My thoughts behind that is two-fold: first, I’ve wanted to draw the Hogwarts castle for a really, really long time. And second, this drawing has been on my shelf as a commission for a YEAR.
Now I HATE making anyone wait for anything, especially an entire year. But this one was delayed for a lot of reasons: finding the right reference image and then having it sent to me the day before my phone decided to lose EVERYTHING on it, not being able to find the perfect reference image again, me selling and buying a house, and then still not being able to find the right image again. But, it was found and I had the drawing in hand ready for delivery less than a week later.
I have to be honest, when I finally sat down to work on the drawing this morning, I almost started to cry. Part of it is just exhaustion from all of the work that goes into each day’s drawing, but a lot of it is I’m going to miss it so much! Thankfully I have a great project lined up to keep me busy 😉
But here he is, the final drawing of the challenge and last piece to the Hogwarts House Mascot series:
Today’s drawing did not go the way I wanted it to by any means…but that’s completely and utterly my fault.
I asked on Facebook if I should finish up the Hogwarts House series that I started yesterday or if I should continue to choose the subjects randomly. That question completely backfired when my results were tied! I decided to choose one subject at random and then throw that suggestion and one of the house mascots into a bowl and draw that way. Well, that ALSO backfired when I drew randomly and it was a house mascot….and it just happened to be the one I’m terrified of:
There are a couple reasons why they are the first to go. The main reason is that they don’t really match up with the whole landscape/nature feel I’m looking for now 😉
I’m also stopping them because I don’t want to get my Etsy store shut down. I’ve had to change all my keywords, descriptions and tags because a lot of companies are coming after small businesses who are using their licensed characters without permission, and Etsy is shutting down their shops. I don’t want to have to deal with that stress anymore, even if I’m not using brand names.
For the earrings, when they are gone, they are completely gone. The necklaces are a little more flexible; I do have more of the pendants available that I can restock again, but once my supplies and stock are fully gone, they’re gone for good.
Some of the pieces are already sold out; I think the red studs are already gone, but I think I do have some more dangles that are ready to be listed. I should have those up within the next couple days if I do in fact have any.
You can find the remaining product line in my Etsy store here.
I think I’ve asked this before, but which house do you belong to in the Harry Potter world? Hufflepuffs rule! There are three Hufflepuffs, one Gryffindor, and one Ravenclaw in my family 🙂
Business has been challenging lately which has really attributed to my silence around here. So much has been going on, and if it was one thing, I could handle it.
But multiple things? Not so much:
A month or so ago I hurt my hand somehow while helping to build our shed. Working on drawings/commissions has been near impossible for any length of time.
Almost my entire stock of earrings and necklaces have been damaged, causing me to have to discard them all. I say almost because it had been all, but I just found one earring and necklace set that had been set aside on the other side of my office that was in pristine condition. Nothing has changed with the way I make them or store them, but for some reason, the metal is now discolored. It’s never happened before, so I’m at a loss for fixing it. This is super frustrating because it’s a huge loss, not only financially, but time wise as well.
Boathouse 2 is still held up due to circumstances beyond our control, but he’s coming soon! Just the anticipation for him to arrive (and then start work on book 3) is tiring 🙂
My schedule is crazy now with everyone home for the summer, so I have the same amount of workload to complete in a fraction of the time. Any tips on how to handle that?
All of these things combined makes me just want to shut down and not do anything.
But that’s not the best way (or even a good way) to run a business.
So after days and days of research and pricing, I finally just placed an order for all of my jewelry replacement materials…all of the bezel pendant trays, glass cabochons, necklace chains…I’ll have my work cut out for me in order to get this all done before the Brockport Arts Festival in August!
The good news is I’ll be offering my necklaces and dangle earrings in TWO colors now: antique silver (a bit darker than I have had) and antique bronze!
The necklaces will be on chains again (I don’t know about you, but to me, a chain is prettier than ball chain)…
AND I’m releasing a new product: STUD EARRINGS!
They will also be available in the two colors, and in a slightly smaller size than the dangle earrings (8mm vs. 10mm).
