Quick Sketches

I've been trying to make myself get up early and spend a little time working on studies before I go to work. Mostly I've been using Panoramio to find landscape reference. I try to keep most of them to thirty minutes or so, but here are a couple I enjoyed enough to spend an hour or two on.

 I also discovered a great Tumblr blog for facial reference -


Not ideal if you're looking for dynamic angles or lighting, but great for practicing skintones and looking to study different facial features. Like a lot of artists, I catch myself painting the same faces over and over so this is good practice for me.

I also tried to make myself get up a little early to go for a run on alternate mornings. That...has not worked out so well. My motivation to go outside and move my feet is apparently at an all time low first thing in the morning. But it does make getting up to sketch, knowing I can stay in my pajamas, much more appealing!

Update on the State of Me

Firstly, an update on Duck Dive, which is progressing nicely from the blocky scribble I started with (after much ado about posing, and a few quick studies trying to capture the motion -  I'll post those another time). I know, I know, the poor mermaid has currently sacrificed her arms. I'll either get them right soon or call it "creature design" and pretend it was on purpose. Shh, don't tell.

Secondly, I'm working on another commission for my wonderful friend Grace Draven (whom I illustrated Entreat Me for, as well as Master of Crows) and after a round of thumbnail sketching, here's the final concept that I'm currently working from!

I took a much needed holiday last month to visit my friend and talented comic artist/illustrator Rebecca Morse or Pika-la-Cynique, as followers of my art might know her better by. We ate barbeque and crepes, went hill-walking and took in the views of southern France, enjoyed Feminist Artist Rants in person instead of on Google Hangouts for a change, and also drank until giggly. There might have been dancing.

I also applied for an awesome training course in Glasgow to kick my senior artist skills into touch, so I'll be travelling down once a month to learn more about the digital arts business, company management, public speaking and presenting (which is something I'd like to get a lot better at, for teaching and workshops and so on) and lots of other good stuff. AND I get to go on a trip to San Francisco with the others in the programme in February! It'll be my first time visiting, and we'll be seeing a lot of awesome Silicon Valley companies so I am very, very excited!

Game of Thrones study

I love Game of Thrones.  I got hooked on the show and picked up the books halfway through - finally, so many of my friends' Fantasy Flight commissions made more sense!  This shot of Danaerys Targaryen from the series finale grabbed me so hard I just HAD to make a study of it.  The lighting, the composition, Dany's expression and the adorable Drogon.  There just wasn't anything else for it.

Just a quickie - about two hours in Photoshop CS2.  I made it an exercise in seeing colour and didn't let my pen touch the eyedropper. 

I'm working on a book cover right now, which I can't show until it's been approved.   Soon, though!  In the meantime, I've started a Tumblr after mulling over it for ages and stalking certain blogs.  It's not strictly an art blog.  I love the scrapbook quality of it and so you can expect to be subjected to a wide variety of my interests - crafts, interior design, fashion, far away places, fun photos, sappy inspiration quotes and the occasional fitness article.  I will post WIPs and sketches too, but the majority of it will be things that inspire me rather than things I make myself.   If that doesn't put you off, see you over there!