Plaguedog Art by Kellie Lamphere

Animal Illustration - Giderah Comic - Animation
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Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

(via wearytigress)


I wanted to make a post like this a few months ago, when I was approached about having fanart I’d made for a very popular children’s show in an official book for said children’s show.

Sounds great, right?

Except there was no room in the budget for compensation, as set by the higher ups, and not…


Woo Hoo!!  I have now hit 1000 followers here on Tumblr!  Thank you guys so much for supporting me and my art.  As promised, I have a pretty epic contest in store for you all.

About the Contest

This summer, I will be unveiling my new online sculpture class over on  It will largely follow the same format as my book, Creature Sculpt, but will be video based.  It will also have a forum where you can interact with other students as well as myself!  

In April, I will be filming content for this class.  I will be creating several different sculptures during the various demonstrations.   I already have a few designs in mind, but I thought it would be cool to use a character designed by one of my viewers too!  And this is where the contest comes in.

I am looking for your coolest, original character and creature designs to base one of my class sculptures off of!  Most all original characters are eligible, but I am NOT looking for human/humanoid characters as my class is going to be animal and creature based.  These must be 100% original designs and not fandom-based in any way.  I will select the design I find the most interesting and/or will best help me to demonstrate my sculpting techniques.  

What You Can Win

* The winning character will be featured in my sculpting class, and the artist will be credited to the design.  

* The winner will also be given the chance to have the finished sculpture shipped to them, free of all costs except for shipping and packing (to be paid via PayPal). 

* In addition, the winner will get free entry into my new class!

How to Enter

* Follow me, emilySculpts, here on Tumblr.

* Reblog this post, leaving the original text and image intact.  

* To your reblog, add your personal entry information.  This should include up to 5 images of your original character as well as any supplemental text.  You may include pose sketches or composition ideas as well if you have any sculpture-specific ideas.  Turnaround sheets are helpful but not required.

* You may enter as many times as you’d like, so long as you are submitting a different original character each time, of your own creation.

Official Rules, Please Read in Full

* Entries will be accepted through April 1, 2014.  I will close polls that evening at 11:59 EST.

* Winner will be announced on April 5, 2014.  Please be certain to watch your feed and messages on this day.  I will make a public post announcing the winner and will also message the winner privately.  If you do not claim your prize within 48 hours, I reserve the right to choose a new winner.

* Entries MUST be submitted on Tumblr via a reblog of this post.  No other entries will be accepted, no exceptions. 

* Character must be your own, original creation.  No fan-based characters will be accepted.  

* Sorry, no human/humanoid characters this time.  This is for a creature and animal based class.

* Submissions must be art-based; no lengthy text descriptions or stories.  (Short textual explanations of certain aspects are fine.)  

* You may submit art that someone else has created of your character so long as proper credit is given.  Also be sure to receive permission from the artist before posting their work.

* While you may make suggestions, I will be determining the final pose, setting and size of the sculpture.

* I reserve the right to use my own artistic license to change certain aspects of your character to meet the needs of my class.  I may also make overall style changes.

* I reserve the right to use photos and videos of the sculpture while it is both in progress and completed in any way I see fit.  This will include virtual classroom use as well as advertisement.

* I will not claim any sort of rights to your character and you will be credited as the creator where appropriate (ie, in the video or class credits).

* If you want me to ship you the finished sculpture, you will be responsible for covering all necessary shipping and packing costs.  These costs will vary depending on where you live, but will generally be around $30-70.  This MUST be paid for via PayPal.

* If no suitable characters are submitted, I reserve the right to not pick a winner.  But I don’t see that happening :)

I can’t not enter this! I am a huge fan. Do yourselves a favor and go check out her tumblr and this awesome chance to have your own character sculpted.

I’m going to submit my character Huron the seagull fox. As a toony cute feral-style fox.

Storybook art Huron

(Her wings are very much optional! I rarely add them in)

Her colors/markings are open for interpretation, and constantly changing.

Thought she would be fun to submit!

Can’t wait to join the Skillshare class!

Kintsukuroi Fox on Redbubble.

Decided to set myself up a Redbubble page. I don’t have much on it yet, but I wanted to share this.
It’s a recolor of this picture I did last year
It’s been redfoxified.

Quick speedpaint/study of Medaglia D’Oro, a thoroughbred stallion, from a photo I took last year. The halter obscured a lot of his face so I feel like I have missing information here. His face was so expressive though that I have been wanting to draw him all year.

Quick speedpaint/study of Medaglia D’Oro, a thoroughbred stallion, from a photo I took last year. The halter obscured a lot of his face so I feel like I have missing information here. His face was so expressive though that I have been wanting to draw him all year.

