If you didn’t know, Inktober is a fun challenge that artists participate in where you draw one ink drawing everyday in the month of October. It had evolved greatly over the years, and artists have taken their own creative spin on it and come up with fun alternatives. One that has been very prominent this year is Blacktober, which I’m doing!
Blacktober is a celebration of black artists by showcasing their work by using this tag on social media. There is an official prompt list created on Twitter, but I created my own prompt list. This is my second time creating a prompt list for Inktober, and I really like this one! I am drawing some of my favorite female characters with beautiful dark skin.
So far I’ve done 20 drawings this month, and I haven’t missed a day! I’m really enjoying the process of drawing the sketch, and finishing it up with inks, Copic markers, and brush pens. My daily routine has been getting up early, finishing my piece, and posting it on social media.
If you want to see the drawings I’ve done for Blacktober, please check out the Blacktober 2020 Archive page on my site! I’ll be archiving the drawings there so after this month, you can see them all in one place. I am also posting everyday on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok!
I made a process video of a couple of Blacktober pieces. One of Cardcaptor Sakura, and the other one of Katara! These ones turned out great! If you want to see them, please click below…
This is my first time using the Premium Content function in this website. Let me know if you are able to access those process videos, and if it’s working well! I would like to add more things in there like more process vids, sneak peaks on upcoming projects, and more.
There’s only a week or so left of Blacktober, and I’m proud of myself for sticking to it so well! I’m really liking the pieces that are coming out of it, and I would like to choose my favorite ones, touch them up, and list them on my Etsy. I’m also liking how my Instagram feed is looking! So nice and consistent… 🙂
As for when Blacktober is over, I have some ideas on new content that I want to do, firstly, I would like to do my first Draw This in Your Style Challenge! If you don’t know what that is, it’s when an artist draws a character and their followers, fellow artists, draw the same character in their style! It’s a trend that started a few years ago, and I think it’s a really neat idea! I’m also working on some new products for my Etsy shop, mostly holiday-themed stickers and prints! And of course, I’ll be working on Chapter 3 of Jazz too.
I’m really looking forward to this holiday season. I have two jobs now, so I will most likely get busy around Christmas time, but I have lots of projects I’m working on that should be really fun! I have a good feeling about the end of the year going into 2021. This year was so strange, so I’m ready for some good energy!
That’s about all for this post! Please be on the lookout for new content from me!
This is something that I thought I wouldn’t say. It’s looking like “Jazz” is making a comeback!
If you don’t know what “Jazz” is, it’s my first ever chaptered comic I started back in college. It’s the story of an active, headstrong girl named Jazz who discovers she has magical powers and fights demons at her high school. I made 2 chapters so far; “Warm Ups” and “High Kicks“. They were both an introduction into Jazz’s world. Once I finished these chapters, I had moved on to working on chapter 3.
I discuss more of what happened in this post, but the long and the short of it was that due to moving around and work, I spent too much time away from the project, and I had grown apart from it. I wasn’t liking how it was looking, and I had to make a ton of revisions to make the chapter work for me.
Now that I spent my summer and fall at home, I rediscovered a love for the story while cleaning out my art closet and looking through the script again. It made me want to work on the story more and more as I thought about it over the next couple of days. So after doing some revisions, I’m glad to say that “Chapter 3: Interception” is coming soon!
A few things to unpack with the cover: First off, Jazz is holding what looks like a different weapon, and she’s in a football field at night. Wonder what it could mean…?
Before my long hiatus, I created the cover of “Interception” and one more illustration. I had started making the pages, but I will be scrapping those pages and starting anew. Interception will actually be in 2 parts! The first creating the setup for the story, and the second part with more action and even a surprise! I won’t spoil anything right now, but I think you’ll like it.
Here’s a quick summary of “Jazz Chapter 3: Interception“:
“Homecoming has hit Peachstone High, and Jazz is looking forward to spending time with her friends at the Homecoming game. That is, if there is a game to go to! There’s another demon lurking around the football field, and it’s taken over Jazz’s new friend. After a surprise at the pep rally, will Jazz be able to overcome this demon and enjoy the last Homecoming game of her high school career?”
I’m hoping to be finished with this chapter by, let’s say, the end of May 2021. I’m giving myself a lot of time to work on it since I’m not sure what my working life will be like. I’ll do my best to update you on my progress, as always. If you would like to see those updates, I have an instagram for my comics called @soft_peach_comics. There’s a lot of Jazz content there, so please go and refresh yourself with Jazz’s story!
I’ve been having a lot of fun doing my #blacktober prompt this year. It’s been going strong, and have done a complete sketch everyday so far! Hopefully this post won’t jinx my progress.
For this post I’d like to talk about the different supplies I use to make my traditional art. I love experimenting with my art, and have accumulated tons of supplies to use. I’ll let you know my favorites, and show you ones I use the most.
I went over the art techniques I use in this post, so this post will be a nice add-on!
I made a Tiktok a while ago showing off my supplies, but let’s look at them in more detail, shall we?
Everything I talk about today will be linked if you would like to shop 🙂
I love using mixed media sketchbooks. My favorites are the Strathmore Mixed Media sketchbook and the Canson Mixed Media sketchbook. The paper in this sketchbook is pretty thick, and depending on the type of paper you like, you can get the kind with more or less “tooth”, or a more grainy texture. The “toothy” textures take pencil and watercolor very well, and the smooth texture takes marker and ink very well. The Canson sketchbook I use the most frequently is a mixture of these textures, so I use many different types of supplies with this! The Strathmore sketchbook has a more smooth texture, so I’ve been using one for my Blacktober prompts. I tend to get the 9×12 size, but both sketchbooks come in a ton of different sizes.
A couple weeks ago, I bought a bulk these two sketchbooks, so I wouldn’t run out for a long time. I love these sketchbooks!
For illustrations and comic making, I like to use Bristol Board. The specific kind I use is the Strathmore 300 series Bristol Pad in the Vellum texture. This is a great surface for making comics because the Vellum surface is great for taking ink and markers of all types. I also use these for making illustrations too, especially for marker-based illustrations. I sometimes use gouache and watercolor on this surface, but the paint still takes the paper well enough. Just make sure you tape your paper down! These bristol boards come in many types of textures and sizes. I generally use the 11×14 size. I like to draw big, so I need a lot of room!
