Happy New Year!

Here’s to another great year of fun and creativity!  I’ve decided to start off 2016 with another 30-in-30 Painting Challenge, once again hosted by Leslie Saeta on her blog.  It’s exciting to be one of hundreds of artists taking part.  Here is my piece for Day 1.  It started out as a planned piece to go with the Retro-Circles series and ended up in the String Theory line because it wasn’t working at first, so I threw water and threads at it and got this as a result.  I like the limited colors (pumpkin orange, scarlet, saddle brown) but overall, this didn’t go as originally planned.

Day 1 “Confetti”
Watercolor on paper, 5″ x 7″

Confetti (Day 1)

Confetti | Watercolor on paper | 5″ x 7″ | 2016

 

Silence (Gintama Fanfiction)

Title: Silence
Author:
Rhyssa Fireheart
Pairings:
Implied Oboro/OC
Characters: Oboro, Utsuro (mentioned), Naraku, OC
Fandom:
Gintama
Rating: T
Disclaimer:
Don’t own it, never will.  Just like to play around with it in my mind.

This story got into my head earlier this week and wouldn’t let go until I got it written down.  My first Gintama fanfic and it’s about one of the antagonists for some reason.  I knew I preferred to write about non-main characters but this did surprise me somewhat.


 

I.

One of his oldest memories (after being saved by Utsuro-sama) was of feather soft touches and barely there whispers.  When he was first introduced to the other students of the Tenshouin Naruku school, he hadn’t noticed her at first.  She stayed in the background and it was only when her name was said that he first felt a fleeting touch on his back and she appeared before him, bowing a greeting.

He was surprised to see a girl at the school; weren’t they going to be trained to be assassins?  Why would a girl be there?  Years later, if he bothered to think back, he would realize how naïve he’d been.  Right then though, he did as his teacher told him and observed.  She wasn’t exactly tiny, but then again, they were only kids.  Her black hair was cut short and from what he could tell, she had dark eyes.  Her skin was tanned, so probably taken from a rural village somewhere.

Even then, he noticed how quiet she was.  Despite the seriousness of what they were to be trained for, the other students were noisy and acted like normal children should.  She seemed wrapped in silence standing there, her voice low and barely heard over the other conversations.

He also noticed her studying him in return.

 

Continue reading

New Art? What’s that you say?

Yes, I come bearing new art.  Of course, it’s only new because I’ve taken so long to finally get it posted here, but let’s not quibble about minor details, all right?  And I’ve been trying to get back into doodling some more, to kickstart my brain somewhat but it’s sadly not working.  Everything I try to pick up I end up putting back down again.  I’ve had this happen before, which is why I’m at least doodling some things.

So, new art –

“Frost”
Watercolor on paper
5″ x 7″

Frost

Frost | Watercolor on paper | 5″ x 7″ | 2015

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Wrap-up and Summary

So the September 30-in-30 Painting Challenge hosted by Leslie Saeta has ended and I managed to do 25/30 paintings for the month.  That’s not too bad, actually, considering I had a mild art block in the middle of the month and then life happened for a bit there.  I really did want to do the full 30 paintings but I’m satisfied with the ones I did complete.  Right at the end of the month I tried a new technique that I really enjoyed (“Colorplay”) and I want to explore that further.  I also did something new with the “Flow” series and plan to play around with that some more, especially if it means I can pull out my metallic/iridescent watercolors again.  Those are fun to use.

I think overall, I was more focused this time around because I decided to work with a set painting size (4×6 and 5×7) and that let me not worry about the paper so much.  It may seem silly, but sometimes I look at a larger piece of watercolor paper and think “what am I going to do with all this space?”  Even with more purely abstract pieces like “flow” or the layered ‘scapes, it’s still hard to fill the space (and that includes negative space) without overwhelming the page or making it seem too busy.  It’s a tough balance and I find it easier on smaller canvases.  I want to go back to doing (slightly) larger pieces though, so I plan to keep working on that.

Here’s my collage of the 25 paintings I finished for this challenge.  You can also see them on the 30-in-30 Challenges gallery page.  I’m looking forward to trying again in January if Leslie hosts another one.  In the meantime, I’m debating if I want to jump into INKtober again this year or take a break from trying to do a daily piece of art.  I’m tempted because INKtober was what started me down the path of doing daily art and I had fun with it, but on the other hand, I just got off a challenge, so maybe a break?  Or I can just do one piece a week, that could work too.

