

taurentauren-two1 tauren-two2

So here's what's going on. Awhile ago, I got it into my head to draw a Tauren lady, and thought it would be traditional/fun to make her a hunter, and draw a pet as well. So I got some WoW references together, gave it a try. And well, it sort of sucked.  You can tell, right? It's that one at the top. The weighting is just wrong. The figures are carrying their weight in a way that would make sense in game, but as I was drawing something a little more realistic it just looks odd. And it's not like there's one spot that's a problem, it's basically equally odd all over, which is pretty much unfixable.

I was understandably a little depressed by this, and put the drawing away. As I was in a mood to do inking this week (rather than sketching) I was looking through my file of unfinished things, and saw this poor girl. Rather than going back in and attempting to fix the drawing I already had, I decided to use it as primary reference for a new drawing.  So even though I was in an inking mood, I wound up sketching anyway. Don't believe it when people tell you art is all about doing what you want to do.

Digression aside, the second drawing went much better. See how they seem to be actually standing on the ground now, instead of vaguely hovering?  I also fixed a few narfy things, like changing the side the quiver was on, (because that's the side the free hand would actually pull from) and making her braids extra long (because that's about how long my hair is, and I like it better that way).

My Desk

I'm not sure this is nearly as interesting to other people as it is to me, but I thought you might enjoy seeing my workspace.

Ha. Workspace. That implies both that work is done there, and that there is space to do it in. HA I say.

1: My wacom tablet. If you're serious about drawing stuff digitally, beg borrow and plead if necessary, but get one. It does take a little while to wrap your brain around the new medium, but it only takes a week or two to get comfortable inking scanned drawings. After two years of use, there are only a very few things (cross hatching, dragon scaling, and laying out of proportions) that I prefer to do by hand.

2: Upright mouse. It's ergonomic.  When I was working 8-10 hrs a day in Adobe Illustrator, this saved me butt. Or rather, my back.

3: Pile of chainmail stuff, some of it in progress. Handily available for when WoW logon cues are long.

4: Whiteboard. Extremely useful for keeping track of 'oh yeah... I need to-' sort of tasks. Additionally, capturing fleeting little good ideas before they run away.

4.5: I forgot to label it, but directly under my whiteboard is my printer/scanner/copier. Very necessary. I don't need an awesome scanner for my purposes, so a cheap-o one works just fine, and a copier is extremely useful for keeping track of any personal checks I receive in payment for my drawings.

5: Water.

6: Beer.

7: Coffee.

8: Exterior Hard Drive. As I've had to wipe my computer twice in two months, I'm gonna go ahead and call this necessary too. I'm set up so that the art files on my computer automatically copy to the hard drive at 3am every day, so in the advent of unexpected system shutdown, I won't lose everything.

9: Noise cancelling headphones. Less necessary now than when I lived in an apartment with really shitty noise insulation, but I've learned I work best with audio. Specifically recorded books. A telivision also works, the point is that I work better when the constantly spinning, yammering, talking part of my brain is otherwise engaged.

10: A blank wall.

Still Sort of Static-y

So, last weekend was one of the 2.5 craft shows I have scheduled this season. Next weekend is the big scary one. If any of you are in Northern Virginia and are hard-up for stuff to do this Saturday, I might have a suggestion... The flyer with all necessary information can be found here, and a list of vendors (with pictures of product no less) is here.

After this weekend, and after normal feeling returns to my hands, we'll be back to regularly scheduled programming.


So I've been saying since I got this computer, 'gee, I should really but some virus protection on this thing'. Yeeeah.

Not a disaster, as I have an external hard drive that backs up all my art and important files nightly. Still a pain in the ass though. I am not the most organized person and didn't remember where I'd put my software CDs and CD keys. *headdesk*  Long story short, I have nothing new for you to look at at the moment. Therefore this is a good time for a little meme I got tagged with by J. Harker, a good friend and all-around sassy fellow.

1. Link the person who tagged you. (Check.) 2. Post the rules on your blog. (Yes, yes.) 3. Write six random things about yourself. (...How random?) 4. Tag six people at the end of your post and them link you. (That's unlikely.) 5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave comment on to their blog. (Again, this assumes I know six people who blog, and haven't already tagged me.) 6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up. (Isn't that inherent in tagging? These directions seem to be thoroughly idiot proofed.)

Six random things:

1) I really, really like to sing. And I'm not half-bad at it either.

2) Any object in miniature fascinates me. Do you remember those stupid little paper craft fortune tellers that kids made in elementary school? I once made one two millimeters across. To be fair, my fingers were smaller then.

3) I can't hold numbers in my head very well. For example, after we moved, I asked my boyfriend help quiz me on our new address and area code. It went like this:

T: 'What's our area code?'

L: 'Xxxxx.'

T: 'What's our address?'

L: 'Um.... Xxxx, Beaver Hallway.' (We live in suburbia.)

T: 'What's our area code?'

L: 'Um. Hmm...'

T: *astounded silence*

4) I have a deep an abiding respect for books. It made me feel a little ill the first time I was expected to use a highlighter on a textbook.

5) Regardless of #4, I have never finished a book by Jane Austen.

6) I spend a lot of money on food and cooking, and count it as entertainment on my monthly budget.

So I am super lame, and am only tagging one other person. Playing off of #6, Hands-Free Cooking is an informative little blog that's guarenteed to make you hungry, even if you don't like tofu.

Counter Poise

‘Oh noes!’ you say. ‘Whar is teh pikture!?’ The sketch is under a cut today because, well, sometimes I draw boobies. And I don’t want to nudity-ambush anyone who started coming here for that wacky Wowphabet business.

The original of this sketch dates to my sophomore(?) year of college, when I was taking some sort of art history class. I took at least seven classes which showed slides of similar material, so you’ll excuse me if I don’t remember the proper context.

In any case, a particular painting flashed past on the projector, and I did a quick sketch. Something about the contrapposto caught my eye, but I wasn’t sure exactly what. As with some of my other work, this sketch hid out in my ‘to be finished at some point’ pile until a few weeks ago, at which point I scanned it and dashed off an updated version in about an hour.