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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, October 27, 2017

Inktober: Some fav artists and thoughts on failure

This being the first year that I've done Inktober, I wanted to take a moment to break from my barrage of drawings and talk about some other artists also working hard at their Inktober drawings. I also want to take a moment to discuss my thoughts on failure and why it's a good thing but more on that later.

First, let's give round of snaps to all the artists out there putting out drawings for Inktober! Even if you only did one drawing this month, it still counts! There are so many wonderful artists out there! It feels great to through my lot into the mix. Now I want to talk about some of the artists that are killing it this Inktober.

Heikala @heikala_art
The artwork below is the one that got me hooked on this artist. Really reminds me of Ghibli style art because it's so transporting. It's a whole scene! Not just a character. They also do great process videos so you can see how they ink each piece! Very inspiring and helpful.
vickiscream @vickisigh
I just love this artist's use of colors. Each piece has that little spark of personality, very important to me.
Sibylline M @Sibylline_M
What's not to love! The line quality, the colors, ...those buns!

And that's it for now! I'm finding new fabulous artists everyday so I might do another post like this after Inktober wraps up.

Now about what I said about failure - Last year was when I first discovered Inktober, though I did some sketches with the hopes of inking some before the end of October... it didn't happen. I was left feeling poopy about not putting up a single inked drawing even thought being a part of Inktober was clearly something I really wanted. But I guess I just wasn't ready. I suffer from some pretty lame imposter syndrome stuff.

But I've been working hard at it all year. When this October came around, I was ready this time. I had created an environment at home where my pens and sketch books were easily accessed, where I had a clear desk and lap drawing table so that I could easily grab a sketch book and get to it whenever I was able to make a moment for myself. And that first day when I inked a drawing, it was the best feeling in the world. I scanned that thing and threw it up on the internet and BAM! I was already a step ahead of where I was last year.

Listen, all I'm saying is be kind to yourselves. I see and hear so much self-deprecation about not drawing 'enough'. I've seen artists that draw constantly but barely progress an inch and I've seen others that draw here and there, spend more time observing and doing training instead of drawing their own works, and they jump light years ahead in their art skills. And neither of those paths is wrong! There's a million different ways to 'be an artist'. For me, I know I'd rather love myself and do my art for me first and foremost. I can only do what I can do in any given day. And I need to recognize that I make the art, it doesn't make me. (I'm saying it like that because yes, I STILL struggle with it).

Seeing all these other wonderful artists out there being so successful at drawing daily for Inktober can be rough. Especially if we carry ourselves with the attitude of 'I'm not doing what they're doing so I must be failing'.

Whatever you're able to do, in that moment, is enough. Even if you just sat down on the couch and stared at a blank page for 10 minutes and drew a circle. Even if you glanced longingly at your sketch book from afar. It's what you could do so it's enough. I'm a big believer that tomorrow is a new day and another chance so give yourself a hug, get some rest, and try to make time for yourself tomorrow.

with love - M

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 15 - A leeward gaze

I almost called this 'a windward gaze' but decided to check the definition and yup, I mixed them up. Since she's looking away from the wind, it's a leeward gaze. The more you know...

I'm halfway through Inktober!! It hasn't been easy but I'm happy with the outcomes so far. Gonna make it to that finish line... eventually.

with love - M

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 14 - The contemplative elf

What's she sitting on?! No one will ever know...

with love - M

Sketch Diary: Bucky feels portrait

All the feels while watching Civil War. It's supposed to be Bucky... I guess. This was not the portrait I was seeing in my head but I kept getting distracted by the movie. Usually I'll pause a movie at the spot I like so I can sketch whatever character it is but Joel was watching it with me and I felt bad. NO!! WE PAUSE NOW! for how long? FOR AS LONG AS THE DRAWING NEEDS! lolol

I also have no concept of time... so yeah it might be a while.

with love - M

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 13 - Worried look in blue

Time for my blue period! Hah but seriously, brush pens are fun. I took more time on my lines for this one and I think it paid off. I was able to get those skinny lines and some nice fat ones, too. I dig how she turned out.

with love - M

Sketch Diary: Doing the up-do

I went through periods of love and hate while sketching this quicky. I did the head and arm and hair using a fast gesture drawing method but then went in for way too much detail too quickly with the eyes and had to pull myself back out again to do the rest of the pose. THEN I went back in for details.... the quick gesture drawing method really works the best for me. I don't know why I stopped in the middle of it. Whatever. I've been averaging 2 drawings/inkings a day lately so I'm still pleased as punch.

