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1  Re: Assemblage Art Swap 2 - S/U Feb24 thru Mar8, S/O April 10 in ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED by StudioANF on: March 15, 2017 11:43:39 AM
Working with some bits for the thing today!



Thought I'd post a little teaser since I'm feeling mischievous today  Grin
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2  Re: 4 x 6 Art Swap February 2017 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by StudioANF on: March 06, 2017 07:04:34 AM
Oh Kwality, your monsters are always so precious!

I received this lovely piece from Smmart:



The quote is very inspiring and that glitter work on the world is so detailed! 

Thanks you so much!! Smiley
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3  Re: 4 x 6 Art Swap February 2017 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by StudioANF on: February 28, 2017 07:21:32 AM
Oh my gosh, I love all of these 4 x 6 pieces! It's so interesting to see all the different styles and approaches!  The fabric one is super impressive and I would never have thought to think outside the box like that!

I received the most hilariously awesome piece from Mandykaye over the weekend  Grin

"I'm the Grand Banshee"



all of the little detail and color choices are so lovely.

And I've definitely known some cats in my day that were probably related to banshees so I doubly appreciate this piece of artwork.  Thanks a bunch I love it!
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4  Unfurl - Unravel Series (Pics!) in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by StudioANF on: January 29, 2017 10:11:54 AM


Hello everyone!

I finally finished my first painting of the new year about a week ago!! 

It's the first piece completed in a large scale series that I'm working on in an effort to help hone my skills and bring my work up to the next level, professionally.  My hope is that I can fine tune and polish my style and approach enough to reach my goal of a solo exhibition in about 5 years time (fingers are crossed for that one!).

But I won't bore you with too many words!  Let me just get to the pictures Wink

Here is my concept work:



This is the completed piece - Unfurl:



Here are some closer photos of the details:







This is 16" x 20" and painted in watercolor (plus a bit of fine liner for edge definition here and there and white gel pen for the occasional highlight).

All pieces in this series are based on the theme "unravel" and will be, as a whole, a sort of self-portrait of myself. 

Unfurl is an introspective piece examining the emotions present when meeting a crossroads in life and the uncertainty of change.

I wanted to work more with symbolism for this series, so everything about the composition is carefully thought out from color to subject matter.  Though the only thing that doesn't clearly come through in these photographs is the thread - that is actually painted with gold acrylic and is symbolic of the golden "Thread of Life". 

I think the most challenging part of this piece were the feathers on the crow and the pearls within the chrysanthemum but despite my chagrin with them, I think it turned out okay. Smiley

Anyway, thanks so much for taking a peak! <3
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5  Concepts/Studies... *Lots of Pics* in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by StudioANF on: January 08, 2017 04:21:01 PM
Hello lovelies!

It's been a little while since I've been on.  I've been a busy bee trying to clean up my Studio space to make way for all my current and future projects for 2017 and thought I would share a collection of concept sketches/studies that didn't quite make it past the drawing phase to the painting table for 2016.  I may come back to a few of these at a later point, but I'm completely focused on shelling out two whole series this year so time will only tell how motivated (ie - distracted Wink) I am.

A Brother's Love



Meeting of the Minds



The Night Queen



The Lookout



Three of Swords



Alice



Pegacorn



Forest Goddess



Silent Wars




I'm hoping to have more things to share soon once I get some traction on my current projects. Smiley

Thanks a bunch for looking!

-Nichole <3
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6  Captain Marvel - Pic Heavy in Halloween Costumes by StudioANF on: November 07, 2016 09:05:38 AM


My husband and I always throw a huge costume party every year for halloween with all of our friends but I struggled with a costume idea for the longest time.

I finally decided on dressing up as Captain Marvel. Sifting through many reference pictures I decided to forgo the catsuit (who is comfortable in one of those anyway?) because at the end of the day, I wanted to be able to reuse all the costume components individually in everyday life.  I don't like to waste money if I can help it. 

I decided to use this photo reference for my costume:


I managed to procure blue leggings and red boots but I figured out pretty quickly that I would need to alter something for the top of the costume, which is the main identifier of the character.  That turned out to be a red fitted pleather jacket that I found on sale through Amazon:



From there, I did a bunch of research on how to alter this thing. I read everything from sewing to spray paint and ended up settling on acrylic paint.  There are a bunch of cosplay boards that claim it was the best for faux leather, since both materials are primarily comprised of plastic and super flexible.

I worried at first that the paint would flake off, but it turned out way better than I ever hoped for (after a tiny nervously applied test spot on the inside). Then it was just a matter of laying out the design and painting away:



















The "gold" coloring is actually a iridescent bronze liquid acrylic.  It has a slight metallic sheen that I liked much better than doing the primary yellow as shown in the pictures (I thought it would be too bright).

Outfit All put together:


I loved how the jacket turned out so much that I might revamp a black pleather fitted jacket I've had in my closet for years by painting the punisher skull on the back! Wink

Thanks for looking! <3
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7  Dancing Harmony - Pic Heavy in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by StudioANF on: September 09, 2016 09:36:42 AM


Hello Lovelies!

I just wanted to share my latest painting with you all.  I think it might be one of my favorites that I have done to date.  We recently had our formal dining room furnished after saving the last couple of years for it but one wall was blank and in need of something pretty.

Thus, this concept was born of several wonderful [copyright free] reference photographs provided by a reference site I'm a member of.

Without further ado -


Concept:





A few in process photographs - apologies for the poor quality since they were taken with my phone during low lighting.  I really need to invest in one of those full spectrum daylight bulbs since I find my groove in the later hours of the day.







The final:





The piece is called "Dancing Harmony" and is 16" x 20" on fabriano 300 lb completed with Van Gogh watercolors.  I added a bit of micron pen and white gel pen for edge definition and highlights in certain areas as well.

