Long overdue for an update!

Yikes, it's been almost ten months since I've posted here. So what have I been up to since then? Well, there was a commission painting last year and some random experiments. Recently I've been getting my art room organized by putting up cabinets and shelves for additional storage. And, while at Emerald City Comic Con, I decided to buy some Copic Markers since they had a big booth there. I bought a 12 pack a while back but not any paper for them because it was out of stock so I was left underwhelmed by the markers when I tried them out. However, after watching some YouTube videos of other artists using htem, I decided to give them another try and was quickly hooked. The right paper is very important to take advantage of the blending abilities.

So next I had to decide what I wanted to try creating with them. There were many paintings from my attempt at a 52 project last year that I wished I had longer to work on and refine. So why not do just that! My first Catventures painting seemed like an ideal starting point. After mulling over various layouts and poses for the cats I settled on this: 

With my sketch done, I didn't want to use the same piece of paper to complete the work because I wanted to try out various things with the Copic markers. So I scanned the sketch, printed it out and with a lightbox traced an outline with pen. Oh, I also made my own lightbox recently out of a 16"x20" hardwood canvas and LED strips. With the pen outline, I scanned that in and printed it out directly on Copic marker paper with my inkjet printer. This all allows me to preserve the original sketch, and produce multiple outlines to experiment with. After some color experimenting I got to work. Here's the completely version of that:

All the color was done with Copic markers and then I used white gouache for the fog. Then I scanned that and did some digital edits. Mainly adding the deckled edge effect which I used this tutorial for. Partway through this piece I realized I screwed up on adding the sun as a light source based on how I had shaded the piece in both the sketch and outline. But I decided to ignore that and finish the piece anyways to get the experience. 

With my first Copic marker piece completely, I'm now looking at doing another one with this same outline but perhaps a different environment. 

Puddle Jumper (29/52)

Pulled this one out of my sketch book as I wasn't coming up with anything all Monday night. I think it may be time to stop this project, or at least put it on hiatus. With how hard it has been to come up with ideas lately that I can sketch up in a night or two and paint in a night, this week's painting in particular feels like I just did it to stay up with the deadline. The real point of this project is to try new things and improve in some aspect. If that's not happening it would be better to redirect my efforts. I've actually have a list of projects slowing building up this year, some inspired by paintings, that I would be great to have time to start on. But, who knows, maybe inspiration will strike in the next week to keep this going a little longer.

Willow the Catterfly (27/52)

Switched to a full western watercolor painting this week. It's also almost twice as large as the paintings I have been doing. I would have liked to do additional passes to build up more texture but after six hours it was already 2am so I had to call it done. For being my... 3rd? finished watercolor painting I'm quite satisfied how this turned out for the amount of time I had.

Corpse Bloom (24/52)

Sprouting delicately from the ground. The undead rise in the moonlight. 

I'm a bit annoyed at the water rings around the ground, but let's just say the ground is wet and those are light reflection. Yeah, that.

Ended up doing a few attempts at this to get it right. Ran into an odd effect I haven't seen so vividly before. There was odd ink displacement going on if I did the background last which involved wetting the whole page. It's an interesting drop shadow effect. 

Ink displacement when the paper was wet after drying the foreground.

I actually kinda prefer the look of this sketch over the actual painting. I may clean this up and use it for something else. 

Valley of Blood (22/52)

This week's painting morphed a number of times before settling on something. Even the sketch I did for this doesn't doesn't quite look like this. I think I'm running out of inspiration for landscapes at the moment so I'm going to have to switch gears for a bit. I'm still debating with myself if this would look better if I made the rocks darker. 

Dragon Mountain (21/52)

I wanted to make the rest of the mountain range into part of the body but it was feeling too forced. The colors also don't really work with this one for the style. But, that's what I get for leaving the whole painting for a single night. I also didn't bother to use my past landscape paintings for style reference. Next week I'll probably to try combine some of my favorite aspects of past landscapes and see what comes out of that.

Catventures: Puppysnail (20/52)

Something furry this way comes.

Where did the kitties go off to this week? How does a puppysnail move? These are questions you don't get answers to! 

This was a very fiddly painting and I now want to add some more shadow under puppysnail's head. But, it was still quicker than the intricate landscape paintings from a handful of weeks back since there was much less wet on wet painting in this. I was tempted to not stamp my chop on it because this hardly falls into the Asian art category, but meh. 

Digisketch. A little something got lost in Oz's expression.

Catventures (19/52)

"I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore... wait we never were in Kansas." 

It was Monday night I was having no luck coming up with something to paint. So, I decided to send the cats off on an adventure! Oz is being his meerkat self, Willow is being her calm self, and Xander isn't so thrilled to be out there.

This was also an experiment doing a landscape painting on sized paper. It was nice not having the accidental excessive bleeding but it also loses a lot of the natural look to it as you either have very shape brush strokes or blend it out to a very smooth gradient. 

Digital sketch

This was my second sketch done on my Cintiq Companion 2 and allowed me to play around with colors. All done with Clip Studio Paint EX. 

I printed this out as a 1:1 reference to block in the cats and love how it looks. It got me thinking about doing comic strips with my cats.

Jellyfish 3 (18/52)

Feeling a tad "meh" about this one. I wanted to add some color to it but wasn't coming up with something I liked in time. However, this week I did the sketch for the painting on my new Cintiq Companion 2 tablet. This opens up a whole new world of digital art to explore! 

Digital sketch done on the Cintiq Companion 2.

This painting also puts me past the ⅓ mark for this project! Where has the time gone?

Revenge of the Tako (16/52)

So I may have actually googled "What sound does an octopus make" only to be disappointed as anticipated. I was tempted to name this something like "Raawrgllgrlgl" but I'd never spell it the same way twice. This painting took way longer than I expected but thankfully I got a head start on it. I may need to turn the Bob Ross knob up a few notches and cut back on the fine detail for future paintings though. But, I am greatly enjoying the use of color of the last two weeks. 

From Beneath You, It Devours (15/52)

Decided last week that I would use color for the next painting. After a complete nonsense painting trying out a different brush I decided to try one of the examples in Lian Quan Zhen's book, Chinese Landscape Painting. So this landscape composition is not original but I decided to add my own twist to it. This is certainly one of the more detailed paintings I've done in a while. I really like the depth layering of the trees at the bottom.

Wreckage (13/52)

Decided to try adding a touch of color to this week's painting. I've hit a bit of a dilemma with this project. I want to experiment more with how I paint the landscapes but the time constraints of making sure I have a finished piece for the week is making that difficult. And forcing myself to devout more days in the week to this project means taking time from doing other projects. Perhaps I should use the same design for two or three weeks and work on using different techniques so it's more than just simple iterating on the same design.