With my eyes on the future!
As an artist I have to live in the past when I'm learning and studying old masters, in the present when I'm creating, failing and creating more and in the future, when I'm setting goals, planning new projects and sharing them with you.
December is my favorite month of the year, and it's full of joy, inspiration, creativity, happiness and hope... but then January comes.
What do you think when you see January on your calendar?
If you're like me... you dread it! But January doesn't have to be such a scary monster!
So... for 2018 I decided to create #dreamuary and turn my January into a month full of art of magical creatures and imaginary worlds - not where dreams come true but made of dreams.
Up to a challenge?
You can be part of #dreamuary. How? Follow each daily theme and post whatever it inspires you... a photo, or a drawing, a gif, video or music, a quote... anything you want to share, a thought or an emoticon. (no sex, violence of any kind, keep it kid friendly)
Pressure free. You don't have to submit every day just when the daily theme inspires you or you feel like it.
Post to the Facebook Event (here) or add the hashtag #dreamuary #dreamuary2018 on Instagram (if you prefer to participate there). This will happen every January for the following years and soon I will be excited to see January arrive as I am always excited about Halloween and the following holidays.
Let this be a great way to start the new year! See first theme here.
Newsletter subscribers will have access to exclusive videos of my drawing process.
Portugal is a semi-biographical awarded graphic novel by Cyril Pedrosa where the author explores his
Portuguese background. He presents us a character who has lost the love to create new books and draw. We join him on his trip to Portugal.
There, we can feel the warmth of the people and how quaint they seem to be at the same time.
Because it smells and sounds like home, I can hear their voices, the accent, the crickets at night, the excited screams coming from random windows of people rooting for their favorite team, people talking of life before... And Salazar, Salazar...
Thank you so much to everyone who participated. I am happy to share with you the three lucky ones.
This year I painted a very special postcard that I like to send to friends, family and fans who actively supported my art during the year.
I can see by their thank you texts that some arrived with a few stamps and ink on the painting. Oh, well... Lesson learned! Envelopes next time! T_T
Polly and the Black Ink, the last Volume - 140 pages long is finally out, closing the first arc of Polly Mason story.
Get it on amazon online store or personalized signed copies from me.
The Last door...
Polly Mason has collected the doors of everyone she knows. Friends and family, enemies and foes, heroes and villains.
These doors, which have kept their secrets safe, have also taken her into magical worlds, allowing her to know people better for who they truly are.
Although Polly Mason can visit any of their worlds, she cannot enter her own. It's up to her friends to save her core now, and no one thought her world could be so challenging and full of wonder.
Great news, the new monthly newsletter will be scheduled for the last Saturday of each month starting January 2018.
This is what you should expect to get each month. News on books, art process, releases, access to sales, contests and seasonal gifts. Sneak peek behind the scenes and art tips. Scheduled for the last Saturday of each month.
Be sure you check your promotion or social folders (gmail) and/ or spam folder if you missed the last newsletter.
Subscribe now so you won't miss any goodies.
The Ieru (HYAY-roo) inhabit the western regions of Somana, separated from the heart of the Republic by the mountainous Erentian Divide. For the most part, the Ieruscan (hyay-ROO-skuhn) people are nomadic tribes, who roam the steppes and deserts of Ierusca by horse or by foot.
The Ieru are a darker-skinned people, with a culture and language unique from the Somanan, Aeman, and even Aesidhe peoples. Somanan and Aeman records prove that the Ieru inhabited the continent before them, and Aesidhe oral histories support the same. It is clear that their people were once more widespread, particularly on the southern portion of the continent, but were gradually pushed back by Somanan settlement and military action.
Read full article here.
It's been a long journey since chapter I.
The editing, formatting and illustrating process of each chapter took more time than writing and imagining the story but it will worth the wait.
Every project and book becomes a path of wonderful discoveries and creation of fantastic unusual characters and their worlds. I can't wait to share the final project with you, but for now here is a bit more of my work in progress.
For Beyond the Cliff & Courage epic fantasy, I've decided to design my own font and header to make each chapter more special. Besides the headers, each chapter will include at least four black and white illustrations ( I got carried away with some sections and drew about eight to ten illustrations).
I have about 50 chapters, which means... a lot of drawings per chapter. It's a long and slow project, but the finished book will be worth it. The illustration that won't make into the book will be turned into color prints or an extra booklet - I still have to think about it. The priority is to finish this project with as much quality as I can muster.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Don't be shy and leave a comment. I will get back to you as soon as possible.
...finishing new art to send to the printer and make some postcards this year. A sneak peek of what kind of art you will be seeing from me from now on as the next projects grow and take form.
It's finally time to get back to those old and complex fantasy worlds that I have been developing for so long. Can't wait to get to the part filled with magic, fantastical creatures including... Dragons!