with love - M

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 12 - Harpy Queen

When I was inking this I stopped after the main outline and was like 'is that enough?'. But then I just kept going and going with the shadow areas. I was worried it was too much but I think it worked out ok.

with love - M

Sketch Diary: Slender all over

I didn't realize until after finishing this little sketch that I was definitely channeling some Keane. Specifically, her slender looking women in some of her paintings. She's mostly known for her 'Big Eyes' paintings but I like her other work, too. She had a wild ride though, if the movie was at all accurate. I recommend watching it regardless because it brings up the issues of selling prints versus originals, the desire to be in an art gallery, and just all around artist struggles.

with love - M

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 10 - bad posture lady

10 down! 21 to go... I'll get there eventually. It's a good motivator. An achievable goal mainly because I've been trying to sketch every day so I've got a bunch of pencil drawings ready to be inked. I should probably do a free form ink drawing at least once.

with love - M

Sketch Diary: Birdperson inspired

I sketched this after watching an episode of Rick and Morty so I guess it's Birdperson? He's supposed to at least have a human face but whatever. I thought this looked cool.

with love - M

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 9 - purple portrait

Note to self: don't play with brush pens when you're tired and don't feel like sitting upright to draw lol. What's funny is that I blamed the brush pen when I first inked this... like it was responsible for my shaky lines.

with love - M

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 6 - Woman looking up

A sketch from 2016 that I decided to ink for Inktober. I like how the hair turned out.

with love - M

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 5 - Lady with tech wings

Tech wings? Yeah I dunno what to call them. Beep bop beep boop wings. The sketch for this is almost 2 years old - yeesh. I remember sketching this in the halls at Zenkaikon 2015. Excited to get to go back this year!

with love - M

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 4 - Dude sitting with a dog

Fell off the wagon a little with keeping up posts for Inktober so these next several will be rapid fire. As always, if anyone would like to color in any of my inked drawings, please link to the original here on my site and let me know! I wanna see! Don't be shy :)

with love - M

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 3 - Portrait of an undercut

Love this drawing. It's not perfect but what is?! Let's just appreciate this 3rd day of Inktober. Poison was the prompt of the day... I guess some people think undercuts are poisonous. I think they're fun and oh so practical for summer.

with love - M

Monday, October 2, 2017

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 2 - Mirror, mirror on the wall

Who's butt is the fairest of them all? This gal! Hah not so much those feet though... Inktober Day 2! I guess this could fit the prompt for today - Divided. She's divided on what the heck to wear! Whatever. What's important here is that I drew something lol.

with love - M

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sketch Diary: Inktober Day 1 - Sitting on a ledge

I made it! First day of Inktober! I did not follow the prompt for this one. This was a sketch from earlier in the year that I decided to finally ink. The prompts will be helpful when I run out of old sketches to ink, though. Thanks Jake Parker!

with love - M

Friday, September 22, 2017

Sketch Diary: Mopey face portrait

I feel like I'm getting the hang of doing these quick 5 to 10 minute sketches every day. Well, every other day maybe. Some days I don't even sit at my desk (for gaming, drawing, banking, whatever). Just not enough time some days. But it feels good when I make time for it.

with love - M

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sketch Diary: TBT - Teal hair elf portrait

So this was sketched in college and colored a couple years later with Copic markers. This was one of the first marker drawings where I started using a color palette more. Nowadays I do little color blocked mock ups on a separate page to try out color combos because that's just not something I can easily visualize yet. It's way easier to just try it out on a small thumbnail first. A lot of weird things going on in this drawing. But as a whole, it still makes me happy.

with love - M

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sketch Diary: Feather's for hair

I had a specific image in my head of this when I started drawing it. Now that I'm looking at it, I think it'd be cool if it was part of her head and she could open the feathers like a male peacock does, in a big fan. Hmm...

with love - M

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sketch Diary: Mermaid back bend

A quick 5-10 minute sketch in my mini sketch book. I'm liking this one. I think my versions of mermaids are usually more like serpents than fish. Or at least eels. Fish don't really bend the way I like to have my mermaids look.

with love - M

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sketch Diary: A dud

Welp. Happy Monday. Here's a 5 minute sketch that fell flat. I'm trying to get out of the habit of erasing... like ever. So when I saw this thing was wonky from the start, I tried to work with it. It was only 5 mins of my life. I think I'll live.