Iron Artist Portraits No. 21 - 25

Iron Artist - My challenge is to complete 100 portraits in one year. These commissioned portraits are speed paintings completed in about 2 - 3 hours, usually.

(I’ll be opening again on 12/17 for January commissions be sure to follow my annoucements on DA, FA, and Weasyl.)

More info:

Iron Artist Portraits No. 16 - 20

Iron Artist - My challenge is to complete 100 portraits in one year. These commissioned portraits are speed paintings completed in about 2 - 3 hours, usually.

(opening again for new portraits soon - be sure to watch me on DA or FA for announcements!) or

Iron Artist Portraits No. 11 - 15

Iron Artist - My challenge is to complete 100 portraits in one year. These commissioned portraits are speed paintings completed in about 2 - 3 hours.

(opening again in Early November)



So I was chatting with the lovely Justin Oaksford yesterday, and he casually asked if I used photo reference for my recent Rolemodels piece- not as a bad thing, but because the pose and the camera angle read well.  Pretty sure I grinned like an idiot when he brought it up because, goddammit, I’m proud that the work shows!  I’ve felt like my work has been somewhat stilted as of late- I could feel myself subconsciously trending towards easier angles, easier poses, easier expressions just because it’s slightly less frustrating for my brain to process- so getting that confirmation from a colleague was pretty damn satisfying.

I think there’s a tendency for artists to take pride in being able to draw out of your head, and, while that’s an admittedly important skill, what’s actually important is what that skill implies- it implies that you’ve internalized reference.  That you’ve spent so much time looking at the world around you, studying it, drawing from it, breaking it down, that you’ve amassed an extensive mental library that you can draw from.  You are Google reborn in the shallow husk of a human being.

But heck, the world’s a big place- what are the chances that you ever get to a point that you’ve internalized all of it?  Internalized it AND ALSO are never going to forget it ever?  Probably no chance at all.  Sorry buddy.  So rather than bemoaning the fact that we don’t have impenetrable search engine cyborg brains- yet- you sure as hell better still be using reference to fill in/refresh those empty shelves in your mental library.  You shouldn’t have worm-ridden books about dinosaur anatomy from the 60’s in there.  Stegosauruses with brains in their tails?  CLEAN THAT SHIT OUT.

So my general process for using reference of any sort is:

  1. loose thumbnails and brainstorming.  If you have an idea, get that raw thing- unadulterated in it’s potential shittiness- onto paper.  Good art is a combination of both instinct and discipline, so you don’t want to entirely discount those lightning strikes of brilliance.  Or idiocy.  Happens to all of us.
  2. research and reference.  Start gathering and internalizing whatever reference is pertinent to your piece- could be diagrams, art, photos, good old-fashioned READIN’, whathaveyou.  Please note that this doesn’t mean find one picture of a giraffe- this means find tons of photos of giraffes, read about giraffes, understand giraffes, and learn how to incorporate that knowledge into your art with purpose and intent (Justin uses the word “intent” a lot so I’m stealing it).  Don’t blindly copy what you see, but understand how to integrate it in an interesting and informed manner.
  3. studies and practice.  Could be lumped in with the previous step, granted, but it’s worth reiterating- if you’re drawing something new, it’s worth doing some studies.  You discover things that you wouldn’t otherwise by just staring at them.  It’s weird how I’m still learning this- “Gee golly, six-shooters are way easier to draw now that I’ve drawn a ton of them!” Yes wow Claire BRILLIANT.  Gold star.
  4. go for the gold.  Finally, I’m sure it goes without saying, you integrate all of that research and knowledge into your initial thumbnails.  If you learned something about anatomy, or fashion, or color, or butts, now you can drastically improve your original idea with this newfound knowledge.  Also, per the images above, this is also your chance to improve on the reference- photos are a fantastic tool, but trust your instincts.  Cameras can’t make informed decisions.

…So that’s my soapbox- it’s pretty easy, and it’s totally worth it.  Research and reference lets you stand on the shoulders of giants- it lends legitimacy, specificity, and allure to your work that wouldn’t be there if you were just drawing out of your head 100% of the time.  To put it simply- it makes your work ownable.  It makes you stand out.

It makes you a better artist. :)


This is how it’s done guys!

Any time I hear “wow you have a lot of reference photos on your screen” I am going to send people to this post. And on the other hand, I may be unable to resist waving this frantically at the artists I run into online who say “I NEVER have to use any references” as some point of pride or to attack another artist.

This so perfectly sums up what I feel about the importance of using references and practicing.

1. This movie is amazing.

2. I love seeing the pencil tests. I dream of being able to plan and animate so smooth and effectively. Being able to show so much motion in so few frames is mindblowing to me.

(via grypwolf)