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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

Pigments
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

Brushes

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

Papers

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.  

Tutorials

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
www.watercolorlearningcenter.c…

Watercolor Lessons and Exercises
www.watercolorlearningcenter.c…

Watercolor Tips & Techniques

www.watercolorlearningcenter.c…

Use Your Computer to Paint Better Watercolors
www.watercolorlearningcenter.c…

:heart:Xadrea

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: www.createspace.com/5284571&nb…;
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:

  • Mood: Artistic
  • 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! society6.com/xadrea?promo=74QF…



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?

  • Mood: Artistic
  • 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: www.createspace.com/5284571
Or a Kindle version on Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B00STUZF5S
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

  • Mood: Artistic
  • 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 ayame-kenoshi.deviantart.com/j… 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

 

:heart:Xadrea

Wishlist Tag

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 19, 2014, 12:31 PM
I was taggled by TheCreativeJenn to make a Christmas wishlist :meow: I'll tag some folks at the end, but feel free to make your own and tag others! 

STEP ONE


Make a post to your DA journal. The post should contain your list of ten holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related ("I'd love a ______ icon that's just for me") to medium ("I wish for _____ on DVD") to really big ("all I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV."). The important thing is, make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.

If you wish for real life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it's your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.

Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your DA or link to this post so that the holiday joy will spread.

STEP TWO


Surf around your friends list (or friends' friends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now, here's the important part:

If you see a wish you can grant, and it's in your heart to do so, make someone's wish come true. Sometimes someone's trash is another's treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don't want or a gift certificate you won't use -- do it.

You need not spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday elf -- to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not -- it's your call.

There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Give, and you might receive. and you'll have the joy of knowing you made someone's holiday special.

My Wishlist


01. As you all are probably aware, I'm in the homestretch of completing my Master's degree in painting. At this point I'm in machine mode to make as much work as possible for my thesis show in May and that means restocking my arsenal of supplies to create the work. The priciest thing that I have to purchase regularly to make my artwork is epoxy resin, but I did list the other things that I will need to restock to continue arting in my Amazon wishlist if you feel so inclined to be one of Santa's elves :giggle:

02. I love getting art gifts on dA, and I've been made tons of fun things from franz over the years and it would be nice to get moar :meow:
 
03. In 2015 I wish to move! I commute an hour to and from school because of the distance, so in order to do that I need to get my lease paid off (about $3500). 
 
04. I wish that my brother will do well in his new paramedic program and job as a school nurse. 

05. I wish to find more and better illustration/art jobs this upcoming year to continue bulking up my portfolio and all that ^ ^ :D

06. I wish to find more time to start working on my webcomic again! I want to move the current website over to a Comicpress site, but I know NOTHING about code so if you are a WordPress/Comicpress/HTML whiz lemme know :la:

07. I wish my friends who are looking for work in their fields are able to find it this year. 

08. I wish my friends who are expecting to have safe pregnancies and healthy beebeez.

09. I wish to continue to upgrade my tablet skillz (I have a Wacom Bamboo). 

10. I wish for my final semester of grad school to go smoothly and without much stress :XD:

I Tag...

FlashyFashionFraud,fr33z3dry,simpleCOMICS,AngelMiyoko,woohooligan, ArcNeoMasato & Huckleseed




  • Mood: dA Love
  • Listening to: The Kids Aren't Alright--Fall Out Boy
  • Reading: A Step From Heaven--An Na
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

I LEAVE FOR 5 MINUTES AND

Journal Entry: Mon Dec 8, 2014, 1:06 PM
dA goes and changes it's logo and swatches D: Okay okay, so I was gone for more than 5 minutes :XD: but I'll have to say it was a bit of a shock to see the changes in my absence. I did read spyed's blog though (and this is in no way bashing him or dA), and I'm not loving the visual changes. However, I understand the reasoning behind the changes and I applaud the team at dA for all their hard work in keeping us deviant. Alright, so enough about that :XD:

So where on earth have you been Xadrea? Well, I'm one semester from finishing my master's degree so that's been a huge time suck :XD: On top of that I've had a buttload of opportunities to show work (and that's always the way it goes lol, there will be a dry spell then all of a sudden BAM OPPORTUNITY). I showed work with EXPO Collective in Chicago again this past weekend this time for a fundraiser/benefit/auction during The Miracle Center's production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. I'm waiting to get my piece back from the national show I was in at the Southwest University of Visual Arts in Tuscon. And I have a solo show coming up on the 20th at the Barberton Gallery of Fine Arts when I go home for Christmas. Speaking of that, I'm heading home to Ohio for a month in 2 days :D 

Work is going well, they're really nice people. And by really nice I mean that if someone calls my cell while I'm at work and either of my bosses come into my office when I'm on the phone they'll apologize profusely for 'disturbing' me :XD: Also, they had no problem with me not being around for 4 weeks for the holidays. On top of that, hours are whenever I wanna make them since I'm not full time, and that works really well around my class schedule.

Also, I got another job :la: I'll be a graduate assistant to one of the painting professors at my school. She's already given me quite a bit to do in the last two weeks XD I gave her my phone number so she can text me and I might start regretting that once the semester starts :rofl: The good thing is I get to punch in hours for the last two weeks so I'll get paid for my 'training' :D 

I've got a TON of art to post so sorry in advance for the art spam :XD:

So what's up with all you kitties? Excited for the holidays?

  • Mood: dA Love
  • Listening to: Love on Top--Beyonce
  • Reading: Peony In Love--Lisa See
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

IT'S JENN'S BIRTHDAY

Journal Entry: Mon Nov 10, 2014, 5:48 AM
I demand you go show TheCreativeJenn with all sorts of love, attention, cakes full of lies, Zidane Tribal memorabilia, and presents!


