Hunter’s Notes: Paolumu – 2018 – Digital – click for full view on site!

Even their ears are fluffy!

It just so happened that the brush which I made for specific areas of Older and Wiser became incredibly useful in detailing the fur on their balloon neck. I swear that’s just a coincidence and not some form of precognition. I wish it was some form of precognition. Knowing what’s going to happen in the future would be awesome. Except in all the scenarios where it wouldn’t be, because something bad will happen, but is required to happen, and so you would try to avoid it despite knowing it is unavoidable. That would just be unfortunate.

Fluffy But Terrifying offers insight as to my thoughts while painting this piece.

They’re mostly the same thoughts I have now that the piece is complete. As much as any piece is ever complete. One of the best (and most painful) things about growing as an artist is realising that you’ll never be where you want to be, because the goal keeps changing relative to your current perception of your level of skill. It’s a gnawing feeling that never goes away.

That said, I’m most disappointed with the fur on their balloon neck. Everything else is mostly where I want it to be. As noted in the aforementioned post regarding this piece, the thick painted approach is one that I’m unlikely to use for the next piece. It’s an interesting style but one that isn’t suited to everything. Hence these weird paintings that seem to spontaneously appear and disappear with equal amounts of haste. I’m looking to challenge myself. Which, to be fair, is the entire reason I enjoy my creative efforts in the first place. But there’s no point in always falling back on things I know (or at least feel fairly confident) that I can do. I like painting weird creatures, too. Once I find one it’s almost impossible to avoid painting it.
On the other hand, I’m much happier with my work and rate of progression at the moment. I’m much happier with everything in general. I changed around my personal life substantially since the end of last year, which has led to me doing more things that I like doing and enjoying those things much more than I used to. That’s definitely helped me bring out the best in my painting. The acquisition of the Wacom Intuos Pro has certainly helped, too. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to switch to only digital painting or illustrating.

Traditional pieces will still be likely to appear.

I’ve just got quite a few pieces that I’d like to revisit which I think I can make a better attempt at now. To Ink a Deathclaw comes to mind. That would be interesting both because the thick painted approach would likely suit it quite well, and it would be one of the few digital attempts that has line work. Or I might just get rid of the line work with the finished attempt.

I’m not entirely sure if I’ll paint other beasts in Monster Hunter World. Some are kind of messy with indistinguishable details and others don’t really appeal to me, but I won’t say it isn’t a possibility. I might tackle one of their dragons. Both literally (if I happen to purchase the PC release) and figuratively. I might just paint a dragon because I feel like painting one. In either case, I’m quite happy with this piece and I think it fits with what I want my creative efforts (and my personal site as a result) to be. I’m also quite happy that I’ve been working on all sorts of things recently and I’ve still found time to start three paintings and finish two of them. The third is a secret. A secret which might need to be approached in a different way for me to be happy with it.

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.

Monster Hunter World, Astera, Paolumu, Anjanath, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Capcom.

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Fluffy But Terrifying

The cycle of fluffiness continues.

I’d also argue that the Paolumu is anything but terrifying. Quite adorable, in fact. But they are giant flying beasts that would more than likely swallow you whole if they got the chance… so maybe they are slightly terrifying. But, again, quite adorable, as their primary way to show aggression is to inflate their balloon neck. Which looks ridiculous and is not at all terrifying- unless you’re scared of balloons- in which case feel free to change your trousers at any time. I’m mostly fond of them due to their original design and their unique (and rather interesting) anatomy.

They’re also a great candidate to test my new brushes on.

I reckon you could make some rather nice brushes from their fur, too. In what could only be described as an entirely spontaneous decision I started to paint this majestic winged creature. I do that sometimes. In fact, some of my best work has been entirely spontaneous. Sometimes it’s nice to not stress every aspect of the painting and just focus on actually painting it.

I was also wondering how my new brushes would perform with a new piece. I’ve modified my existing set to include sharper, more precise, and more accurate brushes for those crisp lines. I’ve also added more texture to the flat brush I use often. I’m finding that these new brushes give me more freedom in some ways, more precision in others, and that they encourage more consistent blending. I’ve spent more time adjusting opacity with this piece, too. These are all things that are only possible due to my increasing confidence with digital approaches. I’m also no longer having to fight with the hardware, brushes, and canvas sizing to get the results I want. It’s about as close as I can get to mimicking traditional approaches but with digital tools.

