forays into digital art

So I got a Wacom tablet! It's pretty nifty, and I've been playing around with it. It's nice because I can sit on the couch and watch movies without fear of spilling anything. I've been using ArtRage, which is a terrible name, but it's a pretty good program for a beginner, and easy to figure out without much difficulty. The biggest challenge to learning the digital stuff is the disconnection between your had and the line being created. I'm more used to the directness of traditional media, so it took a bit of getting used to not actually touching the piece I was working on. I still have a few things to learn, and I may get some better software because while ArtRage is decent enough, I'd like some more options. So here's what I made!

This is tentatively titled Dome, and I was channeling '70s sci-fi novel covers. The geodesic dome was fun to do, and I got to appreciate layers to the fullest. This features some nice lurid colors and some kind of sexy android girl. I think she's an android; it doesn't really matter. Also triangles. 



The second one, Runaway, is named after a song of the same name by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I was listening to it on the walk home and constructed a narrative. I'd like to do more with this concept, and was thinking of making some concept art for that video game I'm totally going to make with all that time and money I have. (Sarcasm!) The ruined city was fun to do, if time consuming, and I'd like to work more on this subject. Again, there's some retro sci-fi thing happening, and for the larger project, I was thinking of incorporating that with a sort of Arabian architecture theme. 
 

Finally, we have Wheat, which may or may not have been inspired by the Untappd. I'm happy with how the faces came out, and for some reason I gave it a vaguely Polaroid-like border, but I think it works here. 

So in all, I'm liking the digital art. People, especially non art people seem to have the idea that you can be in one of two camps on the subject of digital vs. traditional media, which is dumb, really, because there's no reason why liking something necessarily has to mean not liking something else. I'm still kind of getting my footing when it comes to digital media, figuring out how to best use the options and what styles work best with it. Personally, I don't think I'll be setting out to make digital paintings look like traditional oil ones--that never looks good. I kind of like keeping the digital stuff cleaner. I also like working with limited color palettes with digital and keeping things on the simpler side, and I'd like to do more with patterns. We'll see where it goes from here!

geometry & girls, forests & fog, rabbit eaters & kings


The thing I like about the notebook I've been using is that it allows me to quickly fire off smaller-scale projects. In the past, many ideas were relegated to a pencil-only sketchbook and never really got to evolve, or they were made into watercolors and then lost in the morass that is my art file in my desk. The notebook, though, allows me to keep everything in one place as well as create full paintings. All of these come from the same notebook. And it's spiral bound! That is a really, really big step for me. One of the things I was doing was collecting words and phrases I found interesting and creating images to go along with them. (Note: everything here is 7 in by 10 in, for size scale)


From the top: A Million Girls. I think the line might be from a Raveonettes song. It's water color and ink. It was also featured in Inconnu Magazine's "All Things Roll In."



Rare Geometry. Watercolor, ink and acrylic. The name came from an article (that I sadly can't find now) on the structure of the universe, and this phrase really stood out to me. Also, interference paint. 



The High King. Acrylic, watercolor and gouache. This is actually the second incarnation of this title; the first is still in the works. The title originally came from theDisparition song of the same name. The first one matches the music a little better, but I still like this version as well. 


Rabbit Eaters III. Watercolor and goauche. I completely love these little guys. I have this whole little story about them in my head, where they are small, naked people who live in the woods and eat rabbits, and have white eyes and red hands and arms, and they like to wear twigs in their hair. The latter might just be rabbit blood, I don't know. But they're really cute. 


Interior Forest. Watercolor. It had been a long time since I did some weird ribcage stuff, so here you go. It's also rare that I ever make a female figure with light hair (that isn't me as a kid). There isn't, I suppose, much to say about this one, though I am working on a sister ribcage girl.  



It Came from the Bathtub. Watercolor and ink. I bought green gel pens just to make those little algae guys. I work very near an art supply store and resisting things like interesting pens and tiny notebooks is really, really hard. Anyway, this is a self-portrait! I thought of it while taking a bath. I normally don't take baths because sitting in bathwater grosses me out, but I was in need of some girl time so I was hanging out reading magazines and listening to Hole when I noticed that the bathwater was green. Not gross green--it was kind of pretty and interesting. 



