Monday, May 19, 2014

Challenge #3 Butterflies

Welcome back to our third challenge here at Aurora Wings. Please scroll down for our Winner's Post for Challenge #2. Mitzi and the team wish to thank you for all the amazing entries for our Monochromatic challenge and hope you join us again for our Challenge #3 with the theme of


Yes, we want to see those lovely winged creatures flitting about your project, be they in the image itself, or as dies, punches, or even on the background paper.  However, we still DO need to see a hand colored digital or rubber stamp as well, to be eligible. 

Our prizes each month will include:

1 (one) Artist's Choice Award Winner to be selected from entries using Aurora Wings digis ($20 GC and Badge)

1 (one) Random Winner ($20 GC)

Top 3 Winners to be chosen by the DT ($10 GC and Badge)

And don't forget our Shades of Blue Contest is still going on through May 31st on our Facebook Group Page.  
Now how about some inspiration from our fabulous team?

We certainly would be thrilled if you would visit our individual blogs to find out more about these fabulous creations and leave us a little love.  xx

The challenge will be open until 11:55 pm EDT June 14th. Entries posted prior to May 19th will be deleted.  All entries must have a hand colored digital or rubber stamp on their completed project to be eligible. Please follow the chosen theme. ONE entry per person if not using an Aurora Wings image, THREE entry limit if ALL entries include an Aurora Wings stamp. You may enter your project in as many other challenges as desired. Please link to your POST address, NOT your BLOG address and link back to the Aurora Wings Challenge Blog. We would greatly appreciate you removing word verification and switching to comment moderation if you fear spam. In fairness to all, those not following the rules will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding and please have fun. We look forward to your fabulous creations.


Challenge #2 Winner's Post

 Mitzi and the team want to thank you all for the fabulous entries for our Monochromatic Challenge.  Again, the creations were AMAZING making our winners choices so difficult.  However, choose we did, so without further ado.....

The ARTIST'S CHOICE AWARD ($20 GC and Badge) chosen my Mitzi from among the entrants using Aurora Wings images goes to # 61 MIMI!!

The RANDOM WINNER ($20 GC) goes to # 32 Mia/Mija!

And the Top 3 ($10 GC and Badge) in no particular order, chosen by the Design Team from ALL the entries goes to

A huge Congratulations to our fabulous winners! Please e-mail Mitzi at studiomiyabi (at) aol (dot) com, with subject line "AW challenge blog ACA winner/top3/random winner" with your list of LINKS (not the titles of the digis) to the digis you wish to receive up to the total amount of your prize (all values are in USD) to receive your prize.

Hope to see you all back for our third challenge which goes live at 12:00pm EDT today.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Eyes Demystyfied - A Simplified Tutorial on Eyes

Aurora Wings Challenge #2 "Monochromatic"
April  21 ~ May 17, 2014

Click here to go to the challenge post.

Hi, everyone!  It's Mitzi here.  Today, for a reminder post, I'm writing a tutorial on the topic of eyes. :D  Once again, I'll be writing with simplicity in mind.  I am also not going to be specifiying particular media or color numbers.  I would like you to experiment on your own as much as possible based on the information.  I feel it's the best way to learn rather than blindly follow everything step by step. ^_^
So here we go, presenting...

Eyes Demystified - A Simplified Tutorial

I'm going to be using my "Anti-Valentine Girl" digi for the eyes on this demo post.  She was chosen because of her very expressive large eyes - they're fun to play with.  Besides, I LOVE her raised brows.

This digi comes as a 1500 x 1800 pixels, 300 dpi, JPG file (5" x 6"/ 12.7 x 15.2 cm), and can be found at my Etsy shop here or in the digi store at my site here.