Polly and the Black Ink 5 graphic novel volumes will keep you company. Each volume with 110 pages and the last one with 140 that will be available December 2017.
2018 will be exciting, with a lot of work in progress and behind the scenes. Some of the content will be exclusive to newsletter subscribers so if you don't want to miss any contests, free books, news and seasonal gifts make sure to subscribe.
(please check your spam folder for the newsletter if you missed one)
Notfrombrazil - weekly newsletter - Fridays at 11 am Eastern Time
VioletWestEntertainment - monthly newsletter - next Saturday, December 2
And so it ends. The last volume of Polly and the Black Ink will be soon be available to you.
I always have a rough time saying goodbye to projects. On the other hand, the journey just began for many. Now it's time to share this story that carries so much of my soul with the rest of the world.
Polly Mason accepted the responsibility of her abilities knowing the price. She has no regrets.
Join her and open one last door.
Polly and the Black Ink is an all-ages graphic novel full of adventure, discovery, imagination, fantasy, friendship and a lot of teamwork (with the help of a lazy sidekick cat) on a journey to fight an epic villain.
540 pages - 5 volumes
Missing a really cool Christmas present? 🎄🎁 🌟
Get Polly and the Black Ink Graphic Novel for a super adventurous and fantastic family Christmas time! An all-ages superhero story that will keep everyone hooked.
Get the books from Amazon or ORDER directly FROM ME and you'll get personalized signed volumes, a thank you postcard and FREE
SHIPPING if you buy more than one volume. (USA available only).
Only $20 each volume.
(Volume 5 will be available on Amazon very soon.)
When I lived in Lisbon, I had the opportunity to work with a Portuguese publisher to draw the Portuguese covers for Kristin Cashore's books (Graceling and Fire)
I had lots of fun painting these covers, but Fire was my favorite.
Sometimes I buy a book that I already own, because of the new covers. That happened with my Harry Potter collection. I just loved the new covers so much that I had to get them on my shelf.
Kindle Cover Reveal:
Hi, Vanessa here:
As you know, I've been remaking the cover for Heir of Scars I, Part I: Ghosts of Heiland. The very beginning of the story. The process took me a few weeks to sketch and paint.
I was almost at the end when I realized the cover didn't have the right feel. After painting such realistic Adria for the paperback cover, I established a new tone for the series.
I loved my new portrait of Adria, but the mood of the epic novels speaks louder.
I worked hard to keep up with the deadline and turned my inspiration from a more digital game cover approach to the Old Masters' color pallet such as the American painter Albert Bierstadt.
This is a story of those who come to a new land to conquer others.
A tale of knights who battle natives and the journey of a girl who must decide who she is and for whom she must fight.
The new cover shows you the shadow of a girl with a decision to make.
Kindle book: $0,99
Artists are probably the people who are less prepared to deal with social interaction and talk to the public. We're the ones that decided to stay indoors and create instead of going out. It's a lifestyle, but it means we don't build as many social skills as needed.
Times change and it's expected from the artist to show our process, our story, to be part of the art and make fans part of it too. We have to put ourselves out there and hope for the best.
It's our passion for our art and the respect that we have for our fans that lead us to fight these horrible monsters and deal with our social anxiety in loco.
We practice in front of the mirror and try to come up with better ways to present our work and ourselves, but there is just so much we can predict and practice after all.
I can say that my years working as a teacher improved my ability to communicate in public a lot.
My cute little students allowed me to be expressive and to be myself. They didn't judge me and as they were honest as children can be. They taught me a lot.
Talking to adults is a bit different.
In the wise words of Yoda... Do or Do Not...
I am the kind of girl that Goes Big or Goes Home. My first artist table was a huge event.
When we apply for a big comic convention as Awesome Con, we have to do it almost six months or more before to save a spot. You may think that it's good news.
NotFromBrazil FREE calendar for subscribers.
Today October 13th 2017 I sent with my newsletter the November 2017 Calendar page free to download and print.
I will be gifting a page each every month until December 2018.
For those who you subscribed after the October 13th and until October 31st.
I will send the November Calendar directly to your email.
Subscribe to notfrombrazil.com or vanessabettencourtart.com
Polly Mason has a secret.
Polly can see people turning grey and the world crumbling around her. At first, she believes she's the only one, but then she moves to an island that shows on no map... And... Evil follows her, and now the island and its people are in danger.
Polly discovers the islanders have secrets like her own. But first, she must find the key and the door into their worlds, visit their personalities, find their cores and save them from the Black Ink. The idea of the Black Ink as a villain came from my first sketches.
We can't erase ink as easily as we erase pencil. It can leave permanent marks. Join Polly in this epic fight against evil.
Read more about Polly and the Black Ink Graphic Novel books here.
If you have them, please leave a review on your favorite online store.
