Equal Opposites

Curly hair contradictions.

One thing that has continually surprised me while on this creative journey is how often my style has changed. Most interesting when looking at pencil pieces, as I had a very particular pencil style for quite some time. One that went surprisingly well with my ink style. These days both the pencil and ink styles have evolved into something a lot more… fluid? I’m not sure how best to explain it. They’re developing in a very natural way. Yet, at the same time, developing completely differently than expected.

Some of this comes down to the paper I’m using.

As I’ve explored a range of cartridge papers recently, which have changed the presentation when using pencil and ink as they’re interacting with a very different kind of paper. One that produces much softer results. One that is better suited to blending pencils together. Likewise, I’ve even tried using bristol board with pencil which produced results all its own.

It’s still quite likely I’ll be leaning heavily on ink in the future. Mostly because it affords me the flexibility, the intricate detailing, and the level of quality I want. That said, I don’t want to entirely ignore pencil and so I’m trying something different with the sketches in this post. Something that will hopefully encourage me to create different kinds of pencil pieces in the future. I’ve not yet finished a piece in this style, though. So it’s difficult to say if it’s even possible to do so. For me at least. But I think it’s an interesting blend of a more realistic style paired with my usual graphic style. As always, further tweaking is necessary as I continue to work on future pieces and the like.

Curly hair! Curly hair everywhere!

Curly hair! Curly hair everywhere!

While these are all regular pencil sketches, I am particularly interested in how Polychromos will interact with the range of cartridge papers and whether it’s more appealing than usual. I love the vibrancy and fluidity of the colours with bristol board- but it never hurts to try something new. Unless it costs you more money in the long run. Which it may do. Even if bristol board is among the most expensive of the materials I use. But that’s for another time when I have some evidence related to that train of thought.

I’m happy to spend the time on it, though.

When I first tried watercolours I was under the impression that I wasn’t a painter and that they would see little use. After trying a few things, painting a few paintings, and exploring the capabilities of the material I began to feel differently. So maybe I’ll begin a very similar yet entirely different journey with this pencil style.

I’d also like to finish a piece in this particular style at some point. Hopefully soon. However, I do have a couple of things in mind and they’re not really corresponding with pencils in any way. Maybe even a digital piece. Or, rather, a digital revival of a piece we’ve seen previously. As I do feel slightly annoyed by the fact that I felt it necessary to cut back on digital painting content. As odd as that may sound. I was also aiming for more traditional art content as a result of cutting back on digital art content, so you could see this as the beginning of that. Hopefully a beginning that won’t fizzle out in a few weeks and disappear until early next year.

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.

Advertisements

Sketchy Dragonborn

I’ve always wondered how you can be a perfectly respectable member of society when you’re a known criminal but it’s okay ’cause you’re a hero type person.

In the case of the Dragonborn I suppose you’re more hated or ignored than loved. Most people seem to want to kill you ’cause you can shout in a foreign language and some of them are like “Yes, so, you can shout. Well done. I’ll give you a few Septims if you never speak to me again.” But, back to the point, if there was one, when I was playing my Argonian Dragonborn who was an expert assassin marksman I always wondered why people didn’t try to kill me when I’m known to have killed various people. It’s almost like they hate you and they hate talking to you but they won’t actually do anything about it.

Then again we are talking about the constraints of the AI in the engine that Skyrim was built in, so, really, it’s not surprising. It’s just kind of funny that you can go about doing whatever you please and unless someone actually sees you committing a crime you’re fine to go around killing anyone you wish. Or stealing everything that isn’t nailed down. Then if you are seen you can just pay them money to pretend they didn’t see it.

"Sketchy? Me? I'm as honest as a sweetroll."

“Sketchy? Me? I’m as honest as a sweetroll.”

Of course, my Nord, Dakrohn, wasn’t a criminal. He was a freight train made of muscle and various sharp weapons. He could throw his axe in spectacular fashion, cleave without remorse, take a few hits, take a few more, and continue fighting despite being drenched in his own blood. He was pretty cool. Also, the first character I actually seriously played in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as my very first one was a mimic of the one I had in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. A sword and shield warrior. Or a mace and a shield. But, in either case- I didn’t like the way they played.

I don’t mind shields but I guess I prefer them when either they’re a part of your attacks or you don’t have to actively raise and lower them.

As I always forget when I’m slicing, dicing, maiming, and slaying my foes. Which kind of means I’m just using a one-handed weapon and missing out on the glory of cleaving and crushing them with a two-handed weapon or some dual-wielding whirl of steel and vengeance style. I take such decisions very seriously as you never know when you’re going to be cursing yourself for something you done many hours before.

