Happy New Year! I’m hoping 2019 brings me as much happiness as 2018 did. Sure, 2018 had a mixture of high and low moments, but overall I’m gonna say it was a good year. I participated in Inktober and continued drawing a doodle a day through November and part of December. I received an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil for Christmas thanks to the loved ones in my life and I’ve been so inspired to keep drawing. That’s what I kept doodling. I was getting all these great ideas for new stickers I wanted to sell on RedBubble.
It’s super easy to update my website and blog on the iPad. And the convenience of laying anywhere around the house and be able to add new works to RedBubble and Society 6 really makes a difference. Not to mention how easy it is to draw on the iPad. I was a bit nervous asking for such a big gift! I kept thinking...what if I don’t use it and it was a waste of money...but a few weeks in and I know it was a good investment.
Take Squatch up here for example. He’s a little shy. I sketched out 8 different Squatchies in various poses and facial expressions and drew these 3 while on an airplane. My brother told me I should make my stickers available for sale for messaging apps like Line. I figured...why not? Maybe someone will like it!
I have no strong feelings for idea of New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t think you need to make resolutions only in the new year. You can make them any time. I think seeing the new year as the driving force to make some resolutions, goals, changes, etc. is fantastic. I’m all for wanting to better yourself. One goal I’ve always had and kind of set for myself each year is to write and illustrate a children’s book. Maybe this will be the year I start making ideas for it. Maybe.
I recently invested in a Canon CanoScan LiDE220 scanner to take my art to the next level, a goal that I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I want to take my actual acrylic and watercolor paintings, scan them, and make them into prints. Today I finally met that goal...well...sort of.
My goal was to make my OWN prints, that I can sign and sell on Etsy. But I'm still researching that, so for now, I have my first watercolor print available at Society6 and Redbubble. It was quite a learning experience to scan a watercolor, clean it up, and turn it into an image ready for printing. I've learned a lot and I know there is far more for me to learn!
It's been quite a while since I added new work to my Society6 and Redbubble pages. But I've been working hard this year and had two images I really wanted to add and finally did that today! Up top we have "Mochi Love" (available here on Society6 and here on Redbubble) featuring mango, strawberry, and green tea mochi ice cream!
I also worked on "Fat Cat" (available here on Society6 and here on Redbubble) who turned out adorable as always. After making this into a painting, I knew she would be perfect for online prints and products. I definitely want to work on making leggings, but that's a project for another day!
Well...it's technically not my first watercolor. That's kind of a lie - I've dabbled in watercolor before. But never like this. Not with an illustration. I purchased a Winsor & Newton Pocket Plus watercolor set, a few brushes, and a couple new sketchbooks a couple weeks back. I was excited to try another new art medium. My first task though was to make a grid of 50-50 swatches. 144 colors later, I was satisfied. My go-to medium is acrylic paint so I typically buy multiple colors instead of creating them. So seeing a 12-pan palette turn into 144 colors (and more since these are just 50-50 swatches) was amazing, albeit time consuming.
I was ready to do my first watercolor though. I sketched out a little Chuu-Totoro and inked it. That was probably my first mistake. I just ended up wasting ink because as you can see, when I started painting, the black ink was lightened and I would need to go over it again. I loved the medium and enjoy mixing colors and how it turned out. But alas, I ruined the watercolor. I also recently purchased a pack of Uni-Ball Signo Gel Pens in white for highlighting. The pens do really well going over watercolor, but as I am incredibly clumsy, I ended up smudging the pen and that smudged the watercolor. So sadly, there is a big white and green smudge at the big leaf and it's quite unsightly, so will not be shared online. I'm always learning something new!
Painting is one of the things that will always make me happy, no matter what. But lately I've been only painting the same 4 paintings over...and over...and over again. And while I'm glad they are popular and selling, I needed a break from them and try exploring new designs. After I sketched out BB-8 back in January, I just knew he would make an adorable painting. I also had the perfect friend to send it to! She crafts adorable DIY plushies and is uber talented. We bonded over our love for Garrus and eyeglasses. So I just had to send it to her. As you can see in the photo below, he fits perfectly into her collection.
