Friday, December 9, 2011

Art Studio Video Tour!

I really haven't meant to neglect my blog for so long.  I've been creating lots of art, moving into our new house, etc.  I plan on updating more regularly from here on out!

I've had some people request to see the finished art studio, so I made a video!  The video includes tips for organizing supplies, my philosophy of art studio design, etc.  Hope you enjoy :) The Video is here!

Friday, October 2, 2009

ArtTrader Issue 8 is out!

I wanted to let my blog readers know that ArtTrader Magazine issue #8 is out. I am very pleased with the latest issue and I hope everyone will enjoy it!

I have a review from Artforall2009 and also an article on Art Aprons. Check them out!

New Video!

Hi everyone,

Here is another video I made this week using scraps of paper from my art desk and a little bit of philosophy. I hope you enjoy:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Art Journal Video Walkthrough

Hi everyone!

I've made a new video tonight and posted it to the ArtTrader Magazine Youtube channel. Its a 7-minute walkthrough of me making a mixed media tree journal page for my new art journal.

Here is the list of supplies from the video:
-papers/scrapbook papers/old papers
-hand-carved stamps
-pattern paper (from sewing patterns)
-Golden Acrylic glazing liquid
-Rotring Artpen and Rapdiosketch pens

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mapmaking Part II

Alright everyone, here is another update on Reuben's map! I had to put off finishing it for a while because I needed to order a smaller rapdiograph pen (a .25 nib) to to the really small stuff.

So the first image here is of me painting in some of the small buildings on the outside of the map. Each of these buildings takes only a second or two to paint, but when you are painting hundreds of them, this really adds up! I used a fine liner "0" sized brush to do these.

This second image shows the final map--before inking! The inking will probably take as long as the painting did, in all honesty :).

And so, now I'll be ready to ink the map and figure out how I'm going to finish it in time for gaming this week!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cartography and RPG Mapmaking Walkthrough - part I

I've been making RPG maps much longer than mail art, believe it or not! I'm working on a new map for Reuben, and I'll detail it out in two blog posts. Of course, Reuben has to make things VERY complicated, and so it will take me forever to finish it :).

I'll be doing a two-part blog post on the steps I take to make a basic RPG map. These are a lot of fun and add real flavor to any D&D campaign

This map has already probably cost me 15 hours of art time, and its not anywhere near being done. But progress is being made!

We'll start first with the paper. I used my usual stuff - Canson 124 lb rough. I tore the edges, because torn edges look cool. The map is about 2 1/2 feet across and 2 feet high. The first image shows the blank paper, just waiting to be painted!

This second image shows the paper after I have put a watercolor wash on the paper.

In mapmaking, I have found that adding a colored background really helps set the tone for the whole map. Reuben is being secretive as to what this map is about (because I am in his campaign) so I really have no idea. So I made a fairly neutral background.

Next, I sketched out the basic city structure. This city consists of an inner and outer city--the inner city has 7 concentric rings. The outer city has 7 different wards. Did I mention this map was complicated yet? Here is a closeup of me sketching out the rings and adding more detail.

I always do this sketching at this stage in a very light pencil. You really don't want to do anything in pen for a long time on these maps...or you might screw it up and regret it.

Even pencil too deep/dark can cause you problems.

I should have used a compass to do this, but my old one broke and I haven't bought a new one yet. So I used a series of dishes and cups and other circular objects. It worked in a pinch!

So the next image here shows what happens after I added the second layer of watercolor to the map. I added all of the roads in gray, and then decided that each district of the city will have a different "look".

I also used a fan brush to add some texture in the upper right corner for mountains.

The outer wards all have a color and the inner city was planned, and is therefore pristine in comparison.

This last image shows the rest of the outer wards receiving their watercolor wash and the inner city taking shape. The inner city's rings will all have the same white (read = planned) look. The greenery you see is in the rich folks district, which Reuben has kindly named the noble district. There is some sort of shiny metallic sphere in the center of the city, but I have no idea what that is about either.

Note to cartographers: its hard to make a city map for someone who won't provide you enough details! LOL!

That's it for this post. In a week or two the map will hopefully be finished and then I'll show you the rest!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What is your artistic style? At Artforall 2009, I taught a workshop that asked people to do a small accordion book that detailed out their artistic style. Here is my book!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Art from Dana!

I know, I know. I don't update my blog often enough. But that's because I'm always invovled in so many interesting projects--its hard to pull myself away from them.

This last week, other than unpacking my things, which one can't do for all of their waking hours, I have been working on the material for our upcoming ArtTrader Magazine Art Journals workshop! For more details, check it out:

So here is a sneak preview of a few of the lovely journal pages you will see in that workshop!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

So I've been up to some new sky-themed art for a sky swap that I'm hosting at I'm really happy with how they have come out. I love the springtime and how we get so much rain and the skies are always full of wonderful clouds! Sunny, overcast, it really makes no difference to me.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Some new stuff!

