Saturday, April 25, 2015

OMG She's an Otaku

So when I said I'd be blogging more regularly, I didn't specify the frequency, did I?  Heh.  Early Spring, between work and various extra scheduled activities, has been really busy.  I didn't have any time for art, which was really a drag.  But in the past couple of weeks, things finally settled down and I was able to play again.  My inspiration came in the form of all my favorite animes that I've been sharing with Mr. Pocket.  So, once again, I got out my old pencils and started sketching.  This time around, it has felt more natural again to be drawing and forming images of people.  I feel like I've got my mojo back for real this time.  I'm still a little rusty, but I'm off to a pretty decent start.  Here's what I've been doing...

This is Natsu Dragneel, from the manga and anime series Fairy Tail.  He's a dragon slayer wizard who uses fire magic.  My first sketch of the current revival.

This was a bit of a test.  She is Lucy Heartfilia, also from Fairy Tail, but I've redesigned her for the Middle Ages.  To stay consistent with her character as a wizard who uses keys to summon celestial spirits, I gave her a chatelaine full of keys on her belt, and the whip she uses when she has to fight on her own.

In keeping with the anime thing, and prompted by a fan event over on Tumblr, I started practicing characters from another favorite of mine, Free! Iwatobi Swim Club.  The first (and so far only) one I've tried my hand at is the main character, Haru.  Still not finished.  But here's an in-progress photo:

I was trying to take a very straightforward approach, just getting his features right without trying any particular expression.  Not unusual for Haru, who's very stoic.
So, the aforementioned fan event on Tumblr is called Sakurathon, and fans were invited to submit art, fanfiction, or any other creations featuring Haru and another main character, Rin.  Both are swimmers, and have been friends since childhood, and they really keep each other motivated.  It's sort of generally held among fans that they are desperately in love with each other, even though no such thing is directly established in the show.  So works submitted for Sakurathon had to feature the two of them together, along with cherry blossoms which are another recurring theme in the show.  Well.  I love cherry blossoms, and I needed an excuse to draw more (of course), so I decided that I had to participate.  Besides, I'm one of those fans that likes to think that they're more than friends.  So here's how my entry came together...

Blocking out the adorable swimmers.

Base sketch complete.  Haru looks better in my other sketch, but oh well.  Three-quarters views are hard.

Sprayed background, and their eyes have been colored in with Peerless watercolors.

Fully colored with Peerless watercolors, plus Tea Dye Distress Ink for their skin.

Inked the outlines.  With a Sakura Micron pen.  Heh.  Fits the theme.  LoL I'm a dork...

And finished!  Cherry blossoms stenciled with Prima crackle Texture Paste over Picked Raspberry Distress Ink.  The stencil is one I cut from doodles I did at work.  Don't judge me, indexing gets boring.

Wide view, so you can see my pocket stamped to show it's mine. 

I'm pretty pleased with  how this turned out, overall.  It's the first time I've ever tried coloring one of my sketches with watercolors, and I like the way it turned out.  The Peerless are fantastic to use.  And I love the crackle paste.  I mean, just look at it: 

Ooooooh texture....

Here's a closeup of the adorkable swimmer boys:

They're prettier in the anime, though.
I did learn something useful, too.  I learned that I do not like Dylusions spray inks.  They smear and bleed all over the damn place when you get even a hint of water near them again, they end up all over the place, and though they don't like to stay put on paper, they can't seem to get the hell off of your skin.  I've got a dance recital tomorrow and my fingers are blue.  Argh. 
Anyway, if you ever want to see more of my anime fan art, I've started a Tumblr blog just for that, so that here I can stick to mixed media and other forms of creativity.  My Tumblr is here:  Got Some Anime in My Back Pocket  Whether you follow that or not, I hope you've enjoyed this look at my sketches and my first fully integrated sketch and mixed media piece!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Out of Hibernation

*yawn* Oh.  *blink, blink*  Hi.  I hope I haven't completely lost you guys.  I know, I haven't posted anything since Christmas.  Ugh.  Lazy blogger.  In my defense, though, there's a lot I haven't been doing, because it's Winter and I don't deal well with Winter.  It makes me not want to do anything.  I even slow down on art-making. 