Music Credit goes to: http://www.freesfx.co.uk
Last October 7th was fun with the Alexandria Library at the Del Ray, Artist Demonstration area.
Warming up drawing before the crowd arrived.
I got to draw 65 children from 9 to 18h it was a non stopping blast. Thanks to all of those who came by the table to say hi! We had lot's of fun.
Kids are usually shy and they get nervous when I stare at them too much, so instead of being quite, we just talk about all of the fun things: their hobbies, their adventures, the things they love and want to accomplish. This helps me to infuse a lot of personality into their portraits and add extra background elements.
October 7th. It's this Saturday!! Art on the Avenue is going to be full of pencil portraits. I will be drawing cartoon portraits in my style of attendees at the ARTIST DEMONSTRATION tent 66-87 E Curtis Avenue and raising money for the library. It's a great cause. Please come to our tent : D
Drawing live is the only time that I have to be less extrovert and ignore my anxieties.
I have to look people in the eye and catch their personality with a few pencil lines. It helps when people talk to me, ask me about my trade and share their life stories and adventures too. It's a fun way to interact, fight my social anxieties and share what I love to do.
Here is the map with the exact location.
Drop by and say hi! :D
Spent a great weekend indoors with my lovey-dovey. It's been five years that we're working together in the Heir of Scars epic fantasy series.
I draw his characters and covers and he writes amazing stories about them.
I'm almost finishing a new Kindle cover starring Adria Idonea, "J's" main character. We had fun working together during the day and playing fantasy RPG at night.
I have to start working on the cover for Heir of Scars volume II to press Jacob to finish writing it as soon as possible. I want to read the rest. Ehehehe!
Great News!! Notfrombrazil reached top 40 on Amazon. Thank you, guys! Right next to Garfield... wait...
Aahahah! This is hilarious. It's just like page 65 of Notfrombrazil!!! What a coincidence!
Last week at the Fall Festival I had a lot of fun giving tips on how to draw cartoon portraits, starting with the basic shapes.
Ah hour later I had a line of amazing people of all ages ready to sit down in front of me and see their portrait quickly appear from simple lines to recognition.
It was an amazing experience, where I traded portraits for their stories. They asked me about my trade, and I got to know this community better.
The library is huge, well organized and with amazing staff.
Thank you all for having me.
Some of the kids where nice to draw me back. I think I'm a winner here, don't you think?
Basic shapes help you to draw from general to detail.
Don't forget to subscribe.
Small Press Expo this weekend was a blast.
It's the best place to discover high-quality work, hunt for amazing books, meet their creators and connect to amazing artists.
We had the change to showcase our work to a lot of diverse and interesting people. We were humbled and inspired by their stories, their passion and their goals.
We thank those who showed interest and passion for our books and took a piece of our story home.
As a husband and wife duo, it was fun and an honor to present Heir of Scars. The epic fantasy novel project by Jacob Falling (my husband's pen name for this project) that started all. American author in search of art for his cover hires Portuguese artist girl!
389.. 390... webcomic episodes later, I am proud to present my first NotFromBrazil.com paperback that covers the first year of our relationship with tips on how to survive a long distance relationship and travel alone without stress. Also... the debut of volume IV of Polly and the Black Ink. This volume speaks so much to me. Only one left to finish the first Arc of Polly and the Black Ink series.
You can find all our books and kindle editions here.
Signing personalized copies to our new readers is fun!
Only one more book to finish the first arc of Polly and the Black Ink graphic novel! What then?
The next project will be a Children's Novel that the adults will truly appreciate.
Are you afraid of spiders? I am.
This project was born from my fear of spiders. I molded my fear into words and an created a new land. A world where insects fear spiders too... They fear their dark and evil.
I've been working on the manuscript for a year and a half already to come up with my perfect version of Beyond the Cliff & Courage. An epic fantasy novel of little bugs with giant courage. A fight between good and evil.
I don't want it to be one more book that entertains and gets consumed quickly.
I want the reader to remember it for ever. I want this story to survive the ages and to make readers come back to it and reread it every year.
The same for the illustrations. I want each one to stand out as a work of art.
Can't wait to share more of my process and the book.
I'm fighting my camera shyness! First step, voice. I wish to become brave enough to make a live event or streaming one day!
For now, baby steps. I uploaded an introduction video. Hello subscribers, if you're not already... don't forget to subscribe!
After the introduction video I made my first NFB wip video with voice over. Here it is:
Let me know what you think about it and ... YAY! One step closer to fight shyness.
Official Site: https://www.vanessabettencourtart.com/
You can get your paperback copy of Polly and the Black Ink Volume IV - Into the Darkness from amazon online stores, soon available all around the world.
Time is up! They can choose to fight... or watch their world crumble. Polly is ready and no matter what happens, she's not alone.
