Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 Highlights

It's that time again! I thought I'd put together another collection of the work I'm most proud of from the past year. In chronological order (I think):

The Mystery of the Roofrunner, this year's free Patience mini-comic. I thought the story was a little weaker than The Mystery of the Night Boy (2012), but I really tried my hardest on the environments, and I think they're miles better than my backgrounds had been before.

Children of the Night, the goth anthology I made with my bestie Sammy Borras this Summer. This was by far the biggest project I've ever cranked out, we did about 30 pages each! It was divided into shorter stories, but it really gave my a feel of how much work a long comic project would be. I'm also really pleased with my writing on all three of my comics!

A couple of pictures to represent Inktober as a whole. Last year I had no time to do Inktober, so I was really proud of myself for not only finishing it, but actually getting some good work out of it. Also I learned to do ink wash.

Finally, right at the end of the year, the twelve Christmas cards I made for my friends and family this year. I had the idea for these last year, but had no time to get them done for Christmas. I'm so pleased to have managed it this year.

I confess, it was... much harder to find things I was proud of this year. (Only Children of the Night leapt to mind.) Mostly because I didn't finish most of the things I'd planned to do by 2014. I had a portfolio review in... February? and got some excellent advice, but I did the same thing I did last year and got caught up in a lot of smaller projects and didn't manage implement any of that advice. I feel very foolish for allowing that to happen even when I'd identified it as a problem at the end of last year.

Obviously I fall into this trap very easily when I don't have some sort of structure in place, so this time I've made a to-do list for the WHOLE OF 2014. Complete with month-by-month breakdowns of which projects need to be started when. If I can't get the stuff on that list done by 2015 (barring major life problems) then it will only be because I lack discipline!

Bring on 2014! I can do better this year!

Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas Cards - Set Two

These six are all plant-themed, and went to my friends. There's conifer, dogwood, hellebore, holly, mistletoe and rosehip. (I know rosehip is more of an Autumn thing, but I've seen it used in wreaths so I thought I could get away with it.)

I can't decide if dogwood or hellebore is my favourite from this set.

Christmas Cards - Set One

Now that it's safely after Christmas, I can show off the cards I made this year! I did twelve angels themed around different Christmas motifs, these six went to my family.

These are baubles, bells, candles, ice, nuts and oranges, and the Star of Bethlehem. I think ice is my favourite from this set.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Sketchavember 2013 - Part 3

The last set!

Day 21 - I tried another of these plant portraits, but this one didn't come out as well. I haven't worked on Medach's story in so long I don't even remember the name of his kingdom. I'm sure I wrote it down somewhere.

Day 22 - I drew this in the train station on the way to Thought Bubble, then forgot to finish it, Oops.

Day 23 - At Thought Bubble I developed a nasty cold, and I was so tired that this little Poppet was all I could manage.

Day 24 - On the train home I managed this Crow Boy, but I think you can still tell I was ill.

Day 25 - I channelled my feelings of exhaustion into Coda.

Day 26 - Thankfully feeling better, I had another go at drawing people physically interacting. Andersen is supposed to have pushed his head under Jessie's arm, but I drew the wrong part of the movement so you can't really tell. I like the picture overall though.

Day 27 - I pinned down the new character model for Hephzibah. She now has a longer nose and many more freckles.

Day 28 - Fret again, working on poses. (This didn't go quite right, but never mind.)

Day 29 - I was listening to Bat For Lashes, and decided if Crow Boy counts as fantasy Lottie must too. She's playing 'funeral'.

Day 30 - And one final Sweetpea! He's a little lopsided.

Part 1   Part 2

Monday, 2 December 2013

Sketchavember 2013 - Part 2

Day 11 - The fantasy theme was firmly in place, so naturally I drew Coriander, since I'd already done Sweetpea.

Day 12 - Still trying to pin down better designs for old characters, I drew Asmodeus and Mirin.

Day 13 - Having realised the previous day that I find drawing people leaning on other people really hard, I thought I'd better practice. Caspian isn't pleased that Felix wants to share his napping spot.

Day 14 - Already having drawn Sweetpea did not stop me drawing him again. His ear frills are falling off for Autumn, I imagine it itches.

Day 15 - I felt guilty about drawing Nat so badly before, so I tried again (although it still wasn't too successful).

Day 16 - A background! What is this madness? Also I've done something strange to Louise's face again.

Day 17 - I like this one a lot, although I'm not sure if Coda should have such big manga eyes.

Day 18 - A clue as to the plot in which Shasta appears. What's Jessie doing in his ruins? I added 'heavily shaded pencil drawings' to the list of things I shouldn't start at 10pm

Day 19 - Now we're getting somewhere. Fret looks like a silver birch tree, complete with dark lacerations on his skin. I also tried to add a background, in the interests of not being lazy, and I was very pleased with how it looked.

Day 20 - So pleased I tried again with Larkspur. Reeds don't provide the same visual balance though.

Part 1   Part 3

Sketchavember 2013 - Part 1

I did Sketchavember this year as well, although being tired from Inktober the first few pictures didn't come out very well. Originally I was just trying to do pictures I'd be happy for people to see, but it became clear that a theme really helps me, so I added a fantasy theme about 7 days in and stuck with pencil for the rest of the month.

Day 1 - Larkspur, in pencil. This one actually came out fine, lulling me into a false sense of security.

Day 2 - Isaac, in biro. I seem to hardly ever draw in biro any more, so I tried again and it seemed to turn out okay.

Day 3 - I tried to draw the Mirror Twins in my normal style, rather than 'dolly' style, and they came out looking creepier than usual.

Day 4 - Getting tired, I drew Sweetpea, as he was the first thing that leapt to mind.

Day 5 - Oh dear, here's where it all started breaking down. In biro again, I was trying to draw the black fire that Nat liked to conjure as a teenager, but in terms of quality it looks like a drawing from when I was a teenager! (In hindsight this one doesn't meet the criteria of 'a picture I'm happy for people to see', but I couldn't have done a better one in that state anyway.)

Day 6 - Still valiantly pressing on, we have an attempt to do something different that really backfired. I was really burnt out and I don't think I was capable of doing anything better at this point.

Day 7 - A drawing of my hands in gel pen, because I noticed a lot of tiny cuts on them. This was where I decided I really wasn't happy with how Sketchavember was going and had a big think about how to continue. Fun fact, the pencil under-drawing for one of these had to be drawn with the wrong hand, because I wanted to do both from observation.

Day 8 - Here's where the fantasy theme starts, and I immediately did better work with that restriction in place. I drew Shasta in pencil, and decided to continue in pencil for the rest of the challenge.

Day 9 - The Crow Boy, in a new sketchbook which also helped. I think he's one of the best pictures in the whole month.

Day 10 - Working on re-designing Fret, so he fits better in his forest. If he's the same species as Larkspur, he should change to look like his environment.

Part 2   Part 3