19 January 2018

Lucky Dip I

A few years ago, I was really inspired by Ashley Picanco's Lucky Dip Videos on YouTube.  The idea of taking all my subscription box art supplies, putting them together, and randomly choosing just a few with which to make an art piece was super exciting!  When I started this blog, I realized I could do the same thing in my own way.  So in 2015, I set up my system and created my first Lucky Dip!

My first set of randomly selected supplies.

For my version of Lucky Dip, to make sure I chose as randomly as possible, I made a spreadsheet listing all of my subscription box supplies (at the time, I was subscribed to both ArtSnacks and the now defunct Pigment + Palette) and used RANDOM.ORG to generate five random numbers.  Those numbers pointed out which items from the spreadsheet I would use for my Lucky Dip.

My selected paper and random tools.
Test of each tool on the paper.

I wanted to give my Lucky Dip series a sense of structure, so I actually wrote down my own rules to follow, like a game.  If you want to start your own Lucky Dip journey, I do recommend making rules (or feel free to use mine!) because it makes the challenge that much more fun.  Working within the confines of your randomly selected tools and your predefined rules is actually one of the most exciting creative things you can do, in my opinion.  Creativity flourishes under restriction.

Here are my rules consolidated and typed out for future reference (and easy copying!)

  • A pencil for underdrawing is allowed, but all marks must eventually be covered/erased.
  • Extra tools such as paintbrushes, blenders, and erasers are allowed.
  • Substrate can be selected freely, based on appropriate use of the Lucky Dip items.
  • Final piece must clearly show use of all Lucky Dip items.

My ultimate goal when doing a Lucky Dip piece is to somehow get art supplies that I may otherwise never have thought to use together, to look as if they were chosen on purpose.


Based on the colors I had to work with, I decided to draw a blue version of my favorite raptor: the peregrine falcon.  I found a reference image online and sketched it out with my usual pencil.

Copic Sketch Marker, BG57 Jasper

After sketching, I started with the lighter blue Copic marker.  I can't remember for sure, but this may have been my first time using marker-specific paper.  I do enjoy it and I've used it again for a different marker drawing.  It definitely gets to show its strengths more when you have access to a full range of markers, instead of just a few, though.

ZIG Fudebiyori Metallic Marker, Silver

Next I moved onto using the metallic ZIG marker.  It comes across more like a typical grey pigment unless you're in really good lighting and even then, the color seems more like it has a reflective sheen rather than being full-blown metallic.  It's a subtle marker :3

Kurecolor Fine & Brush for MANGA by ZIG, Navy

In the third stage, I started using the dark blue Kurecolor marker as well as the previous two markers to add dark areas and details all over the drawing.  The falcon really started coming to life.

Copic Multiliner, Black, 0.05

With the addition of ink details using the Copic Multiliner pen, the falcon itself was complete.  I may have called such a drawing done if I didn't have one more tool left to use.  I already knew what I wanted to do from the very beginning, which is why I saved it for last.

Sharpie Peel-Off China Marker, Red

I used the china marker at the end to add a wash of color in the background and to bring that color onto the body of the falcon, as if it were in the midst of a sunset.  This not only helped fill the page and give depth to the image, I think the blue and silver palette looked incomplete on its own.  I'm glad I had one warm color to balance it out with!

So there we have my very first attempt at a Lucky Dip art piece!  I was extremely pleased with the result and I had a ton of fun figuring out how to utilize all the randomly selected items together in a cohesive way.  I've already completed a second Lucky Dip piece and have two more sets of supplies selected for future entries!  I hope you'll look forward to those pieces and maybe even give Lucky Dip a try yourself.

18 January 2018

2017 Christmas Presents - Little Sister Cat

Ink, marker, and colored pencil on smooth Bristol, 2.5x3.5", Completed December 2017

The next You-as-a-Cat! present I made was for my younger sister, Aryssa. By this point, I was really starting to get the formula for creating these cats down.  I think this is one of the brightest, most vibrant pieces in this series (probably because my sister has light colored hair and blue eyes).  It just feels...refreshing X3

Available on cool art merchandise here~

As you can see, this was another piece where I just completely forgot to add the whiskers.  I did all the other highlighting details, but for some reason it just slipped my mind to add in one of the most iconic cat features XD  I'm glad I realized it later and fixed it before these got opened on Christmas!

17 January 2018

2017 Christmas Presents - Baby Sister Cat

Ink, marker, and colored pencil on smooth Bristol, 2.5x3.5", Completed December 2017

For the fifth entry in this series of Christmas presents, I drew my youngest sister as a cat! For reference, I used a photo I had taken of her at Thanksgiving wherein she made almost this exact same face XD She made the face again when I took a photo of her holding up this ACEO and it proved to be an excellent match. Of all the cats I drew for this series, I think the eyes on this one are my favorite. The color and the shine just came out so nice, they look almost real.

