Ambitious Acrylic

Colourful mile markers.

I’m going to justify purchasing those brushes or I’m going to paint trees trying. Or both. Probably both. This piece follows on from the attempts present in Mushroom Inspired, which are not entirely related as those are destined for watercolour painting while this is an acrylic painting. I’ve also yet to add more attempts to that particular set of watercolour paintings. But that’s what happens when you’ve got watercolour, acrylic, and gouache tubes quite literally piling up all around you. Not to mention all of that canvas and watercolour paper.

It’s a muddled haze of various paint tubes and water jars.

I’m starting to echo previous thoughts of stretching myself too thin, though. It’s noticeable that my output is suffering somewhat in the face of trying to do as many things as I am at the moment, as I have a lot of things that exist in a transitory state. They’re not quite here, there, or really anywhere at the moment. But they exist in their own mildly confusing way.

To add a moderate amount of insult to that injury I’m also not too happy with this result. But that’s also a transitory issue as I’m still getting used to how these brushes feel, how they hold the paint, and how well I can apply the paint. I’m also a few months out of practice with acrylic painting. I’ve started to understand more about why I don’t like my acrylic paintings, though. It’s mostly related to details and perhaps due to or as a result of the preparatory stages. I’ll be taking a break from gouache for a while, too. It’s becoming increasingly confusing trying to sort watercolour painting approaches, acrylic painting approaches, gouache painting approaches, pencil sketching approaches, and ink detailing approaches all at once.

Only the fluffiest clouds.

There’s also an issue of breeding familiarity with acrylic painting. It’s still an approach in its infancy for me and that’s something I need to recognise more when I’m pushing for certain results, which might not be as possible as I’d like to think. I do need to learn how it works. Much as I have with other materials. That said, I’ve been unusually happy with recent pencil and ink attempts. Which is a small amount of positive reinforcement in an otherwise confusing time. It’s certainly… something… right now when it comes to all things creative.

But that’s not a negative response, either.

I’m rather happy that I’ve had this momentary reignition of inspiration. I might not be entirely happy with everything I’m doing, but I’m actually doing it and making progress towards understanding more than I ever have about my creative influences. Which is always better than coming away from the experience none the wiser and more frustrated as a result.

This can mostly be considered a mile marker on the road of my artistic journey. I’ll either look back on this as a better acrylic painter or I’ll look back and realise there’s still work to be done. In either case, I still feel it’s an important part of the creative process to recognise progression where it exists. Or to provide an amount of progression through sketches and other pieces that aren’t quite to the quality standards you adhere to. That’s why these posts are both fun for you and interesting for me. We both get to share something that not only generates content, but strengthens the level of creative content on the site(s), and provides me with an actually useful tool to measure how things are going in various ways.

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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Undead River

What a great vacation destination.

You can see corpses, more corpses, and even a mountain of corpses- isn’t it great? I wouldn’t recommend going unless you have some protection in the form of any class in your current universe that knows something akin to Turn Evil. Or Banish Evil if you really want to be mean about it. You also might want to take a blunt weapon as they often have bonuses to dealing with the recently resurrected deceased. Or, if you’re of a necromantic persuasion, you could make friends with all the hungry zombies and rabid ghouls. The choice is yours!

That said, we’re not here to talk about a fictitious amusement park filled with the undead.

We’re here to talk about digital art and various things I’ve been working on. First on that list is a scenic landscape which… is really hard to talk about. For two reasons, the first is that I rarely know how my landscapes are going to evolve and the second is that digital art is a strange beast. At least to me. Which is why I’m doing so much of it at the moment to try and get it to be a little more natural. I’m also really enjoying the ability to overlay colours over other colours. Which I can’t really do with any of my traditional materials besides acrylic paints. That said, I’m quite happy with how this piece is currently progressing.

Cosy little place to rest for a while.

Cosy little place to rest for a while.

It also looks completely different compared to the very loose reference image I had for it. However, I like the little additions and I’m finding (with little surprise) that finer details and being able to work closely with the piece suits me best. As if I needed any more reassurance after my adventures with Copic Multiliners.

I’ve become more familiar with the way that digital art feels. Which is a difficult thing to explain to newer artists when they want advice, as you become accustomed to the way a particular material or composition feels and so it becomes natural. It is almost like your hand retains an amount of muscle memory for certain things. Digital art, for me, is no different, as I already have that feeling for traditional art. How soft or heavy to apply the material. How to hold the material to get the particular effect. What additional tools (if any) you can use with that material.

It sounds a little silly when you try to explain it but it’s a part of the learning experience.

Oddly friendly.

