Recent Studies, Recent Art

Sorry for the lack of blog updates these past months! I decided early this year to focus my efforts on learning and creating more artwork to add to my portfolio, stores and Instagram pages. I’ve also been helping out an animator with an informational video on a tight deadline. I’ll talk more about that in an upcoming post.

In order to produce more personal work, I began to set some time limits for myself for each piece and, as a result, I became much more efficient and produced more work in a few months than I did in an entire year. I realized a lot of what slowed me down in the past was overthinking things. Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally still do but I’ve been trying my best to push past it. I totally get that ubiquitous t-shirt phrase, Don’t Overthink It.

Letting go to draw whatever came to mind and trying out whatever style was also very freeing—I was coming up with ideas far more often. Too often, sometimes, but that’s a good thing, right? My main struggle these days is I have trouble trying to stick to a single subject matter and style because I love to explore. It would be nice to be recognized for my style. I’m not sure if I have one yet. Maybe one day.

Because I’m constantly trying to increase my knowledge of technique, I followed some tips I picked up from my Schoolism classes and I started to do more light studies, studies of animals, action poses and backgrounds. I began to notice improvement to my finished pieces which I’ll save for another post. I felt like I was able to produce them a little more easily than I had in the past. Although I was pleased at how some of them turned out I know there will always be room for growth. I did start to think: Wow, did I really do that? There was a time when I would make numerous studies and still feel like I wasn’t advancing. I was embarrassed to share them so often I didn’t. To me they weren’t good enough—I made the mistake of comparing myself to others. We are often hardest on ourselves, right? I’ve since changed my perspective and instead try to learn from those artists I admire. Below are some of the studies I’ve been doing this year.

Light Studies:

Exploration of Shapes, Expressions and Line of Action :

Landscape Studies From Photos and Paintings:

Animal Studies:

Thanks for looking!

Schoolism - Gesture Drawing Week 3

This post is a little delayed because I took some time off during the Toronto Film Festival. The film festival is a lot of fun, particularly the Midnight Madness portion, but can be a little exhausting with a lot of late nights!

Week 3 was all about creating strong readable silhouettes. For the first assignment we went through timed poses of 1 minute each which seemed a luxury after the previous assignment's 30 second poses. That is, until I realized that a lot of the poses would not make strong silhouettes without some modification, and it often took me a few tries to get it right. I admit that I often went over the allotted time which was a little frustrating. Regardless of my failures, the bright side is that I am drawing much more and so many more poses that I feel that I'm learning at a faster rate.

For the second assignment, we created silhouettes from either 10 photos, movies or pieces of art. I chose to do a couple more because I was having so much fun. I really enjoyed learning from these, especially Joe Quesada's Daredevil and Avatar's Korra. It's hard not to be motivated with such interesting and dynamic poses!

The final assignment was more café sketching but this time using silhouettes. Because of my upcoming project involving a cat and because I've been a little under the weather this past week, I chose instead to draw my little honey-bun, Dax. :)


I signed up for Schoolism art classes that I hope will help me improve and grow as an artist. I'm going to post some of my completed assignments but because these are paid courses I can't go into great detail about them but I hope you get some sense out of my description.

I decided to start with Art Fundamentals with Thomas Fluharty because he's an amazing artist and I felt that it would be a good refresher course. I am also planning on taking his oil painting class later on. 

Below are my completed assignments from last week, Week 1, on the subject of Seeing. The original images were in colour and I drew and painted greyscale versions. I tried to get as close to the originals as I could. It was certainly tough with all those details! For the giraffe, we were also encouraged to add in a painted background. I kept mine loose so that I would have enough time to start Week 2 lessons. 

Another 12 hour comic Jam

I attended another comic jam yesterday at the Comic Book Lounge and Gallery for their summer edition. This time I paired up with the hubby as artist\writer team. We had a nice time and met some really talented people. I unfortunately didn't get as many pages completed as last time (sadly just three, plus the four thumbnails) but Victor did complete his full script in time called Delivery—a story based very loosely on Red Riding Hood (a prequel). I'm happy he was able to take some time to join me and participate.

Here are the three pages:

A comic cover in progress

The humidity has driven me indoors this weekend so I've taken to working on some art obligations.  One of them is for a friend's cover (The Body of Nadia Shakir). I recently got a new Cintiq and there is a bit of a learning curve. I was delighted to discover a felt-tip nib which made drawing feel a little closer to the real paper and pen experience than just a stick on glass. Anyhoo, below is the image I'm working on. This will be my first solo cover. I hope I don't mess it up. Wish me luck!  o_O

12-Hour Comic Book Marathon

This past weekend I participated in a 12-Hour Comic Book Marathon at the Comic Book Lounge which is an endurance (or is it speed?) test in which people attempt to produce 12 pages in 12 hours. A group of about 30 artists and writers—crammed into the back of the store—rushed to complete as many pages as they could. It didn't have to be perfectly polished but it should at least tell the story from start to end. I was lucky to have been paired with writer, Oliver Ho, a pro who already has a number of books out on Amazon. I don't know if I technically finished the 12 pages in 12 hours but I surprised myself by having gotten 12 really, really rough breakdowns and four somewhat-finished pages (minus word balloons).   Being new at this I know I'm a little weak at coming up with layouts on the fly so that, coupled with being shy about drawing in public, had me a little stressed at the beginning. Hopefully, with more practice I will be able to whip the pages off more quickly.

Because I identified with the protagonist (a little girl who loves to draw) I have a desire to complete the story and I will likely revisit the roughs and finish off more pages. The story reminded me of when I was little and nothing made me happier than to sit quietly in my room drawing all the creatures my imagination was cooking up. Not on the wall of course. ;-)

Below are the results of my efforts on "Monster Artist". Thank you to Keiren Smith for organizing the whole she-bang!

World of Warcraft Tribute Contest Submission

If you've been wondering what has happened to me, I'm still making art.  I've been busy working on a number of projects over the past 6 months that's kept me figuratively chained to my desk - one being a World of Warcraft Tribute contest submission presented by Udon Entertainment & Blizzard that I had hoped to submit in January. Because I was working on the Threadless Iron Man submission and not that familiar with the World of Warcraft characters, I didn't get my entry finished in time.  As part of my research, I had enlisted the hubby to play some of the game and found myself drawn to Night Elves and their world which is what I chose for my piece. I decided upon a cleric female Night Elf and her Sabertooth mount.

There are still more layers to go and the background is a little rough for my taste but here's a closeup of what is somewhat complete.  I'll try to finish it later and post to Blizzard's fan art site.

Thanks for looking.

Dog portrait: step

While taking some time off to attend the Toronto International Film Festival, I had some time to work on the dog portrait and thought I'd share a close-up of the face. At this stage, I've started to add in the details and once I'm satisfied with the general direction and shape of the fur, I will soften some areas while leaving some with higher detail.

On another note, I've been painting a skeleton while waiting in line for the movies using Sketchbook Pro (iPad version).  I'll post it when it's finished.