1.  The Anatomy

Don't worry! There won't be any pop quiz at the end of this tutorial. lol  Just a simple fact to remember here is that the eyes are spheres (the eye BALL) with a disc inside that faces out (the iris). So the play of light is much like the sunshine on a raindrop or on a glass marble.  There's an entry point where the beam of light comes in, and there will be a bright area on the iris that reflects that light that comes in.  Just remembering this will help you know where to put the highlights like a pro!

Speaking of highlights, I'm a big fan. :D  And this is why.  Highlights bring so much life to the eyes (Think twinkle!), and sparkly dots (even when they're randomly placed) bring a lot of magic to an image. We don't want our projects to have the look of a dead fish, if you know what I mean...

There's no twinkle in these guys' eyes...

2.  The 5-Step Approach

The easiest and the simplest way to achieve the pretty eyes is the 5-step approach.  Here's what I mean by the 5-Step Approach.

1.)  I've expanded her pupils from the original in the line art to make her appear a little less aloof (Our pupils expand when what we see interests us, as well as in a reduced light condition.  Pupils will constrict in bright lighting, but you can also show lack of interest/aloofness in the character you're working on by giving her tiny pupils, in reverse.).  Coloring in the eyes with medium brown.  Things look pretty flat at this point.

2.)  The darker shade of brown comes in.  I'm planning on having the light source (imagined) in the upper right and front of her, coming in diagonally from upper right to the lower left, so the sharp highlights will be to the upper right of her eyes.  The darker shade of brown is applied under the upper lash line and somewhat to the right toward the light source.

 3.)  A shade of brown a little bit lighter (off white can be used) is applied to the lower left of her irises.  This helps create the illustion where the light that is coming from the upper right of her eyes would reflect and illuminate on the iris (the disc inside the sphere).

4.) This step is optional, but if you can remember to do this, it adds even more dimension to the eyes.  What I've done here is to give the shadow from her lashes onto the eyes.  A simple sweep of greyed down light brown or greyed down pale lavender works nicely.  Just follow the upper lashline.

5.) The highlights come in.  Because I've decided that the light source is in front of her at the upper right, the brightest highlight will be on the upper right on her eyes.  That's where the beam of light is coming in, and the fresh eye with lots of moisture would naturally reflect with a sparkly shine.  I've also added a few extra twinkles in this example, suggesting some reflected light from lower left of her as well.  Just look at the difference between the 4th stage and 5th!!  Dead vs alive, right?  Conversely, if you want to paint lifeless eyes (for horror effects, for example), skipping the highlights will give you the dead-eye look instantly.  (Giving it a cloudy grey look with less contrast between iris and pupil is also very effective for the creepy factor.)

The important thing to remember on this stage is to use OPAQUE media for the highlights.  If your white medium is transparent, you will not be able to achieve the bright white.  In fact, anytime you're applying the lighter color after the darker color has already been laid down, be sure to use an opaque medium.  Pastels, acrylic paint, even old-fashioned correction fluids (Wite-out) work for this purpose.

Here's a quick look through the phases.

3. Shortcuts and Variations

1.) This is what I call "ommission highlights".  Basically planning ahead and using the white of the paper for highlights by coloring around it.  I'd say this is prone to "accidents".  But that's my personal experience. LOL

2.) Even the simplified 3-Step version, with eye color, shadow, and highlight can produce pretty good eyes.

3.) Here's a look at the same eyes, different color, with the light source being on the opposite side from the brown example.  The same 5-Step Approach was applied.

4.) On this example, I did a variation on the theme to her right eye (your left).  I gave a little iris texture by drawing radiating lines from pupil to the edge of the iris when I placed the lighter shade of green.  The eye on the right is colored the same way in the 5-step approach.  This is cool and fun to do, but only if the image you're working on is large enough to be manageable.  If the image is small, I'd go with the 3-Step version.

I hope this tutorial on the eyes was helpful.  Please remember that these are not absolute rules, but some simple suggestions to make things easiler.  I'd like to always encourage everyone to play and experiment as you go along.  Till next time, happy coloring!! :D