02nd May 2021
It’s now May, wow heading towards near the end of half way to the year. When I started to work more on my art, I didn’t really know what I should be drawing or where I would really start. I did a lot of classes based around art and art theory during my university life and then ended with a degree in Graphic design. As it was a more or less a “viable” art job. Which sadly the industry in Australia, especially when it comes to art & design not very good. Unless you know someone, who knows someone.
So when trying to to tackle art can be quiet a challenge, I’m not sure how I found out these kind of things existed in the art realm or how I came across it. Art prompt/ List, I think an artist I follow started doing a thing called "Inktober", which you do ink based drawings each day in October. I think I stated to practice it in about circa 2017. What’s great about prompt list is that if you are stuck on doing art or in need of some practice to keep those killer skills sharp. Now there are more and more Art prompts/ challenges that you can search up to make art almost each month.
I have been doing these prompts from time to time each year. Since it’s May, Mermay illustrations come out the wood works. I don’t often do a full 30/31 days but I don’t actually recommend any artist to do 30+ days worth of work. Also trying to work around daily life can be tough. There are lots of people out there, thinking they have failed at not doing enough or not finishing the “challenge”. Or there are artist who look down and other artist for doing art month challenges, makes jokes be like here is my contributions. I think it’s important to try and pace yourself when practicing art. I think art prompts are great for learning, using keywords to help inspire your works. Especially if the art theme. I really enjoy doing Mermay, as it’s something different to my witches I usually paint. I don’t force myself to do a whole month. I think one of my favourite art prompts was Magic moon week in February, it was 8 days of work.
One of my bigger projects I do towards the end of the year is Witchtober, as I replaced it with inktober for certain reason. I love using my followers favourite things, as it lets me be inspired by the words they choose and I create a story with my witches. I think I ever did one full October. I’ve definitely reduced that amount of work and just do things at my own pace. I think also planning how to tackle a quick painting is very helpful. Things like what is my week going to be like, set a time of day I will sit down and do a little painting or I’m too busy and need to rest I will do this next week. There are going to be days where you’re tired and had a very crap day. Makes you want to do nothing.
Finished, ugly, quick or unfinished works are absolutely fine. I always hear from other people, ‘how did you do it?’ ‘I wish I could draw like this everyday’ ‘I just don’t have time to draw a piece everyday’ or ‘I don’t remember how to draw’. It not something you have to force yourself to do everyday, you can do one drawing per week, or work on a prompt for 2 weeks, whatever works for you. Some practices work well for others but it may not work for you. Looking after yourself is important too!
25th April 2021
The weather has gotten colder, as autumn folds into winter. When I got to my day job, I usually walk to the train station. My suburb isn’t the most prettiest place, we have giant power lines/ towers just cutting in the middle of empty park and grass land. Yet I still enjoy the scenic look of the area. I’ve been enjoying see the colours of the trees turn from green to a bright orange and then fall in to brown.
I always stop if I have time to take some photos, as it often gives me inspirations for colours, imagery when I want to create something. Recently I have been wanting to paint trees or a forest like scene. I would say it quiet rare for me to be painting landscapes. So this was some good practice for me. I had an image in my head, often when I try to sketch down a my ideas. I always feel like it’s not coming out the way I want to. Which sometimes puts me off from actually getting to the painting stage of my creativity. Which sometimes that okay, as I don’t always have to finish something. It’s okay to fail at succeeding on finishing a painting, all apart of the creative process.
What really helped push this painting out was taking photos of the tree I walk by as I go to work. The references helps me see how these trees I am trying to draw work. Sometimes when you are stuck on something like a pose, it’s okay to look at some references especially ones with anatomy pose, to help get an idea how to approach a drawing. People tend to think that you need 100% remember what or how pose or an things to look like and draw from your mind. This doesn’t always help or make your art look the way you want it to look. If you can’t find the right pose or thing, another way is take a photo yourself, if possible get someone to pose for you. A mirror is also good to use, especially to get facial expressions right.