It's time to open doors and reveal all secrets.
Paperback 7 x 10 full -color -104 pages
Lots of news and work since our the last comic convention. Here are some updates on the different projects of Violet West Entertainment:
My husband arrived home with a new sketchbook yesterday. What a wonderful surprise. An empty book to fill with many worlds of possibilities. I will dedicate this sketchbook to portraits.
I will DRAW your DOOR in POLLY AND THE BLACK INK graphic novel.
Thank you so much, Logan Public Library (Iowa) students and staff for making my day. The reviews not only elevate Polly but also inspire me to want to make better and more.
I had such a great time Skyping with you the last time and talking about Polly, my process of creation and answering your questions. I will look forward to getting the drawings of your doors (representing your personality, interests and worlds) so I can draw them on Polly and the Black Ink volume V coming out next December.
This is valid for any of my readers.
ATTENTION: This means you can send me the drawings until the end of October. I'm really excited to see them.
I will draw the best imaginary doors as part of the story.
Give your best shot!
Ode to the departed...
One of my grandmother's name was Anita she taught me to fight to the last breath. The other was Claudina she taught me to reach higher. My American grandma Libby taught me humor... ... and that we should print funny cartoons the size of posters and hang them on the bathroom wall.
Here is one of them as a doll. It's a hobby to help me take a break from work until I start fighting again.
I use scraps, rags and anything I find that I don't want to wast.
You can see more dolls here.
Ode aos que partiram...
Uma das minhas avos chamava-se Anita. Ela ensinou-me a lutar ate ao ultimo folego.
A outra chamava-se Claudina e ensinou-me a alcancar mais longe.
A minha avo americana Libby ensinou-me humor...
... e que devemos imprimir comics em tamanho poster e pendurar na parede da casa de banho.
Aqui esta uma delas em boneca. Um dos meus passatempos para descompressar and fazer uma pausa antes de comecar a lutar outra vez...
Podem ver mais bonecas aqui. Eu
tento usar retalhos e tudo o que eu poder apanhar para nao desperdicar nada.
This was going to be the book cover for my next novel Beyond the Cliff and Courage.
An epic novel of little insects with giant courage.
I decided to take a more modern approach and make this the first illustration people will see when they open the book.
Stay close don't miss out the news.
Happy Lollipop Day!
Aunt Sarah came up with new recipes for the most delicious and brand new Pollypops named after Polly!
Make your Pollypops with this template. Share your work with us.
Polly can't wait to see it!
DIY templates here.
Cover for Notfrombrazil first Paperback and Kindle Edition is ready. Volume I will be on Kickstarter soon. Thank you all for your support!!
Adding some extra pages to the book right now with tips about long distance relationship and flying alone for the first time!
NOTFROMBRAZIL Volume I is about to happen. After three years of nonstop episodes three times a week!
Holy Pony! I'm so excited... and a bit nervous. Am I revealing things I never published before? Of course! It's a totally new experience, even if you have binged our story more than once!
All comic pages are color now, featuring the same style - completely redrawn. I added some pages that never got published online before. Also, there's a lot of new characters and humor. Adding some long distance relationship and how to travel long distances tips.
The story flows as a graphic novel and tells how we met and how our relationship developed. If you were part of our long distance relationship first year, you are probably a character in this book! Others will appear in the next volumes as the story develops.
It's a great way to honor amazing people who were part of our lives, family and friends and those who have already departed.
We're aiming for a paperback and a Kindle version this September. Still considering the opportunity to do a Kickstarter for all of those who are interested in having a personalized signed copy of the book and extra .
Beyond the Cliff & Courage
This is the first chapter illustration of my next project (epic fantasy novel of little insects with giant courage).
They are fearful and they will finish their quest no matter what.
Working really hard on three projects at the same time.
Finishing formatting Notfrombrazil Volume I to print this next August with new characters and comic pages never published before. If you were part of our story in the first years of our relationship you will be a character in this book. Others will show in the next volumes.
Final edits on Polly and the Black Ink Volume IV and starting to illustrate the chapters of my next novel.
You will be able to get these books on amazon or grab them from me personalized signed copies with secret gifts.
Polly Mason Cross Stitch Art! What a delight!
Cross stitch is a very delicate work of great detail and perfection when creating an image stitch by stitch in aida canvas.
Carmen Simões owner of Retrosaria Pontos Cruzados executed this work with such perfection as she always does with all her commissions growing her business around the world.
I have been following her art for quite a long time and I'm so glad that she surprised me with this amazing gift.
A version of Polly and the Black Ink Cover Art embroidered.
Would you like to embroider your own Polly Mason? Now you can. Find the pattern here and the list of supplies.
I will be adding more poses and soon so don't miss out and stay close. Paws next?
Don't hesitate to share your work with me. It would mean the world to me.
