Tag Archives: art

Currently Reading in June

Ever notice the Goodreads widget in the column on the right? Those are the books I’m currently reading. Although it shows four books, I’m actually reading three at the moment. Continuing my Booktubing, I made a video where I talk about those three books. Please watch!

Are you reading any of these books? Let me know in the comments below.

A Bit of Bob Ross to Improve Your Mood

Why didn’t I find this YouTube channel before? You can find all of the episodes of The Joy of Painting from the first season until the fourteenth season, and they’re currently adding the fifteenth season.

I thought I’d show you the second episode from the first season. It looks kind of amateurish, but they had a very low budget. However, you still get to see his skill in painting. I like how simple his technique was, but the paintings turn out very well. I especially liked this one. Take a look.

Were you a fan of Bob Ross’? I used to watch his show when I was a kid. I’m happy to find his channel. Please leave a comment below.

Doing Art for Ariadne and More

If you read my story for the A to Z Challenge, you may remember the art I did for the first couple stories. I found it a little difficult to maintain that, since some of the stories were kind of difficult to draw. However, I do like to draw quite a bit, and will be doing a lot of concept art for Ariadne. Here are examples of what I drew for the challenge.

Cloud Tree
Cloud Tree
The Column of Ariadne
The Column of Ariadne
Chisel and Wood
Chisel and Wood

They’re pencil art, but I can do pen, as well as adding colour. The above pictures were sketches done in less than thirty minutes. If I take my time, I can make them look much better.

One of the rewards I have for Patreon is an advanced look at any concept art and sketches I do, as well as the chance to get an original drawing based on Ariadne.

But that’s not all, I’m interested in doing some science, science fiction, and fantasy style artwork that’s not related to Ariadne.

Any of you do art? Have any online? Let me know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 82 – Cover Art

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. But really, people do judge books by their covers. A great cover can sell a book. It’s important to have well done cover art. Authors who are traditionally published usually have it done for them by the publisher. But a self-published author has to commission the artwork from an artist themselves and pay for it. Or maybe some authors do it themselves. So, how did we get it done?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 82 – How did you get your cover art done?

Linda G. Hill

So far that’s a secret. The artist who has agreed to work on my cover art doesn’t want anyone to know until the novels are out. Stay tuned!

Gregory S. Close

I spent a lot of time researching this, and months browsing DeviantArt and other sites for a quality freelance artist.  I finally settled on Mike Nash.  He had an impressive portfolio, had done artwork for Star Wars and Magic the Gathering, and he was accepting new commissions.  It’s more expensive to go with an artist like Mike, but I loved the result and I believe that you generally get what you pay for.  The cheaper options often look very much like cheaper options.

I felt pretty vindicated when I got an “excellent cover” compliment from Brandon Sanderson at WorldCon.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I bought pre-made cover art from an online shop that specializes in book covers. Not the most glamorous way to go, but if you can get lucky and find a good fit for your story there’s nothing wrong with that.

Eric Wood

Unfortunately, I don’t have any cover art, yet.

Allen Tiffany

Great question because there is a lot of talk about cover art. Unfortunately, a lot of it is really bad.

In my case, for my first novel, I did it myself. I knew exactly what I wanted – an iconic picture  of US infantryman getting out of a “Huey” helicopter in the jungles of Vietnam – and quickly found a high res photo in the Gov’t  archives.

For my upcoming novel, which I have not yet revealed, I sort of had an idea for what I wanted and scanned a lot of book cover designer’s websites. At long last I found a cover I loved. Totally in love. Thought it was brilliant. I wrote the creator and told her what I was after, and sent her $50 for the first pass.

As luck would have it, when the proof came in, one of my daughters was sitting beside me. She is an award-winning artist and has read the novel and the sequel. I called her over to the computer before I opened it. I told her this was a big moment in my writing career. “Just open it, dad.” When I did, we both stared in silence.  Finally, I said, “Holy crap.” She said, “That’s terrible.”

After that, I spent a lot of time on DeviantArt looking for what I wanted, and eventually I found it. I really liked it, so this time I wrote the artist and sent him a contract. We agreed on a price, and I secured the art I wanted.

Going forward, I think I’m just going to keep going back to DA and finding cool stuff from up and coming artists. It means my covers won’t be similar, but it will be fun to get aspiring artists a bit more publicity.

D. T. Nova

As of writing this answer, I haven’t yet, but I really can’t keep putting it off much longer.

Paul B. Spence

I hired an artist whose work I liked.

S. R. Carrillo

Initially, I purchased a pre-made cover that fit the book perfectly. For the sequel, I commissioned the same artist to create a similar cover as the first. This was an artist I found through another writer friend of mine.

For the latest set of covers I’ve commissioned, I found another writer friend whose covers I admired and visited the artist’s website to ask some questions and request a few covers. To make the search a little easier, I compiled a list of resources for writers looking for cover artists.