Self Portrait in the Fog. Watercolor, ink, gouache and acrylic. Naturally there needed to be triangles somewhere. Here I am at the end of winter, in my plaid coat and my awesome boots and my general feeling of absurdity. 



demonology 101 and night vale, part 1


Okay! So I recently purchased a 7 X 10 inch notebook for watercolor projects. (It's spiral bound, which is a big deal for me because I typically hate those.) I wanted something for small projects and experimentation without having to use large or expensive pieces of paper. I also like that all the projects are in one place, both for practical ease and for reflective purposes. I have a few things going.

beleth.JPG

Above are portraits of two of the demons from the Ars Goetia, which is a list of all the demons of hell and frankly, they sound just adorable. Beleth is on top, and he's known for looking scary and writing a book of mathematics (seriously). Naturally, he's modeled after Beastie. Paimon is below, and he's fancy. He just is. These were a lot of fun to do, because I had free range imagining them and their outfits, and how those would relate to their personalities. I did choose the more human-looking ones for this project. The curly symbols on Paimon's chest and Beleth's collar are their sigils--every demon gets one and you summon them by drawing the sigils and maybe saying some kind of recitation. So if I suddenly get fancy and my math skills improve, you'll know why. There are two more in the works right now. 

 


 

 

Here are some other projects I've been working on! This is some fan art for the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, which I listen to at work so that I can have an even more surreal time there. Seriously, it's great, and its utter lack of visuals makes it perfect fodder for art, since you can create the world completely in your own head, plus the writing is beautiful, as is the score. On top is Erika, an angel who contributed to poetry week. She may have been conflated with one of the hooded figures, hence the hood, but that was the idea I had for her and I'm happy with it. Below is Tamika Flynn, leader of the childrens' resistance against StrexCorp and slayer of librarians. I apologize if this all sounds rather esoteric, but that's really all I can give you. Both of these, like the demons, were fun to do because I had no visual reference other than some cursory descriptions, so everything was completely up to me. With Erika and Tamika, I tried to capture the feel of the characters as well as the feeling of the show itself. The text pieces are lines attributed to these characters, and selecting the style was also important in their portrayal. 

 

More sketchbook projects and inconnu illustrations coming soon. I've been carrying this thing around with me to work and taking 15-minute drawing breaks to keep myself from breaking down and crying all over my boss (again). It's also nice because I can jump back and forth from project to project easily without having ten million separate pieces of paper everywhere. Hooray for sketchbooks!

in which we finally have a new oil painting

what double vein.JPG

Okay, so! Look you here! It's a real live oil painting! I started this, oh, some months ago and finally finally finally finished it a few weeks ago. It took me some more time to photograph it, since all the lights in my house are yellow-tinged and I never see the light of day anymore thanks to work and the early night time of the Northern Hemisphere's winter. But I worked from home today, so I got to take this out to the alley and photograph it. The lighting was perfect, too (brightly overcast) and I didn't get hit by any cars. Success. 

This is What Double Vein, 36 x 36 inches, and I think it's about inspiration but I'll get back to you on that. I'm beginning to notice that the Home and Medieval bodies of work are beginning to merge, resulting in these patterned, foresty places full of mysterious crowned and robed figures. Back when I established the concept of three separate bodies, I always had the hunch that they would, eventually, merge into one. I'm beginning to see the Medievals also absorbing some of the characteristics of theTrash body, which has been turning up in a lot of watercolor pieces. So this is all very interesting to me. 

Lately I've been liking incorporating geometric shapes into images of more organic elements, so we have some trigons happening here, as well as some headpieces--I'm particularly pleased with the one on the left. 

By the way, you can check this blog out on my sweet new website in the blog section. 
 

explorations in limited palettes and fan mail

 Well, hello!

This is what working all the time and taking a class and trying to have a social life does to you. That, and the lack of sustained attention that unfortunately comes with the Internet. 

Here are some new(ish) things! The first three explore a limited color palette, using ink and a bit of watercolor. At the top we have a forest spirit of sorts, and evolution of Beastie. Lately I've been liking headdresses, and his has typically been the bones of small animals. He's also been clearly affected by the aesthetics of Sword & Sworcery, with his trigon. This was done using India ink, red watercolor and some black gel pen for the details. 





Below is a painting using much of the same materials, although I think there's some Payne's gray in there in addition to the red. The circles are vaguely Mucha-esque, and were created using a compass. The figures are a take on the medieval figures with their big black robes. 














