As someone who's been doing digital painting for a long LONG time, and who feels like she's only very recently gotten good at it. I thought I'd write a bit about how I got here and the process of learning how to paint without any formal training in school or otherwise. I started learning photoshop when I was about fourteen years old, and I was instantly hooked. However I had no idea how to use the real tools available and was far more interested in painting something and then adding one million lens flares and other effects and then calling it good. This was not the right way to approach painting or making decent artwork. See example below of OLD stuff I

I had some extra time as well as motivation this last week to do some personal artwork. As a person who's always been a dork about dragons, I wanted to do some paintings about my beloved mythical beasts. I had so much fun that I'm decided to make this into an extended series of paintings. It's both helping me get better at using new photoshop brushes, but lighting / shadow, composition, and contrast in painting. Enjoy! Great Purple Dragon Great Red Dragon   More to come next week if I have the time.

This last week has been a real delight for me. I was on vacation in a quite special area of the Northwest; Olympic National Park. The reason it's so special is because it harbors some of the most pristine old growth and some of the largest trees in a temperate rainforest on the planet. I found the visit incredibly inspiring and was thinking as I hiked through parts of the rainforest that coming back to this area with a sketchbook was the best idea. I felt silly for not thinking of it sooner. Just being there really inspired me to go out, observe and draw in nature more, I think it's something in my ongoing skill building and education that I'm

Today I thought I'd write about something that's been on my mind a lot lately. I have spent the last few months studying something called Permaculture. If you know what that is, awesome, you're ahead of the curve. If not I'll explain it. Permaculture is an alternative agricultural method that uses earthworks, climatic factors, soil types, as well as hydrological and ecological methods to produce food without added chemicals; specifically without fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. It's a way to work with the land instead of against it, promote a healthy diet, healthy habitat for wildlife, and many other pretty sweet things. All these things are something monoculture isn't good at doing at all, which is why in order to