I used my Holbien Davy’s Grey watercolour, Schminckes Natrual grey and white Windsor & Newton White Gouache for my main colours. Using my polychromes and Prismacolors to bring out the feature of the trees. Adding and bleeding using my Sailor ink. I think the hardest part when I was painting, is waiting for it to dry a little so I can layer more on the painting. The weather is colder now so the paints dries slower. I think for something I don’t paint a lot, it didn’t turn out horrible. It was good practice as I want to add more scenes to my witch characters.
18th April 2021
Cat blobs are cute!
This week in terms of art, I have been a bit busy to think about putting pen to paper. So I decided I just wanted to have fun and experiment with my tools. Explore simple shapes and turn them into an image. I had blobs idea running in my mind all week long. I had recently received my Ring light/ tripod for more better lighting and stabilization of my videos. I got a ring light as winter is upon as us, so the lighting is darker to take photos or videos.
Though waiting for ink to dry is a bit of pain during colder weather. So I tend to get impatient and try to draw over in damp ink. I mean it’s not a bad thing to do, as bleeding can often have a cool effect on the artwork. What I enjoy about the results that it was some fun, easy and just relaxing to work on something that is not a completely finished piece.
I’ve been wanting to reintroduce adding ink into my watercolour/ gouache work and work more with bleeding effect. When I picked up some Sailor ink, I chose colours that had a wonderful bleed finish. Despite using watercolour paper, I felt it I needed to use more paper that doesn’t like ink, as the bleed is much more effective. But adding extra layer water over the paper does help with bleed effect.
11th April 2021
Last week I celebrated my 29th birthday, so many of my wonderful friends and family got me some beautiful presents. I received an easel, which was something that was on my list to studio tools I wanted. It’s definitely so much better for my neck to paint more up right. I got a gift card to spend on some art tool, which I did. I got some really nice, bought a new ink nibs, pens and pencils to add to my collection. My fam pitched in to get me a new fancy wide monitor with true colour for my editing and digital art.
This weeks blog I decided to use some of new tools and equipment to make some art. I used one of my sketches I had from my notebook. I’m using Baohong 300gsm smooth watercolour paper, I always had disliked using smooth watercolour paper as it would take my paints very well. But I learned from other watercolour artists, is to soak my paper in water for about 10mins to 15mins depending on the size and thickness of the paper. This has helped me paint a lot better with smooth paper, the process stretches the paper and least likely to buckle the paper after it dries from painting.
I usually use a medium to rough paper type, I don’t usually stretch my paper but I have been trying to put more into my routine for my water and gouache art. Feel like forever since I did watercolour paint, well technically I did do a traditional painting but I can’t reveal it yet.Doesn’t meant I can’t still do more witchy art. Anna is starting to practice ink work, so I have been helping with the different inks and nibs types. I think she was surprised that I used to use ink in my work. I wanted to get some ink work back into my work, so I picked up some sweet Sailor inks, an Ecoline purple bottle and white ink. I lent Anna one of my old nibs and black inks so she can practice her art with.
I picked up some sexy G Pen nibs for some nice line work and a nice Sakura micron Gold pen for the shiny metallic goodness.I think using an ink pen is very good for the fine detailing such as delicate lace work if you don’t have a nice small brush tip. If you are looking for more sharper detailing.
4th April 2021
Happy Easter week, hope everyone is eating lots and taking a break. Continuing on with practicing with my copic markers. So I decided to work on some more of the sketches I have in my notebook. I decided to use colours I don’t usually combine when working with colours. I’m actually surprised on how well it turned out. A lot people always tell me that my sketches have more movement or flow. Then I try to convey my sketches into more or less finished pieces, it doesn’t have similar feeling. I had a tutor in one of my classes in Uni, I didn’t like them as much but they did tell me that my sketch work had more feeling. In a way it may me feel bad about my work especially my finished pieces.
This is the same feeling when people tell me that my digital work doesn’t convey the same feeling as my traditional work. But whenever I finish a piece of art, I’m often quite happy about the results and want to show off to everyone but with how the the social media landscape is like now, nobody sees it and then I feel quite sad again. I know these feelings are normal to have. I don’t think it all these criticism I get is bad and or good would stop me from continuing to make art. It helps me try to work to be a better artist and work towards making my work feel more emotive or movement.
