Stuff I Have for Making Traditional Art

pencils in stainless steel bucket

Happy mid-October everyone!

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!

Follow me on Tiktok! @alla_softpeach

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Sketchbooks

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!

Illustration Boards

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!

Sticker Supplies

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!

Markers

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.

Ink Pens

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.

The ink version of the Sailor Quartet!

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!

Paint

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.

Pencils

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!

Here’s a good example of layering watercolor
& colored pencils :3 (pardon the scan line)

Misc

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 used glitter on this piece, but it’s kinda hard to tell.

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.

See you all in the next post!

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#Blacktober: Inktober 2020 is Upon us!

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 was the cover. I made drawings of magical girls!

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!

Good luck everyone, and have fun!

#allablacktober2020

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A Look at My Mixed Media Processes

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!

Painterly Technique

Materials Needed:

  1. Bristol board or mixed media sketch pad
  2. Watercolor or gouache paint
  3. Colored pencils in a variety of colors
  4. Ink pens
  5. 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.

Marker Technique

Materials Needed:

  1. Bristol board or mixed media sketch pad
  2. Ink Pens
  3. Colored Markers (I recommend Koi brush pens and Prismacolor, Copic sketch markers or Posca markers)
  4. 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!

Experimental Method

Materials Needed: Whatever you want! But here’s what I generally use:

  1. Bristol Board
  2. Illustration Board
  3. Acrylic Paint
  4. Gouache or Watercolor Paint
  5. Ink Pens
  6. Colored Pencils
  7. White Ink, or Markers
  8. 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

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The Artist’s Guide to Drawing Difficult Subjects

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!

Tokyo Mew Mew art made back in April/May?


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!

Even the creator of Sailor Moon used references for a lot of her outfits!

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 Skillshare account. Both of these things can really help your art blossom!

Sketch of my characters! Both boys and girls ๐Ÿ˜€

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.

I made this back in 2018. It’s a hodge-podge of art supplies I had on hand, so I don’t remember what tools I used! Maybe gouache, colored pencil, and white ink…?

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!

-Allison

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How to Survive Your First Global Pandemic: An Update from Alla & Soft Peach

What’s going on everyone? It’s almost August, and honestly it feels like March 301st. It’s a strange year, that’s for sure, but I’m trying to make the most out of my free time under unemployment. Some days feel more productive than others, but it’s all about taking it one day at a time, isn’t it?

New Art

I’ve been doing a lot of new art this month, and I thought I’d show it here for you! Two of them are redraws of some of my favorite pieces by Takeuchi-san, or Sailor Moon’s creator. They were mostly experimental pieces using watercolor, ink, and more, but I really liked how they turned out!

Planet Princess Power!
I added the petals last with a thick marker! I also hate drawing FEET! Do they look okay here?

I’ve really been enjoying traditional art recently; it’s easier for me to pull out my paints and brushes than my tablet surprisingly. I feel like that’s opposite for most artists nowadays, but I’m in the market for a better digital tablet so I can make even MORE art! I have lots of new work accumulating, and I am also in the market for a new scanner to get some high quality scans of my physical pieces. So if anyone has any leads, let me know!

Workout Goals

Since April I decided to try out changing my diet and working out more. I have been trying to workout at least 3 times a week doing cardio and Pilates workouts in my living room. I also got my bike fixed up so I’ve been riding around my neighborhood when the weather is not too hot. There is a nice park near my place, and it’s super nice to ride around early in the morning.

However it’s really hard to workout when I have nowhere to go. My brain has no set schedule, so lately I’ve been skipping my morning workouts. My diet has also suffered. But no more!!

I was really inspired by Cassey Ho’s 90 day journey and I was waiting for her to release a new fitness journal that, when she announced that there was a new one in stock, I bought it immediately!

Blogilates “90 Day Journal” It’s so nicely designed!

If you didn’t know, I have been following Cassey Ho’s YouTube channel for years now, and I have some of her workout clothes too! Her workouts are killer, and I always feel sore after a couple videos. With this new fitness journal, I can better track my progress and keep myself accountable by recording what I’m eating, drinking, and doing for exercise. I’m hoping to shed some weight and tone up my muscles, along with generally feel better about the food I put in my body. I’m excited to start!

Check out the popflex website if you want to support a small business!

Skincare Goals

My skincare routine has always been important to me. My skin when I was a teen was terrible; I had lots of teenage acne, most of them being really painful, cystic acne. Now that I’m in my 20’s my skin has improved, but I still get breakouts every now and then, mostly around my cycle.

