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The most overdue journal yet

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 2, 2013, 6:42 AM
I've been horribly absent on here lately, I know. I spent about two hours today catching up with comments... whew! :faint: And I still have thousands upon thousands of deviations to go through as well.

I do have reasons for my absence, though! Two months ago, my arm suddenly started hurting. It turns out that sitting at a desk like normal people, with my tablet or drawing pad in front of me, screws up my arm. So I couldn't use it at all for about a month, and then it started getting better. I'm almost back to normal now, but it's been sloooow. And I've been saving up the not-sore time for my commissions and other work, which I'm lagging behind on as well, and that left nothing for typing replies and comments on here.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes! I know it was three months ago, but still. I did see them all on the day and they made me really happy! :hug: I replied to them all now, silly as it feels to say "thank you" three months later. I'd feel far worse just ignoring them.

So, what's been going on? Quite a lot. It's been a good year so far, aside from the whole screwed-up-arm thing. There are now two more books in the world with covers by me: The Lost Diadem and Trouble in the Mage Guild, the first two books in the children's fantasy series A Rogue's Tale. You can see the cover art and synopses here. I'm working on the third one at the moment.

The RPG I worked on, Tunse'al, is out now as well. I got my copy of it the other day and it looks really cool, so if you're into role-playing, you should take a look.

And I've been working on art for a sci-fi board game: Burning Suns from Sun Tzu Games. The Kickstarter for that just launched, and it looks pretty damn awesome, so make sure to check it out.

There's a ton of new stuff waiting to be posted, but I'm going to space it out a little. Here's a preview of what's coming up!

I haven't forgotten about the colour challenge, either! It's just been delayed a little. But dreamarian did make something for it, which about made my day when I saw it. :D

Remmy (color challenge) by dreamarian

I'll post my own efforts soon! I also have a tutorial or two ready to go, and some more resources, and more stuff. I've been busy, I've just also been really quiet. But hopefully, now, you can all understand why. Thanks for bearing with me and thanks for being awesome!


  • Listening to: Oh Death - Jen Titus

Colour challenge!

Journal Entry: Thu Sep 27, 2012, 11:38 AM
Are you up for a little challenge?

If you do traditional art, chances are that you're familiar with this phenomenon: the black pencil/paint always runs out quicker than all the other colours. Right? Well, I decided to challenge myself to create a drawing without using the black pencil. And then I decided, hey, I'll just challenge my friends too! :evillaugh:

So here's the challenge:

Create a colour drawing or painting using only colours, no black. That means no black pencil/paint, no grey pencils, no charcoal, no graphite, no black paper. And you have to use several different colours, or at least different shades of the same colour; drawing a sketch with only one colour defeats the purpose here. ;)

No rules aside from that. White pencils/paint/chalk etc is allowed, and you can use whatever paper you want as long as it's not black (or really dark grey). It's really a challenge for traditional artists, since it's much harder to eliminate black in digital art, but if you want to try a digital equivalent, go for it! The whole point is to challenge ourselves as artists to learn more about our media, to get some practice at shading with colour and experimenting with tone and contrast without the "crutch" of the black pencil.

You can draw whatever you want. It's not a contest, so there aren't any prizes, but I'll feature all the responses in a journal.

If you're interested, just leave a comment, or just start drawing and note me the link when you upload it! And please help me spread the word by faving this journal and/or linking to it!

:bulletpurple: :bulletblack: :bulletpurple: :bulletblack: :bulletpurple:

It's also past time that I announced the winner of my giveaway - KW-Scott! Thanks for taking part, those of you who did. I'll probably do more of these in the future, so watch this space!

The calendar from ArtistsforaCure is now available for purchase - make sure you have a look, it really is absolutely beautiful. Everyone involved did a great job. There's some gorgeous art in there, and it's showcased beautifully as well. Check it out, it makes a lovely gift and all of the money goes to cancer research, so you'll be doing a good deed as well as getting a pretty!

Aaaand, finally: I now have a website! I finally got it all set up like I wanted. Check it out!

No features this time around, since my message centre is still overflowing and I'm nowhere near up to speed again yet, but I'll do my best to have some for you next time.

I hope you're all doing well! :hug: I'll leave you with some lovely features from my watch list:

Glen by KellyDelRosso  After Sunset by dreamarian

Mature Content

Lilith by somersetholmes
Gone Bollywood! by Ellygator
Day 267 - ACEO Drawing for Charity by secrets-of-the-pen After Midnight... by RossanaCastellino The Fassbender by robdolbs
Waiting by JustABeautifulDream  Lionfish by Ileina A Kind of Magic by BabyVegeta
Can't wait!! by couchmochi Transient Loner by xfkirsten Wildlife II Revised by KW-Scott
Part of Me (Taylor) by kelch12  Autumn Aura by aragonia Jessica Alba 2012 by acjub
The Galactic Bride by JediSeeker1 And the Birds Planted a Garden by DarthFar Thorin Oakenshield by Gold-Seven
Birth of a Fairy by MayumiOgiharaPeasant Padme 09-17-2012 by khinson Army of One... John Lydon by markstewart Primate ATC by pbird12

  • Listening to: Schandmaul

Quick update, giveaway, and contest winners!

Journal Entry: Mon Jul 23, 2012, 5:25 AM
I've been really remiss in posting and commenting around here, I know. Life has been hectic. Some of my family members went nuts, and I wound up spending FAR too much time looking at legal documents and reading up on German law. Protip: never do this. German law is some of the most boring, awkwardly-phrased literature you'll ever find. :roll:

So I've had fairly little free time. Things should hopefully relax a little now, though, and let me get back to looking at everyone's gorgeous art! I have over 50,000 messages in my inbox right now. :faint: If I've missed anything that I should really see, please please tell me!

To make up for my lack of activity at least a little, I'm doing a giveaway! :aww: Up for grabs is this drawing of Jensen:

Jensen Ackles by SvenjaLiv

Just leave a comment on this journal with the :star: smiley somewhere in it. The code for that is : star: without the space. I'll pick a random person from all the entrants and they'll win the drawing!

