and my attempt at new textures

Rowlet noticed there were new messages on the bulletin board.

Artistic Perseverance

Why artists, no matter how skilled or experienced, should never feel like they can’t become better.

I reblogged a quote earlier about the hard work and perseverance that are necessary in developing a creative craft.  It got me thinking about my own creative journey.  I’ve been drawing since I was a kid, but I began pursuing it as something more than just random doodling when I was about 15.  I mean, I had taken an art class in 6th grade, and I always knew I enjoyed drawing, but I was about 15 when I said to myself, “Okay, I want to really learn how this works, and I want to get better at it.”

I get a lot of compliments on my work, and one of the things I hear a lot is, “I wish I could draw like that,” or “I tried drawing once, but I was never any good at it.”  Another frequent comment I get is, “You make it look so easy!  How did you draw that so fast!” or other comments along those lines.

I want to respond to those comments a few different ways.  I think this is the logical place to start:

As you can see, I drew these in 1996.  I was 15.  They’re not bad, but they definitely show a lack of…

…knowledge, practice, and discipline. 

I drew a lot of animals back then because I thought drawing people was too hard.  Once I started exploring the anthropomorphic animal genre, however, I quickly learned that anthros are just as difficult to draw well.  You can just disguise your entry level skill a little more easily behind a stylized critter than a stylized person.  I think the reason for this is the fact that even in comic form, our brains subconsciously recognize suitable proportions and perspective when it comes to the human face.  We don’t always recognize why something is wrong, but we can tell it’s not right.  With little anthro creatures, the entire structure of the figure changes, making it easier to conceal mistakes.

I decided I was just going to draw animals, because people were “too hard”.  And I did make progress.  Here’s an early work of mine that my sister commissioned, done in watercolor.  I think I was maybe 23 or something like that.

Finally I reached a point where I really wasn’t that interested in drawing animals anymore.  I wanted a new challenge.  So, despite the fact that I was terrified, I decided to try to learn how to draw people.

I had joined an art community online (which sadly no longer exists), and started doing the most important, most beneficial, and most terrifying thing I had ever done.  I started submitting my drawings for real critique and redlining.  There were tons of artists far more experienced and knowledgeable than me who generously gave of their time to help me learn.  Here’s a picture from 2009.  I was getting better at faces, but the figures still look flat and stiff and unnatural.

I learned how to do gesture work to help loosen up my figures and develop more natural poses.  These are gestures I did while watching movies (I was in a Charles Boyer phase at the time, LOL!):

At this time, I also started to explore perspective, which is something I still struggle with quite a lot.  Partly because I find it boring.  You can see in this one that there are perspective issues with the figure.  He doesn’t match the perspective of the furniture, and as a result he looks like he’s sitting at the kid’s table:

Sometimes honing your craft feels like a total slog, and it seems like you’re getting nowhere.  I literally did not understand how perspective worked for years.  I could not grasp the concept mentally, and therefore couldn’t apply the knowledge in my work.  I actually started to feel like I would never understand it, and that it was just something I would never be able to do.  That I had hit my wall and wasn’t going to move forward.  That was it.  I was as good as I was gonna get, and I’d just have to be satisfied with that.  I really felt that way.  For years!  Then the breakthrough finally came, and I just finally understood.  It was a total lightbulb moment.  It just clicked.  I’m still not great at it, but that’s because I don’t practice as much as I should.  But the understanding is there.

I remember telling someone a few years ago that I wouldn’t be able to take on a commission they inquired about because it involved realism.  I had only ever pursued drawing in more of a comicbook fashion, and never felt like I’d be able to take on realism at all.  I mean even when I started drawing celebrity portraits, they were pretty sketchy looking, such as this one from last year:

I decided portraits are crazy good fun, so I started practicing those, and trying to improve on my methods.  I took the terrifying plunge and started attempting more painterly styles.  This is my first real digital painting, referenced from a Mad To Be Normal still.  You can definitely see my weak areas when it comes to inanimate objects and textures.  I had fun with this immensely challenging painting, but it was a total trainwreck when it comes to the way I organized (or rather, failed to organize) the layers.  It became a nightmare to keep track of.  I was so afraid to ruin a layer, I just kept creating new layers.  In the end it actually created more problems than it solved because of complications with blending.  It was a learning experience.  I rely less heavily on layers now, so that blending is more organic and effective.  I save separate layers for things that are clearly defined separately from other elements of the painting (like hair or clothing).

