A Study in Contrasts

I just noodled around yesterday, trying to paint a portrait without doing any sort of drawing first.  It was a horrible, horrible failure.  It was so bad that I'm saving it for the end of the post, so that I can start out with the one I'm really, really proud of- the one I drew and painted this evening:
I love braaaaaiiiiiiiddddds!
I was feeling sorry for myself after yesterday's debacle (you guys it's so bad, and the more I tried to somehow salvage it, the worse things became, until it was like maybe being awful was the only true reality, one that I must accept or go mad...) so I decided to draw something that I enjoy drawing, and something I enjoy drawing- really enjoy drawing- is hair.  I had thought, vaguely, that I might be doing Daenerys Targaryan (especially since I was using a promo shot for hair reference/inspiration) but after I started painting (which I hadn't intended to do tonight, but... well... I got into it...) I realized that actually I was illustrating the Lady Amalthea.  So maybe I'll draw a unicorn tomorrow night, or a red bull, or Prince Lir, or hell, even King Haggard.  We'll see.

Oh, speaking of horrible soulless monsters that are bent on destroying everything innocent and pure in this world:
Yes, this really was painted by the same person.  AKA me.  Please don't rescind my art degree.
Well then.  That's humiliating.  And I've got to get back to studying in the morning, but before I do that I need to work out, which means that now?  Now it's time for bed.  Past, even.  Here's hoping the unicorns keep the nightmares at bay...


Harping On


I liked the looseness of my bluejay, so I wanted to revisit bird feathers, but I also wanted to draw a harpy, sooo...
I did.
I 100% did not have time for painting on Wednesday (I was studying for nearly 12 hours that day- ugh) so I put it off until yesterday.


Come at her, bro.

I absolutely loved how the feathery markings came out (based on a harpy eagle, naturally).  I'm quite quite pleased with this one, especially since it's on the same page as Red Ribbon, and there's something really fitting about the pairing.

02.16.18 (OMG TODAY!)

I really liked the way I managed to keep it loose on my harpy, so tonight I wanted to do something with no under-drawing, no line work, no sketching out at all.  I pulled a tarot card from my nice little app and got the Five of Wands, Reversed (which is very true right now), and decided that rather than illustrate the Five of Wands, per se, I would illustrate its actual reversal- which, to my mind, took the form of torches being extinguished.

Anyhoo, I'm not at all dissatisfied, so I think I'll probably continue to push myself to try to paint things without drawing them first.

Now, on to non-art-related things.

You guys, studying for the Series 7 is no joke.  I'm fortunate in that I had a passing familiarity with a lot of the basics, due to working for an investment company for the past 10 years, but there are so many more complexities than I ever possibly could have dreamed of, and to tell you the truth 95% of them are actually pretty fascinating.  Like, if you'd ever told me I'd be super interested in tax strategies I'd have laughed in your face- but it turns out I totally am!  Hah!  So maybe I'll specialize in that some day, who knows...  I'll have plenty of opportunity for CE, I'm sure...

Mostly it's just so nice to be a full-time student again.  I've whined at Nathan for years that I wanted to go back to school, and he's always been firm that if I was going to do that, it would have to be for something that would actually make us money (so not, like, philosophy, which would be a total dream come true for me but isn't exactly the gateway to a lucrative career).  When I decided to make the jump to Financial Advisor I didn't really think about the fact that, uh... I'm basically going back to school.  Except this time I'm getting paid for it.  Winning!


Valentines and a Red Ribbon

Another group update...  but first, a word of explanation.  As you know, I love to make Valentines, and since I'm doing a watercolor project this year, naturally I figured I'd do watercolor Valentines!  With that in mind, I bought a little pack of 4"x6" watercolor postcards, and started experimenting...

Oh.  Oh no.
The very first thing I realized was just how spoiled I am to have such high-quality paper in my sketchbook.  Because the quality of these "postcards"?  Er... not so hot.  In fact, I'd say it borders on awful, and honestly it blows my mind just how terrible the experience of painting on it was.  But I thought to myself, "I won't let myself be limited... I just have to figure out how to work around it!" and I kept at it...

...and continued to be aggravated...


...to the point were I really wanted to scrawl across this one, "A crappy Valentine is better than no Valentine, right??"  (but I didn't.)

Still no.


