Thursday, December 22, 2005

School's out for winter, but that hasn't slowed me down...too much. I've caught up on my sleep and on my fun time, but I'm working on a painting, with a looooong (and growing) list of projects still to do. Also keeping me busy is cleaning and preparing everything for going to LB for Christmas. We want to come back to a house that is clean and inviting, so that's my job.

I have to finalize many projects in the next couple days, so I can enjoy my Christmas. I will also be posting up my last painting of the semester at some point.

Happy Holidays to all!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Heyer and Heyer: illustration double take

Two artists I have recently been introduced to that I have grown to admire are Marilee Heyer and Carol Heyer. They are not related....that I know of.

Marilee Heyer's illustrations I first discovered in a re-release of Tamora Pierce's books, which I absolutely love. I think historically that this would be the 3rd US release of Ms. Pierce's first series, The Song of the Lioness, yet are not to be confused with the fourth and latest release of her books (which also have great illustrations, but of a different quality). Then in illustration class I was shown one of her children's books, The Girl, The Fish, and The Crown. I was amazed by the intricacies of detail and beauty of color that she has in each of her pieces. I need to practice a LOT more with watercolor to come close to her or other watercolor masters, such as Olga and Andrej Dugin and Gennady Spirin. I definitely would like to move my art more in their direction.

Carol Heyer's art is also beautiful and in the areas I would enjoy working in: children's art and fantasy art. Her illustrations are colorful and very volumetric, a tendency that I have been moving toward in my own work. She is also a local artist, which is very exciting. I hope to get to meet her and talk with her at least once while I'm here.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Illustrator of the week: Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Joanne's work is incredibly whimsical, the direction my art has been taking me recently. The settings appear very simplistic at first, but they make interesting use of perspective and line quality. one of my favorite illustrations of hers is the mice eating the cheese and mac & cheese. I love the fourth mouse, who's not quite as obvious as the other three, but is quite amusing.

What I can learn from Joanne: great imagery doesn't necessarily transcend from photorealism. Artistically simple, but conceptually complex work can be astounding.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Illustrator of the Week: Charlotte Voake

Charlotte Voake's illustrations are very whimsical, which is what first attracted me. When I saw her castle illustration I knew she would be the artist I chose this week. Her art is just plain fun.

What I can learn from Charlotte Voake: whimsical perspective. The type of linework used, and whether or not it feels "casual" impacts the illustration greatly: broken lines, and inking that doesn't entirely outline the form.

Back from nowhere

It's been a while since I posted. Granted, I had visitors for a week, but that was over a week ago. Scott's painting is ready to be started, my parent's painting is almost done (running slightly behind on that) and a logo I designed needs it's final touch-ups and then it'll be finished.

The summer is nearly over. In review of my summer: More successful summer than last summer; not nearly enough if I am to make a career out of freelancing. I'm going to start looking into magazine layout as an option. It's not nearly so high-end as graphic design, but there are also a LOT of graphic designers in California, and they're all competing for the flashy jobs. I've always enjoyed working on page layout in yearbook, so why not? If I can do the technical stuff, I can always use my creativity to interpret the technical end or add some pizazz to the pieces. Well. that's my career thoughts for the moment...i tend to fluctuate frequently.

Goals for semester: maintain onion boy (because i'm doing soooo good at it now) updates every week. Work on value contrast to create form in illustration. Look into internships offered at CSUN. Focus on hands and faces in figure drawing. (I've actually noticed in many illustrations, that's often the only body parts you can really covers anything else.) Create characters for an illustration project for some friends.

Time to get working on some final summer projects.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Illustrator of the Week: Linda Petchnick

Linda's watercolor flowers

I have chosen Linda Petchnick for her orchid illustrations since i'm working on an orchid painting myself at the moment. I love the colors she uses and she is painting in watercolor, which is the medium i'm using as well. Although there's no real close up of the paintings, even from what is shown, it is evident her work is very detail oriented.

What I can learn from Linda: detail can exist in watercolor, and even her white petals are not stark white.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Words to live by

"It helps to be out there, whether you're an artist or a musician,'' Porter said. "Art is so tricky to really make it work. It's like a faith. If you have a faith that it'll go somewhere, then you buckle down.''
From an article about live painting.

7. Peter Schjeldahl’s Ten Commandments for Artists: "Work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, don't whine." (Found over in the archives at
From SL Viehl's Blog, Paperback Writer.

Illustrator of the Week: Bagram Ibatouline

Bagram Ibatouline.

I chose Bagram for two reasons: first, the illustrations of The Nightengail, which was one of my first illustration projects. I like the very Asian quality to the work, slightly flat, just as some of asian imagery is. Second, the train illustrations have great perspectives and they are not flat looking either. Currently, all my perspective projects--save one--look very stiff. But you have to start somewhere, I guess, and I'm trying to get all my images to have a setting of some sort.

