1. 3 7 14

    Why do you want to hurt me?

    jk, I’m sure I can find something for these.

    3. Show us your oldest piece of art you have on hand.

    I don’t have any old work on hand, but I’m gonna do something bold for you and visit an old Elfwood account and see what I can find…

    Ooof, that was embarrassing.  Are you entertained?

    7.  Show us at least one picture you drew or sketched recently that you did not put on a public site.

    I’m not super into sharing a few of the most recent, but here’s a thing that didn’t see the light of day- 

    I drew that while in NYC on vacation for commonplacecaz's Footy AU, but never finished it because I was busy and I kind of wanted to save the stylistic concept for a future project, anyway.

    14.  What do you like drawing the most?

    There’s this spot that starts on the inside corner of a person’s eye and goes down to right under the front of their cheekbone.  You have it, I have it, Brad Pitt has it.  I want to draw all of them.  That spot defines how your face comes together in a way that is so much more important to the subtleties of your face than your brow, or your lips, or your cheekbones alone ever could be.

    I just looked at some of my work to see if I could find any examples, but the truth is this fetish is in everything I do, and it’s obvious.  But if I zoom in enough on any one image to show it’s effect, it removes all comprehensibility from the image.  But here are a couple recent portraits- see if you can see what I mean-


  2. crabsandlobsters said: 4, 10, 17

    Hey Dahling-

    4. What defines your artistic style?

    I definitely show my work.  Meaning- I tend to leave steps and sketches in the final product.  I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Sometimes I worry that I’m relying too much on the “sketchiness” of a thing to portray energy or emotion that could otherwise be shown through construction or pose.  I’ve gone so far as to decrease the effectiveness of a stronger design element to leave the progress work in. For example-

    Now there’s a work that could have benefited from the cleanest possible work.  It was probably gonna be vectored, at the end.  So it is left to the philosophers to identify why I didn’t respond to that probability.

    10. What do you like most about your art?

    I like that it’s a viable career option.  I like that I’m capable of drawing my friends and relations, because that’s what I want to draw, and that seems to be what people like seeing drawn.  I like that my ability to draw likenesses has opened up collaborations and relationships with people online for purely fun, non-commercial purposes.  I’m a critically shy person, and I’m shit at maintaining relationships, so the fact that I’m able to connect with people on some level because of what I do- that makes me an incredibly lucky person, as well.

    17.  What would you absolutely refuse to draw?

    Huh, good question.  I can’t think of a lot.  I think that even if I’m uncomfortable drawing something, or if I think that the existence of such a drawing would be inappropriate, I’d like to think I could still create something that could satisfy the person asking.  So, while I wouldn’t want to draw a scene of intense gore, for example, I think an illustrator can do a lot with mood and intention, and doesn’t necessarily have to draw the nitty gritty.  Which isn’t to say that I would never draw the nitty gritty, so to speak, I just don’t want to if there’s a better way to show it.

    This is an interesting question- all the worst stuff that I can think of that I don’t want to draw is inevitably couched in the actions of people.  The worst things I can think of are the things people do to one another.  And in those circumstances, the relationships between perpetrator and victim are more important than the actions themselves, I would argue, and those relationships are either impossible to draw, or so elegantly simple to draw that it would inevitably be a better picture than the actual act.

    To be honest though, the stuff that freaks me out a lot is difficult to portray visually anyway, so it probably won’t come up.

    Ugh, that last answer was a mess.  But I don’t wanna rethink the wording, so let’s move on.


  3. Artist Ask Meme

    I got nothing else going on, so lemme have it.

    Put a number in my ask box!:

    1. When did you get into art?
    2. What art-related sites have you ever signed up for?
    3. Show us your oldest piece of art you have on hand.
    4. What defines your artistic style?
    5. Do you practice other styles/have you tried other styles in the past?
    6. What levels of artistic education have you had?
    7. Show us at least one picture you drew or sketched recently that you did not put on a public site.
    8. What is your favourite piece that you have done?
    9. What is your least favourite piece that you have done?
    10. What do you like most about your art?
    11. What do you like least about your art?
    12. Have you ever considered taking commissions?
    13. Are you looking to pursue a career in art?
    14. What do you like drawing the most?
    15. What do you like drawing the least?
    16. Do you draw more fanart or original art? If fanart, what fandom do you draw the most of?
    17. What would you absolutely refuse to draw?
    18. What is your purpose for drawing?
    19. What medium/program do you use the most in your art?
    20. How would you rank your art? (poor, mediocre, good, etc.)
    21. Do you believe there is such thing as “bad art?”
    22. List at least one of your “artspirations.”
    23. What do you think you could stand to improve on?
    24. Do you have a shameful art past? (recolour sprite comics, tracing art, etc.?

    (Source: saltyconch)

  4. I wanted to draw an android so I drew a robot… d’Artagnan. I guess.

    … I’ll show myself out.

  5. Long overdue Musketeers as a World War II Propaganda Poster for @gneissgneissbaby, who’s a total doll for waiting so patiently.  Blends nicely with commonplacecaz's WWII verse, as well.  Synergy.

    Porthos’ likeness really gave me a run for my money, and I couldn’t tell you what he and Aramis are holding, but there you go.


  6. agarthanguide:

    Would you ever illustrate your own fics? I ask because they are brilliant, and your art is brilliant, and I want to see those two things together. I saw your sketch of French Resistance Athos and I need more, I think. Much…

    Yes, yes it is fun.  And I’m sad that you’re going away.  And jealous that the place you’re going away to is Wales.

