Evolution of a Concept

Sometimes it’s good to push an idea a bit further, beyond the point you would usually stop– just to see if you can make it a little bit better.

Here’s a simple follow up, of the process to making my 2016 self-portrait: Dreams.

ProcessOfMar1

I started this sketch back in November, with a simple idea in mind- to draw myself with a vibrant bouquet made up of art supplies, and my sketchbook. At the time, I was very confident  that I had everything figured out, and this was the final draft. I even took the time to do a clean pencil line-art in my sketchbook for inking.

inkpen1

But because I simply wasn’t ready to finish it at the time, I stepped away from it, didn’t look at it or touch it, until New Year’s Eve.  After giving it some thought, It needed a little bit more…

Sometimes you have to take a step back, to see the better picture

It’s easy to run the risk of being too intimate with your own work. You could become so obsessed with the details, that you lose sight of what the bigger picture is all about.

In my experience during figure study classes,  the instructors always encouraged their students to step back, or away from their canvases every once and a while, because when working in such a large format, the artist is only able to focus on whats in their direct line of sight. When the artist fails to do this, very often when they look at the final piece, they find various problems.  For example, the eyes may not line up, the face may be out of proportion, different parts of the body may be disproportionate, or out of scale– All, which could easily be fixed by simply looking at the work as a whole instead of focusing on the finer details.

This isn’t a concept that’s exclusive to working in large formats either. The same can be said by simply stepping away from your work for a period of time, so that when you come back to it, you have fresh ideas on how to make it better, and it’s a trick used by writers, musicians and artists of all kinds.

So, when it came to working on Dreams, I certainly saw room for improvement.

ProcessOfMar2

Laziness is not a Virtue: The importance of having your very own support group

ProcessOfMar3

Bea: im really debating if I should color this
Zygona:  i think you should
Bea: I know I want it to have like, a watercolor look…
Zygona: that would be cool
Bea: i dunno if I just find line-art more appealing or if I’m just being lazy lol
Zygona: well, save the line and try coloring it, and if you still like the line better then you can say you do like the line better and its not laziness
Bea:  aka no being lazy lol

forever

Bea: lol I’m glad you made me not be lazy and actually color it
Zygona: indeed. i like it colored

Zygona– Always the voice of reason in my every-day life >_<. Justin and my friend D’andre are also two individuals who have a lot of say in my work, and their input has been essential to my growth. After-all, how do you know where to improve if you don’t have anyone there that you trust to critique you?  Thanks guys ^_~.

Conclusion

One thing that I’m happy about, after finishing this piece, is being able to see my growth in comparison to my first Constellations/Dreams illustration from last year, that featured Estelle, a character I created for the sake of marking my own progress as an artist.

As far as this illustration is concerned, I’ve always wanted to work with more vibrant colors, and play with collage like concepts, especially since both have always been very difficult for me to do. But I took the time to reflect on what I’ve learned this year, allowed myself to exercise new ideas and try new things, and challenged myself to work outside my own comfort zones with the encouragement of my friends, and it lead to a piece that I am very proud of. Going into 2016, I intend to do much of the same, with the hope that by the New Year of 2017, I’ll have another illustration to share, that not only marks my progress for the year, and my growth as an artist, but sets a new standard for the years that follow.

And with that, I leave you with a little animation showing my process to the final piece 🙂

 

 

MarryAnimate

Hope you liked this post, and as always, till next time, Enjoy!

2016: From Challenge to Change

Hey Guys, Bea here! And a Happy New Year to you all!

This post will be dedicated mostly to my plans for 2016 and how I’ll be running my blog going forward, but before that, I’d just like to take a a brief moment to reflect on the past year, and how it’s changed me, as an artist 🙂

Prior to January 1st 2015, I was really struggling as an artist, just trying to find the right inspiration to get off the ground. Most of my time was spent working my day jobs, greatly dividing my attention. So, my art suffered, simply because I couldn’t find the time to invest in my ideas and the betterment of my skills.