What I can learn from Bagram Ibatouline: curving perspective and showing light and form on black objects.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Onion Boy 7


Poor Onion Boy. He's so abused. He's so cute! After I had almost completed the coloring, I realized that I forgot to put the torn flag in the background. At least it's alluded to by the peice in the dog's mouth.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Illustrator of the week: Paige Pooler

This is a new weekly post that i'm going to have, allowing myself to have fun while researching the field I'm interested in. Although this first post should in theory be linking two of my favorite illustrators: Stephanie Law and Todd Lockwood, this first one is actually an illustrator that has a style completely different than mine and yet is still very cute: Paige Pooler.

What I can learn from Paige: sometimes simple works better then elaborate.

Ups and Downs

I applied for a job at a great place: storyopolis. Unfortunately I didn't get the job, this time, but they said to try again in September, so I shall. Narhin did get the job, and it's good, because this will be her first job. Yay Nahrin!

My class at laafigart is going well, although I paint a little slow, and I need more practice in oil painting. One of the students there gave me this suggestion: paint 100 figures then take all the paintings after #100 and get feedback, because the first 100 paintings are going to be crap. So that is another goal for myself.

In other news, california is now last in the nation in art funding, which royally sucks for my fall semester. Read more here.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Onion Boy 6


Poor Onion Boy, he's so abused! But that's one of the reasons why we all love him...that and because his derrier shows (very innocently, of course). This one marks the midpoint of this series of OB drawings. Only five remaining on his first adventure. Never fear though, I have the first sketches and concept for the next sequence in the works.

The weekend went fairly well, but didn't get a lot of art done. Just some prelim colors of the background of the Ren. woman. The landscape is done, and the columns have been started. I need to finish the columns and the floor, then I get to work on the banners and the woman herself! That will be the most fun!

Onion Boy 5


This was the OB that had the most changes so far. All the original sketches vary in size slightly, so I always resize the images to match the first drawing. This drawing was correctly sized to begin with, so the sketch ended up being too tall for the square format. It was of the utmost importance to have OB as close to the top edge of the box as possible to show he's tumbling through air. I shifted him left slightly so I could then rotate the flag (originally over OB's head) and place it to the right, but still in the 'air'. I'm not particularly fond of the shadow in this one and in the next one, but the shadow lines didn't scan well, and the floor area needed to be distinguished from the 'air', thus the shadow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Working hard

I am currently alternating between 4 projects at the moment: Scott's commission, finishing up the Snow Queen painting, Onion Boy and my Renn-alien-Dugin inspired painting which is really cool, and I'm itching to paint. The snow Queen has just one more layer of paint to put down, but i'm waiting for the current one to dry, so that'll be a few days. The background for the Renn-a-D painting (i don't know what to call it yet) is drawn, and i need to scan it in so i can digitally color it this weekend down in LB. The digital coloring is only a color comp, to try and figure out my colors for the oil painting. Onion Boy for this week and last is inked and scanned, needs coloring though...that may be another thing i'm working on in LB this weekend.

Tomorrow my day is filled with housework. I have to get the bedroom ready for the new bed (including buying supplies for painting the room, which i'm doing friday) and then i have to get the computer/guest room ready for the old bed! and i have to make lasagna for this weekend.

now dinner and class!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Onion Boy 4


Onion Boy from last week finally posted! It is a double one, twice the size for twice the drama. The flag is the worst flag yet, but that's because I can barely draw a straight line with a pencil, much less a mouse. I also think that the dog is getting more and more misproportioned, but oh well. I will be posting this week's O.B. tomorrow.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Week at a glance

This week was partially successful, and partially unsuccessful. I am registered for a figure and portrait painting class with Nahrin, and that starts in a week and a half thereabouts. The teacher is Sergio Sanchez, and I really liked his artwork when I went to a gallery showing of all the teachers' works. I am excited since I haven't taken an oil painting class yet, and instead of studying still life, I get to study the figure, which I love to paint/draw (even though it frustrates me at times.) Also, we got Nahrin's new computer fixed up. Now we're both set.

Now the unsuccessful bit. I didn't get much artwork done, just some sketching, and some more shading on my Dugin inspired piece. The character is almost done, and i need to work on a background. I think the character is going to be looking out a circular window onto an interesting landscape. But I'm not positive yet. I'll try out some options. As you can also tell, no onion boy is posted. I had a fight with my scanner, and it wasn't speaking to me! Luckily, Eric fixed it shortly before we headed down to Long Beach, and I should be able to post it Tuesday!

Exciting info:
Last day of work: Sunday
Anime Expo: Monday

I know that one person from megatokyo will be there. yay! we want to support them, their art is cool. I hope I get inspired by art there, and I come home and draw another cool picture!