I think this is the first time I’ve posted my face on this blog. Hello!

Lately I’ve been watching more YouTube videos about skincare, and I have switched out a lot of products for ones that would better benefit my skin. As a teen, my skin was super oily and sensitive, but now it’s starting to feel more dry/combination. I don’t wash my face everyday because it gets too dry and flaky. I definitely have sensitive, acne-prone skin, so I switched to lots of gentle, fragrance-free products. I’ll show you what I’m using!

Some changes I’ve made: I used to not have a facial sunscreen, but I realized that it’s one of the most important skincare products out there to use, especially in the summer. I switched to a more gentle cleanser to use in the shower, and I really like this one by Cetaphil; it’s a sticky consistency, and it’s really helpful for when I workout cause it removes all that sweat & dirt without stripping the oil. I use the Squalene cleanser at night to remove makeup, or when I’ve been out & about. It’s also a gentle cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin. I’ve completely gotten rid of the “toner” step in my routine; it ended up being too stripping for my face, and it would allow for excess oil production, which I don’t want. Since my skin is more dry, I thought it would be best to skip this step altogether.

From left to right: Sun Bum Facial Sunscreen; Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser; The Ordinary Squalene Cleanser for Makeup Removal; The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid; The Ordinary Plant-Based Squalene for Moisturizer; The Ordinary Rosehip Oil for more moisturizing.

I really like the Hyaluronic Acid by The Ordinary; it helps to seal in moisture from the air so that when I use my moisturizer, it lasts, and keeps my skin feeling good. My last step at night is to use the Rosehip Oil. Once a week I have been using this oil to massage my face for a long time to pull up oil plugs. If you don’t know what that means, it means to gently rub your face for a long period of time with oils to loosen up dirt and excess sebum. It’s really satisfying, and I find myself massaging for 20 minutes sometimes! But afterwards my skin feels so soft and squeaky clean.

I’m always looking for good skincare; it’s a habit since I was a teen to go through different brands to see which one works for me. I came across Athia Skin when they reached out to me to try their brand. So far I only bought their Retinol Night Cream and their Lash & Brow Serum and used them a few times. I really like the Retinol Cream; I’ve been wanting a retinol cream, and this is a pretty good one! So far I’ve noticed their products are formulated with fragrance, which is something I’ve been trying to avoid, but I’ll give their night cream kudos, I like it so far!

Athia Lash & Brow Growth Serum & Athia Retinol Night Cream Moisturizer

I got the Lash & Brow Serum because I have really thin eyebrows and wanted to see if this product could make a difference. So far… I’m not sure. First off, I wasn’t sure of the applicator; it’s a small, brush tip, which isn’t what I expected. I think a spoolie (mascara shaped wand) would’ve been a better choice to easily apply the product to the brows & lashes. Another thing is that the product was irritating! I applied this product at night and slept on it. When I woke up, my eyelids were itchy, and I had some small breakouts near my eye area.

The Lash & Brow Serum is a no go, but I really like the Retinol Cream, and I am eager to try more of their products. They’re a brand focused on active women, which is cool since I’ve upped my workouts!

If you want to try out Athia Skin, use my link to head to the website, and be sure to use the code SoftPeach for 15% off your purchase!!

New Stories

Along with new art, I’ve pulled out some older stories I made throughout college and been editing them to turn them into new stories. The first one that I’m really passionate about is under the working title, “Human Fish”. I already talked about this story in this post, but I made some steps to flesh out the story some more, and it’s currently in it’s heavy editing process where I take out parts I don’t like, and make sure the plot is working. Maybe someday I’ll make a post about how I structure my stories. Let me know if that’s something you want to see!

A sketch of our main character that I really like. You can tell I had fun drawing the hair.

Another story I have that I literally thought of this week is called “Soft Peach Club!”. The main idea is about a girl who is secretly a magical girl who wants to help other struggling girls realize their true potential by turning them into magical girls, otherwise giving them a pass into the “Soft Peach Club”. What this story has is still a mystery to me, but I think it’s a really cute idea that I want to pursue. I’ve always loved magical girls, and I have lots of designs for magical characters that have no story. So let’s see where this goes…?

Here’s a sneak peak of Soft Peach Club ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s about it for this month. Tomorrow is August (what!!) and it’s probably a good idea to plan out what I want to do next month. Everything is still up in the air over here, so everyone please stay safe, wear a mask, and enjoy yourselves as much as you can! Talk to you soon!

<3 Allison

Twitter | Insta | Etsy | Athia Skin

New Listings on Etsy!

