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List of Monthly Drawing Challenges for WHOLE Year

After totally missing out on Inktober recently, I decided to seek out some other monthly challenges. Why shouldn't we have some set cha...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sketch Diary: Copic coloring of Fairy Queen - finished!


And here's the finished piece! Lots of goofs but it actually wasn't as bad as I expected. I really thought it was going to be a shit show. Unfortunately, the scanner made some of the lines harsher than they really are, it definitely looks better in person. Still, fun. Need more ink refills though...

with love - M

Monday, May 30, 2016

Sketch Diary: Inked portrait during the Josei panel


So I was cleaning out some art supplies and rediscovered an old brush pen that I had never used and this was the result of playing with it for the first time. To see the original sketch, scroll down or go here. The sketchbook that this is in actually has decent paper so I might color this in at some point. My hand was super shakey though. Kind of wish I could do a redo on it but hey, gotta love the imperfections.

with love - M

Friday, May 27, 2016

Sketch Diary: WIP - Fairy Queen with copic markers


You might remember this drawing from while back. I'm not in love with the drawing itself but I needed something to sink my teeth into for dusting off my Copic markers. This seemed like a good bet. I of course rediscovered why I used to be so selective about my inking pens... because if they aren't waterproof, the copics make them bleed like crazy >.< not fun. So I had to be super tender while coloring this dude.

Nice thing was that the paper was slightly better than other cheap printer paper and had a slickness to it that did not so bad when blending the colors. Still not great though. Once the color is there, there's not much reworking that can be done. Just have to roll with it. In hindsight, I wish I had made the skin a darker tone as well as the hair so the highlight popped more. And why did I make the collar pink?! Guh. But still good practice.

Keep an eye out for the finished piece shortly.

with love - M

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sketch Diary: TBT - Vanity Fair boys


An oldy but a goody. I still love to watch the Vanity Fair movie with Reese Witherspoon, though I'm not a huge fan of her in a general sense, I felt like she was perfect for this character. Also loved the military boys - as seen above. Well, I gave them Utena colored hair but whatever. This was a fun small sketch done on card stock, meant for printing invitations and such, postcard size. 

I've been cleaning out my art/craft/sewing/book room and found the leftover blank cards. I might go back to doing small ones like this again to give away to people or to send with letters. I'd like to find little sleeves for them so they don't get damaged in transit but they're small enough to fit inside a sandwich baggy... so I guess that works lol. Let me know if you want one ;)

with love - M

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sketch Diary: Girl sitting and new Wacom


NEW WACOM AAAAAAAH! After so many years with my trusty Intuous 2 Wacom, I was gifted a glorious Wacom Pro for my 11 year anniversary with Joel. He knows the way to my heart... hah! Well this was the first sketch on the new Wacom. The sensitive takes some getting used to, I keep turning it up and down and messing with the hardness and opacity levels etc. But I'll figure it out. I was surprised I didn't goof up the proportions more in this, honestly. I was having the darnedest time zooming in and out all the time. But I found myself sticking around 100% zoom for the most part.

Joel was cute though - he says 'Nice!... No color?' and this was after me having like 2 hours with the new Wacom and I was like 'DUDE do you know how long it can take to color stuff!? It took me over an hour just to do the rough sketch lol'. I think he was misled cuz he's seen me do copic or watercolor drawings that take like 30 minutes to an hour (simple portraits) and assumed it was the same. Maybe for the pros who know all the tricks and have their hot keys and such setup in just the right way. But me? I gotta relearn how to use layers even hah. But I'm excited to do so.

with love - M

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sketch Diary: TBT - Self portrait in purple monochrome


Old school! And by old school I mean high school senior portrait class project circa 2004/05. I still remember how much of a challenge this project was for me. It was a great process.

I had to sit and pose in this little photo studio the teacher had setup in the basement of the school and let someone take portrait shots of me. Then I took the film (not digital) and processed it myself, darkroom and all. Then made a print of several of the photos, all myself. And finally, pick one and start painting a monochromatic piece in acrylics. The teacher recommended black and grey tones to make it easier (since the photos were black and white) but said we could do any color... so I had to do purple. Then I had to map the light values and make a sample palette strip that had an example of a gradient from lightest to darkest so I didn't get confused while painting.

Wow, it was really a lot for a single project. I'm still really proud of it, regardless of the oddness of some things in it. I think it was a great example of all that I had learned in that class and with that teacher (the lovely Mrs. Lacy XOXO). Maybe this would be a good project to do a redo of in digital form with my wacom, see how much I've changed. Maybe take a new self portrait photo... hmmmm.

with love - M

Friday, May 13, 2016

Sketch Diary: Fred's Voice portrait


Second quicky sketch with the Krita paint program. Tis glorious. The paint program, not the sketch haha. The sketch is fine. I was trying to do something.... else with that chin angle, didn't quite work out so I just went with it. Sometimes I find myself having conversations with my drawings. 'Oh, I'm sorry, you wanted to be facing forward, not tilted to the left? My bad. I didn't realize you felt so strongly about it.' Hence his shady side eye. So much shade.

