Watchers – Painting

A mixed media painting on cold-press. Ink, watercolor, and photo-manipulation for the geometric overlay of the ink-splatter. The face near the middle connected to the smoke is actually a portrait I did when I was first getting into digital and mixed media. It saved me a lot of time to use that and I think it looks pretty interesting.

trad

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Vertebra – Photo-manipulation

A straight photo-manipulation my friend and I made using a mix of personal and free assets. It was a fun day trip driving out to Des Moines to gather a plethora of photos, and this is what we came up with. I think it could have gone a lot worse considering our relative inexperience with photography.

Putting it together was also difficult, as we had something like three hundred pictures to comb through. Anyway, I had fun putting it together!

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Amalgam

One of my first attempts at a piece with an invisible background (not easy the way I paint). My style breaks down in cleanliness a little when you take away the background which I usually use for positive and negative space interplay, but this came out alright. It’s a little confusing to look at but it’s also a T-shirt design and I kind of like that it looks like a simple shape from far away but is also rather detailed up close.

It’s a mixed media piece. The women were done in ink while the buildings were photo manipulated into a fractal pattern. The pain splatters and textured splashes were painted digitally.

 

 

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Here’s some examples of how it looks printed:

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Anyway, had a lot of fun putting this together between exams and ER shifts this weekend.

 

Here’s a link to the store page if anyone is interested: https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/t-shirt/men/metric-rain/952154/2

Cancer – Painting

Phew. Been working on this one for a few months. A put out a smaller version a while back, then realized it had more potential. So I added, a lot. And made it huge. I’m proud of it. There’s a lot of little details that are easy to miss, especially when it’s shrunk down like this. (If you can find the negative space crab, I’ll be impressed.

I still need to clean up a few things (especially the lips and the transition to the waterfall). But I think it’s on track to be one of my most complex pieces.

 

94×73 inch digital painting

Cancer

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Wallpaper cut:

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More Cover Art!

A collaboration project with an old art buddy of mine. Been working on it over the past month or so and I think it’s coming along nicely. It’s primarily a digital painting but there are composite elements in the largest flower and the famous building I’ve forgotten the name of (both were free photos from unsplash.com that we reworked into the composition). The subject was also based on a photo which I masked over and painted/re-textured. That’s essentially the equivalent of tracing something, but it is still painted and I think she turned out well.

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copr Blu-art and Kochre. 

I moved away here from my normal hyper-textured/realistic style primarily because there isn’t enough skin to make it work. Most of the composition was just black…so we worked in little Easter eggs from the story.

I’m especially proud of the eye re-texturing I did specifically for this piece.

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Here’s a closeup of the most recent addition. There’s some smoothing out to do still, but I’m rather fond of how it turned out.

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Here is a close-up of the hands alongside a few of the more complex transitions:

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I know it seems needlessly bloody, but the character depicted loses a finger during the act this heads, which is what it references. Furthermore, I did a questionable job on repainting the contour of the hand and messed up the skin color a little. The blood helps cover up the mediocrity.

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The artwork displayed here is copyrighted and not available for any type of reproduction without explicit written permission from me. I’m pretty open to letting people use stuff as long as they pass along credit, so don’t be afraid to ask!

My Portfolio: https://arctic-ink.myportfolio.com/

My Deviant Art: https://arctic-ink.deviantart.com/

My Design by Humans shop: https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/ArcticInk/

2

Across the Way

Red lights abound,

A flickering side-show hiding our frowns,

Dressed up all pretty;

just want to be found.

Empty glasses accenting nothing,

but young blood craving something;

more.

Things seems good,

potentially normal.

He wants to chat,

thinks I’m immoral.

I tell him to fuck off.

Mood seems dampened,

But I bite back the tears.

Because after all;

it was just a compliment, nothing weird.

At least that’s what my best friend seemed to think.

Hours later the bars all closed.

My spirits had lifted; I suppose.

