Author: Angela S.

August 2022 Sketchbook – Tattoos, Persephone, & more + Moving Update!

August has been another hectic month of negotiating house contracts, inspections, and more after losing multiple bids.  Things are looking up as we finally close on a house we love in just a few days!  That means, barring any last minute disasters, we’ll be relocating to our very own place with room enough for a studio, game room, and more over the course of September.  It’s been an unexpected dream come true to find such a big place within our budget!

We’re so relieved and excited!  I can’t wait to have space again so I can resume my big plans for my Birthstone Goddesses.  It’ll be time to wrap up this project which has been on hiatus during this whole process.

In the meanwhile, I’ve let the muse off the leash to explore whatever helps soothe my brain during all of this chaos.  That’s included more D&D character exploration, a Persephone concept, character class homework, and more.  Join me for an August sketch dump of wondrous variety!

More Fire Genasi Gal!

You might recall the sketch of my Barbarian gal, Rabs, from last month’s sketchbook.   I’ve decided to render her in a more painterly style to match the overall mood of official D&D art.  I usually work in a more line heavy style, so this is a challenge, especially in Procreate where I’m still somewhat unfamiliar with the painterly tools.  I’m getting some great results with the Acrylic and Gouache brushes, thus far!  I love the blending and subtle texture of them.

Before I could finish up Rabs’ armor base, I figured it was a good idea to actually define her tattoos in a template so I’m not always drawing them by hand every time. Radinsky’s template provided an amazing resource for this!  Here are all of Rabs’ bits and bobs shown together.  Hooray for being able to copy and paste these tatts as needed from here on out!

Sidenote:  The emergence of a hibiscus flower was accidental as it came about from mirroring her forehead sigil 5 times. I love happy accidents like that!

The captions read as follows:

Rabanne’s Tattoos

Limned in glowing ink that appears like molten lava in Rabanne’s skin, these tattoos symbolize her accomplishments & the decorative flare of noble class Genasi from their oasis city-kingdom.

Back Tattoo – Symbolizes the 5 ruling sisters of the Arore family, with Hibiscus as their symbol of state.

Arm Tattoos – The V-shaped emblems of the Tempest Heart Barbarians

Dread Queen Persephone

Over in the Fine Art section of my brain, I’ve been chipping away at a portrait set of Persephone to practice my traditional methods once I have a fully unpacked studio again.  I’ll be doing a portrait set of Persephone’s Summer and Winter forms showing her changes from Summer Maiden to Dread Queen.  

Of course, I wanted to work up her spooky Winter look first!  These thumbnails play with the concept of making parts of her form skeletal and translucent through her clothing.  I have my favorite right now, but what’s yours?

Hoping to work this one up in acrylics, color pencil, and possibly gouache in the hopefully not too distant future!

Character Mentor Doodles

I’ve been dabbling in character design as a supplement to my illustration, which brought me back to reading Tom Bancroft’s Creating Characters with Personality*.  His book challenges you to design a cast of characters from an old west setting and this was the first lesson where we define the overall silhouettes utilizing our understanding of shape language to give them each their own look without the details.

This was a fun diversion and a good way to test my comfort zones! I’ll probably circle back to this book later on after Even Amundsen’s Character Design Class.

*(Clicking the book link gives me a little kickback, if ya like!)

Fantasy Indies August

Finally, joining this month’s Fantasy Indies August hashtag event on Twitter allowed me to share a little bit of my writerly side!  I’ve been sharing snippets, mood boards, and more about The Uncrucified, a ttrpg inspired story I’ve been writing for the past few years (and that has inspired much of the side project art you’ve been seeing around here lately!).

Feel free to check out the full thread to learn more about this story and more.  I’ll be sharing an article gathering all of the posts in one article for your convenience once the event wraps up.

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That’s all for now!  My muse has been in overdrive all over the place, as it usually is with stress and chaos around our living situation.  Here’s hoping that by the next post, I have some good news about the new digs and future prospects!

