art · dogs · dolls

Redoll 2014

Glam!‘s redoll event has ended so now I can post this.
Basically, you are assigned a person and have to remake one of their dolls with at least three changes. I’ve always enjoyed this event but this year was a struggle!

I was assigned Tiger and chose this doll.
The base I used was by aerieyena. Final palette count is 20, including transparency.


It was at this point that Kira died. And with her went my motivation. If I wasn’t making this for someone else then I probably wouldn’t have completed it.

I used my sister’s adorable Summer for reference. Animals are hard!

It’s lucky that I finished the alien-dog before my motivation died. As it is, the background did suffer. At least I didn’t scrap the background entirely. It could have been better but is still pretty good for me.

art · dolls

December Colour Challenge

I can’t believe how quickly time has flown! What the hell happened to the year?

I quite like the colour combo for December. I instantly thought of this dress. And horns, because horns are fun. It was coming up with a vaguely interesting pose that was the problem.

I haven’t made a doll in a while (even longer for a pixel-shaded one) so I decided that this month’s challenge would be a doll. Working with a restricted palette just happened along the way. I managed to get down to 14 colours, though it does mean that the arm and hand look stupid and the horns lack detail…

art · dolls

Redoll steps

The dolling community has been slowly dying for years. I blame DA creating a doll category (though I’m sure there’s more to it than that). Once I was a member of multiple doll forums. Now, I barely contribute to one. But every two years, Glam! holds a redoll event and I always participate. It’s a lot of fun.

Basically, you are assigned a person and have to pick one of five dolls that thye’ve posted up. Your task is to remake that doll (on a new base) and change at least three things. Of course, I like to make many more changes and make the doll my own.

This year, I chose a steampunk doll. I haven’t done much steampunk before and the little that I’ve done has left me disappointed. I’m certainly not disappointed with this doll.

Base by base-o-holic, using SenshiStock as a reference.
28 colours in total.

art · dolls

Photo references

I’m not a professional artist. The most formal training I’ve done is six life drawing classes. Other than that, I got the basics (such as position of ears, level shoulders etc) from the How To Draw Manga books that people tend to sneer at.

Over the years, I’ve noticed vast improvements in my ability to draw. Photographing myself has really advanced my ability to draw. Hands are no longer laughable. Legs are no longer avoided at all cost.

With these three photos…
…I made this.

I still have trouble. I have a tendency to draw legs too long and have to correct it at the digital stage. And some poses are too difficult, despite using a photo aid. Like the doll I’m working on below. I couldn’t get the shape of the legs right. I ended up tracing over the photo, which I do feel guilty about.

Left: my attempt. Right: tracing.

At the same time, I am truely amazed at how far I’ve come. If I had tried this a year ago then I would have given up at the sketching stage. It is getting a little bit easier to draw basic, plain poses without reference (like this doll, with hands and legs hidden).
Seeing all these improvements make me excited about what I’ll achieve in the coming years. Maybe one day I’ll understand feet and toes well enough to draw them without a photo.

art · dolls


Base by Vayliya

I don’t know about other artists, but I find that I enter a creative slump after finishing a piece. Unless I have something already in the works, once I finish a project I have trouble working on something else. It isn’t that I’m lacking ideas, I hve a large list of ideas waiting for me. It’s more more of an motivation or inspiration thing, a trouble placing the first stroke. So does it count as true artist’s block?

Whatver it is, it’s so frustrating when I finally have time to devote to my art and it happens. This never happened when I was at high school and undergrad uni and had time (but I also worked on crap that I didn’t enjoy).

I think I’ve found a strategy to combat this block thing. For me, the answer is doll bases. Instead of trying to find the right base or pose to suit my idea, I develop an idea to suit the base. I will open all of the base files I have saved on my computer (and there are a lot of them). Then I go through the tedious process of quickly glancing at them one by one and deciding whether to close the file or add the base to a blank canvas. It takes a while but what else am I going to do? Probably spend the time doing nothing and feeling guilty for doing nothing.

By the end of that process, I am usually left with about five or more bases that resonated with me in the moment. I will then scribble any ideas I have on them. Voilà! A starting point.

Bases by Phrixian, MalevolentMask, OppsIArted, Halleaon, and Glume (I think?)

The chances of me finishing all these dolls is pretty slim but that doesn’t matter. The important thing is that at least one inspires me enough to continue. And that’s how I can go from a spoilt brat in pink to some weird blue woman on a cloud XD

DA background colour. I bet the cloud would look stupid against white.

And that’s one of the things that I like about dolls. Bases provide a great starting point and I love to use them to unmask my hidden ideas. Working on a blank canvas is great too but I find that I get so hung up on the technical side that I’m often not as creative.

art · cross stitch · dogs · dolls · sewing

Housesitting dump

Housesitting wasn’t all that fun this time round. When I got over my recent anger, I felt flat and unmotivated. Today isn’t so bad though.
And Kira has recently developed separation anxiety. If I don’t let her inside right after her breakfast, she starts crying and eating the door. Actually, both dogs have been clingy. It’s just as well I was able to stay over and they didn’t have to go to a cold kennel.

I did manage to do a little bit of sketching.

Dogs are hard to draw

I did do a little pixelling but I couldn’t get comfortable using my lappy and I really needed a mousepad for the surface I was using. It wasn’t fun so I soon gave up. 

So instead, I’ve been modelling for some more base poses. The fire has been on, making the house nice and warm 🙂
I really suck at thinking of interesting poses. Particularly legs. I’ll think “oh this might look good” and then I’ll look at the photo and it isn’t good. Still, I think I’m getting better at drawing arms and hands.

No mum, I wasn’t taking photos of myself naked…geez…

Finally, a little cartoon owl cross stitch. I designed it to use up some scrap aida cloth I had lying around. Except I don’t know what to do with it now XD
Owls can’t actually move their eyes like that (they’re also yellow). But I thought it looked cute…

art · dolls · nintendo

Stupid grey

Following on from my last post, I’ve been working in the afternoons on three dolls for Miss Doll Gamer 2012.

I’m starting to regret my choice in shading. It would have been much easier had I gone down the pixel shading route. I spent hours shading and deleting because I couldn’t get the skin and face right. And the hair. I have done grey hair before and it was fine but this was agony. I hate the hair of the second one but it turned out well as blue hair so I’ll just submit the grey for the contest but keep the blue. Who cares if I don’t do as well in that round?

Bases by Elven Crystaline

Seriously, how do game developers manage to pick these colours and make it work together? This isn’t the first time I’ve had trouble with the colours for fanart.