Inktober: Days 5- 9

Despite the lack of updates on my blog, I’ve been continuing strong into October with the Inktober challenge. So far I have a finished drawing for every day! I didn’t want to inundate all of you guys with pictures, so I’ll space them out a bit. By the way, I use Instagram quite often so if you’d like to see a more updated collection of my drawings for Inktober, you can check it out. 🙂

Anyway, here they are:

Day 5

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Day 6

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Day 7

image10

Day 8

image5

Day 9

image6 (2)

Overall I’ve mostly been drawing random characters that pop into my head. Occasionally I feel like drawing some space related things, which I’m thinking of compiling into a zine, maybe.

Inktober has been really fun so far, but definitely a challenge. I’ve been drawing at least one thing every day, which is much more than I usually do. I’m hoping to see some improvement by the end of the month. I feel like I’m still trying to find a drawing style that I’m happy with, but with every drawing I think I get a little closer to that goal. 🙂

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Inktober: Days 3 and 4

So I’ve somehow convinced myself to attempt the Inktober challenge, which involves drawing in pen every day of October. It sounds fun and I was inspired by Sam’s work over at mechanicalpen. I missed the first two days but yesterday and today I drew things, so I thought I’d share them with you guys. It seems like a great challenge and I want to see how long I can keep up 😀

Day 3

I’ve been doodling planets in my notes lately so I thought why not make a zine all about imaginary planets? Here it is:

imaginary planets zine cover

I’m sad that the pen bled through the paper a little and now it’s going to be hard to copy. I’m still new to the whole zine thing.

Day 4

Today’s drawing is of a girl with magical powers. I drew it using an ink pen and colored with copic markers.

magic girl

Mini Zines

Hey everyone! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last posted anything, but I’ve been super busy with schoolwork lately. I just began my first year of college a few weeks ago, and the transition to life in a dorm has been interesting, to say the least. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some pictures of a couple of zines I made a week or two ago. I’m in the middle of creating a mini comic but the going has been slow on that, so I made these little guys in between working on that.

I got really excited when I found out that you could make a zine with just one piece of paper, without staples, so I tried it myself with some paper, a pen, and a copy machine. It was really fun making a lot of little copies and being able to hold the finished product in my hands.

among the stars zine pic collagehow to grow zine pic collage

I’m thinking of maybe coloring the second zine to see how it looks, since the drawings are pretty simple. Overall, though, I’m not really sure what to do with the zines. Maybe I’ll stick them in random places for people to find. 🙂

Late Night Painting

So I just finished painting a birthday present for my dad:

Burfjord Painting

Since his birthday is right around the corner and I didn’t really have enough time to buy him something nice, I ended up painting him a scene from our recent trip to Norway. XD I always end up waiting too long to get gifts.

Anyway, here’s the photo that I used as reference:

Norway photo

I’d never really painted with oils before, so some parts of the process were a bit difficult. I’ve been painting with acrylics for years, and one of the biggest differences between the two mediums is the drying time.

Acrylic, a water-based paint, can dry in a matter of minutes. Oil paint, on the other hand, can take one or more days to dry. This means that it’s easy to blend colors on the canvas, soften edges, and even rework previously done sections. However, this also causes some difficulty when trying to layer colors on top of one another.

Here is my painting process:

First I found a color for the sky and tested it out on the canvas. As I went along, I drew up a simple sketch using the blue paint. Some people do this with pencil or they create an “underpainting”. An underpainting is a monotone sketch in paint that people use to figure out values before filling in color. I didn’t have enough time to do this, so I just went right into painting the scene.

Then I filled in the water and mountains, using some of the blue paint I used for the sky. Getting the mountains the right color and shade was difficult, and I had to rework them several times. After they were finished, the rest of the painting process moved relatively fast. My method involves painting the scene from back to front. It’s generally easier to paint over the last layer than to try and paint around the one in front.

Burfjord Painting

The final touches of the painting were the flowers. It was a little hard to layer the purple paint on top of the grass, since it kept mixing with the green. Eventually it worked out, though. 🙂

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the result. I have definitely grown fond of the soft look that oil paint has and am looking forward to experimenting with it again, even though it takes forever to clean up! Maybe I’ll paint my dad a Christmas present. XD

Land of the Midnight Sun

So I just arrived back home after my two-week trip to Norway. In a word, it was amazing.

Purple Flowers with fjord

For the most part, I stayed in a little cabin my family owns way up in northern Norway, in a town called Burfjord. Because it lies so far past the arctic circle, in the summer the sun doesn’t set. It’s a little hard getting used to going to sleep in daylight, but the breathtaking landscapes are well worth it. Armed with a camera, a journal, and watercolor paints, I was determined to try to capture them.

While in Norway, I started a little travel diary using ink and watercolor. It began as a way of keeping memories for myself that I’d remember more than just pictures. Now that I’ve created quite a few pages, though, I’m considering turning it into a project to share with others 🙂

Painting in Norway

Here’s a few pages from my journal that explain how I arrived and a little of what I did when I got there:

Views from new york to oslo

Day 01

Day 02

Day 02 fishing

Day 02 fishing supplies

It was really fun painting with watercolors and trying to improve.

view of fjord from kitchen

a cloudy night

Overall, the experience was one of the best of my life. I had been to Norway a few times before, but I was so young that I hardly remembered it. I can already tell that I’ll remember this trip forever.

