Inktober 2017 Skyline Watercolors

If you follow me elsewhere on social media, you know I’ve got a massive penchant for drawing challenges. Inktober is a perennial favorite, so this year I tackled 31 6×6″ watercolor paintings of sunrises and sunsets. Each image was painted from life wherever I happened to be on each day of the month, starting with a basic silhouette of the sky at dusk or dawn.

The final result spanned Portland, Long Beach (WA), New York, and Richmond, and looked something like this:

While prints of all these images are available in my online shop right now, I’ve also decided to sell off the original paintings themselves to help raise some end-of-year cash to help with book printing in 2018.

Buyolympia will be listing the originals (unframed) in batches of 5 over the next few weeks every Tuesday and Thursday. If there’s one you’ve got your eye on, be prepared to act fast! The framed pieces that pre-sold at Portland’s tiny llama gallery earlier this week went real quick.

You can check out the current selection at Buyolympia and take advantage of their free shipping promotion to snag some other gifts for the holiday season while you’re at it. Happy shopping!

Time-Lapse Boats

I had a ton of fun wrapping up these watercolor paintings for my top-tier backers on the Baggywrinkles Kickstarter last week. Here’s a look at the final lineup of paintings:

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Clockwise from upper left, we’ve got El Galeon (hiding behind PDX YAR’s First Mate), L’Hermione, Brig Niagara, and Kalmar Nyckel (in disguise under a different paint job, for reasons outlined in this Tumblr post).

In the process of getting all of these done, I learned a bunch about making time-lapse videos, which you can check out below:

And if you’re curious about the tools used for these projects, here’s a sneak peek at a post I put up for my supporters on Patreon all about my watercoloring setup:

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I put up an informative essay each month about some aspect of my creative process, along with a load of other content for folks to read/watch/listen to/generally enjoy. I serious adore Patreon as a platform for making more of this work possible, so if you haven’t already checked it out, go take a peek! (There’s a lot of free stuff there, too, if you don’t want to commit to chucking some money my way each month.)

More news coming next week! Stay tuned.

A Life in Objects: PDF & Print Edition

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As you may’ve noticed, I’ve spent the last three(ish) months working on The 100 Day Project, a creative game of sorts where participants try to create something every day for 100 days. I chose to illustrate meaningful objects from my life with little vignettes of text.

The final collection, A Life in Objects, is now up for sale! I’m printing a facsimile edition in three, 40-page pocket notebooks—the same size as the originals (3.5×5″)—with a fancy belly band.

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The books will be printed locally in Portland at Eberhardt Press, and I’m hoping to debut them at SPX in September.

If you absolutely can’t wait to read the whole thing, why not buy the PDF edition on Gumroad? I promise it’s got all the same treats inside.

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I’m incredibly proud of how this collection came out. More news to come once the printed books are on their way!

Light in the Eyes

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Something a little different today: a process GIF from a recent illustration commission! This cat portrait was done start-to-finish in Manga Studio with Frenden’s blue pencil and Hairpin Sable inker brushes.

You notice how the cat really comes alive in that last frame when the white highlights in the eyes come into play? Every time I add those to a piece I get this really vivid memory of going to art classes as a kid.

My teacher’s name was Sharon Butler. She was a realist painter from South Africa who painted waist-high stones to look like living cheetahs, crouching in the greenery outside the studio. The two rooms in her establishment were filled with the perpetual, chalky scent of pastels and Prismacolor pencils. We’d get pieces of illustration board handed out every time a new project began, cut down to the appropriate size. I completely lost track of time every session I spent there. My only job was drawing, as well as I could.

This was pre-internet, so Sharon kept a morgue file in the inner room. It was a metal filing cabinet—dull beige and taller than I was at the time—crammed full of photos and magazine clippings. There were folders for horses and dolphins and birds and architecture and chairs and people and costumes. Every manilla folder had a grouping by subject, and since Google simply wasn’t around yet we’d fight over who got the best picture of the dolphin to draw from.

I drew a lot of animals when I went to those classes with Sharon. She’d stop by while I was struggling to render a hummingbird as something other than a crude cartoon, giving suggestions on how I could better train my eye to see what was actually in front of me. The second-to-last touch, before the fixative stopped our pastel smudges from scattering off the page, was to add a dot of white in each eye. She taught us to use a Q-Tip or the back end of a paintbrush.

At the time it felt like wizardry—the amount of life that tiny dot of white could bring to an otherwise flat animal.

It still does, kind of.

The 100 Day Project

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Those of you following me on social media may’ve noticed a new series of drawings going up over the last couple weeks! I’m participating in The 100 Day Project, which comes to us via Elle Luna and The Great Discontent. The premise of this project is simple: make something every day for 100 days. That’s all. Could be anything; a written word, a cake, a joke, a drawing, a button. I’ve actually been pitching it as a do anything for 100 days project—so one could even eat an apple a day or something similarly arbitrary. I think it’s the regularity of the ritual that’s important. There’s also value in creating something small every day and using the exercise to break down our inhibitions around perfection, but regularity breeds ritual, and ritual can take many forms.

Anyway, I’ve opted to use up the many, many Scout Books and Field Notes sketchbooks I’ve been accumulating from various events by chronicling 100 objects in my possession with words and pictures.

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Notebooks from Linework NW (designed by Lisa Congdon), XOXO (designed by Brendan Monroe), Reid Psaltis, Scout Books, and Erika Moen.

The format involves a drawing, however crude, and as much context about the item as I can cram on the page. It started here:

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And has continued apace for the last couple weeks.

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I love projects like this that require relatively little commitment on the day-to-day, but add up to something vast over time. I’m really excited to see where this goes. If you’d like to follow along, take a peek at my Instagram page or follow along on Twitter.

“Bombshells” are Here!

So as some of you may or may not be aware, I sit next to my friend Erika Moen when working at Periscope Studio. She takes a lot of reference photos for her fantastic comic, Oh Joy, Sex Toy, and since we’re perpendicular to one another I’m in a seriously ideal position to photobomb basically all of them.

We’ve been joking about putting together a zine of all these photographic masterpieces, and this month I finally thought “Why not?” and ordered a whole bunch of them. So, without further ado, allow me to present: BOMBSHELLS.

You can grab a copy in person at Emerald City Comicon later this week! The show runs Thursday-Sunday, and I’ll have a limited number of copies on hand to sign and sell. Find me at Booth 1214 with the rest of Periscope, or head to Erika’s table just across the aisle at 1322!

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Emerald City: Pre-Show Commissions & Show Details

Hi friends,

Emerald City Comicon is upon us in just a couple weeks, which means it’s time for pre-show commission sign-ups!

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Here’s the drill: I have a limited number of slots for folks to get artwork done before the show—this means a little more care and attention can go into your pieces, and they’ll be ready to pick up whenever you swing by my table at ECCC! Prices and contact details can be found below.

Speaking of my table, here’s a map of where I’ll be on the show floor [Booth 1214 with the rest of Periscope]:

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(Note: I am totally not this buff and tattooed.)

Emerald City is a whopping four days this year, so there’s really no excuse not to swing by and say hello. I’m bringing lots of minicomics, stickers, prints, buttons, and anthologies, plus I’ll be taking preorders for Baggywrinkles: a Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea (due out August, 2016).

So here’s the run-down on commissions:

1. Little Paintings (Full Color /3×4″ = $35, 4×6″ = $45)

These cuties are done on high quality cold press watercolor paper and measure either 3″ x 4″ or 4″ x 6″. Featuring a bird or animal of your choice with an optional word balloon, they’re ideal gifts or tiny talismans of your favorite beasts.