You can send it directly to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org or post on the social media (Facebook and Instagram) and tag me (@vanessabettencourtart).
Polly is excited to see what you can do and so am I. I love all kinds of art and craftsmanship.
I wish to see my characters executed in all sorts of different medium.
: ( Don't you feel lost sometimes...?
School ends and a new life is about to start. So many choices... so many paths. The pressure of choosing the right one.
The desire to move forward and never look back.
Some worlds are the mirror of our feelings.
They are long confused mazes.
Polly found the door to one of the most confused world. Her friend is in danger of loosing her colors forever. Polly can't quit. She must find the core first. The race is on and the fight against the Black Ink continues.
To whom this world belongs to?
Will Polly Mason make it to the core and use her colors to save it?
Books available on Amazon (several countries). Please leave a review after you read it on Amazon and Goodreads. I would love to know what your thoughts about it.
Summer might be one of the times that I work the most during the year. Planning and executing all the new projects for next September and keep old projects going.
Here's a W.I.P of what's to come. Redrawing, coloring and adding extra new (never published before) cartoons to NotFromBrazil that will be available as a First Volume next September.
If you were part of our life in the beginning of our story, you will be definitely a character in the first volume or next.
Stay close! Don't miss a thing!
To get an email reminder every Friday with the direct links to the newest episodes, please subscribe to this site or to www.notfrombrazil.com
Polly Mason has a secret. She can see people turning grey and the world crumbling as the Black Ink takes over.
Her superpower it to find our door on The Other Side and enter our imaginary worlds. She visits our personality, finds the core and protects it from the Black Ink with magic crayons, explosive marbles and glowing gems.
To open the door she needs a key. Something that she can borrow. What is your key? Your favorite plushie? A game piece? A cookie? And what does your door look like? Covered with flowers? Covered in chocolate? Made out of foam or shells?
Make your own door and share it with us. Polly can't wait to visit your world.
Polly Mason fights the Black Ink with colors, explosive colorful marbles, rainbow arrows and rare
Edward Waldo Forbes might have been her ancestor. From 1910 to 1940 he collected pigments and colors of the world, more than 2500, and stored them in what today is the best and unique museum of rarest pigments and colors Forbes Art Museum located in Harvard University, USA.
Each color has its amazing story and history. Lapis Lazuli, one of my favorites, was used on Tutankhamon's mask and became more expensive than gold.
Artigo sobre o colecionador de cores.
Gloomy Sunday Nigh...
A week has passed since the excitement of Awesome Con Dc 2017.
Don't you just hate the days after?
Wait... I'm I turning grey? Polly!!! (I hope she finds my door soon.)
For now... The only way I can fight the emptiness is to start preparing the next event.
Awesome Con 2017 Artist Alley had many important guests this year. Starting with Stan Lee and David Tennant... and ending with the presence of old friends from previous events.
Special thanks to those who visited our booth and supported us by getting new art and new books or simply to say hi and take some photos. We enjoyed every moment.
The event was extremely family friendly, and the result was a fun Sunday with new young fans.
We talked about Polly and our love to draw. We exchanged ideas about upcoming animations, games and summer graphic novels. I'm glad to have a few more fans from whom I hope to see fan art and drawings soon has they have promised me.
They had fun and that makes me extremely pleased, moreover because Polly Mason and Paws had an important part in their smiles.
Polly and the Black Ink is an all ages graphic novel, drawing adults too who immediately realize the potential of the story. They categorize it as a great and interesting concept altogether with very original artwork and style.
Prints available here.
Books available on Amazon.
The story becomes more complex. We find ourselves following Polly Mason into mysterious and parallel worlds full of fantasy and populated with people's ideas, dreams and personalities.
Who or what is the Black Ink? How can it be stopped? Can it be stopped at all?
Heir of Scars epic fantasy novel book I by Jacob Falling was equally a success. Many are right now following Adria Idonea. The princess who refused to stay in her tower. Adria rebellions against the king, her father, and joins her uncle in the forest to become one of the Aesidhe.
The indigenous tribe welcomed her, and she becomes a Hunter... a Healer... until a promise must be kept and she must decide if her place is with the Aesidhe, fighting her father's knights or back home...
The new art includes the collection series of The Whispers and The Watchers. Prints available here.
Books available on Amazon.
Next events here.
And of course it wouldn't be a truly comic con convention without the best cosplayers.
A celebrar o dia de hoje com todo os meus fans portugueses que tanto sofreram... sofrem... ou ainda irão sofrer com o estudo d' Os Lusíadas, mas que para sempre lhes ficará na alma o orgulho. Feliz Dia de Camões e Feliz Dia de Portugal.
Celebrating Portugal Day and Luís de Camões - author of the epic poem Os Lusíadas - Day.
Holy Pony! Polly and the Black Ink Volume III is out!