Destination: Norway

Destination norway

So I’m headed off to Norway for the next two-and-a-half weeks. I’m extremely excited to get to experience the country again after many years, and will be soaking it all in, camera in hand. For the whole trip I plan to journal using art and writing, which is a new concept for me. After I come back, I’ll hopefully have some great memories and art to share!

Yesterday was packing day. I’m the type of person to pack last-minute, and to do it in the least efficient, most disorganized way possible. Kind of like this:

packing chaos

In a few hours I’ll be boarding the seven-hour flight to Oslo. Once I leave I won’t have any cell or internet connection, so I won’t be able to update anytime soon. That means goodbye for now 🙂

A Garden Adventure

This spring and summer I’ve been taking pictures of my brother’s amazing garden. He has a green thumb and a passion for growing plants like trees, vegetables, and flowers, that I really envy. So I wanted to share some of the shots I took of his colorful little wonderland in the backyard.

Above are photos of my brother’s cute miniature greenhouse. He uses it in an attempt to keep his plants alive during the winter.

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And without further ado, some pictures of the lovely garden flowers taken with my phone: 😀

I can’t believe how nature can produce such color and beauty. Each plant has defining characteristics, from the soft folds of petals to distinctive patterns and colors, that make them unique and interesting to observe. Flowers and plants are definitely some of my favorite subjects to photograph. I hope to take more pictures of them as they bloom again this summer.

My Creative Summer Bucket List- 2015

Hey everyone! In order to motivate myself to experiment and do creative things this summer, I’ve created a bucket list of random activities and goals that I hope to accomplish come September.

1. Start Writing a Novel

This is definitely the biggest goal on my list. I really want to improve my writing, and the only way I know how is by practicing. Plus, I already have a rough idea for a story that is begging to be told!

This goal ties in with one of my biggest life-goals: to be published. I decided to abandon my first novel because I consider it more of a learning experience than a project I want to pursue in the long-term. So I’m going to work on a new project that I can really put my all into for the coming months and- who knows?- years.

2. Paint en Plein Air

Painting “en plein air” basically means painting outside. It’s done in the light of day, with the subject actually in front of you.

This is something that has interested me for a really long time. I haven’t gotten around to trying it, though. This summer I want to learn how to paint outside with oils and hopefully improve my painting skill in general.

3. Read Books

I love reading, but it always seems to be on the bottom of my list of things to-do even when I have free time. I think reading will help me be a better writer as well, so I am making it a top-priority.

4. Practice Watercoloring

I really love the way watercolor paintings look, with their subdued colors and softness. I admire the way some artists can use layers of watercolor to create atmosphere and depth. I’m going to practice watercoloring in order to hopefully learn some of these techniques and improve in general.

5. Develop my Illustration Style

This goal has popped up pretty recently for me. I’ve been drawing for a long, long time, but in the past few years my artistic aims have shifted immeasurably. I started drawing characters and illustrating a few years ago, and now I’d like to begin developing a unique illustration style.

6. Make Zines and Mini-Comics

Zines are something I’ve discovered pretty recently and have fallen in love with. I still don’t quite understand them, but I think they usually feature art, writing, or both in a booklet made of printer paper or any other type of material you can think of. The endless amount of possibilities that come with zines really excite me!

7. Document my Norway Trip

On July 18, I will be heading to Norway for a two-and-a-half week trip! I’ll attempt to document it through art-journaling, painting, drawing, and photography.

Well, this is definitely going to be a busy summer! I can’t wait. 😀

Exciting News

Finally, finally, finally, Solstice, my graphic novel, has been published!! I pushed the self-publish button today, breathing a huge sigh of relief afterwards. This project was challenging in many ways, but I’m so happy with the outcome and am excited to share it with the world.

Here’s what the cover looks like:

The book is 75 pages total, with 67 pages of original black-and-white artwork done in ink pen. I created the cover art with a computer art program, which I also used to add in the book’s text.

Here’s the blurb:

Somewhere deep in the wilderness, a boy named Fox awakens with no memory of who he is. Upon discovering a group of children surviving in the forest, he is swept into the search for a missing boy. But one question still lingers in his mind: who am I?

Because it’s only one day after this year’s summer solstice, I thought I’d share a teaser. Here’s the first ten pages:

(click to enlarge)

If you’d like to read the rest, you can buy the book on Lulu.com. 😉

Here’s a link!

I think Lulu was the right choice for this project, however it’s going to take a while for it to be available on Amazon.com. I’ll let you know when it does, though.

Thanks so much for sticking around, guys. Your support has been amazing. Now that I’ve completed this project I can get back into blogging regularly and start some new fun projects! I’m so excited for what the future holds.

My Graphic Novel is Complete

Finally, after months of working on my graphic novel, I have completed its final pages. The artwork needs no further editing, and the dialogue has been put in. I ordered a proof copy, received it, and am making adjustments at the moment in order to self publish by next week.

My blog, entitled Dreams and Letters, was originally made to document my process as I attempted to complete a graphic novel by May. It was supposed to be more of a scrapbook of ideas for me, a way of saving memories for my future self and maybe inspiring someone out there along the way. I am glad to say that I was extremely surprised at what blogging had in store.

I didn’t realize upon my blog’s start in February what a supportive community of people were out there, motivating one another to achieve their dreams as if they were already friends. All I can say is thank you to everyone who supported me along the way. Although I have been neglecting my blog during the past few weeks, when I did post you were all quick to give me a lot of much-needed motivation. You guys are why I love blogging, and will stick with my blog for years to come.

Thanks again.

Here’s a little timelapse video of me drawing a spread from the book: