Break time is over!

At least I hope it’s over.

After the 100 day project this year, which ended in July, I was feeling the need to take a little break.  The problem is I was thinking a one or two week break and it has turned in to a two month break!  Where did the summer go?

Anyway, it’s time to get back to the art stuff.  Hopefully you’ll see more art and drawings coming your way.  Thank you for your patience while I took a little break.

Watercolor and Pen Zinnia

A few months ago I did the zinnia challenge for Florals Your Way on Instagram. At the beginning of every month they publish a list of floral prompts to help artists decide what to draw. When I’m feeling in the mood to draw flowers I will often use this list for inspiration. Zinnia was the floral prompt for November 12th, 2018 and this was my submission. Continue reading “Watercolor and Pen Zinnia”

October Art Challenge – #mabsdrawlloweenclub

October is a big month for art challenges on Instagram.  This year I took part in drawlloween on my Tiny Troll Studios Instagram account using the prompt list from Mabs Drawlloween Club.  This prompt list was put together by Mab Graves.

The idea behind these challenges is to take part as often as you can through the month of October using the prompts provided.  Since it’s October the prompts tend to be on the spooky side.

I managed to participate on 21 of the days.  Ragweed was out in force here in Texas and it laid me low for a few days but I did what I could.  Here are all of my little drawings together.  I had started out with a silhouette theme for all my little pictures.  I thought the theme was clever but maybe it was a little too clever because most of my posts didn’t do that well.  Maybe it was clever and there were just so many people participating they all got lost in the mix.  Who knows?  What I do know is the raven at the bottom, that took me all of 10 minutes to create, was far and away my most popular post for Drawlloween.

All drawlloween posts

Here are my two favorite images from the month.  I love the colors for grave and the natural separation of the ground and sky.  I used colored pencil to get some extra detail in the dirt and that was fun.    The werewolf was a favorite because he turned out better than I imagined he would.  Even though I do small drawings all the time I was amazed with how much detail I was able to get out of his tiny silhouette.

My favorite drawlloween posts

Instagram had very different favorites based on number of likes.  The witches kettle was the first post of the month so it made sense because over time it got more likes.  The raven, on the other hand, was the last post of the month and didn’t match the theme at all and within 24 hours he had more likes than any of my other posts from the month.  He is pretty cool though.  The rat – for that one I have no idea.  I mean he’s pretty cute but maybe it was the glitter paint or the splatters.  The world will never know I’m sure.

My Instagram followers favorite drawlloween posts

I took the opportunity during this challenge to try a bunch of new techniques and supplies I’d never used before.  Some of my experiments were more successful than others. Here I tried plastic bag on the alien, salt on the mushroom, water soluble oil pastels for seance, and a sponge for the creature from the black lagoon.I tried some new techniques

I also practiced my splatter technique with a variety of paints and brushes and I’m certainly improving.  One thing I learned is that glitter paint doesn’t work that well for splatter.

Splatter technique is getting better

So there’s all my drawlloween posts.  I hope you liked them.  Let me know which one was your favorite in the comments.


The Inchie Challenge

August Inchie Challenge
My absolute favorite piece of this set was day 6.  The prompt for the day was Stars and Galaxies and I had been wanting to do a sun and moon piece for a while and this piece was everything I wanted it to be.
Stars and Galaxies
This bug was of course the favorite on Instagram.  Day 10’s prompt was Tiny Creatures so you know I had to draw a beetle.  It was crazy popular – getting 199 likes in pretty short order.
Tiny Creatures
Day 2’s prompt was Underwater and these little guys popped out.  I think I wanted to see what I could actually do on a 1″ square.  I thought they turned out very cute.
In other news I’ve recently changed web hosting providers.  If you run into any issues with the site please feel free to let me know.  I think I’ve ironed out most of the hiccups.

#100TinyBugs – The Wrap Up

All 100 tiny bugs together

I was going to make a fun little video of all my bugs but that didn’t work out.  I was going to make a cool infographic about my bugs but that also hasn’t panned out.  Who needs that stuff for a post?  Not me – I can make this wrap up fun anyway right?  Well, fun if you like to see numbers.

Since it wouldn’t be much of a wrap up without some fun stats here are some numbers for you.  Out of the 100 tiny bugs 45 of them were beetles, 34 were butterflies and moths, and 21 were a variety of other insects and one arachnid.  In the end I wasn’t too surprised about almost half of my bugs being beetles.  I originally thought I would do a lot more butterflies but I enjoyed the variety and colors of the beetles more.

