Saturday, July 23, 2011

For Oslo 22.07.2011

I can't lay down flowers in Oslo's city Centre, but right now I wish I could. That city was my home for two years, and will be my home again in September. Luckily neither my family nor friends who lived in Oslo were hurt in the explosion, and for that I am grateful.

My heart does however go out to those who did lose family or friends in the terrorist attack. I have shed tears for the innocent teens and young adults who lost their lives at Utøya and I am amazed by the efforts that volunteers, civilians and the police has put in to help the people trying to escape the island, the help they have given the survivors and the ones left behind. You are all heroes in my eyes.

I made this drawing, and it is dedicated to those who died yesterday. It's just a simple little thing. I just wanted to show my support and the grief I share with the rest of my nation. My little gesture means little when you look at the big picture, but it is there none the less.

In memory of the fallen.
May you all rest in peace.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Airy Fairy

Today I bring you fairy dust.

I like stripes and frilly skirts and fairies so why not combine them ^^
It has been a while since I did a fairy so here it is;

This was just a fun and fast piece. Probably took me an hour or two in total.

Until next time
Anita Night

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A hairy sketch

Todays sketch is brought to you by an empty bowl of cheerios...

Yes well it's a pretty girl with wavy hair, not something one can write a dissertation about really.

I had to photograph it because it's actually too big for my scanner...hence the gradient effect.

Maybe I'll do a water color version of it sometime when I'm not sick of painting goblins and dresses and little fat men :P

Until next time
Anita Night

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lamia- A D&D Monster

A pretty monster, if you're not overly terrified of beetles that is *shudders*.

The Lamia is described as such in the 4th edition D&D Monsters Manual:

"A lamia is a bizarre fey comprised of hundreds
of black scarab beetles. It lures wayfarers to their deaths by
assuming a pleasing humanoid guise.

When a lamia slays a humanoid creature, it adds
another beetle to its evergrowing swarm. When a lamia’s
swarm grows too large, it reproduces by first slaying a worthy
fey creature such as a powerful eladrin. Rather than consuming
the body, the lamia divides itself, filling the corpse with
hundreds of its beetles. Over time, these beetles devour the
corpse and arise as a new lamia. This newborn lamia gains
much of the victim’s memories and knowledge in the process."

Text (c) Wizards of the Coast. I didn't Harvard reference this as I assume that people will understand that I am merely qouting the text from the manual and I am not claiming it as my own in any way.

Anywhoot, I thought it seemed like an interesting creature and decided to make an illustration inspired by it. Making this image tokk me almost a month. And not because I'm slow, just because I had to do it in between my current projects, whenever there was some leftover time. So usually I got to work on this at around 21.00-00.00 at night. Hence it took a while.

I like the concept of the image, and I am happy with the composition too. The colours are kind of cool too. I am sooo happy with the hands to be honest I think they are possibly the best part of the entire illustration. It's probably because I had a reference photo taken of myself holding a big book.

There are probably a whole lot of things that I will find in about a weeks time that will make me hate this image, but it will only inform my practice so the next illustration will be better, and so on and so forth.

Please feel free to critique it or make suggestions on what I could improve upon, and also shameless flattery is gladly accepted of course :p

Until next time
Anita Night

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Things I wish I had...

The poor art student's impossible wish list:

1. A new decent Wacom tablet, because my current tablet is starting to fall apart.

2. The new Painter 12. I don't have Painter at all and I'm dying to get it. I have too much respect for the brand to download it of the Internet.

3. ArtRage 3 because I love the oil brushes and the palette knife tools.

4. An apartment to live in, in September. Kind of hard to move back home to Norway without an apartment you know.

5. To have my wedding this year like I was supposed to, but can't because deposits on apartments in Norway are ridiculous and have blown apart my wedding budget (we're talking £3000 deposits for one bedroom apartments which is pretty much the sum of my entire life savings.)

Yes well that takes care of this months unrealistic dreaming. On a happier note; my projects seem to be going well. I'm moving forward. 7 down 38 to go (illustrations that is).

Monday, July 11, 2011

Style Struggles - how to adapt to different assignments

I just signed on to a project where I'm supposed to illustrate a children's story for a book. At the same time I'm doing a very different project for an app game for a company called Dilemmr. I have found over the course of this weekend that it is quite hard to work with two styles at the same time.

