If I Can’t Write… #Art

I mentioned last week that I haven’t gotten a lot of writing done. I can’t bring myself to write when others are around (for one, I get distracted and all I type is gibberish, and for another, I feel compelled not to ignore my family). That might mistakenly lead to the conclusion that I don’t get anything done.

Good thing that’s not actually the case.

When it comes to winding down in the evenings, I can pull out my laptop and do some digital painting while watching an episode of something with my husband. If we’re Facebook friends, then you’ve probably already seen these images, but this is a bit more in depth to how it all went.

In August, I started with my first version of MaTisha.

The aim was semi-realism, but with larger than life eyes (I suppose it’s the influence of all those years spent watching Sailor Moon). I also wanted to capture the vision of the character in my head, and abandoned all previous depictions in order to do so.

I then set out to do my other characters, starting with Derek. He turned out boyish, and yet that youthful face is how I picture him.

My choices slightly shifted as I progressed, moving from a chunkier hair style to something a bit more strand-like. I struggled with finding a good torso-cutoff spot for LaTonya. I’ve seen pictures where the subject goes beyond the frame of the background, and decided I’d go that route here.

I was happy with how that turned out, so I had to go back to update MaTisha and Derek to the same style. Of course, that meant I needed to add more to Derek to make it work with the frame, so I took a bit of time to incorporate a coffee cup, since it’s one of those things I associate with his character. And while I was at it, I improved the plant life to the vines that always try to cling to him and added more shine to his skin since it’s supposed to be metallic bronze.

I decided I wasn’t going to go back and redo the hair, and instead moved ahead to tackle the last of my characters: Cameron.

Cameron, Cameron, Cameron. *sigh*

I restarted this digital painting 13 times. The first draft I did pretty quickly. It was, unfortunately, BORING. He was basically standing there, no character, no dynamic movement, nothing interesting. So I scrapped it and started over. I had him throwing a punch–but the pose had too many parallels with LaTonya’s pose. I tried having him use some of his energy manipulation, overdid the muscle size, and my husband said he looked like Ryu from Street Fighter. I tried a different pose, and ended up too similar to MaTisha’s pose. I tried another, and the twist in the arm looked like his shoulder was dislocated. I decided to go back to the trusty axe that I have drawn him with previously. I had to restart that a few times too, but eventually, I came to a pose I actually liked and made progress on. I have to say, I’m pretty darn pleased with how his shoulder armor (pauldrons? spaulders?) turned out.

I tried to make the axe bigger, but it threw off the picture and made him look tiny compared to my other paintings. I also screwed up the perspective a bit, but I said phooey and called it good enough for now. Then I put the four of them together and here we have the POVs of Isto (which I’m still rewriting to improve the tension in the last few chapters).

It took three months to complete my series of character drawings, and I’m not sure if I’ll pursue semi-realism with my future works. I think I need to spend some time studying anatomy and drawing gestures, maybe extend my artwork beyond just the face.

Before I go, I want to give a shout-out to Troy Lambert and Danielle Parker. Troy’s story, Miner Inconveniences, released earlier this month, and Dani’s story, Witch Please, is available for pre-order. They’ve also got a collection of the two stories together, Incidents In Idaho.

Both of these authors are local to Idaho, and I have the pleasure of knowing them personally. Troy has a slew of books out, and I got to work with him on The Ancient anthology. Dani’s a master of dialogue and emotional interactions. I’ve featured her other book, Pure of Heart, on my blog before, and I’m happy to say that I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of Witch Please and look forward to when I can read the rest of it. If you’re in Boise, ID and feel like meeting the authors, they’re having a release party.

I hope that I’ll get more words in now that life is calming down. What creative venues do you pursue when you can’t write? Are you looking forward to all the upcoming book releases?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

8 thoughts on “If I Can’t Write… #Art

  1. So happy you’re finding a creative outlet when you can’t seem to get the words going. It’s a nice image of the two of you watching something while you art. 🙂 I’m trying to think what I do when I can’t write (which is a bad thing that I need to think about it and that I’m not writing at the moment). I guess I don’t have anything right now. Painful.

    I LOVE the characters. (Red Bull Squirrel is awesome, too!) I think I like LaTonya best but they all turned out great. Woot!

    Congrats to Troy and Dani!

  2. It’s nice to have an outlet while watching TV in the evening. That’s when I knit. And I know what you mean about writing time. It’s hard to do when you can’t devote all your focus to it.

    Your characters are coming out nicely. Great job.

  3. The artwork is outstanding. I can empathize with your writing situation. Not much writing from me either. Not a whole lot of creativity either, although I do play music and write songs in place of writing. Don’t do enough of either like I probably should, but it’s something I guess.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  4. Those looks awesome.
    I usually knit when I don’t have the energy to write. I’ve been doing it since I was 7 or 8 so it’s not something I need to think about while doing. I’ve been making hats with animal ears to sell at craft shows.

  5. Good for you, Loni! Yeh for creativity in any and all forms! I always wish I was more artistic in terms of actual painting, drawing, etc.

  6. I’m impressed, Loni. You sure know what you’re doing. Your characters look great.

    Blue

  7. I love your paintings! You are doing so great! I really like how a portion of them exists outside the frame, like they’re alive. Great progress with Derek 🙂

  8. Anna

    Your work is incredible. I wish I had a touch of your skill. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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