Don’t make me puffy. You wouldn’t like me when I’m puffy.

I feel I’ve been bolder in my choice of colours for this piece. Not as bold as I’d like to be- but that will come with confidence. I’m also learning a lot about how best to approach layering colour and defining areas of an illustration or painting, which I could translate to traditional approaches. I’m quite excited to see how different my traditional work will be now. I don’t necessarily feel that either will get weaker as a result of focusing on one or the other. I feel as though they can only improve now. I just need to remember the limitations of each material.

I also miss ink. It allows me to add so many tiny (perhaps unnecessary) details.

I don’t know if this is an approach that I’ll continue to use in the future. I tend to think that each painting or illustration is unique, and, as such, requires a unique approach. I do want to have some consistency between pieces, though. Not having that consistency has caused me problems in the past. But I don’t know if this thick painted style is one I’d like to pursue for every piece.

I rather like how Older and Wiser has its own unique qualities and this piece is starting to develop its own unique qualities in kind. I’m also proud of the progress I’ve made in such a short time with digital painting. I’m far from where I would like to be, but, again, these things will come in time and with confidence. There’s no sense in rushing things. I also don’t know if the next piece you see from me will be the result of traditional or digital approaches. I’ve not felt this positive about my creative efforts in a long time. It’s refreshing- and exciting- and gives me hope for the future pieces I’ll produce. We may even see a few more from Monster Hunter World, too. They’ve got some incredibly colourful, meticulously designed, and anatomically interesting beasts.

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.

Monster Hunter World, Astera, Paolumu, Anjanath, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Capcom.

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.

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.

Leafy Green

Another tree for the collection.

Recently I’ve been thinking about the materials I use. I’ve got quite a few, each with their own particular purpose either singularly or when combined with another material. I’ve also tried quite a few over the years. The addition of acrylic painting has certainly made me think about whether the materials I’m using there are appropriate or not. There’s always the (very likely) possibility that I’m none too skilled with acrylic painting, but there’s also the possibility that the materials I’m using aren’t working for me.

But I’m not one to give up on something that quickly.

I’m also unsure as to where to go regarding the canvas paper (or actual canvases). Winsor & Newton have some fairly inexpensive, high quality, varying size canvas boards which could become my favoured painting surface. That said, I don’t really have a lot of space for storing canvases and the like. Hence the reason I don’t use them already.

But what I do have is paper. Lots of paper. But it’s not like you could use any old paper, you need something heavy that’s as absorbent as it is rigid so it doesn’t cockle under the liquid media. Bristol board may do it. On the other hand, I doubt either of my pencil and ink cartridge papers would suffice. So it fell to the recently purchased mixed media cartridge paper to actually become useful (for the first time since I bought it) and off I went to paint a tree. It seems like a fairly simple thing to paint. It’s also something that features a lot of layers of paint, so I was able to see how it held up to heavily layered paint and the general rigours associated with that. It went pretty well.

Closer to a balanced technique.

Closer to a balanced technique.

It also allows me to narrow down my selection of paper even further. If I don’t want to continue with my current acrylic canvas paper, I have a replacement already waiting which can easily take on the same material. It may also have some application for a textured marker style. Otherwise, I’ve got the two pencil and ink cartridge paper types and the singular watercolour paper type. So I’ve covered all of the materials I regularly use. Likewise, I’ve even invested in a new palette which is much easier to clean.

I love my old palette and I’ve had it for something like seven years.

But it’s cumbersome to clean, it’s difficult to slot together (as it comes apart), and it’s getting a bit worse for wear after all the years of painting. Surprisingly, that was among the very few purchases I made as I really didn’t need much else. Most of it was just replacements or spares for things. So that, when they run out, which they will, I won’t be without until I buy more.

It’s comforting in a way to not have to worry so much about the materials I’m using. I’ve got a selection I’m happy with. Besides the possible change to the acrylic tubes I use, I doubt I’ll be investing in anything entirely new for a while. I’ve got many more hours of learning how to make the best use of these materials ahead of me, though. It also means I’ll spend less money in the future on art-related activities. Which is a bonus. Not that, as a traditional artist, you’ll ever stop spending money on your art unless you stop doing it. Or someone invents a bottomless tube of paint. Or a pencil that replenishes its point. Such things would be amazing- but equally as unlikely to ever exist.