Also, for my nerd/geek fans, I stumbled across this awesome pendant tray today.
Okay, so at first I thought it was a little weird.
But then I looked at it longer, and thought it looked like the Deathly Hallows symbol from the Harry Potter books! And then I thought doing the watercolor pendant in the four different Hogwarts house colors would be a fun thing to do, but with this as the base tray. I ran the idea by one of my fellow Potterheads today, and she’s already claimed the first one (sorry, guys).
I’m really excited about the new products and colors. I strive to offer the best quality products that I can, and I feel like this is a step above what I’ve had. I can’t wait to get started, and will definitely let you all know when new pieces are available.
So I’m still here, even if I’m quiet. Life is just a bit chaotic right now, and I’m hopeful that I’ll have my feet back under me again shortly.
As always, thank you for all of your support! Love you all!
PS – What is your Hogwarts house? I’m a happy little Hufflepuff!
This is one of those pieces that was so much fun to plan, design and finish, but the whole starting and working on it was really really rough.
A year and a half ago, our friends Stephen and Vanessa were downsizing apartments and gave us their couch and love seat. As payment for the furniture, they asked if I would do a painting for their new place, and I happily agreed!
After a lot of meetings, reference image searches, and more planning, we finally agreed on what the piece was going to be: an 18″ x 24″ oil painting of some of their favorite fandoms. Stephen mentioned he wanted an epic feel for the piece; I’ve been calling it Epic ever since!
Medium: Watercolor, colored pencil, ink (marker and liquid), and graphite on watercolor paper
Size: 11″ x 14″ with a mat and frame, bringing it to a finished size of approximately 14″ x 18″
When: Spring/Summer 2015
Time to complete: This finished piece was off and on for a few months; overall the project took a year and a half
Thoughts on the piece: First of all, I can’t wait to design one for my husband and I! I had so much fun working on this piece, and combining various fandom references that don’t go together into one picture. It reminded me of the Disney Vault mural, and it made me happy.
Challenges: Oh man, trying this piece in oil paint was a nightmare.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOOOVE painting in oils. However, I just do not have the technique or skill needed to make this piece as awesome as it was intended to be in oils. Every time I worked on it, I’d end up backtracking and redoing what I had done in the previous session. When I don’t have the opportunity just yet to get into my painting studio on a regular basis, that made things even harder.
When I started working on Boathouse color tests, I discovered I really really like colored pencil, watercolor and ink together; I can get great color and better detail with these mediums. I approached them about switching mediums, and they were totally flexible with whatever I wanted to do.
Also, I had finished the piece awhile ago. However, it was looking fairly flat and dull in just watercolor and colored pencils. I dug out my ink sticks that my husband bought for me on a whim, and the difference was amazing! The colors are really vibrant now.
Space ship: Serenity from the TV show Firefly
Mountains: The Misty Mountains from The Hobbit
Castle: Hogwarts from Harry Potter
Sleeping panda: Po from the Kung Fu Panda movies
Horse and boy: Shasta and Bree from The Horse and His Boy from The Chronicles of Narnia
Favorite part: How the whole piece works together! I was taking so many different reference images with different color schemes and trying to make it cohesive, and I’m happy with how it turned out.
Also, I love the way the mist turned out! I was terrified of attempting it. It was actually easy!
Least favorite part: There is one part where the ink dried before I could spread it out better. Ink is permanent when it dries, where watercolor can be persuaded to come up. I’m not going to tell you where the ink part is because it may drive Vanessa crazy too if she sees it, and I don’t want that 😉
Things I’ve learned:
– Oil paints are amazing if I’m doing soft abstract. Detail oriented pieces, not so much.
– I love ink! Ink and watercolor may just be my new favorite medium to work with.
– If you’ve been following this blog for any certain amount of time, you probably know that I love to include fun details into my work. This piece is no exception:
– I’ll be using a very similar technique for the Boathouse illustrations!
How the piece is displayed: Thanks for sharing a picture of it hung up, Vanessa!
Product availability: Available as prints by special request!