Reading on a Sofa Illustration Progress

I love to read, and recently all I’ve wanted to draw is people relaxing and reading a good book (maybe because I don’t have time to do it myself!). So brings us to this illustration!


SCN_0008A few weeks ago I drafted out some ideas for an illustration series. Essentially, I wrote down a lot of things I enjoy, and somethings I wished for. As you can see, the brainstorm revolved around music, books and traveling.


In the end, the books won out!


So went through my SenshiStock Stock To Go! book and practiced drawing different relaxed positions and placing books in them. Going off of reference always turns out better than my memory–this was a fun exercise I should do more often!

reading sketch
This one made it onto Instagram!


The reference I really like my sketch for was this lounging one. –>

What stuck with me was the perspective. For the final sketch, I changed up the legs and, of course, added a book. In the spirit of the sofa I spend a lot of my time on, I sketched the character onto a love seat.

Onwards! (Start video!)

Since I don’t have a lightbox, I redid the sketch onto Canson Illustration paper freehand. Never as good as the original, but meh. With my handy dandy Pentel brush pen, I got to work!

I’m not as good at using a brush pen as I’d like to be–so you’ll notice in the video I go back and and thicken certain areas a few times. This allows me to have more control over which areas I thicken, but it does take up more time. More practice, and I’m sure I’ll be able to be confident in one-stroke variation!

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Adding the blush directly after skin layer down for blending fuzzies.

Coloring with Copic markers are super fun because you can blend them. I try to keep a consistent stroke as I apply the ink, and when I add a different color quick enough, that color soaks into the first creating a fuzzy effect at the edges (like wet-on-wet in watercolors).


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Brown first, red second! Then brown again to mute it more.

Mixing colors with Copics is kind of hit and miss for me (I’m an acrylic girl who loves to mix on the canvas!). I don’t have a good color for red hair in my collection, so I put down a light brown before adding a red. It is less harsh than just having the red, but it isn’t exactly what I was going for.

Sofa colors first, hair mixing, then clothing matching. Final strokes of purple and red are for the cushion!

Against proper coloring procedures, I decided what colors to use in the pictures as I went along. This picture shows my ‘palette’ of colors I set next to each other to figure out which ones to use. Normally I have a better idea of what I’m getting myself into!


In the end, I really like how it turned out! Copics make everything you do look so professional.

Are you trying out some new mediums? How are you navigating it? I’d love to know!



Manga I Would Buy: Game Over by Mizutani Fuka

As an avid reader of manga scans, I click through the fan-translated manga pretty quick. Many times, I don’t recall the name of the manga once I click on a new page. Or the characters’ names. Or the plot.

Other times, though, there is a series that captures my attention that I keep going back to.



~~SPOILERS for the first chapter. Since this is a short one, it was best to do the write-up this way~~

The slice of life, josei manga Game Over by Mizutani Fuka is simple and adorable. Whenever I read it, I grin from ear to ear, blushing with the characters.


Game Over is the story of how working woman Akemi and student Shouta’s lives softly fall into place. There’s no love triangle, no outside drama trying to pull them apart. Only their own insecurities and mutual attraction to affect their relationship.

Akemi takes the bus to work and plays a game. She picks a man to sit next to, and if he looks at her twice (once to see her, a second time in surprise or fluster that a beautiful woman is next to him), she wins. This little victory energizes her in the monotony of her days.


Shouta becomes one of her targets, but things don’t go as planned. Unlike the other men, he doesn’t acknowledge her–rather looks out the window. This unprecedented situation takes up all Akemi’s imagination for the next few days. She tries different ways to catch his attention: perfume, “Level 2”–What can she do to make him notice her?



When Shouta takes his bike instead of the bus, she realizes she was being intrusive on the poor guy. At work, her co-workers comment that she seems down, unlike how energetic she was the last few days. Trying to get Shouta to notice her had made her really, really happy.