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.

Artist Feature – Laura Jane

Here’s something a little different.

I’ve met many an interesting artist in my time and I like to share the most fascinating ones via the Artist Feature posts. I haven’t been doing as many Artist Feature posts as I would have liked, but I’m looking to change that. I’ve been in contact with a few people and I’m hoping to bring some engaging content to my readers. As always, I’ll be providing links to places where you can follow them across the internet. Friendly following, though. None of this stalking business. Good friends are hard to keep, y’know?

You’re in for a treat, though.

One could say they have their fingers in many pies. Pies, which, I might add, they never offer to share with me. Blending equal levels of proficiency and commitment in both traditional and digital art, they draw from a myriad of sources of inspiration. Featuring everything from video game character illustrations, to fluffy cute animals, to angst-ridden comics about toasters.

They sure love their toasters. In addition to the above, they’ve shown an incredible desire to develop their style over the last twelve months. They’ve met that desire- and exceeded it- with continual improvements to both their approach and their understanding of fundamental artistic concepts. They’ve also got a remarkably fluid and gorgeous ink style which displays a heightened understanding of composition. It’s a style that suits any sort of graphic illustration which is what I feel they’re best at. I’m almost certain that if you enjoy any of my traditional pieces, you’re going to enjoy their work just as much. If not more. Which is totally fine. They deserve the art love.

Artist Feature - Laura JaneThey’ve probably logged more hours in an assortment of Fallout titles than I have. While I would usually say this is cause for concern, without that I doubt I would have met/found them in the first place. You’d be surprised who you run into out in the Capital Wasteland. Or who you know as a friend of a friend via an appreciation of the Capital Wasteland. So they don’t always talk about artsy subjects. But if you get the chance to talk to them about it- you should! You’re in for an enjoyably insightful conversation.

If you’re of the Tweeting persuasion you can find them over on @LauraJayArt.

Should traditional or digital art be one of your interests (or you’re an aspiring artist yourself), I can suggest no-one better to follow. There’s a great foundation here for a promising future of artistic awesomeness. If you’re an artist yourself- drop her a critique or five. Or ten. She’s always looking to further her style and herself.

As always, Artist Feature posts aim to highlight not only artists who I feel are exceptionally good at what they do but that align with the interests of my readers. Again, I can suggest no-one better to feature under those conditions. Comments are always appreciated, but if you’ve got something particular you’d like to say about this artist you can leave a comment below. Otherwise, I hope you’ve enjoyed what could be the first of a few upcoming Artist Feature posts. It depends on if the others get back to me. It’s not like I randomly pick people to write about on the internet- that would be weird. Much easier to organise but terribly weird.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art and the like found within this post (unless otherwise specified) is owned by Laura Jane.

Fruity Nostalgia

Wherein I unearth things.

One of the perks of being around cats all the time is that you get to unearth a lot of things. That is if they bother to bury them first. I’ve known one or two that don’t, it’s just sitting proudly amongst the litter. Gaze upon it in awe. Or don’t- that works too. In any case, just a short post today to show you this painting I found in a box of old sketchbooks. It’s funny the things you find when you’re not even looking for them, it’s also funny that this painting is eight years old and I only vaguely remember painting it.

I think it was painted with watercolour… something. I don’t think I had tubes back then.

Gaze upon it with unbridled confusion.

Gaze upon it with unbridled confusion.

It doesn’t have a name, either. Which probably explains what it was doing buried in a box of old sketchbooks in the first place. The subject matter is hardly surprising when you think about Lemon and Lime, The Melon Most Watery, Corn on the Cob, and the like. I’m just a man that likes fruit and vegetables. Mostly painting them. Not eating them.

In other news, I’ve made some minor updates to my personal site. Minor updates that took nearly a day and a half to do because I never give up on things once I’ve decided to do them. Good ol’ personality foibles. There are new thumbnails, minor layout changes, and general quality of life changes everywhere. I’ve even added another new piece to the site following Aquatic Owl. I decided to upload the owl from that post- Ol’ Hooty– as its own piece. It’s great that I’ve finally realised that I have a section for those sorts of things, as I’ve been able to share so many more pieces with you all as a result of it. Which is a good thing, right?

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.