Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Weekly Drawing - Pack of the Cosmere coat of arms

Title: Pack of the Cosmere coat of arms
Size: 8 by 10 inches
This piece is another commissioned coat of arms (for the Pack of the Cosmere).

So here's my third coat of arms. For this one, I wanted to do something a little different from the quartered shield I'd been doing, so this one's split into three sections instead. Also, there's a giant spike across the shield and no bird flying over the top.

It was fun to more designing and drawing coats of arms, although I've now learned that lions are much more popular as heraldic animals than wolves. This week I also read up a little on wolves. I knew that wolves were endangered, but I found out that one species, the Red Wolf, actually went extinct in the wild back in 1980. However, there were a few left in captivity. Scientists were able to reintroduce them to North Carolina and there are now around 100 red wolves living in the wild.

I feel like I'm getting more comfortable in the style used for coats of arms. I actually free styled the helmet and upper mantle this week. I had a few reference images open for them, but ended up sort of combining some of the designs into what I wanted to draw. :)

I'm not entirely satisfied with all of my pen work, but, overall, I like how this turned out.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monochrome Painting - A Potted Plant

Title: Tyvnk
Size: 7 by 7 inches
This piece is my first oil painting and shows a close up view on the vase of a potted plant (yes, you heard right). Rather than do the piece in greens, I decided to go with ochre.

When trying to name this piece, I found myself at a loss. How does one go about giving an ochre potted plant painting a creative name? As usual, I turned to my usual naming inspiration: the Cosmere. After a little thought, it occurred to me that in Stormlight Archive there's a Thaylen girl named Rysn who has a pet pot of grass named Tyvnk. So then I was happy that I had a good, Thaylen name for my oil painting. While I was typing up this post, however, I realized that this yellow and brown plant could also be a reference to Mistborn: The Final Empire where the plants are sickly and brownish. So now I feel rather accomplished, as I managed to reference not one, but two Cosmere novels with this piece.

Okay, the naming-inspiration/Cosmere rant is over. Originally, this piece was 9 by 12 inches. It was a lot taller, with more stripes and leaves. However, now it's 7 by 7, with more focus on the the vase. I had quite a bit of difficulty with this painting as I've never worked in oils before, so it was interesting to try to get used to a new medium. Now that it's finished, I'm feeling like this was a decent way to start my career in oils. :)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Outside of class - Newcago Royalty coat of arms

Title: Newcago Royalty
Size: 9 by 12 inches
This is my first commissioned piece! It's a coat of arms for the rulers of the Newcago Court.

Long story short, after my coat of arms for the Root Beer Bar went so well, the queen of the Newcago Court asked if I'd be willing to do one for their club. I asked for some suggestions on what to put on it, and was told, "Kangaroos, a shardblade, emus or any Australian animals, a couple types of different snowflakes, or chocolate". Then she gave permission to draw whatever I thought would work best. And here we are, 2 hours of work later, with this piece. :)

I really like how it turned out. :D

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Weekly Drawing - Root Beer Bar Coat of Arms


Title:  Root Beer Bar Coat of Arms
Size:  7 by 8 inches
This drawing is a coat of arms for a club I'm a member in which celebrates root beer. Hooray for root beer!

The story behind this is simply that the rest of the Root Beer Bar and I decided we needed a coat of arms. So here's a sketch of a coat of arms, complete with "root bears", a root beer float, and a bird of prey swooping over head. Yup. (I have no idea why the hawk is in the picture...)

This week I read about the origins of root beer, as well as learning a little about the parts of a coat of arms. It was pretty fun to learn a little more about my favorite soda. :)

After my club officially chooses colors, I think I'll come back and add color.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Van Gogh Inspired Watercolor - Colorful Mushrooms

Title: Colorful Mushrooms
Size: 6 by 8 inches
This piece shows my attempts to explore Van Gogh's while painting mushrooms. This piece is done in watercolor with a bit of silver sharpie in places.