In the case of this piece it’s a sort of amalgamation of everything that I’ve been experimenting with for my pencil style. But there’s some new stuff, too. I think this is the sort of direction I’m going to take and it’s going to blend nicely into an ink style. This is also one of the first pieces where I’ve used a 2B pencil alongside my usual. I’m thinking about using that for the deep shadows and keeping B as my general pencil while HB can be my lighter pencil. This way I have three grades rather than two. All things are better in threes.

Triangles for instance. What angle am I? Acute ’cause I’m gorgeous.

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.

Nords, the fair lands of Skyrim, Ulfric Stormcloak, Whiterun, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by Bethesda Softworks.

Highlight – The Sacred Cow – 2012 – click for full view on site!

I’m sure if you look at this piece long enough you’ll find it very moo-ving. Get it? Moo-ving? …Eesh, tough crowd.

Do you like cows? Do you like paintings? Do you like mixed media? If you answered yes to two or more of these questions you may be in with a chance to win a new flat screen television. Post your entries to: Totally Not A Scam, 34 Fake Street, Simpletown, W6 3QP (please include a self addressed envelope to ensure hasty delivery of your new television).

I originally started using watercolours in 2009 as I felt it might be a nice change. Admittedly, I’d avoided them like some form of infectious disease up until that point as I never considered myself a painter and I didn’t really enjoy working with liquid media. All of that taken into account it was a nice summer, I was a successful young man, I felt like trying something new- and that age is particularly good for experimenting- so I did. I took up my brush and palette and mixed like there was no tomorrow.

Had I ingested some of the things I mixed with there is a good chance there wouldn’t be a tomorrow for me.

Initially I had much hesitation with watercolour. It was new, it was foreign, it was uncontrollable, there were no certainties, there was much to learn, and there was so much more to do. At this time I started branching out across various different materials. Pencil, watercolour, marker, ink, coloured pencil. It was all there. It was actually the basis for how I approached watercolours as I wanted to do something different with each one. Create a different style? Maybe not that far. But create different things so I wasn’t simply emulating pencil with watercolours. Early on I approached it with little to no line work but after the success of one piece I decided to radically change course and start using ink and watercolour together.

The original of this piece, as, technically, it is The Sacred Cow v2, was done without any kind of line work and very early on in my watercolour experimentation. I liked the concept behind it but I didn’t really like the execution. I felt that with other things I’d done and how many leaps I’d made I could make one here. I could better myself.

The Sacred Cow - 2012 - WatercolourThis later turned into a several month long project of approaching old pieces that had good concepts but that I felt lacked in execution and revitalising them with a new approach. Sometimes it would be a new material, sometimes it would be the same but using new techniques, and sometimes I would drastically change the elements of the piece but leave the concept intact. This particular piece started all of this as I hadn’t considered doing anything like that as I didn’t think I could better myself. Too much fear. Too much apprehension. Too many times I looked at things and doubted that I could go any further. Funny, in hindsight. But then most things are when it comes down to it.

Hard to believe that this piece is two and a half years old.

As I had done with other pieces in this style I began with a very simple lined version of the original pencil sketch. I tend not to add much in the way of shadows or heavy detail as I let the watercolour take care of all of the details and define all of the shape, form, tone, depth, and so on. It’s just the way I do these things. I’m not quite sure why that seemed like a good idea at the time- but here we are. Who am I to question myself? In later pieces I did add more details and more in the way of shape, depth, shadows, and general form. But that has a limited effect depending on how well the painting goes and whether or not you’re actually getting the result you want. If you aren’t then there’s very little way to salvage that as you can’t just paint over the blank areas. It’s there. It’s stuck.

The area I’m most pleased with is the nose and the lower facial area. Least pleased with the ears. Then again, it’s a learning experience and I try not to stress over each individual section as much as I probably should as I like to see progression between pieces. Which is pretty hard to do if you’re constantly “fixing” everything.

This is one of the signature pieces that I use for various things in and around the sites. I like it. I’m not completely satisfied with the result and there are things that if I were to approach a new animal portrait I would take into consideration, however, that said, I wouldn’t say I’m dissatisfied. It sits somewhere in and around the same sort of place where other signature pieces are. They’re the things that if someone said “What do you do?” I’d reply with those and say “This is what I do” without hesitation. Most of those pieces are older ones and there are few, if any, of the last two years. I guess that was a better time for me? Or maybe that was my usual time and this is just a worse time?

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.

Ball of Fluff – 2013 – Coloured Pencil – click for full view on site!

You may have noticed that birds (and their relative degree of fluffiness) please(s) me greatly.

One of the better parts of my new personal site design is that there’s a section for things like this. Things that don’t quite make the cut but are still pretty decent. That said, I’ve had a positive reception about this piece from those who’ve seen it. So maybe it’s just me that doesn’t know what they want. Which, to be entirely honest, wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. So with the realisation that this section of the site exists, the fact that I sort of like it, and that other people seem to like it- here, have this.

