For life's little ups and downs.

A rather quirky, funny and sometimes daunting look in to the life of someone who has a lot of health problems but does their best to keep positive. Punctuated by guinea pigs, anime, superheroes, transforming robots and cross stitching.

I started this blog to tell my story, about who I am and what I do. On top of the health problems and raising awareness for those, I also use my blog as a way to help promote other causes, particularly ones which affect the most vulnerable. I live with a number of different and complex health problems but I refuse to let anything get me down. I know how it feels to be discriminated against or thrown aside. This is me. This is my life. I live it and do what I want with it. Nature sets the limitations. We set the boundaries.

About Me:

A blog about life. I live with Type 1 Brittle Asthma, Bi-Polar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as Various Allergies, Neutropenia, Crohns Disease (my IBS was rediagnosed as Crohns), Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis, PCOS and Osteoporosis and Heredetary Spastic Paraplegia. I have recently also been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea (which makes me stop breathing in my sleep) I live with these conditions, but I refuse to let them keep me down and out. I still try and make the most of my days despite being so poorly and having to rely on my wheelchair, nebulisers, nearly 50 pills a day and 2l/min of oxygen and CPAP.

I'll flap my broken wings and erase it all someday... You'll see.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

My Drawing Technique...

Over the years, one thing I have always enjoyed is putting pencil to paper and drawing cartoon characters. More recently it's a love of drawing manga and anime characters. It's been a rewarding way of spending time and relaxing, but it has allowed me the chance to develop and hone my own style and way of doing things. People often ask me how I do my drawings, so I thought it would be interesting to draw and show my techniques and tools of the trade.

OK... What I use:

1. Daler Rowney Layout Paper (In various sizes)
I like this to draw my initial drawings where I draw the outlines and some of the early shading, its smoother than normal paper.

2. Crayola coloured Pencils.
The smoothest colour laydown ever, theres just none better.

3. HP scanner/printer
I've had it for 3 or 4 years and it was the best £30 I ever spent.

4. My laptop and Jasc Paint Shop Pro
Thank you Mike Landreth for showing me that awesome piece of software.

Right so now you know what I use, now I can show you how I use it. With step by step images.

Step 1:

I start off with my original drawing with pencil, then using black crayon, I begin outlining and blocking out early levels of shading, some light details. This helps me to lay down the building blocks of what the drawing will look like when it's done. Sometimes I do this with inks. Occasionally this also shows early details or even some mistakes which you don't want to make it in to the final piece. 

The shading is a little crude and untidy, but the next couple of stages will iron that out, but before I can do much more to the shading and over all look of the piece, I have to move on to the next step.

Step 2:

There are some who would consider this part as a cheaters technique, but I personally like it because you can take what you have already and remove bits that didn't quite work right, smudges, even pencil lines. That's generally what I use digital techniques for, removing messy lines and clean ups.

The end result after being worked with an eraser tool looks a lot sharper, a lot cleaner and the contrast is improved. To me that contrast of dark and light is part of that anime/manga style that I love so much so to be able to achieve that with the simple tools I have is kind of what I go for. This is then printed out on to normal A4 paper, so that my next stage in development can begin.

Step 3:

Taking my print out, I then set back to work with my pencil crayon and redefine the outlines, reshade over the shaded areas and really making the piece pop. after this I am generally happy with my result, but sometimes I will repeat scanning and printing, then recolouring until the result is refined enough so that I am happy with it before the final colour stage.

The final colour takes a while, but it gives definition to the eyes, the soft feathery flow to the hair or the details in the props or costumes. I love drawing the costumes and eyes, they seem to bring the characters to life. The pose in this picture also gives me the feeling that the character (Itachi Uchiha - Naruto)will leap on his target as soon as he approaches.

This is my work and how I make it. My style is very personal and allows me to indulge my fantasy and my love of the Japanese media.


Wendy xx

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