Older and Wiser – 2017 – Digital – click for full view on site!

Something old that’s new again

If you’re curious as to the reasoning behind this piece (or potential creative content plans) feel free to check out Fluffy Beak. Most of the answers are there. What isn’t there is a long-winded explanation about how the right side of the face was ridiculously more complex than the left- as it was- and it was frustrating. I probably spent a good two hours painting over it. After which I was somewhat satisfied with the result. Mostly. No, no- it’s okay. Really. That said, as a first attempt with my newly acquired Wacom Intuos Pro I’m fairly happy with the result.

I’ll probably never be entirely happy.

But such is the joy of creating things. Or at least it is with my brain that never lets me acknowledge my accomplishments. I’m slightly easier on myself when it comes to digital painting and illustrating, though. I’m far less experienced with it (as I’ve only invested just over a year into it) compared to traditional approaches. Which I’m not always happy with, either.

I will admit that replacing my older Wacom Bamboo with a Wacom Intuos Pro has made an indescribable difference. I’m not usually one to highlight such things as I don’t believe that tools can ever or will ever replace experience, dedication, and practised skill. But there are some upgrades which make all the difference. This was one of them. Mostly because I wasn’t continually fighting with the tablet, having to work with an exceptionally larger than necessary canvas to accommodate a lack of pressure sensitivity, or working on such a small drawing surface so each stroke was much truer to life. I’m also exhibiting some of the aforementioned practised skill as I’ve become more accustomed with the ways to paint digitally.
On that note, this entire painting is comprised of two separate layers. One for the majority of the colour work and the other for minor details. I’d have preferred to do everything on a single layer, but it is quite convenient to have a layer dedicated to all those adorable fluffy lines and squiggles. I think the approach works quite well, too. While it’s also somewhat reminiscent of traditional painting as you usually work with only one surface and can only work it so many times. Even acrylic paint (or other opaque paints) have a limited number of layers.

Otherwise it becomes too warped to achieve the desired result.

I’ve also avoided an entirely realistic approach for this painting. I think that the semi-realistic somewhat stylised approach has a rather unique aesthetic. I don’t know if I’ll move towards more or less realistic results in the future, but for now these results fit well with my traditional approaches. I’m hoping to be more ambitious with my use of colour with future pieces, too.

I wasn’t really expecting such a positive result from this piece. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But I’m glad that I’ve been able to better define some areas of my creative efforts and work towards things I actually enjoy doing. That even includes minor things like making custom brushes or organising supplies. Each and every thing I can do to make creating easier to approach, more convenient, or more enjoyable is worth doing. Working on this piece in shorter sessions also helped me work around the time that I sometimes don’t have to spare. It’s nice to know that I don’t need to compromise to continue to work on the things, but can also make progress and develop my approach at the same time. It’s a lot to juggle at once, though.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

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Fluffy Beak

An unexpected development.

Once upon a time it was cows and now it’s owls. They’re everywhere. This particular owl is a reinterpretation of a piece that once represented the culmination of my creative efforts and experience, which I hope will encourage the creation of many different pieces. It’s easy to see that I’ve not been happy with my creative efforts for a while. The reasons for that, however, are a little harder to see, which I will attempt to explain while talking about this work in progress. It’ll also serve as a good opportunity to talk about future plans for creative content.

Most of those plans will be tied to the aforementioned reasons.

As each reason highlights an area for improvement. Something that could be done better than (or at the very least differently to) how it is done now, which will hopefully mean that there will be more creative content and that it will be more diverse. You can reasonably assume that some of the older digital paintings which have faded into obscurity will make a return, too.

Most reasons relate to not utilising time (or other resources) effectively and therefore having less overall opportunity to work on things. I’m not happy with how much progress I’ve made over the last few years, either. Not to say that the progress isn’t there- but that there is very little in the way of finished pieces to demonstrate it. I don’t want to have endless quantities of somewhat finished sketches and attempted digital paintings. I want to finish things. For that reason, it’s important to invest more actual time in the process of creating things. Which I really don’t do now and I should. I’ve very few excuses for that other than that I always find an excuse. I need to stop doing that, too. Legitimate excuses do exist (like those of the last few months) but not in all cases.

It’s taking on a rather interesting shape.

This particular work in progress highlights a continued push towards finishing something. Over a few, shorter, less intensive drawing sessions of a few hours or so. In that way I’m rather proud of this piece. It has had significantly less time invested in it than Pug Life, but, in my opinion, looks that much better with more attention to detail. I’ve mostly settled on a semi-realistic kind of stylised digital painting approach. It’s also the first digital painting I’ve done with my newly acquired Wacom Intuos Pro and so I’ve got quite a way to go yet.

But it’s a pretty good first attempt so far.

It’s painfully obvious how much I’ve improved in my approach, too. Both with digital painting and with my creative efforts as a whole. Which may seem contradictory to the above statement about my progression, but it does illustrate (no pun intended) the point I was making. The progression is there but there needs to be pieces that are actually finished to demonstrate that.

