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100 Days of Making...say waaaaah

Journal Entry: Fri Apr 29, 2016, 9:14 PM
So I've done 30 day challenges before, but this is probably the most ambitious daily project I've embarked on in a LOOOOONG while :XD: What am I on about? The 100 Day Project 'o course! It's almost 2 weeks in but there's plenty of time for you to participate if you wanna (deets are here: ) So what is this project you ask? Basically you decide what you wanna make and do it every single day until July 11, 2016 ^ ^ The organizer Elle Luna ( ) has also suggested that participants share their creations on instagram with the hashtag #100dayproject 

I like projects like these because it forces me to be creative for at least an hour every single day ^ ^ My own project is based on random musings, that is, whatever I first think of when I sit down with my tablet. Thus far it has been mostly fan art, and fan art I had been too intimidated to draw until now so I'd say that's a huge plus. Also I'm getting a little faster in my digital painting process which is also a plus to this project! There are plenty of days left if you guys are interested in hopping on the train too! (you don't have to post on instagram if you don't want btw XD) 

Yea or nay? Anybody in? Below are my entries for everyday (including this one) for a total of 11 days. 

1:100 by Xadrea2:100 by Xadrea3:100 by Xadrea4:100 by Xadrea

5:100 by Xadrea6:100 by Xadrea7:100 by Xadrea8:100 by Xadrea

9:100 by Xadrea10:100 by Xadrea11:100 by Xadrea

  • Listening to: Victorious-- Panic! At the Disco
  • Reading: nothing
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?! Moving and other newsy news

Journal Entry: Sun Mar 27, 2016, 2:59 PM
That's a real good question :XD: Actually I've been right here the whole time, just unreasonably busy XD I've been pre-student teaching for the last three months (my last day at the high school I'm putting in time is this Thursday) so that's really been cramping up my free time. On top of that I'm pre student teaching at two other area schools with two different classes in my program :faint: Both of those are coming to an end this week as well. Needless to say I've never been stretched quite this thin in a looooooong time lol. Also, I will be moving in May. Where to you ask? Why back to Ohio! Yes, the state everyone flees from, including myself. Why you ask? Well, a few reasons. I've been in school for nine years. I have two degrees now (bfa and mfa), and although I'm close to finishing a certificate I've decided it's in my best interest to take a break and move to an area that has more jobs in my field. Why quit when I'm so close to finishing my teaching certificate you ask? Because I'm tired of being broke dammit. Also I'm tired of being tired and sick. I've been sick for over a month now (just started feeling better this past week) and the reason I'm not getting better is because I haven't had time to rest. Additionally, I don't consider what I'm planning on doing failing in any way. I've put 1 year into this art ed program, and even if I end up having to start over whenever I finish it I didn't do it all for nothing. I've gained a lot in the last six months including new friends :meow: So, I'll be moving back to my mom's house (the mantra of every 20 something born in the late 80s these days amiright?) saving money and looking for a job in the NE Ohio area. I've got a few prospects already and an interview on Tuesday for a summer job as an art teacher woo. 

As you've probably noticed as your watchlist folder for me started coughing violently, I've made A LOT of art in between all my being busy :XD: I've finally gotten up to speed with uploading it to dA. I've been updating my instagram and fb page more frequently because the uploading process on both platforms is 40 times faster than dA's (not a complaint, just an observation). Queenie and Sanctuary are still coming along nicely and I'm glad that I've been able to get little tid bits done on both in spite of being too busy to eat regularly :XD: 

Anyways, I've been away too are you guys? What's new round these parts and with all of you?

  • Listening to: Car Underwater-- Armor for Sleep
  • Reading: nothing
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water


Journal Entry: Mon Jan 11, 2016, 7:43 AM
Wanna start off by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR!! :boogie::dance::boogie::dance::boogie::dance::boogie::dance:

Ok, now that's out of our system, lemme explain the title of this journal: I'm reviving a comic my brother and I wrote over 15 years ago :D Why you ask? Well, it's been something that I've been wanting to do for a very long time but had neither the time, energy, or resources. I came to the conclusion about a month ago that I wasn't really waiting on anything in particular, and if I had put more effort into it I could have revived the comic years ago. Negativity against myself aside, it's actually a good thing that I'm working on it now as a more matured artist because I now have an increased ability to make what's in my head appear physically. The comic has had several titles, but the one we're going with is from the second draft of the story that we worked up about 12 years ago, Sanctuary. 

what's it about? *leans in closely*

Well, it's set in a dystopian futu- *oh real original Xadrea* Don't you sass me! Now, what was I saying? Oh yes, it's set in a dystopian future in which the Universe is being destroyed by a world eating sentient techno-virus. *again so original* Don't make me come over there! Anyways, the Earth is no more and no one quite remembers what happened to it. All that is known is that it was destroyed by the virus at some point centuries beforehand. Humankind survived by fleeing to a planet that was similar to Earth named Red Moon. However Red Moon was already inhabited by humanoid beings. Red Moon was much less heavily populated and oppressed under human invasion. *humans wreck everything amiright?* Uh, yes. Well, as a result naturally war broke out and nothing was accomplished. While that was happening Red Moon began dying as the virus that had destroyed Earth mysteriously appeared. With the virus killing hundreds of thousands of people on both sides, and Red Moon becoming increasingly unable to support life an alliance was made between Humankind and the natives of Red Moon. That's when the last city, Sanctuary, was built. 

I made a little intro vid for it ^ ^

  • Listening to: Monster -- Skillet
  • Reading: nothing
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Resident Evil 4
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water
Long time no see patients! Today's blog will be discussing the nasty, horrible, no good, very bad enemy of all creatives: the dreaded art block. 

Even if you haven't seen all of The Matrix films (or like them for that matter) many of you are probably familiar with this iconic exchange from the first film: 
Boy: "Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth."
Neo: "What truth?"
Boy: "There is no spoon."
Neo: "There is no spoon?"
Boy: "Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself."
When it comes to creativity, we as artists are our own worst enemies. The greatest sabotage you can ever do to yourself as a creator is to place limits on your abilities before you even know what you can do. THAT, my friend, is precisely what Neo's problem was at the beginning of the Matrix series.

Wrenches In the Gears of Your Mind

Gears are Turning by pixelworlds
So what happens when you know without a shadow of a doubt you don't have the skills to tackle a project?

Know Thyself

Ok, heads up because I just can't seem to stop's yet another nugget I pulled out of the Matrix film (yeah, yeah bear with me, I actually do have a point to make here!) Besides fear, which can also be crippling, calculated and even sensible overthinking can send you careening over a cliff into stagnant territory. The maxim 'know thyself' is a Greek phrase that has several different uses in literature. One of it's meanings is simply to have an enlightened view and understanding of yourself, outside of your emotions and perceived limitations (Har har, that was also it's usage in The Matrix). It is the total understanding of your abilities, likes, dislikes, thought patterns, etc. Essentially, a state of being that is nearly impossible to master for we are merely human and our minds, though vast, are still housed in a finite body. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses takes time and a lot of courage no matter what you are facing in life. 
temet nosce/ know thyself

So am I telling you that you're doomed if you really can't do something? No young grasshopper, pay attention! Knowing that you don't yet have the ability to do something simply means you haven't learned that skill yet, it is not the end of the world or your path as an artist

The Difference Between Quitting and Failure 

If you're American it's probably been beat into your brain, through many years of schooling, that failure is the worst thing that can happen to you while you're learning how to do something. Those who fail are often stigmatized severely, and at times even ostracized for it. You've probably also heard nasty things about quitters, but there's two sides to every coin. Failing at something typically means one of two things: you put forth your best efforts and the process did not work, or you did not put forth your best efforts and the process did not work. Most often the former is the case which is why failure feels so very devastating. Here's the thing about failure though: either way you learned something. That's not always the case with quitting. People quit either because they realize that they are not fully committed/can't do something, or they think a task is too difficult and bail to avoid failing altogether. Never quit out of fear of failure. I repeat: failure is not the end. Do not be afraid to fail, because it means that you tried something new and you now know what not to do. 