Like I announced on the past interview (see last blog post), Volume III paperback Heroes or Villains is now available.
You can get your copy here.
Polly and the Black Ink graphic novel and I returned to the local independent bookstore Hooray for Books.
Special thanks to Ellen for having me in her fantastic and always updated store again. (They always have events happening all the time - check their schedule.) I will be returning there next September with new Polly volumes.
Polly and the Black Ink Volume III: Heroes and Villains book III is coming out soon. What a better way to celebrate it than a free workshop, teaching the audience to draw their hero or villain from scratch.
Volume III: Heroes and Villains
We had a great time.
I'm grateful my audience included children from 5-years-old up to adults. I'm happy that in the end, the parents joined the fun as well.
I started by introducing Polly, telling her story.
Polly moves to Sanctuary. From a big city to a small island that shows in no map in the world. Everyone who lives there has a secret and... Polly discovers that something evil followed her to the island.
My audience quickly pointed out the Black Ink as the great mysterious Evil. They learned the Black Ink was responsible for turning people grey.
One of the kids in the audience had a grey hoodie, and her reaction was great. Without wasting time, I reassured Kassie that Polly was going to save her from becoming grey too because Polly is the only one who can see it happen and she will open a door into Kassie's world and save her core.
We broke the ice it was time to start drawing.
Basic shapes make different characters.
I use a lot of round and oval shapes to make them look cute. With squares and straight lines I can create more heroic and stronger characters, and for villains, I reserve harsh and sharp shapes.
FREE DRAWING WORKSHOP:
Do you live near Alexandria, in Virginia or DC Area? Meet me and Polly and the Black Ink.
Come draw with me and create your own character in this all-ages, family workshop.
Bring your parents or your grandparents.
Next Saturday, May 20th, I will be at the Hooray For Books bookshop in Alexandria, 1555 King Street with Polly and the Black Ink Volume II and III. I will make a demonstration on how I create a character for a comic book (hero or villain, your choice).
Drop by, say hi! Don't miss out.
Finally proof for book III is here. This is my last chance to catch typos and make some changes before approving it to print. I was really excited to have this volume out. Can't wait to share it with you.
Stay close don't miss out!
Project: Polly and the Black Ink Graphic Novel
Polly's new attic room.
She doodled on the wall and she's getting ready to paint it.
This will be one of the 4x6 prints available at the next artist alley.
Stay close. Don't miss out!
Project: Polly and the Black Ink graphic novel
Character: Sarah Mason. Polly's aunt. She has her own baking store and she's very creative with her recipes.
I bet the candies are also amazing!
Project: SAVE THE FROGS DAY!
My friends, there are frogs in danger right now. Today we remember our amphibian little friends and how important they are to the ecosystem and we do something about it! Help or donate.
They have a list of things on the website (click volunteers) with ideas on how we can help, like sharing or printing their posters to show at school... and educating people about it.You can make a difference.
Character: Allyson from Polly and the Black Ink
Project: Tell a Story Day!
It's National Tell a Story Day! Read or share a life story with friends or family!
I remember when I was very young my mom read a bedtime story from this book every night before going to bed. Here you can see the story for the 27th April.
A boy sees the animals and the rain outside. Life goes on. It rains all day and he is the only one warm and dry. I would be out there with the birds and the other animals. I love rain.
While Jacob Falling writes, I've been working on this series of art prints inspired by the Heir of Scars books since January. I can't wait to
read his new chapters.
There's so much good news that I'm not allowed to share with you yet. Stay close. Don't miss out! For now... my art.
(Illustrator: Vanessa Bettencourt Art)
Polly used to be a very different character from what you see here. But, she had the same heart and goal: To do her best to help others.
The long process not only changed Polly it also changed me. I became part of her life, then of her world and in the end of every islanders' life.
I would love to share it with you.
Polly is waiting.
Don't miss out!
More to say about me. This is my working space. I love to be surrounded by my projects, ice cream and
work near a window. From Portugal to the United States, full of dreams, ideas and creations. I will share more projects with you soon.
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For a time, the world caught its breath.
The War of Scars was memory, but the New Peace fragile.
Our gods were fallen, our faith broken.
We waited for One-Who-Comes in a breath between the storms.
We waited for one already born.
It has been said that the ghosts of our world far outnumber the living.
It has been said that the legacies of our mothers and our fathers decide our fate.
It is said that war begets peace, death brings life, and victory is won by blood alone.
We are scions of a fallen world, the daughters and sons of broken promises.
The War of Scars is over. Our war has only just begun.
Random Valuable Input:
Kids are the best, they're brutally honest and sometimes I have to bit my lip not to laugh as they stab me without mercy.
I had the most interesting conversation with the twins as they sat me down to explain how I can make Polly and the Black Ink go viral and gather more fans and more viewers around the word.