  • Mood: dA Love
  • Listening to: Love on Top--Beyonce
  • Reading: Peony In Love--Lisa See
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Catch up time

Journal Entry: Wed Oct 15, 2014, 7:04 PM
I SURVIVED ARTPRIZE :faint: 

Now that that three week detour is over, I'll be able to get back to my regular weekly things and that means dA and uploading artwork more frequently :lol: I've fallen behind on my school work a little bit as well as a result of working for 21 days straight (you have no idea how tired I am :XD:) got a B on my art history midterm and my professor said she was surprised and wondered if anything was wrong :XD: Anywho, I'm in art machine mode now since I have a midterm critique in my painting thesis class next Tuesday, also I have a painting that will be in a show in Chicago this weekend woo! First major city I've shown in ever :D Here's a little blip that the collective I'm showing with put together on their tumblr for promotion: expocollective.tumblr.com/post…

Here's the poster if any of you peeps will be in or around that area this weekend, check it out! There will be fanart vendors and a ton of artwork :D
Bitwars by Xadrea


  • Mood: dA Love
  • Listening to: Love on Top--Beyonce
  • Reading: Peony In Love--Lisa See
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

ArtPrize Installation and Video Game Art

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 21, 2014, 1:16 PM
*WARNING LONG JOURNAL ENTRY WILL BE LONG*
So if you guys remember, last year I participated in ArtPrize. Well this year I'm curating the venue I am currently working at :la: All the artists are happy (and some of them are really happy XD) but OMG that was a lot of work. Hanging any kind artwork is a bit of a job, but we had 16 artists installing pieces and many of the 2D paintings were multi paneled (one of the REALLY big ones is an 8 panel painting). I did discover that my math isn't as horrible as I originally thought because I was able to match wall dimensions to painting dimensions and find the center of things fairly quickly and correctly. Also, this whole ordeal has once again reminded me of how much I despise being short :stare: I'm 5'1 which really blows when it comes to hanging things because my eye level is MUCH lower than normal sized human's eye level. Also, this means lots of ladder climbing. I don't mind climbing up high (and by high I mean 20 or 30 feet...this office space has uber high walls), I do mind having to drag the thing all over the place XD. We've got nice track lighting in the office space too so I had to adjust it to make all the artwork pop and shine and twerk (gets shot). Managed to burn the ever loving shit out of my left thumb doing that because the lights are extremely hot from being left on 24/7 XD. The last 5 artworks were installed yesterday back to back over a course of 4 hours :faint: but all the artists are SUPER nice and really like me so that's a plus :D One thing I find unusual is that my boss and the other staff (who are his family members :lol:) think it's odd that I'm being so nice to the artists...and even stranger still that they are surprised by the things being installed. Here's the thing about ArtPrize: there is no jury, anyone over 18 can enter, and venues (that is businesses and galleries who want to host art) get to pick who they want to show work in their space. That means they picked all the art for better or worse. One piece, a large set of banners, seems to be causing them all stomach aches. And while I agree its no masterpiece it's not ugly or even poorly crafted. Anyways, as an artist who is in the role of curator in this instance, I'm finding it important to not only make sure all the artwork fits and has a place in the venue, I'm making sure the artists are happy with their experience because that matters too. Also, we have some pretty important rules to follow as a venue and can get in huge trouble if anything is damaged or done without artist consent. 

Anyways, in other news I got invited to show work in Chicago with EXPO Collective in this: expocollective.tumblr.com/post… UBER pumped for this!!! The show is a tribute to 8 and 16 bit gaming (80s and 90s games) and I've been thinking of doing a mashup between Final Fantasy(Playstation X) and Mystical Fighter (Sega Genesis). I'm also excited because this is the first show I'll being doing in a major city *flails* ZOMG IS THIS FOR REAL?! TWO OF MY MOST FAVORITE THINGS TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE?! :faint: Also, I'm rolling around the idea of selling merch there too, I'll see if I have enough time to make other stuff to sell (probably won't but I'mma try anyway!). 

School's going good, if I haven't mentioned already, I'm in my last year of grad school (FINALLY) so the pressure's on to get art made for my spring show. I've got my thesis worked out so now it's time to get in art machine mode *mechanical whirring sounds and clanking*. I'm taking an art history (The Body in Art Seminar), painting studio (Graduate Painting Studio: Thesis), and teaching class (Graduate Teaching Seminar). The teaching class is taking up most of my time of course because the materials are somewhat foreign to me :XD: Our first assignment was to do a classroom lecture and I ROCKED IT :dance: And you know what I owe it to? YOU GUYS! That's right, all the people who suggest and read my tutorials are actually helping me get ready to teach on the college level! I actually re-read most of my watercolor tutorials to get ready for the assignment and I "lectured" for about 25 minutes with no problem :meow: The professor for that class is really tough and will not hold back if you suck (she seriously tore into a few people that day actually D:) but she had only positives to give me for feedback outside of a few obvious things (like certain terminology that would not be understood by freshmen). In my opinion, the lecture was the hardest assignment for that class. The other ones are a syllabus, a live demo, and a full application to a college of our choosing to be on faculty as an adjunct. I just find the rest of the assignments easier because they require mainly writing and I've got that in the bag :lol: Also, the demo will be a cinch because I'll just reference one of my tutorials! 