And finally - I promised to feature the winners of TheFavouriteShowcase's "Colours of Renewal" contest, so here they are!

:bulletpurple: 1st place :bulletpurple:
Cleaning time by dukeofspade Solitude II by Vishw Fields of Gold by rctfan2

:bulletpurple: 2nd place :bulletpurple:
Springtime by LadyCarnal Big Red by IvanAndreevich  The Best of Friends by SharonLeggDigitalArt

:bulletpurple: 3rd place :bulletpurple:
Grandfather Tree ~ Spring 1.0 by quasi-Virtuoso Poppy Version 2 by FrancescaDelfino Pollen Bath by Miztliyuma

  • Listening to: Radio Rivendell

News - A Poll A Day!

Journal Entry: Fri Mar 16, 2012, 1:32 PM
There are numerous amounts of brilliant traditional art here on dA. Not everyone gets the exposure or the popularity deserved here. As a traditional artist myself, I know the amount of time and effort that goes into creating each and every traditional piece of art. So, can't a group of us traditional artists do a little something for each other and the larger community? Here is a fairly simple idea that a few of us have decided to begin.


1. The usage of polls as a way of exposing art
2. Art shall be displayed as thumbs
3. A group of us traditional artists take turns as rotation each day to bring out the under-exposed

4. Creating a special folder in favorites consisting of the deviations that have already been displayed in A Poll A Day previously in each deviants' page


1. Polls can have a minimum of 1 deviation to a maximum of 4

2. All the deviations displayed should have less than a 100 faves.

3. The last link displayed in the poll must lead back to the previously displayed A Poll A Day folder.

4. Once a deviant has finished doing the poll on his/her turn, they should send a note to the deviant next in line as a reminder of his/her turn in doing the poll.


Have a look at these artworks
1. :thumb:
2. :thumb:
3. :thumb:
4. <link>------> Here is the folder containing all previously featured in A poll A Day.


The group of deviants who are helping in making this a success:

robdolbs - March 15th 2012
anmeher - March 16th 2012
JustABeautifulDream - March 17th 2012
markstewart - March 18th 2012
zakkiya29 - March 19th 2012
Ileina - March 20th 2012
SvenjaLiv - March 21st 2012
LilaeaBluecoat - March 22nd 2012
pbird12 - March 23rd 2012
ArielRGH - March 24th 2012
Rockinfroggi - March 25th 2012
acjub - March 26th 2012

I really like this idea - props to zakkiya29 for coming up with it! Let's hope this makes at least a small difference. And look - pretty art!

Natalie Portman as Padme by mattlawrencestudio Robin of Sherwood by jankolas Nemesis 2 - Cloudbreaker by MarkusVogt 'R' by RossanaCastellino :thumb288723558: Legolas II by Jeanne-Lui Pastel Colours by phoenix132 The Lady in Red by ArielRGH Barbarian by Redan23 Facade by ascenciok GRASP - Draw-Along by pbird12   Mountains HDR by MGawronski  Angsthase by Sturmvoqel

The Life2 by FEIGUR While she was sleeping ... by CaroleHumphreys The Saga Begins - Phantom Menace Poster by leiaskywalker83  Breathe by LilaeaBluecoat The Lady of Shalott by CaroleHumphreys Day 65 by secrets-of-the-pen  Dean Winchester by acjub Daenerys Targaryen by VencaSeitl Prince of Persia by SchizophrenicUnicorn  Ben Whishaw by fairy-tale2 Dara by Henu-Chan Mighty+Bo by JustABeautifulDream Bino by roni-yoffe Left hand by JacopoPfrang

  • Listening to: Epica - Imperial March


Journal Entry: Fri Mar 9, 2012, 1:33 PM
I've been ill - had a migraine and a bit of a temperature for a few days, which is why I was a bit quiet for a few days last week. But I'm all better now!

Did you see another one of my DD suggestions was featured? I wasn't online to see it at the time, but I'm chuffed anyway. It's a miniature film set, have a look:

inside cave by Ellie0

I also spent far too much time chasing down the graphics tablet I ordered - I am avoiding the Wacom eStore and anyone else who uses UPS like the devil from now on, I swear. I literally had to draw them a map to my house, and even then I had to meet the driver at the school down my road. It took them twelve days to get this package from Germany to Ireland. The regular post takes two or three days. Holy hell.

But now it's all sorted. And so, I'm selling my old tablet, if anyone's interested! It's older and a bit scratched, but it works fine. The scratches aren't anywhere near deep enough to actually be felt, either, it's mostly just that the surface has been worn smooth. I'll upload some pictures of it in a bit, along with more info.

I've been drawing, too, but a lot of it these days is commission work. I also tried out something new - a portrait of Jensen Ackles using metallic pencils on black paper. You get a really cool effect with them, and I also found out that you can use metallic gel pens almost like paint. You can even mix them with water and erase them that way. The down part is that it's impossible to get a good scan. Without the shine effect, it looks pretty flat and boring, so I haven't uploaded it yet. I'm not sure people want to see it. Anyone got any advice on how to make it look good?

In any case, I'll leave you with features, as usual! :heart:

Tranquility by couchmochi The Ghost's Story by zmeess Tree of lost childhood by acjub  The Old Tree -revamped by nathie  Mushroom Fairy Magic by brandrificus  Yoda by Forsaken91 Mr. Crankypants by DarthFar   Flora by RossanaCastellino    Slavic Oak by MirachRavaia Life in technicolor I by raulrk Native red indian by DIXIEDEAN Day Break by KellyDelRosso :thumb288496067: Wonderland by MayFong Magic sounds by KalosysArt  Royal Presence by DavidDeb Lando by DeJarnette
Smoulder by pbird12  With The Sandman by Rockinfroggi Wolf Robe by Sekhmets-child :thumb286160339: 2-27-2012 Peter Furler by khinson Commission - H's Granny by LilaeaBluecoat Highway Man by JustABeautifulDream

  • Listening to: Garmarna - Varulven


Journal Entry: Sat Feb 25, 2012, 2:22 PM
Okay, so, I'm sure you've probably seen this elsewhere, but let's talk about under-exposed art for a second. I often come across art where I think, "why on Earth does this not have a thousand comments, as opposed to ten?" I know how it happens - getting exposure is hard if you're the quiet type who doesn't hang around in the forums and leaves millions of comments all over the place. I know that on deviantART, exposure and popularity tends to be more about your level of social interaction than your actual art.