I wanted to let everyone know about a few new things I have going on!

1: I am working with three outstanding artists through ArtTrader Magazine to bring about a "Whimsy Art Workshop" Woot!

Here is the link:

Go check it out!

Second, I made my first "vlog" today! Its on YouTube:

Its on how to clean and fill rapidiograph or rapidiosketch pens, since I needed this info for a friend and couldn't find it ANYWHERE! LOL!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Well, time to pick this back up!

I want to pick my blog back up. Now that the Tarot Deck is safely housed on, I am going to use this blog for occasional discussions of art and life, and showing off my work.

I recently joined an "Angels" Swap and I really like the way the angels came out. They were so swirly and bright. I have been obsessing over swirls for a while now, and they always put me in a good mood when I make them. I hope others enjoy them too.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Tarot of Trees Website!

I now have an official website for my tarot deck:

I encourage each of you to go there and see the full spread of the two suits and the majors. Its easier than viewing it here on the blog.

I also have started a mailing list, which you can find and join on the site.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Suit of Pentacles is progressing!

The summer energy must be good for me because I have been working a few hours each day for the last two weeks on the tree tarot deck. I now have all of the pentacles sketched out, and I have started doing the watercolor backgrounds for them.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about my process for each card.

1) I start with reading and researching the card I plan on painting extensively. This includes looking through my own tarot deck and library about the card.

2) Then I go online and look at other artists' renditions of the card, read on the symbolism, etc.

3) At that point, I write a list of meanings and symbols I'd like to convey and do some small sketches (maybe 1.5" x 2.5" high). Just to get the creative juices flowing.

4) During this stage I burn some incense I specially crafted for divinations and then meditate for a bit on the design, painting the card in my mind.

5) Now I'm ready to start sketching more seriously. The sketch comes together, and finally, I am ready to trace the whole thing out on Canson 128 lb Rough watercolor paper.

6) Usually a bit later, I come back and look at the sketch and then if I'm satisfied, I start the watercolor layer. I have painted the entire deck with mostly Shin Han Professional Artist watercolors, with a few Winsor and Newton colors thrown in. I love the Shin Hans for their brilliant colors!

7) The watercolor portion takes a while to paint, and I let it dry in between layers and work on something else. Finally, when its dry, I go back in with some white acrylic, watered down (liquitex works best) and I add in some detail. This is a method of painting I developed especially for this deck, and I love how wonderful it makes everything look!

8) The acrlyic dries. I then go back for my third and final layer--with a Faber Castell medium point waterproof/india ink pen. I define areas, add detail, and so forth.

9) Then I scan at 400 dpi! That is it!

:) More tarot cards to follow soon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Updates - Tree Tarot Deck

I have been so busy writing my dissertation that my tree tarot has not had the progress that I wanted it to have. But these last few weeks, I have managed to paint four cards--and I have several more rough sketched. I am still hoping to finish this project by the end of 2008, but we will see how busy the fall is. I have decided to work on the suit of pentacles next, although I have concept sketches of many cards yet to complete from the swords and cups.

Nine of Pentacles

Rooted deep in the earth during the winter months.

Page of Pentacles

I am finally on my second suit - the pentacles. These are wintery. I'm not sure what I think of the ground on this one yet. I might revise it. But the sky stays.

King of Wands

The final card in the suit of wands! WOOT!

Tree Tarot - Queen of Wands

Finally, I have been able to paint more tree tarot cards. Here is the queen of wands. The cat looks a little sad, so I'll have to brighten her up a bit :).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Knight of Wands

The knight of wands was SO tricky too! I decided to do a brave tree, sitting out on a road. The road symbolizes movement--the knight of wands is moving about so quickly and bravely that he often doesn't see where he is going. And he might be hit at any moment by a car, but he doesn't care!

Page of Wands

I've finally gotten over my "painters block" concerning this deck. After much deliberation, I went with the standard page- knight-queen-king approach, but each of the trees will be older and wiser than the last. Anyways, here is the page of wands! Creativity and inspiration, through flowers and butterflies. A young tree, with much life ahead of her!

Friday, February 8, 2008


I have been sketching the rest of the suit of wands, but I have not had as much time as I would like to work on it lately. I should have something to post later this week :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ten of Wands

I'm really happy with the 10 of wands! The seedling tree tries so hard to grow, but the light is dim...

Eight of Wands

Eight of wands - I went with a traditional kind of view on this because I liked the idea of it :)

Nine of Wands

Here is the nine of wands card. I was thinking about trees who get weighted down--by snow, rock slides, or another fallen tree. This tree has been weighted down, but as per the meaning of the 9 of wands card--it has managed to endure and continue to grow, new shoots growing to the sky!

Three of Wands - Revised

I was very unhappy with my three of wands card, so I painted a new one. This new painting, I feel, better reflects the meaning of the three. What do you think?