I’m sharing the February Art Update earlier this month, since I’m travelling back to Canada(!) on the 27th to celebrate my mom’s birthday on the 28th. I haven’t seen my parents in the year-and-a-half since I moved to California, so to say that I’m excited for this trip is an understatement.
Any art-stuff I complete during the next few days will just be bumped to March’s Update, though anyone following me on social media (or Ko-fi) will get to see anything I share.
I’m not promising that I’ll be posting much during the trip, though. There will be parents to bug, dogs to hang-out with, and newborn puppies to care for. (The tiniest of sub-woofers, just born on the 23rd.)
Over the end of January and beginning of February, I took on a couple commissions. At the same time, I had a few larger/long-term projects of my own. This was planned, but it left me wanting to do something else after a long week of working.
The result was a 20-30 minute sketch done entirely on the tablet, using ArtFlow. There was nothing in mind when I started other than “draw an elf”. For a sketch, it turned out fairly well. I made a note to come back to it eventually because, while I like it the result, it doesn’t capture quite what I wanted.
Something wasn’t perfect. But it would have to do, for now.
Late in the evening, after drawing the elf and playing Stardew Valley for a couple hours, an idea hit and I had to give it a shot. This time, I set ArtFlow to record.
This is a new process for me, and I’m not at all familiar with video editing. (Read: I did not edit this at all.) If time-lapses of my art process is something people want to see more of, do let me know. If that’s the case, in the future I will take the time to learn and either at voice over, or music, depending on what makes most sense. (There’s YouTube tutorials for everything these days, right?)
The video features just the sketch. Once that was done, I forgot to set the app to record again. By the time I remembered, it was too late. So, instead, here is the final image in its static not-animated glory.
What’s a strong name for a handsome orc?
Mid-February, when commissions were finished, I went back to work on some art that I started in January. It’s my own project, and began as just a doodle… but let’s start back a bit further.
In 2005, I had a story idea that I was mulling about for some time. There’s a character, Rae, that I had finally got inspired enough to actually draw. The image below features the first (and, until recently, only) time she’s been seen in any of my work.
You can see the heavy anime-style influencing my work, and equally heavy Photoshop grass brush used to cover the hillside. At the time, this was the highlight of my abilities. It was, literally, the best thing I had made to date.
These days, I’m writing a story about Rae’s world and much has changed from 2005. Only two characters from that first idea still exist in the story… but that’s something I’ll share more on, later. For now it’s still in the early stages and there’s much work to do.
Nearly 15 years later, I finally revisited this character’s design. And this time, I’m more confident that I got her looks nailed down. Her features are much more angular and intense, and I wasn’t afraid to draw the antlers protruding from her skull.
And perhaps I can do less thinking of stories and more actual writing of stories and get this stuff published. But art like this helps with that: it’s related, and a visual reference is always more useful that a written one, for me.
Reflecting on old artwork makes me realize how much I have improved.
February 20 & 21
Remember that elf sketch I created at the beginning of the month? I liked how it turned out, but it wasn’t perfect so I made a mental note to come back to it later.
“Later” was the difference of twenty days.
While I liked the original, something was missing. It wasn’t quite what I had in mind, but I still couldn’t quite picture it. I used the sketch as a reference to rework the lineart, and made additions as I went. I’m much happier with the result now.
Sometimes you just have to rebuild from the base to get it just right!
I’m starting to add flowers into my art and I think they’re just… easy to create and fun to draw. I’m often listening to music or calling the parents when I’m creating and the flowers just seem to… happen.
(Maybe they sprout? Can I make a plant pun here?)
The above sketches are ones that my supporters on ko-fi get to see first. It’s part of what I’m offering to those who want to support me and my work, and would like to help me create more. Of course, if you’re patient, you’ll get to see those here in my monthly art wrap-ups. 😉
Over the weekend, I came across @Visodette’s Draw This In Your Style challenge. I hadn’t participated in any of these before, though I considered it when I first starting seeing them pop up. Vicky’s caught my attention because her character, named Spaghetti, is adorable. And I must be going with a theme of drawing pink-haired ladies this month.
The challenge is open to everyone, and for anyone else wanting to try I recommend checking out the post on Twitter.
Here’s my attempt:
Alternatively, if the image is not showing up for you, it is also available in my ko-fi gallery, here. This character was so fun to draw, and it gave me the opportunity to try out a few different things. I’ll be keeping a lookout for more “challenges” like this.
And finally, over the weekend I finished up the elf illustration that I had been working on. I hadn’t thought much of making a three- (or five-) eyed elf when creating the sketch initially, but that is how things progressed… until I ended up with a pale, mildly freckled, silver-haired five-eyed elf.
I tried a few different things here, too, especially with the flowers. I removed the bold outlines and tried to make them feel more delicate, and used both softer and lighter colours to the image instead of the usual dark theme.
I may have to draw this elf a bit more and incorporate her into my writing in some way. Decisions.
Here’s both the sketch and final side-by-side, for those curious about the changes between both images. (And don’t like scrolling. Because, really, who does?)
Quite a bit different from the original sketch, isn’t it?
Which one do you prefer?
Just in case you missed it, February’s Supporter Downloads are available on Ko-fi! This month’s rewards include a colouring page and background. Both feature my Sailor Moon fanart from December. The colouring page is on an 8.5″ x 11″ page for easy printing, while the background is a 1920 x 1080 pixel image for use on mobile devices.
All supporters will have access to the album: monthly subscribers always will, whereas one-off supporters will have access for thirty days from the last donation. I will be adding more rewards each month, so be sure to check back!