I know this firsthand. After 5 years' membership, I'm slowly creeping towards 600 watchers, and many people I see have garnered far more followers over a shorter period of time. My response is to keep trying harder to produce better art, but sometimes it does get discouraging. I do wish I could help to give others better exposure through my journals etc. At the same time, I'm doing a lot better than a lot of other people who are as good or better than me, and trust me, I'm not complaining. I know it's because I don't have the time to come on here for hours every day.

But as a result, and because this is something I believe is important, I've always tried to feature art with relatively few comments and favourites, and I intend to continue that. It'd be great if you'd help and do the same - by making your own features, or by helping to spread the word about mine and others'. Other people are doing the same, so if you haven't yet, check out these articles and features by other lovely deviants:

Art Feature 02.5|12Again another collection of my latest dA faves in the fields of dark art, science-fiction, surrealism and more...
La Sainte Mere des Douleurs by TechnochristDragon-man by O-l-i-v-iBust by perana:thumb284872070:Evade by sancientRipper Time by mestophalesPlague II by zajoncIIarana mech by vitolionsoPortrait I by zajoncII:thumb284477133:Defeated by SLIPKNOTTY:thumb284629116::thumb284132765:bright structured bulb by Andrea1981GBlack Winter by SithvalisGasmaske by SithvalisMikey by KieranMorris:thumb283991808::thumb283944163:I presupposti della rassegnazione by BlekotakraConcept P47 by GutalinA recluse retreat by KimberleyCamilleriDaemon Slaying by Marcodalidingo:thumb283670430:Nebula by prokhodazombie nation by RebecaSarayI am hatred in your eyes by ser1o030212 by toreiCosmic Kitsune Girl by sissorelle
My latest personal pieces:
D.S.E. - Back on Earth by MarkusVogtD.S.E. Omega02 - The Take Off by MarkusVogtDelta 03 - The Spacedock by MarkusVogtForced Landing 2.0 by MarkusVogtOrion 01 - The Ground Force by MarkusVogt
See more on my main website:
Me on Facebook:
Many thanks for viewing!
  :thumb285218457: :thumb285407513: Art Feature 9Hello everyone,
These days I was lucky enough to find many great works, so I will feature some of them in this journal.
I would like to thank all the ones who faved my works and watched me this week, I hope you are having a great time :)
Kind regards,

there's no waiting for us. by Amaria :thumb263469151: Sleepwalker by artkonik
The Bloody Countess 4 by s-caruso Hungrig by egilpaulsen More than this by PeteHamilton
Duong Quoc DInh by duongquocdinhPho Cao, Ha Giang, Vietnam by duongquocdinh
octo 286 by MichalTokarczuk:thumb268377164:

Also check out :iconthefavouriteshowcase: - you're guaranteed to find some really, really beautiful art there!

Speaking of which, I promised I'd feature the winners of Share-ART's Valentine's contest. So, here they are, along with some other features - most of which haven't gotten nearly enough attention yet:

Love bottle by lieveheersbeestje
Envelope... by addy-ack  Dandelion. by addy-ack
You can stand under my umbrella by Aprillka

the three sisters by oeminler Jaguar by DIXIEDEAN Looking Back by DanBurgessTheArtist  :thumb285218499:  European Robin - Bic Ballpoint Pen by VianaArts  DiVine a second time by NotYourSteppingStone  Mucha's Seasons - Spring by AnnaSulikowska the jungle book by duridya  Libra by theperian Flora by RossanaCastellino Slavic Oak by MirachRavaia The Artist by RaissaPortela Where Boats Are Cars 2012 by ArielRGHCreevy Pier Point by medinkaSpanish Church by Mayeaux  Skull Pass by JakobHansson

And those of you who are here and reading this, thank you very much for your time and interest. :heart: you all.

  • Listening to: Terry Pratchett - Snuff (audiobook)

On the topic of perfection

Journal Entry: Tue Feb 14, 2012, 12:44 PM
If you saw my poll, then you already know that I spilled coffee on my drawing. Because I has a stupid. Then, because that clearly wasn't enough derp for one day, I spilled my waterjug - not on the drawing this time, of course, but on my keyboard. See, if I'd been even a little bit smart, I'd have switched it and spilled the coffee onto the keyboard and the water onto the drawing.

Because, if you're going to spill stuff, you might as well go for maximum damage.

That pretty much killed my enthusiasm for that painting, so now it'll probably be a few more days before I finish and upload it. I've mostly been working on commissions, anyway; I should be able to upload those at some point, too, but not yet. So the next week or two will probably be fairly quiet on my side.

I've got another thing that I'd love to hear your thoughts on, though. I'm not going to go into it here, but I've been thinking more about realism lately, and wondering whether getting a drawing 100% photo-perfect is really the point. I know that there are several pieces in my own gallery that are just copies of a reference, but I don't know if I'd really count them as art, and they aren't 100% like photos anyway.

The way I see it, if I look at a drawing, I want to know that it's a drawing. I want to see the artist's style. Preferably, I want it to say something that the reference photo didn't, I want it to have something more. Whether that's a bit of colour added, other elements changed, or the whole thing transformed into something new, it's nice to see some originality.

I know that a fair few of my watchers are interested in photorealism, so I'd love to hear where you stand. Do you want 100% perfection, or do you prefer it when the artist's style or maybe even a message comes through? Or maybe you don't like realism at all and prefer something else? Tell me!

