Tag Archives: Illustration Friday

Robot Aliens, or Alien Robots?

Darla Two
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, gel pen

On the cold side of Centauri Sixteen, forty years after landfall, an elderly astronomer called Garth discovered a creature much like this one, seemingly lost in the Stalagmite Forest. It seemed shy and kept a distance between them, but followed him home. The sad face reminded him of his daughter Darla, now a deep space navigator, so he called her Darla Two. She became a sort of pet, one who liked to eat fig beetles and look through his daughter’s old picture book replicas. At least this is the story he told. No one else ever saw her.

Winnie the Wonk
2.5″ x 3.5″ ATC, Copics, fine liners, gel pen

Leah was the daughter of a Meteor Retrieval engineer and a planetside nurse, with few playmates her own age. When she was about five, her father heard about an interplanetary astronomer called Garth who befriended a mechano-alien with wonky eyes and wonky hair. The story inspired him to build his daughter a mechanical friend with similar features. As a testament to the success of this friendship, Leah grew up to become a robotic specialist and built the first Robotic Ambassador. She named it Winnie.

Keen Art Resource 02

How to Refill Copic Markers, by BayleeCreations. I believe you can find quite a few videos on this topic, but this one is very thorough and talks about various related issues. I spilled a lot of ink before I watched this, but now I don’t. Hooray!

Thanks for stopping in! Lots of progress pics below. (I keep thinking about doing videos instead of slideshows, but it feels like it would be too  time-consuming so I’m not sure yet. Do you watch many art-related videos?)

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Sir Valance Surveillance for Illustration Friday

Sir Valance Surveillance
5″ x 7″, Copic Markers, Micron & Prismacolor fine liners

Made for the Illustration Friday topic “Surveillance”. So I was just going to do a dapper fellow called Sir Valance who liked valances. But Bert thought I should make him standing behind the valance, and then I thought it should be an ad for his detective agency. I thought the idea was too complicated and I didn’t think I’d be able to illustrate it.  But then I did. Which is very satisfying. (And the result of  a lot of practice. Tons. If you wondered.) ;)

Murmak Cogwrench ATC
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, Microns, gel pen

And this is an art card for a “People of Planet X” swap, which is third in a series after People of the Forest and People of the Sea (see previous posts)! I tried to get some vital statistics so I could introduce this fellow, but the universal communicator reverted to ones and zeroes and I wasn’t able to fix it in time for this post.

Thanks for visiting! Progress pics below. Questions and comments always welcome!

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Patterned Skulls in Ink for Illustration Friday

Arturos and the Witch’s Eye ATC
2.5″ x 3.5″, Copics, Microns, gel pen

There was once a mute witch who lived in a cave outside of town with her cat called Arturos. She sold love potions and healing balms to any villagers brave enough to visit. As legend tells, she plucked out her own right eye, and the right eye of Arturos, and switched them. It is said her new eye allowed her to see into the twilight world of cats. What Arturos saw, he never told.

Submitted to “Worn” for Illustration Friday. Both the eye and the skull are quite worn! They were displayed for a short time at the Oddity Museum of Ulster, but were reportedly removed when an elderly couple insisted the eye was moving in its (borrowed) socket. At least that’s what the placard beside the plaster replica says! I do not know if any of this story is true, but it does bring a touch of magic and a few curiosity seekers to the village.

Red Yellow Skull, and Red Skull with Lizard
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″, Copics, Microns, gel pen on Bristol Board

Two more skulls! I quite like the red one with the lizard. This is not subject matter I usually cover! All three were created for a “Bones” swap. I’ve been thinking lately I want more cards for my shop, and fewer for trading – simply because there is only so much time in the day! On the other hand, the swaps provide lots of inspiration in the form of other artists (just like Illustration Friday!) and also require subjects I am not as familiar with, which is excellent practice. Balance is the thing I must find.

Reference photo for the red skull (it’s a bit spooky). Thanks for stopping in!

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A Bear and a Beetle – Copic ATCs for IF

Sun Bear Art Card
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners

Ok, he may not be traditionally sweet, but I think he has a sweet face! Due to some trading requests I’ve done a bit of (pseudo) realism this week! And it’s always sweet (sometimes bittersweet!) to go outside our comfort zone. Submitted, as you may have guessed, for the topic “Sweet” at Illustration Friday.

I have been paying more attention to my process recently. I do a lot of layers with the markers, which not only helps in removing dreaded marker lines, but also results in some really nice blending. I counted the pens I used for this guy. 24! Two sizes of fine liner (0.05 and 2.0), a little bit of Uniball Signo white gel pen, and 21 Copics! Mostly browns and grays, with several orange, two blues and two greens.

Am I relying too much on different marker colors? Could I achieve the same result with fewer? Who knows! I can only do things the way I do ’em! (You will see that many of the colors disappear completely in the scans below.) I could have darkened some more shadows but have been trying to stop messing about with things before I wreck them. Here’s the reference photo.

And now, if beetles can be sweet, how about this guy?

Orange Wonder Beetle Art Card
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

This fellow was created by looking at this photo of a gray beetle. I tried to give it a name that suited its beetley charm. A beetle against the sky – he could be huge! Or tiny.

