Category Archives: Sketchbook

Blue Lady

Blue Lady by Karen Gadient, 2014

Before we went out of town, I began playing with abstract portraits. I wanted to create something heavy on brushstrokes, with only a hint of actual portrait. Didn’t work; I kept adding lines. Sooooo, I kept the brushstroke layers that were the original sketches and worked them in. The results were what you see above.

Just an experiment, but figured it’d be fun to share! Haven’t yet decided if I’ll offer prints of these portraits, but will update when/if I do.

Blue Lady. Nope, not from a photo. Offset layers. Individual layers done in Corel Painter. Blending modes added in Adobe Photoshop.

An artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it. — Paul Valéry

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Ideas, Painting, Portrait, Sketchbook

Sketchbook Roses

Sketchbook Roses by Karen Gadient, 2014

Sketchbook Roses. Created in Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop.

But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Filed under Art, Color, Digital Artwork, Nature, Quotes, Sketchbook

Teeming Wax

Teeming Wax by Karen Gadient

Experimenting with digital ink: when you take some color, dribble it onto paper and fold (mirror) it, smear it around here and there, then water some down and blow it all over the place with a (virtual) straw… you get something like this.

Reminds me of the Rorschach inkblot test. I think it might be looking at me.

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Painting, Psychology, Sketchbook

Jump In: NaNoWriMo and Imagination

Zuzamele in Blossoms by Karen Gadient

Artwork: “Zuzamele in Blossoms” | Zuzamele, the first daughter of the Exalted Sovereign of Mahanizeh, disappears after leaving her eighth groom alive on the first year of their joining—an anniversary that traditionally allows royal grooms to relinquish their lives gratefully in the Rite of Delivery. Mahanizeh officials quickly announce her capture and imprisonment in Avizhdolin, but rumors flourish of her escape to Ruhizeya aboard a celestial freighter.

Oh hey—did you know NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is coming? Yep, less than a month. As I have in previous years, I’ll be participating. Are you?

Zuzamele may not be the story I’ll be writing in November, but it could be. You see, that’s the awesome thing about NaNoWriMo: you can use anything your mind thinks up and run from a single paragraph (I wrote the above details on a whim after I created the artwork) well into an epic tale.

Jump in. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun and make a mess. Scatter ink everywhere and watch the magic trip into life. I make new friends every year during NaNoWriMo (my user name is Keyrover). Hope to see you there.

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Filed under Art, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Fantasy, Friendship, Imagination, NaNoWriMo, Portrait, Science Fiction, Sketchbook, Writing

Illuminathia

Illuminathia. She started out as portrait art, but caffeine gave her superpowers.

Illuminathia by Karen Gadient 2013

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Filed under Art, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Fantasy, Freelance, Graphic Design, Imagination, Painting, Portrait, Sketchbook

Mother Universe

Poster artwork. It’s a little bit psychedelic. Had some fun creating this one.

Mother Universe

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Filed under Art, Color, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Graphic Design, Imagination, Poster, Sketchbook, Space

Cupcakeet

The Cupcakeet. A parakeet and cupcake hybrid graphic design.

I was talking to my mother online the other day and she made the cutest typo. She said that she had gotten some cupcakeets. Of course, she meant cupcakes… but I immediately imagined a cupcake-parakeet hybrid.

And yeah—I got silly and made one while I was still chatting with her.

Vanilla and strawberry, with a touch of cherry!

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Filed under Art, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Games, Graphic Design, Imagination, Sketchbook

Creative Experimentation

Book Cover Experiment for One Last Dark Day

This was a creative experiment. Turned out better than expected, so sharing. Shown almost full-size for detail, but it reads surprisingly well as an itty bitty icon. When small, the words hop out. I wanted a window into the sunshine of this character’s future while still trapping him in his present darkness—and used the title itself. Not sure if I’d try the technique again, but it was a lot of fun to make.

Sometimes I like to create something (art, writing, cooking, knitting, LEGOS, etc.) just to see what I come up with at the end of an unplanned project.

Do you ever just make something to see what happens?

Hope you all have a great week!

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Filed under Art, Book Cover Design, Creativity, Graphic Design, Sketchbook

Design: “Prismal”

Design: Prismal. By Karen Gadient, 2012

Prismal: design created with stock photos and digital painting. Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter. First as the design itself, second as a book cover (just for fun).

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Filed under Art, Book Cover Design, Digital Artwork, Graphic Design, Sketchbook

Song of the Furies

Artwork inspired by the Furies.

I created artwork for the letter ‘F’ this week. My inspiration is taken from Aeschylus’ Eumenides (you can read it at that link)—also known as the Furies.

From Wikipedia: In Greek mythology the Erinyes (Ἐρινύες, pl. of Ἐρινύς, Erinys; literally “the avengers”) from Greek ἐρίνειν ” pursue, persecute”—sometimes referred to as “infernal goddesses” (Greek χθόνιαι θεαί)—were female chthonic deities of vengeance.

Erinyes corresponds to the Furies or Dirae in Roman mythology.

My inspiration isn’t exactly random. I’d recently been thinking of a performance I’d recorded off PBS over twenty years ago (with a VCR—remember those?). It was Sir Peter Hall’s version: Aeschylus: The Oresteia, performed at Britain’s Royal National Theatre. Done with masks, piercing notes, chanting and lyrics, it stuck in my mind. As a theatre major later, I always thought, “Oh hey, we should do a Greek tragedy with MASKS!” but it never happened.

All the same, the part with the Furies always stuck with me the most. Sometimes we can feel like we’re being pursued by our mistakes (although most of us don’t have murder on our hands). In Sir Peter Hall’s version, the Furies had red hair and gaping mouths. Bit scary! My version is more on the lovely side—but don’t be fooled: she has fangs beyond those lips. *grins* Then, don’t we all?

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Filed under Art, Digital Artwork, History, Mythology, Sketchbook, Theatre

Digital Sketchbook 8.16

Something's Fishy

Just playing around. Created in Photoshop and Corel Painter.

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Alternate Versions

I write science fiction, and read plenty of it too. My favorite places are always alternate worlds or timelines. I love the idea of there being many versions of something, whether it be the universe or a single being.

As an illustrator, I create one portrait first and foremost. However, I always take time to play with the concept before deciding on how the final should look. Even once I have a finished piece, I’ll try different effects on it to see what happens.

This is the fantastic part of digital art over traditional (not that I don’t love to play with real paint and ink too)—not just the undo button but the vast array of color-play, texture, filters, and brushes that can be tested on a design.

Experimentation and exploration. It makes work fun.

Reydesra - Alternate Versions

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Filed under Art, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Fantasy, Graphic Design, Imagination, Multiverse, Portrait, Science Fiction, Sketchbook

Sketchbook 12.11 #1

“Sketchbook portrait 12.11 1

Portrait sketch created in Corel Painter.

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Filed under Art, Creativity, Digital Artwork, Journal, Painting, Portrait, Sketchbook

Painting fiction into life

Painting of a character from my NaNoWriMo novel for 2011

I’m currently working on my NaNoWriMo novel (or novella, if I actually stop at 50,000 words). I’m writing a near-future/alternate-universe sci-fi tale. I’ve noticed some of you create your book cover as inspiration as you write. Instead of a cover, I decided to paint one of my lead characters as I imagine her so far.

Good luck to those of you doing NaNoWriMo this year!

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