Midsommar – complete and with prints!

Hi friends!

I hope everyone had a decent summer despite the weirdness that is 2020. Hope you, your family, friends, etc. are all healthy and if you happen to be reading from California I hope you’re staying safe.

SO… after a couple months working on and off, I did finish my Midsommar fan art piece. I’ve put it below 🙂

fan art digital painting based on the horror movie Midsommar

See it bigger on artstation.

There are parts of this image I’m really happy with – some of the shadowing on the face, the irises (not accurate but fun and colourful), some of the individual flowers, the vines in the background… and some bits of course where I know I could’ve done much better! I think it comes down to planning better – I started this on a whim, and could’ve done with more preliminary sketches and studies! But it’s a valuable lesson that I continue to learn.

Anyway, if you happen to like it enough to buy a print of it, I have printed some A5 ones out and popped them into my etsy shop (which by the way, had a massive overhaul!)… I have both ‘proper’ prints and my ‘seconds’ (ones that I didn’t feel great about selling full price) available. And I’m kinda happy I can provide things at different price points for people.

I have a lot more new updates to share with you all, including a bunch of commission work which I’m happy about – but I’ll keep it short for now. Thanks so much for looking!

Dug myself a hole

Also known as: starting on an extremely overly ambitious painting.

Work in progress painting

I watched Midsommar – perhaps a couple of months ago. Straight away, I really wanted to paint the main character in her flower costume. I started without much planning, without a solid workflow since I hadn’t done a longer painting in a while.

Anyway, a couple months on, I’m still working on it! I have finished the face, the flowers at the bottom, the background… I just have the top section of the flower crown left. That’s… I don’t know… hopefully less than 50 flowers?

Here’s some things I’ve learned:

  • Realise that a full colour, fully rendered illustration is a big undertaking and would be helped by planning, thumbnails, etc.
  • Having a workflow – like a planned way of how I’m going to sketch, paint, etc. the painting’s components – this is pretty important
  • I thought I knew how to draw flowers… I didn’t… reference is king
  • I had to make some compromises on the realism of the floral section because my skill level wasn’t really at the place it needed to be. I could have taken time away and done some hard studying, etc. then returned to the painting but… at this point I just want to get it done and take lessons from this into the next painting
  • I do not have to make these fully painted pictures in order to have ‘legitimate’ work. That being said, it is super satisfying to see how far I can push myself (even if I have to let go of parts of it looking perfect).

I want to get this finished! I am hoping that I can get some prints done of it once finished and then I can sell them in my shop – which by the way, I re-opened last week (we finally have a home printer so I don’t need to go to the post office to send stuff out into the world). Perhaps I’ll have a proper post on that later – maybe once this girl is complete!

Procrastination is mostly done now. I better go do some painting today 🙂

Aurora portrait study

Hi friends!

Just wanted to say that I have actually been writing a blog post for this blog … which has been taking ages! It’s super long, and maybe not going to appeal to everyone, but I have wanted to write it for a while. It’s just about my ‘art goals’ from having worked at the games studio to now… and how they have changed 🙂

In the mean time, here’s some progress pictures of a portrait study I started of Aurora (the singer). I actually think the portrait is kind of … not good! But, overall it was a good experience for me as I got some practice with colour and light. Since that was the main aim of the study (rather than likeness, aesthetics, etc), then I feel that it was a positive experience for me overall!

Thanks for looking, more posts to come. I think I will do more of these shorter posts in the future – looking at particular studies etc. that I have done, perhaps also spotlighting artists that I admire, why, and what could be learned from them. We shall see!

Thanks, and take care during this wild year.

It would also be remiss of me were I to not mention whats going on in the world – at least briefly – I am not good at articulating my thoughts on social justice, and I am still learning… but am 100% behind the Black Lives Matter movement and protests. If you are looking to help, BLM have a page you can check out here.

Going from here I want to donate more, attend events and protests more in the future (currently can’t as C is vulnerable to covid-19 so we are pretty much isolating), seek out & support more black owned businesses and expand my reading re: books by BIPOC in all genres, books about BIPOC histories, etc.