I been enjoying putting together time lapse videos, everyone seems to like how smooth I paint and draw. I’ve always had other people tell me that I’m too sketchy, that my characters look hairly. So its nice everyone who follows says that i’m such a smooth painter.
Copic art practice – Pond Witch
28th March 2021
I have been thinking about drawing water a lot these days. So I decided to work from a sketch I worked on last night of my Pond Witch character. The layering was fun to approach. As usual I when I started adding the colours, I was like oh man it’s ugly. But I kept adding more
details and colours and all started coming together.
When colouring through my art, I realised that I very much do a lot of portrait style art. I was looking at an art submission rules for a big witchy codex. And it was like “Please try not to submit portrait or bust art as we want you to convey a story” I love and enjoy doing portrait style art but I have been trying to expand a be more story themed art. I still think portraits and bust still convey a story but I think it more that I need to add more environment to my pieces. So instead of just heavily focusing on the facial features and more what the character is surrounded it.
So as I was thinking about water, I wanted to expand more on my Pond Witch. I think when trying to create a story, characters should have names. I usually don’t always name my characters, just a title related to their elemental theme. It’s a good way to explore characters and some world building.
The Pond Witch practices her magic in water, usually at a lake or a pond. She is very adept in water and earth based magic. So I gave her more a water themed colours and using water ripples. Sh loves lotus leaves and flowers and often adorns them on her hat. Despite being a witch of water and earth, she doesn’t like the ocean. So she sticks to lakes and ponds to enhance her powers. I used coloured pencils, white posca marker to add extra details to bring out the copic colours.
One colour value/ Monochrome testing.
21st March 2021
The colour I have decided to work with is Green. I rarely work with green colous, so this would be a fun test. I’ve used greens in my work but towards the blue-green such as teal. As most of paintings are comprised with, purple, blue and teal. Then my sub colours, browns, pinks, yellows and red. Highlighters and finishes, white, silver and gold metallics.The list of green copic colours I have available:
• G000 (Pale Green)
• G82 (Spring Dim Green)
• YG03 (Yellow Green)
• YG06 (Yellowish Green)
• G14 (Apple Green)
• YG05 (Salad)
• YG07 (Acid Green)
• G05 (Emerald Green)
• YG67 (Moss)
• BG09 (Blue Green)
• BG34 (Horizon Green)
I started with a base sketch then a using a colour pencil to achieve a line art on top of the pencil sketch. Added some shadow base colour. I decided to use the white space and my negative colour/ space, to give a sharp hard light source. I layered colours for the leaves, using a coloured pencil outline and define the leaves and adding extra vine details. I finished off the drawing with some posca highlighting and details.I don’t think I work a lot with single colours, so this was good practice. Despite being a little tired this week and my brain not working for art at the moment. I think the over all draw turned out well. I draw a lot protraits but they always seem static. It’ s likely I don’t use a lot of anatomy pose references. So they always feel static. A good way to resolve this, if you feel your poses, I guess you would say stale. Is this look is build a bit of mood board, gather some images of faces, clothes and other stuff that might relate to the drawing you are trying to aim for. Plenty of sketches, thumbnail sizes are good. Then deciding what you like most and then start working on the more refined drawing.
Copic Process: Limited colour test
14th March 2021
This week I attempt to use a limited palette of colours with copics. I think it’s good practice to try to work with a limited selection of colours. There are many ways to approach this practice. Looking at different colour wheels from the web. Using one colour and picking from the same spectrum/ tonal value or you can close your eyes and pick them at random.
Deciding how many colours you will use can be tough. I think when working with a limit, I think 2 to 5 colours is a good number to work with. It still gives you space to work with your imagination. It doesn’t matter if the end results are ugly, this is what practicing is for. Trying to find a solution to making things work but doing many trials.
So as usual, I enjoy picking things at random. I’ve picked 5 random colours I will work with.