Which, obviously, this piece isn’t finished, but it’s probably the closest I’ve had to being finished for some time. I’m hoping to change around the current creative content in January and if I’m successful in doing so then things will be very different. But I hope that most will agree that they’re better this way. I’m still particularly proud of the original interpretation of this owl and it is still an important piece, but I think it’s time to move on from it. To embrace new ideas and new inspiration. To use new materials and approaches both traditionally and digitally. To boldly go where no man has gone before. Oh- wait- that wasn’t what I meant to say. It might still work in that context, though.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Aquatic Owl

The adventures of Ol’ Hooty!

Following Equal Opposites is another post in a similar vein. Except this time we’re looking at a range of different materials, which includes the previously discussed use of Faber Castell Polychromos with cartridge paper. The result is heavily carried by the use of ink but that could just be the subject matter. That said, it does have a texture which I’ve tried to preserve in the scanned version but remains a nuisance. Mostly because I think I’m used to not having that texture.

Not that it looks terrible.

It’s just that I think I still value bristol board for its smoothness. On the other hand, I would always encourage artists (of any level of experience) to try different combinations of materials from time to time. In the two-three hours I spent with this owl I learned a lot. Which is why it’s important to actually work on things, rather than just think about how they would work together and create assumptions from that. Mostly because you’ll never know unless you try. It’s not a combination I would avoid in the future, either. Just one that requires a different subject matter or a different approach to really come together. So it’s still useful even if not immediately so.

These posts remind me of the old Unreleased Artsyness sketch dumps I used to do. Which I wouldn’t be entirely opposed to doing again, but they’re kind of unnecessary nowadays as I tend to share a lot more of what I’m doing in a shorter time frame than before. But such is the evolution of distribution on this crazy artistic journey.

Mixed up confusion.

Mixed up confusion.

The leftmost sketch is a mirelurk from Fallout 3. An interesting if not ridiculously complex creature that may not be instantly recognisable- especially concerning their face- as I was working with three different pieces of concept art simultaneously. I also have no idea what a mirelurk face looks like. All I know is that (unlike the rest of their body) it is squishy and should be fired upon mercilessly. Those claws aren’t just for show- they hurt! They’re probably pretty tasty, too. That’s how I’ve always envisaged the consumption of mirelurk meat.

Again- not that it looks terrible.

But I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with anything that I do. Which is why I continue on this journey trying new things, combining different materials, and generally looking to improve anything and everything I do. It’s an impossible dream, too. I realise that. You’ll never stop learning unless you simply give up. Which I don’t really have any plans of doing any time soon. I’m still willing to give it a shot, though. Right in its stupid, squishy, entirely vulnerable face. Then I shall have crab claws for dinner! Unless they’re horribly irradiated, which they probably are given that mirelurks don’t look like any crabs I’ve ever seen. At least, not after I used the shampoo for two weeks. Weird times they were.

Mostly I’m just glad that we’re still seeing a steady flow of creative content coming through. I want to improve the level of quality present on my personal site, while I also want to bring more quality creative content to Moggie’s Proclamations (and even Twitter). It’s quite the investment, though. So it’s going to take some time to get everything under way.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Fallout 3, Mirelurks, Molerats, Vault Suits, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Interplay/Bethesda.

Diversification

All of these are different yet similar.

I’ve wanted to do a post like this for a while. One of the things I’ve tried to do with my personal site is to create an artistic journey from where I started, to how I’ve developed, through what I’ve tried, and (finally) to where I’ve ended up. Or at least where I’ve temporarily ended up. If I know anything about myself with any degree of certainty it’s that I always change. I always look for something new. Be it a different material, a different subject matter, or a different style.

DiversificationI’d like to think this post will capture a glimpse of that journey. It’ll also highlight some of the older pieces that some newer readers may not have seen yet. As always, there’s a whole heap of creative posts over on the Art page so feel free to stop by and have a read! You might find something you like. (I hope you’ll find something you like.)

DiversificationOver the last ten years of traditional art shenanigans I’ve tried a wide range of materials. I’ve also changed my style(s) quite consistently, looking to keep each material unique and interesting. Trying to use each one in a way that would be instantly recognisable. Some of these pieces have influenced the development of my style(s), too.

DiversificationI’m glad I was able to fit in some fantasy pieces. I do, however, wish I could have included some scenic/landscape pieces. That said, while scenic/landscape pieces were prominent earlier on (2006-2009) they’re pretty scarce these days. If I’m entirely honest about it- I just really like trees. That’s all there is to it.

DiversificationStill, as is the point of this post, there’s quite a bit of diversity here, drawing from a range of different inspirations. I’ve certainly adopted more inspirations over the years. Can’t say as that’s a bad thing, though- more things to work with as I create newer and more interesting pieces. Which I hope to do for some time to come.