Seer Project Progress

It’s been a while!

I’ve made a bunch of progression on my most recent big project, which can be found here on artstation.

I think I’ve come to a good milestone in it but I feel like there is always more that can be done… I thought I would share a couple of small, achievable ideas on how to improve and expand on the project. After that I might think about how to push my AJ project a bit further too, keeping in mind feedback from AJ and the artists at Creative Assembly.

For the Seer Project:

  1. Include detail and development on boot design
  2. Include detail and development on pauldrons
  3. Sketch out back view for most recent finished design and add notes
  4. Detail shot of staff and further development of its textures

Character design of an insectoid creature

For AJ Project:

  1. Back view of insectoid creature
  2. Pick a 3rd character to develop

I’m not sure if I will complete all of these but they at least give me a direction. In addition to these actions (during or after), I realise I need to strive to study more. Lately I have made some progress and I need to keep pushing forward.

Updates, Christmas, Artists to look at

Hi friends, as usual it’s been a while. I thought I’d share some updates on my projects, plus some sketches I did today, and a list of artists who were recommended by Audrey Kawasaki on some instagram account (an online art gallery? I can’t remember which) – I wanted to list them to share the awesomeness of these artists, but also I want to make sure I don’t lose their names!

Updates

  • CalamityNow that I have an OK level command of 3D modelling and texturing, I’m starting to go through the old models that I made while learning 3D, and I am remodelling and texturing them. I am also building up a test level as I go. We are hoping to apply to show our game at indie games development conventions so I will let you all know more as time progresses. I’m also updating our game’s redbubble shop with stickers and other bits.
  • Music: I finally picked up my saxophone after a long time (years) of not playing. I am going to attempt to be in a band. We had our first meeting yesterday, so I will need to work out pieces to play for each song, and I must get back up to speed with playing and sounding OK at least. More information about this as it develops!
  • Job: Work’s going well, we’re currently making a rally style racing game which will be released in March 2016!
  • Craft: I’m hoping to start crafting again. I would like to give my little shop a renewal at some point, so that I can get sewing again. I’m feeling really inspired by thebeastpeddler on tumblr, I have bought myself one of their plushies! Please check them out if you like cute, dark plushies.
  • Painting: In my spare time I have been trying to keep up with digital painting. I have been working on more finished pieces, as I usually end up just sketching stuff quickly so that I can post it faster. I must be more patient! You can see my latest painting below!

digitally created painting of a male character with 2 horns and purple skin, with a background of flowers (possibly carnations)

Christmas Sketches

I wasn’t going to send Christmas cards, but then I got a few, so I made these quick cards to give out. I made some spares in case, too 🙂

Artist List

Annihilation

Hi friends,

I’ve been reading a book called Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. I don’t know how to define it by genre, but it seems to be sort of scifi and ‘spec fic’… I’m really enjoying it and I want to recommend it!

“The book describes a team of four (a biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor) who set out into an area known as Area X. The area is abandoned and cut off from the rest of civilization. They are the 12th expedition. The other expeditions have been fraught with disappearances, suicides, aggressive cancers, and mental trauma.” – Wikipedia

You might know that I struggle with my art because I have lots of ideas yet end up just drawing my generic figures and portraits. But with this book, I can imagine all kinds of scenes/compositions and I want to draw them! So, I started.

fan art drawing in sketchbook from a book by jeff vandermeer, annihilation. sketch of woman standing in the middle of a campsite

colour fanart of book by jeff vandermeer called annihilation. woman standing in the dark in the rain, in a campsite, looking upwards

Also, I listened to Florence + the Machine’s song Landscape which also reminded me of the scenery and personality of the main character. There’s also a lighthouse featured in the book.

Well, today’s is a short post, hope you like the wip. I want to paint it more. Just wanted to get the composition down this evening. See you soon and if you’re interested please definitely read the book and let me know what you think! Or recommend some books to me 🙂

Elysia

Digital Painting Process – Notes for a friend

Here are some notes on my digital painting process (photoshop), for a friend’s request. I will upload pictures and such later- so for now this post is probably only useful to that 1 friend until then. Just some quick notes. I haven’t been digitally painting long at all, so I am no expert. This is just how I made a painting myself.

