Friday, 26 February 2016

2012 Illustrations

Since most of my illustrative time in 2012 was dedicated to creating fictional character portraits I only have a handful of other illustrations from this year. Or four to be precise so this will be a rather short entry. Oh also did I just say that these were not story related illustrations? 
I lied again, two of them are :P

Ok so this one above is not story related but just a random drawing of an iguana I tried to fancy up a bit. He was a fun splatter type of illustration where I added the subject after the background. Upon seeing this my aunt told me that the iguana should be named Jasper. So Jasper he is.


Original characters Lire and Keir. Yep this one is story related.
I wanted to draw something a little dark and who better to draw than the aptly named Keir for ‘a little dark one?’ I have quite an affection for drawing Keir even though he is the youngest of all my characters and cannot speak. Maybe his lack of words lends to better visuals.

This one above is also story related but I wanted to switch away from my ‘Sharlene looks gloomy,’ Christmas posts and find out if I could fit many characters on one sheet at a time. I decided to use hero type characters and forced them into angel/elf fancy dress. 

Obviously I had to make our sour main protagonist in the middle and make him disdained by the whole event. Plus, it was fun to put a xmas hat on top of Hvidsten ushanka … yes he is still wearing it even underneath the silly Santa hat. Hehe.

Oh yes and there was that not-so-small matter of getting married in 2012! :D

Well of course I had to illustrate us in our wedding gear with the beautiful backdrop of Kasugai gardens in Kelowna where we held our ceremony (and I possibly kissed the groom a bit too passionately in front of friends and family LOL) *Ahem* Still this was the most beautiful setting for a ceremony with running water and all the acer trees display wonderful autumnal colours.

It was cold I will admit – I was also almost late and yes I nearly tripped over the huge biker boots I chose to wear under my glorious blue gown…well that bridge had moss on it and was slippery! All in all, one of my favourite memories so how could I not create a bit of art to commemorate the day? A very pleasant experience and good place to end this blog post too :)

Friday, 19 February 2016

2012 Fictional Character Portraits

Now I probably don’t need to make a post about these here on The Glass Spire since they have a whole blog of their own. (See:
However, 2012 was the year I really worked hard on trying to visually bring to life each of the characters from my novel. Heh – see I said way back in 2014 that it wouldn’t be long before I mentioned that on this blog again :P

I'll try and drip feed the images because there are a lot of them.

So for this post and this blog I have stapled together all the fictional character illustrations I made in 2012. If you wish to learn more about each one you are welcome to read Black Wednesday Isle. As for the process of creating so many faces, well I always had an idea of what each would look like (even those described/gifted to me by contributors) and I would often go on net hunts looking for people with the ‘correct’ face shapes.

As you can see some were also based on animal studies. Drawing one per week for two years meant I ended up with a huge collection.

It’s always easier to draw with a reference. It is not always easy to find a reference photograph that matches the picture you see in your head. A few times I had to Frankenstein eyes, mouths and face shape references together to get closer to the face I had in mind.

Written cues from other writers who wanted to help with the project were great but I didn't always get it correct on the first try.

Also dealing with such a wide variety of characters and specifics made it very challenging.
For example we have six types of elf and six types of fae, two types of 'cyborgs' (ok they are not cyborgs but it's the best easy reference I can give you in a short post) An innumerable amount of what are currently being called ords who are the closest to human beings in this fantasy. And also many types of anthropomorphs, which are humans crossed with animals - which I also chose to do in three different ways.
I have half-written a species compendium to try and keep track of who should look like what depending on 'x.'
Did I mention I like a challenge? :P

Anyways all those shown in this post are ones created in 2012 - I made just about as many the following year and they are are all Letter sized illustrations.

I’ll admit it was difficult but also great fun and I will upload my 2013 creations on this subject here in a later post.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Sketches and Paintings 2009 – 2011

Well it’s only been *ahem* two or so years since I last made a blog post here – whoops! >.<
I guess I got a touch distracted somewhere along the way…let’s just hope I don’t take quiet as long to blog between this post and the next one!