I also like to work on Illustration Board. The type I’ve been using is the Strathmore 500 series Illustration Board for Wet Media. This is a pretty good board for taking many different types of mixed medias. I don’t use illustration board all that much, but when I do, my artwork always looks more professional! I generally buy the 15×22 size and cut it into 4 equal pieces, making each piece around 7.5×11. It’s the perfect size for making cute little illustrations.
Some other types of paper I use is basic copy paper for printing designs for stickers, and photo paper for making art prints. I use the Canon Pro Luster paper, but I’d like to experiment with more photo paper for my prints in the future. I have to be careful though, cause it can get expensive!
Here’s a more in depth look of the supplies I use for stickers. Like I said, I use normal printer paper to print my designs on, and I use the Xtron sticker maker for making the actual sticker. I have an older design, but there’s a big and small machine, which are both really easy to use. I use to use sticker paper to print my stickers on and cut them from there, but I found it was harder to peel the stickers off, so I now use my Xtron.
My goal is to save funds to buy a Cricut Maker. These machines can make nice, high quality stickers. They’re pretty expensive though, so I will work hard to gather the funds for one! A Cricut Maker is definitely going in my Studio Picnic co-working space; one of each color for everyone to use!
Some of my favorite markers are the Koi Brush Pens. I love these because they come in tons of different colors, have a brush tip for making details, can be blended, and are affordable! I’ve been using them a lot during Blacktober; they can add color to any piece easily! Check out my Blacktober Archive page to see how I’ve used them.
Copic Sketch Markers are amazingly good tools. Like the Koi pens, they can add beautiful color to any piece, but can also be great for blending and adding a more rendered look to your work. They’re very expensive, so I only have a few; the 12 pack of basic colors, and a skin tone pack. I’ve been using the skin tone pack for my recent pieces, and it looks great! I would recommend these if you have some cash; like I said, they’re very expensive. Maybe someday I can afford one of the 72 packs…someday…
If you want to try these markers out, I suggest only buying the colors you need for the piece you’re working on, since you can buy individual colors.
Inking is probably my favorite thing to do in art. I love seeing a piece come together with the use of black ink. I honestly don’t stray too far with my inking supplies, so here’s what I use:
I love love love Sakura Pigma Micron Pens! These ink pens are smooth on every surface, and I use a lot of different sizes. For comic making, I can use them to get really detailed ink drawings that look great when I scan them into the computer. I also love to create different hatching techniques for extra details. These pens come in lots of different sizes, but my favorite ones are .5, .1, and .005. The smallest size is super great for very tiny, intricate details, and .1 is usually my go-to.
One of my new favorite ink pens is the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. It’s a brush pen that produces a beautiful line that can range from super thick to very thin and detailed. I use it for filling in black areas, or making interesting line art. I don’t know how I was making art without it!
When I’m in a painting mood, I like to mainly use water based paints like watercolor and gouache. These paints work well with most of the paper I use, and I generally build up thin layers of paint to then layer colored pencils, or even inks on top. I’m not super big into painting like I was in art school, so I use paints pretty sparingly in my art these days.
For watercolor, I use the Winsor & Newton brand. These come in a tube, which I prefer over the pan sets. I use a plastic palate to hold the watercolors, and add a few drops of water to the paint when I want to use it! If you go to your local art supply store, there’s a lot of different supplies like palates, water cups, and more to get.
I use gouache from time to time. I don’t have the best brand of gouache, so I would recommend to you the Winsor & Newton brand of gouache as well. Mainly because that’s the brand I’ll be switching to! I just bought a cheap brand from Michaels because I wanted to try out the medium back in art school. I honestly don’t use gouache as much lately, but it’s a good paint medium to try out! It’s like a mix of watercolor and acrylic.
As for brushes, I don’t really have a brand I stick to, but I tend to stick to smaller brushes for painting. Mostly because I paint small areas. I would check out Blick’s website on their selection of brushes! Stick with the synthetic brushes though.
For the longest time, I used mechanical pencils to draw. While they are good to draw with, I found the kind I was using smudged too much, and as a left handed person, this was bad. I switched to harder pencil, General Kimberly’s pencils to be exact. I use the 2H hardness, and it’s been very good for sketching and planning. The graphite is hard enough so it doesn’t smudge, and can even be layered with a softer pencil to darken the drawing!
To keep the pencil drawing in tact, I like to use spray fixative to keep it from smudging. I use this brand. This is so my pencil sketches can be better preserved in a sketchbook. Hey, a full pencil sketchbook for sale may be a good idea, what do you think?
Anyways, graphite pencils are great, but let’s move on to colored pencils! I wanted to use the expensive Prismacolor colored pencils, but I found a more affordable brand by Blick. I bought the 48 pack of varied colors on an impulse buy. They add a nice layer of texture over a watercolor painting. Now that I have more colors to work with, I can play around more with this mixed media technique!
The supplies above are what I mainly use, but there are many other supplies than come in handy.
Masking fluid being one of them. Its main function is to cover parts of a painting that you don’t want watercolor to touch. It then peels off afterwards. I used it for that red Sailor Moon piece up above.
Higgin’s India Ink comes in handy if I have a big black area I want to cover, or if I feel like doing some ink wash painting. I haven’t done an ink wash painting in a long time, but I enjoy them a lot, so maybe I’ll do one after Blacktober? I’ve also used india ink and a special brush to make interesting hair textures. I’m really interested in using colored ink for paintings, but colored ink can get expensive.
I do use white ink for adding extra white shines and spots to my art.
Another technical thing is using painter’s tape for creating boarders for paintings. I use painter’s tape all the time, and I love it because it’s very sticky, but gentle on my illustration boards.
Sometimes I use glitter in my art too! I haven’t done it very much, but the idea is to take normal glue and shake the glitter on spots.
I also experimented with using doilies! The idea is to take the lacy parts of a doily and add that patterned texture to the background of a piece. I don’t have a successful piece with this effect, but I’ll show you what I was inspired by:
That’s all for this big, art supply post! I hope it helped anyone out there looking to get some new inspiration.