Said my farewells and let her drive,

away.

because she was always more poised than I…

…thought I could be.

Can’t question that, because it’s easier just to trust she’s got your back. And if she has my back I’m sure she has her own…you can’t defend another if you’re all exposed. Can you?

And if I can’t honestly say I have my own, then who’s got her back? Because I clearly don’t…since I’m the bitch who let her drive away; all fucked up on oxy cut with glaze.

Too late now,

I say to myself;

Walking down the street,

On my way to the house.

Few minutes later,

phone makes a ding,

weights all seem lifted,

when she says she’s home safe.

And that makes one. I thought to myself, eyeing that same shadow across the way. It belongs to the creep that I’d kept at bay. But now it’s all dark, and I’m not feeling sure…that I could do it again. Alone. Here.

He probably lives on campus, probably not a bad guy. Just a little pushy when hyped up on rye. The rhyming is lazy when I’m all worked up. Thing’s don’t quite flow and we all know what they serve at bars. I could try and rhyme alcohol for you but I don’t think it would matter, in communicating this learned fucking reflex that causes me to cower…when I see a man. When I don’t know what he’s doing over there.

Across the way.

I’m sure it’s nothing, and that little flash every thirty seconds is probably his phone.

Still; my hand is on that whistle…the best gag gift I ever got.

And I’m sending this message because I just want you to know, that I don’t feel quite right being alone…right now. And maybe the drugs just cloud up my mind, maybe his shadow is nothing but kind, but maybe I don’t feel like he’s reassured me of that the way he touched me without asking.

So, I’ll send you a text in a minute or two,

When I walk through that door we’ll know I was a fool,

for shivering and quivering in these fucking high heels,

hoping to God he isn’t the kind of tool,

who likes my false advertisement; my eyes still belong to you.

So don’t fucking worry,

I’ll be home in a few.

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Digital concept painting:

Soapyabstract4

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The artwork and poetry portrayed here is the exclusive property of Blu-art and cannot be reproduced in any fashion without explicit and authentic written permission from me that is reproducible and recorded by me. 

Flowers where your Face should be – Artwork

Back to using leaves as canvases. I’ve decided I rather like leaves! They are plain enough to put things on but unique looking enough to effect whatever you put on them.

Flowers where your face should be13

 

I’ve got a lot of random art coming the next few days. Been holed up for a good week or two now just focusing on getting better. A major goal has been to get better at clothes, which I think I have. No clothes here but the next five or so have clothes.

How I draw eyes (at x25 zoom!)

Eyes are usually my favorite or one of my favorite parts of doing a drawing. I’ve spent a good deal of time lately wondering how to work them into my more realistic drawings. Realistic eyes are actually rather simple compared to not realistic eyes. I started out doing realistic eyes, which are darker and not all that interesting but decided if something was going to be unrealistic, the eyes were good candidates. So I had fun with it and tried a new technique:

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I basically just treated it like there was a floodlight shining in and the cornea was lit up. It ended up looking graphic and decent enough to keep.

 

Moving forward I decided to go for well-lit but also more realistic. So I made the texture in it’s own PSD at a higher resolution. The only issue is that it ended up looking more realistic than the other bits (way too realistic, it’s actually a little creepy zoomed in like this). In the context of this drawing, where the eyes are a focus, that’s fine, but it’s not something I can apply to everything so I decided to blend the realism a little more:

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Being able to start with the eye in the beginning really helped this one. It’s much less imposed on the eye ball. I did play it a little safe and the eye isn’t actually very detailed this time, but I think it fits this drawing nicely:

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This one I think turned out the best. I used a higher res file to make the eye then superimposed it. Here, it feels less out of place. The shading and makeup are a little blurry, but they aren’t blow out. So the lighting at least sort of matches the overlit and hyper rendered eye:

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For technique here, you kinda have to play it by the ey…ear. Uh…basically just make concentric circles of a similar shades of whatever color you want it to be. I always make the middle brightest and get darker as I go out. These are pixel drawings, so if you have vector software, it’d be easier to pull off. That said I’m so used to shading pixels that it doesn’t really bother me. The light source on these eyes don’t match the light source of the drawing, and I think the drawings are actually better for it. I’ve kinda been learning over the past few weeks that realism isn’t always better.