  • Mood: Big Grin
  • Listening to: When I Dip--Freak Nasty
  • Reading: Midwives--Chris Bohjalian
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

GOTS ME A JOB

Journal Entry: Wed Sep 10, 2014, 3:43 PM
That's right folks, I finally got a job! I got hired as part time staff where I'm interning!
:la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce::la::happybounce:

  • Mood: Excited
  • Listening to: my mom on the phone
  • Reading: Call the Midwife (Part 1): by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: Jimmy John's woo
  • Drinking: Cran-grape juice

Back to School

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 22, 2014, 9:31 AM
Hey gurl hey. So school starts on Monday and I can't say I'm terribly excited about it, but at least I'll get to see my real life buddies everyday again and hang out with them and all that schtuff. It looked like I had a job with a cleaning company for about 2 seconds, but my class schedule (which is really not that extensive) won't configure with it at all. I called the company manager about this and she's unwilling to try to compromise with me (she said she'd call me on Monday, not sure why because she already told me my evening class schedule won't work so...yep). :stare: THE AGONY WILL NOT END I SAY.

However, thanks to my financial aid book advance and my mom's generosity my rent (which was 3 weeks past due :|) is paid. The only decent thing I have going now is that I will at least be able to pay rent and some living expenses with the education benefits I get from the VA (and that's what they are meant for, so don't sass me). I requested to be considered for one of the open graduate assistantships, but I'm really not sure if I'll be picked for it since classes are nearly about to begin. If I did get it, it would be great because the pay is great, the work is interesting and I'll get college teaching experience. Fingers crossed, yo. 

So, c'est la vie. I got two more illustration gigs, but one is not guaranteed to turn out in a profit for myself or the author. But, since I'm not in any position to turn down any and all opportunities I took it. The other is a done deal, but I won't be paid for a bit since the company's payment policies are on a 45 day schedule from the completion of the project. If the former does turn out, I will at least be able to pull in royalties for a bit. Such is the perilous life of a freelancer :XD:

I'm seriously considering getting connected with an agency or a representative so that I can get more frequent and higher paid jobs, but I'm still getting all the information about how to get one and what to look out for, so that's a slow going thing. The good thing is I have a friend who works in publishing so she can give me tips on how the industry works when I need them. 

So what about you guys, you heading back to school soon? Starting highschool? College? 

  • Mood: Hungry
  • Listening to: nothing
  • Reading: Call the Midwife (Part 1): by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape 3
  • Eating: nothing (and I'm STARVING D:)
  • Drinking: water

Majorly Depressed Right Now

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 7, 2014, 7:10 AM
So. Still jobless. I have no clue as to why everyone everyone is refusing to hire me. Eviction is yet again imminent and now my utility companies are threatening to cut the umbilical. In what world does having a fucking bachelor's degree and almost a master's equal "overqualified?" Oh yeah. The good ole US of A. I have lost count of how many applications I have sent out because I almost never get replies even if I call. I've had dozens of interviews, none of them have worked out. The teaching position I thought I had in the bag won't begin until January and even then I'm not guaranteed a job because they can cancel classes if not enough people sign up for them. The company I was freelancing for has totally left me in limbo and I have zero savings. I don't even have anything that I can sell because no one wants to buy my artwork (not for what it's worth anyways...and no I WILL NEVER do $1 and $5 commissions, that is insane). 

I wouldn't be as depressed if the fact that I'm graduating in the spring wasn't happening. If I can't get a job now how the hell am I going to get a job once I actually have another goddamn degree? If I was born 20 years ago this would not even be a problem, I wouldn't have even chosen to get a master's degree because I'd be set with a full time well paying job with just a bachelor's. I'm sick of being jerked around and jumping through hoops and spouting off buzzwords during interviews. I'm tired of constantly worrying about money. Every single time I think things can't possibly get any worse they instantly do. I found out yesterday that somehow I owe my leasing company almost $900. I have no idea from what ass they pulled that figure so today I get to go plead for clemency yet again. 

I would punch a wall, but I'm too tired to do so. I really can't take this anymore. 

  • Mood: Miserable
Hello patients! I've written a few blogs and tutorials on critique that I'll link at the end of this blog (along with some others I think you will like too) for you to quickly reference! In light of the previous blogs <Avoid That dArama and <No more excuses, it's time to improve your art I wanted to write some things about critique to bring both blogs full circle. I also realized that I failed to fully explain what critique even is in the previous things I've written on the subject :XD:Before I begin let me start off by saying that I don't write each blog for Artist's Hospital in a vacuum :XD: Each blog is about one specific topic, I can't throw in everything because then I would be writing a book!

So here's how I'll do this: we'll talk about what critique is, what it isn't, break it all down, explain common issues, then let's have a taco party!
I can hardly contain my excitement too!

:bulletred:What Critique is

The Critique - The Artist by NeonWhales
  • An objective overview 
  • A constructive formal analysis 
  • An intelligent conversation about an artwork's strengths and weaknesses
  • A detailed evaluation 
Just so you know I didn't make those points up myself, here are the dictionary definitions of the word 'critique:'

cri·tique

kriˈtēk/
noun
1. a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory.
synonyms:analysisevaluationassessmentappraisalappreciationcriticism,reviewstudycommentaryexpositionexegesis 
verb
1. evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way.

:bulletred:What a Critique is not

Critique by Minnome
  • A personal opinion
  • Only negative/critical
  • A personal attack
  • Only positive
Based on dictionary definition of the word, it's easy to see that critique is none of the above (although those methods are used frequently around dA). 
For education purposes here's the dictionary definition for the word 'critical.'

crit·i·cal

ˈkritikəl/
adjective
1. expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgments.
synonyms:censoriouscondemnatory, condemning, denunciatory, disparaging,disapprovingscathingfault-findingjudgmentalaccusatorynegative,unfavorable

2. expressing or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a work of literature, music, or art.

:bulletred:The correct way: let's break it down!

  • An objective overview
Critique Stamp by LhuneArt

What does it mean to be objective? Being objective simply means leaving your opinions and expectations at home. Think of it this way, if you're having a tough time making a decision it helps to have someone who does not have an emotional attachment to the outcome to give you some perspective. Art inspires our deepest emotions, and while acknowledging an emotional bond you may have with an artwork can be helpful, it can easily cloud up your critique magnifying glass. 

