Category: new products

Tentatively Re-Opening 2D Commissions

It’s a bit of an intimidating prospect, but I am tentatively re-opening personal commissions of 2D work.  It’s been rough these days trying to support an artistic business, studying for a new industry, and basically trying to get my head on straight to reach my career goals.  I thought I could accomplish this by snagging a part-time/day job somewhere, but to be quite frank, nobody here is hiring.

I’ve tried retail, art supply stores, and even the academic arena, but there is just nothing for me here to do to close the gap between what I need to make my bills and keeping my own art business going, in addition to getting the continuing education I need to really break into the fields I’m aiming for.  Finding work even semi-related to my passion and educational background has proved even more challenging.

 In the past, I had closed private personal 2D commissions because I did not want to be known as that ‘cheap artist’ who does the ‘low quality cheap work’ and I intend to stick to my guns in this respect.  Time is money, especially when you’re the sole proprietor of a business, and my prices reflect this fact, as well as being what I feel is fair to both artist and client.  You’re getting high quality professional level work for a more than fair price for your personal use.

 I prefer to look at things from the perspective of the great Masters who came before, many of whom worked for the church, the affluent, or in advertising, among other things, to keep food in their bellies.  As idyllic as being an independent artist is, we sometimes have to do the same.  Especially now while I am trying to build a portfolio, I am bringing in less money on my own while I am focusing on my fundamental skills, and therefore need the additional backing, be it through commissions or a day job.  It’s tough, but it’s the way of things, especially during these difficult economic times.

 Opening personal private commissions again also gives me the chance to test my skills in ways I could never have guessed!  I miss being able to work with characters from all walks of life and creating something entirely new from them.  However, if I find myself called to a day job or swamped with orders and events, I will be closing or severely limiting the number of personal private commissions I’ll be taking.  As of right now, there is no limit!

So with all this in mind, I’m trying a new commission process!  Instead of handling commissions via amorphous messaging back and forth, I have posted commission listings in my Etsy shop.  It’s all laid out very simply in the descriptions of each listing.  You pay a flat fee plus shipping.

Custom 8.5×11 in. Ink Drawing – Minimal Background with A Single Detailed Character $35:


 Custom Black and White Artist Trading Card – $20

 Custom Full Color Artist Trading Card – $30

 More commission listings to come once I have more examples.
Stay creative, everyone, and thanks for all of your support!

Sketchbook Confidential 2

I’m making a quick post today to let everyone know they should really check out Sketchbook Confidential 2 which recently released from North Light Books!  It’s a compilation of sketches, artist bios, and advice that brings you insight from a troupe of varied artists, including myself!  The best part, for me, is learning how different artists approach sketching using their own unique methods and how this informs their finished work.

My column, plus a few sketches I haven’t widely released, start on page 132.  I adore books like these because it’s always fascinating to me to see how other artists plan their pieces through sketches, what references they gather, and how this can inform my own process.  Lots of food for thought here!

Buy the book from North Light Books or at your local book store!

Happy Happy Insanity Time!

Also known as the “Pre-DragonCon Rush”

So the insanity is in full swing now with T-minus 30 days till DragonCon and still many paintings and leather crafts ahead of me!  Not to mention I have recently received some life-changing news, but I’m loathe to reveal it now until we know for more of a certainty! (Don’t worry, it is nothing bad!)

I’ve been meaning to post here about how my career is changing (which partially ties into the good news I can’t talk about yet), but that’s something for a later entry as well I think.  For now, just announcing I’m busy as HFIL, my Etsy and Artfire shops are both in vacation mode till after September 5th, and that I’ll be at DragonCon this year with bells on.  I’ll be debuting new prints of such glorious arts as these in my Print Shop and Gallery panel at the con!:

“Angel of January” 11×14 in., Pencil colored in Photoshop.
“Keeper of Secrets”, 11×14 in., Ink colored in Photoshop

You really must go see my gallery panel this year.  It will be like no display I have ever done before with paintings and leather crafts, galore!  I don’t have a table this year, but I’ll most likely be wandering the floor of the Art Show or helping Windfalcon at her table.  We’ll be at the Masked Ball on Friday as well. (Oh but I still need to figure out what to wear!)  We may very well see the return of Captain Evelyn (my pirate alter ego), if I can fit my art-fattened patooty back in that costume!  ALSO, I’ll be hosting a panel called E-Marketing for Artists 101, so check the Art Track for schedule times!

