One of my favourite Twitter feeds is @StudioTeaBreak.  They’re the people behind the shape challenges that I do occasionally.   They have a weekly schedule for different challenge types.

On Mondays they do a Mythical Mashup – where they suggest a mythical creature and a random item for you to put together.  Tuesdays are a Shape Challenge – but an environmental one, taken from someone’s photograph.  Wednesdays are another Shape Challenge.  Thursdays are Portrait Challenges – where they present a piece of art or a sculpture for people to draw.  And on Fridays a Weekend Challenge is presented by @CFcomiX, always something different.

Once it was to draw a legendary creature being affected by human crimes against nature (pollution etc), once it was to design a sandwich based on your personality, once it was to combine an animal with a musical instrument.  Some of these weekend challenges intrigue me, and some don’t.

The Plantimals challenge was one of those that did.

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I decided that one of the many Mondo Mascots I’d screenshotted to draw would be perfect for this challenge.  There were actually a dozen that would meet the brief, but I settled for Hana-chan.

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I did it digitally – I’m doing a lot of art digitally at the moment, I’m really enjoying it.  And I managed to put it in a scene too, which I’m trying to do more.  I tend to have a lot of characters floating in white space.


For the background I experimented with some of the fun brushes.  I did not draw all those leaves individually.

I think it turned out really cute.  What do you think?

Synesthesia Me

A few months ago the Trending For You section on Twitter showed me this tweet by Elemental.


The article is very cool.  Synesthesia is a fascinating condition.  But what captured me most was the generator.  Obviously.

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So what colour is my name?  I decided before I even entered my name that I was going to do art based on this palette.

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When it first came up my initial reaction was a wee bit of disappointment.  I suppose I was kind of (irrationally) hoping it would be a rainbow.  But as I kept looking at it I started to like it more and more. 

Of course there are duplicates.  I have duplicate letters in my name.  This is logical.  But the green, black, grey, yellow, and blue actually make a pretty palette.

So what to draw?  Well, first of all, obviously, a monster.


This particular monster is a shape challenge monster.

I also decided to do something a wee bit more complex, and drew this girl.


Now that I’m getting more confident with digital drawing, I’ve been playing around with the different brushes.


Digital Progress

Recently I did a piece for a 1980s themed challenge. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted to do a character in 3/4 view because that’s something I’ve been working on.

I had a lot of fun doing it. My sketching skills aren’t great digitally yet so I sketched it out on paper, photographed it and then traced the line art digitally. I used tools for texture, different brushes, different shading techniques, included lots of detail. All things that were beyond me a few months ago.


For comparison, here is the first piece I did on this tablet back on November 10th 2019.



I still draw my monsters, but they’re looking a lot less messy when done digitally too.


But how drastic is this difference? I’m super proud 🙂

Resin Haul

Since my last resin post back in October, I’ve collected a few more bits and pieces.  I have a half-finished project that I started in February that I want to get around to finishing sometime soon, and since I’ll be using some of these bits and pieces I figured I’d do a resin haul and show you what I’ve got.

I got some small cat head molds to do some swatches/testing, except that they were waaayyyy too small (pen for scale), so I got some bead molds and some pendant molds.

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I got some more molds, because molds are awesome.


Including this 3D unicorn mold that stands upside down while you cast it.


I got a sample of powder pigment, which was a hell of a job.  I tried ordering from AliExpress and it never arrived, so I got a refund.  And then I ordered from AliExpress again and it never arrived, so I got another refund.  Eventually I paid twice the price to get one from eBay, and then one of the AliExpress ones arrived.

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I got a whole bunch of gorgeous things to include in the resin.

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I got some pots for storing things.

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And some silicone jugs.  These are actually the second set of silicone jugs I’ve bought.  I bought a smaller set, and used them in the half-finished project from February, but they weren’t big enough.

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I got some syringes.

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And I got a set of scales.

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Technically they’re for weighing resin, and weighing parcels for posting and things.  Actually, they’re going in the kitchen.  The mucky ones from the kitchen are gonna be for resin and stuff.

Finally I got a little wooden pendant to cast something pretty in.

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My mold collection is looking pretty extensive at the moment.


And I have quite a few inclusions too.


I think I’m missing a few things actually.  I’ll have to chase up everyone I might have loaned stuff too.

Unicorns, Narwhals and More

When doing my online grocery shop a while ago, I found this in the magazines section and decided to treat myself.

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Inside are four pastel markers and two glitter glue tubes, and a colouring book.  Obviously.

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The colouring pages are your usual cheap adult colouring book fare, with just over half of them being unicorn or narwhal themed.

Step one: swatching.

The markers are water based felt tip pens, in really nice colours.  The purple was a little dry though.  The glitter glues are… well they’re glitter glues.

