Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sleipnir again.

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Here's the latest.  Had fun working on this one over my Thanksgiving break.  Here is Sleipnir, Odin's 8-legged horse.  I posted a different take on painting this one some months ago, but I'm much happier with this version.

I was able to enjoy gorgeous surroundings as inspiration while I worked, as I spent Thanksgiving week up in King's Canyon National Park next to Sequoia trees.  I felt like I was in Lothlorien :)

Next up, I'm back to painting on my Frost Giant drawing, previously shown.  Also never quite finished Freyja, so need to complete her painting.

I'm very much looking forward to some extended (and much needed) art work time when teaching lets up for Christmas break!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Odin and Frigg

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Finished (I think) Frigg today.  Here she is putting clouds in the sky using her magical distaff.  See previous post of the unfinished version.  Same with Odin -- here's the completed version.

I think I'll be working on one of the creatures next.  I need to go back and re-work Sleipnir, since I hadn't quite settled on my style for this series back when I first painted that one.  Though I also haven't finished Freyja so that one is also on the back burner.

Anyway, I'm very happy with how these are coming out.  I feel like I'm getting better with my painting and just hope to get a-goin' on having more of them done.


Friday, October 3, 2014

In the news...

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Hey, so that newspaper article for the Signal Tribune with me as the artist spotlight was put out today :D

I'm trying not to let it go to my head, but...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

An unfortunate event, getting some press & Odin-in-progress

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Well, hello again!  As a teacher, the new school year getting rolling has REALLY kept me busy.  I also had quite an unfortunate event kick things off -- my MacBook got stolen while I was at school on the first day of conservatory teaching :(  I did have anti-theft software installed, but I haven't been able to track it.  More importantly, I did have cloud back-up of my hard drive data through Backblaze -- yay!  So glad I had my computer files backed up.  That includes these Norse digital paintings!  I was able to set myself up again on my partner's 2011 MacBook that wasn't really getting used that much.  Phew.  A crummy thing to happen, but it could have been an even bigger disaster.

Anyway, that whole experience put a crimp in my workflow for a bit... but I feel like I'm getting back on track.  Been working on the Odin painting, as you can see above.

I also was able to get recommended through my mentor, Dorte Christjansen, for an artist profile for The Signal Tribune, a local paper!  The Signal Tribune serves the city of Signal Hill, which is very unique as it is completely contained by the larger city of Long Beach, where I reside.  The interview, including images of my work, is scheduled for the Oct. 3 edition.  Yay!

Okee doke, back to work.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

I think we're getting somewhere.

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Been a little absent lately -- the school year is gearing up so I'm prepping for teaching (this coming Tuesday, ahhh!), and just before that I did a bit of vacationing (got to finally see the Grand Canyon!).

Sooo, getting my groove back with my Norse series.  Perhaps the time away was just what I needed because I feel like I've made a break-through in painting my drawings.  Above you'll see a new painted version of Thor.  I really ended up going in a different direction that my initial experiment with the painting of Sleipnir.  I liked that one, but still didn't quite feel like I had really nailed it yet.  I'm feeling a lot better with this version.  Looking forward to continuing this style of coloring to the other drawings.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Still drawing too

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Here's some of the latest I've been up to.  The bottom image is Frigg, Queen of Asgard, which I had posted a previous version of before.  I did a little more work on her to make her look a bit more "queenly", as well as adding the background pattern in.  She is spinning the clouds using her magical distaff.

At top is a new one, Skadi, who is the Norse goddess of hunting and skiing.  Having quite got the background worked out for that one yet...

I do hope to switch back to more painting soon, but I feel like these pesky remaining drawings are hanging over my head! :)  I still sure am having a lot of fun on them.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Starting to paint at last...

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I haven't actually finished all of my 13 drawings yet, but the big ol' part II to these pictures, the painting, has been looming over my head so I went ahead and got started.  The drawings are complete (I think!) for 7 of them, so I'm taking some time to get at least a handful of them rolling with the painting aspect.  2 more of the drawings are done except for the background patterns.  That leaves 3 more drawings that are just practically a glimmer in my eye at this point :)

Argh, painting is very... challenging for me :)  Confession: I'm more comfortable with lines than with color and value.  So I am really welcoming this series so that I can get more faster and more better (yes, I know that's not grammatically correct) at painting!  Right now, because I'm at the beginning stages of painting these, I'm still figuring out some of my decisions about my style and technique that will be affecting all of them.

I am scanning my drawings at 600 dpi and painting in Photoshop CS6 if anyone is wondering :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Frigg, Queen of Asgard

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Today I was working on this drawing of Frigg, the queen of Asgard.  She's married to Odin and both of them sit at times on the high seat and look out over the universe.

