Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

Posts tagged ‘art stuff’

Tuesday Art Day: About The Artist

Pre-warning: This post contains a bit of mild art nudity in the form of life-drawing. Don’t read it at work if that would get you into trouble!

Windsoar over at Jaded Alt recently offered some more a-”muse”-ment for interested parties – supplying a blog post idea for bloggers that asked! Here’s the task she gave me:

There’s quite a few things I’d like to ask you to write about, but I think I’ve narrowed it down! I’m sure plenty of your readers are aware of your artistic skills, but I’d like to know more! Is it a hobby or profession, how’d you get started, do you have professional training, and what are your favorite mediums?

I figured it would be only too appropriate to answer this question on Tuesday, the day I usually post art anyhow!

It’s pretty much an artist trope to say “I’ve been drawing since I was able to hold a pencil…” but for most of us it’s true, at least it is in my case! It was always what I wanted to do “when I grew up,” tied with writing. If you’d asked me when I was five what I wanted to be I’d tell you without hesitation that I wanted to write and illustrate my own children’s books. To that end, about a year before I graduated from high school I started assembling a portfolio and sent it off to art college. I was accepted and started there the following September, after moving cities.

The first year at college called for taking a variety of classes and electives before declaring a specialization in second year. I’d initially intended to enter the graphic design Visual Communication major (I think most people intend this because they’ve been told “it’s the only way to make a living.”) I ended up changing my mind, though, and specialized instead in printmaking/print media. Over the course of the next three years I learned techniques related to lithography, relief printing, silkscreen, and etching. I took drawing electives.

Here are a few images from one of the life drawing courses I took. I spent many hours doing life drawing throughout my four years! Usually we’d work for six hours a week and six hours at home for the duration of a semester.

(note: I seem to fail at slideshows, though, and this slideshow and the later one contain all the images in the entire post. I compromised by making it a gallery instead!)

At the end of this particular course, we all went to the long, concrete hallway that led to the train station and had to pin up all of our work from the semester. Every piece! There’s pastel, charcoal, brush and ink, conté, ballpoint pen, acrylic paint, and ink pen here. It’s funny because I can look at it now and see flaws but there are still some pieces where I think, “Hey, I really captured something there.” I’m not sure if the photos really show much detail, or if they just mostly show that it’s a lot of drawings.

Contrary to popular opinion, art college was long hours and hard work (I loved it, but don’t ever try and suggest I’m a slacker because I went there!) I could have gotten a degree in other things, I’ve no doubt, but I never regret my art degree.

After college I worked in a few unrelated jobs before leaving them to try and make it as a freelancer. Of course, you’ve all seen my WoW-related art.

I suppose it's self-explanatory, but this is from drawings done one Christmas at my parents' house.

I also draw in my sketchbook (usually with black Pigma Pens, 0.5 thankyouverymuch). Apart from character-related commissions and blog banners, I have als0 had one major project illustrating a reading program for young children. I can’t link you to the program because it has my real name all over it, but here’s an image from it. I worked on this contract for the better part of a year.

Cake: T or F?

That beagle destroyed the cake his owner had so lovingly made. This, incidentally, is something that happened in real life to me – except the cake in question was baked by my friend that had brought it over, and covered in chocolate mousse that my dog lovingly cleaned off. The resulting cake looked pristine, as if it had never been iced, and oddly tempting. The dog was hyper for the rest of the night (but otherwise unharmed). But I’m digressing! I’m meant to answer the first question, here. Yes, I do illustration/art professionally, and am professionally trained! My major was pretty multi-disciplinary despite being print focused. Once I graduated I did very little actual “print” work, continuing in various mediums, which is good because it’s hard to fit a litho press in one’s basement.

When we redid our basement, though, I did set up a room especially for purposes of serving as a studio. Most of my work now is digital and done on my Cintiq and so actually doesn’t take place here. But I still HAVE here, even if it’s not this neat anymore.

Oh, for a studio this pristine again...

The walls have been painted with magnetic paint and I use tiny, very strong magnets from Lee Valley on them! (You put one magnet behind a piece of paper and one in front, they stick together and you have a mobile gallery. There’s a lithograph pinned up here, actually, although you can’t really see it in detail. The stuff in the center is just part of my postcard collection; I didn’t actually draw or paint those.

Windsoar also asked if I have a favourite medium. Of course, I love digital painting.

Here is a painting actually done FOR Windsoar as a gift for her husband. I thought it would be appropriate.

When it comes to getting my hands dirty, though, I am crazy about watercolour.

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I tend to do postcard-sized watercolours because I can do them most anywhere. Other than that, most of my drawing is done in sketchbooks with aforementioned ink pens (pencil is too cautious for me! No guts, no glory! If it turns out wrong, just draw over it or draw it again!)

I think that’s a decent, if disjointed history of my art career. It’s a living I love; I wouldn’t change it for the world! Thanks again to Windsoar for asking and giving me the topic to write about. Feel free to ask me any questions on this most self-indulgent post, and I’ll do my best to answer them if I’m able.

