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April 30, 2023

Deku tree terrarium wip

 This is where I am at as of April 30. Still much work to be done but I am so excited with how this is turning out! Doing art is so therapeutic for me and I look forward to any chance I can get to work on my own thing.

April 29, 2023

Rock formation

Another rock crystal photo study. I took so many pictures at that rock and mineral show, I'll never run out of things to draw. 

The bottom image is the work-in-progress version. I really like how the colors came out and I was a little bummed that it got lost in the final picture. My newest art goal is to get the point across the first time. The constant re-working of color and detail muddies the initial vision.

April 28, 2023

Magical forest


Some foresty photo studies. I might call it a day on the top one. I like how the colors came out and if I keep going, that might get lost.

April 27, 2023

Skull dancer, touched up


This skull dancer girl is one of my all time personal favorite artworks. I love how she came out and I cherish the memories so fondly too!

April 23, 2023

Princess in the crowd

This is the final version; I've decided to call it a day. My main frustration with this picture is how much it has been overworked. The good news: I plan to start this over from scratch. There are things I like about this picture that I'll carry over to the new version, and get it right the first time. 

The main thing that bothers me is how the original concept of the artwork got totally lost. She was supposed to be in a huge crowd. On the top half, all the faces are obscured because Princess is the main focus. 

However, for the bottom half, Princess was supposed to blend in with the crowd to the point where you couldn't pick her out if you didn't know what to look for. But now everyone else is just a faceless blob. I find it ironic that in the final version, there are more recognizable figures in the top half, when it should have been the other way around.

This artwork was intended to be two separate pictures, but ended up sharing the same canvas. Whether or not I commit to this in the next version is undecided. Do I want a slow or abrupt transition?

The other thing that bothers me is the muddied colors and details. Everything kept getting so reworked to the point where it lost direction. I like this version because the colors remind me of stained glass and it feels more radiant than the final version. But again - overworked!!!

Deku Tree terrarium progress

My latest project: Deku Tree terrarium! I would love to do a series of Zelda-themed terrariums, but right now let's just focus on this one.

I have found it is much easier to start new drawings by staying simple, almost abstract. This didn't ever click for me until very recently. Viewing everything as abstract placeholders makes it easier to focus on the overall foundation. One mistake I regret in my previous art is over-rendering details far too early in the process.

Following this will make it easier to work in an analog setting. Right now I'm bouncing between digital and traditional, but I hope to eventually adapt this entirely for a traditional medium.

Next, I fine-tuned the sketch digitally. Still didn't add details, but adjusted the various forms to make sure everything is structurally sound and balanced. My goal was for the zero sketch to be as sound as possible, but making changes is inevitable.

Now, the fun part!! I printed the artwork out, very light on the ink so I could easily draw over it. I want to spend more time away from computer screens in general. When you're bored, your mind does miraculous things. I remember being bored in school and doodling. With screens and other distractions, these magical moments feel far and in between, so I decided to make more opportunities for that to happen.

I was still fairly easy on the details at this stage as I was still unsure of the direction I was headed in. But at least the foundation is secured.

Here is where the real fun begins.... importing the sketch back to digital! Oh yeah, it's all coming together!

As of Sunday night, here's where I'm at. I'm excited to work on this some more. I have no idea what I'm going to do next, but that's the part of the fun. The hardest part - the foundation - is long taken care of. So now I can start to explore!

April 22, 2023

Turkey / Lake / Forest

Some recent photo studies, all from the same day. These started from the 5-minute grayscale studies I did earlier. 

The turkey and the lake ones were done mostly on ipad which is a big struggle for me. It's like painting with one arm tied behind your back. I definitely prefer to do digital art on my computer.

April 18, 2023

Five-minute grayscale studies

A series of five-minute grayscale studies based off photos all taken on the same day. It was fun picking out the photos! 

I tried to be strict as possible with the five minute time limit. The results are messy, but it taught me more about focusing on what matters. I also started using more blurry air brushing to get the general vibe down.

April 17, 2023

Princess Peach stained glass WIP


Here's where I'm at with my Princess Peach stained glass artwork. Still more to go, but I'm being very careful not to overwork things. I want to add an ornamental border, or something to make it more window-like.

April 15, 2023

Naoyo umbrella

The final version...

Naoyo at her best

Calling it a day on this Naoyo artwork. The top one is where I officially "finished" it.

I am honestly not too happy with this one and I worked on it far long after I should have quit. The middle artwork is where I should have stopped. It just got too overworked after that point.

And, another deep-fried Naoyo just for funsies. 

April 13, 2023

Crystal Moss

A neat rock specimen I saw at the mineral show in October. It looked just like moss. 

April 12, 2023

High flying Marisa, touched up

Touched up an old personal favorite. I always liked the colors of the original, but wanted to enhance it with a few extra details. The old version is from 2012.

April 11, 2023

Hawaii photo studies

Colored versions of these photo studies with varying degrees of success. By far my favorite is the tree. I'm not so happy with the other two as they have been overworked to death. But that taught me a valuable lesson for next time: Know when to call it a day!

Sketching for the sake of drawing


Antler cat

Princess crowd

Princess Peach Stained Glass

OC doodling

My goal for April onwards is to do more drawing for the sake of drawing. Spending less time on the computer. I enjoy digital art but would like to reconnect with the analog side of art. 

April 10, 2023

Crystal and mineral studies

Anybody hungry?

 Some recent crystal and mineral studies. Putting my newfound knowledge of color theory to the test!

April 9, 2023

楽画記 治世 (Rakugaki Naoyo)

This is where I'm at.

Messing with colors and blending modes

Doodling, with alternate writing of her name

This is one of my oldest OCs, Naoyo. Her name was originally Rakuen Naoyo, but I changed the name a bit - 楽 (Raku) = Fun; leisure. 画 (Ga) = Picture; 記 (Ki) = Narrative. I chose these characters to represent everything I love about what I do.  Rakugaki is also the Japanese word for doodle/scribble.

I'm no expert at Japanese, but that sounds about right. One thing I love about Japanese is the arbitrary nature of character readings. You can do all sorts of fun stuff with it. I haven't decided on the characters for Naoyo just yet, but was considering 治 (to be restored; to heal) and 世 (generation; world; society).

April 6, 2023

OC group pic

Finished my OC group pic. I like to think of this as a marker of where I'm at with my story. It's coming along well. I might be lucky enough to finish this by 2042.

April 5, 2023

Painting with light

 I've been learning about RGB and hex codes. Understanding it has helped me have more fun with how I color digitally. Here are some experimental artworks made using layers of Red, Green, and Blue. 

April 3, 2023

Fushigi Yuugi group pic

April 3 is my DA anniversary (est. 2005), so I like to think of this artwork as a gift to my 12 year old self who loved Fushigi Yugi and Yuu Watase's art in general. Her art had a tremendous impact on me, especially as a young artist. 

One of my favorite things about Fushigi Yugi's artwork, especially in the manga, is the freedom with character designs. Did Miaka ever wear that in the actual story? Who knows? Who cares? It looks awesome and I do what I want. 

This is one of my more ambitious art projects as of late, and I would love to do more pictures with this level of detail and effort.