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List of Monthly Drawing Challenges for WHOLE Year

Update 01-04-2018: I did it! I uploaded for Inktober 2017! Well, I'm still uploading for it. But that's because I want to hit my go...

Friday, August 17, 2018

Sketch Diary: Ink of Hey Boi

--Click here to check out what I've been up to on youtube--

It's usually relaxing for me to ink, since it tends to require less thought than sketching. But I was really tense when I inked this so I ended up needing to go back over some lines a second time. Gotta keep it loose! Clean but loose.

5x speed

1x speed

with love - M

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Sketch Diary: Colored ink of Raleigh

--Click here to check out what I've been up to on youtube--

I wanted to play with using my brush pens to ink something instead of straight black. Joel liked the original sketch of this drawing. I think I agree? Not sure. I like color. I definitely smeared his poor eye though, you can catch that goof on video below.

4x speed

1x speed

with love - M

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sketch Diary: Captain Flint portrait

This was a ton of fun to draw. I don't draw from life or from reference much. Trying to change that. And this particular drawing I did in honor of  my fav dude's birthday. Hope you like it at least 10% as much as he did hehe.

Black Sails - Captain Flint

with love - M

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Sketch Diary: Rainbow ink Pearl fan art

AH! I love Pearl. And all of Steven Universe, really. But I really like how cute this looks in rainbow ink. I used brush pens here. BUT... I also inked this while standing with my big easel. It was very interesting since this drawing is in my mini sketchbook. I had to straddle the easel a little so I could get close enough to the sketchbook. That's why some of the lines are super wiggly. Good learning experience. Will definitely try both the rainbow inking technique as well as the stand-up easel again.

with love - M

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sketch Diary: Punk lounging in the grass

A quick ink practice in my mini sketchbook. I love the high on the hip straps with low waisted jeans look.

with love - M

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sketch Diary: Big ears don't care

Sometimes you just gotta draw weird ears. I was playing with the pose and I'm sad to say it didn't survive my goofs. But still a fun drawing.

with love - M

Monday, August 6, 2018

New drawing video! Ink of a sassy lady

--Click here to check out what I've been up to on youtube--

This was in my smaller sketchbook that I keep at my desk. I was kind of tense when I recorded the inking, not sure why. But I ended up not detailing as much. Looking at it now, I wish I'd just taken it a bit further. Good learning tool, though.

5x speed

1x speed

with love - M

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

New drawing video up! Floofy hair portrait

Don't ask me how but I managed to make time to sit down and do another one of these. I must really like doing it. The act of recording makes me get out of my head a bit more and look at my drawing with a bigger lens instead of getting stuck on little details and neglecting the rest of the page. The video editing part is fun, too, because I'm learning new things and playing with a new medium.

The one tough part is lighting and getting the webcam setup properly. But I think I have a system in place now that works for me. It takes less time to set up each time I do it. Trying to get good lighting for a pencil sketch is tough though. I tried setting my light to full brightness and I end up getting blinded by the white of the page and my eyes ache afterwards.

4x speed

1x speed

with love - M

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Ko-fi: The struggling artist's best friend??

By now, I'm sure you've probably heard about Ko-fi and how it allows anyone to tip you for any reason (or no reason!) without any obligations to the tip-ee or the tipper. If not, well there you go. It's very simple and I'm super into it. You can check out my Ko-fi page here and see for yourself. 

I really think everyone should have one, whatever kind of creator you might be. As the market gets more and more saturated with artists (and the current state of moneys with most people) it makes more sense to find other ways to give value to folks that are into our work. 

Maybe someone wants to buy your prints but just doesn't have the wall space to display them right now, they can just throw some change your way on Ko-fi and basically give you a high-five. That might seem like small monetary value but to me, that's an enormous emotional boost. 

Like 'hey I wanna support you and your work but I can't afford what you're selling, spatially or monetarily, so here's a few dollars - keep making great stuff!'. To a struggling artist, that can mean so much. And if we break it down, if only 20 people did that, this creator could then get food for that week! So I don't want to downplay the importance of the fact that there's real money involved.

For me, I tend to jump in when I see artists I follow on Twitter doing shout-outs for help. Usually they open up commissions if they can and ask for any kind of monetary help folks can give while they get through that rough spot. I feel like I've watched miracles happen there. Everyone comes together (by everyone I mean fans and other struggling artists alike) and pitch in whatever small change they can manage. Some can drop enough for a commission but alot just toss some dollars in the Ko-fi and it really seems to make big differences. 

So while I think Patreon is a great resource for some, right now I'm going to stick with the simple approach. I'm hoping to start doing some small conventions later this year/next year so I'll have a shop up in the next several months. But I like having the option for people to support me without any strings attached for either party. Like if I was playing a guitar in a park for change from passersby. Except in this case, I can now know who you are (if you want) and there's room for relationships to grow there. Once more, you can check out my Ko-fi page here. xoxo

with love - M

I want to be clear that I have a day job, I'm not in dire straits or anything like that. I even enjoy my day job most of the time. However, this job is full-time and can get stressful so I don't have much spare time to spend on my creative endeavors. It's a struggle but if my art starts paying for itself more, that would allow me to lessen my day job or get rid of it entirely. I would be able to work full time as an artist. What a dream that would be...

Monday, July 30, 2018

First drawing video! Portrait in profile

YAS! First drawing video I've ever done is up! I've always been super nervous about that sort of thing but I did it and I'm excited to do another... hopefully with better lighting next time. I decided to edit two versions since I need the practice with editing anyway. I'm working with really basic equipment to start because I don't want to invest $1000's right out the gate on something that I might grow out of in a couple months? So let's see where this goes. I love watching YouTube art related videos but we'll have to wait and see if I'm up for the whole recording, editing, uploading process long term.