Note; this particular piece started out as some sketches of a city environment. Then the scenes were combined to create one big piece. During this piece, since it was my first digital painting in so long, I made tons of mistakes and had to fix them loads.

Sketching/general brush choice: Regular round brush, size up to 15 pixels, 50% opacity
Painting details brush choice: Regular round brush, size 5-15 for details/smaller bits, 20% opacity

  1. I researched different imagery to do with cityscapes – including photos of cities, photos of particular scenes within them (e.g. a Chinatown gate), buildings, and other peoples’ paintings of cityscapes.
  2. I sketched out about 6 or so small thumbnails of scenes within the city.
  3. Opened up PS and made a big canvas. Sketched out the city on a normal type layer above the background. Tried to do the overall shape and placement of main bits and then added more and more detail (too much! Shouldn’t have added so much so soon). Turned this sketch layer to 50% opacity or so.
  4. Sketched over it again in more detail, adding in all my plans for shading, on a separate normal type layer. This also turned out to be a mistake anyway since I should have not gone into detail so soon.
  5. Made normal type layer underneath the 2 sketch layers and added in basic colours, no shading, with a 100% opacity brush.
  6. Checked over the sketch so far and realised I needed to resize things – people, cars – which were too big compared to buildings.
  7. Realised I didn’t have much practice in actually painting in colour so asked my friend for advice and she told me she usually paints the stuff at the back first and then works forward.
  8. Decided to try that so started from the back, making the farthest back stuff less contrasted, less detailed and faded out. This meant that I had to redo the furthest back stuff since in my sketch it was the darkest. So, I slowly painted on top of all of that.
  9. Then, I started painting over everything, moving gradually forward and towards the foreground.
  10. To paint things in my environment, such as buildings… first I added block colours for shading (looked like cel shading), and then with a fine round brush at 20% opacity I would smooth it out and add detail. Once I had done the regular shading I also added in lots of reflected light (since it is a city it had lots of neon and glowy things) to the edges of the building, which made it look a lot more interesting instead of being coloured blocks. For shiny windows I had a new layer, drew the filled in box of the window in a bright colour, then I had another layer underneath and used an airbrush type brush to add more of the same colour around the window. I used gaussian blur to spread it out a bit and if needed I also reduced the opacity.
  11. Did not shade the water much at all, basically just added in a few bits around places where objects/land was touching or near to the water, because there was so much of it and I had already spent days doing the city, and needed to wrap the image up for a deadline.
  12. Added in little details such as the vehicles.
  13. Found a yellow and blue gaussian blur background on google images, put on a layer on top of all, fiddled with layer types until found which looked best (need to check what type ended up with). This was a really important part of my process since my colours usually end up quite muddy, muted and dull, so adding the gaussian blur on top helped to make it a lot more exciting and pulled the picture together. The fading blue part of the blur helped to define the water without me having shaded it loads.

I will add to this when I can! Then it can be useful for everyone.

always with the progress updates

Greetings friends,

hope you all don’t mind but lately I think my blog posts are just going to be continued updates on art and other progress… I write this blog as a sort of record, I would like to make it interesting and helpful for others somehow, though? So not sure what to do. I suppose I’ll share the tutorials and art supply sites I’ve used, as before, and I hope the pictures will make it interesting too… Let’s see… I’m checking my last post to work out what I have done since then. I think I would say the website is mostly all done and waiting for a new series of work before its next update!