In an age where children have access to technology and internet so easily they gathered information and a plan without even knowing they were applying marketing strategies to my product - this case my graphic novel.
They suggested me in their own words to draw and share more videos of me drawing famous characters then upload them to YouTube ( meaning: draw fan art draw fan art draw fan art), make a series of animated episodes ( meaning: go full animation. Drawing on paper? What are you doing?).
Today is their birthday. I know they're getting wiser and becoming teens when I explained that I want to make fan art of Polly instead, but I understand what draws people to fan art (fan art is like a magnet if we'll used) and that it would be great if I could animate Polly. They got it.
After all, it's my goal to bring my world's and characters to life.
Yes, they got it. I know they are older because they understood and quickly began to sketch my next marketing strategies right in front of me. They're 12 and I will totally hire them AHAHAH!
My free webcomic Notfrombrazil continues with updates three times a week of my daily adventures and misadventures in the United States. Today April 2nd we celebrate our second wedding anniversary with cotton as tradition requires. We hope to have many more to celebrate and lots of new comic pages to make.
I finished the cover for Polly and the Black Ink Volume III Heroes vs Villains. I am really happy about the design. I pushed myself to make it appealing and with a lot of action. Let me know what you think about it.
How does it make you feel?
What is the first thing you see?
Would you prefer so have the Black Ink there somewhere?
Should I just stop asking stuff? : D
Volume I and II Paperbacks here.
The last book signing session was fun. I got to meet other local artist and exchange experience and knowledge.
The audience was curious about my project Polly and the Black Ink so I had a few questions to answer regarding Polly and my creative process.
Polly started as an idea to share with children and became an all age project. It was meant to be a children’s book no longer than forty-eight pages. As I was working on it, I decided that I had so much to tell about each character, their world and their backstory that the format was no longer the best choice. So, I set a goal to make a graphic novel and to complete it in a year. I met the goal and that was really important to me because I was able to finish a task and do it professionally and with quality. Mostly, I was able to publish it and feel the final product in my hand. It’s real. It exists and I can share it with you. (Amazon.com – 7x10 110 pages each book full color)
I’ve also been sharing it for free ( the first volume so far) on my website and webcomic platforms online such as Tapastic and Line Webtoon ( not only Polly and the Black Ink, but also notfrombrazil that tells the story of how I met my better half and came to live and experience life in the USA).
All of you are part of my creative progress because you support me, you inspired me, you motivate me, you care… Thank you.
Ps: Here is a bit of the event. One of the questions was how do I create an entire imaginary world from one single idea of making a book about a girl and her cat bag that is quite peculiar. If you have any question you would like to make about Polly and the Black Ink process just comment.
Pen and watercolor commissions are now open starting at:
Pen 5x7 : starting at $25 (Portrait of you as your favorite character)
Watercolor 5x7 : starting at $40 (Portrait of you as your favorite character)
(also accept character commissions (not your portrait as...) executed in my cartoon style)
Me as a pokemon Trainer.
Me and Jon as Hare Nochi Guu
Me as kiki sample price explained:
5x7 Full body + background (no color) $45
Me and Jon as Cloud and Aerith.
Me as Edward Elric (full metal alchemist)
Just arrived from my book event at Hooray for Books bookstore. It was such a great time to share my work, meet other local authors and make new fans and friends. YAY! I will be back for a new event at the same place September 9th with Polly and the Black Ink Grafic Novel and personalize book signings.
Can't wait to see the movie. Belle and Rapunzel are definitely my favorite.
During Katsucon I chased a girl down one of the alleys. She wasn't cosplaying at all, just walking around but she had the most intense eyes I've seen and I knew I had to draw her and used her as reference later. Here is a quick sketch of her gaze, still I haven't captured the total strength of it. I also forgot to ask her name for her card if she had one.
Working on Polly and the Black Ink Volume III
It will add new characters, new adventures and new mysteries.
Zahira and Enrique arrive at the island on book III. Zahira was born in Cabo Verde and she has many songs in her heart.
Enrique is quiet but the best friend one can have. He was born in Peru to a peruvian mother and an mexican father. He traveled the world with his mother for the past 6 years and he knows many languages.
Our first time at Katsucon, I confess I was nervous taking an original graphic novel to a crowd who already gave their love to famous anime and cartoon characters, but it turned out great. It was fun to recognize some of Heir of Scars fans from last year's Awesome Con artist alley. They didn't recognize us because we had a completely different product and display. Still they stopped by and were very interested in Polly and that made me happy.
Polly made a lot of people stop and talk to me. I am so thankful to all of my new fans who got both volumes (I and II) without hesitation.
A year ago I decided to make a graphic novel and finish it in one year. I did it and now Polly is in many homes. It's not just only mine. I'm confident people will love it.
