Mixed Media Joy

I love mixed media – I can get the best of every world, if I wanted to do so. Currently, I’m obsessed with Polychromos over acrylic. Armed with my new airbrush, I’ve been delving into mixing paints and colours, and brandishing those color pencils like there’s no tomorrow.

My favourite piece of art at the moment is the penguin I completed with exactly the method I mentioned above.

I’ll replace this terrible photo with a quality one soon enough.

I also have a couple other works in progress:

This elephant is only a couple layers short of being finished, and I might add a background to really bring him forward.

The cardinal is a few layers from being finished, as well as a few pine needles short.

Stay tuned for prints going on sale soon!

‘Drawing’ White Fur

Ever look at a drawing and think to yourself, “Wow, how did he/she draw that white fur? It looks so soft!”

It’s all an optical illusion. I’ve posted before about how the eye fills in the blanks, and that’s all white fur it. There will be a few lines here and there, but for the most part, it’s blank (or negative) space.

Here are some tips:
1) Hair casts shadows. Shading in small areas of shadow make the white parts look more real and 3D.

2) Less is more! Don’t shade in too much, or you’ll ruin the effect.

3) Draw lightly and use an electric eraser to draw out white lines for whiskers, ear hair, etc.

'Map' - graphite, white ink
‘Map’ – graphite, white ink

In the drawing above, the cat’s whiskers are simply erased area that are outlined with graphite. The ear hair is the same. The forward paw only has shading to separate the toes.

Give it a try!

Trying Different Mediums

Art is like anything else where the ground is unfamiliar.  People get skittish and don’t want to attempt something new in case of failure.

But guess what.

You will fail.  If you’re smart, you’ll try again.  If you’re really smart, you’ll keep trying until you get it right.  There will be no prouder moment in your life.

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I drew this Final Fantasy X character way back when I first started drawing, and I really thought that she was the bees knees.  Even now, many years later, I look at this drawing with a sense of satisfaction.

Is it the best drawing?  Hell no!  Could I do a ton better now if I were to redraw it?  Absolutely.  That’s not the point, though.  The point is that I decided to pick up the pencil and give it a try, and the result at the time was way better than I could have hoped to achieve.  This drawing inspired me to continue and to move on to greater things.

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Only today I decided that I wanted to give pencil pastels a shot.  Believe me when I tell you that I hate failure just as much as anyone else, but what did I have to lose?  A few bucks on the pastels, but I’d have them no matter what, so I can always try again later.  The image above was just some messing around that I did to get a feeling for the pastels.  I wanted to see how they’d blend, how they’d cling to the paper.  I got cocky and decided to try for a masterpiece.

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Say hello to Masterpiece.  Meow.  Not quite (or at all) what I hoped for, but hey, it was my first time attempting to use this medium!  With some practice and a ton of luck, I think I’ll eventually be able to make something out of these demon pencils, and that’ll be a moment that will equal the satisfaction that I achieved from that Final Fantasy character.  I’m looking forward to it.