Failure is an enormous portion of being an artist, and I believe that far too many young artists are so crippled by the idea of failing that they end up stagnant. They only stick to what "works" and then wonder why they aren't seeing any progress. It's because you gotta come out of that box little kitten! Trust me, failure doesn't feel very nice at first but after awhile you welcome it. It took me the better part of 2 1/2 years to develop the current painting process I have because of massive amounts of failure. I kept trying things until I got what I wanted out of the media I was using and the images I was creating. To be blunt: you fell on your rear end as an infant multiple times, expect to repeat the process

There Is No Spoon (for real) 

The culprit of all art blocks is the artist. Not a lack of materials. Not a lack of time. Not a lack of energies. And please, don't think I have no personal understanding of those three things. I'm working on my third degree and am underemployed :XD: When you're in a rut, the only thing (truly) in your way is you. There's no spoon. It doesn't exist. What is your spoon? Grab that thing by the handle and bend the sh!t out of it. You're the creator. You're in control. You've got this


Helpful Art Block smashing articles and tips:…
Art Block Banisher
Do you find yourself staring like a zombie at a blank piece of paper on your desk? Do you whip your pencil in a circle to draw a head, erase it, draw it again, and still find yourself dissatisfied and uninspired? Do you long to draw your characters in some crazy or adorable situation but lack the ability to come up with an idea?
Never fear! The Art Block Banisher is here!
This is a list of possible scenarios you can evilly dump your favorite characters into, whether they belong to you or someone else. So think about a few favorite characters, pull out a pencil and paper, and let's go!
Cooking Who can cook what, and how well? How many fire extinguishers will be necessary? Try drawing a full-out scene or just little doodles.
Age: What did your characters look like when they were little? How did/would they interact? What about when they're older? Try drawing them as grown-ups or (gasp) geezers. (Here's a great tutorial on faces at differen
     Expanding the comfort-zone by FOERVRAENGD


Journal Entry: Fri Dec 4, 2015, 11:42 AM
Good question my muffin kittens, where have been for the last few months :XD:

Weeeeell in July of this year I decided to go back to school (yes, after getting my Master's degree) to get a k-12 art education certification. Not gonna lie, this program is kicking my complete ass. I really want to get my teaching cert, but the state of Michigan has a supremely difficult state teaching exam that I have little chance of passing :XD: That being said, I'll still end up with a degree/certification if I can't pass it, just not a full teacher cert. So I'll be qualified to teach...just not in schools. I know, it doesn't make sense :XD: Yes, technically the job I have now is teaching :lol: I teach art lessons to kids and adults in the continuing ed courses at KCAD and I'm qualified to be a professor (but as I mentioned months earlier, those jobs are few and far between :XD: ) I've got about a week left in the semester before the holidays and it can't be over soon enough :XD: Anywho a couple other things have happened in the last couple 'o months. 

I had a boyfriend. Say wat Xadrea, you did not breathe a word of this on dA. Note the operative word had. I met the guy back in June and we were together up until 2 weeks ago. Long time yus (if you can call 6 months a long time), but to be entirely honest there were a lot of things that I let slide because I liked him a lot. So, why didn't you say anything about him beforehand? Eh, I 'spoze I was being cautiously optimistic from the get and it worked out well when we broke up. Please, no condolences. I do not miss him. (also there a couple of you who already know about this and we talked about it at length, so you guise can just ignore this section :XD:

As far as art goes, I'm about to assault you all with a large upload of many things from the last couple 'o months that I neglected to upload to dA because I get lazy sometimes okay? 

So what's new with all of you?

  • Listening to: Favorite Record- Fall Out Boy
  • Reading: Nothing currently
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water


Journal Entry: Tue Sep 1, 2015, 9:01 AM
I was tagged by simpleCOMICS Astrikos and woohooligan so it behooves me to actually do the thing :XD:

1) How long have you been on DeviantArt?
7 years! I've been deviously deviant since Jan 21, 2008 

2) What does your username mean?
My username was actually picked out for me by my brother 4 years prior to me joining dA when I was setting up a Runescape account. Ten years later I still play Runescape (make fun of me all you want, I love that game), and I am still Xadrea :D

3) Describe yourself in three words.
Short. A cupcake. Kitties. 

4) Are you left or right handed?
Righty tighty. 

5) What was your first deviation? 
 Kimono by Xadrea OOF

6) What is your favourite type of art to create? 
Mixed media watercolors weeeeeeeeeeee

7) If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be? 
Printmaking yo. Printmakers are AWESOME. 

8) What was your first favourite? 
Rainbows in Space: a wallpaper by evil-goma

9) What type of art do you tend to favourite the most? 
Can't really say, my faves folders are essentially a catch all of massively different artworks!

10) Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist? 
But if I absolutely had to pinpoint one deviant that I have admired from the beginning it is without question loish

11) If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be? 
In no particular order: 
FlashyFashionFraud fr33z3dry scenefag TheCreativeJenn namenotrequired simpleCOMICS AngelMiyoko woohooligan hankinstein ArcNeoMasato TimberClipse Moonbeam13 and many more that I cannot get my brain to squirt out for the time being...but they shall be added in due course!

12) How has a fellow deviant impacted your life?
Oh, most of the people in the above list have impacted my life for the better with their limitless enthusiasm, encouragement, and overall big heartedness! 

13) What are your preferred tools to create art?
My watercolor pan, a flat brush, and a spray bottle full of water!

14) What is the most inspirational place for you to create art?
Typically anywhere that I can concentrate for a decent amount of time. That place can be anywhere as long as I can concentrate for at least 30 minutes without interruption.

15) What is your favourite DeviantArt memory?
:iconwinningisforlosers: mang. I met almost all my dA budsies through WIFL and I have Jason ( simpleCOMICS ) to thank for that!

  • Listening to: Jet Pack Blues-- Fall Out Boy
  • Reading: Nothing currently
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

So that happened + MAS

Journal Entry: Wed Aug 5, 2015, 9:59 AM
Remember when I said I was gonna be around dA more? Yeah, that obviously wasn't true since I've missed yet ANOTHER entire month of being round these parts of the interwebz :XD: I've been a tad busy this summer, plus I decided to get a k-12 teaching certificate (bleh, moar school). So I'll be starting on that in a couple weeks when the fall semester begins. In the mean time I've been teaching with my college's continuing studies program and it's been going pretty well. I've got another class lined up in two weeks time and a few more coming this fall, so I'm pumped for that (and of course I'm happy for the monies, as yours truly still doesn't have steady employment :XD:

A week ago I was visited by Midwest Artist Studios Project to discuss my work, talk about how I make it, and of course get some fun pics :D I'll be working with them over the course of the 2015/2016 school year to develop an art curriculum for high school students around the midwest. 

LOOK AT MY FAYSE, I'm pretending like I know some things and that I am qualified to teach them to other people :XD:. Also, the Kingdom Hearts artwork in the background was made by none other than TheCreativeJenn (aka Jenniferraye, aka Jenn) , the schweet brain print? Made by scenefag (aka Baylen, aka Bee) 
Untitled by Xadrea

Img 6680 (1) by Xadrea

moar art by TheCreativeJenn in ze background. Oh and hay, there's my master's degree diploma (most expensive piece of paper I'll ever own @.@) 

Untitled by Xadrea
A close up shot of one of my artz

Untitled by Xadrea
They asked me to make a thing while they were filming me, so I made a watercolor thing :XD: 

All images copyright of the Midwest Artist Studios Project and used with their permission.

