Lady with a Space Ermine

The other day I was looking for any excuse, as usual, to not do any work. I needed to try out some techniques on some new illustrations I’m working on, original pen & ink art that will be for sale, in fact (stay tuned for news on those!). As I was arranging my art supplies […]

Practice 28 March 2014

I need to start owning my process and acknowledging all the steps that it takes to get to a finished piece of work. So much of this gets lost in sketch books, and after a while you start to think you can do without it, much to your own peril. So now & then I’ll […]

The Wyrm Tamer

This was a warm-up sketch that got out of hand. Unplanned, hence the stiff composition & anatomy, the uneven detail & sketchy background. But as practice goes, not horrible. V PS God bless the Uni-Pin fineliner.

Woman by Window: A Study in Patterns

It’s been a long time since I drew something entirely for myself. Not for clients or Today’s Doodle or even just for practice. Those are all things I should also be doing more of, often the best learning experiences come from setting yourself the goal of creating something finished. So a couple of days ago […]

End of 2013 Mega Sketch-a-Thon! (Part 1)

In keeping with a tradition I’ve done… er, two or three times, sporadically, it’s time for another Sketch-a-thon! I set aside a whole weekend for this, and solicited sketch topics on both facebook & twitter. I got a ton, and am still working through most of them. But here’s the first eight. “Bear With Us” […]

A Well-Rounded Breakfast

Final Sunday Sketch-a-thon entry, for @jyotishkaray, or as I will always call him in my head, @OldMonkMGM: Still can’t draw hands. V

#26Characters – E for Emma Frost

#26characters banner
Well, it’s been a while. When I started this project I made a quick list of names from A-Z spanning fictional characters, mostly the first thing that sprung to mind. My friend @OldMonkMGM on twitter wondered if I was taking requests, and then asked if I could draw Emma Frost next. I said yes, of course — my earlier stand-in for E was pretty crappy anyway 🙂

That means this list is by no means permanent, so if you have a specific request, feel free to drop me an email or a tweet @allvishal. So far, the letters H & M are spoken for, but there’s plenty more alphabets to choose from. 🙂

#26characters e for emma frost

Emma Frost, formerly of the villanous Hellfire Club, is now the leader of the X-Men. You may remember her from the excellent film X-Men First Class, where she was played — badly — by January Jones. Ms. Frost is known for her telepathic powers, her ability to turn into a diamond-like substance, and for her skimpy outfits.

Seriously, many of her costumes are just lingerie, fur coats and boots. I went with what I am told is her latest incarnation, which at least has pants instead of a thong. I quite like the costume, especially the way the cape sits, and I’m a sucker for anything with opera gloves.

(Now if only I could actually draw hands and feet)

#26characters e for emma frost

Much as I try, these take a lot longer to do right now, at my current skill level, than traditional drawing. So consequently, I’m never really happy with the results, and the same is true in this case.

There’s several elements I like about this one, but much of it is the result of my hands getting tired. I wrestle with the tablet in ways I do not (and can not) with a real pen. Chalk it up to the combination of a hard plastic interacting with another hard plastic, and the disconnect between looking at a screen and moving your hand somewhere else.

I may possibly need better hardware — my tablet is a simple, cheap one by Genius — but I know where this rabbit hole leads, and I’m not prepared to plonk down thousands of dollars for a Cintiq.

#26characters a-e complete

I may have to get looser with these, more sketchy, more painterly, but the latter of those two is completely uncharted territory, and every time I try I end up with a mess. Oh well, this is nothing if not an excuse to fail, and then fail better the next time.

And, overall, I think I am failing a little better with each one.


Practice Makes Perfect

older woman digital sketch
Once in a while, I tell myself I should practice. It’s fine doing something with a goal like #26Characters, but in addition to more structured projects, you do need to spend some time just mucking about.

Here’s the results of today’s mucking about, done in 15 minutes. I tried as best I could to get away from the dreaded “every character looks 28 years old” syndrome that affects many illustrators. It helps to pay attention to these sorts of common pitfalls, and nothing better than random sketches to exercise & exorcise those demons.


Cholbe Na!

cholbe na! acrylic painting 80x120cm
I’ve never, ever really tried to paint. In school we had to as part of Art class, and I never took to it. A year ago a friend of mine moved to a new apartment and requested some pop art for his wall. Initially I considered making a computer-printed artwork, but at some point hubris got the better of me (“How hard can it be if they taught it to us in primary school?”) and I ditched that idea in favour of a painting.

A large painting. 4ft by 2.5ft, to be precise.

So anyway, I hid from it for a year, but since it was his birthday I decided it was time to finally get down and see if I could. The results are not bad — for a first-ever attempt at painting on a canvas, that is — and it was a real learning experience.

I’ll probably stick mostly to pen & ink drawings, and art on the computer, but I think once in a while I may attempt a painting like this again.


Train Station — Completed Ink Drawing

train station completed inks
Well, it’s done, for now. Quite happy how this turned out, considering how little planning went into it.