Oddly friendly.

The second on the list is a little doodle of a random undead creature. They seem friendly now- but they’ll soon be chewing on your flesh and making a smoothie from your brain. I wanted to try an exaggerated expression with this doodle. I don’t do those often. Probably for good reason. I do enjoy the 0.05 pen. It’s oddly versatile and it doesn’t seem to scratch on textured services, which the Copic Multiliners used to do. Or still do. It’s not like I’ve thrown them away. I’ve got a good feeling about these pens, though. I foresee a great number of inky doodles in the future, each more interesting and intricate than the last.

In any case, this was a continuation of becoming more familiar with my new pens and how they feel compared to the Copic Multiliners. It’s a shame that I’ve been focused on digital art as heavily recently as I haven’t had many chances to use them. But, hopefully, in the coming weeks, that will change and I’ll get to play with all my shiny new toys.

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.

Unnatural Entities

Never trust anything with that many limbs.

I’ve collected a fair amount of references. I originally started collecting anatomical diagrams for various bone, muscle, and body structures but I’ve recently expanded that list to include many other wonderful things. Like the numerous high quality renders of/concept art for different video game characters, environments, equipment, and innumerable creatures. But you know what I don’t have any references of? Nature.

There’s no deep rooted conspiracy here, though.

For some reason it never occurred to me that I could employ those kind of references in the same way as the others I use. You see, the above collection of anatomical references (for all sorts of things) are used in the construction of various pieces. I never directly use any reference- nor do I attempt to reproduce it- but I do use them to keep things in proportion. Or to make sure things are the correct shape. Or to make sure all the muscles are where they should be. Following the same line of thinking, I set out to collect a small number of nature references. Trees, rocks, mountains, water, streams, and so on. Things that can help me with the shapes and textures found therein.

One of these is not like the others. One of these is different.

One of these is not like the others. One of these is different.

However, there is a slight problem with this plan in comparison to my current anatomical work. It’s been a while since I last consistently created scenic/landscape pieces, and so many of my materials and styles have changed. Which means one thing- scribbling nature sketches. Nothing finalised yet. Just something to get a feel for scenic/landscape pieces again.

One thing about a few of these is that I used a heavier paper in the form of bristol board (250gsm), which is notably smoother than what I would usually use for pencil work. It also doesn’t have a tooth and so I don’t get the blended shading I’ve come to rely on. That said, the lack of a tooth makes ink work. So there’s a benefit there. Many of these are also employing a multitude of styles in the same sketch, as I’m trying to get comfortable with the new ideas and references.

These are not the only things I’ve been working on recently.

I'm not sure even a mother could love this face.

I’m not sure even a mother could love this face.

I’ve also been toying with a rough ink sketch work in progress piece of Doom (2016)’s Cyberdemon. It’s an interesting monster- as are many of the monster models in that title- and one that fits nicely into this post. It’s following a similar style to recent ink pieces, but this one is much looser and was originally intended to be nothing more than a sketch. But I may work on it further. Maybe even throw some digital paint on it. Not that I would ever advise, nor suggest, you should throw anything at something this huge and menacing. Like I said in Archive of Experiences, I do want to create more interesting and diverse creative posts. I want to share things I’ve worked on that may or may not end up on the site. I want to share my experiences as it were.

I’m not sure when there will be any full scenic/landscape pieces. Or if I’m even going to attempt any. But I thought I’d share these results as I think they’re interesting, they’re different, and they’re not hulking muscular warriors with scars and sunken eyes. I’m sure you’re all getting tired of the half naked men/creatures that keep coming up in these posts. If you’re not- that’s good! It’s all I know how to draw anyway. Maybe I could draw some kind of hulking muscular tree man with sunken eyes…

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.

Doom, the UAC, Doomguy, Pinkies, Cyberdemons, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by id Software.

How You’ve Grown – 2016 – Digital – click for full view on site!

So many meanings. So much time.

Ever have those pieces that seem to never end? No matter how many times you come back to them, no matter how many hours you work on them, no matter how much you’d like to fool yourself into believing they’re done- they’re not done. They might never be done. You can’t even tell at this point. Such are the feelings I had about this piece when I sat down to work on it as it neared completion. Now, don’t get me wrong- I’ve enjoyed working on this piece- but will it ever end?

This is entirely my fault, though.

I shouldn’t have taken such an open ended approach to how the composition developed. I also could have picked a material I had any idea of how to use. Might have helped. Still, here we are at the finish line and I’m ready to view this piece for what it is. A pain in my ass. I kid. Or do I? You’ll never know!