2. Pin-Ups (Full Color / 9×12″ / $70)

These are larger pieces with minimal background elements and one or two figures. More figures generally equal higher costs, but let me know what you’re after and we’ll work together to achieve it!

3. Ships (Full Color  / 12×16″ / $300)

A handsome portrait of a tall ship of your choosing on a calm (or tempestuous) sea! 12″ x 16″, full-color, lotsa rigging guaranteed. These are substantial pieces and make excellent gifts.

[A note on all commission options: if any of these strike your fancy, but you’re on a budget, ask about greyscale or ink-only work to cut the cost a bit.]

Sign-ups are limited since there’s only a couple weeks before the show, so shoot me an email at lucypcbellwood [at] gmail [dot] com and let’s get rolling! Payment for commissions is due up front via PayPal or your online money transference service of choice. All pieces will be ready for pickup at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle April 7th-10th.

See you in Seattle!

Inktober-In-Progess: Dealing with Demons

As you’ve probably all noticed, this month’s Inktober challenge has morphed into something of a themed exercise for me. I’ve been illustrating my horrible little self-doubt demon in his many forms, trying to name some of the fears and anxieties that everyone deals with (in one form or another) when they sit down to make work. Here’s a selection from the first half of the month.

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If you’d like to join in, please do! I’m trying to keep an eye on the #drawyourdemons hashtag and I’d love to see what your little jerks say and how you respond to them.

This character came out back in 2012 when I was stuck in an art rut. A bit of digging in the Ancient Bellwood Archives revealed the original:

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Followed by this additional doodle:

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(I can also guarantee the little bastard’s been plaguing me since long before I started making comics about him.)

Anyway, I’m contemplating putting all these illustrations together in a little minicomic when the month is done. If you’d like in on that, keep an eye out on Twitter. Happy Inktober!

Special Edition: New York Pre-Show Commissions

Hear ye, hear ye: I’m taking a very limited number of PRE-SHOW COMMISSIONS for Special Edition: New York next week. Pre-show art means I’ll be able to deliver a higher calibre of work to those of you looking for originals while prioritizing talking to everyone on the show floor rather than hunching over my sketchbook desperately trying to complete larger art pieces. Everyone wins!

There’s a couple different options for con commissions. Read on to find out which is best for you:

1. Little Paintings (Full Color / $30 – $45)

These cuties are done on high quality cold press watercolor paper and measure either 3″ x 4″ or 4″ x 6″. Featuring a bird or animal of your choice with an optional word balloon, they’re ideal gifts or tiny talismans of your favorite beasts.

2. Pin-Ups (Ink Only, Grayscale, or Full Color / $50 – $70)

These are larger pieces (generally 6″ x 9″ or 8″ x 10″, but I’m flexible) with minimal background elements and one or two figures. More figures or full-color generally equal higher costs, but let me know what you’re after and we’ll work together to achieve it!

3. Ships (Grayscale or Full Color / $80 – $120)

A handsome portrait of a tall ship of your choosing on a calm (or tempestuous) sea! 8″ x 10″, full-color, lotsa rigging guaranteed.

Sign-ups are limited since there’s only a week and a half before the show, so shoot me an email at lucypcbellwood [at] gmail [dot] com and let’s get rolling! Payment for commissions is due up front via PayPal or your online money transference service of choice. All pieces will be ready for pickup at Special Edition: New York, June 6th-7th.

31 Days, 31 Outfits – 2015

Those of you following me elsewhere on the Internet have probably already seen this year’s 31 Days, 31 Outfits challenge, but I finally got ’em all scanned and uploaded into a tiny army, so I figured it was time for an official post. If you’d like to compare notes with 2014’s 31 Outfits, you can take a peek at those right here.

(The Goblin Interlude was brought to you by Evan Dahm and Goblin Week.)

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I hadn’t intended to make this an annual thing, but it’s been really fun both times and I dig getting to see my progress year-to-year, so I guess I’ll be seeing you with another batch of these in 2016!