The app project is sort of a Manga/Science fiction inspired style with as proper anatomy as possible and use of perspective and the like. The children's book is supposed to be child friendly and humorous, but inspired by fantasy, and I have to morph the anatomy and work in a more cartoony style than the other. I started sketching some of the characters from the children's story and this is where the trouble started. I just couldn't let go of the anatomy and my usual way of building a character. The characters weren't stylized enough and I didn't find them very funny either. I'm usually good with cool or cute characters, but funny is not really a strength of mine. This problem made me feel stuck and I felt a bit hopeless to be honest and I wasn't sure how I was going to solve the issue.

What I did know however was that I was not going to give up. So I started sketching a bit, gradually changing things on the characters, making things simpler, not drawing all the joints on arms and legs, making some body parts abnormally large or very tiny. halfway through the process I was still frustrated and I didn't know what to do. I bitched a bit about it to my fiancée who looked at the characters and then he came with the most ingenious suggestions of how to make the characters more funny. He is usually no help at all, he says he does not know what to say or look for, but this time he was a great help. I did some amendments to the characters and after seeing Ole's satisfied grin and giggle when I showed them to him I'm certain I'm on the right track.

So what do you do when you're a bit stuck? After having struggled with it myself and having thought about it quite a lot I've come up with some pointers that might help you should you ever be in a situation similar to mine.

1. Sketch - a lot. Don't be afraid to make silly doodles or drawing with the wrong hand. Sometimes it loosens you up and opens the door for that creative spark you are looking for. Don't shy away from reworking things either. I reworked my characters 5 times before I felt happy about them.

2. Have someone else look at your sketches if possible (if your not under a strict NDA or something). A fresh point of view may be all you need to see what's missing in your artwork.

3. Look for reference on the Internet or in books or movies, whatever is relevant to your assignments. For example I needed to do something very cartoony so I looked at a comic strip by Frode Øverli, the creator of Pondus. His drawings are very humorous, stylized and fun. Now I didn't copy any of his characters or his style. I merely looked at the way he stylized his arms and legs, mouths and noses. It really helped me along.

4. If you feel stuck and nothing of the above helps you should put your work down and leave it for a couple of hours or overnight and get back to it later. It gives you brain time to work things over and you'll maybe look at the artwork differently when you come back to it.

Well this turned out to be a fairly long post, but I hope someone can gain something useful from it, or indeed throw in their own ideas of how to switch between illustrative styles when you are working on two very different projects at the same time.

Until next time
Anita Night

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Troubling Tremble- An update form the young illustrators life

First I would like to congratulate myself, this is my 100th post. This means that I have been able to keep up with this blogg for quite some time now, and I still find it fun and interesting. I deserve cupcakes...So hopefully there will be a hundred more posts at least.

P.S. I actually made these myself, but for a different occasion, as of this moment I am sorrowfully cupcake free.

Now on to todays post. I woke up around 11.00, I think. I did my stomach exercises. Toasted two slices of bread, spread some butter on them and sat down in front of my computer and started working on my next illustration ( I don't enjoy breakfast no matter what nutritional experts say. I stopped eating breakfast regularly in the fifth grade. It just makes me feel queasy for some reason). The time is now 16.21 and I have not moved from the spot unless you count my trips to the bathroom and a trip to the washing machine to put on a new load of dirty clothes.

I got up to pre-heat the oven before dinner, and do some dishes. As soon as I reached the kitchen I started feeling faint. I actually started to tremble and my motor skills were quite off. It turns out that sitting in the same position in front of a computer with a drawing pad for what? Five and a half hours without eating is not such a good idea. You would think that one would have enough sense to feed oneself every now and then, but no. Apparently not. This my friends is why I don't have kids. They would starve.

At least my fiancée knows how to feed himself, if he didn't I think we would both be in serious trouble...:P It seems when you like what you do, and in addition have a tendency to become slightly obsessive it culminates in situations like the one I experienced today. Now usually I would say that I will learn from my mistakes and try to avoid this in the future, but who the hell am I kidding. With my Obsessive Compulsive personality (at least that's what one of my tutors at the university thinks) and insane work ethic it's bound to happen again.

I wonder if any of my readers have had similar experiences? If you feel like sharing please do. I think it would be quite entertaining to hear what other illustrators young and old have to say about the matter.

Until next time
Anita Night