What about colors?  I did manage to use a good range of colors.  Oddly enough the color I used most was orange and/or yellow.  In so many cases the oranges and yellows were mixed together on the bugs so I just grouped them.  Blue came in at 20 and green was close behind at 18.  Those numbers don’t surprise me since I love those colors.  At times I had to stop myself from painting yet another blue bug.

One of the oddest things to me was my most popular bug post.  Instagram is a bit odd with it’s ever changing algorithms but for some reason my cicada post garnered 167 likes.

This little guy got the most likes

Some great things happened for me during this project.  I did gain a lot of great followers on my Instagram but the best part for me was how the daily process of drawing and painting a bug helped me to establish a daily art practice.  Since this project ended I’ve not only been creating and posting art daily I feel like I’ve upped my game.  My confidence in my technical drawing has grown and now I’m moving into other, more challenging areas.  My watercolor skills improved significantly as well.  I’m starting to realize that doing something every day for 3+ months will truly establish your skill base.  The whole learning by doing thing.

Anyway, this concludes my #100TinyBugs project.  If you missed any of my bugs or you just want to check them out you can always look at all of my bugs here.  I made a hashtag for them so they are all grouped together.  Thanks for sharing this adventure with me.  It’s been amazing.

#100TinyBugs – 61 through 80

I’ll be wrapping up my #100TinyBugs for The 100 Day Project shortly so I want to get all these bugs posted for everyone to see.  Here are bugs 61 through 80 for your enjoyment.

Bugs 61 to 80

Just to mix things up I’m breaking up the bugs this time by top down view vs. not top down view.  I really like the top down view for it’s symmetry but I also find that it’s a limited view.  It doesn’t show just how interesting some of the bug shapes are.  Usually the top down views are referencing specimen photos.  I think scientists and collectors really like to take top down specimen photos.  I certainly like it because there are literally thousands of them out there for me to use as a reference.

9 bugs in top down view

I did 11 bugs in various profile views.  I even did two from the front – the one and only spider out of all 100 bugs and one leaf hopper with a giant face.  One other unique “bug” out of this 20 was actually a chrysalis.  I just figured I’d give it a go.  Also, look at that adorable ladybug!

11 bugs in other poses

This set of 20 bugs included 3 bugs with distinctly pink color in them.  A lot of bugs hint at pink but the spider, beetle, and moth all had some serious pink hues going on.

Bugs with Pink

I hope you enjoyed these 20 bugs.  I’ll post 81 through 100 next week.  As always you can also view all of my bug pictures on my Instagram account.  Thanks for joining me on this fun adventure.


#100TinyBugs – 41 through 60

Here’s a new batch of tiny bugs for your enjoyment. At 40 I decided to start drawing bugs as you would most likely see them in nature. I like the top down view of bugs but that is such a limited angle and I wanted to show more variation. I also wanted to push myself and doing different profiles and side views has been a great learning experience.

Bugs 41 to 60

In this set of 20 I did five butterflies and one incredibly pink moth.  I didn’t realize I had done so many different colors of butterflies until I took this picture.

Five butterflies and a pole dancing moth

I did four bugs that weren’t beetles or butterflies or moths. The fly creeped me out and was not a popular post. He’s well executed but flies are not popular in general I think. And technically the green guy that looks like a grasshopper is actually a beetle but he doesn’t have that typical beetle look.

Four miscellaneous bugs

Lots of beetles this time. Technically the yellow faced stinkbug is not a beetle but I think he really wanted to be a beetle and he snuck into that pile for pictures. Maybe he swapped with the green grasshopper like bug.  The bug in the center is a Texas native and the only bug so far in the project that I drew from a photo I took myself.  He’s an Ironclad beetle and it’s shell is so hard that entomologists have to drill holes to pin them.

Yay beetles

I was so happy with so many of the drawings from this set of 20 that I do not have any I would consider my favorite this time. What I did pull out though were three that I thought showed the greatest skill improvement. In this 20 I felt like my level of detail in the ink drawing greatly improved and I was definitely becoming more confident in my watercolor abilities.

As always you can see all of my bugs on my Instagram. Thanks for your visits and all of your support!