Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
×
I took a SmArt School online class with Dan Dos Santos, February-May 2016.  It was fantastic!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Dan's an amazing teacher.

SmArt School Website

The first assignment was a portrait of some kind. 

Sketch of a sort of winter queen elf... (yeah, it needs a lot more thought! like can we have something a bit more detailled?  story and personality -wise?) 

Digital (Photoshop and Wacom Intuos)



Dan suggested maybe more of a headdress...  I couldn't make it work, snow-queen-wise... My wintery designs were crap.  So I went in another direction... Went for a more desert-like style and changed her to an antelope girl, and made her face 3/4 instead of profile...

Worked up digitally.



Put some texture around the doorway around her, cleaned up outfit--



More work tightening things up--jewelry, hair; put in a door so cast shadow falls across it--

Progress so far.  I need to define the arm a bit more...



  • Listening to: tv
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: monitor, at the moment
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: whoppers
  • Drinking: arnold palmers
I will be in the IlluxCon Showcase.  October 19-23 (Showcase Friday/Saturday Nights).  Reading, PA.  

www.illuxcon.com/
  • Listening to: tv
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: monitor, at the moment
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: whoppers
  • Drinking: coke floats
So 2015 was all medical problems.  Wow.  Never saw hospitals and doctors so much!  Never had medical problems (of that magnitude) before... Never had stitches or broken bones or whatever.  So it was all an experience.  Seems to be as over as it can be, though.  Still on some meds, but no big deal.

I have NOT been doing any card art... so anyone interested in more of that won't be getting any news.

I did do another SmArt School!  Seriously, a GREAT program that is on-going:  Online hard-core fantasy illustration with the best guys in the business, online, with some great fellow students!  I took a class with Dan DosSantos as instructor.  He was AMAZING!  (And I say that after having already had the fantastic Donato Giancola as an instructor.)  I took the class with two lovely fellow artists and IMC alumni:  Diana Stein and Judy Riggenbach.  We learned so much and worked hard and had a great time!

I'm doing a Showcase Table at IlluxCon, in PA, in October, this year (2016).  I haven't often been in that area, so it'll make a nice trip for me since I'm definitely doing some sight-seeing while I'm there.  

I have pro-badge for ComicCon, but I'll see if I am up to facing the crowds.  No booth this year, but do stop by and say 'Hi' to Diana Stein in the Fantasy Illustrator section!

I'm hoping to have some new art, but it's coming slowly.

Oh, and had an insane thing happen recently.. a Magic Card painting that I sold about 20 years ago was put up for sale on Ebay, and a lovely friend told me about it.  It was "Lotus Petal" which was a popular card from day one due to the whole Magic Lotus thing.  It ended up selling for $26,700.00!!!  Crazy, huh?  I guess I should have held on to the painting, but who knows about whether something will still be popular in 20 years?  Paintings need to go to a person who wants the painting, and I sold it to someone I knew, so that was cool enough for me.
  • Listening to: tv
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: monitor, at the moment
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: merangues
  • Drinking: coke floats
Sorry... I've been busy lately with health issues!  Haven't done anything much all year aside from dealing with that.  But I've got some more fun things coming up.  Just went to a BJD thing, the Volks L.A. Dolpa, which was great.  And November will be the San Diego BJD Con.  Going to a book conference in Oct. (GRL retreat) also in S.D.  And then the holidays will make things busy. 

No art or cons this year.  I'll see if I can get to the IMC next year, or maybe do another SmArt School, but who knows?  Not sure about the con-going.  Comic Con is getting too big and crazy to be as fun (and it's been mostly all work and little play the last few years I've been going anyway).  GenCon is still fun, but also less fun than it was 5 or 10 or 20 years ago when it was all newer to me.  Maybe I'll try some other cons, but I'll need to get more art done before that happens!
  • Listening to: tv
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: monitor, at the moment
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: merangues
  • Drinking: coke floats
Convention Season starts for me this weekend.  Going off to Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, in Kansas City, MO.  It's an all-fantasy art expo that started last year.  It's run by the folks who do the SPECTRUM: Best in Fantastic Art Books.  And they have their awards ceremony there.  Tons of artists have booths and guest artists do panels and presentations.  It's pretty cool if you love fantasy art at all.

Here's the website:
www.spectrumfantasticart.com/s…

I'm sharing a booth with Diana Harlan Stein... and friends, Karen and Joseph Bovenmyer will be there to help us out and just hang out.