Digital Painting/Composite reflection.

Sorry to anyone who clicked the first link that went out last night, I blundered and misc-clicked last Saturday instead of this morning 😦

Why can you even backdate things anyway? Feel free to enlighten me. 

Anyway:

I like to do these kind of reflections before I start working on a different major piece or project. It helps me kind of compartmentalize what worked, what didn’t, and what flat out failed. Furthermore, it’s an important step in working to understand what I’ve made; not always an easy thing to do. I mean that literally, I look at this and probably see something really different than what everybody else does, it’s like looking at yourself in the mirror. Hard to judge.

First the good: I wanted to be realistic with this, and I accomplished that. If you look a little to the side, you can’t really tell it’s a drawing, and I’m really proud of that. My mom actually thought this was a photograph when she saw it (on her phone admittedly). And that just made me feel good. And then bad…in some ways. I had a bit of anxiety that people wouldn’t realize it was a drawing, even though it doesn’t really matter because it turned out scary, and that was what I wanted to do. A lot of this anxiety stems from the time investment, too. I worked over thirty hours on this and that’s around the point I start becoming protective of the art. I love it like I love my books and anything I’ve poured my heart and soul into creating. It was hard and obviously it didn’t turn out perfect, but it also feels like a part of me, and that’s why I even make art in the first place.

The mediocre: It may have turned out a little creepier than I intended. Yep, all over the board here, but hear me out. I think that the holes went a bit too far, made her just a tad to zombie-esque. Zombie wasn’t really the goal and the holes were meant to be complimentary to the cracked smile (Chelsea grin concept). The hair is meant to be dreads done up in a pony-tail but the limited details are confusing. Part of this is because Black hair is very easy to draw, it’s black, it gives you a great place to dump all the shadow balance (which means more HIGHLIGHTS <3).

Too bad it looks like multicolored sticks sticking out of a bush. Luckily it is very much not the focus of the drawing so it’s not a huge deal.

The bad: There isn’t really. The lighting balance between shadows and highlights is exactly how I planned and sketched it out to be, highlight heavy with weighty blocks of shadow to pull you into her eyes, which I spent a good three hours on texturing. The personal goal was to surround the pretty eyes with a bunch of chaos and discord and broken things, but have the viewer not really care because: Those are pretty eyes.

 

At least that was the goal and thought process. Whether or not it was successful is up to you 🙂

Bluv

Challenges moving forward: BLONDE HAIR. It’s evil. It is. So incredibly difficult to detail and balance (where do the shadows go?!)

The hair itself has to have shadows, mids and highlights. There’s a reason I don’t draw blonde hair. I want to stop being afraid of it, though, because I have a character that has blonde ends to her hair, and I want to draw her. So I will, and I will probably fail the hair a few times before I get it right.

PS: In the past I’ve gone kind of in depth on technique. I’ve found that most people don’t really care, but if you do, just ask in the comments and I’ll write out the entire process from start to finish and can even provide the layers and psd if you’d like to study how it was put together and layered to create various effects and smooth shading.

Cheers!

Lilith ❤

Chelsea Grin (Artwork+Poem)

Chelsea grins when Chelsea wins,

something thin and something grim.

Chelsea grins through fading skin,

taking lives while moaning hymns.

Taking time to carve away,

the very essence of her prey…

…Up the lips and through the cheek,

a torturous smile that haunts the weak.

No one wins when she grins,

No,

No one wins when she sins.

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Note: This poem and artwork are based on the Chelsea grin, or Glasgow smile. Wherein the perpetrator cuts a smile into the victims face with a sharp object or razor.

Digital portrait

7x20inches

Bluv