Next is something I thought of while listening to Grimes' "Visiting Statue" off the (perhaps aptly named) album Visions. I actually had a whole music video mapped out, but as I lack the funding and the willing victims participants to make music videos, I had to make due with a still image. The challenge of this one was to lend a thick, opaque, sculptural look using water media, as well as working on a gray ground. I started by coating a piece of (white) paper with a mixture of white gouache and Payne's gray watercolor, and layering more of that mixture until I got a good ground. Then I painted in the figures and the landscape, and finished with a mixture of white gouache and yellow watercolor for the constellations and circle shapes. I also emailed a copy to Grimes' fan mail, just for fun. 






Finally, we have a painting with a more traditional palette. This came from the idea of the Manitou, an Algonquin concept of an innate spirit present in all things, including people, animals, plants, rocks and even machines. Specifically, it's a reference to Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron off the coast of Ontario, which means "spirit island." The image is just something that sort of popped into my head, of a big sleepy creature-island supporting lots of nature and people. It looks a bit sad, but it's really just sleepy. I'm really happy with this one, and I'd like to find a nice frame for it. 


illustrations at inconnu

So, wow, it's been a while. Things are fine. I've been doing more illustrations for inconnu! Here are some of them.

From the top, we have an illustration for a break-up playlist,  one for a piece on horoscopes and other pseudosciences, one for the magazine's "Hamlet week" of Hamlet being a creep (because I think he's a creep I don't care about his melancholy), and finally an illustration for a piece on digital aesthetics.

And look, circles! Circular compositions that actually work! Crazy! Although I maintain that circular pieces work best when small (these are no more than about 4 inches in diameter).

The Hamlet one was a lot of fun to do. I really enjoyed working on the faces. Because it depicts the play scene, I had to work out how to make it clear that the actors are, in fact, acting. So the sleeping king had be be a sleeping king but also a very conscious actor playing the part of a sleeping king. The false beard was fun, too. It also made me think about Hamlet as a play and Hamlet as a character. Like, what if the plot against his father was actually because his father was a bad ruler and bad husband, and his mother and uncle were actually in love, and his uncle was a better ruler? And then Hamlet, in his blind devotion to his father, ruins the rule of Denmark and ultimately paves the way for Denmark to fall under Norwegian rule. What if everything was actually going fine and then  HAMLET RUINED EVERYTHING? 

You'll have to forgive me. It's been a while since I've been able to discuss literature. Regarding the art, though, Hamlet seems to be an evolution of the blond-haired men in the "medieval" body of work. 

The last one is actually the original draft of an illustration. In the accompanying article, it has an iPhone text background, so the final result was something of a collaboration between me and the editor. Also there are cupcakes--everyone likes looking at cupcakes and using them as a desktop or as decoration on digital devices is not uncommon. Who doesn't feel better looking at cupcakes?

All of these were created using varying combinations of watercolor, gouache, acrylic, ink, and gel pen. Gel pens are severely underrated.

winterkins

Finally some oil paintings! Being separated from my oils is rough, I tells you. 

These two are painted on 4inX4in wood panels, which were coated in gloss medium so the grain of the wood is still visible. 

These are my Winterkins, created initially back when the weather was colder, and they're sort of like the embodiments of winter. I was inspired by the recent fashion trend that involves a lot of cultish, quasi-spiritual and occult elements, and the results have been sleeker, starker fashion choices for my figures. As well as a lot of triangles. It's a combination of ancient and medieval symbolism and designs, 1970s-style fantasy illustration, and the more naturalistic elements from my older work. The result is a lot of natural, complex details combined with larger areas of flat, geometric space, and is something I find really aesthetically pleasing. 

They're also portraits. The figures are the same as those in The Universe, and are basically me, in black, and Beastie, in white, along with the things I've come to associate with each of us: trees and crows for me, bones and rabbits for him. 

As for the process, painting on wood is fun. It's nice and smooth. The only downside is that because it's so smooth, it's easy to wipe the paint back off during the painting process if it gets built up too thickly. So these were made using a lot of thin layers and glazes. The other things about very smooth surfaces is that dust and debris show up really easily, so you have to be diligent about keeping them clean. 

I'd like to do another pair for summer (the Summerkins), but I still have to work out their details. They will remain with the same color schemes, though some of the elements may change. 

triangles, occultism and water media


I've been listening to a lot of witch house, can you tell?

