Finishing Old Ideas

When I first started drawing original things, I would ask my friends for random inspiration.  I’d ask them to name an animal, or a colour.  One time I asked them to name a random food and I was going to turn it into a monster.  In that particular session I drew these..

2018-07-09 23.29.23

… but there were lots of suggestions that I never drew.  There was even a sketch I finished but never turned into a completed piece, and a random outline.  These two stayed in my “art to finish” folder for ages.  Ages and ages.  Until recently.

I turned this unfinished sketch (you can see the food suggestions here)…

2020-04-05 17.18.14

…into this poorly photographed illustration.

2020-04-05 17.18.09

The second one I did digitally – I’ve been enjoying digital art a lot more recently.  I turned this outline…

2020-05-27 23.08.14

I have no idea what “space dicks and clop” means.

..into this tasty looking monster.

Untitled64

I still have a few things in my “art to finish” folder.  I might get around to them one day.

Random Monster Fan Art

It will not come as a surprise to anybody that I love monsters.  And I love any excuse to draw them.  So when I saw this Life Of The Party comic strip by artist Travis Hanson…

…my eyes focused right in on the cute little monster.

2020-03-31 23.11.20

It took me some time, but eventually I got around to doing a watercolour fan art piece of him.

2020-05-08 13.26.54

I think he looks super adorable 🙂

Poundland Art Challenge

Last year when I was in Poundland – the UK version of a Dollar store – I was attacted by the pretty galaxy on this little stationery kit.

I decided I needed it, and then reasoned that away by saying that I’d use it to make art and then write a blog post about it.

Well, I did the art.  And then it took me a year to write the blog post, but here it is.

Inside the kit is a cute little pencil tin with a galaxy on the front, a ruler, 2 pencils, a notepad, an eraser, and a sharpener.  Everything you need to draw with.

2019-06-08 10.48.33

The pad is even plain paper, which makes it even easier to do art with.  The pencil sharpens up nicely without splintering, and the sharpener does a good job of doing the sharpening.  It draws okay.  It’s a pencil.

2019-06-08 10.51.55

The eraser is kinda crap though.  But I just reached into my tub of many many erasers and grabbed one of these cute ones you can stick on the end of the pencil.  Which actually erases.

Having tested everything, I was ready to move on to some actual art.  I wanted to make use of the ruler too, so I drew a nice neat border.

2019-06-08 10.58.25

And then drew a monster peeking over it.  Since there were no colouring implements in this little kit, I attempted some shading.  Bear in mind that this was a year ago and I’ve gotten a little better since.

2019-06-08 11.10.10

 

Diamond Painting

Diamond painting is a fun craft.  It’s always annoyed me that it’s described as “a cross between cross stitch and paint by numbers” because it’s nothing like either.  But I like the concept.  It is like cross stitch in the sense that each square is a separate colour, like pixel art and Hama bead pieces.  And I guess it’s like paint by numbers in that the squares are marked by number/symbol to denote which colour they should be.

Okay, I guess it is a cross between cross stitch and paint by numbers.  I am convinced.

The first one I ever did was this unicorn – I do love me a unicorn.

2018-08-12 15.59.27

And I made my own very wonky Slytherin crest with sticker paper and some of the left over “diamonds” from the unicorn.

2018-08-12 17.00.05

These kits can be quite expensive, but if you go through sites like AliExpress you can find them for just a few £, if you’re willing to wait ages for them to arrive.

The next one I ordered was this very adorable rainbow abstract kitty.  I did a small portion of it, and it got lost in my to do pile.  It was about a year before I got back to finishing it.

When I finished it I dug the next one out of the to do pile.  It had been sitting there for a while, but I decided I was going to document this one for the blog.

As I said, when you get them from AliExpress they can be really cheap.

2020-03-28 12.06.50

When it arrives, it looks like this.

2020-01-29 01.27.56

Inside you have the standard tray, wax, and pen thing.  All kits come with these.

2020-01-29 01.30.36

You also get a long strip of little packets containing your “diamonds”.

For some reason, this set came with two bags for #15, one of which was empty.  And #21 came in a baggie.  But whatever.

