For a long time, I was so busy working on Gizmo Grandma, blog stuff, and convention prep that I found it difficult to find time to work on larger personal pieces. Of course, it's important to MAKE time, lest you start forgetting your reasons for making art in the first place, as it certainly started to feel for me.
These two pieces are buffer art for Volume 2- pieces that help accommodate double page spreads, help with chapter spacing, or could be used as section title pages. When assembling Volume 1, I ended up creating a lot of assets like these last minute, so while working on the chapters that will be published in Volume 2, I've tried to also create additional art. While I know some comic readers don't care for the inclusion of additional art (it's been referred to as padding), some really appreciate the inclusion, and I tend to fall into the latter camp. So many self published comics feel a bit anemic compared to the price (due to the high costs of self publishing), I'm happy for any additional comic-related content the creator throws in.
These were painted on Arches Cold Press watercolor paper with Winsor and Newton, Holbien, and Daniel Smith watercolors, using natural hair watercolor brushes.
Below is the design for this year's Christmas Card. If you'd still like to receive one, albeit post Christmas, please fill out this handy Google form!
For the illustration of Kara in the grass, I played around with keeping things as loose as possible. Cold press Arches watercolor paper is fantastic for this, as the cotton paper holds moisture, and colors mix freely without becoming muddy. Pigments also stay very vibrant, unlike on many of the woodpulp papers I've tested over the years.
For my Christmas card, I wanted to play around with looser spray bottle techniques. The method is incredibly simple- you fill a spray bottle with water and a bit of the tube watercolor (or premixed pan/cake) of your choice. I like using Holbien's watercolor spray bottles, as they're designed FOR watercolors and the pigment particles wont clog up the nozzle, but if you'd prefer to buy in bulk, these spray bottles should work as well.
NOTE: I've found that iridescent, pearlescent, and metallic paints/mediums with large flakes will clog up even bottles designed for watercolor, and are best flicked on with a toothbrush!
Gold ink was flicked on using Liquitex Freestyle's Splatter brush.
The last illustration is pretty straightforward, although I did knock in basic shadows first.