2021| full steam ahead

I hope I’m not giving you all whiplash with the amount of times I’ve changed the look of this site; truth be told, it’s not looking how I want it to yet. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday and a good start to the year. I wanted to start off by saying thank you for all the support in 2020, whether it was here on the site, Instagram, or through orders on the Etsy Shop. It’s been amazing to see people supporting smaller businesses/artists like myself during this time, and we’re all beyond grateful.

woven path.

I briefly talked about the Woven Path Tarot months ago, and I am able to share a few more glimpses at the progress of my part of the project. I’ll link an Instagram hashtag here if you’re interested in seeing other cards from all other participating artists. There has been a slight delay, but the project will be coming to Kickstarter later on this year from Changeling Artist Collective.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’ll be illustrating Death. Going into this project I was vaguely familiar with Tarot, and so doing the initial research and learning about the Death card in particular was fascinating. The meanings, history, and symbolism associated with each card is a really interesting topic to look into if you have some spare time. If nothing else, the artwork associated with every variant deck that have come out over the years is worth the exploration. Be sure to follow Changeling Artist for all the updates going forward, and we hope you will support us on Kickstarter once the project goes live.


codex.

A piece that has been in the works since a couple months back and is now finished waiting to be evaluated, is another Kickstarter project; this time a magical collection in the form of an artbook by SPIRIDON. If you haven’t already, you have until January 18th to submit your entries for CODEX OBSCURUS. You have talents like that of Bastien Deharme and Karla Ortiz just to name a few in this artbook, so you can tell why I’m especially excited for this one. There isn’t much of the final artwork I can share yet (should it be included in the final product), but here is a little sneak peek until then.

Margarette| Watercolour Painting


Drawing Without Reference

Going into this year I really wanted to improve the way I drew faces and proportions. Most important of all I wanted to be able to see said improvements when not working with any references. I was noticing the loss of creativity that I had an abundance of, when I used to create art in the early days of middle & high school. Back then I was doing more of a manga/anime style work, however I had much more creative ideas come through in terms of design.

A really good article that caught my eye earlier this year was The Danger of Reference by Jesper Ejsing via. Muddy Colors (A website you should be following if you’re interested in acquiring a wealth of knowledge from artists in the industry). It was something that I had gotten too comfortable with, and something I hadn’t even noticed or thought about until I read Jesper’s article. I had indeed created a safety blanket for myself over these last couple years, relying heavily on references for all my work in every stage. Although there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this process (most artists require references at many stages of their work), there is a danger of killing creativity if you don’t step outside the technical once in a while. This reliance on references came from an insecurity of my own skills as an artist, and of course comparison to the masters in the fantasy art and illustration industry.

So at the end of September, as sort of a spur of the moment thing, I decided to do a painting in which I would draw a face without the help of any reference material. …Confession, I did give up on the hands πŸ˜…; something I have yet to master in terms of structure/shape. I am pleased I was able to come up with a face, composition and design at least. Small steps.

Margarette, watercolours & acrylics on paper, 8×10.5″, 2020

WIP.

This painting along with many other originals are available for purchase directly through the Shop section in this website. If you are looking for prints, please visit my Inprnt store.

Update & August Sketches

August has just flown by for me. It started out rather slow, and then ideas kept piling up and now I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. 😯 While I get into finishing up some newer pieces, I thought I’d share some sketchbook drawings from this month. I’ve been trying out the Strathmore Drawing Sketchbook, and it’s quite fantastic I have to say.

Head studies using Victorian & Edwardian photo references.
graphite & acrylic ink

New Project, Kickstarter Collab.

I’m excited to also share that I’ll be joining a roster of very talented artists in illustrating part of a Tarot Deck from Changeling Artist Collective. Guesses as to which card I’ll be illustrating? 🀭 The project will be coming to Kickstarter in 2021, so make sure you follow CAC on Instagram as well to keep up to date. Here’s a little sneak peek at what I’m working on.