(And why yes, my current WIP is going to have 100% realistic coffee stains on it. Because I am a master.)

I'll leave you with a poem in honour of today's date.

Roses are red
And violets are blue
If I wrote a poem
It would be for you.

Violets are blue
And roses are red
If I gave you flowers
Then they would be dead.

Roses are red
The colour of blood
Here are some features
They're all very good.


Christina Aguilera by NLevaschuk Golden Pathway by T7-Productions Khal Drogo by dalisacg :thumb282869517: Wine Setting by Mayeaux Apples by JustABeautifulDream Simple Twist of Fate by Coferosa  White Mafia by calincio :thumb277569505:  trapped in the asylum by voldemorts-butt :thumb280076356: :thumb281434619: Autumnal Beauty I by Infernalord Orange and black by theman99808 Scarecrow Nation 4 by toxx89 An Autumn Greeting by kurosakii Mute by DestinyBlue Kudu - Art Trade by diddleh

Birdie Bird Bird by Adniv Day 36 by secrets-of-the-pen German Shepherd by orinoco1973 2-2012 Portraits of Leia: Royal Robe by khinson :thumb206869759: Leather V1 by cloudmilk Breathe by LilaeaBluecoat Graphite Blossom by pbird12 Natural Beauty by BrickRed1 Death of Aeris by Arreis-Kurai   :thumb268636453: Disappear Here by Uranus-seventhsun

  • Listening to: Nightwish - The Islander

Comments protocol

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 3, 2012, 1:28 PM
Recently I've started noticing something - if I look at someone's work and see that they haven't replied to any of the comments they've got on it, then I'll be much less likely to comment myself. Obviously not if the piece was only uploaded yesterday, maybe they just haven't had time, but on some deviations none of the comments are ever answered.

I think the reason why I'm less inclined to comment in those cases is that it feels like wasted effort. It feels like the person doesn't care enough to even say "thanks", so I don't want to bother. But now I'm wondering if I'm alone in that - do you guys comment regardless, do you even check that stuff, or are you like me? Do you reply to every comment yourself, or do some or most go unanswered? I'm just wondering - I won't judge you, promise! Maybe I'm just being petty or missing something?

Oooh, also, I made one-minute chocolate cake the other day. If you like chocolate cake, seriously, you have to try this. It took me a little more than a minute - more like three or four - but I think that's still really good for almost-instant chocolate gratification. It's even faster than running to the shop for one!

On an unrelated note, I'll leave you with some blue features! (Well, they're mostly blue. Shh.)

A Family by EerinVink Winter thoughts by Shum-a :thumb202099448: Where the Coral Grows by JediSeeker1 The Enchantress by Achen089 Fluffy Butterfly. by dreamarian :thumb71998819: Meditation by 2lua For my little daughter by masterBo On the Roof by Shi-yue  Halloween 2011 pt 1 by Fulleriini Lights of the Moon by funkymonk69 TRON: Quorra by Angelstorm-82 Tron Tankette - Colored by RBL-M1A2Tanker D.S.E. omikron07 by MarkusVogt May I never wake...   Painting by Rorke Innocence by Rhaylee After the rain by IndigoSnake X in your head by Charle-magne Movie Still IV - Mirror street by DianaGrigore

Mature Content

Samus by rellik1138
Storm Shadow by PhotoshopIsMyKung-Fu Shadow of the moon by artorifreedom  The Dark Lord by Ileina Fly with me by naru Dragonborn by tansy9 Ice Queen by GemmaGuerrero Saucers from Beyond by fractilatedwormhole Starry Blue Eyes by Kittrix The tallest mountain by RoCueto

  • Listening to: Red vs. Blue Season 9 soundtrack

SOPA ate this title

Journal Entry: Wed Jan 25, 2012, 8:25 AM
Which is convenient since I am not good at titling things, especially journals.

I meant to update this again much earlier, but... same old story. Life happened. This time it involved Christmas, New Year's, the hospital (not me, and everything is fine!), my birthday, and then I've had my hands full with commissions, other art, and writing.

At the moment I'm keeping one eye on SOPA and all the related stuff that's happening; there's a piece of legislation due to be passed in Ireland soon that bears far too many similarities to SOPA for comfort. If passed, it could theoretically allow the government to order an ISP to block websites like deviantART. So that's fun.

I've already decided that I'm going to be participating in Black March, although I don't think it'll make much difference in my case. I don't buy music anyway. Before you start, though, I don't download it either. I see no reason to clutter up my computer with that crap. That's the one thing that record companies don't seem to understand: that maybe, their sales aren't down because of piracy, but rather because no one wants to listen to the pop clone army making love to the auto-tune and we can find better music for free or for cheap on the internets.

Then again, maybe they do understand that. It would explain why they want to censor it all.


I came across this video which is too awesomely adorable for words so I will not try and let you just watch it instead. Through it, I wound up visiting the Big Cat Rescue website, was suitably horrified and impressed with the need to help, and bought a really cute plush toy to help them out a little bit. Seriously, you get a plush toy or something equally cool, and you do a good deed. WIN-WIN.

Have some features!

