I’m not feeling very creative today so that title will have to do. Here’s a quick painting of a goldfish from reference, specifically a particularly pretty photograph by addy-ack.deviantart.com. Go and check out her work. She inspired a painting, it’s only fair!

I’m not especially thrilled with the outcome of this painting, it was an attempt at using a vivid, high contrast colour palette, which I feel like I achieved, but the painting itself is sort of a rush job. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of painting fine details yet. In any event, a painting is a painting.

In other news, I got myself a copy of the CS6 Master Suite finally. I’ve been spending some time learning After Effects which is progressing nicely. If I keep learning new software, I’m sure something will stick eventually.

It’s been an odd year. Getting married was a cue for everything else in my life to fly off the rails. “Change Places!” it yells, like some sort of existential Mad Hatter.

Since then, my wife has graduated university, learned to drive and gotten herself a job so far away from our home that we’ve had to move. Which is lucky because my graphic design work dried up and we could no longer afford to live there anyway. We’ve since moved back in with my parents, which isn’t exactly how I intended to spend the first year of my marriage, but it is what it is.

I also recently learned something about myself that has fundamentally altered the way I see my own life and the decisions that I have made in the past, like putting on a pair of glasses that you weren’t aware you needed; I can see things much more clearly now, but I have to live with the fact that I need glasses for the rest of my life. The metaphorical glasses that is, I came to terms with needing actual specs a long time ago. Either way, it would seem the mistakes and hardships in my life have never been entirely my fault, which is a heavy weight that has gone unlifted for far too long.

Anyway, that’s enough of that. There hasn’t been anywhere near enough art here recently so let’s try and get that back on track, shall we?

I’ve recently fallen in love with vinyl art toys in a big way, specifically Lunartik In a Cup of Tea. Something about them appeals to me in a huge way, which is interesting considering I don’t even like tea. Recently the artist behind the series sold a very limited run of Halloween themed toys, but they were a little bit too expensive for me at the time. I decided to design my own to make myself feel better. I’m hoping to actually make it at some point, but I have this to show for now.

EDIT: I spend an hour of so experimenting with this after uploading it, adding more atmospheric lighting and painting over it to integrate the texture better. I also did the eyes to look more glassy and dead. All in all I’m pleased with it. Progress is always good.

Periodically, I find myself entirely lacking any drive to draw or paint; often following a period of time where I have made obvious, significant progress. The sheer relief that I feel when I make this kind of progress can distract me long enough for the doubts to creep in and start picking apart my hard work.

When I get like this, I find that it’s often helpful to go back to my fundamentals and learn some theory that I might have skipped over before. This time around, I’ve been brushing up on value. I’m not exactly a stranger to value, but I confess that I’ve never really learned precisely how it works to show form; you see value every day so it’s often the sort of thing that you can just wing.

To remedy this, I spent the weekend watching some DVDs by Scott Robertson, to whom I owe almost everything I know about advanced perspective. It’s a bit simplistic, but I thought I’d share a couple of my notes and studies here until I have something more substantial to show.

Come for the art, stay for the puns.

Practice continues, albeit slowly. This week I was prompted by enliighten.com to tackle my most hated of subjects: hands. I also painted these in colour right from the off, forgoing the nice, safe greyscale painting that I usually start with.

I love/hate working with colour. It allows so much more control than just painting with value, but with that comes a massive jump in complexity that I find it all too easy to get lost in. Though I felt a lot more comfortable by the second painting, which allowed me to use a more varied colour palette and, I think, paint something that looks a little more like skin than I’ve ever managed before.

Interestingly, when I attempt something this far outside of my comfort zone, I’ve found that I can actually feel myself learning. It’s a sort of mental strain that reminds me of those fairground games where you have to pass a metal ring over a fiendishly looping course without touching it, with every last drop of frustration and appeal that comes with it.

Art would certainly be easier to learn if there was a buzzer to tell you when you’re doing it wrong.

It’s been a few weeks since my last post, which I suppose is to be expected. Weddings tend to take a sizeable bite out of a persons life and mine was no exception.

To atone for my absence, I painted a bust that I found over on enliighten.com. It was a great way to stretch my withering art muscles that have gone unused for almost a month now.

P.S. I fucking love these chalky brushes.

Some fanart today, inspired by the wonderful prequeladventure.com, a comic which I lost most of the last two days to. I find it so easy to relate to a character when I am invited to be a part of her subconscious. Of course, it helps when that character is so charmingly written too.

I wanted to see if I could translate the stylised, graphical character designs into something more painterly. I think the face is still a little flat, but in all I think it came out quite nicely. All of this concept art and digital painting practice runs the risk of covering up my love of stylised cartoon and comic artwork. Yet another thing that I’d like to pursue when I’ve got five minutes to spare.

It would seem that I’m beginning to chip away at this wall I’ve been bashing my head into for so long. I still have a long way to go, clearly, but I’m actually starting to believe that all this effort might reward me with more than just a headache. With that, and my wedding coming up this month, you might say that I’ve had a good week.

I’ve been spending a lot of my time recently reading about, thinking of and playing Magic: The Gathering. I have been bitten by this bug before, but it has never been much of an issue; this time, however, it has latched on and shows little of removing itself from my epidermis. Luckily, with Magic comes some truly stunning artwork by some of my favourite artists and has proven to be a steady source of inspiration.

Some day I would like to open a booster pack and find one of my own paintings staring back at me. Until then, I’ll be bashing my head against this wall.

In my continuing efforts to act like a proper artist, I spent some time doing a planar study today from an image I found over at enliighten.com. It’s been a busy week and I imagine it’s not going to get any easier until March, but I’ll keep practicing when I can and sharing all my progress here.

I did some more eyes today. This time I did them without reference in a bid to commit them to memory. I can’t really explain why half of them turned into disembodied cartoon eyeballs and lizard eyes. I got distracted.

S’fun though.

Just some doodles of eyes. I figured I needed the practice after my self portrait.