Tag Archives: project

A little on watercoloring

This week I am spending most of my time painting the line-art from The Galactic Adventures of Zish and Argo. One of the things I really like about watercolors is that they travel well. I’m on the road for the next couple of weeks, but it is just as easy to paint here as it is at home. A major reason for the portability is the type of materials I use. I bought a Windsor-Newton field box set several years ago, pictured below. At $50, you might experience a bit of sticker shock. I’ve only recently had to start replacing pans; it lasts and lasts.

I have used the liquid watercolors as well. I find I enjoy the quick set up of the solid colors. There is no need to dole out paint as you go, and you only use what you need. Plus it’s easier to travel with. The solid paints can still deliver good intensity and brightness. I roll all my brushes up in a bamboo case like this one, and then I’m ready to go anywhere and paint anything. If you have a pigment-ink printer, you can economize on your watercolor paper by selectively choosing what you print. I discuss that more in an old entry, here.

I read a watercolor book a few years ago that I found helpful as well: Watercolor Tricks and Techniques, by Johnson. If you are curious, it is worth a look.

So there are 13 paintings for the core of the Zish and Argo book. I have 7.5 paintings done, so I’m over halfway! The Robotoids say hello!!robot

Board game in progress

I am designing a board game. This is kind of new territory for me, so we’ll see how it goes. Right now I have a beta edition of the board (a little piece below) and a portion of the rules written. I have a vague idea of the rest, but I will need to get it onto paper. Yesterday, I printed the first copy of the board onto 13″ x 19″ paper. After I finish the rules and the cards, I will test it. It is a space-based game, but in the image below you can see the background is still white. I assume some of the details will need to move, so no need to fill in the background just yet. I’ve been throwing this idea around for a little bit, so it’s exciting to share the progress. It still has no name, but it is a game about space travel, perhaps loosely related to my Zish and Argo stories.

boardgame zoom

Style: Aboriginal Art

I like to use different art styles for my various different stories. Lately there is nothing better than trying to find attractive illustrations of various origins. A few months ago, I found a children’s book at a library sale, very much by accident–Enora and the Black Crane. Enora is a lovely story, and the illustrations are beautiful. Before happening upon this book, I had seen little aboriginal art.

I wanted to incorporate aboriginal designs into my in-progress short story collection. Luckily, I live near the only dedicated aboriginal art museum in the United States, The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection in Virginia. This was a nice resource for additional inspiration. The illustrations for the collection are black and white woodblock style (as I mentioned in my previous entry). Aboriginal design uses a lot of color. I tried to capture some of the spirit while maintaining consistency with the woodblock theme. I ended up with the featured image for this entry. I ended up knowing a bit more about aboriginal design, and my final design was richer for it.

Maintaining my creative momentum

This blog is now a little over a month old, and soon the Etsy store will be a month old too. I’ve made 8 journals and 4 copies of the Fairy Tales in the last month, not to mention sourcing materials, testing color profiles, etc. Bookbinding, blogging, and website maintenance takes time, time that normally would go to my creative process. Last night this blog crossed 250 views total which of course many blogs get per day, but it felt like a big achievement. It promotes the feeling that these endeavors, so different than my normal choices, are worthy ones.

My most ambitious current writing project is a collection of short stories from different planets in a planetary alliance, the Quaiin League. Some of the stories are over 7,000 words, some are quite short. All of these stories will have at least one woodblock style black-and-white illustration, like the one featured for this entry. It will be many months before this collection is complete, probably over a year. As I share my projects with people, there are more and more tasks to keep track of. But it helps to remind myself here of my goals.

It may not be easy to begin as a writer, but I feel that momentum will continue to gather. As long as I keep pushing and caring, I will accomplish these things.

Fairy Tales available on Gumroad

Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales are now available here through Gumroad. For $3.50, you can purchase drm-free PDFs of the fairy tales in both portrait and landscape. These pdfs can be transferred to tablets, printed out, or whatever. Gumroad is a relatively new site that facilitates distributing documents online.

On a totally different note, I’ve started working on an idea for a board game. I have been wanting to make a board game for a while, since the production is pretty similar to bookbinding. Over the next few months, I will work on the game play, and hopefully I’ll have something to put on here before too long.

Current work: Zish and Argo

Earlier this week I finished the line work for my next project, “The Galactic Adventures of Zish and Argo“.  Zish and Argo is about a little girl named Zish who steals a spaceship named Argo. They travel deep into space and encounter many strange and wonderful situations. Along their adventures, scientific concepts relevant to the story are touched upon.

You can find ongoing updates about this project under the current projects tab, or through the link. I expect to complete painting early next year. The first Zish and Argo book introduces their situation and their first adventure. The illustrations will be water-color paintings, like the one below: