Archive | September 2012

Color, stuff, and color

One of the pleasures I get from art is the color. I like to watch it spread across the page. In the case of my work in progress, I really like the water. The rest isn’t quite what I would like, but I imagine it will all look much better when I have finished. I still hope to finish it before Tuesday, but work is slow. I’m working on the forresty bit. That usually is slow. I can do decent forrests, but there are so many components and elements that it’s hard to do a really good one.

I have been sleeping a lot lately, and it’s been bothering me. I realized that since I’m driving Lori to seminary these days, I was going to have to get to bed earlier if I wanted my eight hours. So I went to bed early one night, and since then, everything has been thrown out of whack, and I haven’t been able to set an earlier bedtime for myself. I went to bed as usual last night, woke up at least once in the middle of the night, and then slept in late. Most of that time I was in a state of semi-conciousness. I was awake, I knew I was, but I didn’t get out of bed, and I was able to keep dreaming. Some of the dreams weren’t nice. One involved my parents complaining about finances. When I eventually did get up, I had a headache for quite a while. The really sad thing about last night was that I took a nap from maybe 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Then I got to be awake for two hours before going to sleep again. No doubt that is part of why I feel so groggy today. I’ve definately been sleeping too much. And yet, why do I seem to fall asleep so easily if I’ve gotten enough sleep?

Also, because of that nap I missed the General Relief Soicety broadcast, so I watched it this morning. It spoke a lot about love and the Atonement, in pretty much all of the talks. It was interesting because it seemed to me, because I didn’t hear much by the way of “You need to serve more,” or “You need to judge less” or stuff like that. It was almost an accepted fact that the woman of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were remarkable people, who love and serve others, and who just needed to be reminded that they were loved. That’s what it seemed to me anyway.

I want to write more. It soothes me. But I cannot think of much to say. Only that I would like to finish this image that I’m working on, but again am lacking in motivation. It’s not the driving of the pencil across the paper that I enjoy so much as filling an empty space with somthing colorful that I created. I really look forward to the final image. I just have to get there.


The Dance last night

Well, I went to my singles’ ward barn dance last night. There are a few highlights of that night. A minor one was the pie competition. But I rather enjoyed watching the others learn a folk dance. Like in most every dance I’ve ever been do, there weren’t enough guys to go around. If they were smart and wanted to attract the girls, they would learn how to dance. But anyway, since I wasn’t too sure of my abilities, I sat out with some others. But it was a lot of fun to watch. But my favorite moment of the dance was probably when a guy taught me a dance. What was it again? ‘The hussle’? I don’t remember, but I loved it because one I got the basic step down, he swung me around. I LOVE it when guys do that; teach me how to dance, and then swing me around and do dips and stuff. It’s like flying. The rest of the dance was… well, I’ve discovered I’m not really into a lot of the music they have at these dances. But since I’m not sure what kinds of music I actually like (don’t ask, it takes a bit of explaining) it wasn’t like I could suggest much else.

Anyway, that was last night. Today I just had a really big pancake breakfast, and due to the fact that I’m not walking to classes these days, I’m beginning to think I’m going to be even more soft than I already am right now. But I’m not the sort of girl who’s really motivated to go jogging or have an excercise routine or suchlike. Ah, jogging. I almost understand the appeal- but I don’t really. A lot of people feel really good after a jog. I’m pretty sure I feel miserable every time I finish jogging. Walking and dancing those are much preferrable ways to get one’s exercise in my mind.

In the meantime, I get the house to myself for a while and I’m trying to convince myself to work on my latest image. I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually, but what with getting back late last night and rather drawn out breakfast and then finding that I have the house to myself… I’m having trouble getting myself to get any work done. Maybe I’ll have better luck later in the day.

Out of the fog

So… fog is really pretty 🙂 Not as fun to drive in, but at least it is pretty. I thought The Siblings might have a fog delay, but I guess not. So I’ll be alone to work on my next image!

I got started on another image yesterday. The fog cleared, and I was able to set to work. Remember when I was talking about nymphs yesterday? I had been thinking about doing an image with a water sprite of some kind, but I wasn’t sure how I would go about it. But I got it figured out. The interesting thing is that I’m working with water. It’s not something I usually do. Sometimes I imagine doing an image that takes place out on the ocean, with the waves crashing against some rocks. But as it turns out, that sort of thing is hard. Especially, in my mind, with colored pencils. But the water in this image is calm, and my Mom and one of my sisters have already said that they think the water is pretty. After I finish the water, the rest is forrest. The nymph bothers me, but I suspect that I’ll think better of her when I finish the over all image.

At least I can be satisfied with this much: the image is going to have a lot of blues and greens. I know it’s weird, but somtimes I like to do an image with a certain color pallette, simply because I haven’t done it in a while. It’s like having a meal with your hamberger and your potato salad and your dessert and whatever, after you’ve had a bit of one, you want to go to the other. And if you’ve done the hamberger and dessert for long enough, you start to really want a bite of that potato salad (of course, I love potato salad, and I’ll get as much as I can when I can because we don’t get it at home, but that’s beside the point). And I feel like I’ve done a number of warm images lately, especially with Captain of the Red Wings, so I’ve been wanting to do something cooler. And what with a firey sunset, water seemed like the perfect counter.


What I really need is stamina, the ability to keep coloring for a really long time, but I find it difficult. Still, my goal for this image is to finish it in less than a week from when I posted my last image: Akinra’s World. That means I’m going to try to have it done before Tuesday.

In case you wanted to know

In case you wanted to know, I just looked up the difference between nymphs and nyads. It would seem that nyads are a subdivision of nymphs that preside over bodies of freshwater. Isn’t it wonderful that we have google to help us answer all the strange questions that pop into our heads? Life is so interesting. I don’t think I have ever before wondered what the difference between nymphs and nyads were.

I was thinking about nymphs becaues I was wondering what to do for my next image. So far I have eight images for this year. It is not as much as I would like, but at least most of them are kind of cool. But I need to get more done. And the most aggrivating thing is trying to come up with what to do next. Because in the meantime you aren’t doing anything except thinking. It makes me feel idle. The work comes when the pencil is put to paper and color starts to fill the page.

Oh! But there is other news. Two days ago when I finished Akinra’s World, I also added a new product to my Zazzle store. Zazzle is a place online, where I can make costum products (like the calendars I’ve been mentioning) with my artwork. So when I create a product with my artwork, it goes into my ‘store,’ where people can buy them if they wish. This time, I added a T-Shirt entilted ‘Dryad Unleased’ (I wanted to just say it was a Dryad, but I had another shirt in there that features a Dryad). I really ought to post the artwork for it so you can see, but I scanned it into my Mom’s computer (which has photoshop, and I do not). So if you’re ever at, or whatever the URL for it is, see if you can find my store; look out for ‘Azureworks.’ When I get some calendars posted for 2013, I’ll give you a more clear description.

New Image: Akinra’s World



So this is that backburner project I’ve been talking about, the one I’ve been working on since before ‘I Call him Fred’

I sort of knew what I was doing when I started Akinra’s World. I knew that it starred Akinra, Dream maker, so I thought I’d stick in a lot of references to dreams that I’ve had. Only when it came down to it, I didn’t remember a lot of my dreams that had something visual to represent them. I had a dream where I slapped a guy I knew from school three times (that was a most satisfying dream), I have dreams where I’m perpertually late for school, a dream where I suddenly found a bunch of Calvin and Hobbes comic books in my locker that I had not read before (I should have put a reference of that in my dream…), and so on.

For whatever reason it seemed like all the dreams I was thinking of that day (and I had a bit of a brain freeze with trying to remember all the dreams that I had remembered) didn’t have a visual. I only managed to stick a few in. The flamingo, for instance, is represent of the dream I had where my house was invaded by flamingo people. The cellist (who’s harder to see, now that everything’s colored) is a reference to the dream I had with the Piano Guys. Have I mentioned this one? I was sitting on the piano bench next to Steve, which was wrong because Steve was the cellist. But he played the piano for me and then gave me a hug. It was a nice dream :). And then I tried to put in a reference to the dream where I was sitting at a table with my friends for church, and then one of the guys from my sunday school class who moved away several years ago arrived, and practically tackled him with a hug. I should have knocked him to the floor. I think he complained that my nails were digging into him. It was interesting, because I woke up wondering ‘why him of all the guys I know? That’s random’ I didn’t know quite how to draw a reference for that though.

A couple of other things, the butterflies actually represent dreams themselves; fast, flighty, and fragile. The spiderwebs have twofold meaning. One is that my sister Lori had a dream where she took a spider web and folded it up. But she had to be careful because there were beads on it. The second meaning is that they represent dreamcatchers. I always thought dreamcatchers were cool, and I think that when I decided that dreams were like butterflies, it clicked that dreamcathers were like spider webs. Now, they say that nightmares get caugt in dream catchers, and the good dreams are allowed through. So, since I created a Dream Maker, I decided that there needed to be a Dream Eater, who would eat all the nightmares. And so I created Arnika, the Dream Eating Spider, who dwelt in Dream Catching spider webs. The beads, obviously, are put in there to please the all mighty Eater of Nightmares.

Anyway, as I started working on the image, it became quickly clear that I really had no idea what I was doing. I knew that the image was to be colorful, that color would make up a lot of the image, and usually once I lay colors down- I get a sense of where the next color will go and how it would look. But I didn’t really predict this. But it seemed to work. Akinra takes the persona of a young girl, innocent, and apparently full of love for flowers and rainbows. But is it all a facade? Are dreams really just nonsense stories created from a child’s imaginiation, or are they works of art of which mankind has the least understanding? Dreams are more than they seem.

Fairy Tales

I’ve decided I really like Mirror Mirror. I always love a good fairy tale, and when they are kept lighthearted and fun, that’s all the better. Besides that eye candy of a prince with a really nice, low voice, and of course all of the dwarves. I love listening to them bicker, especially around the dinner table. We sort of have dinner together as a family in my home, but we tend to be much more relaxed and spread out. But hey, if we catch on to the right topic, we’ll be going on for a while.

But that’s off topic. The point is that I like the movie. I think I can safely say it is my favorite production of Snow White (I have not seen Snow White and the Huntsman). And now what I really want is more fairy tale movies. I may just be minorly obsessed. I would very much like to come up with my own fairy tales, so that it wouldn’t matter if there weren’t any other fairy tale movies for me to watch. Maybe I could write one some day. I do not, as of yet, possess much talent in the realm of writing (it’s difficult to practice when you also possess little talent in the realm of ‘coming up with story ideas’). But I love stories and characters. They make me happy. And it would be great if I could get to the point where I could, at least, write a few little fairy tale shortstories or something. They wouldn’t have to be long, just… fun. Cute. Interesting. You know, like my art is sometimes cute or interesting.

I really have been working on my images, I promise. The thing is, I was getting tired of Wisp’s picture. Sometimes it seems like the longer I work on an image, the less I like it (remember the image with Bree? I liked that one. It didn’t take me long to do). So I switched to my backburner project with Akinra and I’m not sure whether or not I like it. I’m not even sure I want to post it on Facebook when I’m done. I probably will end up doing it I suppose. But I do have those two images that I’m working on. And I’d like to finish one of them so I can start a completely new one, hopefully one that I will actually like. In the meantime, I get the feeling I’ll be doing a ‘backburner shuffle’ with these two images. Wouldn’t it be great if I could just work on one, straightforward image?

Lots of little happy things :)

I had a good day yesterday. Mostly because of a bunch of little things.

For instance, I learned that the fifth installment of the Ace Attorney series (a visual novel mystery game, I’m not the biggest video game nerd, but this is one of my favorites, and certainly my favorite for the D.S)  is going to star Phoenix Wright taking place a year after the Apollo Justice game AND they have already announced that it is going to be released in America (which they didn’t do for Investigations 2). Phoenix is awesome, but it for a while it looked like he would never return to court (he’s a defense lawyer who solves mysteries). But he’s coming back!

And then my family went to a ‘Settler’s Celebration’ thing. It was a bit like the Heritage Festival that I volunteered at, but better. We’ve been there before, so we know the good stuff. One of our family’s favorite stations is the cider press, where you make apple cider and then get a sample of your work. And the weather was perfect- the temperature was lovely and there was a bit of wind (and you know how I love wind!)

On the way home we stopped by the library to pick up some requests. One of them was Mirror Mirror. And do you know, I enjoyed it. It was fun and I liked the characters (liking the characters is kind of a big key to me enjoying something). Especially the prince and the dwarves. Ah the prince, regal, dignified (well you have to admit he carries himself well given some of the cirumstances he finds himself in), charming, and has a lovely voice. Wonderful voice. But enough of that, gushing always sounds stupider in writing.

But that’s why yesterday was a good day.

So that could have been better

Well, I’ve gotten farther in my next image, and it looks kind of cool, but it would look so much better if I had actually planned it before I started coloring, instead of doing a quick sketch. But that’s the thing, I didn’t know what it would look like, so I couldn’t very well make adjustments beforehand, and they can’t be made really easily after the fact either. This is the challenge with images that are largely color based- the colors aren’t included in the sketch. And if I were to included to the detail neccesary, it may as well be what I’m doing now. I don’t like the thought of this being my ‘sketch,’ and that there is a final image that needs to be done after this one.