    First of all- that Resistance AU image you posted this morning- how do you know when to stop? Because that choice was made perfectly.  The suggestive form of Porthos creating a sort of unseen background and Aramis’ supporting arm- just the right amount of detail but you resisted the urge to overdo it.  I worry that I don’t really stop, and as a result walk past a lot of my chances at good composition.  Also- the composition is simple, but shockingly effective.  The detail and separateness of Athos and the map is an effective counterbalance against the implicit weight of the flowing together forms of Aramis and Porthos.  I love that we can sense Porthos’ slouching form, with one arm resting on his knee and the other wrapped possessively around Athos, with no more than a well-angled collar bone and a few lines marking the hand.

    Nnngh- Kate Beaton.  She’s such a genius.  Even if we lived in a universe in which she wasn’t the funniest person on the planet, she would still be an amazing illustrator with a brevity of expression that demands attention and never writes a check it can’t cash. Other modern idols of mine include Noelle Stevenson and Tracy J Butler.  I learned so much from Lackadaisy I should probably credit her in my work.

    I have a background in Fine Art, kind of, but I don’t really consider my school experience that relevant to my current art, either.  I feel like school taught me how to be self-loathing and indulgent, and I tried to break out of that spiral as soon as I left.  I make my living these days with freelance jobs, and some longer contract work.  Ironically, it’s an even split between Portraiture (which I’m most practiced at) and Graphic Design, which I routinely fake any knowledge of.  I am also routinely gobsmacked by how much I have to learn.  It’s nice to know I’m not alone in that.

    I know what you mean about Santiago Cabrera.  He’s pretty, but one needs something to exaggerate a bit and rest on for decent likenesses.  In that thing you posted this morning you went with my favorite defining feature, which is, of course, his hair floof, as Caz would say.  His lower face is so typically well-proportioned and symmetrical that there’s not much to be done with it, and he’s basically unrecognizable without the facial hair, imo.  I have found his forehead to be rather easily identifiable, and he has a useful scar that I always reference to make myself feel better.  Actually, though I wasn’t so fond of the likeness you referenced, I recently drew him to my satisfaction very recently (with apologies to commonplacecaz for leaking a tiny portion of this a little early):

    Hey, look- his scar didn’t even show up in that one.  When he tips his head down, his eyebrows make some nice shapes.  I’m pretty sure I invented that dimple, though.

    Howard Charles- squishy, adorable nose (as you noted), and round shadows around his eyes.  Luke Pasqualino- snarky-ass expression, long chin, strong eyebrow game.  Tom Burke…  I’m such a coward when it comes to Tom Burke.  I think I’ve discovered something about the bridge of his nose that I reference a lot, and I like streaking the shadows down from under his eyes, but I’m not nearly so brave as you with his distinguishing features.  I think if you put two of our likenesses of him side by side, you would find very little in common, though I think we’re both pretty good at it.  But- courage.  You have more. 

    btw- golden age book illustrations in pen and ink and occasionally ink wash- Hell. Yes.  Confidence.  Energy.  Clarity of purpose.  I leave a lot of my sketches in my final work because I can’t bear to lose the energy, sometimes.  It was particularly egregious in the Pirate AU paintings I did a few months back.  But I find that if I take them out, they take on a stiffness that I can’t seem to shake.  Maybe it’s just my imagination.  I hope it’s just my imagination.  I’m relieved to hear that your spontaneity is planned, as it saves me from having to go live in a yurt in the mountains and meditatively splash ink on rice paper for 18 months.  


  7. Would you ever illustrate your own fics? I ask because they are brilliant, and your art is brilliant, and I want to see those two things together. I saw your sketch of French Resistance Athos and I need more, I think. Much more. All the more. More.

    illustrate-her answered you:

  8. Song of the Day

    It’s a deranged billionaire supervillain kind of a day.

    I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you
    But I get the feeling that you don’t like it
    What’s with all the screaming?

  9. I’m getting pumped for illustrate-her's new Musketeers French Resistance AU!  In the “Band of Brothers” mood and looking back through the work I'd done for commonplacecaz and her amazing WWII AU, it occurred to me that I never really did a round-up of all the art from that series.  So here it is!  In all it’s monochromatic glory!

    And don’t worry- that series will reach it’s shocking conclusion sometime in the near(ish) future (not too near. A few more chapters).  I have insight into a bit of what Caz is writing and I promise you- you’ll cry.  She’s a heartbreaker, that one.


  10. I have so much coffee and cilantro in my kitchen right now.

    I could host, like, three Italians. For the whole weekend.


  11. "To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
    — German National Team

  12. Holy shit is anyone watching the World Cup right now?

    I’m… wow. This is brutal.

  13. Working on the Musketeers as a WWII Propaganda Poster for @gneissgneissbaby and I felt like sharing my progress. The boys without beards! Somehow sacrilegious.



    Yesterday- not so much.  But this.  This is truth.

  15. I’ve been slowly making a Tiny French Town recently. So far I have a Fromagerie, a Charcuterie, and a just-added Patisserie.

    It’s called Petit Jeffersón. As for the yeti- it’s cool- he’s a friend. His name is Mr Ziegler.

    The tower in the distance (“the distance” here being represented by a cigar box) is the Prague Astronomical Clock. It was provided via a generous donation from my sister Greta.