Catch ya then!

♥ Ang

July 2022 Sketchbook – D&D Doodles & Kalara’s Sigil

It’s been a tough journey so far with house-hunting.  The market is crazy right now and we’re still on the hunt!  And so I’ve been channeling my woes into various comfort projects, mainly my D&D and Exalted TTRPG characters.

D&D Doodles

Ever since The Unmerry Band‘s adventures in the Black Pits wrapped up, I’ve been meaning to mine our campaign for practice, starting with a level progression chart of all our characters showing how their armor and wardrobe evolved over time.  This will feature our characters from their wee fragile Level 0 forms all the way up to Level 8 where our story ended (for now).

(The Unmerry Band lineup!)

I started off with the character I played in the campaign, Rabanne, a Fire Genasi Barbarian with a big heart and a big hammer!  I had some excellent pose help from Jookpubstock that acted as a base for her hammer pose.  Rather than stick with the Vox Machina inspired style of the party banner, I’ve returned to my more default semi-realistic style which is the one I want to nurture should I ever submit a portfolio to Wizards of the Coast.  Sketched in Procreate on the ipad with the Peppermint pencil brush in the Sketching category.

Rabs has been bulked up a bit for this image, as I wanted to accentuate her tall and imposing figure more than her initial rendering.  The pose on the left is going to be the base ‘paper doll’ pose I’ll be repeating for Levels 1 – 8, while the gesture sketches on the right represent an exploration of her younger level 0 self where she was training in secret as a gangly teen in the harem.

PROTIP!  The rectangle under her feet helps me to ground the figure and keep the perspective plane in check, as it’s easy to lose track at what angle the feet are supposed to be at if you don’t ground the figure somehow.

The rest of the characters will get this treatment too and will most likely follow the poses of the party banner, with the exception of Calumny (the Tiefling), because booty out does not make a good pose for showing off most clothing, though usually I wouldn’t have Cal any other way!

I also want to shine a light on the art that inspired me to do this.  How cool is this classic party line-up from Frida Bergholtz?  I hope mine will come out this fantastic!

Kalara’s Sigil

My gal, Kalara, has popped up on here a LOT lately.  She’s definitely a comfort to my muse with her story of overcoming adversity and working towards goodness in the world!  I’ve been working on and off on a novel featuring the events of her life from our Exalted RPG campaign for years now.  I’ve been pushing for a return to this endeavor while I have this nexus of ‘in-between projects till the move’ and so it occurred to me to finally put an official ‘label’ on her project.

It was time to make a brand guide and a logo!

Not every project needs this, mind, but I wanted to do this for The Uncrucified since I have larger plans for its future, including art packs and Storytellers Vault resources for players inspired by her story.  And thus, The Uncrucified needs a logo so I can elegantly tie all these parts together!

It also works so beautifully because this symbol will serve as Kalara’s in-world mark of her Guild as well.  I’ve shared a deeper look at this story’s brand guide in my Patreon’s Discord server, for those who might be curious.

For now, enjoy the many iterations I made as I attempted to channel Kalara’s themes of the Eclipse Caste mark (the glowing symbol that represents her magical abilities), the phoenix feather which represents her resilience, and the flame which represents her cultural identity and rebellious personality.

For me, logo design is a bit like obsessively writing all over your walls going slowly insane until the secret verse is revealed.  I don’t enjoy it much, but I wanted to design this one, myself, and so I was happy when I finally arrived at something that felt close to the ‘truth’!  More often I know what I don’t want than what I do when designing logos, and so the process is more about exploration and elimination.

And here we have the 3 semi-finalists!

I’ve already chosen a final, but I’d be curious which one resonates most with you all! It’s always fascinating to see what shapes others interpret in these mutable symbols.

That’s all I have for today!  It’s been a slow month as we tour houses as often as we can and try to plan these important next steps. I hope you all don’t mind my randomnness here!  I’m always worried it makes this a very confusing Patreon to be at hah.

