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

Posts tagged ‘Tuesday art day’

Tuesday Art Day: Gracie

Gracie_small

The other day I had some spare time and felt like painting, so I did a quick painting of one of my Wildstar characters and then started another of my friend Grace’s character. Hers ended up being a bit more involved and I just finished it today. It’s 7.9″ x 7.9″, watercolour with an undersketch done with watercolour pencils. This was something it had never occurred to me to use them for, and I like it pretty well so far compared to regular pencil. The major downside is that there are sometimes places where you can see the colour of the original pencil (such as her left cheek highlight) and for that it’s less than ideal. But if I’d used regular pencil you’d see the sketch all over, so I don’t know. I think I’ll keep experimenting with it.

Tuesday Art Day: Draenei

Okay, it’s not Tuesday any more. But have some paintings anyway. I’ve been painting more than anything lately, on top of doing From Draenor With Love. To be perfectly honest, life has been pretty overwhelming in the past while and I have been taking a breather from most things, only doing art for myself or as gifts. I thought that leaping back into doing a lot of commission work would help me bounce back from layoffs at WI, but it turns out that wasn’t the case. I may take a few months off from official “work” to just focus on my health and personal stuff. I appreciate the patience of folks who have inquired about art or etc.

Meantime, here are some draenei. I posted them on Tumblr already, but here they are for anyone who missed them there. I wanted to just do some draenei that were a little outside the usual. I was free painting (no sketch beforehand).

draenei01

Not Millya. Similar-ish I guess, though.

draenei04

Random dude draenei. I’ve been trying to get better at male draenei in general.

draenei02

Old lady draenei. We know draenei DO age at least in appearance, sometimes, after a really long time. At least, Velen doesn’t look like a spring chicken. This draenei has seen more than she really wanted to.

draenei03Probably my favourite of this bunch. She’s so happy.

Finally (but certainly not least) I did a painting for my friend Sara’s birthday. Unlike the previous ones, this one had a sketch first. It ends up looking like a fairly different style. Although obviously I also spent a bit more time on it than the quick, freepaint ones.Probably about two hours total, which is still not bad.

serrinnewatermark

I’m going to be in Seattle this time next week, meeting some new folks, some friends-from-before folks, and hopefully having some therapeutic art time. I’m also planning a collaboration with Loreli (LoreliAoD on Twitter). She’s going to do some pencils and I am going to paint them! And I will either bring or do a sketch for her while I’m there and she’s going to colour it digitally. It’s going to be fun, I am excited.

Tuesday Art Day: Vid and Voss

vidandvoss

Click for larger version.

Often on Tuesdays (for maintenance time) I’ll post some art I’ve been working on. This is something I did for myself last week (ie not a commission). I think it is actually the first time I’ve ever drawn Vid and her father, Vosskah, together. I figure that since the two of them are both really physical by nature that the way they relate to each other is sometimes roughhousing. So he’s giving her a noogie. Their roughhousing sounds like a blacksmith’s shop rolling downhill.

Millya, of course, doesn’t understand this at all and just leaves them to it.

As far as the drawing itself, I was trying out my new Copic markers. I was hoping I could possibly use them for From Draenor. I don’t think they’ll work really well for it, though, and I’ll probably stick to my ink and brush for now. I might use them to add finer details, but the problem is that when I erased my pencils underneath the Copics, the marker itself faded significantly. It’s a bit disappointing. I might do something more with this image like add colour digitally, etc. If I do I’ll post it again.

Tuesday Art Day: Surprise Wedding Present

Bloodberry & Rachel

I love commissions that have a story behind them like this one. I’ve done at least one other painting of a couple as a surprise commission. This one was a bit of a last-minute affair and I had to rush to get it done for February 2nd because the couple was getting married! It was commissioned by Rachel as a surprise gift for her husband of their two characters together. I’m told that he was very happy with it. Congratulations again to the two of you and all the best for your life together.

Tuesday Art Day: Millya

Folks who’ve hung around my blog for awhile know that I (often) post art on Tuesdays. This Tuesday is a little different though because it’s mostly not art that I have done, it’s art that I had commissioned by other artists or that was done for me in art exchanges, etc. I’ve wanted to share it on the blog for awhile and kept forgetting so now I have amassed quite a collection.