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Onion Boy 3


As promised, I am now current with onion boy. I need to start on Scott's comissioned artwork, hoping to show him at least one of the character sketches this weekend. I need to get working on it because I'd like to submit the final peice to the Masters of Fantasy 2005 competition on and the deadline is August 1st. I have one month to work on this! I'll need all that time to get it just right. There will be three characters, one on a throne, and two with weapons. and there will be candles and gothic architecture! and twisty trees, because they're fun to draw!

Onion Boy 2


Finally posted! Very belated, but better late than never! The next one is inked, scanned and should be up sometime this afternoon! The color on the flag is better, the color on the dog is worse than the first one. I need to do more sketches of onion boy, so I'll be prepared after the first 11 go up (actually #11 isn't drawn yet). I think I have about 5 random o.b. sketches throughout my sketchbooks.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

OB and general info update

Onion Boy #2 inked scanned and started coloring...should have it up tomorrow. OB 3 should be up on Thursday. I still have to finish painting the Snow Queen and work on the character sketches for Scott's comission. Also, I have to work on a tattoo commission for one of the guys at work.

The character sketch inspired by Olga Dugina and Andrej Dugin looks fabulous. 50% shaded. This is one of the pieces I work on down in Long Beach over the weekends. Pencil only since I can't haul down my studio. I'll post it once I'm finished shading it. Hopefully there will be more like it to come and character creation will get easier. I pictured this one completely the night before I drew it...I even kept waking up Eric because my mind was too active and I couldn't rest well.

They finally posted the summer schedule for LAAFigArt. I'll be signing up for Glenn Vilppu's drawing class this summer. I'm so excited, because I love the way he draws and interprets the human form. And this will definitely prepare me for the two figure drawing classes next semester. I want to be able to do good quick sketches of people by next summer, because I want to keep a travel journal while in Japan. That means I need to draw a LOT more before then. And I need to practice drawing buildings as well!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Behind on Onion Boy

So my track record isn't the greatest at the moment, since it's only week 2 and i'm behind already, but I have a good excuse: JURY DUTY! I've been in jury duty for three days this week. Yesterday I worked on painting the snow queen drawing that I used for my final project in visual tech. The face is painted, and the first colors for the background and the clothes are laid in, but the hair and the snowflake have not been touched. I also went to Storyopolis last night and saw a great exhibition of the children's book art of Olga Dugina and Andrej Dugin, a husband and wife team. It was fabulous and I enjoyed talking to the artists a lot. I'll be working on a costume design a la Dugina/Dugin which I have to complete by next tuesday.

Today, I'm in Long Beach as I will be for all the remaining Friday-Sunday's this summer, helping out as needed with Eric's mom's recovery. Onion Boy has been transfered to the watercolor paper, but hasn't been inked, scanned, or colored. Stay tune for 2 Onion Boy drawings next week, and hopefully I'll actually have a full week to work on my art.

In the books Path of Fate and Path of Honor, one of my favorite lines is "We are who we pretend to be." So I pretend to be an illustrator, and thus I shall become one. (Well, with a lot of hard work, too!)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Onion Boy 1

Introducing Onion Boy! Weekly updates to occur. Hand drawn and colored digitally, although I'm also creating a series of watercolors from the hand drawn versions. He started because I fell in love with some sketches of vegetable characters done by Amano, awesome anime artist.

Fledgling Flight

And so my website has begun! This site is to be a reflection of my dreams, thoughts, fears, and my climb towards my goal as a fantasy illustrator. I often feel like I'm taking baby steps to get where I'm going, but hopefully I shall look back one day and be proud of how far I've come. My goals this summer are to finish three projects and do a lot of sketching and practicing my oil painting, which I just started to learn this past semester. Also, I am planning on weekly posts of a little mini-comic of a sorts of my new doodling obsession: a very funny character called Onion Boy (and his little dog, too!).

I was very lucky when I moved out here that I had instant companionship through my husband's friends. Yet I've been missing close female friends for the longest time. I have finally found not only friendship, but shared dreams and goals, with Nahrin. Both of us want to become fantasy illustrators, and we're going to push each other to get better and improve our skills.

A note on the name of the website and blog. I have always loved birds of prey, and considered following in the footsteps of wonderful author Mercedes Lackey and becoming a Raptor rehabillitator (with Eric's allergies, that's no longer an option). The most common character name I use in games is Raven. Ironically, shortly after arriving in Cali, Scott dubbed me NightenGail in a story he was writing. In it I was a ranger, still one of my favorite characters to play, and a healer. Although I have no healing skills that I know of and, unlike my new namesake, I cannot sing for anything, the name (which I'm quite pleased with) stayed. In honor of my husband for all his love, in honor of scott for his friendship and the cool name, and in honor of our friends and family and their support, I present