Just know that it doesn’t take hundreds of dollars to get a stellar collection of art supplies. I’ve had most of my supplies for years now. I went to an art school, and was able to accumulate a ton of supplies. When I was in high school, I was fine with my little sketchbook, pencil, and ballpoint pen. Heck, I drew in a lined notebook for most of my high school career! If you have a pencil and paper, you can draw, and the special fancy supplies will come later. Sometimes friends and family can be very generous and gift you supplies, or you can find people selling supplies on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Like with your art, you can get creative with your hunt for good art supplies.
What’s going on everyone? It’s October, and I am thinking about adding some Autumn related decorations to my house. I already got some pumpkins and plants as décor, but I can always use more!
Anyways, I wanted to make a post about the things I have for my PC. If you didn’t know already, I finally upgraded from my small MacBook pro that I used in college to a nice, reliable desktop computer that I built myself back in February. Since then, I have been using it pretty heavily, and I have added some extras that I thought would be interesting to share.
Here’s a list of tech stuff I purchased for my $1,000 PC!
First off, the main components of my PC are the processor, motherboard, graphics card, ram, and hard drives. They all fit snuggly in my large standing case. Here are the specifics:
The employees at my local Micro Center were very helpful in choosing the parts for me based on my needs, and I purchased all my pieces in the store and built the PC that night. It was really fun and surprisingly easier than I thought! I also got my monitor from Micro Center too, which is a 27″ Acermonitor. The monitor was the most expensive part to the whole build. I actually went slightly over budget, but the pieces I got are definitely worth it. If you’re looking to build a PC and you’re not sure where to start, I highly suggest watching some YouTube videos on the subject! Like I said in this post, I watched a lot of Paul’s Hardware for this.
Some other main pieces of the build were a mouse and keyboard, which I bought as a combo for $10, which makes it the cheapest part of the build! I didn’t need a super fancy keyboard and mouse anyways, so I went cheap on that. I still have the same mouse, but I did get my keyboard replaced with a Hyper X mechanical keyboard that was given to me.
Like I said before, I bought my 27″ monitor that day, but I originally wanted a dual monitor set up. To mimic this for the time being, I use my television as a second monitor. I have my desk and TV very close to each other so that an HDMI cord can reach. It’s mostly used when I want to watch videos and work at the same time (like right now!). Eventually I’d like to upgrade my monitor set up by getting anArtist’s Display 15.6 Pro by XP Pen. This way, I could have 2 monitors, and the second monitor can double as a drawing tablet!
Speaking of art-related things, I have some software and gadgets I use for making art. First is my Wacom Tablet that I have from college. I have the Intuos Pro Small version, and I like it. It’s my only product that I use wirelessly, but I would definitely like to upgrade this soon. I was spoiled back in college with Cintiques, and now I really want to get that again.
I have a printer as well. It’s the Canon MP250 that I purchased for $30 from someone I know from college. All I needed to buy was the cords, and it was ready to go!
This printer also doubles as a scanner, which is nice. I use the scanner a lot when I ink drawings and color them digitally. I plan on updating this printer eventually because I would like to have higher quality prints and scans to work with. It’s the reason why I don’t have too many prints in my Etsy shop; the print quality isn’t to my standards. It’s a good starter printer though, and I would most likely sell it to another artist in need when I upgrade.
I had to install software for this scanner in order to use it with this PC, so keep that in mind.
For audio/video purposes, I have many add-ons. I bought my speakers from Amazon, and they work very well! They hook in with USB, and look nice side by side with my monitor in the middle. For headphones, I really wanted to get a big upgrade, so I made an impulse buy and purchased the Razer Rose Quartz headphones. The buy was totally worth it, cause I LOVE these headphones! I didn’t get the version with the light up kitty ears (what was I thinking??), however, these headphones work very well for me.
Maybe someday I’ll get the kitty ears ones, but for now I’m very happy with these. Oh, and also! These headphones come with a built-in microphone! I use it a lot when I’m talking over discord with my friends. They could tell a big improvement with my sound quality, so that’s great too.
Back in 2015, I made a couple YouTube videos, and wanted to take it further, so I bought a Blue Snowball microphone. I still have it today, and I use it from time to time. It’s a pretty decent mic, however it takes up a lot of space, and I don’t have much of that on my little Ikeadesk. I have been thinking about getting into YouTube again, so who knows? Maybe I’ll use my Blue Snowball more.
I have a webcamthat I got off of Amazon as well. I haven’t used it as much because I just purchased it, but I do plan on using it for discord and possibly YouTube and Twitch as well.
Lastly, I have a gaming controller that I bought specifically for my PC. Like the speakers, it plugs in via USB, and is a pretty good controller. I’m not a big fan of playing games with mouse and keyboard, as I grew up with consoles, so I feel more comfortable with a controller in my hand. Unless I’m playing the Sims of course.
Next, I’ll list the software I use with my PC. As you can see, I mostly use my PC for art, gaming, and creating content.
Steam (playing games like EDF, Sonic, Oddworld, etc)
Epic Games (for playing GTA V)
Origin (Sims 2 & 4 launcher)
Discord (connecting with friends and streaming)
Adobe Creative Cloud (I mostly use Photoshop and InDesign to create art and layout comics)
AMCap (Webcam Software)
Canon MP Software (for scanning)
Audacity (any audio needs)
OBS (recording and streaming)
iTunes (Apple Music) (am I the only person that uses Apple Music??)
That’s about it for this post! I hope you found it useful if you’re looking to upgrade your computer setup. I love my PC, and I don’t know how I survived on my small, 13″ MacBook Pro for so long! Also, while I did buy the main components of my PC all together, a lot of the smaller stuff I had already, was given to me, or I got secondhand. It’s all about collecting and saving your money to get what you want for your PC, and it doesn’t have to be perfect right away. I would love to add many new upgrades and gadgets when I’m able, so in the future, I can show you all the sweet new upgrades as they come in!
There will be another blog post very soon about the supplies I use for art, so please look forward to that!