You might wonder why someone who is an artist commissions other artists, it’s such a great experience though! I love seeing my characters in different ways and every artist has their own style.

The first one is going to be art by me – I finished my own Blizzcon badge!

Millya_display

gift_art_by_amalythia-d5uf354.png

By Amalythia

This first piece I am ashamed to admit I don’t remember the circumstances in which I got it – I want to say it was an art exchange. Fortunately I do know it was done by Amalythia, though.

By Fyreuni

By Fyreuni

One year, Fyreuni (the artist of the Daily Quests comic) was doing avatar portraits and donating the proceeds to Child’s Play. This was the one she did for me!

By Axolotl

By Axolotl

This sketch was done by Axolotl, the artist of the Out of World comic. She was giving away sketches and was gracious enough to do this one for me.

SSTwitter2011yayVid

By Shizukera

This art was a present from Shizukera for a Secret Santa art exchange we did on Twitter!

by Aly Flock

by Aly Flock

This was art that I commissioned from Aly Flock. I love her whimsical style.

By Ginny Higerd

By Ginny Higerd

Another Secret Santa exchange piece of art, this one was done by Ginny!

By Kim Swan

By Kim Swan

This is the most recent piece I commissioned, by Kim Swan. You can check out her tumblr here. I think she only opens up commissions periodically though, I just jumped on it really quickly.

Writing this made me realize I actually have had a lot of art done of Millya, sheesh. This doesn’t even include a sketch Fyreuni did for me at a convention one year. It’s really fun to see your characters come to life, if you’ve never done it I’d recommend it. (Which is not a plug, I am actually too busy to accept commissions at the moment. But commission any artist! It’s worth it!)

Speaking of things that are keeping me busy, I’ve wanted to write here about a new place you might see me writing… Yep, I am the new mage columnist writing Arcane Brilliance at WoW Insider. So far it’s been an incredible experience, although humbling. I’m trying to do a good job. I was a bit nervous starting out, but commenters have been really nice so far without exception. It’s been a fantastic reception. Right now I am just writing biweekly. Not this week, though – which is good because I’m going to be out of town for my brother’s wedding. Otherwise, my articles publish on Fridays.

I still have a hard time believing that I am writing Arcane Brilliance; I’ll see the tab in browser and go “Arcane Brilliance? …That’s ME!” Anyway. I hope not to neglect Manalicious though I know I’ve been spotty with updates here. The new From Draenor combined with getting the hang of writing at WoW Insider and real life stuff has been critting me pretty hard. I imagine Manalicious will be a bit more personal than it has been but the blog is still important to me and I haven’t forgotten it!

Tuesday Art Day: More Badges (Bears, Bears, and Bears)

ETA: It’s not Tuesday any more, but I’m posting this anyhow! I’ve been doing more of my Blizzcon badges. Here is a sampling of the ones I’ve completed since I started doing them!

Aerix

Aerix

@Aerix88’s Pandaren hunter. The first Pandaren I have done!

Tikari_display

Tikari

For @TikariofET! The first rogue I’ve done. Which is probably good because it seems I am popular with the druids!

Kaleri

Kaleri

Kaleri of Power Word: What? and @Kaleri_ on Twitter. One of my favourite bearbutts!

Sunnier

Sunnier

For @SunnierBear of Sunnier’s Art of War. I confess I especially enjoyed doing this one, probably because of the deep indigo colour of Sunnier’s armour and the HOT PINK of her hair. It’s nice to break out colours like that sometimes. I’ve never used that particular shade of pink almost straight from the tube before.

I’ve been really happy with the response to these badges so far, and I just love painting them. As always, if you’re interested in commissioning one, you can fill out the form here. My commission status is in the right sidebar. I’ve got a bit of a line-up but it moves fairly steadily barring any exceptional circumstances.

Tuesday Art Day: Blizzcon Badges

Firstly, thank you to everyone who wanted a Blizzcon badge on the basis of my other watercolour work and the quick badge of Millya I did. (I’ll be re-doing one for myself at some point, using actual references and a good transmog!) I am still working through my list of folks who signed up for a badge. If you’ve sent references, you’ll hear from me when I’m ready to get started on yours!