But never mind. I keep looking back at the image. I have not yet hid it in the back of my clipboard, so I must be doing something right. I did get kinda the effect I was going for when I was thinking of a fairy circle. So… congradualate the successes I suppose, finish the image, and then move on to a new one. Sometimes there’s nothing like looking at the image you’re working on to make you more excited about whatever you are doing next.

We got a storm last night and I watched a movie with my siblings. Good times, good times. But I also did not manage to get to bed earlier last night, like I had wanted.

However, I did clean my room a little bit this morning- I got rid of some of my old doodles which have been cluttering my work area (I hate to do it, but sometimes it needs to be done) And I finally stored away my suitcase from coming back from BYU-I (about time right?). And the place is still in need of a bit of straightening up, but the point is that I’ve made pogress and have a cleaner room. Always a plus.


Five things

1. I’m beginning to think that Wisp is my kind of my ‘fallback’ character. If I’m struggling with an image, she’s always easy to work with. It’s a simple matter of blending colors. No wonder I’m using her for this image. Though it’s different from any other Wisp picture I’m done. Hopefully, it’s only a minor dissaster.

So far this year I have six or so new images. It’s about 2/3 of the way through the month, I’m going to have to pick up speed if I want to creat a calendar in good time with entirely new images, and not relying on some from last year.

2. It was a beautiful morning, with the sun rising and a mist spread over the fields… Wish I had a camera. It made me think of the song that I keep listening to from Celtic Thunder, New Day Dawning. There should be more songs of gratitude like that.

3. I’m listening to the Wayside School stories on C.D. There is a certain appeal to those stories, and I just can’t quite figure out what it is. And it makes me wonder what sort of person comes up with these. They are so unique and original. And most of them I enjoy listening to now as much as I did when I was a third grader- if not more. It’s facinating really.

How would it be if I could create my own books on C.D?

4. I’m kinda tired these days, and keep wanting to take a nap. Maybe because I drive Lori to Seminary really early in the morning. I should try to get to bed earlier tonight, and stop trying to fix everything by taking naps.

5. Maybe I should start clocking how much time I spend on my art every day, and see if I can stretch myself. Do you know, I think the easiest way to clock it would be to count the hours on each of the C.D.s I go through as I color.


Unusual solution- Wisp

Well, I finally got an image drawn out. But it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. It’s not quite a ‘fairy circle’ sort of thing anymore, though the idea still lingers. But this image does sort of help do something I’ve been trying to do- that is, show Wisp loosening up a little bit. In the past images with her, she is acting more the part of a gentle breeze. She is peaceful, sedate. And where we’ve seen her, her eyes have been closed and her hair tied back. In this image, she is more alert, her hair is loose. Letting her hair loose must be significant, because it seems to unleash a bunch of wispy little minions, which are racing off. Wisp herself isn’t moving. Perhaps she is gathering strength. Though really, I have no idea what this is going to end up looking like.

Autumn Wind

See, what I really would like to do is draw Wisp as an all out torrent. She’s typically a gentle breeze, because that’s what I think of when I think of the wind- that really nice wind that I get on the bike path and enjoy so much. A wisp of wind. But of course, when wind gathers speed, it can become quite powerful. We get a pretty good bit of wind on campus at BYU-I. Most people don’t like it, but I relish in it. And I think Wisp likes to really let loose sometimes, and toss some ships upon the sea or tear down trees or create tornados. I can picture her right now, laughing manicaly in the midst of a stormy sea.

But I haven’t quite figured out how to get an image like that. It would take some practice to get the right emotion, and to figure out what she would look like. Loose hair, wild eyes, but how do you shape someone when they’re practically a tornado, in a way that is visually striking?

So this image, which kind of came about by accident and wasn’t really planned at all, I think it will be the ‘calm before the storm,’ where Wisp has let her hair down, and watches as her little minion’s escape and help her gather strength for the Grand Event (the aforesaid laughing manically in the midst of a stormy sea, tossing ships around.). But who would guess with such an innocent face as hers?

If Wisp trapped in a human body, I imagine she would be the sort of child who liked to run around all day and never ran out of energy. Perhaps she wouldn’t talk so much as she would sing, hum, moan, sigh, and  whistle. She would enjoy dancing, climbing trees, playing with people’s hair, and jumping in the autumn leaves. Her primary love langauge would be ‘physical touch,’ so she’d be really happy if you gave her hugs. She would probably climb on your lap and kiss your cheek if you let her. Then she would play with your hair. Her own would be wild from all of her gallavanting. Yet she is graceful. She might slow down, but she won’t sit still voluntarily. And something less obvious about her, she is a bit of a pyromaniac.