One more thing!! If you are interested in exclusive content from me, I am going to start creating premium content for you! If you are able to, press the pretty button below to subscribe for the exclusive content that I will be adding! I’m still working through what I want to show you there, but it will be behind the scenes looks on projects I’m working on that I wouldn’t show publicly, some art, and maybe even some video content! If that’s something you’re interested in, please let me know, and consider subscribing to that! For now I just have one payment plan of $5/month, and under that, I would like to have at least 2 exclusive posts per month. Eventually if it takes off, I’d like to add more plans, so please stay tuned!
How is everyone? It’s officially fall now, and spooky season is upon us. Sticking with the theme this year with quarantine, my Halloween costume is essentially pajamas. I plan on being Boo from “Monster’s Inc”. If you remember that cute character, she basically wears a long pajama shirt and leggings, so that works for me! If there are any parties during Halloween, I will be the most comfy person there, mask included of course.
On to the topic at hand. If you’re an artist online, you may have heard of “Inktober”, which was started by Jake Parker a while ago. Basically you create an ink drawing everyday for the month of October and post it online. It’s a really fun challenge, and if you’re unfamiliar with using inks, or drawing traditionally, it’s a nice way to practice your skills. I’ve participated every year since 2016, and while I’ve only completed the challenge fully once, I still made some really nice drawings in my sketchbook from Inktober. I even made a zine of my drawings back in 2017!
This year, I want to go all out. I’m stuck at home unemployed, and I have more time to dedicate to making some nice ink drawings. Last year I was so busy with my job that I was only able to make 4 drawings spaced out across the 4 weeks of October. So this year, I went ahead and made myself a prompt list!
There’s been a lot of political and social restlessness this year. Along with a global pandemic, this year has been rough for pretty much everyone. Art is a release for me, so for this prompt list, I wanted to put the focus on the beauty of the black woman. Most of these characters I’ve listed aren’t POC or black, but I want to draw them that way for this challenge. I have also sprinkled some of my own characters in the mix too! If you choose to use my prompt list, you can create your own characters! That’s the beauty of creation right there.
I’ll try my best to create really strong ink drawings this year. I always enjoy the process of making a piece and posting it online, especially everyday, and I really like the sense of community around these monthly challenges.
Like it says on the prompt list, this challenge is for fun, and if you use this prompt list, feel free to pick and choose what you wanna do. If you wanna do a drawing every other day, or once a week, do what makes you comfortable! If you’re able to do do this challenge with me, I’d love to see some of your drawings. Please use the hashtag #allablacktober2020 on your posts, I’d love to see what you all come up with!
What’s going on everyone? It’s starting to get a little cooler here in the mid-west, and the leaves are very slightly starting to change colors. I have been diligent the past few weeks; I’ve been busy working on new products for my Etsy shop, Soft Peach Designs, and I’ve been doing my best to workout as much as I can, and eat as clean as I’m able. Is anyone else trying their best to be productive right now? It feels like it’s really hard to stay sane in the current political climate. But that’s a whole other story!
In this blog post, I wanted to talk a little more in detail about my mixed media processes. I love to do both traditional and digital art, and I tend to flip back and forth between the two mediums. I do feel more comfortable working traditionally however, and I came up with three different mixed media methods that I like to incorporate into my art. Maybe you can find some new ideas with these methods!
Here we go!
Bristol board or mixed media sketch pad
Watercolor or gouache paint
Colored pencils in a variety of colors
White ink, white gel pens, white markers, or white acrylic paint
I start off with a wash of flat colors with the paint. I like to use a water based paint like watercolor or gouache so that the colors are light and can be layered easily. I like to add more saturation to places to add value, and water down the paint for lighter places. With watercolor, your piece can stand out if you keep some spots of your painting blank without water or paint; it makes it the brightest place of your painting and makes an easy highlight. I like to do this with eye whites.
Next is the colored pencils. Once I lay a couple layers of flat paint, I go in with colored pencil and render out the details. This step takes a little longer because I like to use this step to darken the piece and give the piece some texture. I also like to use colors that are similar to the paint to add the texture, but I sometime use adjacent colors to add some variety to the piece.
The third step is to go in with ink to define specific parts of the piece. This step can be optional if you want to, but I like harsh, black lines in my work, so I use this to define things like facial features, clothing, and more. I really like using micron pens for this, and tend to use thinner pens around .2 or even .005 for a very thin line. If my piece has some black areas, sometimes I’ll bust out the india ink and some brushes and paint in those spots, or I’ll use my brush pens, whichever I’m feeling that day. Another thing I like to do is hatching marks. If you’ve ever studied the arts, you might have studied different hatching techniques to use, and my favorite ones to use are quick short lines to place in shadowy areas. In the pieces above you can see where I used them. Inking in general is my favorite step in any art process; there’s something about a harsh, black line that I’ve always loved.
The final step is also optional. If you want some extra shine or sparkle, consider using some white! There are tons of supplies out there, but my favorites are using white ink, or white acrylic paint. I find that the markers I’ve used aren’t strong enough to produce an opaque enough white for me, so I have to use the inks. When I use this, it’s generally for eye shines, sparkles, or shiny spots on clothing. This step can really enhance a piece. Sometimes I like to put white spots on top of my black lines, and it gives it a cute, girly feel. I picked this up from some of my favorite Sailor Moon and CLAMP artworks.
Bristol board or mixed media sketch pad
Colored Markers (I recommend Koi brush pens and Prismacolor, Copic sketch markers or Posca markers)
White ink or white acrylic
This technique is a fun one. I like to use this one for faster sketches because I can get a full colored sketch quickly with no mess with getting out paints and brushes. This is very much a more stylized method with not much heavy rendering, so there’s not much back and forth blending. This method is the one I use at conventions when I do commissions!
To start off, I make a pencil sketch to lay everything out. When it’s looking good, I like to go in with the ink pens first. I do this because I like to map out where exactly I want the markers to go. When it comes to paint, it’s alright that I go outside the sketch sometimes, but with markers, I like my colors to be very clean. I think this makes the piece look more professional and makes it look like a lot of time went into it. I spend some time with the inks and depending on the style I’m going for, I’ll thicken some lines or keep them very thin.