I’m still reluctant to completely let go of my drawing habits and rely on implied lines, as you can see in my Ninth Doctor painting:

Here’s my point:

All the pictures I posted above were drawn between the years 1996 and 2016.

That’s 20 freaking years of hard work, determination, perseverance, and passion.

I’m not the fastest learner out there.  Some artists make huge strides at a rapid pace, it’s unimaginable to me.  I don’t think taking your time makes your abilities less valuable or your potential less real.  How fast you learn is irrelevant.  What matters is your willingness to stick with it, even when you feel stuck for years, like my thing with perspective.

You guys, drawing is hard.  It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done (aside from parenting LOL!).  But even when you feel like you’ll never grow and get better, just know that sometimes it’s like that.  Just stick with it.  Ask for help.  Put on a thick skin and be willing to let people pull apart your work and show you how to make it better.  One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was to not think of my drawings as precious.  That sounds weird, but what he meant was there is always something to learn from a drawing project.  Don’t let your attachment to your art make you blind to mistakes and unwilling to recognize weak areas in your techniques.

My biggest challenge right now is color.  I really struggle with it.  It’s something that requires book knowledge, and it’s a real slog.  But I’m trying to make myself learn.  I want to get better.  It’s one of the reasons I’m making myself color this painting of Touchstone.  The skin tone is driving me bonkers, but it’s better than all my previous attempts, and that’s what matters.  It’s not perfect, but it shows improvement.  Which means the next time I paint color, maybe I’ll improve a little more.

Where I am is never enough. 

I always feel like there are areas I could improve.  Honing your craft is like that.  You’ll find comfort zones, and you’ll stay in them–sometimes for years–and eventually, you’ll find it isn’t fulfilling anymore, and you’ll feel the need to stretch.

I just wanted to encourage you that if you feel stuck, if you feel like you’ll never improve–don’t give up!  Sometimes it takes years.  It’s taken me 20 so far.  And there is nothing more satisfying than looking at that 1996 picture to remind myself just how far I’ve come.

was planning on colouring this but i can’t figure out how, what ever i do turns it into a mess

oh well at least this helped me with my textures! just focusing on black and white make me think about texture and it was so fun! this wonderful lady must’ve been with me when drawing this because i’ve made SO MUCH progress on my skill, i need more practice! this is an attempt at drawing Wonder Woman in her cape from the new movie, i love this outfit it’s to die for!!!!!

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Winter

Picture for the Midwest Furfest 2016, which theme this year was “Winter”

It was printed on the conbook, page 30. 

This scene represents people from different parts of the world living a winter on Chicago, the windy city; which is very cold for many people (including me), and not so much for others. That’s something funny I could see, when some guys were wearing only a hoodie, a light sweater, or even only a t-shirt, and they were fine, like a normal weather; but others were wearing two or more sweaters+jackets+scarf+hat+gloves…. and still were shivering (yes, that was me!).

I enjoyed a lot doing this scene, experimenting with colors on buildings, and attempting to make Chicago look great, that’s a city I love visiting, this was my 3rd time there.

Done with color pencils. It was a shame my scanner or even the camera didn’t detect very well the texture of the white fur on the arctic fox, he just looks white.

This original piece was exhibited and sold at the MFF’s art show. I’m very sure it will be very well taken care of with its new owner.

7

It’s been a month since I played DA:I and with so many cool mods out now,  I decided to install them and play again

Loaded up most recent file and remember why I stopped playing it. The dress mod that I was working on made me so mad I just stopped playing out of frustration lmao. 

 Anyways, I took a bunch pics but to avoid spamming y’all, I picked my faves out of the bunch.


~EDIT~

Forgot to add the link to the texture!

The Dress texture by the awesome  jacknifelee

DRAGONS!!

Just saw the new hobbit <3333 So have some Dragon bros! - Hiccup and Bilbo

I’m attempting to give my arts a more traditional pencil texture and feel, but I don’t know maybe it just looks messy?? I have an itching to draw Thranduil

I have been wracking my brain trying to work out how to describe this feeling I have been struck with over the past - almost - couple of days. It is one of those feelings that is entirely new, but also weirdly familiar at the same time. Perhaps similar to when one attempts to eat something new in a place you are unfamiliar to, and the flavours and textures in your mouth are new and wonderful, but you also think… hey, haven’t I heard about this somewhere before? And I think I have finally worked it out. There is a British TV show called Coupling, and it is a really, really great show that I highly recommend; I doubt a lot of people outside of Britain have seen it, and I think there was a US remake, but I have not seen that, but that’s not the point… The point is that in the very last episode, two of the characters have a child. The father of the child is sort of a little bemused by the whole birth aspect, and then he sees his son gazing up at him for the very first time, and the father says aloud: “and… oh my goodness me, I became somebody else entirely.” Yes, that… that is the feeling that I am experiencing right now, and it is wonderful.