Thanks so much for visiting! I should have captured some more progress on the beetle but did a pretty fair job for the bear.

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Maiden of the Birds for Illustration Friday

Maiden of the Birds
5″ x 7″, Copic markers, Micron pens, Uniball Signo gel pen

Submitted for the topic “Tension” at Illustration Friday. That’s Phyllis up there, the sheep bird. And beside her, Jules (pink) and Harold. The little one on the bird feeder is Sybil. It looks calm right now, but Phyllis rules the place with an iron claw. Particularly if someone else has encroached upon what she feels is the proper amount of space for a creature of her stature. It can get a bit tense up there!

The Night City Maiden (2 versions)
5″ x 7″ Copic markers, Micron pens

I intended for this one to have a black background, but I am not sure about the best way to accomplish that. The dark version above has a simple a black background added digitally. Looking at these side by side, it definitely looks better dark, especially with the stars. I suppose a brush would do the best coverage, and I may even have one, and some ink. I hate to think of coloring the background with marker. But brushed ink is likely to warp the paper.  Eeek! If you have any tips, please share!

No progress pics because I did both of these while out of town! (It also explains the color palette, which was limited by what I brought with me!) These are maidens 95 and 96 (but might not be loaded over there yet). Thanks for stopping in!


Gargoyles Art Cards in Copics

Teeth Gargoyle & Mutton Chop Gargoyle
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, gel pen

Submitted for the topic “Wild” at Illustration Friday. Now perhaps you don’t think of gargoyles as wild because you think of them as stone statues. If so, you have clearly never seen one leave its perch in the dead of night!

Fortunately, these four specimens are not the man or woman eating type. They are pacifist gargoyles. However, they look extra wild and dastardly in order to hang with the other gargoyles. Though mostly the quiet ones keep to themselves, occasionally gathering for Mystery Science Theater night.

Canine Gargoyle and Denim Gargoyle
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, gel pen

These four guys were created for an art card swap. I’m quite pleased with the eyes, which I’ve been working on improving.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Cat Girl in Orange Wig for Illustration Friday

Lana in the Orange Wig
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics on Bristol Board

The word is “Urban” at Illustration Friday, and Lana is nothing if not an urban girl. She is currently going to fashion design school in the Midwest, and longs to visit New York and the legendary Mood Fabrics. This wig is her favorite from a collection of twenty-two wigs (though last week it was the silvery pale blue mohawk).

After a second round of antibiotics I seem to finally be on the mend. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes! I had a hard time doing much art while under the weather, but I think Lana is pretty cool. :)

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The Pitcher Mermaid for Illustration Friday

The Pitcher Mermaid
5″ x 7″ Copics, Micron pens, with digital sky

For the topic “Swim” at Illustration Friday. Have you joined yet? Why the heck not?

A bit of a departure from my usual goofy beasts, to mixed results. I stopped a bit sooner than usual. Maybe because she seems like quite a sad mermaid – and why not, trapped in a pitcher! Perhaps by an evil witch. Those darn evil witches! Actually, my favorite part is the way the tabletop blends into the sky. (The sky was added digitally with paint.NET). And the orange fish at the top. (You may be happy to hear that Nathan (the orange spotted fish) escapes the pitcher and has many exciting adventures in a nearby pond, attracting many followers and ruling a peaceful pond kingdom for many years.)

Well, I am a firm believer that every drawing teaches us things. They can’t all be our favorite one! Thanks for visiting. ;)

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A Woodland Book Club for Illustration Friday

Josey & Ivan at the Woodland Book Club
8″ x 9″ Pen and ink, Copics, digital sky

For the topic “Eye Glasses” at Illustration Friday.

The Woodland Book Club meets once a month to discuss a book chosen by popular vote. This week it’s Tailchaser’s Song, by Tad Williams. Every member of the Book Club wears eye glasses which is great business for Josey, an ophthalmologist. Some members don’t even need a corrective prescription – they just like to wear them as a token of membership.

Josey and Ivan always get to the Book Club early. They like to try to guess who has finished the book as each member arrives.

I was going to finish the tree more but decided to leave it. Thanks for stopping in! I’m really trying to get back to two posts a week.

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The Messenger, for Illustration Friday

The Messenger
5″ x 7″ pen and ink, digital sky

For the topic “Talent” at Illustration Friday. He is the very best at delivering messages. The truth is, I originally envisioned a pile of creatures atop this old-fashioned bicycle, a circus-style balancing act. But that is not what happened!

Children sometimes see the messenger, but rarely adults. He is one of five sprites of the faerie realm who run important missions between our two worlds. This messenger carries just one message at a time. Often very grave or urgent messages! But  it is not for me to share his secrets.

Apologies to those who find such things as faeries and fairies and sprites and magic, entirely preposterous and beneath the interests of mature and intelligent folk. We will have to agree to disagree. I certainly prefer them to political scandals and sports dynasties!

A few notes: I believe this fellow would have fared better if the plain inked version had been colored in Photoshop. But I do not have Photoshop, nor am I a digital artist. But I do use paint.NET for touch-ups and for clouds. Saves on markers; makes nice clouds.

Thanks for visiting! Have a great March. :)

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