Here's some of the watercolor stuff I've been doing. I've lately been very into triangles, as I may have mentioned before. They started showing up on the throats of my figures, and I like how it looks, so we'll be seeing more of it. I've also been into occult symbols and the like. I've worked with them minorly before, but I really like what they add to an image--something like esoteric writing--and so I'll be using more of those, too. 

From the top:

Priestess is the earliest piece here. She's pretty simple, done in watercolor, India ink and gouache. Her design was based on a combination of occultism and '70s-ish graphic/fantasy illustration, which used a lot of solid areas of color for a look that's simple and linear so it's at once streamlined and modern while still evoking traditional fantasy. So that's what she is

The Universe is a double portrait, and done in a more detailed, traditional style. This was made using the usual mix of water media as well as some acrylic paints, which were watered down to the point of behaving like watercolors. I also used some interference paints, which add some nice iridescent detailsI had a lot of fun making this one. The sky was made my wetting the paper and basically letting the paint go wherever (not too much, though. I'm too much of a control freak for total abandon) and then forming cloud/nebula shapes by shading and highlighting the resulting forms. The costuming was probably the most fun. I used to draw costumes all the time--when I was a kid I would have reams of paper with these bizarre fashion innovations on them--and then somewhere in college I started painting nudes because SERIOUS ART or something. But there's so much you can do with clothing. From a conceptual standpoint, it adds to the characterization of figures. From a technical standpoint, it's a great way to practice a lot of textures. Here, I got to play with sheer fabric and fur, as well as metallic surfaces for the accents. Oh, and that's a dodecahedron on his brooch thing there. Hooray for Platonic solids!

Finally we have, um, this guy. Drawing a scantily clad man with a come-hither expression and a big fucking gun just sort of made sense one day, so here he is. This has more acrylic in it than The Universe, specifically the fluorescent colors that like to cause retinal damage but are fun anyway. I don't know where this came from, to be honest. I just wanted to do something uncomfortable on several levels. A friend came over and said that this picture "creeped him out." I said that if it creeped him out, then I did my job right. 


water media madness

 I was terribly, and pleasantly, surprised to find that THIS is what it looks like when you use water media on fabric. I had tried it before with some small pieces, but it works really well on a larger scale, too, and can be built up to a decent opacity. 

I was originally going to hang these on our closet doors at home, kind of a his'n'hers sort of thing, but the doors seem to be made of diamond and cannot be pierced by the pointy things of man. So they live on my desk. 

Up top is some beast boy creepiness, complete with blood and pointy claw fingers. And a hair bow. I used Mod Podge to seal the fabric on this one, and I'm not sure if it was that or if it was just not stretched properly, and so the fabric buckled slightly. It didn't effect the outcome, really, but was not as pleasant to paint on. This is primarily gouache, tinted with watercolor.

Below is some fashionable witchiness. This one was created using gouache and watercolor as well as India ink, acrylic paint and gel pen. REMEMBER GEL PENS??? I bought some bright pink gel pens a while ago on a whim because they transported me back to seventh grade, where the cool thing to do was to scrawl all over yourself and your friends with smeary opaque ink. They made the finer pink branches near the bottom, and were fun to use. 

So, they're not oils. Nothing is oils. But they were fun to make, and I got to play with lots of interesting ways to combine colors and materials. The only thing about this, which I discovered the last time I tried this, was that because of the primed surface, the paints will wipe right off if they get wet, so I might want to spray seal these sometime. Although, during the painting process, this feature actually came in handy as it served as an "eraser" of sorts. 

I really like bright pink and I need to use more of it. I've also found I really like designing costumes and painting fantastical clothing, and will be continuing this trend.

neon medieval nausea

Holy crap look at these

These are different, right?

Technically, they aren't done. They were created to serve as backgrounds for figures, and are painted in acrylics (although the black is actually India ink), because as much as I dislike acrylics for most things, they are really awesome for a few things, like fluorescent colors and flat areas of color. They also dry quickly and are water-based, which means that oil paints can be applied on top. So these are going to be populated with some medieval-style figures doing mysterious things. As those medievals are wont to do. 

These were inspired by the spiritual landscapes found in manuscripts like the Ebbo Gospels, which are 1,200 years old and incredible, as well as by landscapes in video games like Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery and VVVVVV. They are, I guess, kind of an evolution of Angelus, which was the initial endeavor into this concept. 