Updated TOU - 6/14/15

After pitching a baby fit over seeing some conversions a short while ago, I have purchased TS4, played it, fussed with it, and had a few laughs. What I have not had was any desire to convert my catalogue.

When I had my little melt down, it got people talking. Being the squeaky wheel is usually not my desire, but I think a lot of people became aware, that day, that TOU should be taken seriously across the board. Many spoke up about their own feelings about conversions and expressed either similar thoughts or simply said ‘have at it’ with their own wares. In the big picture it was a good thing.

Today however - I am opening the door to conversions of my wares. That’s also a good thing. I simply have no interest in stepping backwards and revisiting some items that I have revisited multiple times already. Moving forward I will try to create for both games (where appropriate) and if I take a step back into my back catalogue - it would be to remake/remaster an item I was probably ambitious in attempting before. In essence - your conversion would not conflict with my new item.

I feel it is important to credit when appropriate - if you are taking my mesh and/or textures and converting them or simply recoloring a conversion, please give me credit - please link back to the original object. If you see someone is recoloring your conversion and crediting you - that’s great, but remind them where the original mesh came from. I have tried to do the same when I see it happening.

I will also link your conversions of my items. That’s TS2 & 4. If you have converted something - I will link on my original post your conversion (within reason). I started this with TS2 items a while back (but no one tells me … my inbox is crickets … I am not a beautiful person apparently …. sigh) - you just need to let me know.

Thanks for being patient while I came to my senses. If you have any questions my inbox is open. If you would benefit from some of the original files, you are welcome to ask - I can see what I have in my archives (this of course is also within reason). I pretty much save everything.

Ask and thou shalt receive (or however that goes, I dunno :D)

Requested edits of Cullen and Leli uploaded on Nexus in my NPC Subtle Tweaks mod.

Cullen: added minor cuts, darker/redder lip scar - 2 versions - normal size and high-res (4096x4096). High-res version is on the above screen.

Leli: Called it Sacred Ashes edit as that similarity was what I initially aimed at - added mole above her lips, make-up darker/blacker, eyebrows slightly redder. Best to use with any mod that reddens her hair color. Also compatible with my Leli de-shine and aged edits, as the mod only tweaks her diffuse map.

Note: made with Patch 9 so the new patch is a requirement.

Everyone done I think. Now I’m off to work on Yen’s texture! And attempt to squeeze some char sliders in between. I remember everything. :D

Brooke prompted: in any public place: I could swear you keep looking at me, hang on are you drawing me AU

Derek had been in an inspirational funk for over a week- which was excellent luck for someone in an art school with projects piling up and portfolios empty and collecting dust. He only had a few weeks left and this was when he was going to start losing his muse. Derek could almost set a clock to his constant cycle of bad luck.

His third Saturday before finals, Derek rolled out of bed a little after noon, still in his flannel pajama pants and old Beacon Hills basketball shirt, and headed downstairs to the courtyard, art supplies in hand. Derek took a seat under a tree across from a large open space between the dorm rooms and the library, watching a bustling crowd slowly develop, blasting top pop hits as loud as their human ears could handle- which was about twenty times worse to Derek.

Derek first tried sketching out the group (unsuccessfully) playing hacky-sack, but seemed to forget that people usually only possessed two legs and had to scrap his sketch, feeling like his morning endeavor was dead on arrival. Derek retreated from live-action and turned instead to still life, picking up a fallen leaf and mindlessly trying to recreate its shape onto the corner of his blank page, but found himself growing bored before he could even attempt to replicate the leaf’s texture. Derek’s inspiration was dead- he already felt like his senior portfolio was going to be a lost cause.

“Oh my god, Scott- I love this song!” Derek could hear a boy shouting over the music and looked up to try and find the source. He spotted two boys running towards the crowd, one pulling the other along by the sleeve of his shirt as he chased the melody he just couldn’t seem to resist.

Keep reading

3

This is my attempt at the new Batgirl design by cameron-stewart and @babsdraws; I had a lot of fun playing with the different textures and making the colors not exactly match up as though it was all bought in different shops. I tried to make her rope look metallic, but looking at it now it sort of reads as Wonder Woman’s lasso. I’ve decided I can live with that.