  • A constructive formal analysis
Constructive Critisism stamp. by Route-03

If you're unfamiliar with formal analysis, read <Getting better at critique: Formal Analysis for a detailed explanation in this critique tool. For the sake of keeping things moving, let's continue with this point. For our purposes (artists who are working on improving our work) constructive comments are what we are in desperate need of. What does it mean to be constructive? It means not simply offering an observation of what is not working, it means offering ways to improve it. In your constructive comments, be sure to offer realistic advice. For example, it's unhelpful to tell someone that they need to work on color temperature when it's evident the artist has an elementary understanding of color theory. Break things down to the level of the person you are critiquing, you will help them even more. 

  • An intelligent conversation about an artwork's strengths and weaknesses
Advanced Critique Encouraged by StampsByNeekko

Speaking intelligently doesn't mean being bourgeois or highbrow (or an asshole, everyone hates those XD). It means using appropriate language. "Values," for example, is a more intelligent (and correct) way to talk about "lights and darks" in an artwork. Words like ineffective, unsound, and inexact are less likely to be construed as an attack than words like wrong, useless, bad, or broken. It's also helpful to remember that a critique is also a two way conversation. Allowing an artist to explain their intentions can give you further insight into the work and help you give an even better critique!

  • A detailed evaluation 

Critique My Work Stamp by SparkLum
Being as detailed as possible is both for your benefit and the artist! It will help you digest all the information in the artwork so that you can begin your critique, and it will help the artist recognize things they might not notice they put in their work. 

:bulletred:The incorrect way: let's break it down!

  • A personal opinion
I can't think of a name stamp by In-The-Machine

Personal opinions are really important, but they don't have much of a place in a critique. Personal ideas, morals, beliefs, likes, dislikes, etc. can get in the way of helping the artist. Check yourself consistently throughout a critique to be sure that you are not inserting your opinions. That's an entirely different conversation altogether. You may mention you're not a fan of something in the piece, but only do so if you are eloquent enough to instill that that fact does not render the work a "bad piece of art."

  • Only negative
Critique by OokamiKasumi

It seems counterintuitive to say that a critique should not be only negative. Calling out problems in an artwork is important, are you saying that we shouldn't, Xadrea? What are you talking about? What does water taste like? What is the meaning of life? What is the universe?!
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Calm down! There is a method to this madness! Here's an example of the dangers of a purely negative critique: Japanese American visual artist, interior designer, and architect Isamu Noguchi created a sculpture of a lynched black man titled Death in 1939. The overwhelming response to the piece was intensely negative and reported as being "a little Japanese mistake." Those words stayed with him throughout his career because they called upon his insecurities of his mixed ethnicity and the horrors of racism in the United States.
Balance is necessary to any and every good critique. Breaking someone's confidence as an artist is not necessary to give a good critique. And to handle what I mean about an artists's confidence is not me saying that you need to avoid bruising an artist's ego. Everyone's egos need a slap every now and then. I'm saying that you should never, ever, cause someone to question their passion as an artist. 

  • A personal attack

Critique vs Insult by Foedus-Stamps
If you are on the receiving end of a critique, it can be hard to hear some unsavory things about your artwork, even if you asked for it XD! If the person you are being critiqued by is not insulting your intelligence, calling you names, insulting your skill level, they are not attacking you. I repeat, you are not being attacked. Do not respond childishly if your ego gets bruised during a critique, rather wait until you cool off to continue the conversation. 

This goes for those of you giving the critique. If there's an artist you don't care for critiquing them is not a cloak and dagger way for you to find fault with them. Don't use critique as a way for you to exact punishment, hurt feelings, or undermine someone else. Cutting someone down is a vicious way to bolster your own damaged self confidence. Do, not, do it. 

  • Only positive

critique doesnt equal buttkiss by kohakuhoshi
Critiques should contain positive observations because they will let the artist know what is working. However, your observations should not only be positive! Likewise, if you are asking for a crit, you should not expect only positive feedback! If you only wanted positive feedback you were never asking for a critique in the first place. Only positive remarks will not help you in the long run because they overlook the things that are in need of work. 

:bulletred:A critique is no more a pat on the back than it is a punch in the face

Balance is key in giving critiques, and remembering that it is for your benefit is the key to receiving them! However even the best laid plans can be spoiled by a misunderstanding. In this section I'll lay out some of the most common issues that come up during critiques. 

  • _____ can't "take" my critique!!!
STAMP- Get over yourself by Kira-Ani-McGrath

Ok. And? I will be forever confused at the outrage that comes from (and I'm assuming) well meaning artists who are spurned by whoever they were critiquing. Carrying around resentment because someone did not like your well planned and laid critique is like being mad at a baby for crying. For as much time as you wasted giving the critique, you'll waste double that fuming about your smarting ego.

  • I don't understand the advice I'm being given/words they are using/technique they are describing!

Confused Onionhead Stamp by Ibilicious
That's an easy one! Just ask! Asking questions throughout the critique should be a two party process. Never be too intimidated to ask questions. 

  • This person is not on my level, therefore I can't accept a critique from them!

Anyone Can Critique by Haters-Gonna-Hate-Me
Nope. Wrong. You don't have to have experienced something to know about it in detail. It may offer an extra level of insight and empathy yes, but non-artists and those who are no Leonardo daVinci can still give kick-ass critiques too! If you know your basic art elements/principles of design (outlined below), you are qualified to give a critique, 'nuff said.