But something clicked on that day, Jan 1st 2015, and I decided I’d stop making excuses for myself and just go for it. And to keep me motivated, I started this blog to not only share my work with the world and those who care to see it, but to document my process. From the start, I knew that this was going to be a challenge, because of how easy it is to start something and not finish it, and how tempting it is to give up when things get hard, and believe me, I had my moments lol. But looking back on that day, and at how much I accomplished by the end of 2015, by simply simply sticking with it, I would have never guessed that it would take me so far, as an artist, and as a person, or that it would bring me one step closer to my dreams…

That said, I have arts to share!

mar1

Despite all the hardships 2015 brought, it did not come without its rewards, and turned out to be a year of many firsts for me!

  • I went from producing maybe 3-5 pieces of art per year, to the over 50+ Illustrations and Sketches that make up my portfolio, as of today.
  • From those pieces, I created my first portfolio book, which also turns out to be my first full portfolio of new and original work since I left college over 5 years ago.
  •  I flew out to San Diego and experienced SDCC for the first time, and had the opportunity to sit down with major companies, like Blizzard, and Nickelodeon, among others, and received my first set of portfolio reviews, outside of school.
  • And, as of Nov 22nd, I decided to stop working my day job, and be a full-time artist– which is the news I’ve been waiting for the right time to share.

So, November 23, 2015 was the day I began working as a full-time artist. Ironically, this did not happen by me quitting. Instead, the company I was working for simply decided to close the division I was working in, and though they offered me a position working elsewhere, I figured instead that I would take this opportunity to give my dreams a try instead.

I had considered leaving on my own many a times, but this was a company that I had been with for almost 8 years. I knew the work, I did it well, I had been promoted, and I didn’t want to leave, for fear that if I did, I’d have to start back at square one… so I stayed. But when they told me they were closing out, It was like a door had opened just as that one was closing, urging me to…take the next step. To go for it, even harder.

Since then, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how I’m going to spend the extra time I have– and how this is all going to work out. To be honest, it’s a bit scary to think about. But like many of my friends, and people who I’ve met who reached the same fork in the road and made the same choice, I’m confident that if I play my cards right, and put in the work,  I’ll experience success like they have.

This brings me to the main topic of this post– My blog and my plans for 2016.

Posting Schedule:

After giving it much thought, I’ve decided to just scrap the Monday Evening Posts entirely, and for good reason. As much as I like the idea of having a regiment, I’ve found that in trying to stick with it, I’m more concerned with showing work for the sake of keeping time, than taking time to put more quality into my work, and the posts themselves. Instead, I think it’s best I post casually, when I have something to share, especially since it allows me to put more soul into my work, and my writing.

Goals and Expectations:

If I may, I’d like you take a moment to talk about the art shared in this post. I started this illustration back when I decided to let my job go, in November, and it began with me drawing myself in a wedding dress, holding my sketchbook, and art supplies as part of my bouquet. When my friends asked what it meant,  I simply told them, I love art, that I’m married to it,  and committed to my dream of being a “successful” full-time artist, so that someday, I will be able to tackle the ideas, stories and concepts that I’ve been stockpiling for years, to share them and be recognized in the big world of art.

Of course, like the girl in the constellations, Estelle reminds me that my dreams are like stars- some farther off, but all are within sight, and some even branch off into others. Though touching the stars of your dreams may seem impossible at times, the goal is to aim high anyways, and see where it takes you. I’ve learned that chances are, you just might hit your mark 🙂

The mark for this year? I want to focus on creating art that is driven more by narrative. Most of 2015, my work consisted of character designs.  Instead, I want to strengthen my ability to tell a story, and Illustrate. In addition, to keep my focus where it needs to be, I will be less concerned about how polished these illustrations are– and more about how well I communicate my ideas, so you can expect that most of my personal works will be either sketches, rough concepts or speed paintings. I’ll also be experimenting with various different mediums, like watercolor, pen and Ink.

So that’s what the art shared today is all about. Experimenting with different art mediums, my sketchbook spilling it’s pages of rough concepts, my ideas finding new life, and my dreams my goals– which embody and all the things I hope to share with you this year!

This post has gone on long enough though!  Thank you for reading, I really hope you all had an awesome New Year celebration,  and here’s to 2016! *Cheers*

As always, till next time, Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Evening Post

Well, I literally lost track of time and forgot what day it was x_x, so, Good evening ya’ll! or should I say, Goodmornins, because it’s like, 1am my time when I started writing this lol.