I also painted this adorable fat cat. This is Killer. She belongs to a friend and I made this for him for Valentine's Day. It's probably one of the cutest paintings I've done, but holy cow did it test my patience. I kept getting black on the teal...which wouldn't be THAT big of a deal...except I created that teal color. So every time I got black paint on it, I had to find the right ratio of paint to cover it up, only to find that it was too light or too dark and then go over the WHOLE background again. It's a miracle I didn't throw the painting across the room. Luckily, she turned out perfect and this design would be amazing as patterned leggings...might have to get to work on that soon!
I went to my first meetup a couple weeks back called Drink n Draw. A bunch of people in the Bay Area that get together at a bar, drink some beers, and well...draw! Before going, I realized I had only two empty pages left in my current sketchbook. I went out, grabbed two new sketchbooks, and set off to the meetup. I didn't drink much, or draw much, mainly just chatted and got to meet awesome new people. One of my new sketchbooks is the correct type of paper for my markers, so I've been playing around with drawing some of my classic doodles. I also learned a fun technique from a fellow artist at the meetup where you take a chisel tip marker, scribble, and then create something out of that scribble. My personal favorite is the fox by a lake. I feel that I will be making that into something in the future!
I've been working on six paintings recently as well. I sold a set of house crests on Etsy, so that is four paintings to work on. But I also challenged myself to create two new paintings. It has been a bit since I've started on anything new. One of this little BB-8 that I am making as a gift for a friend. Teal and orange are my favorite colors so of course I enjoy any reason to put the two colors together!
I've always wanted to try new mediums. To work with other products. I always sketched with basic mechanical pencils and Pilot G-2 pens. While nothing is wrong with this, I wanted to try more. For Christmas I received a 12 pack of Prismacolor Brush Tip Markers. I was intimidated to use them, but was excited to try them out. I had to pick up a few extra colors after and my collection is starting to grow. I even drew a BB-8 and colored it! I learned I did not like using my markers in my current (which has only a couple pages left) sketchbook, so I've since then purchased a sketchbook meant for markers. It is much smoother and hopefully coloring will come easier now.
Another fun Christmas surprise was a Pilot Parallel Pen that I somehow managed to get at a White Elephant holiday party. Calligraphy has always intrigued me. It is such a beautiful art form. I pride myself on my neat penmanship, so being given a tool to make beautiful letters, I was ecstatic. As you can see, I need to learn not to shake the pen, as it will result in inky dark fingers. And let me tell you, that is NOT fun to get off. Such is the life of an artist - a bit of paint here or ink there never hurt anyone though!
There are days where I am reminded that sometimes it is a good thing to step out of your comfort zone. I was once told by Frankie Franco III that to get better at drawing, you need to draw outside your comfort zone. To push myself at things that can be uncomfortable. A big one for me is actually sketching in Photoshop. Still working on that one to be honest...
I've always been so intimidated by art tools. There are so many pens, pencils, markers and watercolors that I am so unfamiliar with. So finally one day I purchased a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and started lining some old work with it. I actually went through old sketchbooks and lined old pencil drawings to get a feel for the pen. I really like it! Using the pen made me instantly want to try so many new mediums. I can't wait to continue learning new ways to create. That's what is so wonderful about art...you never stop learning!
Over the last week I've been making some small changes to my portfolio. In addition to those small changes, I've decided to add a small blog. I want to be able to share when I've added new artwork, find something I like, or just shoot off ideas in blog form.
I've been busy because I'm in the middle of moving (and we all know how hectic that is) so that is why commissions are currently off. As soon as I get settled (and get my new desk chair!) I'm hoping to start taking commissions again. I hate turning people away, but I can't take on a job I can't put all my energy towards. It's not fair to you, it's not fair to me. So unfortunately, I haven't been taking commissions for quite some time. But that will change soon!
Short post for now! More soon <3