  • Listening to: The End of All Things--Panic! At the Disco
  • Reading: Nothing currently
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

Help my Artist page hit 100 likes!

Journal Entry: Mon Jun 8, 2015, 3:12 PM
Hi peeps! I'm honing in on 100 likes for my artist page on FB and I need your help :D (note: this is NOT me asking you to help me out with a pageview/like whoring type deal. This is me continuing to market & promote myself as an independent artist) I CANNOT get clients without promotion (and neither can you for that matter :lol: ).

That being said, if you have social media links send them my way! I love helping promote my artist friends! I will list mine below for your convenience: 

Screenshot 2015-06-08 18.02.58 by Xadrea…

Screenshot 2015-06-08 18.03.12 by

Screenshot 2015-06-08 18.03.36 by

Screenshot 2015-06-08 18.04.00 by

Shoot me your social media links in the comments and I will like/follow and then share :) 

  • Listening to: The End of All Things--Panic! At the Disco
  • Reading: Nothing currently
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

$10 Prints Now Available! US Shipping only

Journal Entry: Sat Jun 6, 2015, 1:53 PM
heeeeey friendsies :D I finally figured out a decent platform for my online store and it was under my nose the entire time. (naturally :XD:) I have a square reader (it's a credit card reader that connects into the headphone jack of your smart phone) but it never occurred to me that you can also set up a totally free online store as well. You can't customize the actual e-store layout, but I consider that a good thing since I really suck at coding :XD: here's the link to my store:…

So anyways, the store is now live! here's a schweet screenshot of a product page: Screenshot 2015-06-06 15.13.12 by Xadrea

check it out, spread the word, and order a print!

  • Listening to: Titanium (cover)- Postmodern Jukebox ft. Von Smith
  • Reading: A Step From Heaven--An Na
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

Official Commission and Pricing Information

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 2, 2015, 12:16 PM
Hello, hello! This journal is serving as my new improved pricing guide! The prices listed in this guide are base prices. That means if you contact me about purchasing work, I will refer to this chart and the final price will directly reflect it. Read on for payment information, conditions, and other spiffy details!

The Chart

Pricing Chart by Xadrea

Payment Policies

All prices are listed in USD, I will not convert them for you.

:bulletgreen:In the purchase of non-commission artwork (that is, existing artwork), I require 100% payment up front. The artwork will not be shipped until the payment is completed. (I will furnish a contract form that will need to be signed and returned to me before any transactions occur)

:bulletgreen:In the purchase of commissioned artwork, 75% of the agreed upon price payment is due up front. I will not begin work until the payment has been completed.The remaining 25% of the full payment is due when the piece is 50% complete. (I will furnish a contract form that will need to be signed and returned to me before any transactions occur) 

:bulletgreen:I accept Paypal (or personal check, but Paypal is MUCH more secure). My paypal address is:


:bulletgreen: All sales are final. This includes commissions. No refunds of any kind will be made (this includes the 75% up front commission fee). 

:bulletgreen: All prices are listed as is. Discounts will only be made during promotions, there will be no haggling. 

:bulletgreen: I reserve the right to add shipping and/or framing to the final cost. 

:bulletgreen: I reserve the right to refuse a commission or project. 

:bulletgreen: I am NOT an art restorer. I will not 'touch up' old paintings. 

:bulletgreen: I will NOT paint or draw over an existing artwork. 

:bulletgreen: I will NOT 'send free sketches'  or do 'tests' for commission work. The commission payment policy applies before any work begins.  Feel free to peruse my gallery or portfolio site if you need examples of work. 

:bulletgreen: I do not do 'fan art' commissions. 

:bulletgreen: I will NOT give you the rights to any artwork I have made, nor can you seek to own them without my consent (that is legally impossible). 

:bulletgreen: I reserve the right to modify this price chart without notice. 

:bulletgreen: I reserve the right to modify, remove, or add information to my conditions without notice. 

  • Listening to: Titanium (cover)- Postmodern Jukebox ft. Von Smith
  • Reading: A Step From Heaven--An Na
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

That post grad life lol

Journal Entry: Thu May 28, 2015, 9:30 AM
Hai people ^ ^ long time no see (seems like every time I write a journal that's what I have to open with :XD:) Anyways, yus, as you've seen with my previous journal I finally graduated with my MFA :dance: And naturally, once again, I'm back in the SERIOUS job hunt. Thus far I will be teaching a three week class this summer, but that is all that is on the horizons as I shoot out hundreds of applications :XD: It defintely does say something about the current state of things that someone of my education level is having such a difficult time finding steady work (and I'm not even talking about in my field even :lol:) I'm trying to stay positive about it, but this rodeo is getting old :| 

On a lighter note, I published my first book! Well it's a coloring book titled The Wildest Dreams :XD:

Screenshot 2015-05-28 11.57.53 by Xadrea

It is available on CreateSpace right here:  so spread the word! I'm going to be selling hard copies I printed myself at the local artist's market this upcoming Friday (hopefully I can get rid of most of my stuff because I could really use the munny :XD:

Well what're you waiting for?! SHARE THAT LINK!

  • Listening to: Titanium (cover)- Postmodern Jukebox ft. Von Smith
  • Reading: A Step From Heaven--An Na
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing


Journal Entry: Thu May 28, 2015, 8:32 AM
After three years of LOTS of blood, sweat, and tears I am the happy owner of a Master's Degree of Fine Arts: Painting 

*cue flailing, stifled sobs, and glitter* BTW: this is a gloating journal, newsie journal is coming up after this one :XD:

Screenshot 2015-05-28 11.17.20 by Xadrea

Screenshot 2015-05-28 11.16.33 by Xadrea

2015-05-09 19.07.29 by Xadrea

2015-05-09 19.09.38 by Xadrea

  • Listening to: Titanium (cover)- Postmodern Jukebox ft. Von Smith
  • Reading: A Step From Heaven--An Na
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

The Other and Otherness

Mon May 11, 2015, 1:10 PM

Otherness can be defined as anything or anyone who is not part of the dominant culture, or the person that they dominance is about. Artists are in collusion with the dominant culture and the rest of the people in the lower culture. Until we reach the Romantic period, there is not a lot of political or cultural dissent in art. This is because art was mainly focused on the patrons who purchased the pieces. The lower classes, rough, unpredictable, violent, excessive, threats to the established order. Facial appearance, body posture, stasis or movement, individuality and details (or lack thereof), paleness vs. tan pigmentation.

Class & Gender.

Portinari272 by Xadrea
Pre-enlightenment there was not many artworks that reference individuality. Difference was less noted in art because there was more social isolation simply because of the lack of technologies that would have allowed for diversity. All experiences had to be made through first hand contact. The industrial revolution helped break these boundaries and open the cultures of the world to each of them. Art was part of the small and high elite classes. It could not be viewed, much less enjoyed, by lower class individuals. There were not only marked differences that happened in this artwork, but also a perceived danger. The Portinari Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes shows a difference in social class between the shepherds and the Holy Family.

Adriaen Brouwer 004 by Xadrea
The signs of realism show not difference, but also social or even moral decay. The lower classes are more likely to age, to have evidence of scaring and wounds, illness, and to have open mouths. The audience reads lower class people as a form of illness. Physical disability is a symbol of moral decay. An “over display” of emotion is also seen as an Other. 