I like to decant my diamonds into little tubs like this, nice and organised, and resealable.  And I only spill some of those.

Actually doing the painting is very simple.  You dip the end of the pen tool in the wax, which helps you pick up the diamonds.  Then you shake out some of the diamonds onto the tray.

I forgot to take a photo of this, I don’t know why.  But here’s what they look like when they’re not in their container.  This was a spill, but it represents it pretty well.

2020-03-12 14.56.30

You press the tip of the pen thing (which is hollow) over an upwards pointing diamond, and it picks it up.  Then you press it flat-side-down onto the sheet – after you’ve peeled back the plastic covering – and it sticks to the adhesive.

This little colour code tells you what colours go where.

2020-01-29 01.55.21

The adhesive is very adhesive.  You have to be careful, or you end up with gunk on your piece.  I am not careful.

2020-03-13 16.46.29

This one didn’t take too long to finish, relatively.  The bigger ones can take weeks.

And it’s not perfect.  I have some random diamonds in the wrong place, and they aren’t all particularly lined up neatly.

2020-03-28 11.39.34

There’s all kinds of dust and grime between the diamonds too.  Things get attracted to the little bits of adhesive that aren’t covered.  I did try to sweep out as much as I could.

2020-03-28 11.39.40

But it’s pretty anyway.

2020-03-28 11.45.08

I guess it can be a little hard to see what it is, because I picked a smaller version.  The bigger canvas you get, the more pixels the image has, the better the resolution.  Here’s the photo that it’s an interpretation of.

2020-03-28 12.08.09

There will be more diamond painting posts – hopefully not too far in the future.  A semi-recent video by Baylee Jae on YouTube inspired me to do something special, it’s just taking its time to get sorted out.

Double Firsts

Last year during Art Fight, SamBeAwesome got kinda addicted to drawing Anthro characters.

I’ve never drawn an Anthro or furry character, and so I was intrigued.  First of all, what the heck are they?

Research led me to conclude that an anthro is basically an anthropomorphic character.  When you take an animal and apply human attributes to it.  

I had drawn characters that weren’t human necessarily.  My OC Katerina has animal-ish eyes and ears.  She could be classed as Anthro I suppose. But I added “draw an anthro” to my to do list.

Following on from her addiction, Sam then got herself an adoptable.

Another thing I didn’t really know about.  What the heck is an adoptable?

Apparently they’re character designs created by an artist who then transfers possession and rights of that design to someone else, usually for money.

New goal: get an adoptable.  They vary in price a lot, and are usually relatively expensive for me.  But with some searching I came across Ilyakomo on Instagram (she has a new profile now as V1vadacious) who had some very cute, very simplified bases available to adopt.  And thus I ended up owning this.

2020-03-15 17.50.18 Which sat in my to do folder for months.  In March this year I finally got around to starting work on him.  I sketched out what was basically the original shape, because wolf/dog bodies were not something I’d ever done before.

2020-03-15 17.47.15

And then I got to swatching.

2020-03-21 08.27.28

Once I’d settled on my colours, I coloured him in.  Except that I wasn’t entirely happy, so I made some notes.

2020-03-16 01.11.03

I did some research into wolf/dog body shapes, and did some studies – as seen here. And for the second attempt I tried a different pose.

2020-03-20 01.06.39

I am much happier with these colours – and have determined that these are his official colours.  I deliberately only used my Copics and Winsor & Newton Pro/Brushmarkers when swatching, because I wanted colours I would be able to easily replace when they ran out.

My mind settled on his name as being Mallow – which I think is a little funny, because that’s the name of the marker in the first attempt that I didn’t carry through.

So far he’s just feral. He doesn’t have an anthro form yet, but he’s a work in progress.

Drawing Upside Down

Every so often I see a YouTube video with a challenge that I just have to mimic.  Recently Appleminte did an upside down drawing.  She wasn’t upside down, but she had the sketchbook upside down for the whole process.

She did an awesome job.  Naturally, I didn’t do anything quite as complicated.  I did one of my little Domuns.