Jaguar - Panthera onca by Ileina Little by Skippy-s Bodyguard by srvlama
Daydreaming by Miguel-Santos Chinese Flower by Estheryu :thumb267629941: Le Kiosque by funkymonk69 What would life be without music? by DiesValentini Inside a Panda's Dream by CyberLogic Elf by jellyxbat Birthday balloons by azeemb Swift by daniellesylvan Rainbow by that-moody-artist :thumb263012991: Ghost Rider - Coloured Pencil by StingRoll Retro Fox Boy by kinachuku perspective by rayna23 Pippin Took Digital Painting by superfizz  Last picture of 2010 by Mirax-chan
you said you'll come back by kelogsloops Puppy Love by KemicalReaxion Daydreaming again by Nimphradora Feeling The Breeze by HilleriX :thumb273618507:
Barbossa by YvdlArt  Page 0 by blkwhtrbbt Bighorn by dragonstar10 Ex-Lover's Eye by Photopathica
Amanita muscaria by MvanMelsen Tyger Tyger, burning bright by PhoenixLumbre Ice and Spice 2 by Gold-Marra Chibi Zhuge Dan by EdgeKagami

  • Reading: Star Wars: Allegiance (Timothy Zahn)

Fan art theft

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 30, 2011, 9:26 AM
I don't want to start a flame campaign here, but I came across a very familiar piece in this person's gallery - my drawing of Jaina Solo and her brothers:

Jaina Solo by SvenjaLiv

Looking at the gallery, I'm pretty sure that everything in it stolen from somewhere, so if you draw fan art, you might want to check it out and see if yours is in there. I've already reported mine, but there's loads of stuff there. It's mostly Star Wars and Harry Potter, I think, and they've been submitting to various groups as well, which is how I found mine.

Like I said, this isn't a call to bombard their page with angry comments, but it'd be awesome if you'd have a look and see if you recognise anything in there.

SnipsSkywalker is the account.

I know where they got the un-watermarked version, too, because I gave permission to upload it to their gallery before I started watermarking my work. That's what I get for not starting that earlier, I guess. Although I doubt a watermark would've stopped them. Ugh. I'm not sure whether to be annoyed at the theft, or flattered by the fact that they thought my work worth stealing... :giggle:

Anyway, go check it out, and spread the word to other fan artists so we can report more of these thefts!


  • Reading: Red Hood&#039;s Revenge (Jim C. Hines)

Post-NaNo news and features

Journal Entry: Mon Dec 12, 2011, 9:12 AM
Yeah, so, it's been a while, right? Again. I'm back from Germany. It was really, really warm and really, really busy. But kind of fun anyway. Now I'm back in Ireland, where it's rainy and stormy and cold. Although in fairness, it's two months later, so that probably excuses that a bit.

I've been busy, mostly with NaNoWriMo during November - and still, to be honest. I won, I reached 50,000 words, but the story isn't finished so I'm still writing.

It, as in the story, also inspired some new paintings, though. The first of these should be coming soon. :aww: I've started posting my WIPs up on Facebook so if you're following the page or have a look at it occasionally, you'll see them there.

I know I've been posting mostly book covers lately, but art is coming soon, I promise! I think I've learned quite a bit about digital painting over the past year - I've actually done more of it than my gallery would have you believe, since most of my WIPs are dormant. Yes, dormant. I haven't abandoned them entirely, I just need to get my skills up to par before completing them. Or something.

IMAGINARIUM - Draw Along by pbird12 Majestic. by dreamarian The Last Dragon Mage by Ravven78 ORGANA vs SOLO Fight Poster by ThatNorskChick Lovers - Jaina Solo , Jag Fel by saith100 Fear Is My Ally by PhotoshopIsMyKung-Fu Enlighted by PhotoAlterations :thumb214384168: Deathwing vs. Alduin by Jorsch

Endearment by Smidow :thumb200189805: :thumb271568252: Out Of Words. by ArtsyButton Woman by DPasschier H33 by artofmadness

Scout by josegoncalo lights. by mcampbellphotography Giggles by WildPencil These berries are mine by Somebody-Somewhere Explore your own world by Schlissel-art

  • Reading: Red Hood&#039;s Revenge (Jim C. Hines)

Going away for a while

Journal Entry: Wed Sep 21, 2011, 4:32 AM
I'm heading off for Germany in a little while! It's really windy, so I'm hoping the plane won't be too shaky. And get there on time. But anyway! I probably won't be online at all while I'm there, so I'll reply to all your comments etc when I get back in two weeks.

Hope you're all doing well, and talk soon! :hug:

I'll leave you with some random features from my favourites:

Majestic. by dreamarian Ghosts and Pirates by deralbi Meditation by 2lua Rihanna by lindabowen Amanda Seyfried by elisabethsmenesfrost born backwards by Crimefish  Eric by dalisacg Enlighted by PhotoAlterations The Desert Labs by Shadowtuga :thumb214384168: The One And Only by Crimefish Indiana Jones - Temple of Doom by SSwanger Steampunk Star Wars Group Shot by ljvaughn Charlie and Fay by CKArtpage Rainforest by Lyraina

  • Listening to: The wind outside

ShareART winners

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 9, 2011, 12:36 PM
I know, it's been a while once again. First I was busy, then I was sick... I think summer decided to give Ireland a miss this year. If it weren't for the daylight hours, I'd never have noticed it at all.

That's it, really. I hope you're all doing well, and having better weather than we are! :hug:

Works in Progress:
:bulletpurple: "South Passage" - 100% done…
:bulletpurple: Eric Northman drawing - 100% done…
:bulletpurple: Jaina & Jag painting - 40% done
:bulletpurple: "Mage" painting - 10% done
:bulletpurple: Lovers painting - 5% done
:bulletpurple: Imperial Three - 5% done

I promised I'd feature the winners of ShareART's Colourful contest, so here they are, with apologies for the delay!

:bulletred: 1st Place: :bulletred:
Light To Dark by TrollGirl
Anywhere II by TrollGirl Musetree by TrollGirl How to save a life by TrollGirl

:bulletred: 2nd Place: :bulletred:
Dreamland by naked-in-the-rain
Riding On A Rainbow Wave by naked-in-the-rain I'mpossible by naked-in-the-rain Never forget to... by naked-in-the-rain

:bulletred: 3rd Place: :bulletred:
rainbow factory by JustynaStolyhwo
fragility by JustynaStolyhwo hope by JustynaStolyhwo twinkle, twinkle... by JustynaStolyhwo

  • Listening to: Adrian von Ziegler - Where I Belong

Questions, music, and features!

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 12, 2011, 1:07 PM
I finally managed to find and order some Prismacolor pencils on eBay, blessed be, and they arrived the other day. So much fun to play around with. :XD: I'm working on a new big drawing already but my illustration commission is taking up a fair chunk of my art time right now, so it's slow going. I can tell you that it's another Eric Northman piece, and I'm taking W.I.P. shots along the way this time! At least, I've remembered so far.