Pan and Syrinx (England) by Xadrea
The male sexuality was usually kept at bay by the Aristotelian ideal of balance.  Wholeness of man, of humans in general, was very important at that time. Pan & Syrinx is a good example of Greek Mythology, but it represents a resistance to the male gaze (assault). Throughout art history we find many images of women of power. There are many images of women who are in control of their bodies, their minds, and of their sexuality. It was easier to present a nude “character” of a woman, than an actual woman. The wives and lovers of the politicians at Versailles ran the court and were more savvy business practitioners than their husbands. Women of financial means had the freedom to indulge in education and society. The French Revolution, Napoleon’s laws, and the Industrial Revolution stunted this freedom and in many ways completely snatched it away. The woman’s economical contribution was removed with the creation of factories. Then began the two realms that could never cross, the home and society. Women were meant to remain in the home, men were meant to go out in the world.

Fernand Khnopff Sphinx Caresses by Xadrea
For the ancient Greeks, the male body was best. Females and female bodies were considered abhorrent. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the female body was also considered evil and corrupt because of Eve. Eve was often shown as corrupt, diseased, or seductress. Also, having been made second and having been made from physical means, males (Adam) are considered purer full of intellect. The male is seen as a closed, self-contained body. In contrast the female is seen as fluid, uncontrolled, and messy. Ancient medical beliefs implied that women were corrupted and deformed men. Whether or not women had souls was a serious debate up until the mid 19th century. Women were thought of as demonic and corrupt, insatiable in desire, and filthy in physicality. Pregnancy was considered one of many grotesque and "unnatural" occurrences in the female body. The fact that women's bodies are now understood by science and medicine is a somewhat new convention.

Edvard-munch-woman-ii by Xadrea
Many male artists also thought of women as the bringers of death, the carriers of disease, and the dressers of the dead. Edvard Munch noted woman as the “deathly figure.” He always used a woman as the human figure in the three stages of life. She begins as a youth, graduates to an odalisque (standing) and then as a hag bringing death. There is a mystical haunting in each of these images in which the figure is dangerous. Munch is reflecting the story of Adam and Even in The First Kiss. The tree in this painting divides the two of them, and the shadow looms over each of them.  Munch’s mother and sister died. Two of his other sisters became psychologically ill. He chose unsuitable female partners himself and came to the conclusion that women were hellish diseased succubus like creatures. 
C208245a53b9fb4dcc76136d277ab1ec by Xadrea
By the 19th century European women were considered objects to be desired and "pure" in comparison to the other racial groups now being discovered throughout the Asian and African continents.. The reclining female is weak, ill, and overcome by worry. This had much to do with the romanticization of illnesses such as Tuberculosis (it was thought to strike young intellectuals). 

Tanoux-1887namouna-xl by Xadrea
The female body was was eroticized and exoticized with the expansion of European trade to the continent of Asia. The mystique and fantasies of these lands occurred in the 19
th century during the height of English colonialism. Aggressive sexuality and comparison to animals are pulled into these images (the corrupt and demonic image). These women often gaze out at the viewer that is aggressive. There is openness to the body language, inviting and almost friendly. Many times the odalisque is alone, but other times she is accompanied by more women like her. In addition to orientalism, we see slavery Orientalized. There was a cultural acceptance and fascination with the female slave. This happens in another world, not “ours.” These paintings were not abolitionist or in favor of ending slavery, they romanticized it.

Race & Ethnicity. 

Phrenology and Physiognomy maps the body as “different,” foreign, and potentially dangerous. Phrenology maps bumps on the skull to show the potential for a person to be a deviant vs virtuous. With medical technology there was a sudden interest in “diagnosing” people’s behavior. Physiognomy scrutinized the visible body to diagnose deviancy. Johann Casper Lavater was the first to use the term physiognomy in the 18
th century. Samuel R. Wells published a book titled “How to read character with a descriptive craft.” Dr. G. Duchenne made “scientific” studies in which he shocked the faces of people to show the differences of facial emotions. Late 19th century. The reasoning for these studies was for a rationale to continue literally destroying non western culture.
Large by Xadrea

The idea of the other was embraced by other artists during the late 1980s. David Hammons drew upon the vernacular to make his artwork. He said, “I spend 85% of my time on the street, looking, listening, and gathering.” His pieces that are made from found objects speak of his otherness as a black male in society as a whole. The racial issues that still exist were being used as a point of reference for black artists. The word spade is a derogatory term for a black man; the use of chains refers to slavery, bondage. The materials are crude and not meant for anything outside of hard outdoor labor. Spade with Chains also references African Masks. Through a period between 1978 and 1990 Hammons made elephant dung sculptures. The sculptures, once dried, were painted with the colors of the African liberation flag (black, red, and green). In Western culture, elephant dung is abject and repulsive, however in other cultures specifically African cultures, elephant dung is used as fuel and building material. There is also a reference to the memory of an elephant, the elephant in the room, the ivory trade, etc. Elephants are also very human like creatures, with strong family dynamics and similar grieving process. Free Nelson Mandela references a barbershop, and prison cells. He did a series of works called Higher Goals that are totem poles that have basketball hoops attached at the very top. The poles are adorned with beer and pop bottle tops that appear to be very beautiful from far away. Whose Ice is Colder (1990) references a conflict that occurred in Hammons’s neighborhood. There were three rival stores, one owned by a black family, one owned by a Korean family, and one owned by a Yemeni family.

Piper Cornered 1988 by Xadrea
Adrian Piper also addressed the idea of black identity. Piper is a woman who looked at her essence as a black woman and the conflicts and overwhelming complexities of being of mixed race. She writes that she never felt comfortable in white culture because she is accused of being too black, she never felt comfortable in black culture because she was accused of being too white. She wanted to look at ways the way the self is presented in culture. She wanted to explore this tension of racism from both sides of the argument. Piper’s piece Cornered consists of television set, copies of her parent’s birth certificate an overturned table and several chairs. Piper recites an essay in which she explains her reasoning for speaking about her ethnicities.

Artwork Images 631 236123 Resize Glenn-ligon-i-fee by Xadrea
Some of Glenn Ligon's earliest works reference runaway slave posters from the 19th century. He asked friends to write physical description of himself and put together wanted posters of himself. Runaways also reference the slave trade. This work also investigates how we view an individual’s appearance. Different situations require different language, language is flexible and language requires different meanings. Ligon is most noted for language taken from other people’s poetry or novels. Often times he uses work from African American authors such as Langston Hughes. The works are stenciled onto canvases and they slowly blur away toward the bottom of the images. The works have a similar quality of Andy Warhol’s copies of prints. Language cannot be opaque or totally coded. The language is eventually being covered up and blurred out over time, the same thing which happens to ethnic identity over time in America. He also talks about in the contemporary period that we cannot see the difference between literature and fine art. Ligon is connecting to the notion that art can also be very much entrenched in idea. His pieces become increasingly blacker and blacker, suggesting that there are things that we need to see and consider but they are immediately concealed by preconceived notions about skin color.

Doubling & What It Means to Be Human.

Meeting the other in the mirror is fascinating and horrific. To be uncanny is to be reminded of death. Surrealists would suggest that people would not like going to funeral homes because they would project themselves on to the dead person. DeChirico and the mannequin- the mannequin as double, as replacement for the self. In high art, specifically in fine art the mannequin is repulsive and alluring. The mannequin is the ideal body (of the time, that is). The fears of humanity are projected onto the double (this is why so many people are terrified of clowns and dolls). Any way that the body is presented in society, it is done so as an idealized representation of a real human. Even models on a runway are idealized representations of the human body. 

