Friday, July 29, 2011

Not to worry

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten to daily update. But due to some prior obligations that happened to coincide this weekend, I wasn't able to work yesterday (I was judging a llama 4-H show, no kidding) or this weekend. I will show you Day 2 of my progress which happened today, but I've gotta go! Look back later Monday or Tuesday for days 2 and 3 of the progress!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Aloja - Day One

Rather than a big reveal, I thought I'd show my day by day progress. Might be more fun, or a different kind of fun anyway!

Day 1
(I'm excited!)

Color palette (oil): Titanium white, cad yellow med., raw sienna, burnt sienna, permanent rose, cobalt violet hue, ultramarine, sap green, payne's grey. Stand oil as a medium.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Nope, not the Hawaiian greeting, that's the name of our foxy Catalonian, water nymph, bird conjuring girl! I've worked on some color studies here in Photoshop, and I'm already sold on which colors I'm going with. Can you guess? Will it be:
1. Dusky twilight, green pond water with purple goodness?
2. Magical, mystifying teal and purple? Or...
3. Sultry red lady with tumultuous grey blue waters?

no peeking

no peeking


If you guessed "Dusky twilight green pond water with purple goodness" you guessed correctly! I just think it's the most interesting of the three, the least expected. And Lord knows I've been painting things blue for a few too many projects now. It is settled! Expect some crisper edges and darker darks in places for the finish though.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Finished Stepping Stones and new painting

So here is the finished Stepping Stones piece! I'm going to let it sit me with me for a couple days and then decide if there is something else that needs to be done to it.

In the meantime, here is the next piece I'm starting. It's a Catalonian (Spanish) myth about a water nymph type creature who lives in fresh water and can turn water into blackbirds. Now, magical or otherwise, I have no idea why you would ever want/need to turn water into blackbirds, but it sounded like a cool illustration! This is a value study. But I'm telling you- I need a bigger scanner! It took me 10 scans to get the whole 28x36" drawing!

Monday, July 18, 2011


What would happen if Disney's Pocahontas and Megan Fox had a lovechild that then became famous enough that a Bratz doll was fashioned after her? It's a question I'm sure we've all asked, but finally- finally, here is the answer... in the form of "Oops! This first attempt at this painting is not working". Go ahead, click on the image to really understand the horror.

I said to myself, "uh oh, does this look like Pocahontas?" and then, "Oh no... there's a bleeping willow tree too!" Had I stumbled upon gold, John Smith? No, it was just lowly corn... shucks!!! (you see what I did there with Pocahontas, my upset feelings, and the title of this post? Huh? Huh?) I had never planned a Pocahontas painting. But our subconscious can have a funny way of creeping up on us. Well, the damage had been done and I needed to do some serious damage control, which I've been doing today. I did everything I could to make this new girl as much UNlike "Pokey" as I could, including redoing the face to be less Bratz like. I give you... red haired girl!

Still work to do, but we're on our way. I also got rid of the glowing pink plant. I figured there was too much foreign plant life to concentrate on, so I just eliminated it. It was also just a poor compositional choice, so I'm glad he is outta there. It should be all done by next week, and I'll do my best to get the best reproduction I can. A lot of the light lights are washed out in this one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stepping Stones underpainting

I've got it all drawn out and the underpainting in (burnt sienna and ultramarine blue). All that's left is to paint her! In case you're wondering, that large circle to the right of her is a plant I've made up that is kind of like fan coral, but I didn't bother to paint all the holes in.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sisters of the Light

Ta da!

You may notice it looks a little different from my value study. My apologies. Over the next night, I got up, looked at the study- and hated the composition. So I redid it without informing you. But don't you like this so much better? Ok Tor, hire me!

Next up, the girl on the stepping stones that I showed some color studies of here. So you can look forward to the progress of that!

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Sisters" sneak peek

In case you can't wait until Monday...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Stepping Stones

Dear readers, never fear: Sisters of the Light is on it's way and is nearly finished for your viewing pleasure. We've had a little down time due to the holiday, but we're back in full swing now. Since we're so close to completion, it's necessary to step away and forget about it a little bit to see all of the flaws I might not have noticed with my face pressed up to it for so long. You can expect it finished next week.

In the meantime, here are two color and composition studies for a new piece, more young reader themed, still with a fantasy twist. Imagine a nature loving girl with super duper long hair, and there's this lily trotter type bird that leads her down a secret path in the woods to this more magical, phosphorescent, bio-luminescent section of the woods. But I think the lily trotter has dubious meanings behind why he's leading the girl... maybe she'll be trapped there, or there will be a lot of dangerous creatures to encounter, or maybe the bird needs her to get something it can't reach on it's own and the bird actually shouldn't have the thing.... I dunno! Those are the stories I make up in my head to stay inspired. I've decided I'm going with the top version, the bottom version I was still feeling out a lot of rough ideas in my head. So stay tuned for results on this piece too!

One last tidbit: I didn't have a reflective surface for my water when I was taking photo reference, and I thought and thought about what I could use. I finally remembered that in one of my first aid kits I had one of those silver, plastic heat blankets! So I just unfolded it and voila! Instant reflective surface that unfolds to about a 3 by 4 foot area, and folds back up into a 2" by 4" square. I have since moved the blanket from my first aid kit to the art supplies!