Speaking of W.I.P. stuff - does anyone know of a good free software to use for recording your computer screen? I'm looking for something to record what I draw/paint in Photoshop. I thought it'd be cool if I could do some video tutorials that way, no?

I want to make more tutorials and progress outlines in general anyway. I took WIP shots of my butterfly fairies, too, except in the move from laptop to computer, I seem to have lost the scans, so I have to track them all down again first. But I will!

There's also some music I wanted to share with you guys. Adrian von Ziegler makes seriously awesome instrumental music, various styles from Celtic to Gothic to Pagan Metal and all of it beautiful. It's perfect background music for drawing, painting, and writing. If that sounds like your kind of thing, definitely go check out his work, it's well worth a listen.

Oh, and I completely forgot to mention this - my first DD suggestion got accepted! :excited: It was this beautiful piece of embroidery by Wen-Astar:
Milky Way in Pearls by Wen-Astar

The Milky Way in beads and pearls. It's so pretty and I'm really happy that it got featured. :aww:

Finally... a big welcome and thank you to my new watchers! I appreciate each and every one of you. :hug:

Works in progress:

:bulletpurple: "South Passage" - 40% done
:bulletpurple: Jaina & Jag painting - 30% done
:bulletpurple: Eric Northman drawing - 10% done
:bulletpurple: "Mage" painting - 10% done
:bulletpurple: Lovers painting - 5% done

Feature time! No theme this time around, just beautiful art!

Jack Sparrow - Up is Down by Esteljf Buddie by pbird12 Ron and Hermione by CKArtpage The end of an Era by pbird12   Ezio by Laminated-TeabaG Keira Knightley by Thais-Re  Chrysler building Padme by jasonpal New Peacock Amidala 2011 by AngelinaBenedetti ROTJ Leia Sketch Card 2011 by khinson Padme on Naboo 2011 by khinson

Tangled Up in Reading by xfkirsten Gemma Arterton as Tamina by krzysztof20d Frozen. by dreamarian Indiana Jones - Temple of Doom by SSwanger  True Blood Eric PSC by MJasonReed  Humility by DavidDeb Opposites Attract by dreamarian Fluffy Butterfly. by dreamarian Coral Sea Fantasy by MandarinMoon The Dragon Keeper by Kitsune-Seven


Mature Content

So That I Can Become You by Grim-Grinning
Postapocalyptic Fantasy by MartaNael Physalis by svet-svet

  • Listening to: Adrian von Ziegler - Where I Belong

Works in progress

Journal Entry: Thu Jul 28, 2011, 2:11 PM
In an effort to make myself finish stuff without cluttering up my gallery, I got a tumblr account where I'll be posting WIP shots and sketches along with reports of what I'm doing and how. Check it out here. If you have a tumblr account yourself, leave me a link or follow me and I'll add you back!

At the moment I'm working on my entry for Draw-Along, a version of this photo:

butterfly4 by ThruEmilysEyesPhotos

I decided to go with colouring pencils because so many people wanted me to try colouring pencils the last time. I'm glad I did. I love working with them. My new paper arrived, too, and it's so awesome. I thought the Bristol paper I had before was smooth. This is smoother. It's so nice to work with.

And since it's topical, here are some more beautiful butterfly artworks from my :+fav:s!

Brief Encounter by Sekhmets-child Mother Nature by pbird12 Butterfly 3 by Benthor Butterfly 2 by Benthor Butterfly by mmegann Greta Oto by AngelaLouwe Fly away... by Nebeah Reborn by ThePix :thumb244574435:

  • Listening to: Evening birdsong

Pirates, dragons, and art videos!

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 24, 2011, 9:00 AM
I'm completely overwhelmed by the response to Jack. :faint: Seriously, I don't think I've had so many favourites and comments in such a short time since "The Scoundrel and the Princess" got a DD. Thank you so much to everyone who's faved Jack so far. You guys rock.

I wrote my first news article, based on my last journal, and that's proved to be incredibly popular already too: Art and arrogance. Whew. I had no idea it'd take off like that. :XD: But it's awesome to see such support for those sentiments.

It's also given me an idea for a contest theme! I'm thinking a "be inspired" type of thing where you look through my gallery, pick out anything there, and use that as a starting point for writing a story or drawing a picture or whatever. I want something with room for creativity, and I think this fits the bill. And I don't want to have the usual first, second and third place, but rather one prize for "best technique" and one for "best idea" and whatever else I can think of/afford.

What d'you think of that idea?

In other news, I thought it might be interesting to see, step-by-step, how a drawing comes together, so I made some videos using WIP shots I had. There's one for "Captain Jack Sparrow" and one for "I Am Charlize Theron". They're only a little over a minute long each, but hopefully interesting! I've never made videos before so any tips on what to improve are welcome too!

Lots of firsts this week! :w00t:

Oh yes, and I finally managed to find an Irish art supply shop ( that lets me buy supplies online using my card, so I was able to buy more Bristol paper! It's impossible to get locally and most websites won't take my card, so I usually have to jump through a few hoops. But not this time, so hopefully I'll have new paper soon!

Works in progress:

:bulletpurple: Jack Sparrow drawing - 100% done…
:bulletpurple: "Roman" wood carving - 80% done
:bulletpurple: Jaina & Jag painting - 30% done
:bulletpurple: "Mage" painting - 10% done
:bulletpurple: Lovers painting - 5% done

I'm reading ASOIAF at the moment, so my brain is full of dragon. Well, not literally. Thoughts of dragons, I should say. Anyway, with that in mind, this week's features are going to be all about... yep, you've guessed it!

