Sunday, December 2, 2012

Little Girls

This is a birthday present for my Mama! She comes up with cute stories about these two little girls, one of which lives under a rock! <3 I wanted to portray them in a simplistic children's book style... This is what I landed on!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Copic Drawings

I love how portable copic markers are. For these drawings, I printed copies of my line art and took them on the road with me. I wound up coloring one on an airplane and the other at a library. I felt like a kid with a coloring book and a box of crayons! It was fun and relaxing.

 I like having copies of the line art in case I want to try different color combinations, and also to try out different opacities for the lines. Howl and Sophie's lines were reduced to 60% opacity. Doesn't it kind of look like pencil? I like how soft it came out. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rainbow Star Girl

I was inspired to draw a bright, colorful chibi after watching Disney's Wreck it Ralph. The Sugar Rush characters are so cute!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sketch Night at the Opera: Anna Bolena

This week, I had the pleasure of attending Anna Bolena by Gaetano Donizetti, performed at the Ordway Theater. As always, the Minnesota Opera has put together a grand production, tense with drama!

Here are the sketches I made during the show. I fiddled around with ink for a bit before catching my groove in pencil. As always, my approach was a bit gestural, as I tried to capture as many instances as possible!





Thanks for checking out my sketches! If you're interested in seeing a performance of Anna Bolena, check out the Minnesota Opera's website-- it will be running 'til November 18th! Sketch nights at the opera take place during the final dress rehearsal of each production.  If you're interested in hoping aboard the sketch train, these events are hosted by the lovely Black Hat Collective, a twin cities comic-making club. We are very welcoming to newcomers! Well, that's all I've got for now... Have a sketchy day! <3

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Inktober Conclusion

October's daily ink challenge, "Inktober", didn't make it onto my daily to-do list after all, but I did get a small batch of ink drawings and doodles out of it! It was just what I needed to kick into convention commission mode. Also, it feels good to get my hands inky after spending so much time working digitally lately! The ones below were the very first few I knocked out.  The drawing was fast, because I was so eager to get re-acquainted with my inking tools! From left to right: Hunt 102 nib, Pentel pocket brush, Hunt 108 nib. Above, Howl and Sophie were inked with a G-nib.

That princess' arms are just "ouch". Not my finest work, but the challenge was way fun! I recommend it. Next year, I'll hop on board, day one.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Anime Fusion 2012

Dennis Lo and I... waiting for hoards of fans to arrive.

Anime Fusion was a brand new convention this year. It was a wee bit small, but a fun time nonetheless! I was happy to be table-mates again with my friend, Dennis Lo. We set up our comics and prints early each day, then sat and watched the flow of costumed con-goers drift by. Dennis would occasionally pick on them, for fun.

Super Sailor Moon stopped by our table
I got to do a couple of commissioned pencil drawings. It's such a pleasure to do commissions-- especially when traffic around the table is slow. I love that there's been so much room for interpretation in all of the commissions I've done! It's a special feeling knowing that a person doesn't just want a drawing of a character; they want your style and the spin that you can put on it!

My Human Fluttershy
 A guy asked me to interpret Fluttershy as a human. She's a pony character from the new My Little Pony Series, called Friendship is Magic. It's very popular, because it's a fun and sweet show! The ponies are a cute anime-influenced style. This guy told me that he always gets a new drawing of Fluttershy done at each convention he goes to. I love the idea of collecting drawings from all sorts of artists with the same subject matter! How fun is that? It demonstrates a lot of love and devotion!

Conventions can feel long when you're sitting for hours with little sleep and little coffee, but afterward, you look back and it seems that it all just flew by. This artist alley was full of great talent and personalities. I was psyched to meet local artists Doua Jai Yang and Meng Wang, to once again see Leandra Cota, and to be neighbors with Kaycie Dunlap, who I fatefully met just under a week prior! Kismet, huh? Jen Reihm was there, too- sporting her Derpy Hooves costume and her perfect Fuu (Samurai Champloo). Thank you all for making the con colorful, fun, and inspiring! <3

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sam!

A birthday sketch for my friend, Sam Alden. He makes a lot of great comics. Go check them out! Do it now! Gingerland -- Dubblebaby

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Young Raina and the Spirit

The spirit who goes by the name... "Mr Coffin"! A request by Katie,of her character (Mr Coffin) and mine (Raina). I don't believe Mr. Coffin has had a visual interpretation yet, so this is the first little piece of concept art! :) I hope you like it, Kitty!

India Ink, G-Nib, and Strathmore paper, at my commission size-- approx. 4x5 inches.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Women of Adventure Time

For Anime Fusion, I whipped up some little Adventure Time stickers! I had the inked drawings sitting around in a sketchbook, just waiting to become something more. Flat colors are simple and fun to do, so it was a breeze. <3

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More FallCon Love

Proof! Proof that I attract adorable little girls! <3 I'm so happy that Ryan Carlson took this picture. That's his daughter I'm talking with. When she ran over to my table, Ryan interviewed me, since it was my first time exhibiting at FallCon. He wrote some kind words about me in his Fallcon article over on If you are reading this, sir, thank you so much! :)

Here's the article I wrote about FallCon 2012.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Commission Examples



These are some sketches that I did up to represent commissions that I can offer while at conventions. They're 3.5 x 5 inches, and the paper is from a nice little Strathmore pad. I suppose it's kind of a strange size... I'll probably just chop that extra half inch from now on and make it 3 x 5.