I’m really loving doing these so far, because it’s such a small painting it’s very fresh and immediate. You focus intensely on it for a few hours and then it’s done! Here are the first two I have done so far. They both have orange backgrounds because they are both druids. The next one I’m doing is a shaman!

Beru

This first one was for my friend Beruthiel of Falling Leaves and Wings. She has the extremely fancy (and elaborate) challenge mode druid armour.

Arielle

Arielle

This next one was for Arielle of The Inconspicuous Bear, also known as @riftmaker on Twitter.

If you are interested in a badge, you can send me your info via my post here (please use the form! it has been making it really easy to keep track of everyone’s info and I like that). The line isn’t too long yet and I’m getting them done pretty quickly so far, so the wait time should be fairly decent. I may wait to mail them until I have enough to print out a bunch of name tags at a time, but before mailing you will receive a high-resolution scan of your painting.

Thanks to everyone who has had positive things to say about the badges so far, I look forward to doing many more of them!

Tuesday Art Day: Kumineko and the Dragon

postersketch08

This is probably art you’ll want to click through to view if you want to see the whole thing in any detail. This is the conclusion of an EPIC odyssey of painting done for Kumineko on Twitter of all of his Warcraft characters. This took me ages to do and to finish. I’ve actually come to realize that huge commissions of this type are not the best thing for me. I tend to get bogged down in the details and lose focus. It could be something I choose to work on in the future, but for right now I think it’s good to know your limits!

CharacterPosterbyVidyala-Jan-31-2013

Here it is printed out and hung up. As you can see, it wasn’t a small piece either, having been intended to be poster-sized. TA DA. (Sorry, but that’s how I feel when I look at this photograph, haha). I’m glad it printed really well and I am proud of it, I just now know how much work such an image entails!

Tuesday Art Day: Elaina

worgen_large

Soo, long time no see, huh? This was an avatar I did over the holidays. It was a gift commission for a Secret Santa exchange. I think it’s the first time I’ve done any lady worgen avatars, so it was fun. It’s for @GGElaina on Twitter and was commissioned by @_anea.

As far as Warcraft goes, I’ll admit to you that I’m in a bit of an odd place. I’m still enjoying the game and raiding with my guildies, though I don’t find I have as much to write about in the blog these days (obviously). The time was I could barely get posts out fast enough. Of course I’ve never been a mage theorycrafter of much note but I usually had something to say. Going casual as a guild has meant some mental readjustments that way. It really meant taking a step back in many regards – there were some days I didn’t do dailies. I don’t use the maximum stat food, preferring to use feasts that the guild makes. As far as I know, that hasn’t hurt our raiding progression, but even our raiding progression isn’t a top priority as such.

We made further schedule readjustments, going from one night (three hours) to two nights again but shortening the raid to a mere two hours each night. It allows for a later start and an earlier end, which is honestly a relief. It makes my days feel less punctuated by World of Warcraft and more like “this is a fun hobby.” If I’m being honest with myself, there was a good chunk of time when WoW was less a hobby than a second job.

At this time last year I wasn’t sure I’d still be playing WoW; Voss and I wanted to stop raiding as much as we had and we were fully aware that Business Time might close up shop as a result. I’m really glad that it didn’t, though, and this reduced schedule and more relaxed approach has suited us very well. There’ve been times when WoW felt like the only thing that was going right. The danger in that, though, is that if you put too much stock in a video game you react disproportionately to probably minor things. At other times I would despair if our progression wasn’t “fast enough,” feeling that it was a reflection on me and that I was letting the guild down by not leading them better. So these days I try to have a healthy balance. WoW is a game I love to play and I’ve made great friends through it. I spend time doing From Draenor With Love each week and that’s more “WoW-related” time, and otherwise I have cut way down.