Next I go in with the markers. Usually I mix and match all my markers; I have some copic markers in various skin colors that I’ll use, and I use the Koi brush pens for colors too. I love love love the Koi brush pens! They come in a bunch of colors, and are very good for laying out flat colors. If I’m looking to add some value, the Copic markers do a good job at that. I apply more pressure to the marker to darker spots to add that value. I also add value in the previous step with the inks by using hatching techniques as well.
An optional final step is again going in with some white ink, acrylic, or markers. With this method, I’d probably use white markers for my highlights, but I usually skip this step. It’s there if you would like it though!
Materials Needed: Whatever you want! But here’s what I generally use:
Gouache or Watercolor Paint
White Ink, or Markers
A Creative Mind & Patience!
This technique is very freeform. Anything goes! This is for when an idea pops into my head, or I want to try something new with the materials I have. Instead of going step by step, I will instead explain how I did each piece above:
Goldfish piece– This idea was one of the ones that just popped into my head, and I had to create it. I made this piece on illustration board. After my initial sketch, I laid a wash of light blue gouache over the whole board, then I picked out the areas where I wanted it to be lighter, and laid out the main shapes like the hair, the goldfish, and other details. I then went in with some colored pencils and added some texture to some areas and rendered the goldfish, making them very saturated. A lot of experimenting went in with the hatching. I used paint, markers, and colored pencils with the hatching, layering some parts and lining some parts with ink and others with colored pencil. I just let my creativity take control and didn’t think about it too much. My last step was the white wavy lines. I believe I used a white posca marker. I love this piece, and it’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve made.
Sailor Moon Redraw– This piece dates back to my childhood. I’ve always wanted to recreate the piece created by Naoko Takeuchi with the scouts posed like this, but I could never get it right. Now that I’ve been through art school and a couple years of working on art professionally, it was finally time! I used Bristol board for this, and went in with a very hard pencil, H3 I believe. I drew very lightly, thinking back to Miss Takeuchi’s very soft style where she mostly used pencils for her finished pieces. I actually tried to scan this in and finish it digitally, but it didn’t look good at all, so I decided to go in with watercolor paint. I used tracing paper to redraw the whole thing with my thinnest ink pen to catch any mistakes, which I fixed with my super hard pencil and eraser. Something about this composition made it really hard to get the anatomy correct. The fact that they were holding hands made it harder. Anyways, after I fixed the errors, I went in with a softer pencil to darken the lines. I didn’t use ink on this piece surprisingly; the pencil made the whole thing really soft and pretty. The watercolor step was long and tedious, but I managed to finish, and added finishing touches with white acrylic paint and darker paint with the tiniest brush ever. It was truly the most time-consuming piece of this year, and I’m surprised that I was able to do it.
Magical Girl OC’s– This piece was supposed to be more of a portfolio piece, but I wasn’t a big fan of how it turned out. It is mostly an acrylic piece with ink pens on top. It was done on Bristol board, and inked first. I then laid a wash of acrylic paint over the whole thing, then rendered the whole thing with watered down acrylic. I don’t know if I’m not too good working with acrylic, but the colors look so dull and not saturated enough for my liking, but I layered the paint so that it looked pretty opaque. I then added ink pens on top. While this piece turned out the way it was, I’d like to try out this technique again someday when I get some more colors. Also I’d like to try on a different surface like canvas board or even cardboard!
These are most of my mixed media techniques that I love to do when I work traditionally! Tell me what you think about them, or if you have any ideas or techniques you like to use! Catch you on the next post! <3 -Allison
I have lots of new items listed in my Etsy shop, Soft Peach Designs!
These are some of the original pieces I listed for sale. I really like them a lot, so it’s hard to part with them! But I think they’re deserving of a new home.
I’ve also listed some prints that I have been saving for conventions this year, but since they were all cancelled, time to list them! These are some of my favorite pieces I’ve made over the last two years or so, and I want to make more like it for you!
I really enjoy working on my Etsy shop; I like to see what people gravitate towards, and see what kinds of things other artists are selling on their shops. At first I wanted to just focus on digital downloads, but I think it’s more fun to do physical orders. I can personalize each one, and I can write handwritten notes of thanks to my buyers! If you want to see my shop, please look up Soft Peach Designs on Etsy, or click this link! –> RIGHT HERE! It would really mean a lot if you were to purchase something; anything helps, since right now art is my only income at the moment. But if you can’t support, please share my shop with a friend!
That’s about it for now; honestly I haven’t been in the mood to write, so much of my focus has gone to drawing and creating. We have also been in lots of talk and conversation about my business ideas. I was recently inspired by my boyfriend and his words of encouragement. So if you’re interested in what my business idea is, please check out this blog post and this one. I go more in depth with the original ideas I had.
I hope everyone that’s in school right now is doing okay. I feel for you all who are starting school in this new, strange way, so I’m sending you all good vibes! Good luck!!
Is everyone working hard on their art goals? I don’t blame you if you are making slow progress; it’s been a strange year. I said before that I feel both lucky and unlucky right now; I have lots of time to work on my website, art, and business ideas, but I’m doing it all because I lost my job back in March. It’s unfortunate that that happened, but I feel for those who are on the front lines working in hospitals and in grocery stores. I see you, and I appreciate you!
Drawing Difficult Subjects
For this blog post, I would like to talk about something that lots of artists struggle with, which is drawing difficult subjects. When you’re unsure how to draw something, it can get frustrating after a while. Even after 4 years of art school, I struggle with getting my drawings right! But I’ve come up with some ideas that might help you if you’re stuck on a piece, or suffering through art block. Read on for more details!
Using free figure drawing websites.
If you are having trouble drawing human figures, or having a more confident hand, try looking at some figure drawing websites! My favorite one is this one called Line of Action. With this, you can set up your drawing session with different settings. You can change the models you see based on clothing, gender, and time intervals. It’s very good for warming up as well! One of my favorite classes in art school was called Cafe Sketch, where the first half of class was using these websites, and the other half we went to different locations in the city and drew real people. That class forced me to draw constantly, so I was able to build up my confidence with drawing more fluid and quicker. Since I focused on comics in school, it really helped me finish my pages faster too! I highly suggest you check it out, and set the time for 30 seconds or a minute to really test your skills with drawing quickly. It’s a good exercise! I filled up two sketchbooks in that class.
