The Shallow End – March 2021

Original Photo Credit: Ed Robertson / Unsplash

Hello March!

This last month I’ve been focusing a lot on productivity– making time to do all the different things I want to work on in my art. Big projects, fancy sketchbooks, practicing new techniques, etc… Lately I’ve adopted a bit of a schedule, balancing different projects throughout the week and splitting my day between one thing in the morning and something else in the afternoon. It’s helping me stay focused and keep a balance between ALL THE THINGS. So I’m pleased with how it’s working!

Interestingly, I’ve prioritized digital art for three days a week, and traditional art for two. I don’t think I want to abandon watercolor painting and ink drawing, but honestly I’m finding digital art way more FUN right now. So I’m just leaning a bit more into it, because why not?!

As a result, I’ve been spending some time learning and practicing with Procreate. I love it so far, and see why it’s gotten so popular! I’ve been working through the book: Beginner’s Guide to Digital Painting in Procreate by 3dtotal Publishing. The tutorials aren’t perfect, but have definitely taught me a lot so far! It’s stepped up my color and lighting work SO MUCH already!

Made in Procreate! I used a photo from Norbert Toth / Unsplash as a reference for this composition so I could focus on technique.

I don’t know that I’ll use this style all the time moving forward, but I’m excited to have the option! Yay learning!

February was action movie month in our household. It was originally just a Valentine’s Day tradition, but we decided to expand it to be more like our Halloween movie marathon. Our favorites included Commando– classic Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wheels on Meals– early Jackie Chan comedy, and Hard Target — ridiculous action with Wilford Brimley easily stealing the show from Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Oh! and we watched Stop, or My Mom Will Shoot with Sylvester Stallone. It was AWFUL. Just absolutely painful. Do not recommend (just watch the trailer)…BUT, since the rumor is Schwarzenegger faked interest in the script to get Stallone to take the lead, it’s basically the funniest prank ever.


As for books, I finally finished Caliban’s War, book two in The Expanse series. So good! I’ve already started book three, Abaddon’s Gate and I am hooked! My goal is definitely to finish the series this year…assuming the series is finished?? Either way, it’s nice to have a series to focus on. Makes it a lot easier to figure out what to read next.

I’ve also started reading some graphic novels again, including some for younger readers (after enjoying Lumberjanes so much last year). I recently finished Sentient by Jeff Lemire. It was about deep space travel, a ship’s AI taking care of the children onboard. It was super dark and violent, and I think there is only one book so far, but I still liked it — the art was awesome, and I’m intrigued by the world building and story. But it didn’t really end with a cliffhanger, so maybe there won’t be a book two, now that I think about it? I don’t know, I liked it. Not something I usually read, but it was well-done.

On a much lighter note, I read Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez. It reminded me a bit of the Hilda graphic novels — gorgeous art, and a ton of whimsy. I was just starring at the pages and the artwork. And the story is charming and clever and explores creativity, so that was a lot of fun, and was suprisingly thought-provoking for a kid’s book! I think there might be a sequel, and I’ll probably pick it up soon!

Thanks for joining me in The Shallow End!

2 thoughts on “The Shallow End – March 2021

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