But I promised (to myself) to post ALL of my sketches for this diary thing... your welcome.

with love - M

Friday, September 15, 2017

Sketch Diary: Bad posture girl

5 minute sketch - I thought it might be good to practice a little bad posture on purpose. Usually it's an accident when the posture or shape of the back curve looks weird but for this drawing at least, it was meant to be. I wanted her to look a little... shy?

with love - M

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sketch Diary: TBT - Cute little ears portrait ink

Throwback to 2006! Whoa now. This is one of those drawings where, as soon as I see it, I'm transported back to when I sketched it out. I remember vividly drawing this portrait and being so proud of myself. I don't remember inking this at all... but look at those little ears!

with love - M

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sketch Diary: Perfecting 'oh hey' woman

I do this kind of body twist pose thing a lot. I think it's something to do with the interesting contrast it creates in the line of the body. It's like how I like weird angles of long necks. Something about it looks so cool to me but IRL it's super awkward and uncomfortable probably.

This sketch is in a small sketch book that I keep next to my computer that I like to practice quick, 3-5 minute sketches in between playing a game or watching videos. Keeps my hand loose.

with love - M

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sketch Diary: Dude sitting with a dog

Another sketch done at the airport on my way to NC. Messed up his torso angle. But the face turned out ok for that weird angle.

with love - M

Monday, September 11, 2017

Sketch Diary: girl hanging out

I mean, I think it's a girl. Woman. Doesn't matter. I drew this while waiting for my plane to head to North Carolina to see my parents for a long weekend. I kept getting interrupted by a sweet older woman so I couldn't focus long enough to fix that broken arm thing lol.

with love - M

Friday, September 8, 2017

Sketch Diary: Wavy hair portrait

I wonder how many of my sketches are called something like 'wavy hair portrait'. It's just a fun kind of hair to draw. I goofed up on the eyes, though, the one eye looks too far to the right side. Would that be the opposite of cross-eyed?

Anyway, I'm excited cuz I started editing my images in Krita now instead of a basic uploader for the interwebs. The images look way better now.

with love - M

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sketch Diary: TBT - the Trio water, air, fire

Taking me back to college here. I remember working on this sketch for my illustration class. I was working on adding themes and little stories to my sketches. Obviously, these are some of the elements - water, air, and fire. But I think I also was meaning them to be representative of the Fates, too. Water is the old crone, steady and powerful. Air is the young maiden, whispy and wild. Fire is the matron, passionate and relentless. Or something like that. Sketched in 2007 but probably wasn't colored until 2009 when I started playing with prismacolor markets (before I discovered copics).

with love - M

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sketch Diary: short hair portrait practice

This was one of those drawings that started with an eye which is a practice that I don't recommend. It's fun to draw eyes without anything around them. You can focus on the details of the eye more easily that way. But if you then decide to add things around that eye, it's tough to figure out the space to place it in. It feels like working backwards.

I used to do that method ALL the time when I was young. Then I started following more conventional gesture drawing methods and it helped speed things up tremendously. Now I can crank out a figure drawing in minutes instead of hours. And little to no erasing. That's the goal. If you have to erase a lot, best to just start over. Count that discarded drawing as a stepping stone on your path to greatness.

with love - M

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sketch Diary: Gesture practice dancer jumping

Another quick gesture sketch but this time... in motion! Conveying movement in a drawing can be a difficult skill to learn. I really struggle with it sometimes.

with love - M

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sketch Diary: Gesture practice dancer with veil

Quick gesture sketch. Wasn't planning on adding any details (like eyes and clothes and such) but it looked like a bellydancer with her veil maybe so I played with it. The angle of the shoulders and shape of the hips/butt are weird. Should've checked against a reference.

with love - M

Friday, July 14, 2017

Sketch Diary: Gesture warm-up bathing suit lady

I'm gonna take a WILD guess that I was shopping around for a swim suit and coverup kimono when I drew this. Just a WILD guess. Also, you don't have to finish all your drawings people. It's ok just let it go. This thing was going no where fast. Whatever.

with love - M

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sketch Diary: TBT - Mohawk rainbow

That arm, those legs, that head! Proportions are for wimps, clearly. Throwback to 2008... that's almost 10 years ago, guys. A decade. Let us reflect on that.

with love - M

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sketch Diary: Half-buzz profile

Still in-love with this sketch. Like, I would totally take this person out for dinner and a movie hah. For real though, that nose-lip-chin combo is pretty sweet.