I did the feet, then couldn’t remember which way up the little bean shape on the base of the foot goes.  So I did one each way to decide which looked better.

2020-03-28 16.18.09

I tried to make it a slightly complicated Domun instead of one of the really simple ones – just to add more of a challenge.  Sketching upside down was extremely bizarre.

2020-03-28 16.27.13

But inking was waaayyyy worse.  I’m not so good at keeping smooth lines when inking, and the way I work around that is to turn the page so I’m always moving the pen in the same direction.  I’m better at upstrokes, for example.  With this, I couldn’t turn the page.  Much frustrating.  But I managed eventually.

2020-03-28 16.33.45

Colouring was just as weird.  I think I probably messed up where the shading goes, but I don’t exactly do that “properly” anyway.  I added the date to finish it off.

2020-03-28 18.34.34

And finally it was time to turn it around and see how it turned out.

2020-03-28 18.34.52

He looks a little derpy – but that’s okay.  He also looks kinda like he’s turning away a little.  I’m not sure what that means about the way I draw.  But I’m happy.  Thanks for the inspiration Appleminte.

Bi-Pride

In April there was a bit of a palaver on the social media because BiNet USA tried to claim that they owned the bisexual pride flag.  I don’t want to get into an arguments or controversy or anything about it.  If you’re interested, I’m sure you can find it yourself.

I just wanted to show you this.  I am bisexual, and I am of the opinion that you can’t copyright a flag.

Untitled61

Ignore the crappy perspective on the chair.  I’m generally quite chuffed with my digital progress.  And if I wore tights, this is definitely an outfit I’d wear.

For those who don’t know, here’s what the bisexual pride flag looks like.

2020-04-30 02.54.34

Saturday Scribbles

I found a new Twitter challenge!  Because I don’t do enough already.  This one is Saturday Scribbles.  And if I needed a sign that this was one I should follow, just look at what the theme was the first time I found them:

I ended up doing a painting for this particular one.

2020-02-22 19.38.34-1

I didn’t know what day the Twitter posted the next challenge, but by the following Tuesday I got impatient and asked them.  I got the most awesome response.

I did consider unicorns, but decided to go for something a bit different.

So what did I do for the theme that I picked?

I was late.  I didn’t do mine til Sunday.  But I did do another watercolour and made a very cute little dragon.

2020-03-01 14.51.31

 

Weller-Inspired Wall Art

The other week, whilst scrolling through Instagram I came across this post by Megan Weller.

View this post on Instagram

PSA – My @twitter account got hacked (same username, @wellermegs), PLEASE don’t click any links coming from that account, I’m not selling Ray Bans or whatever they’re trying to push 😂 Twitter doesn’t seem to be helping me get the account back anytime soon, but I’ll let you guys know if I get it back. On a lighter note, I finally made one of these embroidered canvases! Swipe for the TikTok ➡️💜• • • • • • • • • • #embroidery #embroidered #embroideredcanvas #tiktok #tiktokart #dollartreecrafts #artezaacrylicpaint #sewing #quarantinecrafts #twitter #canvasart #canvaspainting #wallart #gallerywall #diyroomdecor #bedroommakeover #purpleaesthetic #aestheticart #daisy #painting #paintingideas #explorepage #drawingideas #sketchbookideas #artideas #diyhomedecor

A post shared by Megan Weller (@wellermegs) on

Megan is one of my favourite YouTubers.  She posts lots of videos of art and craft content.  This one looked really fun and easy to do, and I happened to have everything I’d need.

Step 1 – grab a canvas

2020-05-14 10.46.33

Step 2 – add a stripe of painters tape

Step 3 – get out your purple mayonnaise

2020-05-14 10.51.15

(Spoiler: it’s not mayonnaise.  It’s poster paint – also called tempura paint I believe.  The bottle it came in broke during delivery.)

Step 4 – paint.

2020-05-14 11.32.17

Step 5 – paint a squillion layers cos it’s the wrong type of paint to be using.  Get out the heat gun to help dry between layers because you’re impatient.