Setting up still life sets in your room
Do you want to get better at rendering or painting? Try setting up a still life! These are fun to make with random items in your house, and you can have fun getting creative with the set up and composition. In my watercolor class, we would paint still lives all the time. For our final we made a collective still life that we all painted together. It was fun! I suggest looking up some still life paintings that you like for inspiration. You can even take a walk to the park and take pictures of nature and paint that too! The possibilities are endless. Still lives are a good way to practice your rendering because you can set up the lighting and color compositions how you want, and as an artist you can control the piece in a way that looks appealing, like adding more highlights or shadows, etc.
Use reference! It’s your friend!
Reference is very important. It was a big part of our creative process in art school. Our teachers wanted us to use reference for everything, and they could tell when we didn’t use reference in our pieces. It’s important to use reference in your pieces because it helps you to be more accurate in your subject matter. Our imagination is powerful, but it’s not worth it to make it up sometimes! There are tons of ways to gather your reference; Google is your best friend, but so is taking the photo yourself! If you’re struggling with drawing hands, do the pose with your own hand and snap a photo. It’s way more convenient than trying to make it up. Are you wanting to have some interesting lighting in your piece? Take a look at some artists that have captured what you’re looking for, and try to replicate it in your own way. Reference is essential!
I have to say, reference at the end of the day, is a tool, much like your pencil or tablet. I wouldn’t recommend trying to copy your reference exactly as you see it. As an artist, you can take what you see in your reference photos, and apply it to your art. This is key especially if you are using someone else’s art or photo as reference. You don’t want to get called out! Just look at the photo above. The artist was able to take the pose, coloring and lighting to create this piece of “Black Lady” or evil Sailor Chibi Moon, and altered it to make it her own. Looking at the side by side of this is really inspiring to me because it shows you can use reference in everything you see! And it’s not exactly the same either; she took her own creative spin on the colors, character, and outfit, and pulled the piece together. I love this!
Practice Drawing Your Weaknesses
If you’re like me and actively avoid drawing subject matter that you’re bad at, challenge yourself to draw that thing more! For me, my weaknesses are backgrounds, feet, and male-presenting characters. I’ve done drawings of all three of these things, but I still could use some practice with them. When I worked on “Jazz”, I struggled with the backgrounds. I in retrospect, I should have taken more references for many of the backgrounds, and altered my layouts to further place Jazz into her environment. However, I would have never known that if I didn’t draw it! The same with you; if you struggle to draw perspective, for example, I suggest really taking the time to study perspective and draw it as much as you can. If you can, try looking up YouTube videos, or signing up for a Skillshareaccount. Both of these things can really help your art blossom!
On my current comic project, I am struggling with drawing the male character, Teo. If you know my art, I almost exclusively draw female characters. Whenever we work on this project together, I try to draw Teo as much as I can. When we start drawing the actual pages, I will be very strict on myself to gather as much reference I can on anything I am unsure of. We both want this comic to look good!
Keep an Inspiration Folder
My last piece of advice is to keep a folder of inspiration that you look at from time to time, either on your computer or otherwise. Back when I was on Tumblr, I followed a lot of artists on there and would save photos and art that would inspire me onto my computer. I still have a lot of the same photos I saved way back in 2013! I sorted them by watercolor pieces, certain artists or games, and I look at them whenever I need a boost of inspiration. Nowadays, I haven’t saved any photos lately, mostly because I bookmark them on my social media accounts, but it’s generally the same idea! If you do this, you may discover new artists that inspire you and motivate you to try something new!
Above are a few pieces from my inspiration folder. They were selected at random, but they kind of show a couple things that inspire my own art.
As an artist, you are able to pick out certain things in nature, other art pieces or otherwise, and find inspiration in them. Even the most mundane things can be inspiring, and sometimes you can even have visions come to you in dreams! One of my favorite pieces came to me in a daydream, and the moment I saw it, I had to make it real.
That’s about it for this post! I hope these tips help you in you own artistic journey. Some days it feels like I can’t draw a thing, so I go back to my fundamentals, take a break, or look at something inspirational. It’s all a balance, so don’t feel discouraged when it feels like you’re going backwards! It takes time to learn & grow <3
Be sure to check the links below, and I’ll see you in the next post!
Does anyone know that when I was a kid I probably had an addiction to video games? I loved playing games on my N64 and GameCube growing up, and eventually the Wii. I was only 3 when I played on a computer for the first time, and I have memories of having my dad help me get through the scary parts in “Ocarina of Time”. A vivid memory I have is being terrified of the Game Over screen in “Mario 64”; it would scare me so bad that I would burst into tears and run out of the room.
Despite my fears, I love games, so I compiled a list of my top 10 all time favorite video games! Feel free to click each game to either watch a Let’s Play, or listen to a song from the game! Also, please enjoy my little doodles of each game as well!
I love the older Harvest Moon games. My first one was “A Wonderful Life” for the GameCube. You get to play as a rancher, growing crops and raising livestock to make money. You can also get to know the townsfolk in your small rural town, and even marry an eligible bachelor/bachelorette too! In “Animal Parade”, you live on an island and try to help the dying town by ringing 5 bells to help restore nature. You get the help of the Harvest Goddess, a recurring character in Harvest Moon games that you can actually marry in this game! The game is very massive, with lots of characters to befriend/marry, and tons of ways to be a rancher. You can grow crops, raise animals, go fishing, go mining, the possibilities of being a successful rancher are endless! I can tell there’s a lot of love put into this game by the developers, and probably the last good Harvest Moon game, in my opinion. The games would later be called “Story of Seasons”, and a new game called “Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town” was recently released on the Switch.
There are some problems with the game, it slows down in more populated areas and it takes a while to build up your ranch, but I really love the day-by-day work in the game. In fact, I still have the exact same save file I made way back in 2013! Every once in a while, I check back in on my ranch. I married the super extreme lumberjack, Luke, and I have a very successful ranch. I can easily spend all day playing the game, so it goes on my list!
I am very picky about RPG games. I was trying to decide if I liked “Fable” or “Skyrim” better, but I have more childhood memories of playing the “Fable” games. I remember watching my dad play this game back in the day. We had the original clunky Xbox, and I started playing this game when I was a little older. I remember it being hard, probably cause I was a kid, but I love the idea of your character and the people he interacts with growing older throughout the story.