Happy Monday everyone! I have some new listings on my Etsy page that I’d like to share with you:

I have had some physical prints and comics on my page, but I’d like to start my shop fresh with some digital downloads for you!

One thing I really like to design is cute phone wallpapers. I had some listed on my Patreon page originally, but I would like to make these ones more available for everyone. For now, I have several phone wallpapers to choose from. They are formatted to fit any type of phone or iPad, and will look super cute too! I hope you check them out and enjoy <3

My Etsy, Soft Peach Designs, currently has 6 phone wallpapers to choose from, all under $5! If your phone is in need for some cute art, I might just have what you need.

I would like to know what you all think about these wallpapers! Let me know if you like what you see, and if you want to see more too!

Thanks for checking them out, and I’ll see you in the next post! <3

-Allison

Instagram | Twitter | Etsy

#366daysofsketching

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to draw everyday. I had gotten so rusty since December was a very demanding time of year at my day job. I would work for 9-10 hours, come home, eat whatever was around, and sleep. I’d wake up and do it all again. This was my life for about 3 weeks in December, but now that things have slowed down and I’m settling into a new workspace, I have lots of time to draw and hone my skills. 

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 Starry girl! A new character that came with drawing everyday.

That’s why, for 2020, I am going to draw and post at least a sketch every single day on my instagram @alla_softpeach. I’ve started a hashtag called #366daysofsketching, and I will use it for every post I make. So far I’ve done well; there were a couple days where I was moving where I couldn’t post, but I’ve been very consistent otherwise. Sometimes I come home from work very tired, but I manage to doodle something in my sketchbook to show. 

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Sold this as a print at Ohayocon, and people loved it!

Accountability has been the biggest motivator. I  have an obligation to post something for my followers to see, as they are awaiting a daily post from me. That has been very good for me since I don’t want to let them down and forget about my commitment. This system works well for me, so I would suggest artists out there who are struggling with drawing everyday because if life’s obligations to try using my hashtag. It may inspire you to make a commitment to your followers, and it may help you to gain more followers, if that’s your goal. Even if you just post a tiny sketch, like I’ve done a few times. 

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A little Tokyo Mew Mew never hurt anyone, right?

Through sketching everyday, I’ve come up with new ideas and characters to create. I’m coming up with stories and new designs, and it feels like I’m back in art school again. I love it! 

Please follow my instagram if you would like to see my daily sketches. After I type this up I will be adding another one for today, so go ahead to go to my insta and wait for that post to pop up! 

Happy Sunday everyone! 

<3 Allison

Artist Alley! GDEX, and more.

What’s going on lately? It’s fall now officially. Mother Nature decided to catchup with everyone else. The past few weeks, I’ve been clocking in overtime hours at my job; apparently everyone wants to get married in October! Now that things have calmed down a little bit, I thought I’d share my thoughts on various conventions that I’ve applied to, have been to lately, and ones that I will be attending as an artist. 

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Me at SPACE back in April. Remember?

GDEX

This past weekend, I attended GDEX, an indie gaming convention that showcased game developers, artists, and had different gaming tournaments and panels going on too! My  boyfriend and I went together, and I enjoyed watching him try out the games there. He’s a big gamer himself, and I was really happy that he was able to go. I also played some games myself too! My favorite one was definitely a game called Collapsus. It’s a simple color and shape-matching puzzle game, but you can rotate your device to see new puzzle combinations. I thought it was a very unique game that makes use of a function of phone and tablet devices that not a lot of people take advantage of. I could’ve stayed there for the rest of the con just playing that game, honestly. 

Check out Collapsus here!

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Their cute logo from the website

There were also lots of artists selling their work as well. I managed to buy a couple things and meet some new artists as well as some old friends from college. I’ve probably said it before, but I really love going to conventions! I always leave feeling so inspired!

My BIG List

On my Google Docs, I have a big list of conventions that I want to apply to. Each one has when and where it is, if their artist alley applications are open, and if I applied or not yet. The cons I have my eye on for 2020 are:

  • Ohayocon
  • Matsuricon
  • Indypopcon
  • the aforementioned GDEX

Currently, I have good news! I am currently schedule to show at Indypopcon in their Artist Alley, and I am on the waitlist for Ohayocon. Hooray! I am hoping to create completely new art for the two cons, and I want it to be my best work, since these are pretty big cons. I hope to write about my con prep experiences, and I would like to create a post on my tips for prepping for Artist Alleys as well. 

That’s about it for now. October is flying by, and I have lots of planning to do. Be on the lookout for any website updates in the future! 

<3

-Allison

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