My Summer Art

I recently participated in the spn_summer_art  challenge and had a great time coming up with my entry. Check out the Summer Art Challenge if you haven’t already. There were many wonderful artworks from a whole bunch of very talented SPN artists!


Early on I had seen the banners for the challenge and considered participating, but what clinched it was finding the perfect reference for a summer based theme.


The male figure already looked enough like Sam from the back, I just had to make his hair darker and longer. For Dean I flipped the image and used the reference for his body, making it a bit less muscular. Then I looked around for pictures of the back of Dean’s head to help me get a likeness for him. That was tougher, but I did find a few, mostly screen shots like this one.


Of course it was fuzzy and the top of his head was cut off, but it helped.

The only other thing I changed in the general line drawing was to tone down the lens distortion which is pretty noticeable in the reference image.

To see an animated gif of  the painting process click here


Master Art Post for SPN Reverse Big Bang 2010

This year I finally participated in a Big Bang Challenge, the SPN Reversebang
The reverse part comes from having an art prompt as the starting point, instead of a story prompt. I loved the idea of having a story inspired by whatever art idea I could come up with.The lovely Katsuyakaiba69 picked my prompt and we spent several fun weeks having a great time working together. I was very lucky to be chosen by this very talented writer. Please go and read her wonderfully thought provoking story  “Into the Land of Nod” here.
Now for the artwork! First for the banner I recycled one of the interior illustrations.
BigBangPost1Illustrating an early scene….BigBangPost2“Sam? Sam!” The curdling cold in his belly began to spread through his veins. “Where are you?”

This is the illustration that developed from my original art prompt.


Dean showed Sam the symbol that was starting to appear on his palm.



The thread-thin circle etched into Dean’s palm was now encircled by another, forming the black outline of a ring that sat small and hollow in his hand and tugged at Dean’s fraying nerves.

Finally, illustrating one of the last scenes in the story…


“You just…just go back.”

So there it is! Hope you guys have as much fun reading as I did playing in this challenge!

RBB Artwork

Here’s another illustration for the Reverse Big Bang. It’s still in the sketch stage, but I’ve been saving progress shots as I redrew and cleaned it up. I made an animated gif to show the changes so far.


Reverse Bang Doodling

Here are a few sketches that were inspired by the story to be written for my prompt. None of these will actually be developed and used because I still don’t have enough specifics on the story. They’re just the result of doodling and daydreaming on my part after getting some hints of where the story might go.




Reverse Bang Art Continued

After getting the background more or less in place I started working on the Sam and Dean figures. I blocked in the basic colors first, for the skin, hair, and clothes.

There is only a bare minimum of shading on their faces and hair. I played around with different colors for their clothes. The hardest part was coming up with two different blues for their jeans that still looked fairly authentic.

Once I found a set of colors that seemed to work well together I started adding a little texture to Dean’s jacket. I didn’t exactly try to make it seem like his leather jacket, just a regular jacket, a little beat up looking.

For Sam’s shirt I decided to try my hand at drawing a plaid pattern. Since so little of it was showing I thought it wouldn’t be too hard. I drew a set of pink, blue and dark grey lines in different widths. I put them in diagonally in what would be the button band of his shirt to give it a little more interest. It all came out a bit wobbly, but given the scale at which they’ll be perceived it’s okay. I’m just noticing now that the blue lines in the shirt tail are awfully faint and actually seem to disappear in the later versions. I’ll have to go back and make those a little darker.


The next shot shows that I went back to playing with background again. I added a texture layer to the whole image and then erased or softened it over the figures. This darkens the whole picture and makes it look more atmospheric.


In this next step I added a circular gradient effect from transparent in the middle to a dark blue at the edges.


This darkens everything again significantly. It pretty much obscures much of the red in the sky and makes the background look kind of foggy. I’m not sure if I should back off from this last step. It could also depend on how my author places the scene in her story. If it’s early morning or sunset, I could leave the earlier version, if in the dead of night, the later one.

That’s where this piece stands right now. I still have finishing touches to do. I want to add more shading and highlights on their figures and faces, but hopefully that should be pretty easy to do.

I would like to produce some more illustrations for the story once I know a little more about it. In my next post I’ll put up some doodlings I did with the barest tidbits of information about the story. 🙂

Adding Color in Photoshop

I started working on the background, just putting down basic colors for the different areas, greens for the foreground and a mix of blues and pinks for the sky.

I also started to look around for some foliage brushes. I knew I was going to need all the help I could get to paint realistic looking trees and bushes. Here I had painted some color onto the tree trunk and started to brush on some leaves in the trees and bushes. It still looked pretty sad.

I set one of the leaf brushes to a small size, angled it in a way that it resembled a tree top and at a very light opacity, scattered some of these shapes along the horizon line. That part seemed to work well at least.


I continued painting in more color and playing with the foliage brushes. I tried adding a layer of leaves and then blurring them and putting more layers on top to add depth. I think it helped, but I still didn’t like that tree.

I finally decided to go looking for more brushes, this time actual tree shapes. I found some very nice tree silhouettes. Starting again with the tree, I used the tree trunk brush to establish the silhouette and the used the foliage brushes fill in the leaves. I tried to be less heavy handed with the leaves. I liked this result much better.


Reverse Bang Challenge

I joined my first Big Bang challenge, but it’s a Big Bang with a twist. It starts with a piece of artwork and then authors are invited to create a story based on this art. It was too tempting to pass up so I’m in. 🙂


I had this sketch sitting around for a while and thought it could be the basis for an art prompt.


After scanning and a little tinkering in Photoshop this is what I submitted as a prompt for the the SPN Reverse Bang.

I continued to work on the sketch while waiting for the claim date to arrive. I basically ended up redrawing the figures.
I’ve found some Photoshop brushes that simulate pencils which I love . Certainly sketching in Photoshop is a lot more forgiving than on doing it on paper. The transform tool is my friend.


Long Time No Draw

It’s been a while, but hey, I’m back!I just picked up on this piece, lastly known as Together, though that may change again  :-)I started work with a fresh eye and I’m eager to continue. It feels like my brain continued to develop my drawing skill without the need to actually practice. Didn’t I hear that your piano skills can improve that way too?Anyway, it’s almost like I’m having more success in controlling my color application on this sanded paper now. Who knows, maybe I’m delusional, but it feels good. Here is the progress shot.


I mostly worked on Sam’s face and hair, but what I really wanted to document before things went any further were the changes to Dean’s shirt. I sketched out a whole different shirt for him to wear.I never really liked the one in the reference picture so it’s been nagging at me. Once I decided to start working on this again I decided I needed to change it. I snagged my hubby to model for me in a dark  shirt and a few photos later I had a new reference pic for the shirt. Yes!

The idea is for Sam’s shirt to be white and Dean’s to be plain black over a dark t-shirt.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