Anyway, picking straight back up from where I left off, here are my illustrations and paintings from 2009 – 2011. It seems as though I was in a bit of an art lull during those years as I hardly created anything at all.

Starting then with two illustrations from 2009 and one oil painting.


Above is the singular oil painting I created in 2009. This was one of my very first commissions – albeit one I chose to do for free. The little dog shown was named Bonnie and belonged to one of my mum’s friends at work. Sadly, the dog had passed away but she knew how much her co-worker loved his pet. Since he was retiring she asked if I could paint his dog and supplied me with the only photograph she could acquire which was literally the size of a postage stamp – argh! (I have to wonder if she stole the pic from his wallet and photocopied it…honestly)

 I did the best I could with the given image and a bit of researching pictures of similar dogs. Thankfully all turned out well. I wasn’t there when she presented it but he was overcome at the gesture and decided to gift me a huge bouquet of flowers and a nice bottle of scotch. :)

The two sketches.

I decided to call this first sketch, ‘While You Were Sleeping.’ It is a sketch of my boyfriend at the time and little was I to know then that he would eventually become my husband ^_^

I remember I sketched it after he stayed around my house one evening; I woke up early but didn’t want to disturb him so took the chance to do a bit of drawing. I’m certain that sentiment could pass as exceedingly creepy if not for the fact that we ended up getting wed. Oh and I needn’t have worried it turns out that he is a super heavy sleeper and almost impossible to wake!

My only other illustration of note that year was a self-caricature expressing precisely how I felt about Christmas.

Yep I wasn’t a fan.

Zero paintings this year and only two sketches of note. The first sketch below was from a trip to the Botanical gardens in Birmingham, England.

I remember this day quite vividly not because it was sunny and I got to spend the day with my now husband and his family but because said husband somehow managed to brush past a cactus in the hot house and had to spend the best part of the afternoon trying to get super fine cactus hairs out of his coat, gloves and palm – ouch!

This bandstand was drawn in a moment of respite from cactus hair plucking, sat on a long sloping hill that overlooked the green of the gardens.

As for my second sketch …. Well I guess I just really wasn’t into Christmas still.

Three paintings this year, plus one underpainting (I’ll show you later), two sketches of note and a tattoo design.

I’ll start with the sketches this time. First up being a gondola rendered in charcoal.

I recall this being done for a ‘drink and draw’ challenge a friend was holding on Facebook. I didn’t take many of the weekly challenges set by this group but this one interested me and it had been awhile since I revisited charcoal.

This led to a commission from a great internet friend of mine who asked if I could sketch his girlfriend’s cat named Misu. The photograph was again terrible quality but the three of us agree that there is something rather pleasant about this sketch of their kitty Misu ^_^

My other illustrative commission of the year was to design a tattoo for a different friend who is very into his music. He asked for a treble clef with a rose and below is what I came up with.

He seemed very happy with the design and paid me for it however I don’t know if he ever got my design inked onto himself or not.

Of the paintings I made, one was yet another commission (I was popular that year!) to create an oil painting based on the anime Death Note. The customer in question had seen my previous Death Note fan art and had a kid who was also heavily into anime. I created the below 12 x9” of the two main characters for them.

This was a paid commission and I got told they were happy but I never got to speak to the client or recipient.

Next up is ‘Baby.’

This is one of my few larger oil paintings. With permission I used a photograph that a Canadian friend had posted on her page. I really liked the contrast of smooth and textured surfaces and the stretched out position of the cat. I was told later that the cat’s name was Baby and have been promising a print to the owner since I completed this painting … it’s now 2016, I haven’t forgotten but I still haven’t got that full sized print done. Also in some sad news I learnt that this little kitty passed away a couple of years ago :’(

My final painting from 2011 was a 9 x12” oil on deep box canvas that had no particular inspiration. I guess it was just one of those ideas that spoke to me so I painted it out. Perhaps not the most shining example of a wolf but I was happy with the mood it evoked.

So that bring us up to 2012.

After such a long lull, I was super productive in 2012…so my next post might have to be broken into several long ones, who’d be an artist? :P