Also I've been really into geometry lately. 

I have, admittedly, warmed up to acrylics a bit. They might be fun to use as backgrounds for oil works, and they're nice to use like watercolors in washy, watery ways, too. The fluorescent paints (the pink and orange, in this case) are fun, too, but may cause retinal damage. The third one from the top was literally painful to complete. 

This is the order they go in. They seem to have a loose sort of narrative to them, though nothing too specific. The narrative element will become more apparent with the addition of the figures. It starts with a vision, moves onto a meeting, undergoes a journey, and finds a solution--that's the basic idea, anyway. I prefer to leave these things open ended. 

Currently, these have figures sketched out on them, but here they are in their pristine state. Don't look too long at that pink one, though. 




them

I actually drew this quite some time ago, late one night while listening to this, when these four paid a visit. They seemed friendly enough, if not very talkative. They have, from left to right, deer, owl, crow and rabbit skulls, and I always thought of them as friendly guardians of some other plain of existence

This is just pencil in my sketchbook, which I'm afraid is getting rather filled up. 

mini paintings for mini spaces

 So I moved! But that means that I have neither the space nor the ventilation to make oil paintings. It would be nice to be able to do larger-scale oils, but I can always take the train back up to Mom's and work if I feel so inclined. In the meantime, I can work on tiny little guys like these.

These are created using watercolor and gouache, which works out beautifully on the fabric. The fabric is mounted onto little embroidery hoops that I found at a craft store (SO much cheaper and cuter than round canvas stretchers). The ovals are 5 X 3.5 inches, and the circles have a 3 inch diameter. 

So very tiny. 

The ovals feature some kind of slightly mutated hoodie, now a bit frillier and more overtly feminine, and a mysterious wooded area. Maybe this is my subconscious interpretation of moving and going into the unknown. 

The circles were a little trickier (you know how I feel about circles), and I was originally going to stick with the hoodie theme, but I went for animals instead. Owls and rabbits are some of my favorites, so here they are. 

 
That owl looks kind of confused, doesn't it?

Anyway, I don't normally paint or draw animals on their own, but these were fun. These pieces are mainly meant to be decorative, and I was mainly concentrating on making something cute that I would continue to enjoy looking at, and their small size means I can put them in weird little corners. 

The only issue? They need to have some kind of sealant, preferably a spray sealant, to protect the paint.  


remembrances

So, I didn't mention this because I don't like posting very personal things on the Interwebz, but my dog died in August. It was really hard on my mom and me. I didn't really want to talk about it with anyone. 

But I made my mom this picture of Calypso for Christmas, with her big pink belly and her knobbly feel and big giant eyeballs. I was going to depict her engaged in an activity, but Calypso's favorite activities were killing rabbits and rolling in shit, so I went for a more traditional portrait. 

Here she is.  

endings, beginnings, and such

 It liiives!

This blog, I mean, as well as my art-making. It's been going well, I guess. I had two gallery shows in the past two months, and have contacted another one regarding showing (haven't heard back, though). I've been working on two new paintings and am probably going to set up for a third, which will be nice and bloody. Yay!

In the meantime, have the first and second installments of a small illustrated story I've been working on. I'm calling it The End or the Beginning, because that's what it's about. 

See, I don't normally use art as a means to directly express things going on in my personal life. My personal life affects my art, of course, but I'm not usually prone to illustrating it literally. This series, however, is close to doing that. Obviously it's not literal literal (I don't know people who habitually wear burlap sacks on their heads), but this series is about something I went through over the summer, which was both an ending and a beginning for me. It also corresponds to some writing I did about that issue, and some of these images are direct illustrations of those writings. 

Again, I don't make comics, and this is probably the closest I can comfortably get to making something akin to a comic (Duck vs. Cactus notwithstanding). On a technical note, I'd like to bind these, but they're all on separate pieces of paper, and I'll have to finagle something.

adulthood and hurricanes

 So it's been a while. 

That is, as I have said, what having a full-time job will do to you. I'm actually working RIGHT NOW, thanks to being stranded at home by a hurricane. 