Tuesday Art Day: Gnomes Ahoy

I dug back a bit into my art archives to find something for this Tuesday. These are gnomes I did for Technophobia (on Twitter) back in December. They are all his gnomes: Curacao, Calsyee, Priggle, Kamarile and Chipotle. They’re all related! I don’t do much gnome art, so they were fun to draw.

So many gnomes!

Tuesday Art Day: Morgion

This is a quick drawing I did for Rades. It’s so wrong that it just might be right. The character of course belongs to him, I just borrowed her briefly.

Longer than the average cloak or cape.

I pretty much just slapped the colour on there, so forgive it for being a bit rough, and likewise the background was a late addition. Drawing things cute that were never meant to be cute is kind of fun.

Tuesday Art Day: Gnomercy

I can’t resist a gnome pun!

I'm not actually sure if troll blood is red.

This was a watercolour, post-card sized image commissioned by Jed for his wife. I had to keep it under my hat until he’d actually given the gift, lest I spoil the surprise! He talks about it here, but I realized I’d never put it up on my own blog. I felt quite gleefully that such retribution was called for after Liala at Disciplinary Action made this comic. I may or may not have linked it before, I can’t remember, and I’m not still bitter really except this is what happens when you kill my people. Small, gnomish death rays.

Tuesday Art Day: More Draenei (Unsurprisingly)

An art Tuesday is a pretty easy post for me to do, because I’ve usually got a few things kicking around that haven’t been posted here. Although if you happen to follow me on Twitter you may have seen this.

A few weeks ago I got my Cintiq and bought Corel Painter to go along with it. Consequently I’ve been playing around with that a bit and just painting whatever took my fancy. Here’s my response to the question, “What would a draenei wedding dress look like?”

Of course I don’t know if this would be traditional so much as “What I think my own specific character would wear.” I think purple (classic draenic, natch) – pretty modest but  with plenty of jewelery and other ornamentation. I’m not a fashion designer but I’m happy enough with this – along with a bouquet of Dreaming Glory to top it all off.

If you don’t like draenei (what’s wrong with you?) what do you think your favourite race would wear to their nuptials/racial equivalent?

Yes, including hoof-shoes. Why not?

Tuesday Art Day: More Mini-Sketches

You might remember on my anniversary post I was giving away freebies, of sorts. Here are some that didn’t make it into the first batch or that I’ve finished since! If you requested one and I’ve missed you, maybe you could call my attention to it? I had folks who wanted one but didn’t share an armory link and I’ve gotten a bit confused keeping the comments all straight.

Anyway, mini-sketches, 5-minutes each, you know the drill.

In somewhat related news, you can see the gentlemanly murloc I did for Zelmaru over at Murloc Parliament and check out her snazzy new layout while you’re at it!

Rades and Beru each wrote posts that were tear-jerkers for different reasons – Beru’s a moving story of success, Rades’ a lament for a lost friend.

Also, my friend Liala featured me in her comic, Disciplinary Action – after I complained that there was a serious lack of draenei representation. She set out to teach me that the cliche is true – you really do have to be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

There’s no patch tomorrow, unfortunately. I’ve never anticipated a patch quite so eagerly – I really want those new meta gems. How about you, are you looking forward to the patch for any reason or wish it wouldn’t come? Voss observed cheerfully, “Well, that just means I get another week of being OP!” He has a way of looking on the bright side.

Some Mini-Sketches To Finish The Week

Make that an Art Friday, I suppose. Here are some mini-sketches I’ve done since yesterday for people. I imposed a strict five-minute time limit on them.

Things I have learned:

  • Five minutes isn’t very much time, and
  • there are many awesome folks who read here.

Thank you for all your kind wishes and words, even if you were one of the folks trying not to seem demanding and so deliberately not leaving an armory link.

In no particular order – if you see a character that looks like yours, it’ll have the name written on it if you need to be sure. Have a great weekend, folks!

One year and One Month: A Blogaversary!

Once a Paladin, not necessarily always a Paladin, but still grateful nonetheless.

December was a big month for blog birthdays! Mine was actually December 11th, but as Rades put it, I felt a bit like the kid whose birthday is on Christmas. Cataclysm had just come out, I don’t think anyone was paying much attention to blog birthdays. Now it’s been one year (and just over a month) since I first made that little paladin and started pugging. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. You might read that and think, “Oh, Vid. Pugging was so hard for you, what an ordeal! Now you are going to complain about how hard it was.”

Nope, that’s not what I mean at all. What I mean is that I had no idea how richly rewarding blogging was going to be for me. I still remember my jaw dropping when I saw that Lath at HoTs & DoTs had linked to me. It was my first link! Later, Tam also linked to me, and I have shared links with many other awesome bloggers in the time since. It would be easy to say that I was frustrated by the actions of puggers as I leveled Vid, and it would probably be true. But it would be more true to say that I have been astounded by the generosity, warmth, and welcome shown by the blogging community. I didn’t know what I was missing. For each person in a pug who did or said something outrageous, there have been many more people who have commiserated with me about it, or gave a kind word.

