Monday, October 27, 2008

Miniatures In Progress

I'm working on several little paintings all at once, to keep my eyeballs fresh and not overwork any one of them. I also do this so I have a decent start on everything, as I find that starting is sometimes the hardest part.

These are two miniatures in progress. The little girl is nearly done. The painting is a combination of Corel Painter and Photoshop, which I find to be a very effective partnership. The second painting is an underpainting, done in Photoshop, with my most beloved rough canvas brush. I find that when I block in everything with this brush in Photoshop, I don't get caught up in the little details as quickly. I can then take it into Corel and begin to render, and finally finish off the super-fine details (particularly in the face) back in the 'Shop.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pendragon WIP pt. 2

I took this portrait into Corel and have been working on rendering bits and pieces of it, primarily the face, hat, and parts of the costume. Our friend here has a lot of buckles and sparkly things hanging off him (not included as of yet), plus his fantastic dragon-headed staff, which will all be fun to work in as I go along.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Portraits Galore... Pendragon WIP

Last week was L'Elizabeth R.'s last Renaissance Faire of the 2008 season, in Folsom, CA. We did amazingly well, and came home with about 10 commissions to work on over the winter! Most of them are miniatures, which is fantastic, since I love doing them, and we also have one fully painted portrait of this fellow here, Henry Pendragon. This is the underpainting, and I haven't taken it into Corel Painter yet, but it's already going very well. Oh the joy of shooting my own photo reference! This fellow was so very kind and patient with us over our incredibly busy weekend, not to mention what a great subject to paint! So here is the first work-in-progress. More to come later....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stock Heraldry

Who wants a royalty-free coat-of-arms? hehe, get it? :-D

I've been looking at the "most downloaded" files on the Vectorstock website, and finding that cool swirlies and heraldry are still the top, most beloved downloads, and the people making that cool stuff are getting all the money (well, the small amounts of money that thousands of $0.30 downloads amounts to.) So I am now on a quest to create hundreds of stock files, which I am sure I will find useful along the way, as well, and might possibly someday figure out how to put on other stock sites like iStockPhoto or Shutterstock, both which seem somehow more difficult to use. The idea is that they get more traffic, which equals more downloads and more pennies for me, though I will not be having an exclusive on one site or another, so I will not get the best rate, that being 25cents instead of 30cents. See? But I've been running into troubles with trying to upload stuff, so I will keep working on it in the future. And keep working on stock! It's fun, and I don't feel like I am completely wasting my time. I can use the stock images for t-shirts (cafepress) and greeting cards (, which may also generate me some passive income pennies.

J is of a mind that I just need to create more More MORE. Sounds familiar - DRAW DRAW DRAW, right Sheldon? He's right, so I am honing my skills in all things, from painting to vector illustration to costuming. I must be saleable in many areas for this whole freelance things to work.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Horses and Stock

I've set up a new blog recently called "Sketch of the Horse," where I will be putting all my horsey sketches and paintings. Never fear, though, for I will put them here as well! This is an in-progress horsey paint sketch, to work more with Corel Painter, and have some stuff to put on the new SotH blog (I'm on a webring now; I have more of an obligation!).
Also, some stock illustration. I've been doing bunches of totally random stuff. Whatever pops into my mind. In taking a look at the "most downloaded" examples, though, I see a lot of this heraldry/design elements kind of stuff. It's useful, for sure! So I jumped on the "wings&banners&swirls OH MY!" bandwagon and made some of my own. Kindof fun :-). The one with the deer is a vintagey label thing...see? completely random. But hey, if two people have downloaded my page of horsey silhouettes, and I have made $0.60, then maybe they will like my other things as well :-). If for some reason you want to buy my vector stock illustrations, they're on

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Knights of A - Beltain Progress

So I've been going back and forth between Photoshop and Painter, which I think is pretty nifty. I've also been exploring more brushes in Painter (there are a millions!) and finding things that work better for me, for the effects I want to acheive. For instance, using the "oils" instead of "artist oils" is a lot easier, and also using "oil pastel" and various hardness/softness settings is working out really well. Sure, this painting is taking me longer than usual, but I feel so satisfied with using this new program to acheive pretty unbelievably real effects :-).

Monday, October 06, 2008

Knights of A - Beltain, Work-in-Prog

Ok, control and speed in Corel Painter isn't all that great at this point, and though I love love love the oil painting effects I'm getting, I found myself already over-rendering things. I like the rough, broken color effects, but for this particular application I need a more detailed approach. So...I imported back into Photoshop and got the painting "back on track." I'm thinking I take it back into Painter again and touch up the horse with the lovely oily brush, since it works so nicely for that shiny equine coat I'm always going for. Anyway, here's an in-progress. I changed the background a lot, as you can see, and am trying to add more drama, less weird purple light. :-)

Knights of A - The Headless Horseman

So here is the final for the Blue Knight on "Duke" the belgian draft. Beautious! Up next is "Beltain," from a lovely photo taken by Katrina Markham, the Knights of A's photographer. Thanks to JP Balmet, I've caught the "real media brush" bug, or the strong desire to make my digital painting look, well, not digital. JP does amazing things with brushes in Photoshop, and he gave me a few tips, but I still can't seem to match the incredible brushes in Corel Painter. Originally with this new painting I meant to just get the backround in using some nice oily flat brushes in Painter, and then come back into Photoshop to do the subject, but after messing around in Painter for long enough I began to get the hang of how the brushes work. It's a whole different philosophy than Photoshop, and takes quite a lot of getting used to (my first attempt to work in Painter, 6 months ago or so, failed miserably and I got frustrated), but I am just awed by how realistic and beautiful the "paint" looks and feels. At some point I might take this image back into Photoshop, but I'm going to take it as far as I can in Painter first. Yes, it'll be a different "style" and "media" than the previous two Knights of Avalon paintings, but variety is the spice of life :-). Both methods are painterly, which is the whole point...this one is just moreso.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Knights of Avalon - Blue Belgian pt. 2

This piece has about 2 hours of rendering left. Everything is done except for the top half of our friend the knight, and some tweaks to the background and whatever else catches my eye. I'm really needing to work with some different brushes, as much as a love this rough canvas effect. Perhaps I will spend the rest of the day building brushes :-).

Japanese Crows

I found these amazing Japanese watercolors of crows, which are very inspiring to me. I decided to try my hand at working with gradiants, so I did a vectory version of one of these images. It's not very good, lol...I chose the most complicated one, and it looks unfinished! I like the individual design elements, though, and I can see this kind of color scheme making a really nice design for a card, announcement, invitation, something like that....

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Vector Love

I love vectors. I LOVE them. I have a couple of these sketches of ladies in 18th century costume that I am converting to lovely little vector drawings like this one. I find that vectors are just so darn useful. You can do all kinds of cool things with them, and edit them so easily, plus you get that fabulous clean look that is so vital to good graphic illustration these days.
I can't believe I ever wondered what I would use Illustrator for...

New Domain

So I've finally "taken the plunge" and moved L'Elizabeth R. Fyne Art & Portraites to it's OWN domain. I did this because I've decided to place an ad in Renaissance Magazine that will hopefully drive people to the site and generate some commissions....and having to type a long and confusing web address generally just pisses people off.