PAINTING AGAIN!!!!!

I have revisited painting! Created this little cutie of a piece on a wooden fence looking panel thingy with Hoblein Acryla Gouache. Never knew about this acrylic gouache mixture, it’s quite nice! I”m not quite done with this piece just yet but I plan on completing it this weekend.

Will I be selling this precious thing? I don’t know lol, I’ve grown so attached to it, so has my daughter. Prints are most definitely an option as a whole and individuals of each girl. I’m very pleased with how this turned out. The colors and all are very vibrant, I just love it.

Will I be painting from now on? No idea. I would like to explore more with this gouache stuff. It seems like something I can really use and enjoy due to it’s different capabilities. Being able to be used as a watercolor or an opaque color to cover like acylic. It’s a good mix of both into one. I will be most definitely using it again.

What’s going on with me?

Well, I’ve been absent for quite some time working on projects. Being so frustrated with not putting out any new work and not progressing that I put myself in a stage of…not depression…more like self loathing sad to say. I went through a stage where I realized I had been lacking certain techniques and not using what I can do to my advantage. My artwork has always been sketchy. Doing final lines in ink and cleaning up everything was something I dreaded. Funny thing about it, I’ve always like the sketchiness of my art,  but thought to myself…no one wants to look at messy lines. So, I tried to make myself “fix” my problem. Not realizing the “fixing” may have been actually breaking me in the process. I have also realized in my frustration that I tend to overthink things and it in the end keeps my imagination from really excelling into something great. Comparing myself to other artists who effortlessly create their illustrations with ease. Me always wishing I could do the same. Wanting to go back to my sketchy line art…but still afraid of it looking….messy.  So what is a woman to do in this situation? She goes into seclusion and experiment till she gets to where she wants to be. That…is what I plan on doing from this day on. I’ve put myself in such awkward situations and can only blame myself for the outcomes.

What’s the plan? There are so many obstacles I want to conquer.

  • Landscapes, backgrounds, scenery
  • Character designs that fit in with my scenery (simple, sketchy, warm)
  • Line and wash watercolor
  • Sequential art (comics, graphic novels, storybooks)
  • Simple color schemes (my coloring sucks!)
  • DEVELOP MY STYLE AS A WHOLE!

These are the main things I’ve struggled with for years and have yet to get together. It’s sad because I’ve been doing this for so long. As I pointed out before in the earlier paragraph….my art has always been sketchy. Watercolor seems like the best medium to use that will enhance my sketchy art.

My goals are to sketch lots of backgrounds in order to gain that database in  my mind about how to draw them. So far I’ve done quite a few that I’ve been super happy about. Will post them soon. I also want to achieve that  lose sketchy like feel that I’ve always had in my art. I want that confidence in my work to show. One step at a time!

Copic Markers

I love copic markers and I tend to buy buy buy and buy some more. Thing is I have so many…but none of them really relate to each other…color scheme wise. I have such an array of colors but not unity amongst the colors… and that my friends is where I falter! I can just recall so many times trying to create a piece of art and getting ready to color  yet have no ideas about what colors to use and will go together. So when I get stumped…I’m stumped! It sucks because I then get frustrated and feel defeated which leads to an unfinished illustration. SO!!!! I have decided…in order to simplify my markers and just my whole situation when it comes to coloring my illustrations, I need to pick a scheme that I am very fond of and only use those colors!!! Not go out and try others. Stick to a color scheme and that be that. I’ve decided on a warm minimalist palette and a minimalist pastel those two color palettes I feel can be intertwined very well together without any issues and usually I stick with colors like that in my wardrobe. So why not imitate life through my art? On top of this simplifying my art I need to also simplify its entirety!! I have already began going through my markers to see which ones fit into this category of color schemes I’m adopting. I have so many more…but with the bulk of my markers still put away in storage it looks like i may have to buy up some more, sadly. Unless I am able to find  my markers.  Other than that I might just have to deal with the digital thing for a while until I can find the markers or at least can afford replenishing what i don’t have. Which brings me to this today..I’m going to apply this color scheme to my illustration for this book i”m working on for someone. It looks like a good opportunity to give it a go!