I’ve made friends, colleagues, and cohorts. I used to enjoy reading blogs, now I truly can’t wait to hear what folks are saying because in many cases I feel I know the people behind them. I have the utmost respect for all of you and I can’t thank you enough for helping make the past year such an enjoyable one.

If you’ve ever left me a comment, or linked to me, or mentioned a post of mine on Twitter, or even just read – thank you.

You probably know that Larisa at Pink Pigtail Inn has been holding her annual awards – for instances, blogs, and noteworthy events alike. She’s honored me by choosing me as the winner for Biggest Blog Facelift. It really means so much to me, because I was incredibly anxious about moving from Pugging Pally. I was afraid I’d become a pariah – that people who only read my blog thinking I was a pally would stop reading it, or that people who only wanted to hear funny pug stories would realize I’d stopped writing those and just stop reading altogether. I wondered if I’d lose all readers and just be talking to myself. I worried about those things, but I tried to press on and hope for the best. I hoped that a few people would still be interested.

I worked really hard to make Manalicious an inviting place and to keep writing here consistently to show that I was serious about keeping my blog and I wasn’t just a “gimmick” writer, good for writing about pugs and that’s it! There’ve been times where I wondered whether I’d succeeded, and made the right decision. I think it was the right decision and again I owe thanks to people who supported me, changed their links, blogrolls, feedreaders, and continued to comment although my subject matter had changed.

Thank you all. Thanks to my guild members, too, who always tell me if I’ve written something they liked, and even for reading and being patient with me when I want to write about them or guild stuff in general. Thanks guys. I can’t say it enough times.

It was Windsoar who started the fine tradition of offering a “muse” to celebrate her blogaversary – I love the musing, but I don’t think I’d do as good a job of it! What I am going to do instead is a quick (literally, I am limiting my time spent on these to a set amount, I think about five to ten minutes each) drawing for folks who comment on this entry. I really do want to do something tangible to thank you for your support.

If you’d like a small black and white character portrait sketch, all you have to do is:

  • Leave a comment on this entry.
  • Include a link to your character’s armory.
  • Have commented before. (I don’t know how many people will comment so I have to put some restriction. I’d like to give these to people who have taken the time to share a bit of themselves. If I have to “confirm” your comment it’s out, unless there aren’t too many).

I have in my head a semi-limit of how many of these I’ll do, but I’ll try to do one for everyone who wants one. It might take a bit of time. But then again, you’ve stuck with me for this long, so I imagine you’re willing to wait a little longer too!

Tuesday Art Day: Wildhammer and Link Love

I feel both guilty and gleeful about the look on the fish's face. The answers to the question, "What does a dwarf feed her gryphon?" were pretty awesome, incidentally, and ranged from "dead orc heads" to...well, fish. You're probably happy I chose the former.

I know that art day posts are a bit boring (what do you say about them?) so I’m combining two time-honored traditions, art day AND link love. I’ve had some links stored away in my file for several weeks now, so it’s time to get caught up! This was a sketch that strong-armed its way into becoming a semi-paint, it’s still a bit rough but for a warm-up sketch, I’m happy with it! (That’s two and a half hours of warming up, by the way).

Without further ado, link love!

Cynwise wrote a great post about warlock CC, if you’re into that kind of thing, but many of the tips and macros could be re purposed easily to apply to mages or most any other class. It’s a good read!

In a similar vein, Ophelie over at The Bossy Pally wrote about all the types of CC there are. I suppose some people feel now that CC is no longer necessary in heroics and everything has become an AoE zerg-fest, but for many of the tougher pulls we’re still CCing. It doesn’t take long and it makes life easier for everyone!

I enjoyed Spinks’ short post about the Women of Cataclysm. I’m always happy to see stronger female characters taking a place in WoW! I would hasten to add there are some great Wildhammer characters there too (have you done the quest with the gryphon rider in Deepholm? I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice to say she is tough as nails).

Perhaps you’re back into raiding again, but do you know how your raiders learn new encounters? Kae wrote about this a few weeks ago and I thought it was an interesting read. I’m visual and tactile myself, which means the videos don’t generally work well for me (and the talking in them mostly annoys me). A good diagram and some hands-on experience helps me more than anything.

Finally, this post is old but I happened across it when the topic came up for us the other night. Anexxia’s post The Changing Face of Spirit talks about how the stat fits into Cataclysm gear. Have you decided what your raid is doing about gear with +spirit? It’s something to consider before you are caught unprepared!

Tuesday Art Day: Mishaweha

It seems I took part in quite a few gift exchanges this year; the Blog Azeroth Secret Santa, but also an art exchange on Twitter! The art exchange was especially fun because we found out a month in advance who we’d be drawing for. Here is the piece I did for Mishaweha. You can see all of the art that was done for the exchange here. Thanks again to Loreli who organized the event, I had quite a bit of fun with it.

I think the background took longer than the actual character!

This is Mishaweha, clearly, Tauren shaman (restoration, I believe). She wears goggles. I’ll quite likely use the art I received of Millya in a post at a later date!

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