The Ill-Conceived Egg by DarthFar Volly Catches a Cow by DarthFar Dragon, Knight, ShineslugJuice by DarthFar Dragon, Knight, Alcohol by DarthFar Playful Baby by manycomicsRamon by branka42 Collaberation: Nestling by Emma-Fay Haggling by christopherburdett Drogon by christopherburdett Rhaegal by christopherburdett Viserion by christopherburdett The Dragon by keelerleah Lost In Time by martinezdezign The Last Enchanter_Dragon2 by Luaprata91 Try Something New by AtelierRAN Predawn by blix-it

Mature Content

Dragon Rider by GENZOMAN
Silvia's music by Sedeptra SwampDragon by Remton :thumb167973595: The Book of the Sword Cover by kerembeyit  Erah. Dragon from Saturn by misha-dragonov Dragon Surfer by Svera

  • Listening to: Two Steps From Hell - Heart Of Courage

Art and arrogance, and features!

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 10, 2011, 8:05 AM
First of all, anyone who's caught wind of this new US law that will do horrible things to you if you're a fan artist: please read this or this or preferably both. Don't sign any of these petitions or start freaking out before you've done that. Okay?

Okay. The thing I really wanted to talk about this time around is a different matter altogether. It's about art and arrogance.

I've been spending more time around dA lately, and while most of it's very positive, some of it... well, isn't. People telling each other their work sucks, stop drawing, etc. Or even people looking at my work and saying or thinking that they'll never be as good and getting discouraged.

Please, please, don't. No one is born perfect. No one is born able to compete in the Olympics or paint a masterpiece. I first picked up a pencil when I was one year old - I've had over twenty-two years of near-constant practice, and I have a mother who's an art teacher. I had a load of encouragement and constructive criticism and advice. And I'm still hugely critical of my own work and see a hundred flaws in everything I do. I'm nowhere near reaching my full potential and I know it.

I've gotten to where I am now through a lot of practice and a lot of learning. I've copied and traced and messed up and so on, and if people had kept telling me that my work sucked, I'd have given up. But they didn't. And that's because the only kind of person who'll tell you that your work sucks is someone who needs to talk others' work down in order to make their own look better. Good artists don't do that; they don't need to.

Basically, if the only kind of "criticism" you can manage is "this sucks", then you are neither a good artist, nor a good critic, and should probably keep quiet and stop spouting evidence of your own inability into the world.

Besides that, the difference between bad and good art is subjective. My drawing of Han and Leia might be good technically, but it's a copy; who's to say that someone else's, technically not as good, drawing of their OCs isn't better art? I don't see my direct copies as good art at all. And there are probably people who'd disagree with me, and that's fine, because art itself is subjective. There's no one definitive set of boxes that something has to tick in order to be art. And finally, just because I don't like something doesn't mean it's not art. I don't like most of van Gogh's paintings, but I do consider them art.

And finally, bad art in a particular category doesn't render that category less valuable. If I take a terrible photo of something, it doesn't make photography as a whole any worse. That argument makes no sense and I shall defeat it with mathematics. Maybe a bad picture drags the overal standard down, because the average quality goes down. But that also means that if your work is above average, it's now slightly better, because it's slightly higher above average. Your own work doesn't get worse just because someone else did worse. Your own work can only get relatively worse in relation to works that are better. If everyone else in the world was bad at pencil drawings, my own would be seen as the epitome of bloody brilliant. If everyone else was better, mine would be seen as fairly crap. Savvy?

So just keep doing what you love, and don't let anyone dissuade you from it.

Feel free to disagree with me on some or all of this, by the way. I love hearing other people's views on these things!

Works in Progress

:bulletpurple: Jack Sparrow drawing - 80% done
:bulletpurple: "Roman" wood carving - 80% done
:bulletpurple: Jaina & Jag painting - 30% done
:bulletpurple: "Mage" painting - 10% done
:bulletpurple: Lovers painting - 5% done
:bulletpurple: "Miro the Dragon" illustrations - 0% done

And some more features from the forum! I got a ton of replies, so I picked out those I really liked (and those where people were just plain nice, and paid attention to what I'd said in the thread).

Moon-gazer by SunStateGalleries World of Ice by SunStateGalleries Lilac moon by SunStateGalleries

Natural Beauty by BrickRed1 Scott Jensen by BrickRed1 Lucy Dreams by BrickRed1

StarCraft by CourtneyBowen Babylon City - Concept by CourtneyBowen My Escape by CourtneyBowen

Honey Bee by Alabastra Yellow by Alabastra Belle by Alabastra

Assorted others:
   :thumb202643008: Omarion by Sarcasticalness Emo and Cutie Eric Cartman :D by NicoleDaney katarina by Ryancy Devil's Heart by RayCrystal GEISHA by Spikings  :thumb213872402: Owls by JeanFREAK Curiosity thrilled the cat... [STOCK] by S0n0ra Her Sanctuary by MoonlightMysteria Shiva - Bestia of ice by Sadako-xD Mother Earth by Demon-Kiba

  • Listening to: Faun - Sieben

Kicked by the muse, and other stories

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 2, 2011, 7:03 AM
Do you ever find yourself starting and starting and starting new projects, before you ever finish the old ones? That's what I do. All. The. Time. I have far too many things going on at the moment, once again. I watched Pirates of the Caribbean the week before last, and whe I realised I'd never drawn Captain Jack Sparrow yet, my muse gave me a kick. :giggle: So now I have to draw him.

In plain old pencil, if you were wondering - when I started, that's how the poll stood! As I write this, it's once again perfectly balanced - 18:18. :XD: I'll try to do a digitally-coloured version once I finish it, as a compromise, and I promise that I will do something in coloured pencils at some point! Maybe I'll find another reference of Jack that wants to be drawn...

Theresa sent me the first of the stories I'm illustrating, and it's so cute - the little dragon is adorable. :aww: I can't wait to bring him to life on paper.

I also joined Shadowness, another art site. It's a lovely community and the quality of art there is amazing, so check it out! You can find my page here.

And finally, I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who's added my work to their favourites lately. I don't have time anymore to thank everyone individually (I'd be on dA all day instead of making new art!), but I'm grateful for every view, favourite, comment, watch, badge... you name it. So thank you all! :glomp: And if there's anything I can do for you in return, be it a critique or a comment or a feature, just let me know.

Works in Progress

:bulletpurple: "Warrior Woman" - 100% done…
:bulletpurple: "Solo Moments" illustrations - 100% done…
:bulletpurple: "Roman" wood carving - 80% done
:bulletpurple: Jaina & Jag painting - 30% done
:bulletpurple: Jack Sparrow drawing - 20% done
:bulletpurple: "Mage" painting - 10% done

Features! I got an insane amount of replies to my feature offer on the forums, so I can't include everyone. I'd have to either write a hundred journals, or include five hundred features in each, which really kind of defeats the point. So here are some of my favourites:
Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker by xfkirsten Sea Otter Snacktime by xfkirsten Light In the Darkness by xfkirsten

Assembling A Black Hole by Magnebula Rapture by Magnebula Scorpio Meridian by Magnebula

Assorted others:
Golden puppy by morvandelle

Mature Content

Warmth of the Sun by Laurasshadesofgrey
I will be by TheSixBPencil :thumb209564365: Hand in hand by GrayWolfcg Butterfly by mmegann God of Treachery by ReyalsPathelion :thumb206901384: God Of Solitude by AltairSky Dancing Spirits by CreativeNiCo Destination X by doodlescribble Circ by Reluin May the sun be upon your face by fleurss May the wind be at your back by fleurss Stars Collector by Eclipsing Wax by AlbinoLupin Fennec Fox Drawing by Veyrong Emilie Autumn by DDaniela Chaba Imne by od1e Warcraft: Lt General Spyro by entei Paisley by astarayel Scarlet Witch by JoaoRodrigoBaptista Pavilion of Wings I by fantasyhibiki She's So High by Emmy-Kun Toki Contest + by chicharrria

  • Listening to: Faun - Sieben

Getting more exposure, and - contest?

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 24, 2011, 11:04 AM
It seems that this is the eternal conundrum on dA - how to get a bigger audience. Well, I've been making poor use of my feature abilities so far, but I mean to get better. So if you ever want something featured, just let me know.

I joined #GetWatchers a while ago, but I've only started to figure it out over the past few days. The basic idea is that you view/comment/fave other people's artwork, and other people will do the same with yours. It really makes a difference in how much exposure you get - so if you're looking to expand your audience, get more profile or deviation views, comments etc, I recommend that you check it out. Just click here, enter your user name, and you're good to go!

Okay, aside from that, I start a poll about a contest, just trying to gauge interest. I have a few idea for themes, and I want to leave it as open as possible so that everyone can participate. I don't want to do something boring like getting everyone to draw the same reference - I want something that'll get everyone to be original and creative! But I've never done this before, so if you have any suggestions (whether for themes, deadlines, or other stuff about running a contest), please do share!

Works in Progress

:bulletpurple: "Solo Moments" cover - 100% done
:bulletpurple: "Warrior Woman" - 100% done…
:bulletpurple: "Roman" wood carving - 80% done
:bulletpurple: "Solo Moments" illustrations - 70% done
:bulletpurple: Jaina & Jag painting - 30% done
:bulletpurple: "Mage" painting - 10% done

And speaking of exposure, I asked people to send me some of their work for featuring, and I got so many submissions that it'll take me a few journals to get through them all! I want to spotlight a few individuals, though, who are both lovely people and brilliant artists. Enjoy!

  • Listening to: Jace Everett - Little Less Lonely

Want critiques or comments?

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 15, 2011, 1:27 PM
I've been pretty absent here, either because the site was on strike for me, or my computer, or my head. (I had a migraine for about a week last month. Not fun. :roll:) I'm busy with my "Solo Moments" project at the moment, and I have this illustration commission coming up, and and and... but I want to make more time for dA again.

I realised the other day that I've never written a critique on deviantART. I'm not sure why. Official critiques are a premium-only feature, which seems kind of silly to me. And I don't want to critique in comments because I'm never sure if the artist wants that. Basically, I don't want to go around preaching to people when they don't want me to. :giggle:

On the other hand, I've done a lot of critiquing in other places, especially of stories, so I know I can do it. So maybe it's time I did? If you're looking for critiques, let me know and I'll do my best for you. If you don't have premium membership I can do it via comment or note, that's no problem. Likewise, if you want any advice on art- or writing-related things, ask away.

Or if you just want me to comment on your art in general, or if you want it featured in my journal, give me a link and I will. Seriously, ask, I want to do more commenting and :+fav:ing and everything!

I'll leave you with the usual list of WIPs and features! :aww: Until next time!

Works in Progress:

:bulletpurple: "Solo Moments" cover - 90% done
:bulletpurple: "Roman" wood carving - 80% done
:bulletpurple: "Solo Moments" illustrations - 50% done
:bulletpurple: "Warrior Woman" - 50% done
:bulletpurple: Jaina & Jag painting - 30% done

And as usual, features from my favourites! :aww:

Frickuency by DarthFar Sketch your own Story by BettyHorror Phoenix by GENZOMAN Eternal Descent  3 var. cover by SANTI-IKARI Lady of the Lake coloured by EwaGeruzel Fire by zongdatdo811 Silvia's music by Sedeptra Hide and go EAT by ShamiesArt The PIRATE swordsman by FranciscoETCHART Star Wars Imperial Clock by tomtom1985 Vader on Hoth by LivioRamondelli Jedi Training by Master-Cyrus EPIC REALM by pmd1138 Budapest Metro by hecestmoi Dean Winchester 2010 by scotty309 Aegeus waiting for his son by StamatisGR Pirate by laura-csajagi rainman by mtribal Frog or beetle? by KrisSimon Milky Way in Pearls by Wen-Astar :thumb207017273: :thumb195899507: Amy Lee-Wolf's Rain III by ZhaoT

  • Listening to: Jace Everett - Little Less Lonely