I coloured in this narwhal, using the glitter glue for his main body, and for inside the letters.  Then I left it to dry overnight, because glitter glue.

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And then, because that was kinda awful and I wanted to make something nicer, I used my alcohol markers to do this unicorn.

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I tried to use the felt tips for a lettering piece, because the colours really were gorgeous.  Four letter word…. I didn’t wanna be cliche and do “love” or anything, so I was gonna go with “cats” but the purple failed me.

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Okay, three letter word.  You know how I didn’t do “love”?  Well I went and did my boyfriend’s name.

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And then, to prove that I could, I got my alcohol markers out again.

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One of my many Pinterest browsing sessions produced this.

I really liked the idea.  It reminded me of some things I did a few years in some art journals when I was first getting interested in art.

I decided to see what I could produce with one of my monsters.

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It’s a very simple drawing but I’m so very pleased with how it turned out.  Look at that shading and blending.  I think it shows how far I’ve come with my art skills 🙂

Magic Markers

At some point last year, during a trip to Poundland (a UK version of a dollar store), I saw these.

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I had a brief flashback to childhood.  We used these more than once, and I was always amazed.  Even know, I don’t entirely get how they work.  They must be actual magic.

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If you don’t know what they are, they’re simple felt tip pens.  When you colour with them, the colour is the colour (roughly) of the barrel.

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When you go over that with the white pens, the colour changes to the the colour (roughly) of the lid.

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After swatching, I drew out a Domun.  Colouring the small parts was fine.

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When you move to the larger sections you start to get the same issue you always get with water-based markers.  Streaky, starting to tear up the paper.  But I’m not aiming for a masterpiece here.

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And then you add the magic and voila!

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As ever with water-based markers I considered that they’d probably work better for lettering pieces.

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I was right!

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Craft Haul from The Works

The Works is one of my favourite stores here in the UK.  They sell a little bit of everything: books, toys, games, art stuff, craft stuff.  And they have very good prices too.  I recently did an online order and got myself a whole bunch of goodies.

I got an adhesive roller, because they’re always useful.  And I got this chalkboard marker because I’m always eager to try out a new white pen.

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The chalkboard marker isn’t too bad.  Better for drawing onto black than for adding accents to stuff, but that’s okay.  It is a chalk marker after all, not a paint pen.

I got a pack of off-brand Sharpies, for a future blog project that you’ll see eventually.

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I got some cute Christmas paper.  Possibly for a blog project, possibly because I’m addicted to cute papers.  Let’s just say both.

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Some stamps.  The alphabet set also has a whole bunch of border stamps.

Some Christmas washi tapes.  Initially intended to be a Christmas present for myself – I like to get bits throughout the year and wrap them up so I forget about them.  But I think I’m gonna use them to make Christmas cards at some point.

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A wooden box.  The Works does a wide range of these, in different sizes and designs.  I love them.  You can decorate them, but I also think they look pretty cool as they are.

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Some more papers.  Pretty pretty papers.  I may have involuntarily sighed happily when I flipped through these.

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Some sheets of foamboard.  Not very glamourous.  For a future project.

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Another one of these blank covered notebooks that I like.

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And finally some decoupage papers.  The stars and the tartan are for a specific project.  The snowflakes were just cos they’re pretty.

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So, how many of these teased projects do you think you’ll see this year?

Three Marker Challenge

I like challenges.  I like being given constraints.  In fact, I usually prefer that to just “draw anything”.  I do a lot of colour challenges – what with Colours of the Month and palette challenges.  

When Waffles did a three marker challenge recently…

…I decided a good old fashioned 3 marker challenge was a good idea.  I didn’t want to tip all my markers out and mix them up to pick at random though, so I asked my friend Cayden (who adjudicates all my challenges) what was allowed.

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He suggested using Jazza’s art app.  Which was a brilliant idea.  If you don’t know, Jazza is an artist on YouTube and a few years ago he released an app for iOS and Android called Jazza’s Arty Games that provides lots and lots of challenges.  One of those is a colour challenge, where you can select 1 to 5 and it’ll give you random colours.

It can pick from whole ranges of various brands, or you can tell it which markers you have.  

First I just selected from the whole range, and attempted to colour match with what I have. Until I discovered that one of my markers that fit best was running out.

So I went back and added all my Copics to the library.  This is also where I noticed that the little colour blobs don’t really match the actual ink colour very well, so my first swatch was wrong anyway.

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After much fussing around, I had a new set of 3 colours.  And a new set of swatches.

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As for what to draw, I combined two of Studio Tea Break’s Shape Challenges to create this masterpiece.

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Also, I forgot to put the backing card in my sketchbook, so I also ended up with this abstract piece.

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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..

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… 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)…

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…into this poorly photographed illustration.

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

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

..into this tasty looking monster.


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