Arty Advent Day 11: Twitter Challenges 1

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

I’ve been spending a lot less time on Facebook recently, and a lot lot LOT more time on Twitter.  And one of the things I love about Twitter is the challenges.  So far I know of two art Twitter challenges, but I’m sure there are many many more.

The first one I found about was @AnimalAlphabets, discovered on an old DoodleDates video on YouTube.

Naturally I had to go and have a look.  When I looked the current letter was X…

So I had a google for animals beginning with X and drew this.

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I noticed that the Twitter feed was sharing a lot of Xinjiangtitans, but figured maybe people couldn’t think of another animal beginning with X.  Then I realised that they were ALL Xinjiangtitans.  I must have missed something.  So I asked.

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Yeah. I missed something.  I decided that since it was so close to the end of the alphabet I’d wait until the next round started.

The next round will be sea life and begins in the New Year.  For December they’re doing a two part Christmas special challenge.

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I think maybe I had sea life in mind when I did mine, but then I have been meaning to draw an axolotl for months.  I did some sketches from reference images I found on Pinterest…

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…and then I sketched out my own.  I coloured it with alcohol markers and I’m really pleased with how the blending and shading looks.  I love the outlining too.  Outlining in colour is something I’ve been wanting to try and I think it looks really striking.

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Now, you might notice that he’s missing a Christmas jumper.  I may have cheated on that front.

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It’s not a REAL cheat. I drew an animal beginning with A-M, and I drew a Christmas jumper.  I just didn’t draw them on the same piece of paper.  I love how it looks and I’m so tempted to change his outfit for different times of the year.

I promise that whatever animal I draw for the second half of the challenge will have a non-removable jumper.

I did say I knew of two Twitter art challenges, but this post is already pretty long and picture heavy, so tune in tomorrow to find out about the other one 🙂

 

 

Arty Advent Day 10: DeviantArt

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

I’ve been thinking about setting up a DeviantArt account for a month or two now.  But I couldn’t make the actual decision.  I guess I kinda felt like I wasn’t a “proper” artist.  So I asked Twitter.

I don’t have a huge amount of followers, but I guess that answers that question.

And so, I set up a DeviantArt account.

It’s kinda small right now, but it’ll grow.  Hopefully.

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Are you on DeviantArt?  Let me know!

 

Arty Advent Day 9: Art Resolutions

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

I’ve noticed in the last few weeks that some of the artists I follow on Twitter have been posting their Art Resolutions.

Ummmm… I’m fairly certain I’ve seen posts, but now that I’m scrolling through trying to find some I can’t.  Maybe I imagined it?  It wouldn’t surprise me.  I’m very scatty brained sometimes.

I tried searching for some on Twitter in general and found a few good ones.  Like this one from @Shiroi0015

And this one from @Amylouioc (the three drawings image will make an appearance in a few days)

And I decided that art resolutions are something I’d like to have.  I’m really pleased with my progress so far, but there’s lots I want to work on.  So here they are:

1) Have less drawings floating in the middle of white nothingness

I have a habit of drawing something in the centre of a page, and not filling in the background at all.  I’ve done a couple with strips of washi tape, and a few random shapes, but that’s it.  I don’t necessarily want to give everything a full detailed setting, but less white nothingness would be good.

2) Practice digital drawing

As mentioned the other day, I’ve been venturing into the world of digital editing and colouring, but I still can’t draw.  I want to practice more with the tablet I have, and I might be getting a new tablet/laptop thing at some point.  That’ll help.

3) Finish some of the million half-started pieces I have

I have Startitis as badly with art as I do with every other craft I have.  I think I currently have more than 50 art WIPS (works in progress).  They include challenges that I want to turn into decent pieces, sketches that I want to ink and colour, complicated pieces that I ran out of energy to finish and bad pieces that I want to redo.

4) Have a go at using different mediums – like paints

I do have various paints.  Different types of watercolours, and some acrylics I think.  But I’ve always resisted using them because I have horrendous brush control.  But I used to think I couldn’t draw too, so maybe my brush control isn’t as bad as I think.

5) Try and do some collaborations

There are some challenges that I’ve noted down from YouTube videos and blog posts that I’d like to try, but some of them require a partner.  Like a line art swap, or someone picking my subject/mediums for me.  Until recently I haven’t had any artist friends besides Cayden, but I’m gradually building a network thanks to Twitter and Twitch.

Do you have any art resolutions? Or craft resolutions?  I have some general craft and life resolutions, but this is an ARTY advent, so they’ll have to wait.

 

 

Arty Advent Day 8: The Pencil Case Challenge

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

One of the many challenges I have noted down in my notebook to try is The Pencil Case Challenge.  This one involves swapping pencil cases with a fellow artist and creating a piece using just the supplies inside.

My artist friend (Cayden) didn’t feel ready to have a go but happily handed over his pencil case.

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Inside were these lovely goodies.

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Step 1: swatching.

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Cayden likes blue.  That gold that you can’t read because of my atrocious camera skills is Shimmering Sands ink by Diamine, in a fine nib Moonman pen.

I took on this challenge on a game night, so I wasn’t focused entirely on the artwork. As a result I wasn’t finished by the time Cayden went home.  But he was due to come and visit again in a couple of weeks and promised not to change the contents of his pencil case in the meantime.