Principles of design

Basic Art Elements

  • This is my style/the style of _____

Anatomy Critique Stamp by KidateCalf
Believe it or not, there is a right and wrong way to properly handle stylization whether it's personal or an established international style. If your marks are appearing unintentional in your artwork, that is a weakness no matter what you call it. Accept the challenge and improve your work. There are innumerable amounts of books written about stylized drawing whether it's cartoony or fantastical, you're not unique, please accept the critique.

:bulletred:Exemplary examples of critiques on dA


Critique for LukeLdh by Spork-Critique 7-1-2012 by jeffwamester Critique: Save MeCritique of Save Me. by JasmineMaille
Hi there!
I'm here to fulfill a critique request made to *Critique-It. I like to remind artists that these comments are my opinion, and should be taken with the proverbial grain of sand.
Thinking about the assignment mentioned in your artist's comments, I'm not sure how this picture tells me something new about the safety pin. It is lying in a hand that has lots of shadows around it, but there's no message in that composition. I'd consider asking yourself what kind of message you want the safety pin to send to viewers, then retaking the shot with that message in mind. Conceptual photography should tell some kind of story - or lead viewers to implying a story of their own.
As for the actual quality of the photo - your lighting and the details from the skin show up very well. But the technical skill is a moot point if the shot doesn't make me think/feel/wonder about something. I'
Critique: Murder on the sec...Critique of Murder on the second floor by RedSky-atNight
I'm primarily a narrative poet myself, so I really enjoyed seeing more strict narrative poetry floating around on dA.  The pacing and plot work well for the piece.  The fact that there is no resolution to the "who dunnit" isn't a problem either.
The first thing I'd like to suggest is to go through a few parts of rough and rocky syntax.  I'm a linguist, so I'm all for rebelling against much of what our English teachers taught us in school (it's lies!  lies I say!), and it's true that in poetry you are given quite a bit of leeway with grammar and usage, but you can't throw it out the window, and you get much less leeway in narrative poetry than you do with lyrical poetry.  Even Jabberwocky uses proper syntax for the made up words.&


:bulletred:Links to journals, tutorials, and articles about all things critique!
The Art of Feedback: CritiquesI Asked: Why do you critique art? How do you critique art?
In this poll, I asked you to tell me a little bit about your process on how and why you give feedback. I got some really interesting answers!
"...if I give feedback, the other will appreciate the feedback, and then they might give feedback, it's basically a cycle of giving and getting. Win-Win situations are always good."
SonicWolvelina99
This is so true and something I hope everyone can come to understand. You don't need a widget or special symbol to give a critique or to get a critique. You don't even need special training or knowledge! You simply must be active as a community member.
"...I first start out with a compliment or pointing something out that looked/seemed really good in the piece of art/literature. Then I get to the part where I point out what might need a bit more work, not smal
Essentials of Writing a CritiqueEssentials of Writing a Critique
DeviantART has a wonderful feature that allows people to give constructive criticism about other people's artwork, or receive it for theirs. But this can be rather limiting when you can only give one critique per deviation. You have to make it as perfect as possible - so the other person can understand your perspective clearly. Here's my opinion on how you could go about writing a critique. Enjoy~
-  -