And I finally finished a big oil painting! Up top here is Sing Sing Kill, which is named for the stream that runs through town and empties into the river. "Sing Sing," like the prison, is the Anglicized version of the Iroquois name for the region, meaning "stone on stone," and "kill" is the Anglicized version of the Dutch word for stream. I pass where the stream empties into the river every day at the train station, and it's kind of a shady, dark little place tucked between the tracks (which go over the stream), a water treatment plant and some old warehouses. But it's still pretty and full of wildlife. This painting was inspired by the river and its ecosystems, which I see every day from the train. It's a weird and forgotten place, but very pretty in a decaying sort of way. It seems that paintings like this are the evolution of the Home body of work, which seems to be branching out into dreamier places. The painting was also a real bitch to photograph thanks to glare, awkward brushstrokes that messed up the lighting, and hurricanes.

Below is a watercolor. I was never really into drips, but this was a planned drip, so I'm okay with it. I tend to need to plan things completely  or they turn into formless disasters. Anyway, I'm calling it Double Shell Homunculus after the Homunculus Nebula

So, thanks to my impromptu vacation, maybe I'll get a chance to do some more painting. Yay! 

hmmm...

...whatever could I be working on that requires the Unabomber, forest spirits, antisocial octopodes, Akatsuki clouds, the Virgin Mary, atom bombs and Jeff the Killer?

way down

So I've finally, finally been able to complete a new painting! This is Way Down in the Valley, a kind of spiritual successor to The Valley, which I completed a few years ago. It has the same elements, double portrait with skullheads, but this one is, um, better. 

These figures started off looking like this. Why would I create extremely detailed faces just to cover them with skull paint, you ask? Because I am quite out of my mind, obviously. But from a practical standpoint, it looks better. After all, if you apply face paint, you're applying it to a preexisting surface, full of color and texture, which will inform what the end result looks like. So that's what I did here. I created the faces, and then applied the makeup on top. Which I essentially explained in the last post. 

There's also glitter. I haven't used glitter in a while, which is a shame because glitter is singularly fantastic. 

The idea behind this painting is the same as the idea behind The Valley; it's about true love, and how loving someone truly means accepting the darker aspects of their person, going down into the valley with them and accepting the fullness of their personality and psyche, not just picking out the parts you're comfortable with.

an artist you should know: Sarah Joncas

 After shirking my "Artist You Should Know" duties for a long time, I bring you Sarah Joncas, whose work falls under the pop surrealism category. Using oil and acrylic, she creates complex, multilayered images of women, evoking several emotions at once, while still retaining a unique stylization. Often her work encompasses several styles, including pin-up, classic portraiture and painting techniques, and graphic elements. Her work can be slightly uncomfortable, and she plays with the traditional ideas of portraiture, femininity and beauty. I currently follow her work on deviantART and Facebook.

So! Here's a small sample of her work. From the top:


After Dark. This moody portrait reminds me of the other, unseen side of a classic beauty queen, lying alone in a darkened room, still wearing her dress and pearls. It's a quiet, contemplative moment that may also be a little morbid. 













I Think I'm Paranoid. I love the bold, graphic patterning here, especially in contrast to the more delicate elements of the figure and the moths. I also like how it's worked into the figure, making it seem as though she's blending into, or emerging from, the wall behind her. It's ostensibly a cheerful pattern, but in this context it's jarring and frenetic, adding to the sense of nervousness. 


 



I Think, Therefore I Am. She reminds me very much of kitschy, '60s-style housewifey goth, like Morticia Addams, complete with little cartoon bat wings accompanying her lightbulb. Her apprehension is palpable.



















It Became Courtney Love. According to the description on the dA page, this was originally intended to be a picture of Norse goddess Freya. But now it's Courtney Love. I kind of couldn't pass up the opportunity to have a picture of Courtney Love here, because I do appreciate her so, but I also like the vulnerability in the face. 


















The All Seeing. This is one of Joncas' more overtly surrealistic pieces, sort of a mashup of mysticism and pin-up girls. I feel like there are many interpretations that could come out of this image, with the eyes looking very flat and painted on (which of course they are, but in two ways), the fact that the figure is covering her real eyes, and the confusion as to what, or whether, she can see.















The Crow Charmer. It's similar to The All Seeing in its mystical element, but this one seems more traditional, calling to mind nature deities and animal familiars. While the pin-up style is still very evident, there's less modernity in this one, and the figure seems more sure of herself, surveying her dark realm.





how to avoid having people try to talk to you

 Fangirlism has reared its ugly head once again, and I found myself with a new host of Jeff the Killer crap. Most of these were drawn on the train going to and from work, and I can tell you that drawing things like this is a great way to ensure that no one will sit next to you. 