This year, though, a tragedy kicked my butt into gear and inspired me to take my art more seriously and devote more time to creating.  Since then, I've been trying to keep my momentum up, and while there have been stretches of days when I haven't done any art, I've mostly been keeping up. 

Blogging, though, I haven't caught up on til now.  So I'm just going to show off some of what I've been doing with my art time, and pledge to blog a little more frequently from here on out.

I'm also trying to work on making some stencils, very slowly.  Got a few stamps I want to carve, too.  And some sewing to do.  As usual, I'm either doing nothing or I'm doing everything.  Maybe one of these days I'll learn to pace myself.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Whatever your tradition or faith, I hope you are having a beautiful and blessed night.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Giving and Receiving

Hello Pocketeers, long time no see!  Sorry I haven't blogged in a few months.  I have been making things, though, so I'd like to catch up a little.  Most of what I've been making has been for a swap group I joined on facebook.  Most of the swaps I've signed up for in the group have been ATCs, but I've done a couple of tag swaps.  Here's some of what I've sent out:

Black Cat ATC

Tea Time tag

These sets were for an Earth, Wind, and Fire ATC set swap with a group of 5 of us.

An Apple A Day tag

Christmas Tree ATC
It's kept me busy.  I've done a bit of my own stuff, though.  I started a cigar box with the apple themed papers from Authentique from a year or two ago...  You can see it in the photo from the last post.  And I've done a few of my 52 Card Pick-Up cards:

I'm only making one Christmas present this  year, and I can't really show it too much of course, but here are some sneaky previews of my super sneaky secret project:

I have yet to make my gift tags, but I'll post those once I make them.  I'm excited for Christmas, but this year I haven't done much Christmas art.  It's taken a while to get into the spirit.  And my art space is such a mess, it's not very pleasant to work in right now, so I haven't been as active in general.  Ah, well.  I'll get it cleaned up and get in there more often soon!  In the meantime, I plan to share some Christmasy stuff with you this week.  See you soon!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Disaster Area?

The ever-amazing Seth Apter had a great idea.  We all see the beautiful studio spaces that get published in magazines and stuff, and we all drool and get jealous, right?  Well Seth wanted people to post pictures of what their studio space really looks like on a daily basis.  It has been really reassuring to see other people's messes!  So here is mine:

What's sad is that, while I have three projects in progress on the table there, only two of them are active and I haven't touched either of them in almost a week. 
And then you turn 90 degrees and you see the space that is supposed to be my cutting surface, but it's occupied by piled up junk that I don't have anyplace to store. 
Oh, and my book press.  Which is also not currently in use.  Of course. 
Somebody save me from myself and my disastrous mess.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hitting Print

Hey there, Pocketeers!  I've been slowing down on the cards, but getting together with Zingala and RunningWave has spurred me to action a little bit more over the past couple of weeks.  Still only resulted in three cards, but I dug into my scraps and cutting dies a little more for these.  Plus, this weekend we got together to play a little bit with RunningWave's Gelli plate, with fun results. But first, the cards:

The primarily green one has ivy die-cut from one of the papers I printed on the Gelli plate.  The mushrooms collaged onto the other are from a napkin I had in my stash.

The banners and the edging at the top are cut with Spellbinders dies.

My favorite prints from our Gelli Plate adventures, with leaves die cut from one of them, and what's left of the paper I cut the ivy from for the green card.

I love the layers and peel-y look here.

This was a ghost print after pulling a print through a stencil.  Look at that delicious texture.

In two weeks the three of us are taking a class together on using the Gelli plate, so I'm looking forward to learning different tricks and techniques for getting unique prints.  And I kind of want my own plate, but where on Earth I'm going to put it is a different story...

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Wow, it's been a while.  And after I had been so good earlier in the Summer.  Well, I haven't been as persistent with art stuff as I was at the beginning of the Summer.  Been reading more than arting, because I might be a little bit obsessed with the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (OMG).  But I have made a bit more progress on the 52 Card Pick Up deck, and started a new project.  This post shows off the rest of what it took to get to exactly halfway through the deck. 

As for the new project, it's coming along slowly.  It's rather a large one, for me anyway, and it had to spend some time on the balcony in time-out today while the spray fixative I used on it dried.  Really didn't need it fuming up the whole condo.