Printmaking: As I already said I’m waiting to buy some lino pieces off my art school. Currently the lino pieces I have here are from intaglio printmaker and they are the softcut ones- thin, flexible, creamy coloured. I haven’t really enjoyed using these ones as the lino was a bit slippery, and am hoping to get some mounted lino blocks. I think I’ll be less worried about chopping my fingers off with the more sturdy blocks which will work better with my bench hook.

photo of several pieces of lino carved with two faces and one abstract form which is similar to the gourd vegetablePainting: After ordering myself some paints, paintbrushes and bits and pieces over the last month, I finally coaxed myself into painting yesterday. I tried my hand at painting a portrait of my friend, and I am fairly happy with the result. I often have the issue of the eyes being wonky in a portrait and I’m sad to say it happened for this one but overall I think it was a good first attempt after several years of avoiding painting out of fear of failure. Last night I started on a second canvas, this time without a photo reference, but I have a feeling I may scrap it.

I’m trying to get to grips with the medium and read some tips and so on on the internet, along with that I’m just experimenting with the paints. I get pretty impatient waiting for layers to dry though, which usually ends up in me trying to paint over too soon and ruining it and having to wait and then repaint the section.

Illustrator: Thanks to skillshare offering a month free subscription to people who signed up for a prize draw, I can now start my forays into Adobe Illustrator. For several months I’ve had my eye on a couple of the courses offered and I’m happy to be able to begin them now. I’m currently looking at “Master the Basics of Adobe Illustrator to Create Awesome Illustrations” by Julian Burford and I feel like I’ve learned a lot. Another course I’d like to do is about combining usage of Photoshop and Illustrator and that’s by Lydia Nichols. I thought I’d wait for a while before starting that one so that I could learn the fundamentals of Illustrator beforehand.

mac screenshot of a poster made in adobe illustrator featuring a girl in a space suit against a dark sky

Attempt at adobe illustrator – still in the sketching phase, next stop is the pen tool!

By the way, here is a link to a free month of skillshare if anyone is interested.

Actually, I just saw an advert in the paper today about summer courses at the London art colleges. I’m tempted to take a design based course in order to challenge myself AND improve my job prospects. They are usually several hundred pounds but fortunately I’ve saved a fair amount of money through my part time work.

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Anyway, woah okay this blog post is getting a bit long so we’ll leave it at that. As for the game design we’re having a meeting tonight and maybe I’ll make a separate post regarding my progress. I have improved a lot on the game design stuff!

As ever, thanks for reading and take care, feel free to comment and share cool tutorials, links, shout at me or whatever. x

writing with no plan

Hi all,

yesterday I got back from my visit to the North of England. It is now one o’clock and today has been spent drawing and wandering. I really would like to buy a baguette from the shop opposite my house right now, but I should not spend any money. Temptation is evil. The thought of the sandwich only entered my mind approximately two minutes ago but now it is dominating my thoughts and all I can think about is eating some slightly crunchy ciabatta bread with tomatoes and cheese and other nice things inside. I’m considering just going over budget this week. I spent a lot early in the week for no reason other than gluttony. And then on my visit, I expected to spend a fair amount of money on trains and the like. I spent less than I had anticipated and am considering using this as an excuse for buying more unnecessary food. But I’m writing this instead to try and momentarily distract myself from the thought of ciabatta.

Above are some drawings I’ve done over the past week. None of these are for my course. I did the first two as worried gifts for the people I was going to be staying with, but decided to cook them dinner instead. After having finished the two watercolours, I put them on my personal facebook in the hope of selling them, and I did! … something very surprising and encouraging for me.

The seagull drawing is for a friend who would like to have a tattoo. She asked me to draw one. I had to borrow a reference from google, because seagulls don’t stay still.

For the rest of the day, I think I will work on actual university stuff. I have a few pages to polish up for the exhibition, so that should occupy me for an hour or two. After that, I suppose I should write my presentation. We need to talk about our work for maybe 10-15 minutes on 7th May (which we did before, last year), so I will work on some notes and powerpoint slides.

I also want to do some more drawings which I can sell… I think that it’s fun to create drawings outside of my coursework (even though the eyes in my opinion are off in the two watercolours above) because I can experiment with mediums and then attempt to sell them as well.

Right now, the pull of ciabatta is super strong, so I’m going to try and cook a big lunch of wholemeal pasta with cheese sauce and sweetcorn. If I eat enough, maybe I can stop myself from wanting things I can’t afford?