In the future, I plan to use artists I know personally to draw up my covers and use my own photography as the covers I need. I’m working very hard on that, actually.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

For Nowhere to Hide I created the cover art myself with a bit of Photoshop magic. I took a photo my father had taken of an old apartment building, darkened it, played with the colors to make the moonlit sky appear red, and then I transferred in a picture of a guy in a trench coat that I’d turned into a black silhouette with red eyes. Add the title and author bits and ta-da! Mind you it is far from the most professional-looking cover, but I wasn’t looking to spend any money since I didn’t know if the book would ever sell a single copy, therefore I was determined to create it myself. Overall I’m actually quite pleased with it, although I do know that it doesn’t quite look right in previews and thumbnails. With all that in mind, I’m definitely seriously considering commissioning an artist for The Other World.

H. Anthe Davis

All my covers are produced through cooperation between me (concept) and my friend D. D. Phillips (art).  I provide all the reference material I can find, and recently have begun compositing mock-ups for her to better see what I mean — since we’ve had communication issues before, with me not knowing some terms or having a hard time expressing just what I want.  I’m really nitpicky.  Thankfully she’s in another state so can’t just teleport over here and strangle me!  We’re working on the Book 4 cover now.

Jean Davis

I said to my editor, I want something dark and simple. A week later he sent me an image and I said, yep, that’s it.

Jay Dee Archer

I actually have a cover for my first novel, Knights of Ariadne, even though the first draft isn’t done. It’s a simple story, actually. Another author decided to whip up a cover for me, and what she showed me was great. In fact, it’s pretty much what I was imagining in my mind for the cover. Great minds think alike! She’s also an INTJ, which is how she discovered this blog. Once I’ve written enough, as in finished the first draft and edited it, I’ll probably reveal the cover. Well, we’ll see about the timing. Must write it!

How about you?

If you’ve published a book or are going to publish a book, how did you get your cover done? Let us know in the comments below.

Authors Answer 56 – Our Other Creative Endeavours

Authors are creative people. Writing requires a person to be creative. But just how creative are we? Some only write, while others are multi-talented artists. So this week, we find out just how talented a bunch we are.

Mona_Lisa,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouchedQuestion 56 – Apart from writing fiction, do you do any other creative works?

Linda G. Hill

I used to knit, crochet, and quilt a lot but there hasn’t been much time for it in recent years. I’m too busy writing and editing, happily. 🙂

Gregory S. Close

I really love music.  If I had a choice at an alternate creative career, it would be to play bass guitar in a progressive rock band.  Unfortunately, there is a bit of a talent gap between me and that choice, so instead I’ve just tried to play when and where I can over the years.  I also enjoy composing different kinds of music, and would love to score a soundtrack to my novels, given a chance (and maybe an infusion of talent).

I am tinkering with an electronic-inspired score for my sci-fi/fantasy project, Greyspace, and also I wrote the music for my home-made book trailer a couple of years ago:

I have no illusions about the quality of the work, but I do enjoy making it, regardless!

Caren Rich

I love to quilt. I started with traditional quilts and then moved into art quilts. I don’t have a place to quilt at the moment so I’m concentrating on writing, but I miss it.

S. R. Carrillo

I consider all forms of art – music, writing, drawing, painting, photography, videography, etc. – to be creative, and I have a bit of a hand in just about every one. Except music. That one, I just appreciate. ^_^

Elizabeth Rhodes

Baking is my day job and I make cakes and candies as a hobby.  For a little while I made a small side business out of custom cake making, but it’s hard to get something like that off the ground.  You’ll find some of my work on my blog.

D. T. Nova

Does Super Mario Maker count?

In the past I’ve dabbled in more versatile programs that can actually create whole games, and it’s possible I might return to one of them at some time in the future.

Jean Davis

I used to draw and paint and still do on occasion, though I’m not as good as I used to be. I enjoy doing all sorts of crafty things when I’m not in writing mode. In fact, my friends complain to that can do anything crafty. But don’t ask me to knit or crochet anything because those are the two things I really can’t do. They’re my crafty kryptonite.

Eric Wood

I guess I do, if my blog can be considered non-fiction since I mostly write about my two sons and our adventures (and frustrations) with them. Otherwise, no. I don’t have anything on the go fiction wise. Perhaps when the kids are older and require less time (if that’s even possible) I’ll start creating more works of fiction.

Paul B. Spence

I draw, paint, sculpt, sew, make leather armor, scratchbuild model sci-fi vehicles, paint miniatures, and roleplay/do interactive storytelling, but other than that… no.

Allen Tiffany

Well, it’s damn sure not art! Though one of my daughters is an award-winning artist, she certainly did not get it from me. And though I once presented a paper at a conference arguing that all problem solving is a form of creativity, I don’t that is in keeping with the spirit of the question. So…no, I have no other creative talents.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

When I was younger I was all about the creative works. I didn’t just write, I also drew and sometimes painted, played piano and guitar and sang, and I would love to do stuff like building models; I once built my own “dollhouse” in a closet by using cardboard and paper to create all the furniture and decorations and whatnot.