I joke with Justin quite a bit– we both blog and he goes on about how he has his stuff written in advance, while I’m literally like, writing on the fly. Unfortunately I’m not as organized as he is, or rather, I’m prone to operate in organized chaos.

So, Here’s what I have for you today!

merlinsAnother Illustration to add to the gallery!, and, while I’m at it, I figure I’d add all the pages for the portfolio I printed, in spread form, now that it’s a done deal 😀

So I printed this as a book  that was like 8.5 by 5.5, or whatever size it was, I cant remember, can’t find my ruler, so, we’ll go with that! But, I limited myself to 8 pages in total for budgeting reasons, since the costs to print can get pretty high the more pages you add, so in those 8 pages, I tried to find the best images to showcase– many of which is my most recent work, created within the past 8 months or so. There’s only one collection of images that no one has seen, and it’s of the butterfly girl, the page before last, which were illustrations I did for a children’s book years ago called– A Butterfly Named Bee.

What I hope to do in the future, especially since I’ll have the luxury of time, and I’m not rushing to prepare for SDCC, is to take what I’ve learned doing this small illustration book, and collect all the illustrations I do in a 12 month period, at the end of the year, and compile them into a book to showcase my work. The only difference is, I want to include rough studies, and sketches and show process work, along with descriptions of how some of my illustrations are made, so hopefully by December, I can put together a more lengthy portfolio– using this one as a starter.

But, I really worked myself hard in the past couple of months– so much, that I’ve arranged to have a month off from work to allow myself to recover, which will be starting August 1st. I have a few jobs to finish before that, but  I am sooooo ready >_<. What that means for my blog is, I wont be keeping a hard schedule during that period– soo,  though I’ll continue to post throughout the month, there will be no Monday Evening posts. Just random ones, when I have something to share–so, yay for organized chaos!

Well I hope you enjoyed this post! Till next time, Enjoy 😀

Monday Evening Post

Hey guys! Bea here to bring you the Monday evening Post! And of course, new arts! or rather, repainted arts!

Featuring the front cover of my Portfolio

CoverPort1

I wanted to feature my whole portfolio, but my computer decided it wanted to update, causing my entire system to just be unworkable, so I still have a bit more work to do on the book, but for now, there’s this 😀

The Full Cover

Untitled-1To tell you a bit about the lady featured on the front, her name is Ember– and I actually designed her about two years ago for a character design contest I won on Conceptart.org, where the theme was to create a Sun Priest/Priestest.

This was the original

Sunnie3So, quite a few changes! It’s interesting seeing the comparison,  because I’m able to see how my painting has progressed since I first drew this.

Originally my Sun priest had the power of the sun in her hand, and an aurora cloak that flowed around it. The new version I took a different approach. Her entire color scheme, including the gradient from her forehead down represents dawn or sunset. Dark, but at her heart there is light. In terms of her clothes, with the newer version, I went for practicality. She is a black woman, so I made her hair more fro-like, and the design of the bodice really needed a do over. The earlier version was so spiky, I feared that if she bent over she’d impale herself lol, either way it made for good posture right? So I fixed that, by removing many of the spikes while maintaining the flame bra because I likes it lol! And surrounded her with embers 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post, more to come as I feature additional pages from my portfolio– Till next time, Enjoy!

on a side note– I forgot to save the version that has of in the title, so, never mind that blunder lol

Thursday Evening Post

I’ve been introducing you guys to quite a few kitties over the past couple of weeks. Well, today, I’d like to introduce you to a special someone of mine– Please meet Brook, aka, Boodah!

Brook1My chihwuwu, in human form :D!

brookersand uh… in dog form :D!

Contrary to popular belief, my chiwuwu is anything but loud. In fact– she’s a very quiet, an incredibly timid doggie, that’s easily frightened, especially by thunder and rain, which would explain why her ears were back in this photo >_<. She is however vocal when she’s excited, greeting you with doggie whimpers and squeelz that make you ponder if she’s trying to conjure up human words.

I love her! She’s mah baby, and a proud member of the household, so as a challenge to myself, I wanted to draw her portrait, but with her as a human!