So after three days of working on very dispiriting things, I decided to give myself a break, and paint a blue jay in my sketch book.

Blue Jay of Happiness?
I was very grumpy with it the day that I did it, but in retrospect I'm actually fairly pleased with how it came out.


And the next day I still couldn't face going back to the awful paper, so I did something else fun:

The Red Ribbon
Although to tell you the truth, I want to give it more line work, but it's fine, it's fine...


The next day was Monday, and the day I started studying for my Series 7, which means that by the end of the day I didn't have much left in the way of brain power, so I went ahead and tried the crap paper again, and made a silly little Valentine for TLG.

Sweets for the sweet.
It's not so bad, I suppose, and by that point I'd started to figure out how to work within the limitations of the media, which led me to the following night...


...and the making Nathan's Valentine!
Altered Love
So basically the key to painting on this paper is to not to attempt to blend or layer colors at all.  And accept that you're not going to have anything resembling a smooth wash.  And I will probably just give the remainder to TLG to play with, because as much as Nathan enjoyed his Altered-Carbon-inspired-valentine*, the paper is really just the worst.

The schedule that I'm keeping for studying is pretty much as intense as I'd feared, so expect more of these grouped-updates in the future, because while I might have time to sketch or do a quick painting, it's going to be rare that I also have the time to actually post it.  And most likely it will be a Tuesday or Thursday, when Nathan has Bedtime Duties.  So hang in there, Gentle Readers, and we'll get through this Very Busy Season together...

*(in case you were wondering, the show more than lives up to the book: it's freaking amazing and I can't recommend it enough.  And I 100% want a Hello Unicorn shirt...)


Poison Ivy, Pt II

One of the reasons I love Poison Ivy so much is, obviously, her hair (there are other reasons, such as being a stone cold bitch who does what needs doing to get the job done, and being a freaking brilliant lady scientist who takes no crap, but yeah I could probably do without the ecoterrorism but we all have areas of improvement right) and so when I was dreaming up this doodle I knew I wanted to bring in kind of a leaf-like texture to her hair.  Which I did!
So Color.  Much Wow.
Of course, now I want to go back in with more linework to really make things pop, but my Old Lady Alarm has already gone off for the evening, and I must obey.

(That being said, I picked up a metallic green lipstick this evening, during my Mother/Son date, on the off chance that I'm able to unearth the Poison Ivy costume in time for this weekend... and that it still fits...)


Poison Ivy, Pt I

There is a friendly neighborhood comic convention coming up this weekend, and I have a pass for it (sort of my last Hurrah before disappearing into a Study Vortex for the next twelve weeks).  I also have a vague desire to cosplay, but not enough time/energy/talent to get really Amazing about it, so I was thinking I might fall back on an old costume of mine, if I can find it in my Costume Trunk (which I may or may not be able to do- it's been over a decade and at least three moves since I wore it last...).
That Girl is Poison
Anyway, even if I can't dig it up, thinking about Poison Ivy makes me want to draw Poison Ivy, so here we are.  Colors tomorrow.


Cloud Splatter

I had a bit of a "happy accident" with yesterday's piece (check out the lower right corner) where some paint got splattered.  I'm not quite sure how I did it- or even if I did it, since one of my cats is kind of an Art Terrorist and loves getting up in my business when I'm working on things.  But I figured it was either a result of being brushed or being blown, so today I experimented with blowing on wet paint.  It was fun!
There's more, but this is probably the most "picture-like" portion of my playtime.

Sometimes it's fun just to play with no specific goal in mind.  I find  I'm less likely to be disappointed if I've left myself open to possibility, rather than fixating on a desired result.

Wisdom!  Ish.  Ahem.



Okay, first of all, I have been drinking.  So, like, forgive any spelling errors.  Also grammatical.

Second of all, I had a conversation with a friend today, in which we compared our respective early influences re: the ocean.  His had a lot to do with Jaws, and resulted in definitive discomfort with the watery depths.  Mine had a lot to do with The Little Mermaid, and resulted in me being a land mermaid.  So, obviously, I had to do a mashup:
Part of your world.  Your bloody, tasty world.

I don't even know, man.  I had planned to go back in with some purples to bring out the hair more, but then I got invited out to the movies, which we followed up with a trip to the bar, where they had chocolate/orange infused whiskey, soooo... this is what you get.