This piece was pretty fun to do, as I don't normally textures or colors like this. I also got to play with keeping the edge of the painting from the edge of the paper. I'm not really sure what else I can say. Painting, mushrooms, texture. That's this piece. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Weekly Drawing - A Study in Dolphins

Title: A Study in Dolphins
Size: 10 by 14 inches
This piece shows some sketches of dolphins. I'm not really sure how to elaborate... Done in pencil... aquatic mammals... yes...

This week's "exploring your interests" drawing is here, and I've drawn some dolphins (see above for elaboration). I've always loved animals, and for a long time I've thought training exotic animals would be a super cool job. Also, I've been itching to draw some dolphins recently. Don't ask why, as no one knows... But anyway, for this week's assignment, I did a bit of research on what it takes to be an aquatic animal trainer. 

Did you know that a degree in zoology, animal science, or marine biology, scuba diving certification, and experience working with large animals are all things that prospective aquatic animal trainers should get? Not to mention, if you want to work somewhere like Seaworld, you need to be a great swimmer, and have past experience with public speaking or drama.

I never realized the life of a Seaworld dolphin trainer took so much preparation...

Either way, it was interesting to read up on what it takes to train aquatic animals and draw some dolphins. :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Watercolor Landscape - Tree Silhouettes on Stars

Title: Dark Yet Bright
Size: 8 by 6 inches
This piece shows the silhouettes of quiver trees against a very starry sky as the sun begins to peak over the horizon.

If ever there was a truly mixed medium piece, it was this. The sky, trees, and ground were done in watercolor; the leaves on the near trees and trunks of far trees were added in pen for extra precision; and the stars are a mix of acrylic and oil paints (I tried acrylic first, but my paint wasn't showing up as well as I wanted).

My piece was inspired by this picture:

Unsurprisingly, I don't quite feel that I was able to fully portray the majesty of the original scene.I feel that my stars are too bulky, the sky's brush strokes are too obvious, and the trees don't look quite right. Luckily, the painting is still taped to my desk, so I can continue adding to it until I'm more satisfied with it. I do like how I was able to bring out the colors of the night sky and how the texture of ground came out.

Here's one of my experimental paintings where I played with mixing mediums.

Interestingly enough, the best part of this practice turned out to be the edge. At the time I was simply too lazy to make a proper border, but now I'm rather fond of the splayed colors overlapping each other and the paper.

This has been a rather educational project. I've never mixed so many mediums before, so there was a lot of experimenting and testing the boundaries going on. Also, it was fun to experiment with stars. Maybe I'll try it again at some point. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Weekly Drawing - Totoro Parody (Mistborn)

Title: My Neighbor the Koloss
Size: 8 and 1/2 by 5 inches
This piece portrays my new parody on the 'totoro in the rain' scene. It's a Mistborn parody!

So our assignment this week was to explore our interests and draw something along those lines. I told myself repeatedly, I will not do another Stormlight Archive piece, I will not do another Stormlight Archive piece. So now I've ended up with a Mistborn piece instead. Oh well!

It occurred to me while considering this assignment that I should do a My Neighbor Totoro parody. There are tons of spin offs of the famous scene in the rain, but I'd never drawn one before. I figured now was the time to try. :)

Here's the original picture:

After some deliberation, I decided to go with Elend Venture in his uniform with Vin asleep in her mistcloak on his back. Next to a koloss. A koloss. I'm sorry, I just can't seem to get over myself, because I think this piece is completely hysterical.

I've started sketching in the city of Luthadel in the background, and you can kind of see Kredik Shaw off in the distance. I was going to have it raining ash, but I haven't had time yet to draw it in.

I know the piece isn't completely accurate to the mistborn books, but, overall, I'm incredibly pleased with the piece. I like totoro parodies, love the Mistborn series, and LOVE drawing crazy, goofy spin off pictures. So this piece was a good fit for me, I think. ;)