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What a difference 6 years makes...

Journal Entry: Fri Jul 12, 2013, 5:36 PM
About a week ago, I posted this:
Emma Frost - Portrait of a Queen by lilyinblue

In July of 2007, I drew this:
Emma Frost - X-Jam by lilyinblue

This most recent time around, I was drawing Emma Frost simply because I felt like it.  I did a sketch of a woman during some free time, and her mood reminded me of Emma, so I ran with it.  What I didn't realize at the time was that the last time I drew Emma (my favorite X-Man) was almost exactly 6 years ago.  Looking at the two pieces, I don't think most would ever realize they're from the same artist.

It's easy to be critical of our own work.  In order to get better, we have to be.  You need to be able to see your own flaws in order to know what to improve upon.  However, when we do well, it's also important to take some pride in it.  I was proud of my most recent portrait of Emma.  I learned a ton in terms of technique while working on it, and honestly thought it was my best work to date.

... but seeing it side by side with my last attempt at portraying Emma, I'll admit... I'm even more proud now.  I've worked hard, especially in the past 2-3 years, and I think I have some proof that it is finally paying off.

Now somebody remind me that I have to draw Emma again in July of 2019.

2013 So Far...

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 21, 2013, 4:49 PM
2012 was probably my best year ever, in terms of the art stuff.  I posted seven new pieces (given my usual lack of prolificity, I was pretty proud of that) and even saw my work in print for the first time.  I told myself at the beginning of this year that I would do better.  I want to make sure that at minimum, I'm posting one new piece a month.  So far, I'm on track!

January: The Eagle by lilyinblue February: Captain Marvel - In Flight by lilyinblue March: Ghost - Dark Horse by lilyinblue

What's up next? Wonder Woman definitely is.  After her... maybe something vaguely cyborg-ish.  And, one of my goals is to produce a self-portrait before the end of the year.

Wish me luck!

My art, appearing in Captain Marvel #1

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 18, 2012, 7:28 AM
Today is a pretty big day in my life.  A piece of my art is going to be printed in an actual, real live comic book for the first time.

A few weeks ago, Marvel put out a call on Twitter for fan-art based on Carol Danvers in the new Captain Marvel costume.  Holy crap!  I had been working on a digital painting of Carol for weeks!  It was about 95% finished.  I rushed home that night, finished painting her hair, and e-mailed it in.

About two weeks ago, I got confirmation that my piece was one of the submissions selected to appear in a fan-art gallery in the back of the #1 issue of the Captain Marvel relaunch (by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dexter Soy).  That book hits the stands today.  I am incredibly excited.

Here's the art:
Captain Marvel - Carol Danvers - Portrait by lilyinblue

On top of all of that, as soon as word spread so many friends (both online and offline) and family starting showing such amazing love and support.  That, above all else, has made this an absolutely amazing experience.  So thank you all for being so incredibly awesome.

All in all, I'd have to say today is shaping up to be a pretty good day!

  • Reading: Captain Marvel
  • Drinking: Coffee
A few months ago, I did a speed paint of the Carol Danvers redesign by Jamie McKelvie, soon to be featured in Kelly Sue DeConnick's relaunch of Captain Marvel.  

Captain Marvel - Carol Danvers by lilyinblue

It got a very positive response - truly moreso than any other work I've done to date.  It even was featured in a collection on Project Rooftop.  So, I figured... if a speed paint can go over that well, imagine what I could do if I put some actual time and effort into it?  Thus, I began another portrait of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel, going for Hi-Res, Hi-Def and all of the itty bitty details.  I was almost finished.  I was maybe 95% of the way there.  I planned on posting it tonight.

... then my computer had some other ideas.

My file was turning so massive that Photoshop was bogging my whole computer down.  Finally, it just up and quit.  After a reboot, I came back to find my file completely corrupted.  I've tried a number of recovery techniques, but thus far nothing has been successful.  The good news is, I do back my files up, and this corruption was timed well enough with my most recent back-up that I only lost about 5 hours of work.  Unfortunately, they were 5 very productive hours.  I won't let myself spend more than 5 hours trying to restore 5 hours of work.  That would be stupid... especially considering the only part left incomplete in my back-up is the hair.  Everything else is quite finished.  Nevertheless, there will be a bit of a delay in posting it.  Hopefully next weekend.

On a happier note, I've done some coloring lately.  Truthfully, I find coloring other people's stuff infinitely more relaxing than doing my own drawing.  I did pieces for :iconladyalternate: and :iconblu-berri:

Here's one of them!