Available printed on cool art merch here! 

By drawing all of my closest family and friends in succession, immediately one after another, I came to realize that I have a LOT of relations with hazel eyes!  I counted all the cat eye colors in this entire set and found I have five with hazel eyes, five with brown, and four with blue.  Pretty evenly matched!  Of course, that also means I don't know anyone with true green eyes...

16 January 2018

ArtSnacks - January 2018

2018 marks my fourth year as a subscriber to the monthly ArtSnacks box, though my actual anniversary will be in March.  Now that I think about it, March is also the birthday of ArtSnacks itself!  That means I'm exactly one year behind, ha ha.  Well, I'm still as happy as ever with my monthly delivery of surprise supplies; the novelty never wears off because there's always something new to discover!  Here's what I received in my January box, the first box of 2018!

Pencil shavings canister.

I was really excited to see everything in my box this month.  This year is starting off great!  Drawing materials are my favorite thing because they're so accessible; you don't need anything more than a piece of paper to start using them.  This month's supplies are neat because you can use them straight up dry or you can dilute the pigment with water for unique effects.  Here's the full list of supplies:
  • Uni-Posca PCF-350 Brush Tip Paint Marker [red]
  • Marabu Graphix Aqua Pens [cool grey, bright blue]
  • Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip Brush Pen
  • Sakura SumoGrip Mechanical Pencil
Now let's go over the contents in detail and check this stuff out!

Uni-Posca PCF-350 Brush Tip Paint Marker

This is one of the most unique paint markers I've received to date.  Not only does it have a brush tip (most tend to have chisel or bullet tips) it uses a clicker mechanism to deliver the paint, similar to a mechanical pencil.  I'm happy I got red!  The color is really vibrant and lays down thick and easy.  The brush is soft and bristly so you can get a wide variety of marks out of it.  Since the paint is water-based, I tried some water techniques but it didn't really do much.  The paint dries SUPER fast, too fast to play with it on the page.  Because of that, I really recommend keeping the cap on whenever the marker isn't in use so that the tip won't harden.

Marabu Graphix Aqua Pens

I got a very light cool grey and a bright blue color.  The pens don't have color names or even numbers printed on them, so I don't know what colors I got officially (^^;  The grey is SO light that it's barely perceptible on the page.  Hopefully that means there is a range of greys available instead of just this one.  In any case, I'm ALWAYS excited to try new watercolor supplies, especially markers and pens, a relatively new concept to me.  These pens come with a fine tip and a brush tip, although both tips are quite firm, so you can't get all that much more variation in line weight from the brush end.  Perhaps with use over time it will loosen up.  Since these are watercolor pens, it almost goes without saying that water techniques worked wonderfully.  I didn't try blending the two colors since the grey is so light it would just get lost, but I have a feeling that blending with other color pens would be super fun and satisfying.

Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip Brush Pen

Japanese black ink brush pens are my FAVORITE thing to get in my ArtSnacks boxes.  Ever since they were first introduced, I find I am never disappointed in them and I therefore never get tired of trying new ones out.  This particular pen has a really nice, unique, silky texture to the body.  Just holding it is pleasant.  It doesn't disappoint when writing and drawing, either.  The tip is small but extremely flexible so you can produce a wide range of strokes with interesting variations in texture.  Just press harder, move faster, tap at an angle--all kinds of marks are possible.  It's just as good for writing a letter as it is for inking a picture.

Sakura SumoGrip Mechanical Pencil

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed using the SumoGrip pencil.  After all, once you've tried so many mechanical pencils, it gets really hard to design anything that stands out.  But Sakura did it here!  First of all, this is one of the fattest mechanical pencils I've ever used.  It's fat, but it's still quite light and the grip is soft, velvety, and shaped like a triangle, so its girth doesn't cause me any problems.  In fact, this may be the most comfortable mechanical pencil I own.  To top it all off, it has a twist-up eraser.  The twist feature makes it easy to customize how you want to erase (if you make it longer, you can erase using the edge and get a thinner line) and it comes with plenty of eraser so you don't have to worry about buying replacements for a good while.  I twisted it out to its fullest and measured to find it is at least one solid inch of rubber, and that was after I used it a couple times!

ArtSnacks Challenges!

I'm feeling really good about my year in art for 2018.  I've got lots of well-made plans and goals and my intent is to take everything slow so I don't burn out or get overwhelmed.  My ArtSnacks subscription is going to continue this year so you can look forward to my monthly reviews from here on out!