DiversificationIn any case, I hope this has been an interesting change of pace. I’ve never really done anything like this before. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to you. I liked it, taking more of a curator approach to my own work and highlighting some of the things I’ve really enjoyed. We may see another post like this at some point in the (distant) future. It’ll take some time to work towards another collection of pieces like this. 2016 is certainly looking like the year for it, though.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Marvel Comics.
Dead Space, Necromorphs, Isaac Clarke, Plasma Cutters, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Visceral Games.

Highlight – Wisdom – 2012 – click for full view on site!

This piece is a personal favourite and always been a bit of hoot! Get it? Hoot? …Oh why do I bother.

I could write pages of text covering the origins, inspirations, techniques, frustrations, and successes behind this piece. Yet, even with all the information I can give in hindsight- it was once nearly never finished. After doing as much as I could with the beak and the eyes I had become frustrated with how the rest of it was progressing. Naturally so as I feel confidence is a big part of art. You have to know your materials, how they work, how they mix, how they react, what they can do, what they can’t do, how they do it, and what not to do with them. Faber Castell Polychromos? Never used them before. Bristol board? Only ever used for ink and marker pieces. Everything here was new and there was a certain amount of hesitation. I’d also picked one hell of a reference photo for the first time out- there was nothing simple about this piece.

Still, one of the primary reasons I chose to do this the way that I did is because I wanted the challenge. I wanted to push myself. At the time I’d felt I’d become lazy and complacent with the kind of pieces I was doing and despite having many different materials they were hardly used.

The other major reason was that there are some really incredible pieces of art out there. Oozing with the blood of the artists that made them through their style, or their use of colour, or unique approach to form, or the use of negative space- there are so many reasons- but I had never done a piece like that. I was once told a long time back that I had a very angular style (it’s true) and I notice that’s a part of my style. But the other big thing that I’ve always had about my art is the graphic quality. I’ve never really been one for realistic or smooth shading. It just doesn’t have the same impact as the graphic style which feels sharp, edgy, crisp, clean, and has a lot of uses which is the way I tend to do shading these days.
So this was to be something recognisable yet unique, graphic yet soft, unique enough that it could be recreated but never exactly, and something that I hope would be one of the best pieces I’d done. Or would ever do. Kind of like how some musicians have a long and successful run but they always have those key hits from earlier in their career. If it was unique enough then there would be no way to realistically compare this to other pieces and therefore it would stand, alone, but proudly alone, as the key unique piece I’d done.

I mean, realistically, I could recreate Wisdom- I could make it more realistic or with more accurate colours or even bigger so the composition is looser.

But would I? No. It is what it is and there’s no point in changing that for the sake of finalising or perfecting the last bits here or there. Perfection is as ever-changing as your own motivations and you’re never going to reach that point where you know everything and can do everything. So, Wisdom kind of sits, shifting around time, bringing something fresh to everyone who looks at it but representing a very specific part of my artistic journey.

Finally, Wisdom was featured in the Winsor & Newton Ink Exhibition as one of the pieces entered into the competition. This was a defining moment for me as I felt so proud of myself, but I really appreciated seeing the public and hearing their views while having people coming to see my art and talk to me about it? There’s nothing like it. It’s a really gratifying feeling. Luckily it was in London so I was able to attend personally and was probably one of best moments of my life. Actually there was no probably about it- it was the best moment of my life. Maybe one day something like this will come around again so I best keep my skills sharp and my pencils sharper, huh?

Have a nice night, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Winsor & Newton Ink Exhibition

In March this year Winsor & Newton were running a competition to create a Limited Edition Ink Gift Box, the winners were announced some time ago but starting tomorrow there’s going to be an exhibition featuring a selection of the entries. In which my work will be featured. Isn’t that awesome?!

The exhibition is taking place in London and you can read more about it here.

I got my invitation to the private view last Thursday and I couldn’t have been happier about receiving the news. It feels really great to get some recognition, even in a small way, as a visual artist, and actually makes you feel like it’s all been worth it.
There’s always a sense of self-worth to art, but the beautiful thing about art is sharing it with others, and sometimes you feel an amount of loneliness when you’re not sure if you’re actually reaching anyone.

In either case, I feel this is an incredible opportunity for amateur artists as it’s such a boost of confidence and you have an immense amount of pride in your work. Or at least I do.

For those wondering the piece that will be featured is Wisdom.

There is also going to be a video of the private view, after the event, which Winsor & Newton are going to have posted on their Facebook page. So even for those who can’t be there- you won’t miss out on seeing it. Which, again, I think is a nice touch, and is a great way to share the event with everyone you know and share that experience.

As this is going to be an entirely new experience for me and I have no idea what I am supposed to do once I get there. I’ll probably be the only guy there in a suit, though.

In either case, if you are in London, it’s open to the public for eleven days at the Griffin Gallery and looks like it’s going to be a brilliant time for all. I’ll probably only be attending at the private view as I’ve got things going on that week and I have a whole lot of things to deal with regarding my new position soon.

That’s all for now!

Have a nice weekend (or what remains of it), all.

Moggie.