"Primadonna Doodle"

Trying new art supplies and materials is always an adventure for me. Being a self taught artist means a lot of trial and error, and that's especially true with art supplies I've never used before. A while back I picked up a pack of Stiblo fineliners, and I decided to give them a first try on a sketch (Electra Heart inspired!) I had drawn a few months ago.

My game plan for the illustration was to line the work with the markers, and then fill in the lines with light watercolours. All seemed well at the start; the Stiblo pens worked awesomely, and I felt mega-confident with the progression of my piece. However, that confidence was short lived once I began to apply the watercolour.

As it turns out, my lovely pens are made with waterbased ink - of which I would have known had I read the back of the package. :b As soon as the watercolour so much as touched molecules with the ink, it began to bleed out. Small rivers of magenta ink ran across the face of my subject as my eyes widened in panic - I didn't want to ruin my drawing. I quickly mopped up the ink and watercolour mixture that began to pool, and thought about how best to tackle the challenge before me.

In the end, I decided to go with Copic markers for the skin tone. The markers still bled a little bit, but the damage left a much lesser impact than the watercolours. I also used markers, albeit an off brand, to color the gingham dress and large hair bow.

While I did try to reduce the bleed factor on a majority of the illustration, there was one bit in which I embraced it - her hair! Thinking of the previously averted disaster with her face had me asking, "how can I use this to my advantage?" With that, I used yellow and pale yellow watercolour to paint her hair,. With my brush strokes I picked uo the pink from the ink I had used to draw it out and blended it all together. I couldn't be happier with the results.

I finished off the picture with some white gel pen highlights and a light blotchy purple background. With the background, I tried out a new masking pen for the first time. The masking pen was kind of a flop. It was supposed to pull off, but I ended up leaving a blue residue behind instead. I didn't mind too much since the effect works well with this drawing, however, I probably wont use again anytime soon.

Much of this piece was trial and error and oopsies, but that's the joy and adventure of trying new stuff! I still love my new markers, but I have learned a valuable lesson of when best to use them and when not to. Had I ruined my sketch, it would have been sad, but not as devastating as it would be to ruin a major work or commission with their misuse.

Until next time, your friend in art,

- Sam :)

"RAWR" is Cupcake-a-saurus for "Yummy!"

This weekend saw me playing baker for a kid's birthday party and an office going away party.  Baking (and cooking for that matter) is a fun hobby of mine, so I'm always happy and eager to share my culinary skills with others.  Naturally though, there are always a few hiccups when I undertake projects like these; or as my mother likes to say, I have "Lucy moments". A "Lucy moment" is a reference to one of my most favorite shows, "I love Lucy".  I grew up laughing at her shenanigans as her and Ethel's plans usually had a flub somewhere along the line. Yet, no matter the severity of the mess-ups, Lucy always managed to pull through in the end and have everything turn out ok.  It's that kind of scenario that I usually find myself in; things go awry, but, end up ok once all is said and done.The biggest Lucy moment I had been when my frosting started to melt the night before the cake was supposed to be finished with no back up ingredients on hand.  My kitchen holds heat like a sauna and despite it only being early spring, the highs for that day were in the 90's where I live, not a nice combination.  After a late night grocery store visit, I did manage to pull though with a different frost ing recipe, but it was still a bit worry some at first.  This particular cake/cupcake project was personal as it was for my adopted kid sister.   Her mom is a very close friend of mine so I wanted to do an extra good job. When I wasn't working on the food part of it, I was making little dinosaur toppers out of card-weight paper and tooth picks.  Those were so much fun to draw!  The un-fun part however, was getting to cut them out...  I was so focused on making cool looking dinosaurs, that I didn't think about making them in shapes that would be easy to cut out.  I think if my hand could have runaway, it would have.  I've never cut out so many things in my whole life and probably never will!  That was probably the least fun part of it all. Not that it matters much, because after seeing the finished product, all the drama queen moments and late nights (this was a project that spanned more than a few days), it was all 100% worth it!  Everyone at the party loved my display and the kids went crazy for the toppers!Despite the dino party ending, I wasn't through with cupcakes.  That very night I had to rush home to make even more for an office going a way party.  These cupcakes were pretty simple, but I failed to properly estimate how much frosting was needed.  I ended up making a lovely display for the party, but had to finish frosting the cupcakes literally right before the party started.  I even penned a poem to put on the display:"Wishing you joyous tomorrows forever,Best of luck in all you endeavour.Great distance doesn't equal good-bye,So, when we say how we'll miss you,No need to cry!"With those two side projects out-of-the-way, it's time to get back to the real work!  I took yesterday off as a vacation day to recharge my batteries.  I got to spend it playing video games (totally my cocaine), and ignoring my the itch to draw. (My hand needed a rest!)  I have a couple of commissions that I need to complete and my own projects that have been neglected recently, so it's understandable that I am a little more than anxious to get started again. Today should be a very exciting day for me, as I will get to be a model in a fashion photo shoot.  I'm mega-excited for that.  For as much as I love and kick ass with fashion, I totally fail as a girl when it comes to hair and makeup.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for false eye-lashes. I've always wanted to try wearing a pair, but couldn't put them on correctly.  I will be taking a sketch book with me in case I have some spare time to doodle or I get inspired by all the glam, hehe.