Been MIA

Yes…Yes I have, been quite busy. Working on a children’s book for someone as well as trying to juggle my work and social life around it. It’s not so easy. I don’t do a lot of socializing but I do a lot of it at home. Living in a home filled with family, it’s full of noise, distractions, and just all around chaos at times. So to just find some peace to be yourself and do what you need to do artistically…is not so simple. Which brings me to a lot of frustration at times when I really need to get something done and it feels impossible to do.  That is my only update that I can share right now. I will update later after completing the book. I am also revamping my style…once again lol. I’m always looking for a way to simplify my art to where I’m completely comfortable and not worried about too much detail. I go back and forth but tend to find myself reverting back to the mainstream stuff that seems like it will get more attention because it looks like some other art that is booming. I am very fond of the simple dot for eyes or maybe just a line to show the eyelids. Guess I’m afraid to make it my style…but I think It would be a consideration since it goes well with my need for simplicity in my artwork. I should really focus on different body shapes and faces. A lot of my characters seem to have the same facial qualities so they never look individual. I’ll get it together eventually. Ugh!

Dork Alert!

This incident below literally happened this morning. It was so funny to me that I had to draw it out.

When you’re cute…and awkward.

But seriously I really want to create more comics like this. Life in general rears the best stories. I am the biggest spazz when it comes to social interactions lol, but it’s quite alright! I am who I am. For all of my fellow introverts who’ve experience this or know what I mean…”I’m..” *in my R. Kelly voice* “De-di cating this one to my, in-tro-verrts” …wait…is that ok? *side eye*

Well that’s life

So…I’ve been on this….quest? *insert not so sure face here*. Honestly I don’t know how else to describe it. When I look back at my life as it was…back in the day…I get angry with myself. Who else is guilty of this? This is what a lot of us do from time to time. That is why it is always recommended by friends…life coaches…blah blahs to stop looking back at your past, but look forward to the future…or at least look at where you are now presently…and be grateful. Well, I am grateful…but I continue to have difficulty not looking back because my past…really…like really makes me angry. If I could collect all those years of WASTED time to add to my portfolio, my investments, and growth as an independent illustrator…I would have been in a better place in my life or SOMETHING instead of what I’m doing now…which is sitting around staring at gloomy beige walls and gray doors…answering a ringing phone (that seriously just rang as I typed this sentence)…that 90% of the time has no one on the other end when I answer, listening to whispering and complaining coworkers…long story short…I’m miserable ok. For what reason am I doing this besides getting a paycheck every week to pay for bills and food and shelter for my daughter and myself? My only answer being….to get a paycheck. Do I enjoy this place? Uh no. You can’t even imagine how many times I’ve opened my eyes in the morning and said…”Do I really need this job?“. Yea we have all been there…well at least those who aren’t truly happy with their present occupation. I’m just another added to the list of disappointed employees working in a field of work just to get money.

Who hasn’t wished for a job where they are truly happy with what they are doing and for what purpose? In my case…being an introvert…it’s very difficult just trying to be someone that I am not. Working independently or at least behind the scenes is where I flourish the most. This is where all those years wasted come in to play. ALL THOSE YEARS SPENT WASTING THEM AWAY ON THESE JOBS I HATED…I COULD HAVE BEEN DEVELOPING MYSELF MORE AS A WRITER AND ILLUSTRATOR!!!! AN INDEPENDENTLY WORKING ARTIST AND AUTHOR. Blissful and at peace just being home, working at making blogs posts while my daughter is in school, drawing up a new illustration or writing up a book to illustrate and self-publish. DREAM JOB. Now…I just have regrets and more regrets…but these are all moments of learning and growth. Even though it is best to not look back at your past and want to kick your butt for not taking that job position or not saying no to that big purchase that cost you years of debt in the end, in times like this and various others, it’s good too look back to see where you messed up and try your best to not let it happen again…well at least attempt again with different eyes and approach. *shrugs*