Till next time!

♥ Ang

Sketchbook June 2022 – D&D, Gideon the Ninth, & OC Art

I’ve been slowly edging back into working for longer on art, but still haven’t managed to do more than a few sketches lately.  I don’t mind it, though, as not being able to work on serious projects has given me the ‘excuse’ I needed to let my muse off the leash to explore whatever fun topics came to mind!

D&D Sketch – Rabs the Fire Genasi

I really fell in love with my Barbarian from The Unmerry Band from the campaign we recently finished playing.  She graciously volunteered for a warm-up sketch to explore an extreme perspective shot.  Her tatts and eyes are always my favorite details to draw with their dramatic glow!

I hope to re-visit the band again sometime with more explorations of the dramatic scenes from their campaign as well as a level progression chart so I can practice drawing armor.

Gideon the Ninth – Harrow & Gideon Portraits

Lately I’ve been trying to catch up on my Fantasy genre reading.  Gideon the Ninth was high on that list (check out my spoiler free review if you like).  It was a fun ride full of skeletons, sarcasm, and murder and I really enjoyed it!  The combination of mystic necromancy and scifi really inspired me and thus these sketches were born!

I chose to draw Harrow as she appears in full Ninth House pomp in Gideon the Ninth.  Her goth skelly aesthetic really appeals to my sensibilities!

I’ve pictured Gideon here with her rapier, claw, and signature badass glasses.

My idea was to make portraits as if they were from a visual novel like The Arcana.  These were so much fun that I may have to properly polish them up sometime!  If you’re a Locked Tomb fan, who would you like to see me sketch next?

OC Art – Redesigned Kalara

Some of you may remember Kalara from my Exalted ttrpg adventures.  I had a lot of fun coming up with fashions during her Shirt Cut Meme, which made me realize she hasn’t had a new look in 8 years!

[WIP of the line art for Kalara’s revised look.

I hope to do a whole other article talking about her new design later once I’m finished with a new reference sheet, but for now, enjoy the sneak peek of the line art for her new design.  I’m stoked for how much more sophisticated and dramatic this new look is for her!

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Lastly, all of these sketches were done in Procreate, as curled up on the couch with the ipad has been the most physically comfortable way for me to draw lately.

And this has been another month of rest, healing, and stress-free sketching!  I hope to inch back into more serious work in July.  I’d love to keep practicing with warm-up sketches when I can, however.  It felt good to do fun things that don’t have strings attached to any major launches or paychecks.

The Locked Tomb has been an especially inspiring series, so I hope to keep doing more portraits!  Have you all read these books?  What other cool Fantasy books should I be reading right now?  Let me know in comments or feel free to come chat books with me in my Patreon Discord server!  There’s a whole channel for geeking out about books and media.

That’s all for now!  I’ll have another announcement soon about this Patreon’s move to temporary Tip Jar status.  I know this isn’t much, but I hope you all enjoyed the art treats anyways!

♥ Ang

New Art! D&D Party – The Unmerry Band + Hiatus Begins!

EDIT: I re-formatted this article to have more character backstory and art notes for your enjoyment.

EDIT 2:  I’ve added in a 4th party member, the NPC Dorn!  Check out the article for more notes about him.

After being massively inspired by The Legend of Vox Machina‘s fun animated series, I felt so homesick for D&D, which we had to give up because of COVID and health risks.

Luckily, our friends hooked my husband and myself into a game online in Roll20 and now I have SO much fodder for tabletop art to share!  Starting with this party banner portrait inspired by the LoVM’s animated series style.  It was a nice break from my usual stuff that allowed me to indulge my inner geek for a bit!

Allow me to introduce in their first appearance in the Underdark arena – THE UNMERRY BAND!  This disparate group of adventurers has been unwillingly drawn into a game of death put on for a mad sorcerer’s entertainment in a gladiator’s arena.  They must learn to work together or perish!