I didn’t exactly make any new year’s resolutions but if I had to choose one word for this year (as Alas described) it would be purpose. I’m trying to recognize my purpose in many areas of life and not to lose sight of it, and also to have some perspective about goals that may take some time to achieve. Having no control over things makes this more a necessity than a choice! Anyway, I spent about three days over the holidays working on this:

studio

This is my studio space, which is where I do non-digital art. As you can see from the first photo, it’s been pretty difficult to get in there and do anything for the past…oh, I don’t want to say exactly how long. But you can see to the right of the photo that portfolios and drawings are piled foot-deep there. Notice how on the right-hand photo those are mostly gone? I filled five garbage bags with old drawings and other detritus. The space is ready and waiting for me and it feels good. I won’t go into too much personal detail except that the past year has been punctuated, it seems, by illness or medical concerns, doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds and bloodwork. It’s tiring and it’s really interfered with my ability to work. The only thing I managed to be consistent about was From Draenor and my raid schedule, which I’m proud of but it’s not really enough. I also can’t remember the last time I did any art just for myself that wasn’t Warcraft related. I love the Warcraft universe but I also don’t want all my creative endeavors to depend on someone else’s intellectual property. It’s something to think about, anyway.

Don’t write me off your feedreaders just yet, I promise to write here as topics strike. I’m just a bit preoccupied at the moment. I’m starting up a personal blog at another url so that I can write about personal stuff without feeling like I am bombarding an audience who really wants to talk about World of Warcraft. That blog’s not up yet, but I will share the url when it’s ready if anyone is interested. It will likely be a catch-all for my other interests: art, food and cooking/baking, games (other than Warcraft), and also health stuff. I’d be happy to see some familiar faces reading there but I won’t be offended if you don’t. I’ve lost touch with some Warcraft folks over the years especially once they leave the game and it’s sad but expected. Sometimes our friendships can survive the loss of a shared universe and sometimes they can’t. I’m always happy when they do, though!

I hope you all had a great holiday and so far a good new year. I hope I’ll have more to share with you soon.

p.s. Due to the departure of a few good Business Time friends, we’re currently looking to recruit a ranged DPS, preferably a hunter or warlock. Hunter is the highest priority because right now we have ZERO and all that mail agility gear just rots. So if you are a hunter or an exceptional ranged DPS of any kind and you’re interested in a home for “semi-retired hardcore raiders,” check us out. Our thing is we still have minimum play standards to avoid frustrations that can sometimes accompany very casual raiding, but if you’re looking to push much hardmode progression we’re a bit over that. We just like to be casually awesome, kill some internet Mogu and have a few laughs. We raid two nights a week as mentioned, two of either Monday, Wed, or Thursday from 6:30-8:30 PST. Each week we look at signups and determine the days, so some weeks it’s M/Thurs and other weeks M/Wed and on a rare week Wed/Thurs (we try to avoid that).

Tuesday Art Day: Arbalest and Sophye

First: I know it isn’t Tuesday, but I couldn’t finish this yesterday and I didn’t want to rush it.

I am really excited to share this particular art day project because I’ve had to keep it under my hat since September! This was a special commission from Kirby (who was referred to me on Twitter). He wanted two figurines for the top of his friends’ wedding cake. I can’t remember who suggested me because they had seen the figurines I have done before. (See: Shaedre, Millya). For many reasons this was a much more complicated project than those – they had to be wearing specific clothing, and they also had to stand on their own!

I wish I’d taken more in-progress photos; I do have the preliminary sketch that I did though. I was surprised that the final figures ended up looking similarly to this sketch. I really presented it as a rough just to get some idea of proportions.

This was the image that I had in my head and that I sent to Kirby before I started working on it. I wanted everything to be ready to go before I actually began work because once you start working with clay (even the type that doesn’t dry out) it tends to be an all-consuming project taking over an entire desk and house. In this photo you can see a bit of my working area; note the thin scraps of clay and how they retain their shape without “sticking” to each other. Also you can see the box of 60 travel wipes – I used ALL of them. Travel wipes are amazing for working with clay. You can use them to clean your hands in-between colours, and also to wipe down the work area. I read this tip randomly on a clay website and it was invaluable.

Sophye, before baking!

