Archive for September, 2011

It’s been a bit of a busy week.  I’ve been working on a custom Renaissance shirt for an Etsy customer, who made the request to have a shirt made for a wedding.  That’s kept me pretty me busy for most of last week, so I didn’t get as much sketching done as I should have.  The shirt was mailed off on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday I got creative.

I decided to take some leftover shirt fabric and put it together in an interesting way.  Add a few buttons, and some hand sewing, and this little guy was the result:

He’s stuffed with polyfil, and I think he makes a great addition to anybody’s Halloween decor.  I’ve listed him in my Etsy shop here for $15:  http://www.etsy.com/listing/82759757/spooky-ghost-plushie

I may try my hand at other, similar little stuffed creations – they’re fun to make, and I enjoy putting everything together to get something cute as a result.  Maybe cats or mice will be next…

I’ve also been working on some miniatures for Warmachine.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and a lot of the Warmachine community gets really involved, some going so far as to paint entire armies in pink to raise awareness.  There is a contest called Paint It Pink that I’m going to try participating in, and to that end I’ll be painting two miniatures in pink and submitting some images.  The contest has some great prize support, including some army transport bags.  It’s a huge chore to lug my miniatures to the game store right now, because I need two separate carrying cases, and I really do need a new bag to consolidate everything into one easy to carry transport bag.  I have my eye on a brand called Portable Warfare, which run around $80 for a great bag filled with foam trays for keeping your miniatures safe.  Not a bad price, considering that you’re essentially protecting potentially hundreds of dollars worth of miniatures in your transport.  I may try to show some progress pictures along the way, to show of my painting.

For my Etsy shop, Greyed Out, I’m currently working on inking a fairy forest scene, and once that’s done I’ll get it scanned and list prints in the store.  I’m also considering making a pdf file of my drawstring bag pattern, because I’ve noticed that it occasionally comes up in the search terms when I check my shop stats.  One piece of good news; I’ve managed to sell another Renaissance shirt!  This one will be going to someone as part of his first SCA costume, so I’m proud that I can help out.  This means that from now on, I’ll be making these shirts to order, which means that custom orders are a possibility.  I’m also working on another miniature fairy house with a really cool roof design, and I’m excited to see what it will look like when finished.

I’ll more than likely post again in a few days; thanks for reading, and please feel free to leave a comment!

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The past week or so has been filled with sketches and ideas.  I’m still trying to improve my skills, and that means drawing as much as possible.  Unfortunately, there’s always the interwebs, and that means distractions galore.  I spend a lot of time on Etsy, the Regretsy forums, miniature wargaming websites like Privateer Press, and illustration/art blogs.  However, I still have some images to show in today’s post.

I’m finding that I can get a little bit more work done when I’m away from my laptop altogether, and so I’ve occasionally been heading to Panera Bread in the early mornings to grab some coffee and sketch.  My wife often works an early shift, which means I can be at Panera from about 6:30 to 8:30 or 9am, when I catch public transit back home.  Panera Bread is a great venue, because they allow free refills on their coffee, and a small coffee is less than two dollars.  I’ll grab a coffee and then drink maybe 2 or 3 cups total over the time I’m there.  Not too bad, and right now it’s the only little pleasure I’m allowing myself when it comes to treats.  I know a lot of people grab coffee/lattes every day before work, which seems like a crazy amount of money to me, but I feel like $2 every week or so is worth the quiet sketching time.

What I’m currently working on is a storyboard for an idea I had regarding dwarves.  I have a few small thumbnail sketches worked out, and those will be posted below.  I’m playing with the idea of a greedy, out-for-gain group of dwarves holding a town hostage by blocking off the only exit roads.  It’s just a basic idea for now, but I’d love to explore it some more.  I’m not sure what direction I’ll take the final pieces in.  Karl Kerschl does a webcomic called The Abominable Charles Christopher, and he inks his works and then adds grey toned washes in Photoshop.  I lack Photoshop or a scanner, so I may have to do everything on paper.  We’ll see.

For my Etsy, I’m toying with the idea of doing some Halloween-themed items.  Unfortunately, everybody and their grandmother is jumping on the same scheme… which means it might be hard to jump out of the pack and get noticed regardless of what I do.  I did get a bat in a creepy mask painted up, and that will probably get photographed today.  I also have another small crooked house in the works, with a new roof design that I managed to stumble across on Pinterest, on a kid-sized gnome house.  I’m going to paint it up in fairy/dark colors and list it soon as well.  The hand-cut tiles look really great on it.

And now…. pictures!  Enjoy.  🙂

My wife and I have been having some roommate problems the past few months.  In a nutshell, one of our roommates broke off a long relationship to be with her significant other’s best friend.  She has claimed medical problems, quit a full-time job, and is now living with that person, who is willing to support her financially.  By doing so, she essentially left my wife and I scrambling to find another roommate, because our lease isn’t up until March.  We’ve failed to do so, and may have to break the lease after all and spend money that we don’t have to find a new apartment by ourselves.  Though my wife works full-time, I am still new to this city and have been having trouble finding work.  My little Etsy shop isn’t enough to cover all our necessary expenses, so I’m asking for a little help.  I know times are tough, but every little bit helps.

I’m an aspiring artist, as previous posts have shown, and I can do costume work and craft projects.  If you or anyone you know needs a Renaissance shirt, a pirate shirt, or just a big, poofy-sleeved semi-historical looking shirt, feel free to talk to me about making one for you.

Are you looking for artwork?  I would be open to doing commissions.  You pick the subject, and I try my best to create an original work of art for you.  I work in ink, watercolor, and acrylic.  I also paint miniatures – if you know someone who plays Warhammer, or Warmachine, or any other tabletop war-game featuring plastic or pewter miniatures, I’m willing to paint your miniatures for you.  If you need terrain, I do small “crooked houses” – perfect for a goblin village.

The following links are to my Etsy story and my Zibbet store – browse around and see if there is anything that appeals to you.

http://www.greyedout.etsy.com

http://www.zibbet.com/greyedout

In the next few weeks, I’ll try to post regular art and project updates.  I have some ideas for a possible webcomic, which will help test my artistic skills and allow you to follow my progress.  Stay tuned, and thank you.

I’ve been absent for a few weeks, and they’ve been a bit busy.  The good news, though, is that I’ve been doing a lot of sketching.  That means that this is going to be largely a post consisting of iPhone pictures of those sketches, a bit of commentary, and a few bits of inspiration and what ifs.

I’ve been looking through my copy of Brian Froud’s Goblin Companion – a book that I’ve had for years and years now, but never really browsed through.  Some of the sketches below are inspired by Froud’s work from the Goblin book, or else they are copied from the book to try to improve my technique.  I’d like to think that I’m learning bits and bobs of technique from the books I’ve been looking over recently.

Several of the sketches are faces and costumes that I’ve done from memory, and yet others are inspired by the works of Justin Gerard(whom I mentioned in an earlier post).

Another great artist that I’ve just discovered is Paul Bonner, who does fantasy illustration of the best sort.  He just did a very long guest post on the Muddy Colors blog, describing his process on a wonderful painting that features dwarves and a great big upright beastie based loosely on a musk ox.

Direct link to the blog post here:  http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/2011/09/guest-blogger-paul-bonner.html

And now the big bunch of sketches:

…uploading images to WordPress is a pain in the butt.  Anyone have a faster way to do it?  I hope everyone enjoys the art post… I’ll try to be back sooner next time, so that I don’t have to go through such a lengthy image-inserting process again.  Whew!