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Cal the Entertainer

Backstory: Meet Calumny “Cal”, a traveling faire entertainer and voracious flirt of the party. He made his living doing trick archery shots for crowds, spending his time off stealing hearts and having mindless fun before he was unwillingly conscripted into the Underdark arena. He slept with the wrong person who chose him as a compelling new ‘addition’ to the Pits’ unwilling cast of warriors.

He is currently mourning the death of a half-orc ally in the arena after the two really hit it off and plots to get rich and settle scores once he escapes.

Art Notes: When it comes to character designs, I enjoy including a ‘keepsake’ element which signifies a character’s past. For the other party members, this was a sentimental object, but for Cal, it was his blue eyes.

He inherited them from a family that cast him off for being a Tiefling. He has been quite secretive about this past, preferring to deflect such serious topics with his usual flash and charm.

I also wanted more unique horn bling for him than the bog standard horn caps, so I thought horn piercings seemed fitting!  I also used this excellent stock pose from Adorkastock.

I’m looking forward to gaining his trust (if we all live long enough)!

Cal is played by my good friend, Hayley.

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Dorn, the Vengeful

Backstory: Dorn Il-Khan, the Butcher of Barrow, or so many would believe. He pledged his sword to a demon of vengeance to hunt the one who betrayed him and besmirched his name. However, instead of dying for revenge, Dorn heroically sacrificed himself to save the party, particularly Cal, the Tiefling he’d started to grow fond of during our time imprisoned in the arena.

It was fun to get under this NPC’s skin as a player. He was a gruff kind of guy, but we did our best to slip through the cracks of his demeanor to find the decent guy underneath. Here’s to you, Dorn!

Upon his death, his Demon Patroness of Vengeance claimed his soul and returned to the infernal planes, but perhaps that’s not the end of his tale? We shall see (maybe?). The DM hinted that Cal may be taking a journey to find his soul in Avernus and that could be quite the wild trip, indeed.

Art Notes:  I struggled a lot with Dorn because I’m rather used to drawing lithe elegant characters.  He was a nice change of pace with a wide orcish body type and heavy plate mail which I also have no experience drawing. I learned so much with this portrait, including the fact I cannot avoid perspective grids if I want to make weapons look right.

Dorn was played by the DM as an enemy turned ally NPC.

  • See detail shots and watch a timelapse of this piece here.

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Rabanne, Flame of the Sultana

Backstory: Once a princess of the Fire Genasi sultanate, Rabanne (aka Rabs), gave up her title to pursue her own destiny away from the mechanations of the palace where she never felt suited for the title or the responsibilities as one called to be a Storm Herald.

Rabs has become the ‘heart’ of the party, the caring ‘big sister’ who has done her best to keep the peace when personalities clash so that the party can focus on survival in the arena. She hides some deep wells of violence, however, never feeling more happy than she does when she’s facing death in battle and proving to herself she is the master of her own Rage.

I look forward to watching Rabs grow as she experiences the world outside the gilded cage she grew up in and learns to trust herself more!

Rabs is played by myself (as evidenced by my rambling backstory lol).

Art Notes: Though you can’t see it, her ‘keepsake’ is a blue bead that symbolizes Valor, a sign of rank and virtue she was granted by her sister, the Sultana, for her role in deposing their cruel father, the previous Sultan of the Fire Genasi. She wears this bead on a bracelet which shows her rank as a Burning Saint, a humanitarian organization she joined when she decided to leave the palace for other prospects.

Rabs’ hammer was passed on to her from a Dwarven Queen who saved her life in the arena. It reads in Tolkien-inspired dwarven runes “The Badass Queen of the Deep”. This magical hammer returns when thrown, while Rabs’ Gauntlets of Fiery Defense grant her a defense boost and ignite any of her weapons with flame while she’s Raging.

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Mint, the Bladesinger

Backstory: Ariminthia (aka Mint) grew up in a family of prolific wizards in the city, but never quite fit in with any of them because of her boorish interests in martial arts and unladylike activities. The only person in her family she ever got along with was her twin brother.