Describe:
I suggest that you always start off by describing the other person's piece. Sometimes, even addressing the obvious can help to 'set the background in motion' so the artist knows whether his piece's significance got through or not.
Analyze: Try to think critically. Though you want to share your opinion, it is sometimes helpful to see it from everyone's eyes. Also, divide the main aspects while writing a critique. If you're writing a critique on a digital art piece, you can divide it into line-art, then shading et
How to Critique Literature WellYou, too, can refrain from sucking at giving critical feedback!
First, for the love of fella, TAKE THE TIME AND READ THE MATERIAL. The author already knows what they've written. If you try to skim and then sound like you know what you're talking about, guess what, YOU WON'T. Read it multiple times, make sure you understand it, ask questions if you need clarification, but KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.
Second, if you read into something too much and the writer says, "no, that's not what I meant. the sky really was just blue." then DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TRY TO CONVINCE THE AUTHOR THAT YOU'RE RIGHT AND THEY'RE WRONG. If the sky was blue, then the sky was blue! Don't try to imagine something that isn't there. You're just making a fool of yourself if you keep insisting!
Third, EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN! If you tell the author that something sounded "insert describing word here" tell the author what you mean by that. Not everyone's d
5 Pieces of Critique You Should Always Disregard1. "I have a problem with your premise." This is the red flag to end all red flags. I don't care how flimsy the premise is. Every idea has the potential to be a good story. Execution is something else entirely, but if somebody doesn't like your idea: don't listen to them. What they're basically saying is "I am not an Ideal Reader, therefore not your target audience, therefore I am not the right person to critiquing your work."  I hate, hate, hate people who think you should be writing for broader audiences than your story is capable of reaching. If you're writing romance, you're writing romance for romance readers. You're not trying to reach hard science fiction readers. Very few people even know what makes a breakout mainstream novel that has high market appeal. If they did, every single book ever written would be Harry Potter. It just doesn't happen. And for somebody to ask you to make that happen is ridiculous and unfair. For the most part, writers are writ Getting Better at Critique: Formal AnalysisLike our artwork, getting better at critique takes practice! First let’s look at the definitions of a critique:
A detailed analysis and assessment of something, esp. a literary, philosophical, or political theory. –Google Dictionary
A method of disciplined, systematic analysis of a written or oral discourse. - Wikipedia
A careful judgment in which you give your opinion about the good and bad parts of something (such as a piece of writing or a work of art) – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
So, in layman’s terms, a critique is a careful assessment, a detailed observation, an objective analysis. Sounds really egg heady doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t have to be! The simplest way to start off learning how to critique is by conducting a formal analysis. Sounds uber smancy huh? A formal analysis is a careful and thorough observation of an artwork. A formal analysis is totally objective, it considers the formal properties of the artwork. T
What is a good critique: how make your crits greatHi all, before I get started, I want to make it clear that there is nothing keeping every deviant from critiquing artwork. If you are not a subscriber, you can still offer a critique to a fellow deviant in your comments ;)
Now, even if you have not been in art school/classes, most of us have a general knowledge of what a critique is. The critique is one of the most beneficial tools on hand for the artist, but it requires an outside person's opinion and observations. Since deviantArt is a community of artists, there's no reason why we can't support one another through critique =)
__________________________________________________________
Introduction
The things said in a critique can stay with a person for years depending on what was said. For example: Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi's sculpture of a lynched black man (Death c.1934) was given an unfair review from many critics, but the words of one stated that the piece was no more than "a little
Before you throw that pity party read thisBeing in touch with your weaknesses is important in order to grow as an artist, but are you so hung up on what you can’t do well that it’s holding you back? I'm not talking about the intermittent (or frequent) attacks of complete blockage, or even lack of inspiration, but full out pity parties.
I’ve seen far too many people on dA who post exercise after exercise, writing in the artist comments that once again they’ve failed, they’ve read hundreds of books, studied the masters for so many years, and they still cannot draw a photorealist rending of a man’s head. First of all let me say that I highly respect “self taught” artists and I’m not discouraging anyone who chooses (or must) go that route. However, setting realistic goals and finding your niche is extremely important. Let me say this: not everyone will be able to paint like a Baroque period artist! But that doesn't mean you can't be a painter, it just means
Are you THAT guy?Hey long time no see patients! I've oodles busy lately, but still developing new topics for discussion with you guys :D This blog is about what to do what to do if you happen to be that guy. By that guy, I mean someone who gets offended, hurt, defensive, or otherwise moody after a critique on his or her artwork. Now, I've talked extensively about unhelpful and abusive critiques, but have not yet talked about this. So let's talk about how to get more self aware and what to do if you are indeed that guy :D
:bulletred:Critical Responses Are NEVER Fun to Receive
I should begin this investigation by empathizing with you. Critical (or negative responses) toward something you have worked very hard on can be soul crushing. Unnecessarily personal or hurtful comments about the work (or yourself) can also be troublesome. I'm not at all negating your emotions during a strong critique of your artwork, so please bear with me here, the remainder of this blog might seem har
Knowledge is Out There, Grasp It!EDIT 2/13/14:
Due to a few concerns that I'm overgeneralizing through my use of the word ignorant, I wanted to amend some things: 
1. This journal was not written out of a pretentious attitude, in fact it's quite the opposite. I feel the need to share knowledge, and I do whenever I can. I could never be upset with those who truly do not know where to start when it comes to enriching their minds.
2. This journal is not about lording knowledge above those who do not yet possess it.
3. This journal is not about bashing someone for the barriers that can impede or prevent their desire or ability to absorb new information.
4. I do not encourage people to "just Google it," that is why resources are listed at the bottom.
5. If you would like to contribute a resource, please link it in your comments.
I’ve been hearing the phrase “I don’t know what ____ is” a lot as of late and it’s been a little irksome, and here’s why: we are currently living in


Art Tutorial: Critique by XadreaGuide to Giving Good Critiques by ThePhotoCriticGuide to Constructive Critique by RockstarVanity How to Accept A CritiqueFirst, there's a common misconception that I want to address before I even begin.  I've heard way too many people try to claim that they don't write for an audience or that they only write for themselves.  In my mind, this usually translates to something like, "You or someone else gave me a critique I don't agree with, so I'm trying to justify why I'm going to ignore it."  You're going to have a hard time convincing me that you don't care about anyone else's opinion of your work if you PUBLICALLY SUBMIT IT ONLINE.
I don't know if you've noticed, but dA (and any other site like it) is essentially structured to be used for peer review.  That's the main point of the ability to leave comments in the first place.  If you're really only writing for yourself, you would keep your stories in a shoe-box hidden under your bed.  And, no, the "I was posting it so my very bestest friend Mary Sue could read it" excuse doesn't fly either.
OC Mary-Sue Test 2.1OC Mary-Sue/Gary-Stu Test
This test is designed for Original Characters.  Questions for Role Play Characters and Fan Characters will be added soon.
Now, this tests for both the traditional Mary Sue/Gary Stu, and for 'gloomdog' style characters, which I suppose is a sub-category of the Mary Sue, but is often over-looked in this kind of test.
------------Instructions------------
Further down this test, there is a list of traits and characteristics, each one stating how many points that particular trait is worth.  Simply read through the list, and give your character the appropriate number of points for each of the listed traits/characteristics displayed by your character.
When you reach the end of the list, add up all of your character's points and refer to the results at the very bottom of the test to see (approximately) where your character is on the Sue Scale.
Now, while you're taking this test please also take into account
Resources: Critique by Critique-It

Time for that taco party!

Need to raise $100 by Friday COMMISH ME

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 29, 2014, 9:08 AM
Hey hey hey folks! So the ongoing saga that is my life as a starving artist is yet again in a precarious situation :XD: So a couple of good things have happened: 

:bulletgreen: I'll be teaching art classes in a few weeks (not steady work, but I can make a decent amount of quick money with it) 

:bulletgreen: I've got an interview for another teaching position on Thursday this week and an interview at the public museum to be a gallery guard woot :D

So here's the not so good news: yet another freelance gig fell through and the payment that I would have received for the work was to be used for the balance owed to my leasing company. I only owe them $100, but since I have a total of $0 that's a bit of an issue :XD: 

So here's what needs to happen, I need commissions! Below is all my commish info and all that jazz, as well as links to my GoFundMe account and Paypal. Share this journal around social media folks! 



