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.

Corruption Collection

Decaying souls housed in failing flesh.

There are a couple of trees in there, too. It wouldn’t be the same without a healthy dose of foliage. I’m starting to think I have a problem, but none have taken me seriously when I mention my obsession with my wood. I’m not sure why, either. They seem pretty understanding about the foliage thing. In any case, it’s a good time to throw together this sketch compilation. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and this one highlights a rather rare attempt at a Dark Souls inspired sketch.

I do love the visual style of the Dark Souls series.

There’s a certain quality that persists throughout the series which produces some utterly gorgeous suits of armour or weapons. Each usually telling a story about a previous owner, a previous age, or even a previous instalment. Highlighting the many realms and many inhabitants that have come and gone through the span of time that precariously knits each instalment together.

Many of these sketches have been previously highlighted over on Twitter. One is new-ish. That said, they were previously presented cropped and without as much context as they have here. Which, for the coloured pencil and ink tree sketch, is actually an interesting distinction, as you can see how the original pencil sketch looked and how things unfolded from there. It provides an interesting contrast to the graphite pencil tree sketch, within which you can see how the two approaches are surprisingly different despite having the same subject matter. Then again, the two were intended to be entirely different in their final presentation- but they remained fairly consistent in their original sketches.

I have a thing for trees. Colourful trees.

It’s interesting to me as I’ve been thinking about consistency for a while now. I was starting to question whether I had any which may have been slightly misplaced, as, while the two presentations ended up entirely different, they did start fairly similarly. Perhaps I’ve been looking at consistency the wrong way around. On the other hand, I’m pleased that these sketches maintain a level of quality which ranks with the best work I’ve done. Maybe I’m finally becoming more comfortable with my myriad styles, too.

Or maybe I shouldn’t have myriad styles.

I’ve also been working with a singular type of paper recently. I wish there were reasons for that, but the closest I have to a reason is that I can’t be bothered to disturb the cat by moving the supply box around to get my other bristol board. I know it’s in there. Somewhere. I’m starting to warm to cartridge paper, too. It tells all the best stories and keeps me warm on cold winter nights.

Been shuffling pencils around as well. Indulging in the pleasures of HB rather than my usual choice of B. No real reason for that, either. Just that it feels natural at times to select certain pencils over others. Almost as if I’ve gained some fundamental insight into how I approach things and what would be best to use, based on situation, instead of experience, to provide the best possible result at the time. It’s also fun experimenting with different materials from time to time. It’s surprising how something as simple as switching a pencil can drastically change the presentation of the finished piece. I’m still smitten with 2B*, too. (*The pencil not the android.)

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.

Hollows, Bonfires, the Elite Knight set, Estus Flasks, and all associated trademarks and devices are owned by FROMSOFTWARE.

Multiple Attempts

There’s definitely a trend in my digital painting attempts.

They’re either animals or trees. For the most part. That said, I wanted to bring this compilation of unfinished pieces together so that I could share some of the efforts I’ve hinted about in posts such as Momentary Regret and Happiness Hat. It’s easy for me to explain them to you- but it’s easier if you can see these attempts for yourself. It may also help you to understand why I feel the way I do about some of these. You can also see the follow on from Anatomical Fish. As one of these was the painting that I switched to.

You might also wonder why I’ve never finished these pieces.

I do, too. But I’ve discovered that I’ve been looking at things the wrong way around. Or at least I feel like I have. As I have concerned myself with the presentation of the content for a while, but I’m starting to notice it’s the content (or lack thereof) which is the actual problem. That’s why some of the small changes I was going to make never came to fruition.

I started to realise that I could change around the presentation infinitely but it wouldn’t quell the disappointment (for lack of a better word) that I felt regarding the content itself. Therefore, I’ve started to work towards finishing more pieces. Some of which have been sitting around for far too long. Like the subject of Building an Abomination, which I’ve repeatedly put off working on for various reasons and it’s still unfinished. I could make countless excuses but I won’t. That said, I enjoy the aforementioned posts which bring together things I’ve been working on and I think they illustrate (pun intended) my creative journey nicely. So I’m not looking to lose those posts entirely.