Thanks a bunch for taking the time to look! Smiley

XO

-Nichole
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8  New Paintings! ** Lots of Pics** in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by StudioANF on: June 28, 2016 08:04:57 AM


Hiya! 

So I wanted to share my latest adventures with you lovelies!

For the last few weeks (maybe a month?) I've been slaving away at creating pages for my own adult coloring book based on my illustrations and all of the black and white was driving me a bit insane.  I took a break to do some mini paintings to purge the crazy from my system so I could get back to work with a clear head Wink

The results are below! 

While I've been shying away from recreating picture references in my own style lately, there is definitely something almost freeing about the process.  With trying to conceptualize an idea, I have to figure out every little detail to bring a composition together. 

Recreating photo references let's my brain sort of float around in white static. 

Which sounds kind of weird...

Anyway, these are all 4" x 6" in watercolor with some gel pen and fineliner for highlights and definition:


Bushtit


Cardinal


Nature's Jewel


Rainbow Succulent


Together



This next mini painting is a little bit smaller, capping at 3.5" x 5" because I found this really awesome antiquish frame that was begging for a painting and how could I possibly resist?

Mid-Flight Meal


Framed



This last one is different than the rest, but I couldn't resist sharing it with you anways.  I finished a concept that will become a page in my upcoming coloring book as well as a full painting (I have a long queue of concepts pinned to my studio wall that serves as my painting "to-do list"). 

My usual approach to paintings is to blast them with all the colors.  I like brightness, and it shows even when I don't mean to.  But I wanted to approach this particular one differently, and thought I might try to do a practice mini painting to ensure that I could, indeed, paint softer.  My results are below and I couldn't help putting my practice painting in another antique frame I had on hand. Smiley

Blinding Beauty

Concept


 In process Practice Painting


Framed



I think that's everything, for now. Thanks for taking the time to look! Smiley

XO
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9  Sweet Dreams Series in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by StudioANF on: May 27, 2016 03:56:40 PM



I wanted to share the first painting series I completed this year. I call it the 'Sweet Dreams" Series and was built around the ideas of where our minds wander to when we are asleep and the fantastical things young dreamers come up with.  This series was meant to be on the lighter and more whimsical side of things, and they all started with concept sketches first.

Concepts:
Sea Dreams



Steam-Punk Dreams



Night Dreams



Through my artistic career, the one subject matter I really struggled with [and still struggle with to some degree] is capturing the human form in an effective and somewhat believable way.  I made a personal goal at the beginning of the year to attempt to strengthen skills I felt were lacking and this series was my first foray. 

As for these pieces, I wanted to create as much movement as possible with line-work to add to the whimsical feel.  I also wanted the hair to "bleed" into dreamlike elements while still retaining their shape. 

The Final Pieces:

Sea Dreams:



Detail:





Steam-Punk Dreams:



Detail:



Night Dreams:



Detail:



These are sized at 11" x 17" and I completed them using a watercolor base with copic marker, pencil pastel, gel pen and fine liner overlay for detail and definition. 

anyway, thanks for looking! Smiley

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10  The Totem Series - Lots of Pics in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by StudioANF on: May 24, 2016 08:03:30 PM


I wanted to share with you guys a series I just finished (literally, just completed the last one yesterday) from concept sketch to final painting.  The concept designs I created are listed below followed by the final paintings. The series is called the "Totem Series" and I use a watercolor base with a little bit of copic marker, pencil pastel, gel pen and fine liner for added definition.  The actual painting sizes are all 16" x 20" on fabriano cold press 300lb watercolor paper.

Now, let me inundate you with as many pictures I can first - then give you the analysis Smiley

My Concept Sketches:

Goat:  
Crow:
Wolf:

Finished Paintings:

"Goat Totem"


Detail shots:





"Crow Totem"


Detail Shot:



"Wolf Totem"


Detail Shot:



Analysis:

I always find the difficult part to be actually articulating what I'm trying to convey in my pieces.  I'm good at pictures not words, so bare with me as I attempt to explain myself here.

For me, most of the time I don't know how a piece will turn out, much less three pieces that are supposed to be unified in some way.  I've done a series before (which I will post later) that was pretty easy to identify and interpret based on the whimsical themes I used.  Here it's a bit more serious and I find it pretty interesting to see all three together.  

In a general sense,  the series is a conversation on the internal struggle for balance within ones self on a spiritual and mental level.

In "Goat Totem", the depiction of the goat dominates the composition and the girl is an afterthought.  She is flat, as if she is being absorbed; her ear the only part left visibly human.  This represents someone who is influenced to hold onto an idea or concept at the cost of themselves. There is no sense of self, only this thing, this "Totem".

In the "Crow Totem", The woman is presumably looking off into the distance with a black crow on her shoulder.  At first glance, you would assume this is a take on the classic concepts of devil vs angel; you can clearly see the woman being influenced by the crow and crows mean bad things right?  

Within the themes of this series, however, I use the crow as a symbol based on the context of spirit animals or guides;  the woman is gaining a higher perspective.  Her eyes are opening to possibilities.  She's looking towards the future. This piece is meant to show a sense of transition.  

Lastly, we come to the "Wolf Totem".  The woman is wearing a wolf hood, one eye piercing the viewer in complete confidence.  The wolf and woman are two halves of one whole; they both share an eye and a canine tooth.  The wolf's galaxy eye is a representation of the "third eye" which provides perception beyond ordinary sight, such as intuition or "gut instinct".  With this piece I wanted to convey a sense of strength, balance and acceptance of all the unique pieces of oneself [good and bad].

Whew, I hope that makes sense! Smiley

Thanks for taking the time to check out my stuff!

XO

Nichole

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