Colours I picked at random:
• RV04 (Shock Pink)
• B12 (Ice Blu)
• R32 (Peach)
• E59 (Walnut)
I will use some extra tools, such as my pencils, poscas and liners for any highlights to add and enhance the colours I’ve picked. But I will use it at a limited capacity. I did a few different test sketches, as I didn’t know how it will turn out. Often if you find yourself stuck at drawing something, especially given the colours. It’s always good to look at some references, get some idea of what you want to draw, how to approach the colours.
I think this was a bit difficult for me. The colour I have chose at random, I wouldn’t say I don’t use them, just not in that combination. So I trialed them at the start of the week to try an get an idea of how to put these colours together. Often I have worries, as working with a darker skin colour can be quiet difficult. As a lot can go wrong when using unfamiliar with the tones. I looked at a lot references to be inspired and build and idea. I think despite making a lot mistakes in the process of drawing. I think it turn out well. I know it not prefect and I definitely need more practice with colour combination I am unfamiliar with.
I started with a base sketch, then added the ink lines with my copic multi-liners in wine. I started with the skin tone (E59 Walnut), instead of colouring the entire face, I decided on experimenting on sharp shadowing. I used my prisma colour (PC 1081 Chestnut) to fill in the white space to use as a lighter tonal value from the sharp shadow. Using (B12 Ice Blue) colour as the sharp shadow of the hair, adding a layer of purple colour pencil to give it a darker tone. Then I filled in the rest. I have been think about practicing water lately, so instead of just doing a plain flat colour approach. I added some water effects with a white posca. Added the rest of the details with all my other tools to enhance the drawing. I think despite my limited colours, I had fun trying something different to my usual styling of work. These kinds of practices are fun to do, as I learn to draw or approach things differently. Sometimes you aren’t always going to be happy about how things turn out in the end. I’ve been trying to be okay with my art even if it ends up ugly or I’ve made mistakes. Next week I will be attempting to draw with monochrome/ one colour value with my copics.
Intro to my Copic markers process
7th March 2021
A little background how I started with Copics markers. When I was a teen, I was obsessed with Japanese manga and animation. I mean I still am obsessed. I think I was more of I was in love with the art, as it inspired me. Living in Australia especially during the early 00’s era, there wasn’t a lot of resources available in terms of art tools and art stores with little money to purchase any tools. I would spend most of my times in bookstores, Dymocks and when Boarders used to exist in Australia and a profound amount of Starbucks everywhere.
I loved those “How to draw Manga” books, I know people laugh it now as they are outdated. I always wanted to purchase those books, but they were real expensive. I remember being in the bookshops just spending time just reading those books, trying to get an idea on how Mangaka created their coloured works. Which is when I discovered Copics brand. Obviously in Australia during the early 00’s they were not easy to come by or they were expensive at an art store. I remember that Dymocks carried some dual markers brand “Tom Bow” which were expensive for me, but I bought them anyway and absolutely love them. Then they disappeared after a few years, so I never got a chance to buy them again. Now as a more experienced artist with some sort of independent cash flow. I am able to source and buy my own tools. There is so much more accessible to art tools as there are more art shops plus the power of online shopping now. Copics Markers themselves were still expensive to purchase. I was lucky enough to go to Japan for a couple of weeks and stock myself with many markers I could buy. Which made my collections a lot bigger than what I started off with. I also got some hand me down Copic Markers from my lovely friend. So now I have a decent collection. I like to apply some of my watercolour techniques to Alcohol markers. I used to use black/ grey tones as my shadowing in a lot of my older style works when I mixed watercolours colours and heavy black inks.