These days I don’t have time for all that stuff, so I focus on the thing that is most important to me, which is the writing. I do occasionally pick up my guitar, but the moments are so few and far between that I have to tune it almost every time, and I rather enjoy coloring books, but that’s more a guilty pleasure than a “creative work”.

I guess the short answer is that I enjoy all sorts of creative stuff, but I simply don’t have the time to delve into them all.

H. Anthe Davis

I do some of the art for my stories, mainly maps and concepts.  I’ve done some video-editing, I’d like to tinker with game creation, I’d like to do some songwriting except I’m terrible at it…  There are many things I’d do if there were six of me, but it feels like I never have time.

Jay Dee Archer

I’d say my other main creative ability would be art, especially pencil drawing. I’ll be doing a lot of concept art for my books, as well as maps. Painting, digital art, and anything involving colour, I’m not very good at. I also dabble in photography, and have started doing video editing, but that’s at its infancy. I’m hoping to improve my photo and video editing skills in the future.

How about you?

I’m sure a lot of you have some creative abilities. What do you do artistically? Let us know in the comments below!

A to Z Challenge Extra

A2Z-BADGEI’ve decided to do a little something extra for the A to Z Challenge.  As I said before, I’ll be writing short flash fiction each day.  The stories will be based on Ariadne, but will feature a person whose job starts with each letter of the alphabet.  The stories could be only 100 words long, or maybe even up to 500.  It really depends on what the character and scene, as well as time constraints.

The extra thing I want to do is to draw a quick sketch related to the scene.  It’ll be posted along with the story each day.  They most likely won’t feature the character, but part of the location.  It could be something they see or use.  This should be interesting.

Inspired to Draw

Watching my daughter’s budding artistic abilities and seeing other art makes me want to draw.

In school, I used to draw a lot.  I took art class until grade 10 in high school, and at that time, I’d done a fairly detailed drawing of my shoe.  That was actually one of our art projects, to draw our shoes.  We only had an hour to do it, too.  Mine turned out great, though I don’t know if we still have the picture.

I prefer drawing scenery, buildings, animals, and still life.  I don’t do portraits.  They always appear lifeless and rather scary.  The problem is with the eyes.  Everything else I can do well.

For Ariadne, I’m going to be drawing various examples of scenery, concept art for spacecraft, vehicles, buildings, plants, and animals.  They’ll mainly just be pencil drawings, as that’s what I’m most comfortable with.  Maps, though, will be done in pencil first, then drawn over on my computer.

Anyway, I was so excited to draw, I did this picture.

amazing_art
See? I’m terrible at portraits.

I’m just joking.  I’ll definitely be doing it on paper.  It’s not easy drawing with a laptop’s track pad.

We Think She May Be Gifted

I’m rather hesitant to say this kind of thing, but going through several child care websites (official ones, not ones made by average people), I think we have to make the choice whether to get our daughter tested.

As she’s learning two languages at once, it’s difficult to determine if she’s great with language.  She speaks mostly Japanese, and she’s getting fairly conversational at 3 years and 2 months old.  I’m not sure if she’s learning at a normal rate, as she’s also learning English.  She knows a lot of words in English, and occasionally speaks English.  She understands what I say to her, but she always responds in Japanese.  Of course, this is quite normal, as it’s what she hears and uses more often than not.  It’s really only with me and sometimes with my wife that she’s using English.  But we shouldn’t worry about her English ability, as it’ll catch up quickly by 5 years old.

However, when we observe her drawing ability, we are amazed.  I’d checked what kids her age should be drawing.  She should be drawing faces with a circle and two dots for eyes.  Then there may be arms and legs growing out of the head like sticks.  That’s all.  The first face she drew when she was still 2 years old had circles for eyes with circles for pupils.  It also had a nose and a smiling mouth.

20141213-234631-85591097.jpg
My daughter’s first face when she was 2 years, 11 months old.

But since that time, it’s evolved into faces with winking eyes, eyelashes, hair, ears, full bodies, legs, and arms with hands that have fingers.  She’s quite detailed.  She’s drawn her favourite characters with surprising accuracy for a child her age.

20150323-233448-84888372.jpg
Drawn this week at 3 years, 2 months old. This is Disney’s Sofia the First.

I checked what age her drawing ability represents.  It seems like anyone who saw her drawings would think she’s 4 or 5 years old.

She is obsessed with drawing.  Our home is filled with large pieces of paper with her artwork. She goes through several sheets of paper every day.

It’s not just art she loves.  She also has an interest in dancing, singing, and music.  She has a big artistic side.  On top of that, she loves building things with Lego. When she makes something, she usually uses symmetry, and once made the starship Enterprise without knowing what it is.  She even tries yoga poses and has good balance.

As for writing, she can write her name in both English and Japanese.  But the unusual thing is that she writes each letter from the top right instead of the top left.  It’s kind of how a left-handed child might write a letter, but she uses her right hand.  Not sure what’s going on there.

So, we have some things to think about.  Do we get her tested?  Is she gifted or merely just ahead of her peers?