So I started this blog to record my process and thoughts that go a little further past my IG posts, but lately I’ve been focusing on building my 2D skills, and you can only have so many “I DREW ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL ASS” posts. That being said, I have been progressing a lot and am SUPER STOKED to admit, I just finished my sketchbook. You know, the one I started in April.  That’s at least a drawing a day, a personal best since ever.  Usually I go through a book a year. Not counting my last year at college and into into the real world, in which I finished one sketchbook over 3 years. Just the progress alone in these three months with such dedicated work amazed me.

Of course I left my completed sketchbook (“compeleted” the plans for my sculpture on the last page are half doodled) in my studio, and am only out and about with the new one. (it’s so perfect and unused. Time to change that.)

okay I’m going to derail real quick because I’m just so excited about finishing a sketchbook in <3 months. Go find the centered * to skip the derailment and continue reading about my progress. So about a week ago I realized I was getting down to my last few pages.

     “pffffft,” I told myself, “you’re crazy,  it’s only been 3 months–if even!”
but I continued drawing until the papers felt suspiciously thin.

Now I store a million and a half reference images along in my sketchbook.  Usually I keep them full sized on a sheet of printer paper and just shove them at the back.  So, when I get to the end of the book there’s usually an odd bow where the printer paper isn’t as big as the sketchbook paper. Well, I reached this phenomena and instantly panicked.  “I NEED A NOW BOOK ASAP”

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but If I get distracted while I’m on a roll, I never finish.  My thesis was really hard in this respect, because I couldn’t do everything in a single stretch.  Damn my other college classes getting in the way.  It’s the same no matter what material I’m working with. Ceramics? If I leave the studio, good luck ever getting a cup trimmed.  Online Dating? Don’t find someone interesting and respectful to meet within my first two weeks of constant social interaction? Delete the app.  Essay? Sit down and write it all in a single sitting, or I’ll start over the next time I sit down to work.

Oddly enough food and TV I’m great at abandoning and coming back to.  Mid reveal in a telenovela–hold up I have to go write a grocery list, start a new diet, become a world famous model, ruin my career endorsing a medication proven to cause cervical cancer a few years after it hit markets, move to southern France, ruin my life by falling for an Italian Bartender who only wants me for my greencard, sell my hair for grocery money and wonder if I’m poor enough yet for affordable obamacare–okay lets see if julio’s actually the father.

So my point–if I don’t replace my sketchbook before I finish the last three pages I may never ever draw again, and I was finally getting where I wanted to me. UNACCEPTABLE.

My point in all this, I’ve been carrying around my new sketchbook and my old one all week while waiting for it to fill up, and it’s still in new pristine shape.  You know, where the corners are all still sharp and the cover understands it’s purpose is to stay ON the book. (I’m really rough on my travel sketchbooks.)


SO PROGRESS! At the begining of the April 2016 sketchbook there’s a full page drawing of a naked woman.  She was intended to be the base for some outfit, but I was pooped from how much effort it took me to make her acceptable looking.  By the end of the book, my drawings still look pretty much the same, and sometimes still take me just as long, but the effort it took to produce them was so much less.  I’m impulsively drawing bodies to try out different outfits.  I actually wanted to draw a whole new body the other day over digitally just drawing an outfit over an already drawn body.  That NEVER used to happen.  3 months!

I’m debating which state I want to get my teaching license in, and it really makes it hard to decide when I know I’ll have to sacrifice my drawing time to being an adult and taking classes after work.  I really don’t want to get stuck in the “no time to draw” rut I was in after college, but life has to happen unfortunately.


Because I’ve been sch a horrible blog owner of late, I don’t have all the images I’d usually have at my fingertips available to me right now, but everything’s on my Instagram Amarnaphiliac, with finals and less progress updates on my IG for Art only Xandirose.

That being said,

Going back furthest, I wanted to try colouring using mostly just watercolours and limiting my use of line.

You’ll notice, there’s no lineart.  I actually didn’t realize that I was working linelessly until after I finished and was putting lines back in.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget my freshman year drawing class in which my professor told me I wasn’t allowed to draw lines.  I looked at him like he was a crazy person.
“If I can’t draw lines how on earth am I expected to differentiate this half of the white paper form that half of the paper, crazy man.  I need the line to tell me where to shade. DUR.”
Well, now I realize what he was saying.  I think I’d still have the same reaction to his telling me I’m not allowed to lay down any prelim shapes with line before adding shadow though. I don’t view shapes, I view lines.  Maybe I just haven’t gotten there yet, but I certainly didn’t even understand the concept at 18.
This painting’s also on a larger toothed paper by strathmoore instead of canson.  I was so disillusioned with my canson sketchbook, I knew I needed to test out other brands to see if it was a skethbook fluke or if I was just content with lower quality products. Well, I haven’t really used much paints since this drawing, so I’m still not sure. The paper feels amazing though.

After the watercolour test I decided to try doing the exact same drawing with markers, for a really good comparison. Like vs like.