If you don’t know about “Fable”, the setting has a medieval European aesthetic, and you play as a little kid who goes through a tragic event. He grows as you play the game, and you can either play as a morally good person, or be super evil. The combat, from what I remember, is really fun! You can use swords, bow & arrow, or magic, also known as “will”.
Thinking back on this game makes me want to play it again! I also played the 2nd and 3rd games, which came out on the Xbox 360. The 2nd was not my favorite, but I remember highly enjoying the 3rd game. Each one takes place further in the future, but the premise is the same; you start as a child, and grow up to an adult, leading down a path of good or evil. Very fun!
This game by SEGA is a sequel to “Jet Set Radio”, which came out on the Dreamcast in 2000. I unfortunately didn’t have a Dreamcast growing up, but I have tons of memories playing the sequel on that same clunky Xbox. In this game, you play as multiple characters who skate around on roller skates in different places around Tokyo, making your mark on the world in the form of graffiti. You meet other friends and teams, and battle against the corrupt police. It’s a fun, fast-paced game that reminds me of a “Tony Hawk” game, or “Skate” game. Only it’s better!
One thing to take away from the game is the amazing soundtrack. The super energetic music has lots of tracks from J-Pop, funk, and electronic influences. If you haven’t heard the music from the game, I recommend looking up the soundtrack on YouTube, cause it’s there!
The game is mission-based, with a hub world and mini-games to play. I remember getting stuck way early in the game, and finally finishing it much later. My family and I would frequently visit a family friend’s house who had a room with an Xbox, so I would bring my favorite games over to play for hours. “JSRF” was definitely the game I would play the most. I’m trying to find a way to play this game on PC cause I miss it so much!
Who needs “GTA V” when I have “Simpsons Hit & Run”? This action-adventure game plays a lot like “GTA”, but with Simpsons characters. Along with “JSRF”, this was the second game I played the most at our family friend’s house. The game follows a story about figuring out the strange occurrences happening in Springfield. I don’t even think I finished this game, but I have so many memories of just driving around the world, gathering all the collectibles.
These types of action-adventure games are my favorite; games with worlds to explore, missions to complete, and collectibles to collect. Games like “Bully”, “GTA”, and this one are the best.
I remember this being the first game I was excited for upon release of the game. I hadn’t fully grasped the concept that games were made by companies until I followed the release of this game. I was 12 when this game came out in early 2008, and we had gotten our Wii at this time. I have way too many memories of playing as Pit from “Kid Icarus”, and my sister playing as Luigi. We would spend hours battling each other, 1 vs 1 style. This rendition of “Smash Bros” had lots of new mechanics that are still in the newest game; Final Smashes, Stage Building, and a story-driven adventure mode, known as “Subspace Emissary” in this one. But the main game-play is the same, a huge crossover of characters battling it out on different stages to some hot video game music.
The “Smash Bros” series is actually very important to me. Brawl was a game that I loved playing with my friends & family and introduced me to YouTube. “Smash for Wii U” was a game that introduced me to my friends and my boyfriend. The latest edition, “Smash Ultimate”, is another game where I can connect with my friends. I remember getting so hyped watching the game announcements with my friends when new DLC characters came out. Good times!
“Smash Bros Brawl” holds a special place in my heart.
Halfway through our top 10 list is the first game that I ever played. I remember having a huge TV in my room. Not one of those flat screen ones on the wall, but those boxy CRT’s that would be all static-y when you touched it. My N64 was right in front, and this game would be in it probably 90% of the time (6% Mario 64, 2% Wave Race, 2% Wetrix). If you somehow don’t know about Legend of Zelda, “Ocarina of Time” is the 5th Zelda game that came out in 1998, and was the first 3D Zelda game that introduced a ton of different game-play mechanics. Namely, targeting on enemies, different sword techniques, new items, characters, and more. You start as a kid growing up in the forest who, after his own adventure, finds the Master Sword and becomes an adult. As an adult, the world of Hyrule takes a turn for the worst when Ganondorf, the King of Evil, takes the Triforce of Power. You travel around the world, and even through time to save Hyrule!
This game is a lot of people’s favorite game, and I can fully admit I wear my nostalgia glasses when I talk about it. Everything about the game brings me back to a child. Whenever I play it, I can remember when I made my dad go past the scary parts, when I rage quit the game during a side-quest, and when I would print out walk-throughs of the game and read them as I play so I can beat the game 100%. Lately, I’ve been watching speedruns of the game. It’s amazing how broken this game is when you know how to break it, and I can gladly watch a 3 hour video of a speedrun any day.
I love “Legend of Zelda”, it’s my favorite action-adventure series. If you are new to Zelda, I would recommend another game on this list to get you started, but you’ll have to read on to see what it is!
Like “Ocarina of Time”, this game was one of a kind back in 1996. No other game even could compare to the revolutionary game mechanics at the time. In “Mario 64”, you have to rescue Princess Toadstool by going in the castle to collect power stars. To do this, Mario travels through paintings to different worlds. In one world, you are shooting out of a cannon to battle King Bomb Omb, and in another, you are collecting red coins behind a scary piano. One world will have you swim around with sharks, and another soaring through the skies with your wing cap. This game truly had it all, and honestly, it’s just fun to control! I could spend most of the time running around the start area, jumping and flipping around with Mario. This game is truly magical, and all the main 3D Mario games still hold up pretty well.
Like I said at the beginning of the post, I have memories of being really scared of the Game Over screen, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this game as a kid. I don’t know how well it holds up today, the only way I can play it now is with the Wii classic controller on Wii Virtual Console, but I love watching speedruns of this game too. It’s amazing how optimized the 100% category is now, and players can finish this game with all 120 power stars in less than an hour & a half. It took me 15 years to do that! Amazing.