Other upcoming events:

Illustration Master Class -- (attending as a student) in June
www.illustrationmasterclass.co…

San Diego Comic Con -- (booth with Diana Stein in Fantasy Illustrators area) in July
www.comic-con.org/cci

GenCon -- (table in art show) in August
www.gencon.com/
  • Listening to: tv
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: monitor, at the moment
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: strawberries, cream, jam, scones
  • Drinking: arnold palmers
Got a free Professional Badge for WonderCon at the Anaheim Convention Center (across the street from Disneyland), so I thought I'd check it out for the first time.

 photo IMG_0503_zpsef66e5fe.jpg

Wondercon has only been down in Anaheim for a few years.  I think it used to be up in the Bay Area?  Anyway, I had no idea what to expect other than that it is run by the same folks who run the San Diego Comic-Con.

People have said it is a bit like a Comic-Con-lite...

This was the line to get into the Exhibit Hall on Friday--
 photo IMG_0504_zpse23dc6e4.jpg

The advertizing banners was definitely like a mini-Comic-Con--
i14.photobucket.com/albums/a30…

LOVED the food trucks lined up along the walkway between the hotels on the main walkway to the Convention Center.  I had to stand on line to get my badge.  There was still a big line to get into the Exhibit Hall when I got back, although it was moving quickly.  I figured I'd take an early lunch at the food trucks before committing myself to the con and convention snacks.  I had a great sliced steak with pesto sauce over fries from the BarcelonaToGo truck.  Sat on the benches along the walkway and listed to live music played in the plaza in front of the Convention Center.  

 photo IMG_0506_zps87b8f626.jpg

The Exhibit Hall was pretty dang HUGE... and busy for a Friday.  There was a large Artists Alley, autograph booths with Peter Mayhew and Lou Ferrigno and Richard Hatch, and a ton of guys who played secondary characters in various movies and tv series.  Lots of booths with artists and small press books.  

I saw Teresa Mather in Artist Alley, and Llyn Hunter had a booth... chatted with them briefly.  Saw some other guys, Ken Meyer Jr. and Tom Baxa, but didn't stop to chat since they were busy.  Bumped into old Art Center chum, Mitchell Bernal and chatted and walked about with him for a while.  He's sold his Skellanimals company.  (Skellanimals had a booth.)

 photo IMG_0507_zps03d395d9.jpg

There were the a few electronic games demoed and displayed.  Some cool odds and ends being sold--the usual clothing and jewelry and art supplies (I bought a ton of $1 brushes from the Art Supply Warehouse booth, and a $5 sketchbook).  Picked up a couple of art/illustration/character books.

 photo IMG_0511_zps7214613d.jpg

 photo IMG_0508_zps345aaa00.jpg

Missing were the Mega-booths that Comic-Con has, no freebies, no huge, noisy displays... but there were still some things that came close--
 photo IMG_0509_zps6c3d33f0.jpg

And there was definitely a lot of people.  Couldn't even guess at the attendance... Seemed to be around GenCon size which is 30,000 or so?  Hard to say because GenCon has people crowded in huge gaming halls, not all in the Exhibit Hall.  There was programming for WonderCon, but not at all the big names and presentations Comic-Con has... still, not bad.  Some media presentations and sneak-peaks.  And they had a cool animation and children's animation film festival/track, as well as anime.  Plenty of things to see and do.

And for the people who miss the comics at Comic-Con... a bit more of a comics emphasis.  

 photo IMG_0510_zps971e3407.jpg

Kinda liked this resin sculpture with the glowy lights, but happily resisted buying it--
 photo IMG_0515_zpsa5e0233c.jpg

I failed to resist buying a lot of other stuff, however (got one of those shoulder dragons with the wires that move the head.  Geesh.  But they had a lot of cool ones on display, so I finally caved!  Also had a major failure to resist some of the clothing... got more Steampunk attire (corset, skirt and bustle).

Anyway--It was definitely worth a visit.  I could actually make it through the entire Exhibit Hall in one day, with a lot of concentrated effort.  I didn't get to any panels.  It had really great foot-traffic, nice crowds, for the Hall and the panels.  Even the convention-food had some variety.  The complex includes a number of large hotels, also with food and snacks.  I think the vendors were doing OK.  The booths are less expensive than Comic-Con and it's more likely customers will find your booth--so it might be worth it for sellers to think about.

I was too lazy to go again on Saturday, but that's just me... I'm very lazy these days!  It would have been another nice day, I'm sure... I just didn't want to face the chance of more spending-temptation!  Although some of the panels about IP and business sounded good...