Through the Void – Graphite Drawing

Graphite WIP for Through the Void

As a promise to myself to improve my figure drawing, (the male form in particular), I was surprisingly satisfied by the end of this piece. My current displeasure with my work was that there was something off about how my figures in my watercolour paintings were looking. There was a flatness that I didn’t really like, and really wanted to improve on. Therefore I went back to the basics with graphite. Obviously a much more forgiving medium, it gave me the chance to really analyze what I was missing in how I presented the male/female form in my work; taking a slower pace, and building up each layer with shadows, highlights & textures. I think the next step will be to play around with much more dramatic lighting to add more dimension to faces and figures.

It was also really fun to play around with some of the graphite shavings/residue I had saved from sharpening my pencils. So do save them if you sharpen your tools with a blade! πŸ™‚ Although scanners don’t do a very good job at picking up the subtleties in traditional work, I hope you can at least see the attempt to create more solid black planes. I’ve wanted to incorporate this technique for a while now, without using black paper or ink washes. Although easily created (as seen in the halo), there will inevitably be a visible texture no matter how dark the graphite. So this technique was quite interesting to try out, as well as figuring out whether I like graphite better on white or tan-toned paper. The verdict’s still out on than one.

Through the Void, graphite on 11×14″ paper, 2020

June – New Additions to the Shop

It’s been fun to do a few smaller works these past few weeks. I’ve added 2 new drawings to the shop section, so if you’re interested please do check them out under ‘Minis and Postcards’. As always thank you for your support, and feel free to contact me for any further info on originals. πŸ™‚

Study 01, markers & microns on paper, 6×7″, 2020

A Slow May – WIP & New Minis

Although my head’s buzzing with ideas at the moment, this month has been rather slower than I would have liked. I had been struggling with the usual artist block, which returning meant too many ideas all at once. 😫

In hopes of improving whilst simultaneously creating new artwork, I’ve decided to do a bunch of these mini drawings. Keep an eye out in the shop if you’re looking to purchase any of these upcoming small originals. πŸ™‚

Sight, markers/microns on paper, 6×8″, 2020

watercolour painting, wip.

A little peak at a new watercolour painting I’ve been working on.

Sisters Cassandra – Watercolour Painting

Sisters Cassandra, watercolours & mixed-media, 11×14″, 2020

It should be noted that procrastinating on art supply restock is never a good thing; which I’m learning all too well at the moment. I’ve shared a few snaps on the process of creating this piece below (at least most of which I remembered to do as I was painting).


prelim to painting.

The current situation with the virus and limiting shopping/delivery on art supplies of course doesn’t mean an end to creating work. It is indeed a very first world problem, but an annoyance nonetheless.

I’ve been trying to return to the habit of using preliminary drawings more, and then using a method of transferring onto watercolour paper. As I’ve been trying to improve my figure drawings, I’ve noticed that my watercolour paper does tend to get a fair bit of damage from erasing and redrawing. The fact that this can happen isn’t new too me, but in all honesty we all get lazy at times.

Happy with my drawing, I scanned the work and got ready to print. If you’re interested in the method I use, you can also check out Cynthia Sheppard’s video here, where she shows how you can go from your drawing to painting. I then realized I had run out of printer ink, as well as any graphite transfer paper…Time for the old school method. I’m talking about what we did as kids, taking graphite and going over the back of a sheet of paper covering it entirely, and then placing your drawing over it and tracing over that. Its the same concept as the ones you can buy at art supply stores. I’m a bit conservative with wasting graphite however, so I usually tend to fill my ‘transfer paper’ only on the areas I know will have outlines. Often times there’s no need to have whole sheet covered, you’ll probably end up with graphite residue on a perfectly clean watercolour paper.

I tend to use tracing paper as it’s the thinnest, but you could use whatever paper you prefer.

Once the drawing’s been transferred there’s only one thing left to do, paint! πŸ™‚ I didn’t have the same issues I did with my Sparks of Rebellion piece; again because I removed a lot of the surface on the watercolour paper during preliminary drawings on that one. This piece was mainly in watercolours but to get a more smoother gradient on the background I opted for some Faber Castell Polychromos, and acrylic paint highlights.

This painting is also available for purchase as prints and the original. You can find all the info by heading over to Shop.