This was sketched while listening/watching to a Fred's Voice ASMR video on the youtubes. Specifically the 'rude English gentleman' bits. Cracks me up.  But of course, it also relaxes me. If you've never tried ASMR, I highly recommend it. For me, it's a cross been meditation and a brain massage. I have a strong response to it, though. I get all tingly. Not everyone does. And not everyone responds well to intimate personal attention either, I recently found out. And that's ok. There's always cute cat videos. Bless the internet and all it's glory.

Fred, if you're seeing this, thanks for the great videos. Keep up the great work for as long as it is fulfilling for you.

with love - M

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sketch Diary: TBT - Christmas in Nanao caricatures


Throwback to Christmas 2011. I made a sketch of each of the ALT's in Nanao, at the time, gave them the original colored drawings, and made this collage of all of them. It was a great exercise for me, thinking about each personality and what I imagined them doing. I really tried to keep it light and not be demeaning or anything, tried to let the sketch go where it wanted. At the time, I remember everyone really liking the drawings of themselves. But maybe I'm just remembering it better now that time has passed haha. Ah well, it's better that way.

My favorite is still Nicole's drawing. If you zoom in, you can see the snowmen she's making are actually evil snowmen. I think at the time we joked about building tiny evil looking snowmen on the cars in her apartment complex so it looked like a tiny invasion of evil cannibal snowmen. It was really funny at the time, I swear. There may have been alcohol involved. Almost definitely.

MISS YOU GUYS!

with love - M

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sketch Diary: Big hair, big lips, and first go with Krita


OH YEAH. Now we're talking. Finally found a painting program that actually works with my super old Wacom tablet, Intuous 2. I had just about given up and was looking to buy a new drawing tablet this year because I miss painting digitally. Thankfully, another artsy friend (Nathalie) introduced me to Krita, a wonderful FREE paint program.

Krita appears to be open source and already, for me, has far surpassed Gimp. I never got the hang of Gimp, too many things were different from Photoshop and I had grown up on photoshop, I even use it in my career so it's a daily thing for me. But I don't really like Photoshop for painting. I like things like Open Canvas and Sai much more. So when I upgraded to Windows 7 and the sensitivity stopped working for my Wacom pen, I thought all was lost.

For some crazy reason, Krita works and works really well. To do the sketch above, all I did was install the program, open a new document, didn't change any settings or preferences, and sat down for 15 minutes. This is just the basic brushes setting so I CAN NOT WAIT to try the specialty brushes. After my 15 minute doodle, I immediately went back to the download page for Krita and made a donation because hot damn, this program is nice.

After I spend some more time with it, I'll do a more in depth review of Krita. I have high hopes. Have you tried it yet? What were your thoughts on it? What's your fav paint program?

Nathalie and I are hoping to figure out how to do co-op painting via Krita but if that's not a thing, I hope the developers can figure that out because this will be the perfect program for that. Also, live stream painting? I think it already has a record feature but not sure how good it is yet.

with love - M

Monday, May 9, 2016

Sketch Diary: Wary priest


A quick sketch from lounging around at Zenkaikon. I like his/her pointy little chin.

with love - M

Friday, May 6, 2016

Sketch Diary: A man at leisure


Another random sketch from Zekaikon 2016 this year. But wait?! It's a dude! How unusual.

with love - M

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sketch Diary: TBT - Scratch-art Vogue Princess


Many many moons ago, I was into the whole scratch-art thing. I never got very good at it but it was fun to do something that wasn't pencil to paper. Also, working in reverse lighting is hard to get use to - like seeing the darkest areas as the blank areas and the light areas as what needs to be scratched out. Highly recommend to help you learn lighting values as a young artist.

This piece is from highschool so ... 2004 maybe? Anyway, it's old. But I still like it. I used a page I clipped out of a Vogue magazine as a reference. Wish I still had it so I could show a side by side comparison. If any body finds it, like it to me, yeah?

with love - M

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sketch Diary: Portrait during the Josei panel


Thank you, Joel, for encouraging me to go to the Josei panel at Zenkaikon 2016 instead of whatever the other option was at the time. I remember being like 'Idk if I'll be into the Josei panel... they'll probably just talk about dreamy unrealistic men and unrealistic expectations in relationships etc.'. So glad I was wrong. Was a pretty good panel (gotta a little sleepy towards the end but it was early in the day) and learned about a bunch of really interesting sounding manga and anime. Like the one where the main character is a secretary type woman by day and a call girl by night but the lovers she brings home are then fed by her to her pet alligator... YES PLEASE. Of course not all josei style stories are like that and that's the point. Some are milder, more slice of life style and others are more fantastical. The point is simply that Josei offers something for the mature female oriented audience.

Explain - you've got shojo for young girls, shonen for young boys, seinen for young men (think 15-24), and of course josei for adult women. Evidently there's also kodomomuke for kiddies that's supposedly fairly gender neutral. Check out this kotaku article for some more info.

If you're looking for something to check out, one of my current favorite josei type things at the moment is Princess Jellyfish.

with love - M

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sketch Diary: Old style redux portrait


So to anyone not familiar, I think I pulled this from Escaflowne styled drawing. I say 'I think' because I was actually thinking about Escaflowne at the time... it just sort of came out that way, like auto-writing. Then later I looked at the sketch again and was like heeeeeey wait a secooooond... HAH. It's funny how things you loved as a young person peek through your subconscious well into adulthood.

with love - M

Edit: was NOT actually thinking about Escaflowne. See people, this is why proofers are so important (love you Kyle, light of my design life).