Avatar Generators

When I wrote my Tablet Time blog post the other day I showed you this adorable robot that I drew last year.

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That particular robot was inspired by an avatar generator app.  You know the sort of thing.  You select the body, the hair colour, the clothes etc.  Kinda like when you create a character on The Sims.  I have a mild addiction to them.  I currently only have 9 on my phone, but that’s because I culled a lot of them recently.  Last month there were nearly three figures of them – both actual apps and links to website versions.

Some of my favourites are Oppadoll and Unniedoll, and Dollify. For web-based ones the best source is Picrew.  There are many many hundreds of them on there – if you can navigate the site.  It’s a little difficult at times because it’s not in English.

And I’ve created quite a few characters on these apps and websites.  Here are just a few of them.

Last year I turned a few of them into art pieces – including that robot.

It’s a fun way to design characters.  Some of the generators you find can be very limited – without a lot of options.  Sometimes generators have way too many options.  But it’s still fun.  

Addictive though.  I haven’t made any in a while, because when I do make one I make another one and another one and another one and I find I’ve lost hours to it.

 

 

Gel Crayons

When hanging out with my friends recently, Cayden showed me these.

They’re gel crayons.  Which is very weird.  Shortly before though, I’d seen DrawWiffWaffles video on YouTube that used a branded version of the same kinda thing.

So of course I had to have a play.  I did consider making them part of a series I have planned, but decided not to in the end – mostly because of the timeliness of Waffles’ video.

Because these belong to someone else, they aren’t the same shape as they were new, but you can get the general gist.  You can twist the barrel to move more crayon up too – which is nice.  And fun to do.

So step one is swatching.  They are really creamy, and slick.  It feels like drawing with a lipstick.  The leaflet inside says that you can use your fingers to blend them, so I had a go at that too, as well as blending just using the crayons, and drawing on top of the crayon with another crayon.

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As we all know, I like to make dome monsters when I test new supplies.   I was with friends, and I like to ask people to help make decisions when designing monsters.  How many eyes?  Happy or sad?  Fangs showing?  That sort of thing.  Thanks to the utter oddness of my friends, I ended up with this.

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I liked the responses, it’s just hard to be accurate with these things.  I considered doing some more tests on the swatching page – seeing how fine a line I could get (because Waffles managed to be fairly accurate and detailed) – but I couldn’t be bothered.  I’d also considered testing how they worked with ink liners – would they obscure any inking, would any inking on top ruin the ink pen?  But again, couldn’t be bothered.  We were having a very chill day.

So I started a second dome monster instead.  I planned on using fire colours, but then I couldn’t figure out what colour to do her wings.

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I considered the neon orange, but wasn’t sure if it was too bright.  So I decided I’d test out some layers and do a second swatching/testing page – including the inking, and how fine a line I could get out of them.

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The inking surprised me.  I’d expected them, or the non-neon ones at least, to completely cover the line.  And I’d expected inking on top of them to mess up the ink pen a bit.  Inking on top is easy and smooth.  After a few lines it does block the nib, but a quick scribble on scrap paper and it’s all good.

It is possible to get some relatively fine lines with these things too – as Waffle showed.  I just didn’t have the time or the inclination to try.  Maybe if they were my art supplies and I had plenty of time to practice with them?

But I managed to finish my little fire dome monster.

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Cayden hadn’t really been doing massive art pieces with them either.  He’d picked them up because they were discontinued and on sale and really cheap.  He picked them up as a novelty.  And he was using them to do some random, not-really-paying-attention-or-putting-much-effort-in colouring.

And then my friends and I played Dungeons & Dragons, because we are nerds 😀

Animal Alphabets

Animal Alphabets is the first Twitter art challenge I ever discovered, thanks to DoodleDate.  When I first found it I had the concept a bit wrong and assumed it was just any animal with that week’s letter.  But I quickly caught on.

I found it near the end of a round – each run of the alphabet has a different theme – so waited til the start of the next round to fully join in.  

Sea Life started in January 2019, with Angelfish.  And I was very happy with mine.

I was also happy with my Blue Crab, and my Clownfish which I turned into a robot for part of my Draw 100 Robots challenge.

Dumbo Octopus and Elephant Seal were also adorable.

Fangtooth was a little hard to make cute, but I think rainbow fins and bubbles did a good job.