Here I've drawn her spinning the clouds (one of her pastimes, using her special distaff -- a thing used for spinning wool normally).

I struggled a bit with this one, and drew a different version first that I scrapped.  No, you may not see it.  I am 100% happier with this version.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Today's drawing: an 8-Legged Challenge

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Here's the drawing I was working on mainly today.  This is Sleipnir, Odin's 8-legged horse.  Fun fact, Loki is actually his mother.  From this time that he shape-shifted into the form of a mare.

I was looking forward to this drawing because I really like drawing horses.  But very challenging to try to make eight legs on a horse "look right."

Just gotta figure out the background pattern on this one...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Odin drawing

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Quick update: here's the drawing I was working on today -- Odin, obvs.  He has a lot of creatures associated with him (his two wolves, his two ravens, his eight-legged horse, etc.), but I decided to just focus on his ravens that bring him all the doings of the world (gossip!).  Behind you see his fancy throne, and just a general Norse pattern in the background.  I really like the composition on this one.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Draw, draw, draw

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So here's an update on how my project has been going.  At this early-ish stage, I'm just working on the drawings, not the paintings yet.

It's been wonderful getting to spend such extended time at my drawing board!

I started out by revisiting the pieces that I had already done a lot of work on (see previous posts) and seeing if I could improve them.  I did the most work, I think, on changing some things for my Freyja picture (below you'll see reference photos for her hand that I took of myself), but I've also totally changed the figure on the Thor picture.  The other changes were a little more minor.

Above you'll see a photo of a new one I'm working on for the Norse goddes, Nott (Thor's grandma).  She rides along the sky to bring night to the world every day.  I'm excited to get to put a cool horse in this one.

I'm itching to do some dragons, so maybe I'll work on that creature next.  I'm still deciding if I'm going to do Nidhogg (the dragon who perpetually gnaws on the roots of the world tree), or Jormungandr a.k.a. the Midgard Serpent (the sea serpent who encircles the world)

Well, off to draw some more!

Friday, June 20, 2014

This summer is going to be THE BEST

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Well, I have some exciting news that I needed to share!  I'm going to be spending the summer completely focused on my Norse Mythology series.

Normally I teach during the summer as well, working for a sort of kids art day-camp that OCSA runs that lasts 8 weeks.  I've dreamed of being able to take the summer off from teaching and just work on my art.  That dream has come true thanks to a grant I was chosen for!  The school I teach at during the normal school year, Orange Co. School of the Arts, for the first time offered two creative enrichment grants for teachers.  I was so excited to be chosen and I'm using the money to live on (since I'm technically a part-time teacher I don't get paid during the summer) so I can just be in my studio all summer.

My grant proposal outlined this Norse Mythology series that I've been working on here and there for the past year or so -- as seen in some of my previous posts.  My goal is to complete 13 finished digital paintings for this series.  This will reinvigorate my portfolio, as well as providing works for a gallery exhibit of some kind, and maybe even merchandising usage (cards, calendar, etc?)

The above photo is from my little studio set-up at my place.  I have a make-shift light table that's my drawing surface.  I start from actual drawings that will then be scanned to create digital paintings in Photoshop using my Wacom Intuos 4 tablet.

As I get rolling I am starting with honing and in some cases reworking the images I had already had going.  Then on to some of the new images.  My deadline isn't actually until January, but of course I plan to do the bulk of the work during this free & clear work time over the summer.

I'm trying to surround myself with lots of helpful inspiration related to the project and am finding Pinterest boards to be super helpful.  I plan on spending some time watching and learning from some YouTubes of digital artists that I like demo-ing paintings.  I'd love to hear any one else's suggestions too.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Another view of England

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I enjoyed revisiting my England trip with that quick painting of those sheep grazing, so I'm following it up with another.

I took a bit longer on this one since it was more complicated, picking away at it here and there when I had some time.  It's 9x12 in. and done in acrylic.

This week I'm on spring break for OCSA where I teach art.  At the beginning of the week I was able to take a little trip up north to Solvang, CA.  Very pretty wine country type of place.  Got some wonderful photos up there that could turn into some artwork too perhaps.  It was wonderfully relaxing.

I think I'll be turning my attention back to the Norse mythology series I was working on earlier now though.  Solvang helped inspire me since it was originally a Danish settlement and has many nods to Danish Viking stuff.

Friday, February 14, 2014

memories of England

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"Grazing in Stratford-Upon-Avon"

Here's something a little different for me.  This is a painting a did the other day to donate for a fundraising auction.

The scene is from a photo I snapped when I visited England in the summer of 2011.  This shot was in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare's hometown.

The painting is just 8 x 10" and done in acrylic.  Tried to keep it loose and not "noodle around" with it too much, as my CSUF plein-air painting instructor, Cliff Cramp, used to say :)