Regardless, it’s a great addition to the site and has helped me understand so much more about digital art than I did previously. Even if I did approach it with traditional techniques and completely shunned making a new style. Well, for the most part. The style is certainly unique compared to what I’ve done previously. Not entirely sure if I’ll ever use it again- but it’s there. This piece has also been an exercise in spamming my Twitter followers with WIP Tweets. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. I’m sure they loved it, though. I also apologise for dragging my feet in completing this particular piece. I’ve not been feeling well recently. I have been trying to put in the hours where I can, though.

How You've Grown - 2016 - DigitalHad an interesting time bringing this piece together, too. Played around with the composition quite a bit, cropped it differently, added some elements, took some out, and tried to balance out a decent result that wasn’t too large (or too small). It’s quite odd how difficult it is to achieve the same results with digital as I do with traditional, probably due to not having the natural textures of both the paper and materials I’m using. I do try to avoid the vanilla Adobe Photoshop CS2 brushes where I can.

I’d like it to have a little texture.

I also put a lot of emphasis on the composition as I have a lot more opportunity to add, remove, and rearrange elements with digital art than I do in any kind of traditional art. It’s a learning experience in many different ways. That said, I feel the final result could have worked out a little better.

On the other hand, it’s not really surprising that it worked out how it did. Given that this is the first full digital piece I’ve done in a while (if ever). I’ve had quite a few ideas of what I’d like to attempt next with digital art, not to mention with the working dark to light technique. That could be pretty cool with several things. Well, no, it would only really work with acrylic. Still, I hope you enjoy this piece (even if just a little) as that’s what I do this for. Otherwise I’d spend the hours hunched over a Wacom Bamboo tablet, illuminated by the light from my monitor, drinking nothing but coffee, and share the end result with no-one.

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.

Not Mushroom Inside – 2016 – Pencil – click for full view on site!

Who ever lives here must be a pretty fun guy. (I promise I’ll stop.)

An interesting choice for one of the first pieces of 2016 but one that brings back a few memories. I’ve not done much landscape/scenic work since early 2009 and I have only one piece on the site at the moment (Lost in Time), but it’s something I’m very keen to get back to. However, as with most other subject matter, it’s a combination of feeling like the particular material and style fit the intended result for the piece. I’ve started to lean closer towards pencil simply due to this (fairly) new paper which gives (most of) the results I want.

I’m also happy I could work a silly pun into the title of this piece.

Originally inspired by the fantasy elements of titles like The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind or the locations like Zangarmarsh (World of Warcraft), this is also fuelled by a personal fondness for mushrooms and close attention to detail. I’ve always felt that landscape/scenic pieces are especially good for telling a story with how you arrange/display the elements within the piece. Housing, burrows, rocks, fauna- everything adds to the atmosphere- and allows you to give a very different feeling with different arrangements. This is a smaller, more conceptual, narrower piece but I like to think of how I could translate these elements to a broader and more expansive piece.

I’ve had a few ideas of how I can apply heavy detail to certain elements while breaking into blended shading in others. Through this piece I can now see this is entirely possible. But it does need some refinement. So in the next piece that follows this idea I’ll be trying to improve, experiment further, and generally push what I do to get the best possible result.

Not Mushroom Inside - 2016 - PencilIt’s oddly ironic that I chose to do the updates to the collection of sites at the same time as I started this piece. Mostly because, as I’ve gone back over those pieces, I’ve seen all the different ideas I’ve used in the past. Some I’d forgotten were even on the site. Some that actually awakened some feelings in me that were mostly dormant up to that point. I don’t know, it’s an odd feeling to say that working through my own work has taught me something new. Considering most of these pieces fall between 2008-2013 where I was still shifting heavily from piece to piece.

I’m happy about it, though.

Nice to see that it is illustrating (pun perhaps intended) the progression of my work. While this piece will slot itself in nicely and show how I’ve changed in composition, style, technique, approach, and use of materials between here and Lost in Time. I just wish there were more forms of comparison. But we can’t have everything. Still, I think this is a pretty good start to 2016 and one that I hope will continue in the coming weeks and months. I’ve had a few ideas as a result of those updates that I’d like to try (or at least start) in the next week or two. As always, information relating to those ideas/pieces will be coming through Moggie @ WordPress where appropriate.

I’d say this one leans heavier on the side of fantasy than not. You can draw your own conclusions about who lives here (or if anyone lives here), if it’s tiny, if it’s huge, if it’s for a particular species (which would probably relate to size), or you can just enjoy the fact it’s a giant mushroom which is also a house. Don’t you wish you lived in a mushroom?

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.