Unfortunately, Mint left him and her family behind after she was kidnapped. Instead of paying her ransom, her parents chose to abandon her. At this point, she decided to join her kidnappers, a small band of mercs who were in over their heads.

She ended up in the arena after a shady new member of the merc band sold her out to the arena’s ringmaster after learning about her talent with Bladesinging.

Mint is the most intelligent member of the party and tends to have her mind in the long game while the rest of us are ruled by emotion or money. She’s also got quite a temper and still acts like a noblelady with her condescending attitude, at times.

Art Notes: Mint’s keepsake is the handmade crow pendant inspired by their family crest given to her by her brother which she wears around her neck. For her look, I combined the frills of someone with finer taste in clothing with the sleek leathers of a finesse fighter.

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Are you all in a game right now too (or have a character you’re excited to play later)?  Tell me about your characters in the comments so I can enjoy hearing about them while I’m in recovery!

Surgery/Hiatus Officially Begins!

After months of being on a waiting list, the surgery to fix a torn tendon in my dominant arm is FINALLY happening!  I’ll be nesting in recovery with a pile of books and Netflix for possibly up to 6 weeks (hopefully less if I recover quickly), with physical therapy to follow.

It means I’ll be quiet here more than usual and that you all can expect to not be charged for another month (possibly more, depending on how my recovery goes).  However, this also means those of you who are Annual Patrons will have additional time added to your memberships!

Either myself or my husband will pop on here and make a post to let everyone know it went ok.  Hopefully see you all sooner rather than later!

Till next time, enjoy the geekery. 😀


Ang

Hiatus News + New Art! The Pirate’s Kiss

Oh wow we’re almost there already!  My shoulder surgery looms on April 8th and I have been cleared by the doctors so that everything is set and ready to go.  I have paused my pledges again for April so I can focus on healing and the long recovery!

In the meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying the prolonged sabbatical and using it as a time to indulge in marketing classes and in some exploratory art.  (And also bodily disappearing into the world of Horizon Forbidden West, which is one of my favorite series of all time!).

One of those aforementioned art explorations was a gift for a dear friend, Sam Hogg, who has created such lovely art of my characters in the past.  I have been wanting to paint her characters myself for a long time!  I’m thankful for this downtime to finally have that opportunity and to enjoy slowing down so I could enjoy my journey through a painting without rushing.  This was also an excellent opportunity to experiment with Procreate’s acrylic brushes!

One of my favorite pieces by Sam featuring Ramah from my story, Song of Exile.

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“The Pirate’s Kiss” features Eidy & Kalam from Sam’s story, The Whaler Girl. Eidy is a powerful Daichen who can control water, while Kalam is the pirate lord who seeks to harness her abilities and mold her for his own ends.  I’m looking forward to seeing Sam explore more of their tumultuous relationship in her stories!

Inspired by Klimt’s The Kiss, which always struck me as being about a woman swept up in a dangerous romance, which was the perfect root inspiration for these characters.

You can also watch a 1 minute time lapse of this video here.

The full piece:

The detail:

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I hope you all have enjoyed my experimental explorations of late!  I also have some D&D-inspired portraits in a Legend of Vox Machina-inspired style that I’d love to share soon as well, granted I can finish them before my surgery happens.  We shall see!

For now, enjoy the new art!

Ang

New Art! The Crucified Dreamer

I’ve been enjoying my hiatus so far by catching up on studies and allowing the muse to wander where she may.  This has resulted in some interesting art that doesn’t quite fit in with my Goddess gals, but that’s ok!  I thought you all might enjoy it, regardless.

Vicky Pandora hosted an online masquerade ball called the OC Gala, inspired by the over the top fashions of the Met Gala.  All original characters were invited to attend with the theme “Vampire Masquerade”!  This was the perfect excuse for me to indulge in more fan art of an alternate universe version of my Exalted character, Kalara, who lost herself to the dark side of being a Solar.