I have absolutely no idea why I decided to use highlighters for Goblin Shark…

… but I think that’s the point where I decided to take a different approach.

Instead of drawing a full piece for each letter, I was going to do a compilation piece.  One page with little drawings of each animal.

Hourglass Dolphin, Immortal Jellyfish, Japanese Seahorse, King of Herrings, Lobster, Mantis Shrimp. All adorable little creatures.

I even went back and added the animals from A-G.

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I’m not sure what happened then.  I got distracted by other projects probably, but I stopped drawing.  I collected the letters.

And I collected some reference images.

I even did a full piece of the Sea Sheep because it’s adorable.

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I just never finished the piece.  It sat in my Works In Progress pile for months and months.  It sat there throughout most of the Birds run.  I wasn’t so interested in Birds, so I only did a couple of them.

I did an Emperor Penguin – in baby form because they’re utterly adorable, a Flamingo, a Puffin, and a Robin Red Breast.

And that’s it.  But the latest series is Mythical Creatures – and they interest me a lot!  I want to join in with this one, but I wanted to finish Sea Life first, so I got out my piece from my WIPs pile, and I knuckled down.

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I’m quite pleased with it.  Some of the animals have realistic colouring, and some do not – but I kinda established that pattern right at the start with the galaxy Blue Crab.  Some are slightly cuter than others.  But it’s pretty cute overall.

For Mythical Creatures though I think I’m gonna go back to doing individual images.

As I’m writing this (probably a few weeks before posting) the Mythical Creatures run has just started.  I have some reference pictures on my phone.  I’ll try and blog every few letters or so.  Maybe.  Or maybe I’ll wait until sometime next year.

FaeBruary

I have a long list of monthly art challenges in my Notebook and I’m trying to work through them all doing different ones each year.  This year for February I decided to go with FaeBruary.

I tried to do a little research near the end of January, but there was very little to be found.  I did discover that the same challenge is also known by several other names – FaerieFeb, FebruFairy, Fairyary and FeyBruary among many others.

I collected a couple of dozen FaeBruary (et al) prompt lists from Instagram and Pinterest – all with different variations on the theme. Some were types of fairy, some were types of flowers.  Elements, weather types, random words, words that begin with F, different types of fae.  Overall I collect more than 250 prompts.

And then I narrowed it down to a smaller list of ideas that intrigued me.

  • a fairy and their pet
  • pastel fairy
  • fairy queen or king
  • fire fairy
  • fan art
  • sat on a toadstool
  • from behind
  • in or in front of a fairy house
  • tiny fairy with big flower
  • infant/child fairy
  • non-humanoid fairy
  • famous fairies – like Tinkerbelle
  • rainbow
  • leprechaun
  • dwarf
  • will o’ the wisp
  • galaxy
  • Flora, Fauna and Merryweather
  • the tooth fair
  • satyr/fawn

I’ve done enough of these challenges to know that I don’t want to force myself to do one a day.  I am gonna aim for at least 4 though – I think I did the same thing with MerMay last year.  And the more I do, the better.  Not necessarily picked from the prompt list.  Just fairies.  I like fairies 🙂

The first fairy of the month was actually the January Scribble Into Art challenge which I wrote about a few weeks ago.

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Next up was another watercolour fairy, done with the new Arteza watercolour tubes I got for Christmas.

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The next one you’ve already seen the Elf Queen fairy from Night of the Full Moon.

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This next one was done the day I got a new fountain pen, and was testing out a sample of Diamine Orange ink.

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And now we have the first of many many digital fairies.

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Followed by two more fairies that you’ve already seen.  The line art that I drew for Nina and then the colouring of the line art that Nina drew for me in our Valentines line art swap.

We’re back to watercolour for this next one – had to do a galaxy fairy.  Obviously.

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And now a run of digital fairies.

First is fan art of my friend CrazyComicLady‘s fairy Phallus.  CC is also known as Reality Bunny on Deviant Art where you can read her beautiful mushroom fairies book and learn all about Phallus and his friends.

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I wanted to do a famous fairy, so I did the most famous fairy I could think of.  Tink!  In the spirit of full transparency, I did trace the bigger hand, because I suck at hands.

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There’s more tracing in this next one.  I tried doing the face over and over and over and over again and I could not get something I liked.  So I got frustrated and did some tracing.