Unlike my previous figures, these ones had to be able to stand on their own and were a fair bit bigger. Because of that, I knew they would need an armature inside. Arbalest (the groom) has a wire armature wrapped in aluminum foil that makes the shape of his legs, torso, arms, head, and horns. Sophye (the bride) was a little different. Because I knew her dress was basically cone shaped, I simply rolled and shaped a piece of aluminum foil into a cone. The reason this is done is because it makes the final figures lighter, stronger, and ensures that the clay bakes evenly. It also keeps the price manageable, because otherwise you’d have a solid block of clay.

I used a different type of clay, Staedtler Fimo instead of the Sculpey III I had used for my previous projects. I was really happy with the Fimo and will be using it again. I found that it held detail much better than the Sculpey. The feel of it is a bit more plastic-ey, but it was perfect for rolling out sheets of clay and retaining its shape. The black in particular gave me trouble, for some reason it felt softer than the other clays and tended to almost feel like it was melting in my hands. I think the only available Fimo black may have been Fimo “Soft” and I’m not sure I would use it again for a larger project such as the groom’s tux/body.

Here you can see the detail of the bride’s dress pretty well including the folds I was able to make in the “fabric.” I don’t think that would have been possible with Sculpey at all, as I found it much stickier.

For this project I also invested in a dedicated clay “pasta” machine to roll out sheets of clay. It was a huge lifesaver and I don’t regret it at all! Especially the bride’s dress required uniform amounts of clay and the Fimo was perfect at holding a “fold” as I was working with it. What I did was figure out the approximate length of “fabric” needed to wrap around the dress. I’d roll out the clay, use my blade to slice it straight and then just built from the bottom up. After the bottom of the dress was done I worked on the torso (I did the head separately, it also has a ball of aluminum foil inside) and later added the details like the roses.

Overall, the bride was much easier to sculpt than the groom. His stature and the Tauren legs made him much trickier. When I finished the majority of his body (his head was also sculpted separately) he couldn’t really stand on his own, even with the wire skeleton in his legs. I changed the configuration of his tail so that it provided an extra support. This “tripod” arrangement keeps him upright! The tail is also built around a thick piece of wire and is probably a little thicker than an actual Tauren tail would be, simply of necessity.

I couldn’t resist taking a few fun photos of the two of them once they were finished.

The bride had a slight mishap in baking unfortunately, her bouquet slipped right out of her hands. Fortunately I was hovering over the oven anxiously and I caught it in time to pull the bouquet off of her and bake it next to her instead. Super glue works really well with polymer clays and I knew I could attach it after the fact. The bouquet may have needed some internal structure itself to lighten it up, I’m not sure, but lesson learned!

After both sculptures were baked, I spent some time glazing parts of them (and attaching/reattaching other parts). Having learned from the bride, I baked the boutonniere separately and attached it with glue after. I glazed Arbalest’s hooves, the lapel of his jacket, his nose ring, the leaves of all the flowers, and Sophye’s hair attachments. I toyed with the idea of glazing their eyes but ultimately decided against it in case it made them look creepy. I might experiment with this when I make another figurine for myself, but it’s not something I wanted to mess with considering I was under time constraints and didn’t want to mess these guys up.

Arbalest and Sophye

I’m not sure that either of these photos shows all the little details like the tiny white buttons on Arbalest’s shirt (I poked four holes in each of them!) but I guess it gives some idea. You can click to view any of these larger.

Here you can see how his tail holds him up, and also his bow tie, because bow ties are cool…

Finally, I have one photo from the wedding itself graciously taken for me by Kirby. It turns out that they were a bit big for the cake so as Kirby put it, they went plainstriding. I’m not sure if they were a surprise for the bride and groom (I think so, though) but it looks like they had flowers already planned for the top anyway so it’s okay. I think even if I’d made them half the size they still would’ve been pretty big for the top so this worked out!

I learned quite a bit from this, including how much work such figures would be (I hadn’t paid attention when I made them for myself). Sculpting each figure took about ten hours for a total of twenty, post production stuff was probably five between the two of them. Or, if you prefer, nearly two complete seasons of Buffy and a bit of extra where I wasn’t watching anything at all.

Thanks to Kirby for the opportunity to make these! It sounds as if the “real” Arbalest and Sophye liked them and I had a blast making them. If you have any questions about something I forgot to mention, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments.

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