The Crucified Dreamer’s Story

Her delighted laughter rings in the ears of those she has marked for death. Many revolutionaries have fallen to her seductions, The Dreamer delighting in watching their ‘beautiful deaths’. All in service of her Deathlord, the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears.

For she was once a revolutionary herself, one who dreamed of reform until The Guild crucified her for a murder she did not commit. Between life and death, The Lover saved her, gifting her the power of an Abyssal Deathknight. The Dreamer wears tears in devotion to her Deathlord, her skin the blue of a corpse. Her crucifixion wounds adorned by henna and chain will never heal.

The first painting of The Dreamer for the Gala.  After as cool as this came out, I couldn’t resist doing a second image with her full outfit:

And a close-up of The Dreamer’s face because I think this is one of the best faces I’ve drawn in awhile.  It seems I have finally mastered the nebulous mystery that is the nose at a 3/4ths angle!

I’ve also released a treat for my Patrons!  If you’re pledging at any level, you can see the narrated video timelapse of the creation of this piece in Procreate.  This video will become public next month (March 11th), but everyone pledging at any amount here will get to watch it early here!

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I hope you enjoy this foray into different territory!  I have another painting I hope to feature next month that’s another divergence from the norm here, though March pledges will still be paused now that I remembered to do so.

Then it’s T-minus one month to my shoulder surgery.  Eep!  I’m not sure what I’ll share here at that point, but perhaps a bit of the writing I plan to do and my progress with my marketing and art classes in the meantime, should I be able enough to write!

Till then, enjoy the Dreamer!  And if you’re so inclined, feel free to share with me in the comments what YOUR OC might wear to the Vampire Masquerade!

♥ Ang

This Year On My Patreon + Year In Art Wrap-Up 2021

It’s still hard to believe this year has almost ended!  It started out rough (COVID, moving, burnout, quitting conventions, etc), but has ended in an amazingly positive place (Kev’s good health + new job, etc.).

I didn’t produce a lot of art this year, but I was also making a lot of invisible moves in the background to overhaul my web presence, sites, and shops.  I used a lot of what I learned this year to make big steps towards building a more sustainable art biz for myself without having to rely on conventions, which is looking to be a permanent change for me as we prioritize Kev’s health and risk factors.

Our Year On Patreon

Your support here has done so much for me, especially during the rough times!  Not only that, but every word of encouragement here in the comments or over in my Discord server have really meant a lot.  Every word of encouragement really keeps an artist going!

Fans and Patrons have helped me do the following this year:

  • Pay for lifetime subs for my websites’ themes and gallery plugins so I can save money in the long run
  • Up my budget for ads, which drives sales and helps new folks discover my art
  • Stay stable and have more peace of mind while we’ve endured struggles and medical bills
  • Afford the Making Art Work class, which has been so helpful for improving my biz this year

My Major Milestones This Year

  • Built a new site for the Gemstone Goddesses 
  • Started laying the foundation for the Birthstone Goddesses Calendar & Art Book
  • Participated in my very first Tarot deck with Temperance 
  • Started learning how to use Clip Studio Paint, an amazing tool

What’s Next?

I’m excited for next year, where I hope to keep making steps forward to finish my biggest ambitions for the Birthstone Goddesses and to keep pushing my art skills.  I have a pretty big list from class of things I’d like to start rolling out for the Goddesses (ie. pendants, totes, gift sets, etc.).

But first, I’m going to relax for the holidays and enjoy a much-needed quiet end of the year.

Thanks so much, as ever, for being here and for all who have supported this Patreon or have just been encouraging fans.  I know I keep repeating this, but it’s little things like that which keep an artist going, especially when times get rough!

Thanks for your kind words and thoughts.  I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the year!

♥ Ang

Nov 2021 – Thankfulness, Surviving Holiday Rush, & Upcoming Surgery?!