This was another piece I approached with the seldom used Faber Castell Polychromos.

It is actually those which have left me in a state of constant indecision regarding this piece. I took a different approach to make this bird appear extra fluffy, but that didn’t really work out as I had anticipated it would. On the other hand- it does have quite a unique quality to it. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing remains to be seen.

Ball of Fluff - 2013 - Coloured PencilThis is also reinforces what I’ve felt about creative topics (as a whole) for some time. You can’t always get what you want- but, if you try, sometimes you find you get what you need. No, not that. Though it is a slightly apt reference to The Rolling Stones. It’s that you never really know how other people are going to receive your work. Sometimes you’ll find that the things you think aren’t particularly good are better received than those you feel are. It could be the opposite, too. There really is no way to tell.

Which is why I think it’s important to do what you do because you love doing it.

How a piece is received is definitely important. But it should not be a deciding factor in what you choose to do, as, again, there really is no way to tell how others will react to it. I’m not even sure what made the people who saw this be so happy with it. That’s okay, though. It’s one of the great mysteries of the universe. Like why some people dislike cats.

Have a great Monday, 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.

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.

Reflection v2 – 2013 – Pencil – click for full view on site!

There’s a lot to reflect on, too.

There are times where repetition can be valuable, such as, say, drawing old men. Very old men. That said, the repetition wasn’t necessarily intended as the first was drawn on paper that I later noticed was damaged. The second was drawn on new cartridge paper. Mostly in an attempt to test how various materials looked when used with it, but it was a pretty good step forward on my anatomical journey. Coming in somewhere between semi-realistic and stylised.

The original is forever lost to time, too.

That one isn’t coming back. Not that it really needs to now that we have a more than suitable replacement. Hopefully this piece will spur a change towards a more realistic style, which may not be entirely possible with the pencils I’m currently using. Then again, this may be the paper for it as this paper is quite soft and blends easily.

Reflection v2 - 2013 - PencilOn the other hand, that softness does make it significantly harder to get sharp (or defined) lines when you want/need them. So it’s all a matter of finding something I’m comfortable with. I think heavier paper could achieve the same results, but it would probably require softer pencils (such as a 2B) to be effective. I’m also not entirely sure whether I want to go for a full realistic style in the future, either. It might not work as well with some of the things I’d like to do.

But that’s what months of sketches are for.

Creating an infinite loop of indecision towards future plans which sort of moves you forward but mostly moves you backwards. I’m kidding! Mostly. There isn’t much more to say about this piece, but I do hope you enjoy it for what it is- a drawing of a very old man.

Have a great 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.

“This way, that way, every other way there is to go.”

I’ve never been too conventional and, as art is a projection of ourselves, that would bleed over into my art, and display through my varied and broad range of subject matter that I cover. It’s a long term engagement but it pays dividends in spades when everything comes together.

This is, of course, a post about my art and where I am going/gone with it.

You may have noticed (depending on how long you have been following me) that I have put out a string of animal portraits recently. Some of them are pretty good, some are progressive, and others I’ve called back because they were just plain awful. But it may surprise you to know that this isn’t my main focus. It isn’t even one of my main focuses.

But it is a building block. A singular subject matter which can teach you so much about the tools you use, and how to use them better, and what sort of things you’ve yet to learn.
It’s the whole reason why I bounce around from media to media and piece to piece. I want to eventually have a complete mastery of all subjects. Though, I fear, I don’t have enough hours in the day, or years left in my life to do that. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try and achieve everything that I realistically can.

I was once (for lack of a better word) known for portraits. At the time it was people and this time it’s animals- so I guess you could say I still known for portraits- but over the years I’ve had brief periods of other things. Watercolour painting, fantasy art, landscape art, realism, and more.

I haven’t forgotten how to do any of that (quite the contrary) and with my new found tools gained from the animal portraits I have pushed those further, once I translate it into that media, which is why I’m always encouraging artists I know to do newer things.

You’d never think painting an apple would help you paint a bird- but it does!

You see that shine on the beak? Try to apply the same layering, colour, and lighting principles to how you painted the apple to the beak and you’ll be surprised how easy it becomes.

So I haven’t really got a direction, nor do I want one, and that’s why it’s so hard to classify myself as an artist as on the one hand I don’t believe I should have to and on the other wouldn’t know what to choose. I just do whatever I’m most challenged or intrigued by. Sometimes I find whole new pursuits in the process that take me on wonderful journeys.
Pretty much what happened with Wisdom- that was a pretty amazing journey for me on a personal and emotional level, and in my growth as an artist, and it isn’t over yet.

Just thought I’d let you know that.

Have a lovely weekend, all!

Moggie.