Vikings and Skillshare

Another week, another silly colored pencil entry for Illustration Friday.

This week’s subject is “Viking” and there have been lots of entries based on the stereotypical horned helmets and women with long, blonde plaits. I actually did a tiny bit of research and found that the horned helmet thing is a myth. The Vikings battled by forming a wall of overlapping shields and if you wear horned helmets in that situation you are likely to gouge the taller guy next to you!

So my kitty is in a longboat, eating fish and wearing a typical Viking helmet. Yay, research!

Photo Aug 03, 11 09 49 PM

I’ve had an idea in my head for the last couple of IF challenges that I haven’t been able to manifest (I’m still fighting off the tail end of this cold, ugh), but I found a class on Skillshare that I think is going to help me get it done. What’s Skillshare, you ask? It’s a great website full of instructional videos taught by some pretty big names. And, of course, it’s not just for artists, they have classes for everythingDesign, photography, business, film, technology, fashion, music, gaming, culinary arts, writing, crafts and “lifestyle” (for every class that doesn’t fit elsewhere, I guess). Check it out. There’s lots to look at without signing up, and if you do sign up via that link you get the first 3 months for $0.99 and I get a month free. Win-win!

It’s a Trap!

Another week, another submission for Illustration Friday. Which is great, I’m happy that I am at least creating art once a week! This week my idea of creating a lion in a cage using layers of colored pencil drawings was much too ambitious for a busy week when I also have not been feeling well, so I scaled it waaaaay back. And didn’t tinker with it at all once it was in a completed state. This is unusual for me as I always catch things when I take a photo of my art and then edit it. This time I saw stuff, but I just didn’t have time to futz with it. Viva la mistakes… or something.

trapped_cool trapped_warm

I am still struggling with reproducing my work online. Scanning this piece didn’t work because of the 3D layers. But as you can see above, my phone could not decide how to interpret the colors. These are unfiltered pictures taken in the same spot at the same time of day with no change to the lighting!

Now I’m off to post it before the clock turns to midnight.

Viva la mistakes!

Stomach Pains

This week’s Illustration Friday topic is “Stomach.”

I have to admit, when I first read the topic, I thought about skipping a week. But I am blogging to push myself to create art, and so far it is working. I thought about picking my own subject, or just working on some project I had already been thinking about.

But first I thought I’d just fire up Adobe Illustrator and see what would happen. And what happened was, I had fun. Not being particularly inspired by the week’s topic also meant that I didn’t go in with high expectations and I allowed myself to just play. I played with color and pattern and brushstrokes to my heart’s content. And when I stepped away, I realized I had a piece that said something. Without intention, I created artwork with a point of view. This is totally new for me.

Anyway, here she is:

Artboard 1

The Struggle to Party is Real

Artist’s can’t really afford to be perfectionists. When we only allow ourselves to be perfect, we run the risk of never producing anything at all. This is what I am telling myself.

Photo Jul 13, 3 29 41 PM

I really didn’t want to post the drawing I did for this week’s Illustration Friday theme “Party” (above). I am my mother’s daughter and therefore I am fighting back the urge to tell you every single thing that is wrong with it. I tried to fix some mistakes in a way that only made the situation worse. I thought many times I should scrap it and start over only to hear the baby crying in the other room and realize I really ought to thank my lucky stars I finished anything at all. So here it is, warts and all.

The whole point of this blog is to get me to push through the tough part of being an artist.

Things I Learned From a Shark

For this week’s Illustration Friday I am working on a colored pencil drawing of a shark (IF post to follow soon). I learned a few things while working on this drawing and I want to preserve them here for future reference:

  • My scanner (in .jpg mode at least) does not create as accurate a picture as just taking a snapshot of my piece with my iPhone. This presents a small problem as I have very shaky hands, but the scanned image had more blurring than the pic!
  • Many of the lessons learned in oil painting class can be applied to colored pencil work. Activate with color. Too much layering can create muddy color. Etc.
  • Creating the look of light on a surface underwater is hard and reference photos don’t help as much as you want them to.
  • Last and far from least: getting work done is better than aiming for perfect and, as a consequence, not finishing.

Any tips for capturing underwater light patterns without it looking like leopard print? Any tips for scanning or photographing art? Leave me a comment!

Looking for Like-minded People to Conquer the World

Still Life with Olive Oil

Conquering the world one bottle of olive oil at a time…

Okay, not really. I’m looking for illustration and art blogs. This should be easy, right? I have found quite a lot of artists I admire, but none who seem to write about their process. Even if they don’t write about making art, though, I would like to get updates when they post new work, but most don’t seem to have any easy way to follow their blog.

I have found Illustration Age and Painters’ Table but I would like to follow individual artists and designers — to create an online art commune where we can support each other, and maybe even ask each other for feedback.

Am I seeking something that isn’t possible? Should I rely upon those artists I have met through college courses? I’m not sure. But maybe it is time that I try to hook up with illustrators on Twitter. I follow several children’s book illustrators already and they often link to great articles.

Do you have any sites to suggest? Do you yourself have an art blog? Let me know in comments!