It’s been a busy bout of holidays with Thanksgiving and prepping my little corner of the internet for the holiday shopping rush.  I’m happy to report I’ve survived the rush thus far and that we had a relaxing holiday break playing video games at home with tasty leftovers to fuel the Trials of Mana marathon and watching Shang Chi (such a cool movie!).  

From our lil family to yours, we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving (or a wonderful week, if you don’t celebrate).

This year, we’re so incredibly thankful for the fact my husband, Kevin, is still with us.  He very nearly didn’t make it back in January when he fell ill with COVID and went into the ICU.  It’s hard to believe it’s only been a few months since then!  After this huge trial, life has been very kind to us in a way we never could’ve imagined back in January now that Kev has started a new job and our life together has taken a new trajectory.  We’ll soon be looking for our forever home and settling down after years of being rental nomads.  It’s a dream we’ve nurtured for a long time!

I’m happy to say much of the behind the scenes prep I’ve been doing in the meanwhile to quietly improve my art biz’s presentation, re-designing my websites, and tidying up my product photos seems to have paid off with one of the best holiday shopping seasons I’ve had this year!  I’m slowly, but surely getting to a point where I hope to create a self-sustaining art biz that allows me to be healthy and happy without overworking myself.

IMPORTANT Announcement!  An Upcoming Hiatus?!

While we’ve had plenty of good news, there’s a bit of bad news that has been long in the coming.  After years of pain and dismissive doctors, I’ve finally had an MRI taken of my shoulder and the scans have revealed a suspicion I’ve had for years – that I have a torn labral tendon.  This happened years ago when our very large and lovably clumsy bulldog-mastiff pulled me down the stairs and jerked my arm nearly out of socket (which has to be THE most country injury ever haha!).  My shoulder muscles have been compensating incorrectly ever since.  Better late than never to fix this, right?

I’m currently awaiting the date of my surgery, which will most likely be scheduled for January.  What this means for you, my lovely Patrons, is that this Patreon will be going on hiatus in January 2022 until my shoulder heals and I am fully recovered, which could take months.  Unfortunately, this surgery affects my dominant/drawing arm, so I’m going to be out for the count until I heal and make it through the recovery process.

Life has been a long, hard lesson in adversity for us for the past few years even before COVID and I know we’ll weather the storm as well as possible!  I hope during this recovery time that I’ll get to experiment with dictating some of the story ideas I’ve been sitting on to my computer so I can at least get some writing done, as well as read the many books on my to-read backlog.

Once I’m able to return to full functionality, I plan to re-launch this Patreon with an updated structure that I hope you all will love!  (More on that later once we’re closer to being ready for that.)

Posts You May Have Missed in November

Rewards Added in November

Coming in December

December is going to be the last month of material from me for a long while!  I plan to share the following:

  • ($5+ Tiers) A coloring page of an Elvish Songstress
  • (All Tiers) A Behind the Scenes article about planning the Birthstone Goddesses’ Art Book
  • (Public/Free) An article talking about my favorite movies that make me want to paint

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Whew that was a long update, but it’s been an eventful time!  As ever, feel free to come hang out in my Discord server with me where you can keep up with minute-to-minute updates and WIPs in my special Patrons-only section.

Till next time!  Wishing you all inspiration,
♥ Ang

Artist Asks Questionnaire – Part 2

Continuing on from Part 1, here’s the 2nd part of my Artist Ask questionnaire!  Discussing my preferred mediums, what I’d like to improve on, and more!

You can see the full thread with animated GIFs for maximum impact here.

15. How long does an avg piece take you to complete?  

It depends! My extremely detailed intense ink & watercolor Birthstone Goddesses took about a month a piece, while others might only take 1-2 weeks. I’m an intensely research & detail-oriented person, so I usually take longer.

16. Do you draw more than you did in the past or less?

I’ve actually drawn less, which makes me sad! Once art became my job, there was suddenly this pressure that EVERYthing must be good/monetizeable, which made me too obsessed with perfectionism. I’m trying to have fun again!