I'd definitely go again next year.  Would think about selling stuff, but am already committed to other cons at this time.
  • Listening to: tv
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: monitor, at the moment
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: sashimi
  • Drinking: arnold palmers
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! --held in May 2012, in Kansas City, MO, was very cool.

I've blogged about it over at LJ:
april-art.livejournal.com/5400…
x-posted over on blogger:
eclecticbabblingmuse.blogspot.…
  • Listening to: tv
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: monitor, at the moment
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: sashimi
  • Drinking: arnold palmers
I attended the Illustration Master Class 2012.  This was my fourth time.  It is always a blast of wonderful intensive fantasy art bliss!

Here's the website:
www.illustrationmasterclass.co…

I blogged about it on livejournal:
april-art.livejournal.com/

and same posts on blogger:
eclecticbabblingmuse.blogspot.…

--if you want to hear more!
  • Listening to: tv
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: monitor, at the moment
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: sashimi
  • Drinking: arnold palmers
In May, went to Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!  It was being held for the first time in Kansas City, MO.  I'd never been there before.  Looks like a nice enough town.  Very quiet, though.

I shared a booth with Diana Harlan Stein.  Brom and Iain McCaig were guests.  Lots of amazing art...

Here's the site:
www.spectrumfantasticart.com/s…
  • Listening to: tv
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: monitor, at the moment
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: sashimi
  • Drinking: arnold palmers
I've been trying to sort out my convention schedule for 2012 (luckily I don't have regular events early in the year, eh?).  

New this year is the new SPECTRUM Fantastic Art LIVE Exhibition in May.
www.spectrumfantasticart.com/s…

Is anyone else out there going?  Just curious!
  • Listening to: tv
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: monitor, at the moment
  • Playing: nothing
  • Eating: sashimi
  • Drinking: arnold palmers
As usual, I was totally unprepared for the summer.  It sneaks up on me (every time!).  But it was still a BLAST!

In June I went off to the best art camp ever, a week of hard-core fantasy art boot camp with the best (and sweetest!) fantasy art gods around:  The Illustration Master Class, held in Amherst, MA.  Core instructors are:  Rebecca Guay, Donato Giancola, Greg Manchess, Julie Bell and Boris Vallejo, Dan DosSantos, Scott Fischer and Irene Gallo, with special Guest instructor:  James Gurney.  I went last year and it was just like a fantasy illustrator's DREAM!!!  So, of course I had to go again this year, and it was totally awesome.

In July I was at the San Diego ComicCon, sharing a booth in the Fantasy Illustrators section of the Exhibit Hall with Diana Stein.  As I really hadn't created enough of the right art to sell, I wasn't selling a lot, but ComicCon is always an experience!  Way too crowded and crazy, but with everyone in the world there--celebrities a dime a dozen!  There were so many that they could just wander about with or without their entourage and not be mobbed more than anyone else in such a crowded place.  It was definitely happening at ComicCon... Too much so, according to most people!  But the energy is fantastic (even if it's an over-load!).

In August I went to GenCon, in Indianapolis.  It was also full of great energy, but in more tolerable amounts than ComicCon.  Indy's hotels and restaurants totally love GenCon and added to the fun.  I loved seeing all the L5R and Magic and other CCG players who dropped by my booth in the Art Show.  And thanks to everyone who actually bought something!  After ComicCon, I needed the sales!  ^___^  And it was great to go to the L5R 15th anniversary Party.  Bizarre to think I've been involved with L5R that many years!!!
  • Listening to: adam lambert
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: avatar
  • Playing: Guitar Band: Beatles
  • Eating: bufalo mozzarella
  • Drinking: diet cream soda
Roku-Mart has put together a 2010 CALENDAR of L5R Art that is available for order now, at a very cheap price.

Link here:  roku-mart.com

Get cool L5R artwork all year long, plus feel good about doing something for others, too!!!  ^___^
  • Listening to: linkin park
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as always
  • Watching: Ghost Hunters
  • Playing: Guitar Band: Beatles
  • Eating: bufalo mozzarella
  • Drinking: diet coke
Well, I survived Comic Con.  It was as crazy and wild and packed with people as always.  I got to see a few people who wandered by the booth.  Ate at the Syfy Cafe.  Sold just enough to try it all again next year.

In August, went on a trip to Paris, Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna and Prague.  It was fabulous!  

Paris--did the tourist thing--stayed in a lovely hotel on the Left Bank (could see the tip-top of the Eiffel Tower).  Went to the Musee D'Orlay and the Louvre.  And Versailles and Notre Dame and the Conciergerie (were Marie Antoinette was held before going to the guillotine).  Ate at lots of wonderful Cafes.