Commission Info


Custom (white) T-shirts 
  • $15-$25 each (one color only) +shipping
  • Provide me with a black and white design and I can silkscreen it on any size white t-shirt. If you have no design in mind, I can sketch one up for you. One color ink only. 

Digital Cover Illustrations 
  • (full color with or without text) $75-$150USD

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.09.13 PM by Xadrea  A Rose for Emily 2 by Xadrea   

Pumpkins by Xadrea   Pentatonix: Daft Punk by Xadrea   
Pentatonix: Love Again by Xadrea   Hero/Heroine by Xadrea  

Digital Character Portraits 
  • (black and white or full color) $25-$50USD

Patrick Stump Speedpaint by Xadrea  Pete Wentz Speedpaint by Xadrea  Fabian Speedpaint by Xadrea  Jenn by Xadrea  Nathalie. by Xadrea  Jules. by Xadrea  

Serigraphy (Screenprints) 
  • Full color (3 or more colors) $60-$200USD + shipping if applicable
  • One color (one or two color) $25-$60USD + shipping if applicable 

Run in Halftone by Xadrea  Ariel in Halftone by Xadrea  Anahita in Halftone by Xadrea  pip pip, cheerio, crumpets!WIP3 by Xadrea   Guilded5 by Xadrea  Guilded Face1 by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [black] by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [red] by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [brown] by Xadrea  

Watercolor Illustrations 
  • (up to 11x14 in physical size) $35-$125 +shipping if applicable
 
Sit Still Teddy by Xadrea  Ariel by Xadrea  
 The Queen of Hearts by Xadrea  Alice by Xadrea  Mad Hatter by Xadrea  Chesire Cat by Xadrea  
Briar Rose by Xadrea  Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.51.48 PM by Xadrea  
Frequently asked questions
  • :bulletgreen: How do I contact you for a commission? Send inquires through dA via note. Send inquiries through email to mellissajredman@gmail.com 

  • :bulletgreen:What is your method of payment? Paypal. My paypal email address is mjr39@zips.uakron.edu

  • :bulletgreen:Will you accept points as payment? Sorry, only Paypal is accepted.

  • :bulletgreen:Are all prices USD? Yes, all listed prices (and or quotes) are USD only.

  • :bulletgreen:What is your payment policy? 100% upfront for most commissions. If that is not possible immediately, 50% is required. I will not begin work on the piece until payment is received. If the 50% owed is not received 2 weeks after the initial agreement, the contract is void and I will scrap the project. 

  • :bulletgreen:Can you ship a commission to me (ie: a painting)? Yes! However you will be charged postage.

  • :bulletgreen: Can you ship internationally? Yes! However, you will be charged postage. 

  • :bulletgreen:What's your policy on copyrighted material? I will do fanart, however the proposed work cannot be redistributed by you for any other monetary gain whatsoever. That being said, I will not copy other artist's (meaning anyone on dA) styles or characters without their written permission. I will draw/paint/sketch your characters with your written permission (a contract will be provided if need be). 

  • :bulletgreen:Do you do NSFW pieces? Sorry no. 


  • Mood: Hungry
  • Listening to: *NSYNC Medley--Pentatonix
  • Reading: Peony In Love--Lisa See
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Patreon and Hair

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 26, 2014, 8:14 AM
Haaaaaay cupcakes! So I'm considering setting up a Patreon to help with my artistic things and also generating some income as I'm looking for new jobbies. The good thing is I'm set to start teaching a painting class in a few weeks :la: That's not a steady job, but it's only 2 hours per class and it has a base pay plus tips woot:dance:

So my question is: do any of your folks have a Patreon account? Are you a patron to any content creators? What's your take on it? 

In other news I've apparently neglected to show off mah new hairs to you all so BAM


All natural now (except for the Splat color of course :XD:


  • Mood: Hungry
  • Listening to: *NSYNC Medley--Pentatonix
  • Reading: Peony In Love--Lisa See
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: water

Custom T-Shirts and Other Commissions

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 15, 2014, 1:08 PM
Hey guise! Since I opened commissions, here's my commission info (my old commish info is a bit dated so time to start fresh). Among the regular 2D work I do, I'm now offering CUSTOM T-SHIRTS! Woo! I may add bags if I see cheap canvas available at my local K-Mart/Dollar Tree. So spread the word around and if you're interested shoot me a note!

Frequently asked questions
  • :bulletgreen: How do I contact you for a commission? Send inquires through dA via note. Send inquiries through email to mellissajredman@gmail.com 

  • :bulletgreen:What is your method of payment? Paypal. My paypal email address is mjr39@zips.uakron.edu

  • :bulletgreen:Will you accept points as payment? Sorry, only Paypal is accepted.

  • :bulletgreen:Are all prices USD? Yes, all listed prices (and or quotes) are USD only.

  • :bulletgreen:What is your payment policy? 100% upfront for most commissions. If that is not possible immediately, 50% is required. I will not begin work on the piece until payment is received. If the 50% owed is not received 2 weeks after the initial agreement, the contract is void and I will scrap the project. 

  • :bulletgreen:Can you ship a commission to me (ie: a painting)? Yes! However you will be charged postage.

  • :bulletgreen: Can you ship internationally? Yes! However, you will be charged postage. 

  • :bulletgreen:What's your policy on copyrighted material? I will do fanart, however the proposed work cannot be redistributed by you for any other monetary gain whatsoever. That being said, I will not copy other artist's (meaning anyone on dA) styles or characters without their written permission. I will draw/paint/sketch your characters with your written permission (a contract will be provided if need be). 

  • :bulletgreen:Do you do NSFW pieces? Sorry no. 