September 30-in-30 Painting Challenge Collage

September 30-in-30 Painting Challenge Collage

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Days 18 through 25

So I disappeared for a few (okay, several) days there.  I was still painting, but not with the verve that I started the month off with.  Not sure what happened.  I did have a bit of an art block but it wasn’t much of one.  I’d fallen far enough behind that I ended up only completing 25 paintings total, which is fine in the long run.  I’ve also created a collage image of those 25 paintings but I’ll post that as part of a summary post wrapping up the challenge.

Without any further ado, here’s the paintings for days 18 through 25!  Continue reading

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 17

Today’s painting was actually inspired by a photograph posted on a forum I frequent.  I just really liked the look and feel of the image and asked permission to try doing an abstract version.  Mine has a far different atmosphere than his image does, mostly because it’s brighter looking rather than a moody evening long-exposure shot along a road.  Plus my perspective is off, especially on the light trails, which is actually kind of okay because it fits better into that unnamed series I have going.

On a different note, this was the last page of a pack of 8×6 paper I had which was bound on two edges to make it easier to paint straight on the pad instead of needing to mount the paper somehow to prevent buckling.  I guess this means I have to stop by the art store to look for a new one.

Day 17 – “Ethereal Lights”
Watercolor on paper
8″ x 6″

Ethereal Lights (Day 17)

Ethereal Lights | Watercolor on paper | 8″ x 6″ | 2015

 

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 16

So here’s that background I posted yesterday, finished with some retro circles in purple and crimson.  I just felt like doing something simple so I got out the circle template and had some fun.  Along with my trusty crow quill pen, this is the result.

Day 17 – “Bubbles”
Watercolor on paper
4″ x 6″

Bubbles (Day 17)

Bubbles | Watercolor on paper | 4″ x 6″ | 2015

 

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 15

I love this piece.  No, I mean I really, really love it.  It turned out much better than I could have hoped when I started working on it.  Another in the Flow series, I felt like using purples (as you can see from yesterday’s piece) and since the only one I own is way more reddish than I preferred, I mixed up my own using True Blue and Crimson pigments.  Oh, yes!  Then I got out my iridescent watercolors and added some silvery blue and orange, which looks coppery on the page.  They flowed just as beautifully as I could have imagined and give the whole painting some gorgeous shine.  And that shine shows up in the photo so well, too!

Day 15 – “Copper (Flow 4)”
Watercolor on paper
5″ x 7″

Copper - Flow IV (Day 15)

Copper – Flow IV |Watercolor on paper | 5″ x 7″ | 2015

Fun tidbit – I don’t change my rinse waters until they start getting really murky and bad, so when I was doing some preliminary washes for day 16’s painting, I used the same water I’d rinsed out the iridescent colors.  That ended up giving day 16’s painting a touch of iridescence of its own, which amused me.

You probably can’t see it in this photo, but it’s there.  Here’s a teaser for tomorrow’s painting.

Day 16 Preview

Day 16 Preview

September 30-in-30 Challenge – Day 14

Today’s piece highlighted some of the disadvantages of working with very wet washes, especially if you aren’t careful to make sure the edge of your tape is sealed down properly.  And since it takes longer for the paper to dry under the paint, something like this will happen :

Flow III (Day 14) - WIP #2

Flow III (Day 14) – WIP #2

The painting itself isn’t damaged, just the edge that I leave for the tape.  And you can see where the color has bled under the edges of the tape.  In fact, when I’m either really working an area of the paper or the water has pooled there because of the warping, I get spots like this on the back of the page:

Flow III (Day 14) - WIP #1

Flow III (Day 14) – WIP #1

It doesn’t harm the piece at all, just gives an idea of just how wet my washes can be.  Still, the piece itself turned out very interesting to me.  I’ve named this series “Flow” based on how I work the paint in relation to the water.  Now, since I work with watercolors, I’m sure someone is saying that previous sentence makes no sense, but it does.  I use the water not just as part of the paint, but as a component of the painting itself.  I add it, spray it on, use it to manipulate the color even further.  In this case, I sprayed water onto a background and then daubed the paint into those droplets, letting them blend and flow together as the water decided.  It makes an interesting effect, IMO and I love the final colors.

Day 14 – “Flow III”
Watercolor on paper
4″ x 6″

Flow III (Day 14)

Flow III | Watercolor on paper | 4″ x 6″ | 2015