Hope to see you folks there!  If the grumpkins don’t get me first….

New Product Blog & Twitter Name!

As you may have guessed from my recent poll, I’ve been pondering on ways to better reach people interested in my items for sale. I used to have a forum where I posted store listings, but it ate itself! With my items being spread across my Amazon Shop, Etsy, Zazzle, and Artfire, there seemed no efficient way to get the word out on what’s available where.

Now, I’m pleased to present the solution, the Angelic Shades Product Blog! This is the place to subscribe if you’d like to see instant listings as soon as products and special offers become available. Many of my items are Made to Order, but there are still others (like my jewelry and original art) that are one-of-a-kind, meaning once they’re gone, they’re gone! Watching the blog is the best way to get first dibs on specialty items before they’re gone and to keep up with what specials are going on where across my online outlets.

I’ve also created a Twitter username dedicated solely to product updates, for you Tweeties out there. This will help keep my main Angelic Shades Twitter from being too spammy so it can stay focused on art and fun!

If you hate leaving the safe confines of DeviantART, never fear! I’ll be posting a monthly collection of new items in one tidy Deviation once each month that you can favorite and revisit whenever you like. They’ll look a little something like this:

This should keep people from being spammed (unless they want) and help get the word out for me in a much easier to manage way!
Aah organization! I feel better now.

Let the STUDIO ROAST Begin!

There comes a time in an artist’s career when they can no longer keep all of the old artwork they hoard over the years. Now is that time for me! The space has ran out in my basement, closet, and under the bed. Rather than throw away or burn this art, I figured I’d give you guys a chance to snag original art and prints for super cheap!

ALL of this original art will have starting bids of 99 cents!
(See my Ebay for a complete list of originals for sale!)

But that’s NOT ALL! I’m clearing out discontinued prints for only $1 over at my online gift shop. Get Mousepads for just $5! Everything must GO!

A sampling of the discontinued prints available for JUST A BUCK:

(See my shop for more offerings!)

BEST OF ALL! Buy any item from the Studio Roast section of my gift shop and you’ll get a FREE gift of a mini print! The choice of print will be a surprise.

I’ll be uploading more auctions on eBay as I unearth things from the depths of my room, so keep an eye out for further announcements and offerings!

Upcoming Appearances: Book Signing & MomoCon

A short entry today to remind folks I’ll be having my first book signing in an actual bookstore this weekend, Sat. the 12th at Books A Million in Peachtree City, GA! I’ll be passing out free bookmarks, chatting about art, and talking about art techniques, so drop on by! I’ll be signing copies of Angelic Visions bought in the store as well.

On Sunday, I’ll be dropping by MomoCon to see what all the hubbub is about and to meet friends from around the interwebs! I don’t have a table there this year, but if it seems like my kind of crowd, who knows what will happen next year? MomoCon is a free anime convention that takes place on the Georgia Tech campus here in Atlanta, for those who don’t know it.

In other news, I’ve resurrected my Etsy and Artfire shops with some pretty cool new items lately! Check ’em out:

And more at my shops on Etsy and Artfire!

Hope you all have a glorious weekend! In the meantime, I shall be working on new art, new masks, and prepping products for the first art fairs of the season!

Angelic Visions Giveaway!

(EDIT: The Winners have been chosen here!)

Finally, the blog giveaway has arrived!  I’ll make this short n sweet.

Leave a comment on this entry talking about your favorite mythological figure (and why you love them).  In two weeks, on Saturday, February 19th, I’ll be drawing three names using  Here’s what you’ll get a chance at winning!

The prize pot!

One lucky winner will receive a signed book, an autographed special edition metallic print of the cover, and a handmade angel feather bookmark!  Two other lucky winners will each receive their very own handmade angel feather bookmark.

Take a closer look at that bookmark!

Constructed from 3 oz leather, these feathers were hand-carved, hand-painted, signed, and dated on the backs by yours truly!  Each one is special and unique due to the nature of the leather carving process. No two will ever be exactly the same.  You can’t see it very well in the photos, but they glimmer with a dusting of gold that’s just entrancing to behold!

NOTE! If you don’t tell me about your favorite mythological figure, you will not be included in the drawing!  If you’ve already bought the book and would just like to be entered to win a bookmark, be sure to specify that in your comment.

