30 Day Challenge Wk 3: March of OCs

Week 3 has now come and gone! Comparing to first few paintings, I can tell that I’ve gotten more confident when it comes to using thick layers of paint, rather than thin, watery layers.

Only a few days left! I’ll have to come up with a new painting challenge for April… Any suggestions?


30 Day Challenge Wk 2: March of OCs



I’m pretty proud of having made it half way in this challenge! These gouache paintings are the highlights of my days, and I just enjoy them so much! I’m looking forward to having all 30 at the end of the month.

My goal for the second half of this challenge is to really get into bold, bright colors. I love the soft, gentle pastels, but gouache looks sooooo rich when it’s at “full power”! So here’s hoping I can muster the courage to turn it up a notch (or 10 ha ha!)

VIDEO Gouache Timelapse | Lefores


Here’s another gouache painting! I enjoyed the blue-ish hair in the last post, so I decided to do again for this fella! He was originally (back in 2000) blonde, but whatever!

For my next video, I will finally break away from the soft pastel colors! I was nervous, but I think I pulled it off. Make sure you follow me so you can see it when it goes up!


Do you like these shorter videos with just music, or do you prefer the longer ones with talking?

OR should I do short ones with talking? Hmmm???

30 Day Challenge Wk 1: March of OCs




Can you believe it’s the 3rd month of 2018?? January and February seemed to slip by so fast! Here in Illinois, I’m watching the incredibly insane weather shift from snow to sun to rain and back all in the course of a single day. So crazy and unpredictable! Just to play it safe, I’ll spend my free time inside painting.

One of my resolutions for 2018 was to really step up my color work… meaning make colored work period. Specifically, I want to really get better at painting with gouache, so I decided to give myself a 30 day challenge for the month: 30 gouache studies of my very own OCs!

What is an OC, you ask?
An OC is internet shorthand for Original Character. These are fictional folks (new hashtag?) who exist in the imaginations of writers and artists alike. I’ve been inventing OCs since very young age, so for this month I’m taking a walk down Pretend Memory Lane and revisiting some of the characters I love most.

And yes, there are 31 days in March. But I’m giving myself 1 free day just because I’m nice like that! If you decide to draw or paint your characters, I’d love to see them! Use the hashtag #MarchofOCs on Instagram so I can check them out!

VIDEO Colored Inks and Artistic Fear

Well I did it! I finally produced a new YouTube video! I felt that an appropriate topic would be fear of failure… since that’s the main reason I haven’t produced a video till now! Please check out the video, and leave a comment with any suggestions for improvements or future topics!

5 Signs Your Hobby Needs the Spotlight

You paint on the weekends. You doodle at work. You write random bits of dialogue while riding the bus. You share your daydreams over a beer with your friends. We all have little things we do in our spare time that help us unwind and relax, or perhaps it’s that kind of hobby that energizes you. After an hour or two, you go back to the demands of the “real world.”

Here’s my question: is your hobby waiting to get on stage?

It’s hard to make the transition from hobbyist to professional. It’s scary and intimidating, and it places demands on a pastime that usually helps you escape pressure. But there’s no denying that some of us relish that pressure and want our crafts and talents to expand beyond our personal enjoyment. We want to share it, and we want to nourish it, and watch it grow. How do you know when it’s time to take your hobby-relationship to the next level?

  1. You can’t stop thinking about it.
    Much like having a crush on a person, your hobby stays on your brain even when you’re doing something else. It’s an intrinsic part of your thoughts, something that never lets go. Let’s be real: if it crosses the line between “hobby” to “obsession”, then it’s begging for more than the occasional get-together.
  2. You want to get better.
    After a certain point, you actually want to hone your craft. Doing it “just because” isn’t good enough anymore, and you actually want it to improve. I’m not saying hobbyists don’t care, but the same pressure to meet a certain standard isn’t there. If you’re striving for excellence, then surely there’s more to it than just “fun.”
  3. You want to share it with others.
    I still have certain hobbies I don’t generally share, such as music composition. But drawing and writing are two things I can’t contain, not without feeling like I’m suffocating a part of myself. Sharing my work with others was certainly scary at first, but ultimately, an audience gives an ear to an artist’s voice. Without that, we’re only whispering to ourselves.
  4. You want others to take it seriously.
    What I really mean by this is “You want others to respect you as a craftsman.” This means not giving your time and effort away for free, or working for less than you’re worth. With a hobby, it’s no big deal to donate your talent, but if you’re starting to take your hobby more seriously, then you’ll want others to do the same. (This means getting paid, and getting paid well.)
  5. You’re willing to work a day job to pay for it.
    Surprise! You thought the last step would be about quitting your day job and doing your hobby full-time, didn’t you? WELL NOPE. The real test is whether or not you’re willing to support your hobby with a job you don’t necessarily enjoy. Sure, some jobs are more soul-sucking than others. But if you think your favorite hobby won’t have dream-crushing lows, then you aren’t facing reality. The reality is this: your hobby needs you alive and well, and if a day job makes that possible, then you’ve got to be willing to make that sacrifice.

Don’t get me wrong: I think hobbies are super important! I’m not saying you need to capitalize on everything you love. But if there’s something that’s tugging at your heart, begging for more attention, maybe it’s time to give that something a chance to shine. Maybe you’ll find that novel, that painting, that blog, whatever. Give your hobby a chance to grow and let yourself be surprised.