Highlight – Grotti v2 – 2011 – click for full view on site!

Though the fish in question has gone to that great fish tank in the sky she was always a beautiful and friendly girl.

I do art. You know that, right? I would forgive you if you had forgotten after how long it has been all about gaming and not so much about the creative side of things. I think this piece was the first one that really allowed me to see the potential of watercolour in a style that I could manipulate. For some reason, most likely due to detail, I figured that the combination of ink and watercolour would be a good idea and I wasn’t wrong about that. I continued to develop this style in a myriad of ways with The Sacred Cow (highlighted previously) and others.

I had done the first version in pastel (and no you may not see it) and it wasn’t really hitting the quality or the result I wanted. I was thinking about other things I could use and how I could get the desired result and I narrowed down that I needed bold, flowing, expressive colours. What did I have that could do that? Watercolour!

In my usual way of doing things I started by dissecting the colours and trying to find a collection of colours that allowed me to achieve the desired result. Of course, until you added the grey and black markings, this was just the oranges and the light pinks. While the addition of the darker markings was the point where I thought I’d be scrapping this piece and it would never see the light of day again. However, the brushes were in my favour and I managed to pull off the desired result without destroying anything in the process. Oddly enough, as noted above, that was the entire reason I wanted to use watercolour- but it was also the reason I didn’t feel it would work out as I didn’t know if I could do it. My brain is a strange place. So strange.
The original line work for this piece was pretty much an outline which was also an interesting aspect in hindsight.

Given my inexperience with watercolour at the time I was relying on the ability to fully create depth, textures, markings, and many other things purely with watercolour as the line work wasn’t really adding any. I mean the concept made sense. It was a logical idea. But I was relying on my ability to do something I’d never done before with a desirable result the first time out.

But, I think, when all is said and done, that is what makes this such a great piece for me. I tried to do something new and unique and I wanted to achieve something which I did. So, even though it’s a bit older and a bit rough ’round the edges it’s a rare example of how my experimentation led to something amazing. Something which I’m proud of. It’s also odd that this, The Sacred Cow, and Wisdom (three pieces I am notably proud of) are all animal portraits.

Maybe that was a calling I missed in life? Or maybe I just needed something new and different and that wasn’t fantasy or what have you to really get to grips with the limits of my ability. Back then I was of the mindset that I didn’t have limits and I could do whatever I wanted. Maybe that was a good way to be?

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.

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Warming up the Bird

Birds are a funny sort. They have some incredibly unique features, a multitude of textures, and are fun to paint or draw. They also require warmth for optimum operating conditions.

WIP b

I know what you’re thinking, “Moggie, you think you can just turn up after four months without so much as a peep and expect everything to be okay?” Hey- it worked for my ex-girlfriend and if it can work for her it can work for everyone. Right? Right!

It’s a little known fact that I’ve recently become more interested in digital art. Well, no, that’s inaccurate, I’ve always been interested in digital art. In late 2006 when I joined my first art community site that was my thing, but as time went on I realised that I didn’t have the tools for it and the motivations behind traditional art were much stronger.

That said, digital art has a charm all its own.

So I bought myself a Wacom Bamboo to bridge that gap of not having good tools for digital art. Not the best, nor most expensive, tablet out there but I’ll consider getting a more expensive one once I know I can actually achieve decent results with it.

Now, what’s with the bird? Wouldn’t you say she’s charming? Well, the above is the latest work in progress of this particular piece and features a striking difference to the previous work in progress in that it has a solid colour background. I wanted something rich and dark, but also warm, as the colours are fairly warm and the beak has a good level of contrast with it.

As you can see in the below piece, the first work in progress, there was less going on and it was a lot colder. It didn’t convey that same fullness and depth. It was more rough ’round the edges. It also would have proved impossible to see all the work on the white textures around the beak, so this wasn’t a purely aesthetic choice- it was functional too!

WIP a

This isn’t the only thing that I’ve been occupied with in the last four months. I’ve been looking at my art as a whole and asking myself if that’s where I want to be, and, if not as the case seems to be, where can I go to get better?

I think a lot of my personal frustrations come from lack of consistency. I was cleaning my art desk recently and realised the last time I used that regularly was 2010, I’m not entirely sure why that is or what has made it less appealing since… I just don’t use it that much. So I’ve been thinking about what I want to do.

Not “what do I have the capability to do?” as I feel every artist has the capability to do just about anything if they focus on it. But “what do I want to do?” and actually aim to get some of the things I’d love to do down on paper. Digitally or traditionally speaking.

Speaking of the traditional, I do have one work in progress (or as I like to call it “probably half-finished but unlikely to actually be fully finished so resigns itself to the corner of shame for the foreseeable future”)- Davros!

Davros.

That insanely evil yet devilishly intelligent genius behind the creation of the least emotionally inclined race of all time- the Daleks. I’ll be honest and say that besides a few old episodes with Baker or Pertwee as The Doctor I don’t really care for Doctor Who as a whole. A bit like tea, really. Or fish and chips. I am actually quite a failure as an English person.

What I do like is people with interesting faces and Davros sure has one of those. I would say it’s kind of creepy how he has no eyes but I find that pretty awesome. How often do you get to draw someone with no eyes?

Enjoy your Saturday afternoon 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.

Davros, Daleks, Time And Relative Dimension In Space, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Terry Nation and the BBC.

Sherbet Afro – 2012 – Watercolour – click for full view on site!

Don’t ask what’s in that coffee.

One of the joys of painting with watercolour is how it reacts to the paper. It creates a texture like no other! It’s also really gorgeous to see the different colours swirling together like a prismatic maelstrom. For that reason alone we have this- a skull with a multicoloured afro. As I said, don’t ask what’s in that coffee. The iridescent afro was best approached with watercolour, as there are few other materials I possess that would have been able to create the same effect.

Marker could create a similar effect.

It could also be possibly more appropriate for the skull. But for the overall effect I felt that watercolour was the way to go, as there are ways to strengthen the detailing of the skull if I really wanted to (such as using ink). But, again, I felt that this would be most enjoyable as a pure watercolour piece.
Where did the inspiration come from? Places. In my mind. Why did I use this particular style? It looks nice, it’s fairly unique, and it’s something I’m not usually known to do. I’m a little more experienced with the use of colour than I used to be, but I’m not as confident with it as I’d like to be. I don’t tend to use it as much as I probably should. Which is something that I hope that pieces like this will help me with. It would be great if this paved the way for a great many colourful pieces in the future!

This is also one of the few recent watercolour paintings I’ve done without ink.

I’m still keen on using ink with watercolour, but it’s nice to know that I don’t have to in order to get a result that I actually like. Which I do. As does my sister who describes it as (and I quote), “a Jimi Hendrix psychedelic cool skull thingy.” She certainly has a way with words, doesn’t she?

Enjoy your Sunday, 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.