CBR Draw Me An X-Jam - Twinkle by ladyalternate

And Here's the other!
So, the lovely community on the X-boards over at the Comic Book Resources Forums desided to start doing Art Jams again.  I decided to participate.  The theme of X-Jam XIII was costume redesigns.  Through a miracle of dumb luck, I was assigned my all-time favorite, Rogue.

The good thing about an Art Jam is that there is a deadline.  Deadlines mean I can't procrastinate.  Deadlines mean I get stuff done.  Crazy, huh?  Thus, I post my first piece in over a year and a half:

Rogue - Costume Redesign by lilyinblue

I won't lie.  I'm pretty thrilled with the end result.  So here I am, promising again to do more work and be more prolific.  Maybe this time it'll actually stick, huh?
  • Reading: X-Men: Legacy
  • Watching: Game of Thrones
  • Playing: Marvel vs. Capcom 3
  • Eating: Cookies
  • Drinking: Mt. Dew
The problem with having this journal so prominently displayed is that it makes it really obvious when I haven't been updating.  

I set a goal of doing more art this year.  So far, I've come up a little short.  However, I've finally got a new piece ready to go and posted.  I've been working on that Carnival of Shadows Illusionist (from City of Heroes) on and off for a long time.  It's pretty gratifying to finish it after all of this time.  The bonus is, while it certainly isn't perfect... I'm very proud of it.  I'm definitely quite happy with the way it turned out.  This may have finally unseated the Blue Cyborg as my favorite piece.

What I really enjoyed was finally doing something with a lot of little details and embellishments... and working in bold colors that weren't blue.  I'm always struggling with making my shadows deep enough.  I think I made some progress there too on this piece.

So what's next?  I have an idea for some more Marvel fan art that has been bouncing around in my head for a good, long time.  However, what I really need to do is cook up a good illustration to feature on the disgustingly-overdue rebuild of my website.  Wish me luck!
  • Listening to: The TV
  • Reading: Comic books
  • Watching: Super Hero Squad
  • Playing: Gemstone IV
  • Eating: Turkey and Mashed Potatoes
  • Drinking: Sweet, Sweet Caffeine
It's been ages since I updated this.  After not posting anything in the whole of 2008, something I not too happy about, I made a goal to post at least four or five pieces this year.  

To start, I just posted a wallpaper that I made as a part of an art contest for Gemstone IV.  This was a somewhat rushed piece due to the contest deadline, but I can't complain.  I think deadlines are what I need to keep moving.

The irony is, I had another piece nearly finished that I had to put aside to complete this on time.  I hope to have that posted very soon as well.  It is a portrait of a Carnival of Shadows Illusionist from City of Heroes.  I'm very happy with how it is looking so far.

After that, I owe some friends some art.  That will be next and I hope I can stave off my own laziness enough to get it done in a timely fashion!
  • Listening to: The TV
  • Reading: The computer screen
  • Watching: True Blood
  • Playing: Gemstone IV
  • Eating: Dark Chocolate Icecream
  • Drinking: Sweet, Sweet Caffeine
There is usually a distinct difference between what I am working on and what I should be working on.  I should be doing some City of Heroes art.  I started a drawing one of the Carnival of Shadows illusionists awhile back, just because they look so awesome.  I also should be doing a portrait of my main character.  I finally got to 50 with her and no character should be capped without a proper portrait.

What should I REALLY be working on?  I have a few Gemstone IV commissions that need to be finished.  Commissions come before personal projects, right?  I'll get to those.  I promise.

What am I actually working on?  Well.  A friend of mine forced me to try out Pirates of the Burning Sea.  I have been playing non-stop since the opening of the pre-boarding period.  I decided I needed a forum avatar over there.  Clearly, the creation of a 100x100 pixel graphic requires a 1600x1600 character portrait to be done.  So, in a flurry of inspiration, I am hoping to have a nice portrait of Captain Anna Corbeau done in the next week or so.  I finished the sketch in the space of a night... which is nothing short of a miracle.  Then, I will get back to the GSIV work.  I promise.  Really.

(Seriously though, the artistic momentum is rare.  If the muse tells me to draw French Privateers instead of Half-Elven Rogues, so be it.)
  • Playing: Pirates of the Burning Sea
  • Eating: Pizza-flavored Goldfish Crackers
  • Drinking: Sweet, Sweet Caffeine