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Time for inevitable rainbow fairy.

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This next one is inspired by a Draw This In Your Style challenge by Sparkiiro on Instagram.  She posted this beautiful character.

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I decided she’d look adorable with wings.  And I was kinda right.  She would’ve look adorable if I didn’t end up making her somehow derpy.

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Sparkiiro loved it by the way.

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Next up is a sketch that you’ll learn about in the February Scrawlr Box post coming soon.

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Finally, another digital fairy.  This guy took a lot of work.  I tried inking several times and wasn’t happy with it, so I ended up carving down the sketch.  Then the background was a bit of fun and games.  But I’m super happy with how he turned out.  (There may or may not be a bunch of tracing with this one too.)

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And here’s a bonus fairy.  On the last Sunday of every month, SamBeAwesome does a subscriber raffle on her Twitch stream.  If you win the raffle, she’ll do a drawing of your character – or whatever you want (within reason) I think.  I won the February raffle – by being one of the only two subscribers in attendance.  And the other subscriber. the lovely KadrinChan let me have it.  So, because it was FaeBruary, I asked Sam to draw my fairy character Effy.  This is what Effy looks like…

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…and this is how Sam portrayed her.  How beautiful is she?  Thank you Sam 🙂

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Elf Queen Fairy

I tend to collect ideas for things to draw, that sit lingering on my phone for ages.  Like combining two Disney characters into one character.  Or doing a certain style background.  Or turning a character into a punk/goth.

One of the ideas I’ve had on my phone for a while now is this lady.

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When I got my tablet in November last year I naturally downloaded a few games to play on it.  One of those games was Night of the Full Moon by Giant Network.  It’s a role play style game – where you play as Red Riding Hood working your way through the forest looking for Grandmother.  You encounter lots of bad guys and have to select the right cards to battle them and progress.

One of the bad guys that you encounter is the lovely Elf Queen.  All of the art in this game is stunning, but as soon as I saw her, I knew that I wanted to draw her.  She then sat languishing on my phone for months.  Until Faebruary.

There’s a full Faebruary blog post coming in a couple of days, but the upshot is that it’s a month-long art challenge where people draw fairies.  What a perfect excuse to actually get around to drawing her!

First I sketched her out exactly as I saw her.  Exactly-ish.

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Then I drew her again, but more in my style.  Or whatever burgeoning style I seem to be building.  I sketched and inked her, and before I coloured her in, I sketched out a hint of a background.  I’ve been trying to do more backgrounds with pieces this year.  I wanted to go with an essence of the original image, but not quite, so I made it very simple.

Unfortunately, while I was colouring her in, I kept thinking that there was fluff on the page.

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I swiped away imaginary fluff at least ten times before I finished.

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By the time I finished the background though, it was worth it.

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It’s a little streaky, but I’m going to pretend that adds to the misty atmosphere.

February Colours of the Month

This one wasn’t planned at all.  I knew I was going to use the palette eventually, and it was sat on my phone waiting to be used.

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But the actual decision to use it was kind of spontaneous.

I had been doing some random doodles to use up the last pages in a falling apart sketchbook, and I was really enamoured with this little guy.

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I decided to draw a bigger, proper version of him, and I was drawing I realised that this would be a good oppportunity to use the palette.  Unfortunately the first way of using them that I had in mind didn’t quite work out right.

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Maybe it’s the execution, but he looks very very wrong.

So I moved on and redid him.  This time I gave him a different facial expression, some friends, and a location.

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I’m much happier with this piece.  I love the little curled up versions.

What Nina Did

When I wrote my blog post for Valentines Day – the line art swap I did with Nina – it was a few days before.  I had finished and was ready to post, but Nina hadn’t finished hers yet.

Then I was busy with my boyfriend for the 13th and 14th so I didn’t get a chance to add her finished piece into the blog.

But it deserves to be blogged! Because it is freaking awesome!

Here’s a reminder of what I drew for her to colour.

Untitled26When she tagged me in Deviant Art and I opened the app I literally gasped.  It’s so good!

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Look at that lighting!

I’m so impressed 😀  You should all go tell her how much you love it, and all her other brilliant work. 

We will be doing a St Patricks line art swap – partly because I already have an idea for what I want to draw.