I’ve also gotten really lax about doing studies and practice as I rush from one project goal to the next. I need to learn to slow down and get back to my fundamentals again! It’s going to help my quality (and my career) in the long run.

17. Do you think you’re justified giving art advice?

I believe so! I share what I know always with the caveat that I speak from MY individual experience and I am a fallible human. If I don’t know an answer, I’m always keen to learn more, find out, and discuss.

18. What are you currently trying to improve on?  

My fundamentals! I want to be more ambitious with my anatomy, color, perspective, & light. I’ve lined up classes for myself, including Proko’s portrait & anatomy courses. I’m currently reading through Renderwave’s Colorpedia to brush up on my color theory.

19. What is the most difficult thing for you to draw?  

Architecture, cars, guns, basically anything inorganic that doesn’t let me fudge the details!

20. What is the easiest thing for you to draw?  

Long hair! It’s so soothing, flowy, & fun. I can use it to fill up pesky BGs or to lead compositional flow.

21. Do you like to challenge yourself?  

It’s exciting to challenge myself! I enjoy it, even if it’s scary & frustrating at times. IE. Clothing was one of my biggest weaknesses, but I took on my Birthstone Goddesses series in part to improve on that weakness. It’s been a blast!

22. Are you confident that you’re improving steadily?  

I’ve slowed down a bit because I’ve been so focused on my Birthstone Goddesses project, where I made small improvements because of the formulaic nature of them. I’m hopeful changing things up will get me back on course!

23. Do you do more fanart or original art?  

Funny enough, I created more fan art as a young artist, esp for DBZ & FF7. I also sometimes make TTRPG art based on my OCs for Shadowrun, Exalted, & D&D.  Nowadays, I do mainly original work, but it’d be fun to take some fan art breaks!

24. Do you feel jealous or inspired by other artists?  

Both! Most times, I love discovering new art, but sometimes it’s SO good I want to quit because I get overwhelmed by the thought I have a lot of work to do to improve. That’s when it’s time to turn off the internet and re-center!

This is lately compounded by the fact that I’m nearing 40 & feel very behind in my development. I should be further than I am, but life took another path!  I know that’s anxiety-brain speaking. I’m my worst critic & social media gives us such a skewed view of everyone’s reality.

25. Do you like to draw in silence or with music?  

Def with music! I’m a stickler for making playlists to match the mood. I even have character-specific playlists.  But here’s a good general playlist of stuff that gets my muse going & keeps me focused.

26. What programs do you use?  

I mainly paint & arrange comps in Photoshop, with Clip Studio Paint for comic work, though I’ve been painting more often in Procreate as I learn to use it better.  CSP’s panel functions work like a dream & Procreate has some of the best FX brushes!

I have plans to take a course on CSP, as I feel like its 3D models could help speed up my workflow and there are so many quality of life functions meant specifically for artists which it has over Photoshop. I’m looking forward to exploring it more soon!

27. How many layers do your digital pieces have?  

I’ve regularly gone beyond 40+ layers in a single piece because I like to be able to edit each part individually if I change my mind. I always forget to label some too. I do not recommend my bad layer habits!

28. What traditional media do you like most?  

I’m a fan of mixing watercolor & color pencil. Watercolor lets you bring such surreal textures & blends, while the color pencil lets you bring in sharp details with a rich texture & depth of its own.

29. How do you start a big trad piece?  

I usually plan my pieces with rough thumbnailing on toned paper, then refining the rough drawing in Photoshop, then transferring a printout with a lightpad onto paper. Then FINALLY painting can begin!  It’s all rather tedious, but worth it.

30. What inspires you to not just make art, but to be a better artist?  

For me, it’s being able to put the kinds of tales & stories out in the world that I want to see, to expand people’s ability to imagine what’s possible, to bring a voice to the unheard.

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I hope folks have found something useful & inspiring from my Artist Asks journey.  Did I miss a question you all are dying to know the answer to?  Feel free to ask me in the comments!

♥ Ang