They're a colourful bunch!

They’re a colourful bunch!

I’m just hoping I’ll be able to commit myself to more finished pieces. It’s something which I feel I’ve let myself down with more than anything. That said, I can’t control the myriad situations which have put me in this position in the first place. But, again, that’s no excuse. It’s a problem I’ve created and one that I’ll need to fix. In happier news, I’m rather enjoying the selection of pieces in this compilation which highlight some of my best digital painting attempts. There are some we’ve seen before and some we haven’t.

Those we have seen are a little different now, too.

On the other hand, I’ve also included a couple of traditional painting and illustration attempts. One was a painting which was sort of finished but I wasn’t too happy with the outcome of, the other is an illustration that combined a dozen different styles into one very confused piece. Both taught me something, though. Which is all I can really hope for from an unfinished piece.

It’s also an interesting compilation as there many different styles present in it. It highlights the rather eclectic nature of my creative efforts. I rather enjoy that about my various pieces, but I am starting to wonder if that’s causing me more problems than I realise. That said, through some of these unconventional styles and approaches I’ve started to understand things about my creative process I hadn’t realised. Like how I tend to ink things with incredibly stiff and rigid movements. I don’t have the fluid, loose, expressive approach that I use when I’m sketching with pencil. It’s an interesting realisation. Mostly because I hadn’t noticed that despite the similarities between the application of materials my approach changes drastically.

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.

Failed Tree Attempt #206 – 2016 – Acrylic – click for full view on site!

I’ve lost count along the way.

To say that I’ve probably drawn thousands of trees over the course of my life wouldn’t be an exaggeration. To say that I’ve probably used every material I have in creating them wouldn’t be an exaggeration, either. I like trees. They’re green (or in this case orange-y), they’re interesting, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. That said, this piece wasn’t planned and you could even say that it was a happy accident. One that has surprisingly good textures, too.

A rare example of the scanned version swaying my decision.

Usually, it’s the opposite. The scanned version will look awful in comparison to what (I think) is an otherwise good piece. Or (most common) the colours will be misrepresented in the scanned version and you’ll need to do all sorts of colour balance magic. But, in this case, it actually helped me see some really positive points about this piece.

Like the textures. The bark has an especially delicious texture, while the leaves, albeit not as detailed, also possess a rather nice texture that illustrates the layered approach I take to acrylic painting. Something that I’m still a novice at, too. I’ve done maybe two if not three acrylic paintings prior to this point, none of which I’ve shared, and most of which are great examples of growing pains. Then again- it is a completely different process to watercolour painting. On the one hand that’s a good thing. On the other it’s very confusing. As I tend to work from light to dark with watercolours, while with acrylic I’m working dark to light. With the opaque nature of the paint actually opening up new possibilities.

Failed Tree Attempt #206 – 2016 – AcrylicI’ve always felt that acrylic painting could be useful for creating scenic/landscape pieces. It seems to fit. I’d need to learn more, though. An awful lot more about how best to use the actual paint (due to the varying levels of permanence), how best to apply it, and general understanding of which brushes do what. Again, while you would think that from years of watercolour painting I would already have established these things- it really is completely different. At least to me.

Maybe that’s where the problem lies with it.

Or maybe I’m just thinking too much about the process. I’d say that I have infinitely more confidence with watercolour painting than acrylic painting, which is more than likely the biggest detriment to success with acrylic painting. But confidence comes in time. It comes with painting yourself more than painting the canvas.

This piece also allows me to expand the number of paintings I have on the site. It further allows me to include the previously absent acrylic paintings. Or one of them at least. Equally, it allows me to create an even more diverse range of pieces on the site as there’s almost quite literally a little of everything on there now. Not that I’m upset about any of these things, nor are these things a justification of why it should be on the site. It’s just nice to see my personal site expanding a little further. I don’t really know what I’d define this style as, though. But it’s not like you have to label things for them to look neat. That, again, is just a happy accident as a result of their existence.

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.