721012bd40b7eb377948076f3a85eccd by Xadrea
The Surrealist Exhibition of 1938 featured the mannequin as the uncanny double. This was a collaborative installation of eight or nine artists (all surrealists). What they hoped to do was create an alternative Paris. The exhibition took place on two levels, the first level mimicked stores and roads in Paris. The lower level represented the dreamlike subconscious level. The point of the exhibition was to get people to experience surrealism rather than just looking at it. The exhibition also addressed issues of urban capitalism and consumerism. This exhibition displayed the darker side of urban consumption. The surrealists also wanted to display the darker side of relationships (male to female specifically). The monetary value of people was also questioned heavily in this exhibition. There were about 25-30 mannequins in this show. The mannequin is called the double self or the uncanny self (un-real, destructive, weird, nightmarish). As consumers become more and more clever in sucking up products, their identity becomes lost. There was a theme of confinement throughout all the mannequins, but also the female mannequins were left mostly naked except for obvious entrapments such as nets and cages. The lower level was also considered the realm of the feminine; it was made to feel womb-like with organic flooring and braziers going in random places. The entire exhibition was dark, and the people going had to take flashlights. A recording of maniacal crazed laughter played in the basement as well.

Claude Cahun Selfportrait by Xadrea
Claude Cahun (Lucy Schwob) was part of the surrealists and the Dadaists. Her father was Jewish and her mother was sent to a mental sanitorium when Claude was a child. Cahun was an anorexic who used restriction of diet to manipulate her body. One of her step sisters became her lover and helped her shoot her images. Cahun felt that anorexia could make herself less womanly and fleshy. She photographed herself as her father and was fascinated by mirrors. She shaved her head and presented herself as androgynous in her photography.

Portrait-of-rose-selavy-1921 by Xadrea
The uncanny overlap and doubling of the self was attractive to many artists. Marcel Duchamp’s character Rrose Selavy was the female alter ego that satisfied his wanting to be both male and female. 
Rose was a nickname for the name Ruth (a Jewish name) and a lot of women who worked in the fashion industry as seamstresses were called Roses. These women were viewed as slightly dangerous because they had jobs and they were also seeking better jobs (a liberated independent woman). By doubling the r’s in the alter ego’s name, the pronunciation is more guttural and it sounds like “eros” (sex). Paired with Selavy “c’est la vie” (that’s life) the name means Sex-that’s life! Duchamp published and created artwork under this female alter ego. Duchamp developed a perfume under this identity called Belle Haleine (helaine meant breath). The bottle read “eu du voilette” which was a play on the old-fashioned rose and violet water perfume.

tumblr n5mtlsgXNW1tsptulo2 500 by Xadrea

Mark Quinn’s Self is created out of 9 pints of the artist’s own blood (frozen into a mold made of his own head). Though very compelling, is not a true double because it is part of him. He questions what does it mean to be a body, what is keeping it intact? Is it a thing in which other things reside? 


Performance-Artist-James-Lunas-Take-a-Picture-with by Xadrea
James Luna has a Mexican father and a Native American mother and often times his works play on those distinctions in his works. Half-Indian/Half-Mexican is set up like a mugshot revealing both halves of Luna’s ethnicity. He wants to address what truth and purity are in race and ethnicity. What is authenticity? Why do people want to be Indian? He writes that the number of people claiming to be of Native American origins had raised between the 1970s to the 1990s. Artifact Piece was displayed in a natural history museum. The piece was a performance featuring Luna himself as an attack on the practices of museums and how they set up displays for Native American culture as though they are dinosaurs and frozen in time. Native culture is still continuing today, but researchers and historians ignore it. Luna considers himself a social education activist. Take a Picture with a Real Indian was another performance piece in which Luna presents himself as three types of indian, the noble brave, the reservation indian, and a normal view of himself. So which is the real indian?


“In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.” 
― Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle 


Mature Content

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Mortality in Abject Art

Mon May 11, 2015, 11:54 AM

Contemporary artist Chris Burden passed away just a few days ago, and as we reflect on his influential (and often controversial) career as an artist I'd like to include other artists for a broader perspective of Burden's use of abjection in his work. As defined by Julia Kristeva in the Powers of Horror, the abject is not simply defined by the abhorrence of bodily fluids or excrement, but a lack of order and control. Anything which deviates from the established norm. Death is certainly the most abject that we as humans must face, but the very idea of death, the realization of one’s mortality, is even more frightening. The spilling of bodily fluids and disease are two of the most obvious displays of abjection from a living body, and this is seen in the works of Chris Burden, Otto Dix, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

Chris Burden

burden-Doorway-to-Heaven-1973 by Xadrea
"It’s about trying to frame something. And draw attention to it and say, “Here’s the beauty in this. I’m going to put a frame around it, and I think this is beautiful.” That’s what artists do. It’s really a pointing activity." - Chris Burden

Burden used his body to make his early artwork. He did acts of violence upon himself and acts of endurance. In Kunst Kick Burden had someone kick him down the stairs. Burden had a friend shoot him through the arm in Shoot (the actual shot was meant to graze him, but his friend missed and the bullet was lodged in Burden's arm). After 1964, violence became more and more commonplace on television because of the video and photographic coverage of the conflict in both Vietnam and violent racial tension in the US. In Transfixed (1974) Burden had his hands nailed to a Volkswagon Beetle, it was rolled out to a driveway, had photos taken, then released. In Through the Night Softy (1973) Burden had his hands tied behind his back and wore nothing but a bathing suit crawling across 50 ft. of broken glass. Burden, rightly, feared that the American public was becoming desensitized to images of violence. 

It is important to remember that the aforementioned pieces are simply a sampling of Burden's work throughout his entire career. A sampling of his large body of work can be viewed here:…

Otto Dix

Dix-skat-players-1920 by Xadrea
Painting is the effort to produce order; order in yourself. There is much chaos in me, much chaos in our time." - Otto Dix

Otto Dix’s work depicted combat soldiers who had survived WWII but had returned to society horrifically maimed. Beyond the maiming, which in itself is an abject thought, these veterans were each outfitted with mechanical prosthetics. The bodies of these men which were already violated were manipulated to even more grotesque proportions with metal jaws, leg that stuck out at awkward angles, and missing appendages (sometimes even cut off at the torso). These depictions of maimed soldiers were meant to make a social and political statement about the treatment of wounded soldiers.

370132 by Xadrea

Often there is “glory” in either living through war completely unscathed or never returning alive. Society would rather not accept a gruesomely maimed man, regardless of the fact he sacrificed so much to defend those very people. These paintings also objected to the practice of redeploying terribly injured troops up to three times after suffering severe injuries.

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Felix-baci by Xadrea

In a way...this refusal to make a static form, a monolithic sculpture, in favor of a disappearing, changing, unstable, and fragile form was an attempt on my part to rehearse my fears of having Ross disappear day by day right in front of my eyes. —Felix Gonzalez-Torres

By contrast, Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ piece A Corner of Baci spoke of the profound loss of his partner Ross to AIDS (a virtual death sentence in the 1980s). This piece handles several abject ideas. The very first being love between two gay men. The second is the notion of coming into close contact with a gay man and accepting something from him (in this case a chocolate kiss, which is “baci…” a double entendre). Third, and the nail in coffin, is AIDS. Combined together, all three were a massively frightening monster to 1980s America. HIV and AIDS were widely believed to be a “homosexual disease” at that time. Additionally, anything having to do with anyone LGTBQ was taboo and highly suspect if not outright feared because so many people were dying shortly after diagnosis. Viewers are invited to take and eat as many of the Baci as they like. The chocolates were Ross’ favorite candy, but also represents the wasting of his body as the candies are removed from the exhibit and consumed. Exactly 42 lbs. of chocolate completes the installation, the weight of Ross at his death.

