Field Trip to an Art Store + Smudge Sticks

Somehow in the course of my life I have lost more erasers than I thought possible. Once again I found myself sans my hard eraser, and my kneaded eraser had become seriously nasty over the vestiges of time (and pencil trimmings). How terrible. I had to go to the art store. Woe is me.


In all seriousness, though, going to art stores is my happy place. It’s my shoe shopping, it’s my dress trying on. It’s freaking delicious.

So of course I bought on-sale brushes, a new notebook, fresh fancy ink to try, and oh yeah also erasers.


I also bought a smudge stick.

Crazy as it is, I’ve never really used a smudge stick before. They’ve been around, and I sort of understand their point, but smudge sticks are not a tool I keep in my box. So I figured it was time to give it a solid try by doodling out some concept sketches for a short story I wrote and using the smudge stick very sparingly to give it that ‘field notes’ look I was going for.


I’m still not sure how I feel about the thing. But more tools in my box is never a bad thing!

Rapunzel – WIP 1

I’m working on a couple of things simultaneously right now, but one of my current projects is taking the fairy tale Rapunzel and updating it into an urban fantasy setting. Mostly that means I get to draw lots of hair. Luckily, that is okay by me. 😉

Here are some in-progress pictures.

Like all drawings (ought to a least…), it started with thumnails. A few years ago I took an online class from Chris Oatly called Painting Drama I; the main thing I took away was the importance of strong composition and structure and (you guessed it) thumbnails!


And here’s the sketch I built off of it. As you can see, I made some composition changes along the way.


But a thumbnail and a sketch do not a painting make. So on to the inking stage! I am lucky enough to have a Monoprice light table that two dear friends got for me last Christmas. It rocks, is ultra thin, and makes tracing your work from pencil (or in this case sharpie…) sketch to final inks a breeze. My previous set up involved a Tupperware box, a broken lamp, and a scanner bed duct-taped over it covered in tracing paper. Let’s just say this was an upgrade.


And finally, the stage I’m currently in: painting.