2020-05-14 11.32.21

Step 6 – don’t forget to make a mess and go slightly too far.

2020-05-14 11.42.55

Step 7 – peel back tape and realise that the paint seeped through.

2020-05-14 12.56.16

Step 8 – pick out some paint pens and swatch to decide what to use.

Step 9 – apply washi tape creating a thick-ish band between the purple and the white.

 

2020-05-14 13.00.26

Step 10 – use paint pen to fill in the thick-ish band

2020-05-14 13.02.35

Step 11 – remove washi tape, and realise you still don’t have a nice crisp line.

2020-05-14 13.02.55

Step 12 – attempt it by hand, and fail.

2020-05-14 13.03.44

Step 13 – give in and get out a ruler.

2020-05-14 13.20.14

Step 14 – totally freehand the edges because you’re getting frustrated.

2020-05-14 13.22.46

Step 15 – print out a template the right size, and spend a minute or two lining it up.

2020-05-14 15.03.10

Step 16 –  realise that it’s too big and that thanks to the thick frame you need to have a smaller image.

2020-05-14 15.03.28

Step 17 – print a smaller version and tape into place.

2020-05-14 15.09.41

Step 18 – use a pointy tool to punch holes at intervals around the image.

Step 19 – rummage through tub of embroidery floss and dig out the colours you need.

2020-05-14 15.15.22

Step 20 – start to sew.

2020-05-14 15.18.35

Step 21 – stop to pet interrupting cat.

2020-05-14 15.21.27

Step 22 – complete the sewing and admire your wall art.

2020-05-14 15.39.34

I really enjoyed doing this.  It was simple, relatively quick.  A nice distraction.  And it creates a really effective result.  I might do another one at some point soon though.  There are a few things I wasn’t happy with.

The poster paint was the wrong paint to use.  It cracked everytime I pushed the needle through.  Next time I might just use paint pens – the dark purple stripe was fine.

I’ll probably use something thinner to punch the holes too, so I can use thinner thread.

Maybe I’ll use a canvas with more space to sew, get more detail in.

But that’s a future project.

300 Aliens

Many, many moons ago, I asked my best friend Cayden to find and gradually feed me a mystery crochet pattern.  That resulted in my very first mini alien plushie, in July 2010.

160720100061

Since then I have made more of them.

2014-03-14 18.25.05

In varying sizes.

2016-05-24 20.58.16

And colours.

2015-04-14 15.45.46

For lots of reasons.

2015-02-15 18.44.03

For friends and family.  Nearly everyone I know has at least one.

2015-03-02 13.14.38

To sell at school fairs.  The kids love them.

2015-06-02 09.54.04

I absolutely love it when a child drags their friend up to my table saying “this is the lady who made my little alien”.

2015-07-21 20.03.52

After a while, I realised that I was going to be making a lot of these little guys, and I started keeping count.

2016-03-25 20.31.07

At the time, I was tracking every project I did on Ravelry, so I could go back and get an accurate count of how many I had made up to that point.

2016-03-25 20.34.36

And I kept keeping track.

2016-10-08 22.49.28

In 2019, I made my 300th mini alien.

2019-10-25 11.53.48

THREE HUNDRED of the fluffy little beasties.

Naturally, I gifted that alien to Cayden.  Since then I’ve made at least two dozen more, and I will continue to make them.  I know the pattern so well by now that I don’t even really need to think about it.  It’s the perfect craft for watching movies with.

My home is filled with boxes and boxes of them.  I’m stocking up for a future plan that may involve hundreds of them, with any luck.  But I do sell them still.

You can get your own mini alien at my Etsy storeEtsy store, for just £3.50.  You can have a little one or a large one, in any colour/s you like, with as many eyes as you like.

You might also be able to get one if you follow me on Twitter, or on Facebook, or on Instagram.  I do giveaways regularly.  In fact, this little guy has just been sent out to a giveaway winner.

2019-10-25 11.53.56

Note: if you’ve counted, there are not actually 300 mini aliens in the pictures on this blog.  It would use up a LOT of space to include pictures of them all.  But here are a few more, because they’re adorable.