Custom (white) T-shirts 
  • $15-$25 each (one color only) +shipping
  • Provide me with a black and white design and I can silkscreen it on any size white t-shirt. If you have no design in mind, I can sketch one up for you. One color ink only. 

Digital Cover Illustrations 
  • (full color with or without text) $75-$150USD

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.09.13 PM by Xadrea  A Rose for Emily 2 by Xadrea   

Pumpkins by Xadrea   Pentatonix: Daft Punk by Xadrea   
Pentatonix: Love Again by Xadrea   Hero/Heroine by Xadrea  

Digital Character Portraits 
  • (black and white or full color) $25-$50USD

Patrick Stump Speedpaint by Xadrea  Pete Wentz Speedpaint by Xadrea  Fabian Speedpaint by Xadrea  Jenn by Xadrea  Nathalie. by Xadrea  Jules. by Xadrea  

Serigraphy (Screenprints) 
  • Full color (3 or more colors) $60-$200USD + shipping if applicable
  • One color (one or two color) $25-$60USD + shipping if applicable 

Run in Halftone by Xadrea  Ariel in Halftone by Xadrea  Anahita in Halftone by Xadrea  pip pip, cheerio, crumpets!WIP3 by Xadrea   Guilded5 by Xadrea  Guilded Face1 by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [black] by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [red] by Xadrea  Fall Out Boy Poster [brown] by Xadrea  

Watercolor Illustrations 
  • (up to 11x14 in physical size) $35-$125 +shipping if applicable
 
Sit Still Teddy by Xadrea  Ariel by Xadrea  
 The Queen of Hearts by Xadrea  Alice by Xadrea  Mad Hatter by Xadrea  Chesire Cat by Xadrea  
Briar Rose by Xadrea  Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 3.51.48 PM by Xadrea  

  • Mood: Suffering
  • Listening to: Payphone--Maroon 5
  • Reading: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

Rent Update/Opening Commissions

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 15, 2014, 11:52 AM
Good news everyone! Thanks to everyone who graciously donated funds to my cause I was able to pay my rent :la: The property manager decided last minute not to take my case to court so I avoided eviction proceedings and legal fees (which would have been a bonafide nightmare). I really appreciate everyone who donated and shared my journal around :heart::hug: It means a lot to me! 

Now that that crisis is avoided, I'm faced with other not so great things thanks to not having an income.

:bulletpink:My bus pass expires at the end of this week and without it I'll have no way to get to job interviews downtown (or to anywhere for that matter...curse living on the edge of nowhere). I'll be able to pick up another one, but it will expire a week after I buy it, thus landing back in the same predicament. 

:bulletpink: As you can imagine, my utility companies are at my throat for blood, and while I'm sure I can get away a bit longer without giving them anything, that time is nearing closure and I have no candles :XD:

So with those two dilemmas facing me now, I'm opening up commissions. I didn't open them beforehand because the money earned at the time would not have been generated quickly enough to deal with my emergency circumstances. So at this present time, they are OPEN. The quickest way I can complete commission requests is digitally, so if you're wanting something done fast that's the medium I suggest :D Payments can be generated through Paypal or GoFundMe (whichever you choose) and the buttons are below. Again, if you can't donate/commission, please share share share!




  • Mood: Suffering
  • Listening to: Payphone--Maroon 5
  • Reading: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: nothing

Help me avoid EVICTION

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 9, 2014, 1:53 PM
So this it everyone. I have two weeks left before I'll be evicted from my apartment.  Don't feel guilty if you're unable to help (or if you've donated already). However if you can, please do. I need to raise $350 to pay rent for this month. Last week I was paid for an illustration job I had, but the entire amount of the payment was sucked into my then negative bank account :| So, although I've raised close to $350, I only have $200 to put toward rent, thus still needing to raise $350. My landlord will not accept anything less than the full amount. This Friday, the 11th, I'll be sued for the rent owed :/

I'm only two semesters away from finishing my Masters degree, and if I have no place to live that goal will almost certainly be derailed. I have an interview for a job next week, but even if I do get it that won't change the fact that eviction is fast approaching because I won't get paid enough or in time to avoid being thrown out. 

I seriously hate begging like this since by all accounts because I should have a job, and I should be self sufficient and I know other people who are struggling too will look at this request with scorn. I have had at least 10 interviews and countless numbers of applications sent out in the last 3 months alone :( 

So, all that being said, you may donate to either to my paypal or my gofundme campaign. If you cannot donate to either share the links everywhere. I'm running out of time. 





  • Mood: Defeated
  • Listening to: Love on Top--Beyonce
  • Reading: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: poptart
  • Drinking: tea

Help keep me from getting evicted woo!

Journal Entry: Mon Jul 7, 2014, 5:59 AM
Hey people! So, things aren't that great over here for me this summer for one recurring reason: again I am without work.  I launched a GoFundMe campaign about a month ago in the hopes of raising money to help out with my rent. I am currently without a paying job (still interning, and still contracted to several companies for illustrative work, but since there are no new projects, I am without an income). I've been looking hard for new work for months to no avail (like I seriously can't even get a job flipping burgers because I'm "overqualified"). That being said, things are now in emergency mode. I need to raise at least rent for the month of July ($550) and I'm reaching out for a helping hand so that I will not get evicted from my apartment. Any amount donated to my cause would help tremendously. If you would like to donate, you can send funds through Paypal to: mjr39@zips.uakron.edu If you can't donate anything, please share my gofundme link (on my timeline). In return for your kindness, you may commission me for artwork!




As always, if you cannot donate, share share share! I really appreciate all the continued support from everyone here on dA.Thanks guys!

  • Mood: Defeated
  • Listening to: Love on Top--Beyonce
  • Reading: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
  • Watching: you!!!
  • Playing: Runescape
  • Eating: poptart
  • Drinking: tea