All of them are Micron pen on some kind of non-special paper, all are about 3 X 5 inches. All were drawn on whims based on stupid shit I thought was amusing in passing. 


From the top: 


Jeff after a shower. He's a grimy dude most of the time, sleeps outside and often can be seen with dirt, twigs, dried blood and bugs in his hair. But occasionally he likes to clean up a bit and comb himself. That girl there might be Jane the Killer, who stars in an even less well-thought-out Creepypasta than Jeff, if that's even possible. Or it might just be a self-portrait.







 Coffee. This is the closest to the original image that I've ever drawn. Which isn't very. But check out that lettering fail. Lesson learned: Do not attempt lettering while on a moving train.








 
 Jeff and Jane (or whoever) again after a bout of stabbing or whatever it is they do to express their feelings about one another. The plants were fun to do.














 



Jeff drools. Jeff doesn't particularly care about his drooling problem, even though it's gross; he considers it a minor price to pay for his beautiful smile. The spiral there reads "smiley, smiley, smiley, smiley," because that was the song that serendipitously started playing on my iPod while I was working on this. 















 


Jeff goes hunting. Now, obviously, a knife has several advantages over a gun, especially if you're a serial killer. It's quiet, it doesn't require reloading and is easily cleaned, repaired, and concealed. But when a bunch of squealing fangirls are let loose in a nature preserve for an updated version of The Most Dangerous Game, Jeff prefers something more dramatic.



















Jeff vs. Robert. If you've never seen Rubber, you need to. Basically, Jeff would not win this confrontation.


















 
Finally, this is just inappropriate. And the sad thing is there's an even more inappropriate one waiting to be uploaded. Seriously I need help. But this is something that actually happens regularly, when certain significant others wake up in the night and peer creepily down at me for a few minutes and then have no recollection of it in the morning. It is so creepy. 



knives

So I'm shirking my "Artists You Should Know" habit, but my brain is somewhat fried and I already know what to say about this piece, which I banged out on a whim. Next time.

In the meantime, have this.

I'm calling it With A Knife With A Bigger Knife, which comes from one of my favorite moments in The Venture Bros. It's oil, leaves, pen and bloody tissue on canvas. Yes, it's real blood, but it's not mine. And yes, I know using bodily fluids in art is very "art school," but at least it's not period blood, so that's a start.


I used acrylic gloss medium to glue and seal the tissue down to the canvas, which caused it to bunch up and shred a bit, but creates an interesting texture. Unlike my actual paintings, I didn't have a set plan for this one, and frankly I'm surprised that I'm pleased with the result, because usually when I don't plan ahead, it's a disaster.


I sketched out the portraits of me and Blood Donor in Micron pen, and doodled in some atmosphere and vegetal forms with oil, and applied some dyed leaves, again with gloss medium. 


Honestly? I have no idea about this one. 


I like it, I'm sure of that, but it seems to serve as kind of a place holder between larger, more serious pieces. It's a fairly straightforward double portrait of me and the boyfriend. We like knives. It was admittedly kind of a throwaway piece. It's very small, only about maybe 9X9 inches, and served as something of an experiment.


It's also thematically related to a larger piece I have planned, which will use the brown and blue color scheme, the double portrait, and a sense of the cycle of life and death (though this one is more death-oriented) and of being two small people in the world. 


The sad thing is, this is pretty much all I've been able to do now that I have a Grown Up Job which requires forty hours of each week plus commuting. The upside is that my commute is really nice, and part of that is the ability to sleep through parts of it; I take the train. The commute was actually, in part, what inspired the larger piece I mentioned above, as well as some writing. I've also taken a position as a contributor with an online publication, and recently got my first article published with them. So everything is pretty peachy on the "being an adult" front, but the drawback is that it leaves me less time for painting. Also, the access I had to a digital camera was again shot down by shitty technology, and so this, unfortunately, had to be taken with my iPod, hence the less-than-ideal image quality. I'm hoping to either get one or both of the cameras repaired and, if that fails, get a new camera. Although the prospect of blowing yet another paycheck isn't a welcome one.


And despite the knives, the blood was not acquired through any violence on my part. Today's lesson: don't try to shave when you're drunk.