The thing on the arm/shoulder is supposed to be the tip of a large star tattoo. Idk why. It just is.

with love - M

Monday, July 10, 2017

Sketch Diary: Loosen up with scribbles

Even when I'm just wildly scrolling my hand around the page, I still draw mermaids.

So why are you uploading scribbles, Mere?! Because the best way to show you how I warm up is to... well, show you. Sometimes the mind is willing but the body is weak. Gotta loosen up those fingers and most importantly, the wrist! That's where the magic happens, for me anyway. If my wrists are tight, I can't draw diddly-squat.

If you've never tried it, I highly recommend it. Here's what I do:

  1. Put pen to paper (pen is better than pencil if you have a habit of wanting to erase all the time, no erasing!). 
  2. Then I close my eyes and start slow, building speed and then slowing down as I meander around the page. 
  3. Once I feel I have adequately made my mark and loosened my wrist, I stop and open my eyes. 
  4. I look for shapes. Usually I see postures like a torso in movement or something. 
  5. Once I see the shape clearly enough, I play with is further, now looking at what I'm drawing. I add details as I feel like it till I'm as done as I want to be with the drawing, usually about 15 minutes or so.  
And that's it! Enjoy.

with love - M

Friday, June 30, 2017

Sketch Diary: the hunchback of pigtails

No idea why I drew her so scrunched up. I was goofing around with my old woodless pencils and ended up pseudo finishing the drawing.

with love - M

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sketch Diary: TBT- Centaur with green hair

I know, I know... my titles can be so literal. But that's what it is! I'd rather that then people think it's something else and click on it and be like 'oh... well bye'.

This is super old - almost a decade! Looks like I colored it in 2009 or 10 when I first started using Copics. People seemed to reeeeeally like this sketch back when I first uploaded it online. Idk why though. I always thought the proportions were wonky. Mysteries of the universe hah.

with love - M

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sketch Diary: Hair study

Quick sketch done while watching Versailles. Loved the show. Loved some of the hairstyles though I doubt they were period perfect. So I was playing with hair for this one.

with love - M

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sketch Diary: Iterative drawing hands

Another iterative drawing practice but this time with hands. I've always had a really hard time with hands and hand placement. I clearly don't do enough reference drawing.

with love - M

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sketch Diary: Iterative drawing heads

What the in the blue blazes is 'iterative drawing'? Check out Sycra's video

According to Wikipedia: Iterative design is a design methodology based on a cyclic process of prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining a product or process. Based on the results of testing the most recent iteration of a design, changes and refinements are made.

So when you draw with this concept in mind, you can take it many different ways. In this collection of head sketches, I stuck to profile heads, all facing the same way, all mildly feminine looking. I worked at altering the placement of the nose, the eye, the hair, the chin. I could get even more specific and keep all those things the same and only change the ear or eyebrows. The point is to get your hand used to these moments in rapid succession thereby speeding up the practice/learning process.

Now, for these I was only drawing out of my head. No reference. When a reference gets involved, there's another step for your brain to tackle so, while it is an increased learning experience on it's own, you will likely slow down. For me, this is because I look at the reference and analyze placement and shadow etc., then I sketch what I'm processing on what I'm seeing instead of just putting pen to paper and experimenting in a more free form way. Both methods have their place.

I felt like I got a lot out of Sycra's video and out of this practice. Definitely something I would like to do more often. It's helpful when I'm feeling stuck without inspiration. It makes me churn my own mind a bit instead of looking outward.

My favorite is the top middle head. I liked the way the protruding chin looked in combination with the nose and bangs.

Give it a try!

with love - M

Monday, April 24, 2017

Goddess Night March 2016

Better late than never I guess. I've been feeling a bit down lately about my appearance and I find the best way to remedy it is to find things that remind me how fabulous I can be. Whether you like bellydance stuff or not, I think it's pretty darn fabulous just to get yourself out in font of people and enjoy the movements of your own body. It sure helps when those people are lovers of that sort of self expression. That's probably why I almost exclusively perform at Najia's Goddess Nights hah!

with love - M