Down and out, Akemi gets on the bus and sits in a window seat, not playing her game on anyone. To her surprise, Shouta gets on the bus and sits next to her. His reflection is in the window. Realization strikes her–he was always looking at her, just through the window.

The story is only five chapters long, setting up important moments in their relationship: meeting, dates, proposal, wedding. This adorable story is a quick read, and I’ll pick is up when I need a little, simple happiness in my life.

If I ever had a paper copy of this manga, it would be worn down so the binding had no more cracks (hardbound preferred). It’s fairly new, from 2010, so this isn’t too much to ask, right??

What’s a manga you’d love to have in print in your country? Comment below!



Short Story: It’s Just Business

Lights glared, dancing sharp shadows around the gambling hall. Tin cups and glasses clanked together. Feet stamped; fists were raised. Bets were taken at a small table in the corner of the full room. The uproar focused on the circle where the two fighters stood, a sword in each hand.

Under the heat of the lamps, sweat already glistened on the new challenger’s tall, muscular body. Her long black hair was pulled to the nape of her neck while strands of bangs stuck to her forehead. She unbuttoned her shirt and rolled her sleeves. Determination furrowed her brow.

A quick sketch to help me know the character more.

Her sword was almost as tall as the returning champion of the gambling den’s ring.
On the opposite side of the loud circle stood the much smaller woman. Thick, light brown hair was tied in a knot high on her head. The line from her cheek to her chin was as sharp as her sword. Sweat seeped down the chest and back of her tunic. Still, her breathing was steady, even in this last round, and her hand rested easy on the sword that was only as long as the other woman’s forearm.

“Back for more, Daria?” the woman chided, her thin mouth curling. “I thought you’d have to wait a month to have enough money to enter again.”

Daria raised her longsword. “Leave it to the ring to decide, Itzel,” she growled.
Itzel didn’t react to the stance, only nodding to the time keeper that she was ready.


Daria lunged. Itzel dodged lazily.

She shook her head at the advance. “This isn’t going to be much of a fight if you didn’t actually improve.” Even though the fight was easy, her pulse picked up, rising as the cheers grew louder. Her golden eyes shone.

The challenger yelled and spun wildly, cutting into air, chasing in vein after the nimble figure. Raising the sword over her head, she dropped it down heavily. It sunk into the dirt ground. Continue reading “Short Story: It’s Just Business”

Nostalgia: The Immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce

Cropped from an Image on the Wiki

Many of the books and movies I’ve come to categorize as ‘my favorites’ all can be credited to chance. The Immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce is one of those great random finds.

There became a time that the bookmobile no longer had enough variety for 11-year-old me. A girl can only check out the volumes of The Boxcar Children and Garfield so many times before she needs something new. Luckily, the library system had recently gone digital, and readers could place books on hold from a plethora of libraries in the southeast corner of Wisconsin to come to your location.

Typing in “fantasy” and “young adult” bombarded me with many new reading adventures. At that age, I also added “animal” to thin out the search. I’d click on whatever book cover I liked and read the description to see if it was worth having sent to the bookmobile.


What was to come up but The Immortals quartet? I accidentally put Wolf Speaker on hold first (wolves, duh!), realized it was the second book to four, and had to wait another week for the first book to come in so I could start to read.

Daine was the perfect heroine to introduce me to young adult fantasy. Brown hair and loved animals, just like me! The fact that her magic revolved around animals was my dream (I wanted to be a veterinarian for forever). I was also about her age in the first book, 12, when I first started reading her story. This was the perfect concoction to pull me into all of Tamora Pierce’s works.

(I am ashamed to admit, but I called her “Diane” in my head forever until I was a part of an anthology community on DA and figured out is was Daine, not Diane. Am I kicked out of the club??)

In high school, I found a greater connection to Keladry from The Protector of the Small, but The Immortals quartet will always hold a place in my heart–maybe one day I’ll purchase different covers than the photoed one’s I ended up buying because I needed to own the series.

What was the series that introduced you to Tamora Pierce’s books? I’d love to know!