This is something I actually wanted to do for quite some time, but only until recently was I able to commit to it, and I went through quite a few drafts, like these, to flesh out her design.

This draft being one I did about two years ago, featuring Brook getting into toilet paper, which she does, and begging for attention, which she also does, a lot >_<.

brook1

and this one, in preparation for final version

Brook0

There were a few things that I knew for sure I wanted to do when I drew Brook. I wanted to show her personality and I wanted her eyes to be big. Brooks eyes are truly her best feature– big and brown and full of emotion. all things considered, it was only natural I drew her like an anime character, lol!

As mentioned in the Monday Evening Post, I was practicing a method I call the Blockout Method, with my painting. These drafts were done in a similar fashion, and I have a little animation following my process :D!

BrookanimateI usually work off quite a few references– some I make, and some I gather from stock or other sources. The 3rd ref is actually a stock image I purchased earlier in the year that I finally decided to use, for it’s color pallet. The background I painted is also based off the stock image.

Overall, I had fun painting Brook! and I look forward to doing similar portraits to other furry beasts that are near and dear to my heart 😀

Check back tomorrow for another update on the sketches for Katzenworld! Till next time, Enjoy!

Monday Evening Post

So it isn’t the evening, as I’m posting this– I don’t care, I breaks the rules!

Anyway, I want you to meet Tom from Catsatthebar! He’s a writer, photographer, and cat aficionado!

Portrait StudyNot to long ago, I published an article requesting help from my followers by asking them to allow me to paint a portrait of them, for  practice. As I mentioned- one of the goals I have, for this blog is to be able to engage with my followers and watchers– and what better way to do that, then to allow you the opportunity to take part in some of my studies as I learn and grow as an artist! I only had a few slots open and Tom was the first to join in!

I was really excited when I got his photo– he’s a handsome guy with an interesting personality and it shows!  This photo in particular is one that he said he was known for taking– where he just kind of stops and stares off into the distance at whatever happens to catch his eye.

About this painting– it’s not photo accurate. I never intended for it to be. These are simply excises; speed paintings done in a short amount of time, designed to try different techniques, broaden my understanding of using different brushes for different effects, playing with my imagination to enhance the lighting and ambiance, and to have a general understanding of facial structure and shapes. It’s important to me that I keep these paintings loose and avoid being a perfectionist. As the old saying goes– only practice makes perfect– and perfectness is simply a byproduct of practice. Overall, when doing these types of studies, the objective is to learn, embrace imperfection,relaxed and have fun while doing it.

Thank you again Tom for lending your handsome face!

TomfaceAs always, Enjoy!

Help me learn to paint faces better by allowing me to paint yours!

One of the goals I have, for this blog is to be able to engage with my followers and watchers– and what better way to do that, than to allow you the opportunity to take part in some of my studies as I learn and grow as an artist!

The challenge for February was to focus on portraiture– because if there’s one thing I struggle with the most as an artist, it is drawing faces….aaaaand I want to change that by being better at it. Normally I’ll scour the internet or the stock websites I’m a member of for portraits to use as references, but instead of relying solely on the images I’ve purchased and collected, I’m also coming to you!

So if you’d like to be painted by me, as one of my facial studies, here’s what you need to know, and also what I’m looking for.

1. I’m looking for 5-10 participants to individually supply one photo of one individual that I may use as a reference to paint from. Depending on how many people participate, if any, I’ll pull the best images from the lot.

2. My paintings will be stylized, not photo realistic, meaning, I’ll be painting them in my own style.

3. No selfies please. Also, photo must be high quality, or at least good enough that I can make out the details of the facial features.

4. A photo that tells a story about your personality is encouraged. Fun, quirky, sexy, natural or emotional facial expressions are a huge plus. the more emotion you have, the better.

5.You may link me to your photo through my comments , or use my contact page to send an email.

Just a note– Once I’ve completed the two commissions I’m currently working on, I intend to move into my study of faces and portraits. I don’t make these offers often. It is only because I’m trying to grow in certain areas that I’ve taken on this challenge, and have left these slots open. These paintings will also be done in my leisure, so any commission work I may receive will be treated as priority. Participants will be notified however, when their painting is published. Overall I hope some of you are willing to participate. It would be much appreciated :D.