I was a little stumped last night for art ideas. There were a lot of random concepts floating around my head – we’d played some silly translation of Pokemon Silver that could have made for lots of interesting material. One idea came from the translation of “Vine Whip” as “Bean” and that made me want to draw vines and beans and Beanslingers.
But there was another pull, to draw the stars. And I couldn’t really settle. So with my sights on the stars I pulled out my tarot deck, the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn (Some cards are NSFW, individual cards I link should be fine) for guidance.
I haven’t looked at this deck at ages, and I didn’t want to rifle through the cards and overwhelm myself with concepts. So I shuffled and drew a card – the Ace of Wands
“The Root of the Powers of the Earth”. Honestly I glossed over the title of the card (though it might have stuck in the subconscious) and skipped to the description. I chuckled and rolled my eyes at “Here’s the blank canvas sitting in front of you”. The sketch followed soon after, a magnificent vine, rooted in a murky smoke of ink.
But I had trouble with it. It wasn’t quite right. I had trouble rendering the vine, and one mistaken leaf became a bunch of mistaken leaves. Things bloated into a mess of brushstrokes.
It was time to step back. I doubted the strength of the concept. So I pulled another card from the tarot deck. The next card I pulled from the deck was Vulture Mother (did I mention this was an unconventional deck?)
I wasn’t really sure how to apply the concept of the card into the illustration, but the idea of scavenging for the right thing seemed to apply in this search for direction in the image itself. I decided to stick with the idea and start over.
This time I worked carefully, drawing an arc of the night sky around a halo for my vine. I painted in the shape of the vine faintly first, before committing to dark tones. But for the night sky I went straight to undiluted ink, letting it flood the page with more certainty than the first draft.
Finally, splatters and small details in white complete the image.
With the painting done I took the time to rifle through the deck. I feel this isn’t too far from the Princess of Wands illustration actually. I doubt this is what I’d have ended up with if I’d pulled that card though.
Ok that’s me caught up for Friday, time to see if I can wrangle any more ideas for Saturday and Sunday posts!
Today’s second post is a painting of the starting Pokémon from Sun/Moon’s new Alola Region. I painted this one shortly after the starters were announced.
whoa, I nearly fell off the Blaugust [band]wagon, which is a shame as I’m pretty sure I still have enough old art to post to get me through the month.
Here’s yet another picture of a squidkid! This was the first painting I did after purchasing some new white paints. When painting with watercolour, it’s generally advised to avoid using white paint. To maximise that magical watercolour look, an artist should aim to have white highlights represented by the white of the paper. The shoulder and arm highlights for example, are parts of this painting that I’m pleased about as those highlights were made by leaving the paper unpainted.
For small rim highlights I generally use a white gel pen, but the lines usually only come out at a certain width – I want to instead get lively looking highlights that integrate with the rest of the image. The paint I’ve used is Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White – it’s very good at blocking colours and is good at making lovely striking splatters.
I like the way I painted the forms of this face, but the anatomy freaks me out a bit. Also I “tidied” this scan on a monitor with bad contrast, I need to fix it up again. Once again, whites being troublesome!
Hey I actually did a thing I said I was gonna do! Today’s post is the completed painting of Team Altaira’s captain, Phlox.
I used masking fluid to mask out the lettering on the shirt and the warning icons on the weapons. Other highlights were done with white gel pen and paint. The splatter on the right boot was created by blowing on ink patches; this time I tried using a straw to more tightly control the direction of the splatters. Additional splatter effects were created by tapping on a paintbrush held above the paper.
I painted this series of TARDIS inspired brooch designs! They’re one-of-a-kind watercolour pieces. I had a lot of fun working on the colour washes for each of them. The impressionist Van Gogh-ish designs were suggested by a friend, I mixed gouache with my watercolours to give a more oil-painty feel to them.
The player described his squid thusly: “He’s very cocky”. I did my best to get that across in his portrait.
The face seems to have picked up a bit of splotchiness, not sure if that’s from the scan or if the art did just turn out like that. I did have trouble deciding how to tone the skin as it was described as being “tan”.
Today I was going to write a post-mortem of the Splatoon LANs I ran at AVCon this year, but after coming home from work I fell asleep on the floor and have slept almost all evening.
So instead it’s squid art! There’s going to be a lot of Splatoon art this month, as I have portraits that are due for competition winners and old art that I need to scan.
These squids were drawn while I was at the Pokémon Regionals back in May.
I actually inked them after putting down the paint. Here’s a photo from before the inking was done.