As an 8 year old, I had a GameCube. On it we only had a few games. One of my most treasured being “Sonic Adventure 2 Battle”. It’s funny, from what I can remember, we bought the soundtrack of this game (in all of it’s CD glory) before I bought the game. This was my first introduction to video game soundtracks, and it’s a pretty good one to start out with, if you ask me. I have so many good memories of being in my mom’s old house, jamming out to “City Escape” and “Pumpkin Hill” with my sister. We loved the music, and we still bring it up when we hang out from time to time. The game has lots of cringey, yet awesome cut scenes, and a lot of the stages have some fun game play.
There are 3 types of stages, 6 different characters to play, and 2 stories to follow. The game play actually goes pretty deep, each action stage has 5 different missions to accomplish along with a final story mode, and the ever beloved Chao Garden. The Chao Garden is a lot of people’s favorite part of the game, where you can raise cute little creatures called Chao. I’ve probably spent hundreds of hours with this game, and I can remember Sonic being my first obsession. Well, along with two other games.
I don’t play too many PC games. I could never get the hang of mouse & keyboard controls. On my current PC I actually bought a USB controller so I can use that to play games on my computer. There’s only one game on this whole list that I’ve played consistently since 2005. And that’s “The Sims 2”. This life-simulation game came out in 2004 after its previous game, “The Sims” had a huge success. I don’t remember how I discovered this game, but I did play a few of the console games like “The Sims Bustin’ Out” and “The Urbs”. The PC game had a memorable installation process; there were 4 discs that you used to install the game, and while the game was installing, there were fun mini games that you could play! They were mostly matching games and little quizzes, but I have super vague memories of that.
The actual game, like I said before, is a life-simulation game where you can create your “Sim”, move them into a house, and their life path is up to you! There are three neighborhoods to choose from, each with different pre-made families and homes, all with their own stories ripe with drama! I can easily play this game all day and more. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent whole summer breaks at the computer taking care of my sims. I remember I had a family that had 10 children that all lived together in a huge house, and I ended up making a cute comic about them! I still have the pages too!
“The Sims 2” had tons of upgrades from the first game. The first game mostly relied on surviving; make sure your sims are in a good mood and keep up with their motives so they can go to work on time. But this game brought “Aspirations” to the game, each with their own set of “Wants and Fears”. Any sim can follow a different path in life. They can focus on starting a family, growing their career, building their skills, and even having as many friends and lovers as they can! This game also has tons of DLC packs that came out throughout the game’s lifespan that truly enhanced the game-play. It would take a whole other blog post to get into the specifics of the game so I’ll just say that “Freetime” is my favorite expansion because it added “Hobbies” to the game, which gave even MORE things for your sims to do!
I have played “The Sims 2” on and off for at least 10 years now, and I currently am still playing to this day. Right now, I’m following along with the pre-made families in the neighborhoods called “Pleasantview” and “Strangetown”, and it’s fun to watch the drama unfold with each family. This is actually the only game that I’ve ever used modifiers, or “Mods” to further enhance my playtime. It makes me feel like a IT specialist when I install mods and things! I love this game, and I still say that its successors could never top this one. “The Sims 2” was truly peak sims play.
If you didn’t know, I actually have a Twitch Channel! I’ve been trying to work up the nerve to start streaming games on Twitch, and I 99% would stream “The Sims 2”. I know a little bit too much about this game, so I would be the most comfortable streaming it. If you want to see my sims families and watch me play games, let me know that’s something you’re interested in, and I’ll muster up some courage and do it!
This is my all-time favorite game. Even above the obsession I had with Sonic the Hedgehog and the fun simulation game of “The Sims 2”.
“The Wind Waker” came out on the Gamecube in 2003, and it was unlike any Zelda game before it in terms of its art style. Zelda, at that point, had more of a serious style. But Nintendo isn’t one to stick with the norm. “The Wind Waker” has a super cute, cel-shaded look that originally threw people off. The graphics were super colorful, bright, and made you feel good. Much like the game “Super Mario Sunshine” that came out around the same time, both games have a bright, colorful aesthetic that felt very nice.
The story behind the game is that a horrible monster came back from the depths after being conquered by a hero that disappeared after its defeat. The people of the world prayed to the gods for an answer, so they flooded the world with torrential rain, only leaving small islands, the castle below lost to time. You play as a new incarnation of Link, a young boy whose sister is captured by a giant bird, and on his quest to save her, he awakens as the Hero of Winds, and defeats the evil king Ganondorf. In order to do this, Link meets the King of Red Lions, a boat that helps him travel across the Great Sea to each of the islands.
If I could find my favorite thing about the game, it would have to be its story. I was heavily captivated, even as a kid, to the story being told here. I won’t spoil anything, but you learn things about the past that may or may not connect it to other games, and Link takes a big initiative in this game to restore the Triforce, which I love. This game has lots of criticism regarding the sailing, but I love it. I like controlling your sailboat, traveling to different islands each with their own stories and side quests to discover. While some islands may be barren with not much going on, the sea is filled with treasures to uncover. I would spend hours as a kid sailing around trying to find all the Treasure Charts and Pieces of Heart, and using my telescope to look at the islands from a distance.
Along with my irrational fears of Mario 64’s game over screen and Ocarina of Time’s redeads, I had a big fear of the “Big Octos” that inhabit the Great Sea. Once while playing this game, I was sailing along when all of a sudden a giant octopus monster arose from the sea. It scared me so bad that I became obsessive about how a sailed around the islands. Once I figured out their pattern, I highly avoided them. They would only spawn around seagulls, so I would avoid any islands with seagulls. Did I mention that I was a huge scaredy cat when I was younger?
Despite that, I love this game. “The Wind Waker HD” came out on the Wii U in 2013, and the remake made the game even better! Higher quality graphics, more polished game play mechanics, and added motion controls with the Wii U game pad. It let me replay my favorite game again, and I even did what I call the “3 Heart Challenge” where I don’t collect any heart containers or pieces so that I remain at 3 hearts for the duration of the whole game.
That’s it for my top 10 list! These games all hold a special place in my heart, and so do many more! Maybe I’ll do a top 50 games or something, cause there are so many games out there that I really like and have impacted me in some way. If I have the ambition, maybe I will!
What are your favorite games you played as a kid? Or even favorite games now? I’d love to hear them all! I hope you found this entertaining, and got some insight on the types of games that inspired me.
I be back soon with a more informative post about art, so please follow along! I’d love to have you. <3