When Cayden had to go home I’d done the sketching.  I’d come up with some kind of design, decided the hat was too big, erased it with this nifty cute little eraser…

 

 

 

…changed the orientation of the page a few times and finalised the image.

Now, this is where I’d normally show you what I did manage to do.  Except that for some unknown reason I didn’t take a photo.  So I can’t.  What I can show you is what I started the next session with, which isn’t quite the same thing.  Because I cheated a little.

Since I happened to have two of the exact same pens, in the interveneing weeks I used the Uniball Air to outline her hair, and the Zebra Mildliner to fill in her face.

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(I have just now – literally as I write this – realised that on my swatching page I wrote “mild liner” twice instead of writing the actual colour.  It’s mild blue, if you’re interested.)

In the second session I had with the pencil case I…

  • used the Tombow Brush Pen to fill in the hat.
  • filled in the hair a little more.
  • added another layer to her face with the mildliner.
  • used the Fire and Ice ink by Robert Oster in the TWSBI 58AL fountain pen to fill in the eyes.
  • used the afore-mentioned Shimmering Sands ink to do the detail on the hat band – which I left to fully dry overnight before erasing the pencil beneath out of fear of smudging it.
  • redid the outling of the face with the Uniball Air.

 

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The blue smudge on the right side there is because I was an idiot and did some layering and testing on the back of the paper.  But other than that I’m really happy with this piece.  I wish I could have taken a picture of the hat band that shows how awesome that ink it.  I can show you this little bit though, which helps but still doesn’t really do it justice. This is from where I was testing to see if erasing pencil after inking would ruin the sheen.

Capture

I’d really like to do this challenge again, but I don’t have any other friends in real life who are artists.  Maybe one day.   Or maybe I could ask Cayden to curate a special pencil case for me.  We’ll see.

Arty Advent Day 7: Huevember

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

So despite not having completed Inktober, when the month rolled over to November I decided to take on a second consecutive monthly art challenge.

One of the things I struggle with when drawing my monsters is what shape to start with.  So to make it easy, every image for Huevember would begin with a circle.

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Initially I wanted to use my alcohol markers, because I love using them.  So I had some more swatching fun.

Some days ended up close enough, like Day 1.  Some days were spot on, like Day 3.  And some days weren’t very close but they’d have to do, like Day 4.

 

But eventually I had my palette.

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This is where I made my first mistake. I noticed that some brands feathered quite badly on this paper…

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…and I chose to ignore it.  Because I love my alcohol markers and I was commited to that particular square sketchbook.  But then I started colouring.

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So.  Much.  Bleed.

This is the point where I wised up and decided to use a different medium.  So I got out my beautiful Faber Castell Polychromo pencils and got with the swatching again.  Until I had another pretty palette.

 

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Never one to keep things simple, I decided here that things needed a little extra challenge.  I have a page in my bullet journal that looks like this…

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When I can’t decide what to draw, I grab my dice and provide myself with some pieces that I HAVE to include.  Wouldn’t it be fun if all my Huevember pieces used this chart?

The problem I’ve found is that I roll a lot of high numbers for number of things to include.  So some of my monsters have come out looking a little odd.  But that’s okay.  All my drawings are a little odd.  I’M a little odd.

By the end of November I hadn’t completed Huevember.  I had 14 completed pieces…

 

…three inked pieces waiting to be coloured…

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…two sketched pieces waiting to be inked and coloured…

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…and 11 blank pieces of paper.

I am not partaking of a monthly art challenge in December – unless you count this Arty Advent blogging thing I’m doing – but I do plan on finishing Huevember by the end of the month.  And then in January there’s Art Jounral January, or Creatury….

PS: I can’t leave a monster unfinished so I finished that monster from the false start.

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Arty Advent Day 6: Platonic Doodle Date Follow Up

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

After our Platonic Doodle Date back in October, both Cayden and I decided that our rushed 10 minute pieces had a lot of potential.  So we took the same scribble…

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…and the same colour palette..

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…and drew the same pieces, but with no time limit.

Cayden’s transformation looked like this.

 

 

And my transformation looked like this.

 

 

I think mine was slightly more drastic, but they both look excellent now 🙂

We’re both working on follow ups to the 20 minute challenge too, so keep an eye out for that.

Arty Advent Day 5: My 100th Post

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

This is my 100th post.  For it I needed a special piece of art.

A week or so ago I made a washi tape collage inspired by an image I’d found on Pinterest.  I didn’t know what I was going to do with it though, so it’s been sitting in my sketchbook.

When I realised that my 100th post was upcoming I decided to put the numbers 1, 0 and 0 on that collage.  But they couldn’t just be plain numbers.  I considered fancy lettering, but went with what I’ve been enjoying for months.  I made monsters in the shapes of the numbers.

Cutting them out was fun.  I used Faber Castell’s Mixed Media pad which is 250gsm.  Not the thickest in the world, but thick enough to be sturdy.  And thick enough to mean my scissors weren’t working well.  I tried several different pairs but couldn’t get a nice clean edge in some places.  Still, that’s what the magic of black edges are for.

And I couldn’t just stick them on the collage.  I needed a bit of oomph, so I used sticky pads so they’d raise off the page a little.

So here’s to 100 blog posts, and to many hundreds more.

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