What counter-balances this piece so excellently is the fact that it is portrayed as a loving memorial, and not a grotesque and loathsome reminder of death. This piece is completely non-threatening in this way, and made wholly accessible to everyone. This is supremely important to its themes. Everyone will experience loss (if not the death of a loved one), and to a degree love as well. This piece demonstrates the obvious sameness and humanity of the couple in the adversity of a rejecting culture and destructive disease.

All three artist's effectively tapped into social and political problems of their times by addressing their subjects from the ultimate abject thought: mortality. 


Resin Casting

Thu Apr 30, 2015, 3:00 PM by Xadrea:iconxadrea:

Artist's Toolbox Week

Using resin in your artwork

Hey guys! I’ve been wanting to write a tutorial on resin casting/pouring for a bit now (and I promise one is in the works!), but in the meanwhile, I think it would be good to explain what epoxy resin is, safety concerns, and of course, how AWESOME it is!

I started using epoxy resin in my paintings almost two years ago after being introduced to the resin paintings of Bruce Riley during ArtPrize 2013. I was initially drawn to finding a way to achieve visual depth on a 2 dimensional surface. Now, of course it is more than possible to depict spatial depth by using perspective, but my paintings aren’t trying to depict a realistic sense of perspective. Rather, I wanted to find a way to layer color and patterns in a shallow space and doing so without overwhelming the image. The only way to achieve that would to be somehow work in multiple layers, and thus resin was the answer! Most recently, I’ve started casting bracelets with my left over resin and I plan on casting even more stuffs as time goes on!

What is this stuff?

So, what is this epoxy resin that I speak of? Epoxy resins are a pre-polymer, which is science for “mixed with the right stuff, this thing’s molecules will link up and get larger and denser.” And that means harder. Most commercial resins are a two-part mix, one part being the resin; the other part is the hardener. The resin requires the hardener in order to harden up. It can be used to protect surfaces, as a glue, or even to cast objects in molds. 2015-02-06 16.17.08 by Xadrea

Is it toxic?

Is it dangerous? Yes and no. While resin isn’t toxic, you can’t bathe in it, eat it, or huff it :XD: In it’s liquid state resin can irritate your skin and give off smelly odors. In it’s hardened state it’s no longer hazardous, unless you decide you’d like to sand/file it because you’d be getting plastic dust in the air (and potentially in your lungs).  There, there, I’m not trying to scare you so get out from under your desk! I’m just giving you the rundown! In my opinion, working with resin in your artwork is no more dangerous than working with oil paint (some of which are toxic).  All art making materials can be dangerous in the right situation, so it’s important to know how to handle them to avoid accidents and health issues down the road.

How do you use it?

I’m pretty good at eyeballing my measurements of the two-part mix, but if you’re just starting off it would be in your best interest to use mini measuring cups. If you don’t measure both parts equally your resin will never fully harden, rather it will stay tacky and unusable. You’ll also need a well-ventilated work area and a level surface. Resin cures in warm environments best, so working in a drafty studio or your garage on a cold day isn’t optimal. I use a silicone mat to protect my table from any drips that might happen, but old paper can do the trick as well. Protect your workstation because resin is permanent. Ok, well that’s not entirely true…it can be melted with other chemicals, but trust me, you don’t want to have to do that. Lastly, if you have a heat gun or blow dryer, bring it along! Both can help you get air bubbles out after you pour it onto whatever surface or mold you’re working with.
2015-02-06 16.16.24 by Xadrea

After you combine the two equal parts of resin, mix them until the liquid is smooth looking. Try to do so smoothly so you don’t get a ton of bubbles. Large ones will pop on their own but the teeny ones will try to stick around and you probably don’t want them. Pay attention to the time. Typically, you’ve got a 30 minute working time before the resin begins to stiffen up, but if your workspace is toasty that time frame will shrink faster. Try to spend no more than 10 minutes mixing. Before you pour your resin, make certain that your surface is oil free, hair free, and level. Since I pour my resin on a surface with no raised edges, I use masking tape to give it a border to run up to. I didn’t do this in the past and I had resin dripping and running everywhere! After I’ve poured my resin, I like to spread it evenly with a painting knife or wooden stirring stick to ensure equal coverage.

What is Cure time?

The cure time for your resin greatly depends on the brand you buy. I’ve found with the kinds I buy 36 hours is the general cure time. If you’re planning on making jewelry (like the bracelets I’ve been making) you’ll really need to pay attention to the cure time because you will be pouring the resin in layers. If you do three layers, you probably shouldn’t even think about popping your piece out of its mold for 3 or 4 days after the final pour.

Where do you get resin?

Where I get almost everything, Amazon!:XD: I have yet to find reasonably priced resins from art suppliers, so I have been and will continue purchasing my resins from Amazon. EasyCast is the most reliable brand I’ve used, no yellowing, good cure time, and low odor (in fact it really doesn’t smell at all). Around $70 will get you 1 gallon of resin. When purchasing, remember that you are buying two parts, so a 16-ounce kit equals 8 ounces of resin and 8 ounces of hardener.

Practice makes perfect!

I played around with resins for about 5 months before I actually began using them in my paintings and had maaaaaany errors in that time. Like any art process, it’s important to remember that failure is part of learning and mastering the skill. With time, you’ll have success and a beautiful finished artwork :D


Consider this journal your watercolor primer! Listed in the sections below are the materials that will help you get well on your way with watercolor! I've included links to my watercolor tutorial series and other helpful watercolor tutorials around dA,  as well as some "assignments" if you would like some ideas to get you started :D

Additives, Pigments, Brushes, & Materials Shopping List

Screenshot 2015-04-25 21.45.43 by Xadrea

    1.     Table Salt. You can get some really interesting textures from using salt in your wet watercolor. The resulting texture can be altered by the size of the salt crystals. Table salt will most often give you very stippled texture, and sea salt will have a softer result. However, table salt can do both depending on the amount of water and salt you use, so it is a cheap staple to keep in your tackle box.

    2.     Rubber Cement. This is not the official masking fluid of watercolor (which is called Frisket), but it is a much cheaper alternative that works just the same.

    3.     Gum Arabic. Gum Arabic is an ingredient in watercolor pigments. If it is used as an additive, it will make your paint dry very shiny and slightly more opaque. 

    4.     Rubbing Alcohol. Also known as Isopropyl Alcohol, can be used to create unique textures. Water-based wet media (ink, watercolor, and acrylic) repels alcohol because their molecules cannot fully mix (similar reactions occur in oil and water).  This affect works best with Isopropyl Alcohol that is 91% or higher alcohol by volume. 

My Watercolor Tools by KelliRoos

Royal & Langnickle, M. Graham, Reeves, or Windsor & Newton are suitable (and affordable) brands of tube and cake watercolors. Do not purchase white or black watercolor.  Also, only purchase one tube of each color. The tubes will appear small, but what is inside will last you for years to come. Below is a list of the minimum number of pigments you could get started with:

    ·       Cadmium Red
    ·       Alizarin Crimson
    ·       Burnt Sienna
    ·       Payne’s Gray
    ·       Ultramarine Blue
    ·       Phthalo Blue
    ·       Cadmium Yellow
    ·       Lemon Yellow
    ·       Yellow Ocre


There is be no need to purchase expensive, or “fancy” brushes or brush sets for the purpose of watercolor (though such things do exist). Your most expensive brushes will be the wide 1 and 2 in flats, all others can be simple “all media” or acrylic synthetic bristle brushes. Please refer to the list below when purchasing brush sets:

    ·       1 inch flat brush (one)
    ·       2 inch flat brush (one)
    ·       ½ inch flat brush (one)
    ·       ¾ inch flat brush (one)
    ·       Angled flat of any size
    ·       Round brushes, sizes 0-10 (one of each)