Tool Break Down
Base colours I like to use:
• Skin: E33 (Sand)
• Shadows: BV02 (Prune), B63 (Light Hydrangea), V17 (Amethyst)
• Blush: R20 (Blush) or R22 (Light Prawn)
• Liner: Copic Multi Liner 0.3 Wine, Micron 0.1 Purple
• Highlights: Poscas 0.7 White
• Prismacolor: PC 1030 (Raspberry), PC 947 (Dark Umber)
• Uniball Gel Liners – Signo (Green & Pink)
• Caran D’ Arch Luminace: 129 (Burnt Violet), 583 (Violet Pink)
I’ve grown a lot more confident in my works, and more experimental with how approach the pieces. I don’t use a lot of liners in my work now days but often it helps with pushing some details out. I use a mixture of pencil lines and ink lines help define some of my works. As most art process, you start with a sketch even if for practice. Usually, I would have an idea of what I want to draw and sometimes I just wing it. Alcohol markers do require certain papers types otherwise they will bleed a lot. If you are working in a sketch book, always have a nice thick card to place underneath the page so it doesn’t bleed through. Paper: “X-Press it” brand is pretty easy and accessible to buy and works well with Copics. Lots of artist approach colouring differently. I like to paint in the base skin colour and then adding my purple colours for shadows. My sketch details tends to disappear and making the image looks funny or bad at first but it’s only because I’m not finished adding all my details. Picking colours depending on what kind of image I am going for, I pick my colours from what seems to suit the drawing. Using black and grey can tend to look harsh for shadowing but doesn’t mean you can use them, just depends on what you are aiming to achieve in your work. If you have worries about the colour choices, I like to use a scrape paper to test colours and swatch them. Sometimes keeping to the same colour block/ theme can make a drawing look and feel different.
After blocking all my main colours and shadowing, I like to add my liners and pencil details. I use Primsacolors and Caran D’ Arch pencils but any colour pencils are fine too. Whatever you have access to. Usually these are my finishes for details, adding the lines to bring out the face or body. White highlights adds area of small light or balances your colours. When I want to finish an art piece I add a background colour, add little details like little stars or accessories on to the portraits.
Hope you enjoyed some of my process of my art.
28th Feburary 2021
First blog of the year. I had been working on some new products for the year.
Meet Puddles the Void (cat) Familiar
I wanted to make a stationary kit, so I took a dive into making pencil cases, lanyards, washi tape and notebooks.The overall design process was pretty smooth. I have never made lanyards and washi tape before. It was a very decent experience. Though the Lanyards and Washi tape turned out pretty cute, there are some room for improvements. The images for the washi tape can definitely be larger and cropping would be okay. The lanyards colours and printing came out super well and very nice quality. But there was a slight issue with the misaligned cutting of the fabric, so some of the print had gotten cropped off.
I recently bought a badge machine. It too me ages to get one, as I was picking the moulds I wanted, as the machine I was going to share with Anna-Le16. She was very keen in getting a Heart mould. In the end I ended up getting square mould, as it was something I wanted for a long time. I am very happy with the choice for the badge. The notebooks too a lot of time to make, as I had to wait until the printers I wanted to use. I wanted to get some samples done, as it was easier for me to process and fix any of my ideas when i was creating a cover. The final version turned out amazing and I been over the moon with the end product.
I used my samples to do some rough tool testing and sketching. The recycled paper is really lovely for note taking and drawing.
I think it always nerve wrecking when creating new products that I’ve never made before.
As you process them through the final product, the amount of money having to pay to get these done. There are what if it turns out bad or not what you wanted or I made too many and they turned out terrible and would be impossible to sell. And with the added part
where conventions are pretty non-existent in Australia at the moment due to covid. So doing my best to re-invent my stuff with all the time off of no conventions. Although online selling is great, but now the market is super over saturated as a lot artist are now turning on to doing
online sales to also make ends meet as well, with the lack of in person sales.
So I have been doing so planning of changing how I do things with my work. I’ve looking at different avenues of how to get my work out there. Pushing my self to be more confident online especially with live video of myself doing art. Hopefully I’ll add some more post. I think blogging is great as I have more space to talk unlike places and Instagram & twitter as the word count is low.
Thanks for coming by and reading!
Where to get stuff done.
Here are the places I got my work done. I think there a lot people who don’t know where to when creating new products.
is excellent manufacture for beginners & super accessible if you are looking to get some charms done. They have added a great deal many other products they produce. The staff is very friendly to work with
I got my notebook done by Print together, they are Melbourne Base. Their turnaround was very quick for me and printed at such a lovely quality. They use recyclable paper & ethical style printing.
They are handmade at home. I used a secondhand Silhouette Cameo 3 I got from some friends.
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