Warsaw--wonderful old town center (rebuilt after the devastation it received in WWII).  Loved all the cute little ice cream places--best soft-serve ice cream ever!

Krakow--fantastic old medieval university town with huge market square with old churches and cathedrals and cafes with amazing food.  Bought some green amber (pendant and bracelet).  

Budapest--arrived for St. Stephen's Day, with Red Bull Air Race under the bridges of the Danube with stunt planes and fireworks all along the river.  Fantastic.

Vienna--art Museums (saw Vermeer and Rembrandts) and Schonbrunn Palace and cafes and apple strudel and specialty cakes (tortes).

Prague--fabulously beautifully decorated buildings--lots of Art Nouveau (hometown of Mucha) and marionettes!  I was last there before the Wall came down.  Quite a difference!
  • Listening to: the bravery
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as usual
  • Watching: Ghost Hunters
  • Playing: nothing much
  • Eating: bufalo mozzarella
  • Drinking: diet coke
Cripes!!!  How did this sneak up on me so quickly???  ARRRRGGHH!  I'm once again, totally unprepared!!!

This year, sharing a booth with Diana Stein:  #4821, in the Fantasy Illustrators section. "Lee and Stein" (thanks for changing that, Diana!).  I will be there looking frantically unprepared with nothing to sell... so stop by and feel free laugh and point, or whatever.  *sigh*  O______o

Oh, what the heck, it's only money spent that I don't have and money unmade that I need... nothing new!  At least it'll be a crazy, crowded, wild time!  I'll have fun once I stop worrying about stuff that is too late to fix... *double-sigh*
  • Listening to: coldplay
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as usual
  • Watching: Ghost Hunters
  • Playing: a bit of Second Life
  • Eating: smarties
  • Drinking: coffee
From June 15-21, I attended the Illustration Master Class held in Amherst, MA.  It was one of the incredible artistic experiences I've had as a fantasy artist.  

The instructors were:
Rebecca Guay
Donato Giancola
Boris Vallejo
Julie Bell
Charles Vess
Greg Manchess
Scott Fischer
Dan DosSantos
Irene Gallo

Guest speakers:
Michael Whelan
Dennis Nolan
Gary Lippincott
Jon Foster
Reps from Scholastic Books, Vertigo Comics, etc.

80 students--some of whom are top names in fantasy art (or should be!).

I'm blogging about it (have only got the first 4 days covered so far--more to come soon!) over here:
eclecticbabblingmuse.blogspot.…

We all stayed up painting all day and all night.  It was intense!  It was grueling!  It was a totally fantastic time!!!

-----------

On other business:

I will be sharing a book in the Fantasy Illustrators area of the San Diego Comic Con (VanCamp/Stein booth).

And for the first time in over 15 years, I may NOT be at GenCon!!!  Shock!  Horror!
  • Reading: a gazillion books, as usual
  • Watching: Ghost Hunters
  • Playing: a bit of Second Life
  • Eating: smarties
  • Drinking: coffee
I'm over at Blogger, too... I've posted a couple of Art-Related entries there.

eclecticbabblingmuse.blogspot.…

I also cross-post 'em on my LJ.

april-art.livejournal.com/4015…

My LJ is mostly for posting personal and Doll stuff, though.

Gah, I barely post anywhere... It's crazy to have so many places to post and so little will to post!  *___*
  • Reading: too much, still... oh, yeah...
  • Watching: Ghost Hunters
  • Eating: smarties
Wah... So much for my resolutions!!!  But then, I was pretty doubtful about achieving any of them at the time... I NEVER follow my resolutions, so I guess it's not a huge surprise.

Well... what HAVE I been doing?  Not much, of course!  Still doing L5R work.  Did some for the new Warlord ccg, now based in Germany.

Cons--
Went to Further Confusion in January and flogged a few furry pieces--the first I've done in years and years.  I'm not a huge name in the fandom, so they only went for modest prices... I don't think it's my style, so probably won't try again.  Interesting con, though!

Went to the San Diego Comic Con in July.  Shared a booth in the Fantasy Illustrators area with Susan Van Camp and Diana Stein.  Did OK, considering that I didn't have any new art (see massive fail regarding resolution to do more art), didn't make new prints, missed most of Thursday due to only road down to San Diego being clogged by a huge fiery semi-truck hauling tons of meat.