Speed version - 4x speed

Full version - 1x speed

with love - M

Friday, July 27, 2018

Sketch Diary: Body shape study

One of the things I like about this drawing...took the least amount of time. That smart looking haircut of course! But for real, this body shape is tough. I love my curvy ladies, no doubt. Especially went mermaid tails are involved. So I've been practicing my less fem body shapes. I like that gray area between feminine and masculine. There's so much to explore there. And it certainly fits my personality more. Next I'll need to start taking the leap to doing some masculine body types as well. I guess I'll have to fill my reference folders with images of beefy men. Won't that just be the worst...

with love - M

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Sketch Diary: Random cat face studies

Well this was a bit of a dud. I was uncomfortable while drawing this and just had a really tough time trying to relax enough to really 'see' what I was looking at... in this case, some cats. Oh well. Next please.

with love - M


Here's one of the babies. Her name is Sasha and she thinks she's people and sits at the table while we eat.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sketch Diary: Portrait - a study of pointy-ness

Ya know when you start drawing and feel pretty good about where it's going and then it slowly creeps up on you... that you've seen this before? Happens to me all the time. Like this sketch, for example, is an accidental fanart of Allen from Escaflowne (the movie version). I could never handle the tv series versions of those characters... the noses just bothered me when I was a kid. But I really appreciate the series and I feel like the movie REALLY holds up well. I still love watching it. So beautiful and it really has a lot to say (metaphorically usually, I mean come on, it's Japanese and from the 90's/early 2000's).

with love - M

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Sketch Diary: Masculine profile studies x9

Started this in June... finished the last row this week (July). I'm just glad I got back to it all. I still love middle row, first column. That nose just melts me. But I'm having some feels for bottom row, third column. These iterative drawing practice pages always produce interesting results, either on the current page, or on whatever the next drawing ends up being. It helps me focus on those minute details so I don't feel like I'm falling into 'same-face' traps.

with love - M

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sketch Diary: Big eyes and ears study

Sometimes it's fun to draw eyes SUPER big and playing with how the rest of the face fits. I had fun drawing this and working on strong and soft pencil lines. Those ears are just the cutest. All the better to hear you with my dear...

with love - M

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sketch Diary: Mermay - Cup o' mermaid

Look in the upper right hand corner - you'll see my tiny quick sketch to figure out placement. I knew what I wanted but not exactly how to fit it on the page. I highly recommend doing those little mock sketches whenever you have a complicated or different kind of drawing that maybe you're not super comfortable with placement/values/colors. Should've gone a little smaller with the actual drawing. Still cute.

with love - M

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Monday, May 28, 2018

Sketch Diary: The worst 1 point perspective

I love watching live drawings with artists that have mastered different points of perspective. It's like magic. Watching me draw different perspectives... is like herding cats. Things go everywhere and nowhere. Won't stop me from trying. Here kitty kitty.

with love - M

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sketch Diary: Mermay project with ribbon eel tail

So I'm doing a Mermay project with some peeps and these are some rough ideas for it. Mermay is a challenge for May where you're supposed to draw something mermaid related everyday in May. I don't have the time for that at the moment but I still wanted to do my own challenge. I decided to do a ribbon eel tail on my mermaid. And they can change male to female if needed so I wanted the mermaid to be androgynous looking. I'm interested to see how it turns out.

with love - M

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sketch Diary: Wide-eyed girl in profile

Sketched this during a Yuri on Ice panel at Zenkaikon 2018. Some good programming this year.

with love - M

Monday, May 14, 2018

Sketch Diary: Chillin' at Zenkaikon portrait of a girl

I sketched this while hanging out at the voice actors panel at Zenkaikon 2018. It was good times. Lots of good chats with other artists and other convention directors.

with love - M

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sketch Diary: Climbing girl

Conveniently, the sketch pad this is on was too small to fit the hands and feet heh.

with love - M

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Sketch Diary: Hey boi - portrait practice

A quicky from my mini sketch pad that I usually keep by my desk. I think he's cuh-uute.

with love - M

Friday, April 13, 2018

Sketch Diary: Planning fan art ideas - Howl's

I have a tough time doing fan art of any kind. It's tough for me to borrow someone else's ideas like that. But I see the value in it, for my own growth, for showing my love of other artists characters and to draw people in to also check out my originals. So I'm working on some fan art projects like this one for Howl's Moving Castle. I think I could make most of them work except the bottom right is too similar to a still shot from the movie, though it is a beautiful scene. I'll probably do another set of these to flush out an idea. I want to do my own thing while paying tribute to characters I love and the creators that made them. I'll let you know how that turns out hah.

with love - M

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Sketch Diary: Cuddle birds

Birds are difficult for me so I used a reference for this drawing. I like how cute and snuggly they look together.

I have one night a week where I'm working on digital drawing (using my wacom) and I want to build myself a schedule of doing drawings like this, from reference, one night. Maybe another night I do freehand ink, another iterative style practice. It's difficult to keep up with drawing, nevermind trying to take it to the next level, while working full-time (let's be real, it's more like 50+hrs a week). But I think making incremental change is the way to go. And I do best with realistic schedules.

with love - M

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Sketch Diary: Gesture with staff warmup

This was supposed to be a warm up page of gesture drawings but I started fiddling with it too much. Wasn't a solid gesture to begin with so I'm not surprised it came out weird. Looks like something I drew 10 years ago lol.

with love - M

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 26 - Freehand ink of Aragon

I love watching movies with great scores in the background while I draw and The Lord of the Rings always fits the bill for me. This was a freehand (no pre sketch in pencil or anything) drawing in ink using a brush pen of Aragon. It's a bit wonky lol and I didn't feel like inking in all of his hair... still fun though.

with love - M