Life is what you make it…and it also is what it is. You learn to guide your way through it all dealing with the good and bad. If it’s to work towards a goal then it’s even more worth the struggle, but keep in mind, what are you willing to sacrifice? Quitting that bummy girlfriend or boyfriend, moving out of a big home to slum it with some nurturing friends..or family, maybe getting a part time job just to help a little along the way. Hey maybe that job is actually helping pay for your success in that dream job. Either way…if you have a dream….stop talking about it and make it a reality. Do you really want to live through your life saying “Well I wanted to” or “I wish I had“…or even, “I could have“? I’m honestly tired of saying those lines. Which is where this blog has come into place. Yall I have decided to start this blog in hopes to reach out to others who can relate to my struggles of self doubt and introvertedness. *is that a word?* I want to uplift you as well as learn to uplift myself, why not learn together. If you are interested please stop on through and read my next post give me your opinion, heck give me advice even.
This just won’t only be about self love and encouragement it will also be other random things in life I’ve dealt with and dealing with. I want this blog to be fun and thought provoking at the same time. What better way to interact…without interacting…than through online methods…takes off the edge of nervousness *introvert awkwardness avoided*

Be blessed yall!!

Update!

I totally did not expect it…but guess who was one of the winners of the June competition for the SCBWI Draw This…..me! I was so not expecting anything at all from it. Seriously, I woke up that morning on July 1st, checked my email and saw that bulletin…and my name with the Congratulations. I had to rub my eyes and refocus to make sure what I was looking at was actually what I was looking at. It was very encouraging to see my art featured especially considering I was a nervous wreck trying coaxing myself to enter and follow through. I should have updated like…..weeks ago, but in the midst of moving and working and other distractions it was just hectic, but it’s ok. SO THANKS SCBWI!! I was unable to enter the July contest due to life, but I’ll most definitely try for next month’s prompt word. Of course I’ll let you know how that goes.

Be blessed!!!

SCBWI

I decided to join SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) back in April this year. This organization is great. You get great exposure and I felt that it was a nice start to build up my porfolio. I wasn’t aware of this monthly contest that they had going on, but I seriously randomly came across it looking up information about contests and submissions. The rules of the contest is that they give you a word and you must illustrate the word in your own way. For example, the last month’s prompt word was “Feast”, so many artist drew illustrations of characters eating. This month’s prompt word is “Splash”. I’m not even going to lie, I was so nervous and had artist block for days trying to figure out what to draw for this contest. If I was going to enter this contest for the first time I better come in with some good work I told myself. I finally got an idea and I finished it exactly on the deadline, June 20th.

This was such a challenge because I had never drawn water and, oh gosh, water is very difficult in my opinion. You have to really look for the best way to draw water in your own style honestly. I don’t ever look or try for realism in my art, but I did want the look of water in this particular illustration. It’s very stylized but I think I got the feel of water and SPLASH. I’m pretty happy with how it came out. It was OK for my first entry. Two winners of the contest will have their work displayed on the home page and publicized through SCBWI social media channels. Sounds exciting right?! Even if I don’t win, it’s still good exposure and I’m happy about pushing myself to enter. Now that the contest is over, I’m anxiously waiting for the next prompt word so that I can get started on it and add it to my portfolio as well. YAY!!!

Lately due to some changes in my life, I’ve had to put away my traditional draw tools such as my markers and paints and had to go back to strictly digital coloring. It’s a bit more cost efficient and quicker to upload things so it has its perks. Going to miss my Michaels coupons but it’s OK. I’m just having to discipline myself with the digital coloring because it’s a bit of a learning curve, though I am getting the hang of it pretty well.

That is it for updates. Will update when new news comes up. Bye and Be blessed!!

Exploring

After that experiment with the old art versus the new…I’ve been a bit more open to stepping away from my current art style and want to step into another variation of character construction. I’ve actually grown very fond of drawing smaller eyes for my characters versus the big ol eyes I’m usually drawing them with. The smaller eyed characters seem more…personable and relatable. This new approach is great because I’m not so concentrated on the eyes like eye color and shape. I had even gone as far as to just drawing dots…which is still something to consider if I want to have a variety of characters. The fact that I can draw the eyes small and have minuscule attention and detail to them makes me happy because I am finally on my route to simplifying my approach; and it also gives me more motivation to work on clothing, gestures, and emotions instead of my characters just looking pretty posing for a picture. They need personality and this is a good start and push to get there. Plus it looks less…anime-ish considering I’m trying my best to step away from that style. My big eyed characters most definitely are influenced from anime in its own way. So to stand away from it, this was necessary. After doing several test sketches, I honestly feel this is where I’m staying. The big ol eyes stage was fun but it’s time for a change. Will I stop drawing huge eyes forever? Eh…I dunno. It may be an every now and then thing, but this new style is worth the exploration. I’m prepared to make it my own.