Additional Materials

    ·       Two containers with lids for water (NO GLASS JARS)
    ·       Spray bottle
    ·       HB pencil and sharpener
    ·       Paper towels (these can be reused)
    ·       X-acto knife and cutting surface (self healing mat
    ·       Scissors
    ·       Metal ruler (12” or longer)
    ·       Crayons or candles
    ·       Plastic eraser
    ·       Synthetic sponge cut into chunks
    ·       Watercolor 10-24 pan palette that includes a lid
    ·       Gel medium, Mod Podge, or PVC glue
    ·       Masking tape (NOT PAINTER’S TAPE)
    ·       30 in x 40 in Masonite board
    ·       Binder clips
    ·       Binder or folder
    ·       Drinking straws
    ·       Viewfinder
    ·       Shish-kabob skewers
    ·       Q-tips


Screenshot 2015-04-25 21.57.51 by Xadrea

 The paper used in watercolor work is highly important. It’s very different than other artist’s paper because it is specifically made to get wet. There are three (3) types of paper when it comes to watercolor paper: Hot Pressed, Cold Pressed, and Rough. These papers can be both machine and hand made. Bear in mind, machine made papers will often times have an artificial texture “stamped” into the surface. Hand made papers are generally more expensive. Watercolor papers contain more sizing (that is the stuff that holds the paper pulp together) than regular papers and is much more dense than regular drawing papers. Stretching the paper (that is, saturating it while it is taped to a board and allowing it to dry overnight) may be necessary to avoid buckling if you do not want to tape your paper down. 

In addition to the paper types of, there are also different weights (thickness): 90lb, 140lb, 260lb, and 300lb. These weights are not indicative of the actual weight of the sheets, but instead the weight of the paper ream. A higher weight means a thicker paper. Heavier weight papers are useful to beginners because they are more forgiving in surface and require little or no stretching.

    1.      Hot Pressed Paper. This watercolor paper is very smooth and has almost no tooth (raised texture) to its surface. Since this paper has a very smooth surface it’s ideal for very tight intricate work or illustration. Pigment will also dry more quickly.

    2.      Cold Pressed Paper. This is the most common type you will find in art and craft supply stores. The surface is lightly textured and paint dries with subtle irregularities (watermarking affects).

    3.      Rough Pressed Paper. This watercolor paper is the most heavily textured of the three.  You can achieve the most watermarking effects from the watercolor alone because it will catch and pool in the indentations of the paper’s surface. 

Do not use regular drawing papers to paint on. You will get untold amounts of rippling and buckling in your paper for the afore mentioned reasons. Faber-Castell, Fabriano, Strathmore, and Canson watercolor papers are trustworthy and affordable brands to purchase. Printmaking papers (which are similar to watercolor papers) such as American Masters, Stonehenge, and Reeves BFK can also be used.

1 Month of Watercolor Assignments

Screenshot 2015-04-25 22.42.07 by Xadrea
#1 Swatch Chart:
Learning how to achieve a wide range of tonal variations in watercolor is essential. For this assignment you will be creating a swatch chart of at least three columns in six variations of color on a sheet of watercolor paper. Columns should be taped off to create clean edges. The color family may be of your own choosing or full spectrum.

Screenshot 2015-04-25 22.42.14 by Xadrea
#2 Two-Color Flat Wash Still Life: 
The flat wash is one of the basic techniques of watercolor painting. For this assignment you will create a still life of 4 dissimilarly colored objects in a shoebox. You will be rendering objects using only a single layer of flat washes. 
Screenshot 2015-04-25 22.42.21 by Xadrea
#3 Patterns Using Resists and Brush Control: 
Areas of white space (or negative space) can be achieved through masking and brush control. For this assignment you will create a pattern of your own choosing.

Screenshot 2015-04-25 22.42.27 by Xadrea
#4 Full Color Still Life with Texture Ground:
Beginning with a texture ground of your choice, you will in this assignment create a still life of 5 dissimilarly colored objects in a shoebox.  


Watercolor Tutorial: Wet on Dry by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial Series: Masking by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial: How to Mix Watercolor by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial: Salt Glaze by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial: Skin by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial Series: Bleeding by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial: Hair part 1 by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial: Hair part 2 by Xadrea Watercolor Tutorial Series: Lifting by Xadrea Art Tutorial: Watercolors Prt1 by Xadrea Art Tutorial: Watercolors Prt2 by Xadrea Watercolor Stretching Tutorial by blix-it Watercolor Tutorial by Loonaki Watercolor Tutorial by Claparo-Sans Watercolor Stretching Tutorial by MisttheWarrior  Watercolor Masking Tutorial by Lithe-Fider Watercolor Effects by CyprinusFox Practical Colors Tutorial by KelliRoos Watercolor Tutorial by Taiyo85

Extra Reading Material

Limber Up Your Imagination

Watercolor Lessons and Exercises

Watercolor Tips & Techniques


Use Your Computer to Paint Better Watercolors


Share the word about my book :D +news

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 11, 2015, 10:50 AM
So remember a couple months ago when I told you the book I illustrated went live? Well now I need you all to do me a favor and help me share the word :D Here is the link to buy:…;
Just $7.49 a hard copy :D
and below is one of the lurvley pictures within: 
Stormy Horizons by Xadrea

Now for the news: I've decided to totally revamp/revive Queenie aaaaand I've decided to write and illustrate my own children's book *confetti* It's going to be a huge project on both ends since Queenie is well over 100 pages in already, and the fact I'll be doing this book from complete scratch, BUT I have faith in my abilities and perserverance :D Currently, I'm working on some concept sketches for the book characters and reviewing Queenie's text (it will be greatly improved in Queenie 2.0) as well as drawing up a calendar for myself. Currently, I'm just a few weeks away from graduation with my Master's but I have no hard plans for work as of yet. I'm sending out numerous applications weekly with my fingers crossed. I've applied just about all over the place (continental US) so I have no idea if or when I'll have to move either. For now, I have summer work (not great pay, but it's something XD) but doing these projects will help me maintain my sanity and also fulfill the desire to continue making. As always, I appreciate the support and luv from everyone here :D:heart:

  • Listening to: The Kids Aren't Alright--Fall Out Boy
  • Reading: Call the Midwife (Part 1): by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: pretzels
  • Drinking: water

Don't worry I'm not dead *EDIT*

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 6, 2015, 9:04 AM

Society6 store is up and running! And part of my grand opening is free shipping through next Sunday! (4/12). Follow this link to get in on it!…

Yeeeeap, just been what I've been for the past 8 months...inexplicably busy :XD: I'm less than 4 weeks away from achieving the skill cape in art (that is my Master's hood *flails wildly*) In the small amounts of free time I've had I've been working on revamping Queenie (yes, it's been almost a year since I've actually posted a new page, but it's coming I swear!) and developing an idea for a children's book I've decided to self publish yaaaaay :D Oh and dealing with under employment as usual :XD: Piecing together lil gigs here and there :lol: I'm setting up a store on Society 6 (finally) and that should help some (or not, but at least it's a possibility to sell work lol). So what's new with you fine people? Anyone have anything super neat coming up?

  • Listening to: The Kids Aren't Alright--Fall Out Boy
  • Reading: Call the Midwife (Part 1): by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: pretzels
  • Drinking: water

First Journal of 2015 woo

Journal Entry: Sun Feb 8, 2015, 9:16 AM
And a month into the new year no less :XD: Sorry for my repeated absences from dA, again I've been UBER busy with finishing up my program and working. So a couple of things have happened (good news first, bad news last):

:bulletgreen: Remember the book project I was working on? IT'S DONE AND PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR WOOOOOOOT! It's a children's book titled The Catch of the Day and the author's name is Harris Tobias. You can grab a physical copy on CreateSpace:
Or a Kindle version on Amazon:
It's the first time my work has appeared in print media :la::boogie: You should buy a copy :eyes:

:bulletgreen:I've successfully been teaching a watercolor class for kiddles on Saturday mornings for about a month now. 2 more classes left in this session and hopefully my class will run again for the following 6 week session. 