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Some experimenting I did :D I don’t have the TS4 demo yet, but I’ve seen Sintiklia’s extracted TS4 bodies/textures and I just couldn’t resist: I was dying to see how some new skin textures would look like, so… I did this :D
I don’t mind vanilla textures, to be honest, I think they’re very cute especially compared to those awful TS3 base skin textures, but I prefer my sims to be a little more realistic, hence my attempt :D since I apparently have too much free time in my hands no, actually I don’t, I’m just a masochist, I repainted the whole thing myself: aside from the eyes (by Pooklet), the sclera (found somewhere on Google) and part of the lips (for which I used a blend of Ephemera/Bruno lips + some editing of mine), it’s all original :D and still very in progress, since the face still needs some fixing and I haven’t even touched the body D: Anyway, this might turn into an actual project once I get my hands on the demo/the game itself ^___^ (notice “might”: considering how obsessed I tend to be when it comes to working on skins, this may take forever to finish D: )

Breaking the Game

I may have just had one of the strangest and yet most entertaining Journeys of my life tonight with a fellow named “Zen_Monkey”, or something of the like, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it…

So, I entered into the first area - adorned in my whitecloak - and fluttered over to the first column of the broken bridge to wait for a redcloak to enter. I’ve been doing this for the past few nights so I could escort reds and help them through their journey. It’s been really fun! Though, whenever I see a fellow whitecloak, I do say hi… but I tend to leave them there and sign off, or go back to the chapter menu, but… not tonight.

Tonight, instead, I saw the star fall down from the sky to bring me a fresh face to Journey with, and it landed at the far side from the entrance, just by the higher-up symbol, sitting atop the sandfalls(?) Anyhoo, it landed over there, so I went off to see if it was a redcloak, but instead I found a whitecloak frantically flying into the ceiling of one of the sandfalls.

To be honest, it was really bizarre, so I hung around ot investigate, until - quite suddenly - they were gone.

To say the least, I was seriously bamboozled, but then I saw their insignia and their “chirp” clipping through one of the rocks, like it was originating from the other side of the texture, and I was totally shocked! They had managed to glitch their way onto the opposite side! Yes, of course, I’d heard of it, but I had never met anyone who could actually DO it!

So, immediately, I tried my hand at it, and voila! I got through (after a few unsuccessful attempts, that is) and suddenly, an /entirely/ unique sort of Journey began.

At first, I had lost him - my new little friend - with all the stray textures and camera changes, but as I chose to climb up the sandfall residing “behind the curtain”, I found him again, and it was /incredible/! It was like we were in the Pink Desert, but with NOTHING but sand and MASSIVE dunes to slide down and fly over, the game’s shading doing strange things from making everything a powder blue to pitch black! Like, the ENTIRE SCREEN would just go black, and we’d have to fly out blind to find eachother again, let alone our bearings. For a while, we toyed with the edges of the map, standing at one of it’s for corners and staring at the clouds that hung in space, then played with terrifying “Fake rocks” that would swallow you whole! Sometimes, there’d be nothing on the other side, and we’d have to quickly scramble to safety… And then, sometimes, there would just be a short fall, a thud, and we’d be fine, but either way, we had a RIDICULOUSLY fun time exploring where no cloak had ever gone before!

Of course, we managed to glitch ourselves into the ending stairs, and it sent us to the next round, but that didn’t stop us! After that, we managed to glitch our way into the windy tower filled with those flying carpets/squid things, and then surfed the sands together, and almost broke that too. It was hilarious fun, trying to fly to the other side of the huge gap at the end! We collected every symbol, and flew above the stone leviathans like they were our escorts. (Of course, at one point one brushed me with its light and took a bite out of my tassel, but it was fine in the end.) Then, lastly, we climbed the tower of light without lighting a single shrine, and visited the cloth whale before it awoke from its slumber, flying with it in its chambers for a good while, before leaving to light the last shrine and visit the creature from flOw at the base of the tower.

Then, of course, we climbed the mountain (and my partner broke that, too, for a while… until we scared each other because he couldn’t get back without my help, just as I couldn’t follow him… Though, in the end, we met back up again, and all was well.) and made our way into its warmth, only to fly around and explore to our hearts content, drawing hearts in the snow and writing our names in sloppy, grade-school cursive, before soaring off again, and trying to fly as high as we could…! And, in the end, I actually got a new friend out of it! My partner and I sending messages to one another the moment we were done, and exchanging compliments.

Honestly, it was so much fun, that maybe the next time I see a whitecloak, I won’t just sign off and leave, but instead show them the glitches we discovered and go on another crazy journey, just the two of us… breaking the game.