Aside from the video of my sketchbook above, I’ve also sketched up Sailor Moon, as usual, to see her in this style I’ve created…

 I love it…That is all…now I just need to color her.

 Update! I decided to go back to another sketch on my Instagram that I did a little while back and noticed….I drew in that style without thinking about it (top right corner) and loved the outcome. To this day…I still look at it and say “Wow I drew that?”. Even commented on how nicely it turned out. It was different from anything else I had drawn and it embodied everything I had been trying to achieve throughout my years of character designs. Simple, clean, whimsical and just drawn very well. I have no idea what I was doing in order for this to be achieved. I will most definitely be studying this again to get myself back on that same path.

Had a great Sunday!

It’s been a semi successful Sunday. That doesn’t happen very often. I was able to get just a few things done. I pulled out my lovely Rendr sketchbook and started coloring some neglected sketches for practice. I seriously adore this sketchbook. I takes my marker colors beautifully, the paper is super smooth and DOESN’T BLEED THROUGH TO THE NEXT PAGE!!! IT’S LIKE MAGIC!! 
This book here….this book right here…fills my heart with so much joy!!!! I’m honestly considering getting rid of my other marker papers (Canson, Borden & Riley) and just overstocking on Rendr to make sure I don’t run out. Don’t get me wrong, the other brands I mentioned are pretty good too, but Rendr…has topped them both. I will most definitiely be buying more of Rendr sketchbooks in the future, so I pray that they never stop making them. I found out about this book through….YouTube….I swear you can find so much there. There were only about 3 YouTubers who I’ve watched that used and recommended the book…so I had to give it a try, ordered it on Amazon.com and I was immediately impressed. The previous marker papers I used are the Canson brand marker papers. The XL paper I still use.

“Painting Pretty”
The illustrations to the right are all colored on the XL Canson Paper. The way the paper take my coloring reminded me of watercolors. So I’m on the fence about letting this particular paper go. It’s like the best of both worlds. I suck at watercoloring but I love markers…If I can get away with mimicking the look of watercolors with my markers then hey why not!!
“Meet and Greet”

 

“Tea Time with Mrs. Bearsbie”

This one for some reason, it started getting really weird. I don’t know if they changed the way that they manufactured the paper, but it wouldn’t hold up the colors of my markers. It was smearing and pooling on top…couldn’t mix my colors…it was horrible!! It’s like the paper is coated with something. I really did like the paper back when it was good. Don’t know what they changed or if I just didn’t notice it had always been like that but either way…I’m never buying it again. Now this other paper I just purchased about a month ago has good potential. 

I actually colored this little quickie on the Borden&Riley paper. It took the markers wonderfully and I adored the texture.

Even though it says bright white…it looks kinda creamy to me and it’s textured! I thought that was neat. I think I will mainly use it when I’m just trying to sketch up color ideas for an illustration. My only issue with this one is that fact that it bleeds through to the next page…so having an extra sheet underneath is necessary.

In other going ons…I, just for the heck of it, decided to take an old illustration from years ago to do a comparison of then and now. Have to say…I was pleasantly surprised!

My old art is on the right and my new style that I’ve developed as time went on is on the left. The change is very apparent. I would often complain that I couldn’t see any change in my style of drawing, but doing this experiment…really showed me how much I have grown. It’s encouraging and I plan to do this to other old illustrations as well. Style may take years to develop, but it’s well worth the time because once you see it…it’s very rewarding. So to anyone out there struggling and feeling discouraged because you think you’ll never improve or don’t see any improvement, try what I did and see how far you have come from then to where you are now. You will see it. It may be gradual but every little bit turns into a big change worth smiling about.