:bulletgreen: I've been working my assistantship (grad assistant) and so far that's going ok. It's a little stressful sometimes depending on the things I have to do, but for the most part ok. 

:bulletgreen: I've applied for several shows (Virtual Insanity at Whitdel Arts, Art Now Series: Painting 2015 at the Ann Arbor Art Center, Art. Downtown in Grand Rapids, Museum Without Walls: American Art Now in Central Park, and Folktales & Legends at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center).

:bulletgreen: I'm looking for teaching jobs, residencies, and the like and it turns out there's a semester long residency at Central Michigan University (only 2 hours north of where I currently live) that would be PERFECT so I'm applying :D There's  a great chance I won't get it, but I'm trying to be optimistic XD. 

:bulletgreen: I was getting a ganglion cyst in my right wrist (dominant hand) that was starting to effect my range of motion and causing some discomfort but it popped on it's own after I accidentally slammed my hand into a door :XD: Hopefully it won't return :lol:

and lastly, the bad news...

:bulletgreen:Remember that awesome internship I had that turned into a job? Well I got laid off a week after I got back from Christmas vacation :| Honestly I wasn't even all that upset. I was expecting something of that caliber to happen (since these things always happen), so eh, I'll figure it out. Finger's crossed :XD:

Soooo, what's up with you guys? :D

  • Listening to: The Kids Aren't Alright--Fall Out Boy
  • Reading: Call the Midwife (Part 1): by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: pretzels
  • Drinking: water

There are few hard and fast rules when it comes to pricing artwork to sell. Why you ask? Well for one there are many variables that go into determining the cost of the artwork. It’s for that very reason that many artists (including myself in the past) sell themselves tremendously short. Another reason we as artists feel our palms getting sweaty when someone asks for a price to an artwork is because we feel as though we’re not being true artists if we accept money for our work. No, no no. Listen, I can tell you from experience that the “starving artist” lifestyle is waaaay less glamorous than it sounds when your pantry is bare for reals. There is absolutely nothing shameful about getting paid for honest work, so don’t try to make yourself feel guilty or ashamed of turning a profit. On the other hand, artists fall into the mire of not even knowing how to price individual artworks. This confusion only gets worse when you look at the price tags in galleries or check out Sotheby’s.

Today I’m going to give you a few tools to get started! 

What’s your time worth?

You know that saying, “if you don’t value your time no one else will?” It will serve you well when it comes to pricing your artwork, especially if you are a craftsperson, or if you are making non-tangible things (digital artwork, design work, or writing) to start off with an hourly wage for yourself. Be reasonable, and by reasonable I don’t mean starting at whatever your state’s minimum wage is. For example, let’s say you set your hourly rate at $15 and create an artwork that you spent 20 hours on how much do you charge? I know, I know I can hear you all now, “ damnit, Xadrea! You know artists are bad at math!!” Just pull out the calculator and get on with it. Your earnings with those hypothetical numbers would be $300 (wage x time = cost).

Regardless of what anyone tells you what we as artists do does in fact matter. We are legit, we are professionals, we are important, and we deserve to be paid.

What’s your stuff worth?

For those of us making tangible artwork, it’s incredibly important that we know what our materials cost. Now, in no way am I discounting the fact that you must spend money in order to make it. The fact of the matter is if you’re spending more than you’re making, you’ve got a problem. This is one of the ways it’s so easy for artists to sell themselves short. Let’s say you make a painting and your materials cost you $30. Modify upon the previous equation to this: wage x time + materials = cost. Your earnings would then be $330.

If your work is 2D (paintings, drawings, and the like) you may want to base your charges on the scale of the artwork. You can do this by charging by square inch (height x width) or by linear inch (height + width). With both you would need a multiplier, essentially what you want to charge per square or linear inch. Let’s say you choose a multiplier of $1 per square inch. The equation you would use for an 11x14 painting charging by the square inch would be the following:  height x width x 1 = cost ($154). If you used the same scaled painting to charge by the linear inch with a multiplier of $10 your equation would be the following:  height + width x 10 = cost ($151).  This method of charging will help you establish consistent prices for similarly sized artworks. Whether you decide to charge for labor is entirely up to you.

Selling on dA for points

Many of you folks sell your artwork on dA which is great! There are plenty of opportunities to sell through the prints shop or to sell content. I realize that many of you accept points as payment, and there are some things you should know about going that avenue. The first thing you should have a complete understanding of if you accept points as payment is their monetary value. 100 points sounds like a lot doesn’t it? 100 points is equal to $1.25. Know your conversions to $ when you set points prices. Also, be smart about what you decide to sell. Remember, if you choose to sell Premium Content through dA (as opposed to charging points yourself) you will be subject to a 20% tax (so you keep 80% of your earnings). Stop wrinkling your nose, you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal anywhere else online or in real life for that matter. I’ve shown at galleries that require up to 60% of whatever the artist sells in artwork. Refer to this handy journal… to learn more about selling premium content. Refer to this handy points calculator by charfade to get quick and accurate conversions of points to $USD.

DeviantArt Point Calculator by charfade

You set the prices, so don’t sell yourself short

This last point goes back the first point: value your time. Often times we as artists feel uncomfortable putting a price tag on what we make because we somehow feel unworthy to do so. What ultimately happens at that point is some serious undercharging. Stand firm on whatever prices you choose to sell your work, and market yourself accordingly. If you charge too low you’re not only losing sales, you’re cheapening your artwork and losing potential collectors and clients as well as other artists. Do not do it.

For more handy ideas on how to start selling your artwork check out these articles!

F-ING BEE. HOW TO BE A FREELANCE ILLUSTRATOR by alexiuss Venues, Exposure, How to Sell Your Art - Part 1I've got mixed feelings about "exposure." By exposure, I mean how you, fellow artists, get your work out into the world so people can enjoy it and possibly even remunerate you for it.
Ways and means are:
1. Art Galleries
2. Public Venues
3. Charity Auctions
4. Festivals and Events
5. Online Websites and Communities
I'm going to talk about the first three here and what has or hasn't worked for me.
1. Art Galleries
This is the big one. Everyone wants to have *Gallery Representation* < /Awed Voice > because isn't that how art is sold? Traditionally, yes; the channel, for centuries, has been artists-->galleries-->collectors.
So how do you get a gallery to represent you? New artists often face the same paradox as new graduates do when trying to get a job where no one will hire you if you don't have experience but you can't get experience unless you have a job. So galleries won't pay attention to you unless you've already been represented by galleries.
We all start somewhere. I stand
Venues, Exposure, How to Sell Your Art - Part 2In a previous entry, I discussed galleries, public venues, and charity auctions as potential sales channels for art. Now I'll share my experiences with festivals and online websites.
4. Festivals and Events
By "festivals", I mean art-themed events like art walks and organized open studio tours. These are, by far, the best opportunity for sales.  Here is a comparison of my best and worst experiences.
My least successful event was a one night mega-gala featuring visual art, body painting, and a popular local entertainer at a large venue. Artists were juried by the promoter and then charged a $200 nonrefundable entry fee. Tickets to the event were $60. The artists were asked to sell tickets to their friends and customer base for a commission. The event was positioned as a fundraiser for an arts foundation that I didn't recognize, but a brief internet search revealed that this foundation was run by the promoter.  
No one
Making Money From Your Art by Eman333