Well, I forgot my e000 marker when I started this, so I tried to fudge it with e00 and e02, but it’s far too pink for my liking.  Looking back in retrospect though it looks alright.  I may have acclimated, time will tell.

Markers really required me to think a lot more about where I wanted a harsher line, which i think is difficult if you’re not thinking in shapes.  Where it hurt me most was in the face.  I really dislike her hair and face in this drawing.

After this I was supposed to do a third style with Tifa, but I got distracted my my online dating app prospects asking me about aeris in their opening lines. I already had aeris all sketched up and ready to do the same as tifa, so I forwent the third study.  I think it was supposed to be a pencil and paint/marker multimedia peice that featured the pencils as the source of shadows.

Now when I started aeris I was watching video tuts for how Hannah Alexander does her lineart in PS. One of my jobs is basically a receptionist, and there’s rarely 8 solid hours worth of filing, so I doodle between files and phone calls.

I really really like my doodle product.

You can see some of the art nouveau changes I made to my style combined with what I’d learned about shadows from copics it lead to something really new and cool. I’m particularly proud of the fact that I got these nice hombres using office supplies on printer paper scraps.

But, because of this doodle success aeris ended up being edited to an art nouveau style.

I came full circle, back to heavy lines that the drawing would look odd without, but the results were really nice. I felt like the heavy stylization helped to distract a little from some of the mistakes I realized–of course–after the point of no return.

At this point I’m having so much drawing these pretty women that I decide to do something really daring. A MAN.

I can’t draw men.

They always end up looking like a have transitioned trek trek shapeshifter who couldn’t make up its mind.

So imagine my surprise when beardy Mc sad face Blackwall actually turned out okay.

Yeah there’s things to improve on, but he looks like a man, and not a freaky bearded woman.  I never stopped to think about beards before drawing this though.  They’re really kind of odd. I was sitting there pen in hand like “so . . . does the hair sprout out from under their lip? Is he going to end up eating his mustache is I draw it like this? Oh great now he’s a werewolf!”
I learned a lot, and realized I need to start sitting closer to my guy friends to stare at their faces.

Okay so morrigan is a little out of production sequence, she was actually before Aeris, but I drew basic lines how I usually do and coloured flat blocks with marker, going back in with pencil to create shadows.


It’s a really nice technique that combines my two favorite elements of both materials.  I can’t colour large areas in pencil, no patience.  I don’t like blending markers, too bold. Combining my strong points in both materials I may be able to really take this somewhere.
I think the only thing I really changed since taking this picture was smoothing out those feathers a bit. I have a bit of a backlog for digitizing and recording my traditional works, but finished Morrigan will be online before too long.

After all this figure drawing traditionally, I decided to go back and work on my self portait I started a while ago.

I resurrected my old Deviant art a little while back, and realized my last ID picture was so old, my hair wasn’t even red. I’ve had red hair for at least 5 years at this point, so it was an old pic. Obviously my new ID has to have jellyfish, so off I went to doodle.  I don’t really like this picture anymore so I’ll probably nix it without finishing colouring, since I still don’t really find joy int he process of digital painting,only the results. What I DID take away from this piece though was how to make things look like their glowing.

Naturally, glowing jellyfish.

I needed a new sign for my etsy shop, so why not? Alright, my etsy shop still needs a more descriptive banner than my name and some jellies, but i really like this for the moment, so it can live atop my shop a while longer.

I’m incapable of being satisfied with a drawing, so when I saw the dalish banners in Dragon Age inquisition, I knew I had to make one.

If you haven’t played before, they look like this:

Gorgeous right? I needed a miniature version for myself.

The first problem I ran into is what to make it out of.  I could sculpt all the pieces out of clay, but for whatever reason I knew I’d mess it up and decided tha plexi would work better.  Because it’s impossible to mess up plexi? I’ll make a stand alone post about this process, because it’s lengthy.

Last but not least, a drawing from today that I actually just finished that’s pretty much 100% copied from Ste7en Lefcourt’s design on teefury.


My friend loves winnie the pooh and pokemon, but hates ash and pikachu so I doodled her with her charmander instead and wanted to colour it. (thus the rush job and repairs to take care of when I get home with the rest of my supplies.)
Pretty sure I’m just going to shove the drawing in her arms and run away before she can tell me she doesn’t want it, haha. YOUR RESPONSIBILITY NOOOOOOOOOOOW!

But actually I bought a new pen to do these sepia lines and realized I really really really like felt brush tip pens.


This pen is a prisma colour on canson watercolour paper, but those lines are really nice. I may have to get one in black too now.

That’s it for my progress post, check back for info about that dalish banner and my other Dragon age fabric peices I’m about to start. Also I’m taking a ceramics course and finally managed to reteach myself to center clay on the wheel.  So Expect cup and bowl spam soon.

PS. oh lordy I’m so hungry right now.  I’m on a new diet to lose 15 lbs and I did not bring enough lunch to keep me full until after class. if only my car didn’t kill any fruit I store in it over the summer, I could keep a snack stash.







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