I tried out some new things on these sketches. First, I used 2B pencil in conjunction with yellow mechanical pencil lead. I think I like it? Not sure yet. It's nice to work with, but in the end maybe it doesn't look as clean as straight up graphite. I did the inking with a pitt pen and pentel pocket brush, because I'm still debating whether it would be a good idea to bring my india ink and quill pen to artist alley. I wouldn't want to spill anything! And lastly, Strawberry Shortcake was colored with copics, prismacolor, and tria markers. Markers are such a new thing to me! I only recently acquired a decent amount of them, so I'm just now starting to color things. I'm a marker newbie!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Today was my brother's birthday, so I made him a portrait gift.

During this piece, I mixed up my process in ways that I really enjoyed. I drew the figure and established the lighting in photoshop, as opposed to my usual way of working with tracing paper and/or  colored pencils. Working digitally is way cleaner and more organized. To maintain a hand-drawn feeling, I printed it out and traced over it using 2B pencil on vellum. Lately, I've been loving vellum for doing my tight pencils. Lastly, I scanned it back into photoshop and added the color.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Inktober Day 1

I just learned about "Inktober"-- a daily ink drawing challenge. I'm a a little late getting started, but I figured, why not give it a shot?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bloom and Grow

It's done! I finished this for Fallcon and sold it as a $1 mini, tied with gold organza ribbon. In person, it's a real cutie! If you're interested in the process, you can see the pencils here. I decided to color it in photoshop, after being inspired by this great tutorial on mixing colors. It blew my mind a little... You can read it here! :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

FallCon 2012

This weekend, I set up shop at FallCon! Let me just start off by saying-- I think it's really difficult to portray my excitement through text. I'd rather let my face, voice, and bounciness tell you the story of the convention. But alas... I hope I can give you an idea here of how utterly delightful this experience was.

This was my display! My Sailor Moon picture out in front attracted many a little girl to my table. I didn't know kids these days were even watching Sailor Moon! One, maybe nine years old, bragged to me about all the issues of the manga she owns, and began quoting all of the attack names. Another, I gave some free art to, because she was only FIVE or something, LOVED Sailor Moon, and her parents weren't going to buy her anything. I made her day, and that gave me something more valuable than money.

Aang from Avatar the Last Airbender

Big Daddy and splicer from Bioshock

Normally, I cosplay at conventions. However, I find that it feels pretty weird sitting behind a table in a costume. You know? Putting on a costume makes you want to run around and explore and be that character for a while. It's magical! But in artist alley, I want to be 100% me. So, I realized, this is the way to enjoy cosplay while in artist alley-- by celebrating other people!

Lately, I've been feeling that I ought to begin accepting commissions. I took it as a good omen when a couple people requested commissions of me and I wasn't even advertising them! They were so much fun to do. And I'm so happy that I got to make other people very happy with custom artwork. What a "wow" feeling.

The first request was for a custom Yu-Gi-Oh card. I got to pick one of his existing cards, white out the image, and draw in my own. He made it clear that I could draw absolutely anything I wanted, and suggested I could do one of my original characters! How awesome is that, right? He even left me his paint markers, since I had no suitable supplies with me.  I chose a card called "dust tornado" and drew my character Autumn, blowing a great big swirl of wind from her cupped hands. The second request was from a lady who wanted me to draw a portrait of her lovely obitsu doll. So pretty!

What a day. The time flew by. I wish there were more conventions like this. Not only is it fun, it's free for artists. That meant no worries about breaking even! Nothing but awesome. Thanks for tuning in, guys! My next convention is Anime Fusion: Oct' 19th-21st!

P.S.--- A word of thanks to my amazing table-mates-- writer Christa Yelich-Koth and artist Conrad Teves. They enriched my experience with lovely talk of art and stories of their collaboration. Also, Conrad lent me his white-out pen, without which I could NOT have pulled off that Yu-Gi-Oh card!! Thank you!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dr Sketchy's Sept.'12

Life drawings I made during last month's Dr Sketchy's. The colored pencil drawings on the left are one-minute sketches. The center two were drawn during a 15 minute pose. The rightmost drawing, I had a whole half hour to do. I never know quite what to do with all that time-- so I normally just draw the pose twice. So much to learn! Dr Sketchy's is always my favorite life drawing session. Pretty ladies,  with costumes and without, are just so fun to draw! This model's name is Electro-Cute. During the one-minute poses, she wore a gorgeous black sequin dress, had a long fur draped over her, and wore a stack of ten or so pearl necklaces! (Perhaps you can see the necklaces real lightly in my sketches? They're massed together into a scarf-like clump.) The thing about Dr Sketchy's is that there's never enough time to draw the costume before the model takes it off. Which is good, because it keeps you focused on drawing the figure!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nabucco - Opera Sketches

The Minnesota Opera has begun it's new opera season, and it's first show is Verdi's "Nabucco"! The story, "...follows the plight of the Jews as they are conquered and exiled from their homeland by King Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucco)."--Minnesota Opera

 I attended the final dress rehearsal with my fellow Black Hatters, to sketch the night away. Watching the opera and sketching at the same time is challenging. Add to that subtitles that must be read and, well... Unfortunately, I missed out on some plot points. But oh, the sights and sounds were simply marvelous! The costumes, sets, and singing are totally enjoyable even without an understanding of the Italian words. Such grand performances just fill my spirit right up with bright, burning goodness.

Below: Abigaille, older daughter of Nabucco

Above: Fenena, Younger daughter of Nabucco, and the High Priest of the Hebrews

I've had the honor of attending several of these dress rehearsals in the past, and I'm still working out the best way of capturing the magnificence of it all in my sketchbook. By nature, I am incredibly slow at everything, including sketching. This time, I tackled the job with my brush pen. First, I drew a rough impression with pencil. Then, I quickly attempted to give the characters more substance and form with ink. The result was far fewer sketches than usual, but all of them are way more complete looking than usual. This has been my first round of opera sketches that I didn't feel the need to work back into afterwards. Yay!