samantha ashley violette

Happy New Year! 2018!

I spent a lot of time last year working behind the scenes with my art - learning, growing, and planning for 2018. Last year was a very transitional year for me, both in my personal life and professional life, like water flowing down a river headed for the sea.Being an artist in today's time (well a famous one at least) isn't always a simple task. There's so much more to it than just making art, and that can be a little frustrating. I've had to learn how to be a photographer, cinematographer, video editor, and even learn how to photoshop (for digital photo developing). While I love learning new things, I hated how much it all has taken away from making actual art. It made me a little upset for a while, however, I decided that my artist journey is not a race. Heck, even if it is, I'll be the tortise and that's okay. Once I came to that realization, I took my time to carefully build a foundation for my future plans...Which brings us to today!My goal to begin is to create and upload a minimum of one new video a week! I want to share my process and advice with others in a hope to inspire, just as so many have done for me! I've done a lot of learning about how to record video and edit it, plus I recently invested in a new computer in which to work with! I tried making videos last year, but my previous computer was ancient and couldnt function.I also want to get back into the fun that was fan art. While I still will not be returning to the convention scene this year, I do miss making fun fan art of the shows and games I love. To help scratch that itch, I will be posting every Friday as Fan Art Friday! If it's popular enough, I may even take requests for stuff outsode my interests.These fun projects aside, I have begun working on an art series officall titled "40.03". This is a series I have talked about in the past, but has only now (finally!) come to fruition. This series will have a common thread in terms of subject matter and theme, but will be comprised of pieces created in a variety of mediums. Some of these mediums are still new to me, but I am excited to try them out for real and not just in practice. The first piece of the series has already been completed and the second one started.And lastly, my e-mail mailing list will be sent out the last day of each month to round up the content of that month as well as this blog keeping regularly maintained. My online shop and website will also be getting slight overhaul with better images uploaded to the galleries and old works cleared out.I'm not sure if this all seems like a lot or not to you my dear reader. For me, it is a mega-ton due to having a normal, office day job to contend for the precious resource that is my time (a girl's gotta eat). However, I am determined to keep at it and work hard to make my dreams come true - my selfish dream of fulfilling the yearning in my heart to create, and the pure dream of want to fill the hearts and minds of others with emotion and inspiration.I look forward with optimism for what 2018 hold for me and my artwork, and I hope you do too!Happy New Years and cheers!x - Sam :)

Dark Souls fan art 

This weekend I worked on some Dark Souls fan art! I'm not very good at the series, but I love it's aesthetic. I find the characters and monsters to be beautifully, if sometimes grotesquely, designed. So, when a friend of mine requested something Souls related, I happily obliged!To start, I made a light, rough sketch of their favourite characters - Solaire, Oscar, and Gwyndolin. Normally when I paint with watercolours I do a detailed pencil drawing to paint over, however, with this piece... I'll be honest, I got lazy. When i sat down to do the drawing part, Gwyndolin's crown was so ornate that I drew a light outline and left the details for later.I got to work on Solaire first and applied the watercolours as if they were oils. I wanted deep, rich tones, and I find that's most easily achieved by painting in layers - even if it means painting lights on darks. (Typically with watercolours, you want to paint the lights first, then the darks.) It can be a little tedious and time consuming, but the results are so worth it!Once Solaire was mostly done, I moved on to Dark Sun Gwyndolin. His crown was by far the most difficult part of this piece, due mostly to the fact I couldn't find a clear picture of how it should look. I found many interpretations, but the official art work itself wasn't super clear, so I pretty much winged it from start to finish.  Several times while painting it I had to change the shape, which is how it ended up with the glowing effect coming from. Despite being totally not planned I ended really liking it, so I left it in.I finished off the piece with Oscar of Astoria and a bonfire. I used the fire as a chance to try out some new masking fluid I picked up over the weekend. This masking fluid worked so much better than the one I used in my Primadonna Doodle illustration. It peeled off easily and didn't leave any colour residue. To achieve some soft flames, I used the masking fluid to outline the fire and then painted the inside with a combo of red and orange. I used a lot of water to allow the colours to blend on their own by tipping the paper vertical and letting it run downwards a little. I finished the fire by painting the portion covered by the masking fluid yellow - I thought the stylized look it gave the fire complimented the collage composition.From start to finish, it took me roughly nine hours to complete this watercolour painting on 4x6 inch 140 lb watercolour paper. I thought about adding gold ink accents to it, but decided it looked fine without them. One thing I did add at the end was Solaire's red feather. I had meant to paint it once I had completed Oscar, but forgot. It wasn't until I was getting ready to post it to my Instagram that I realized it was missing. I ended up happy with how this turned out, and thankfully so did the person who commissioned it! I'm no where near as big of a Souls fan as my friend is, but I mega-enjoyed working on this small piece. I even feel inspired to play the first Dark Souls again! Praise the sun! - Sam :]

Skips and Trips

I've finally done it!  I have my very own webpage up and running (!  There isn't much on it right now, but Rome wasn't built in a day either.   It all feels so exciting!  Just earlier this week I received a wonderful gift of business cards from my dear friend Kathy.  They are unusual in that they are are square in shape instead of the usual rectangle layout.  I can't wait to hand them out at the comic convention this year.Speaking of which, I am still waiting for registration to become available.  They say a watched pot does not boil, and like wise, a watched site does not update!  Granted the convention isn't until November, but it wont feel truly real until I can sign the paperwork.The guest list has been posted and so far it seems to be a total sausage fest, haha.   I don't mind too much though, because it will help me to stand out all the more.  I'm sure my outfit will stand out plenty on it's own, regardless of my gender.  Yes, I am totally the kind of person that makes the most of every fashionable opportunity!!!  I already have an idea of what I want to wear, so now it's just a matter of going shopping.  Little by little my dreams are becoming realities.It's not all cake, however.  For every stretch of this journey I walk tall and proud, there are moments where I inevitably stumble a bit.  A fine example would be this week, when I didn't work on my current painting for four whole days because I was afraid to touch it.  It's almost at completion and the fear of messing up and tossing all the previous hours of work out the window scare the s***t out of me!  All it takes is one wonky brush stroke to through the whole thing off.  Worse yet are the things only I can see.  No matter how proud I am of a piece, there will always be something about it I don't like and will always see.  What all that said, I did manage to dust myself off and continue walking.  That's the magic key, never giving up, no matter what!Now back to work for me, but not before some lunch. :]