Went to GenCon in August.  I can't even remember how many years I've gone to GenCon in a row... over a dozen!  Agh!  But it's still fun.  The Art Show is fantastic... love the booths they supply.  Love seeing the L5R players and my friends...

Travel--
Went as a guest to the Calgary/Saskatoon L5R Koteis in Canada.  Wild trip!  Sold art.  Had fun.  Lacked sleep...

Went on a tour of China for 2 weeks in June/July.  Fun seeing the pre-Olympics decoration.  Crowds were not bad.  Weather OK, aside from the Typhoon...

Other--
Went to the Labyrinth of Jareth Fantasy Masquerade Ball in July.  Love to dress up and party... looked at lots of wonderful costumes and watched cool acts.

BJDs--
Went to lots of Meetups-- Down in San Diego, at ComicCon, at GenCon, etc.
Bought:  
Elfdoll Alice (Gothic Hoody) Piggy.
Tinybear Moona.
Pipos Bao Fox.
Soom Sard: A Night's Odessey.
Non-BJD-- Volks Dollfie custom painted by KMiro.  
*ouch*  (that was my bank account)
Reminder:  unsuccessfully resolve to stop buying dolls for the coming New Year!

Books/Reading--
First half of the year, read 96 books.
Reviewed most all of them on Amazon.
Put most of them on my Shelfari and LibraryThing shelves.
Favorites so far:  Raised by Wolves series by W. A. Hoffman.

Watched--
Love watching the Olympics.  I usually like the Winter sports more, but this games was a blast!  So colorful.  Cool stories and people.

For more details, go to my LJ--
april-art.livejournal.com/
  • Reading: too much, still...
Well... I need to check all my galleries and sites and keep up with things a bit more!  I'm finally back here after a while because... well, I was over at the Alderac L5R forum and there were links back here to L5R fan art, so I was basically surfing around to get here... Pathetic, but the story of my life!

I actually HAVE updated my website:
www.aprillee.com

But it's only a cosmetic update... I changed the background and page design to a cool layout by Summer Skies (who has taken a leave from webpage design right now, sadly--otherwise I'd get them to do some more design work for me!).  And now I still need to update it more... and really should organize my art and put up a shop... *sigh*  So the plans to update my website remain as a resolution for this year.

I'm heading to an actual convention next week... I should be creating artwork for it--but so far I've been as bad as last year!  So--resolution to get to more cons AND actually make some new art--here again!

More art in general.

Need to improve in Photoshop AND traditional techniques.

Would like to work on my writing, but who knows?

Need to organize artwork.

Need to sell a mess of stuff on ebay to clear things so I can work more comfortably...

Hmmm...

BJDs... they have been ruling my life (the dolls I have in my gallery, for those who aren't familiar with BJDs).  I need to buy less, surf doll sites less, etc.

Need to go to the gym more regularly!  *sigh*

And a gazillion more things.  Things I will probably totally ignore, same as previous years.  But hey, the year is young and one might as well TRY to be optimistic!!!  :)
  • Reading: A LOT!!! too much, actually...
Well, how pathetic!  It's nearly been a year since I've posted anything here.  Time just seems to fly these days.

This year has been pretty tough, which accounts for the lack of updating...  I've attended 3 funerals and 1 wedding.  Thank goodness for the last!  It was so nice and up-beat!

I've continued to do Legend of the Five Rings CCG art.  Seems like I've just turned in art for a set (right after GenCon) and now have a couple more for a special set (due in October).

I went to the San Diego ComicCon--just on my own.  No Koteis this year, but may hit some next year.  GenCon-Indy, as usual.  Next year will try to get a few more conventions... am trying to plan on going to Further Confusion in January... at the least just to hang out with friends, but maybe I'll get some art done for it, too.

Doll stuff is mostly reported on Den of Angels (forum) and LiveJournal.  Sometimes I'll put other stuff on LJ, too.

As with DA, I haven't updated my Gallery on Epilogue, either.  I haven't updated my website, but I plan to overhaul it Very Soon (crosses fingers).

Real Life is being a pain, still.  Right now I'm mostly banned from my apartment during the day due to tons of renovations going on.  Hopefully things will sort themselves out there soon... (but not likely). *__*
  • Listening to: KROQ, Evanescence, Loreena McKennett
  • Reading: Too many to mention...
  • Watching: DSC, HC, TLC, Court TV...
  • Playing: Not enough Middle Earth Online...
  • Eating: Too much...
  • Drinking: Heheh. Just Diet Coke and coffee.
Check out my livejournal entry for photos and brief commentary--
Click Here