Haven’t heard of Angelic Visions?  Than go check out my book trailer to learn more about this shiny new tome on portraying your very own fantasy angel figures!

Be a doll and spread the word using the social networking share links at the top of this entry!  Every link back makes me feel all warm n fuzzy inside.

The Snowflake Lady – Part 3 – Coloring and Final Touches

The last process post for the Snowflake Lady talked about choosing stock reference, line art, and sketch transferring. Now, it’s time to get to the fun part – coloring!

Color test for Lady Snowflake

Most of the time I like to start off with a color test which is made very quickly in several layers in Photoshop. I like to keep the background, important parts of the figure, and important wardrobe details on their own layers so I can tweak the colors individually till I’m satisfied.

A tip to arrive at color schemes you might never have thought of is to flatten your image and play with the Hue slider under the Adjustments>Hue/Saturation menu in Photoshop.  This option lets you change the colors in your image without messing around with your shading or line integrity.

I don’t do a color test for EVERY image I paint, however! Sometimes it’s fun to let the colors develop organically. Other times, I’ve spent so long inking or sketching the image that I’m afraid to mess it up, so I do all the prep I can before touching it.

With nerves steeled, painting begins!  She was a very tough customer because all the blues were fighting for dominance.  The original idea to make the inner window pane an antique gold failed horribly and just didn’t gel with the rest of the image. I ended up having to layer various blues to make the window colors harmonize with the rest of the image.  I also used the wrong shade of yellow for the starbursts in the stained glass, which still stand out awkwardly to me.

Just goes to show you that sometimes pictures don’t work out the way we want, no matter how much planning is involved!  At the very least, watercolors are forgiving in that their translucency allows you to lift color and layer till you can get your colors talking  nicely to one another, even if the first color put down is just butt ugly.  I ended up pushing the pale yellows as a way to make the figure pop out more and to unify the overall colors more than originally planned in the color test. I used white gel pen and silver leafing to add the final touches of snowflakes and shine in the window tracing and throughout the image.

For a more detailed step-by-step  of my painting process, I refer you to my upcoming book, Angelic Visions!  Meanwhile, enjoy the finished Lady Snowflake:

| Greeting Cards | Post Cards | Prints |

Angelic Visions – Pre-Orders OPEN!

I’ve been dropping hints here and there on the nature of Angelic Visions, a project which I have been working on for nearly a year and a half to date!  I’m happy to announce Impact Books has begun its roll out of this upcoming title, featuring a write-up and a free watercolor demo from the book over at their blog!

I have the advanced copy here in my hands and can attest to you that it is just gorgeous!  Like all of Impact’s books, it is a lovely gloss covered paperback chock full of rich colorful images and tons of visual aids to help ease you into the process of painting your own gorgeous heavenly creatures.

Here are some sneak peeks to sate your palettes:

In addition to pre-ordering via North Light’s shop, this book is available directly from me at this link. I’m offering the option to buy the book bundled with an ink sketch on the inside cover, a calendar, or both!  All orders of this book bought directly from me will be packaged with a shiny metallic 8×10 in. print of the cover art “Angelic Vision” and will be autographed by the artist!  Don’t forget to include your 2 word prompt for your sketch when you checkout.  
Note that pre-order bundle quantities are limited!  Order soon to procure your special copy from me!
All pre-orders will ship some time after mid-December.  Those with the sketch option may require more time for processing since I am customizing those.

Angelic Visions Calendar

It’s an exciting time here at Angelic Shades!  It’s only a few months now till my debut book, Angelic Visions: Create Fantasy Art Angels With Watercolor, Ink and Colored Pencil, releases in January of this coming year.  As a debut author, it’s my first time planning the promotion of my work on such a large scale!  I’m currently planning so many fun things for the next few months, but it’s too early to spill the beans on them just yet!

For now, I’d like to introduce you to the first in what I hope to be an exciting series of promotions for my book – the Angelic Visions Calendar!  This spiral bound booklet collects 12 months worth of heavenly figures, many which have been heretofore unpublished.  I painted each image using a variety of methods which I explore in the upcoming book.

Be the first to get a sneak peek at new work in glorious detail!  When closed, the calendar is 8.5×11 inches and opens up to 11×17 inches when hung on the wall.  It is available for purchase at the following places:

And just to sweeten the pot, here are some glimpses at a few of the calendar’s interior pages.

So much more to come soon!  Spread the word! 🙂