Also would like to thank the notfrombrazil.com fans who came to our table to meet us and take a selfie. It meant a lot to me. Hope to see you again at Awesome con Artist Alley for another three days of fun!
www.notfrombrazil.com is a free webcomic series that tells the story of how I came to meet Jon and move into the USA. It's a comedy, biographical comic series. It updates three times a week.
Katsucon 2017 is almost here.
We will be attending the artist alley for the 3 days (17 to 19 February) and it's going to be the best.
You'll be able to get my Polly and the Black Ink graphic novel books I and II paperback. (image of both covers)
I will be taking portrait commissions at the table of you notfrombrazil.com style. Drop by. Say hi!
Working on the last details for the table. The new banner is on its way and a lot of paperback books too. I'm really excited about Polly's debut. I can't wait to share her with all of you.
From time to time my commissions became more serious but still funny when I make cartoons for Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
My two banners arrived. One for the graphic novel Polly and the Black Ink and for my brand as an artist Vanessa Bettencourt Art.
Polly's banner includes the logo,Polly and Paws (the cover of volume I A New Start), and some new friends.
My banner includes : The red woman, holding the green apple as a reference to Heir of Scars series, the fantasy city street for my epic fantasy series (Children of the Stone), in the bottom-left corner a reference to Polly and the Black Ink volume II cover and last but not least, in the bottom-right corner a reference to my next fantasy novel starring insects: Beyond the Cliff & Courage.
The first bulk of books arrived. Got a lot copies of volume I and volume II will also be available soon.
Can't wait to share it with you.
Full cover for the second volume of Polly and the Black Ink graphic novel.
Uploading the cover finally to be printed. Now, I just need to finish a few edits to the last pages.
Volume II: The Other side
(paperback will be available soon)
I will have both volumes on Katsucon 2017 and AwesomeCon 2017 too.
Polly's story continues.
They're in danger and Polly must do all in her power to help.
Testing some brushes that help to increase the speed of workflow a low.
Image created for my WIP novel.
Starting with a very small thumbnail with the idea. This was my favorite among so many that I sketched while tea boiled.
Blocked shadows and light. Made some decisions on light source and secondary light.
It's a matter of style. I like where it was going, but I want a different kind of face.
What do I do in my spare time when I'm not making commissions...
Keeping the last post in mind about the 3 types of practice, I started a drawing after 30 minutes of drawing circles as warming up. My goal is to keep practicing so I don't forget techniques and learn more by making more.
1- Innate Practice - Do it over and over: painting a portrait and clouds again. 2- Inspirational Practice - Working on fantasy creatures, original characters and dragons. 3- Developmental Practice - I could do it in a cartoon style, but I want to step up and learn new techniques. Making more realistic but keeping my fantasy/ surreal style.
Already decided that I'm not going to paint a cartoonish version of it. So after adding some color for mood, I changed her face before any more rendering.
I make sure I flip my canvas regularly to check for mistakes in my composition.
How to practice to improve your skill. This will work with any task or job you have to complete.
I found this short but useful video blogger who gives great tips and shares a lot of his how-to-do art.
He speaks off 3 types of practice that will help you improve.
1- Innate practice - chose a project and work on it everyday for a year or two, in the end you will see how much you have improved. Notfrombrazil project started with no style or color for each cartoon, a year latter I established a style and remained with the same format. It helped me to improve my skills a lot.
2- Inspirational Practice - Keep a journal, paper and pencils always with you, so when a music, image, movie, show, walk around the museum inspired you take notes or produce drafts. This is the most interesting kind of practice because it deals closer to motivation. Do what you like. Nonetheless, it will burn out quickly.
3- Developmental Practice - Follow tutorials, step-by steps, learn from art books, practice your weaknesses. He recommends several useful exercises. ( life drawing, simplification of shapes into silhouettes or geometrical shapes, and more)
The best is to balance between all three and use them everyday.
Starting the year with a new look for my official site.
Art concept of one of my work in progress epic fantasy novels.
I love to create my worlds in writing and with color.
I set a goal for 2016 to improve my cartoon skills by drawing, writing, coloring and publishing my own Graphic Novel.
Polly and the Black Ink was born from an old project to make a picture book but instead, it became a superhero/parallel world/adventure/mystery/fantasy all age graphic novel. And at the same time, it helped me to improve also the web comic series notfrombrazil.
This year, I'll return to improving my drawing and painting skills of fantasy characters and landscapes that will be themed around Heir of Scars and drafts of novels that will come out soon.
2016 ends with good memories and achievements too.
We released the Heir of Scars Book I omnibus edition with parts 1 to 8 on paperback (amazon online store) with the release during the artist alley appearance at Awesome Con 2016 DC Artist Alley.
New covers, art and illustration were made, news novels drafted and a 510 page graphic novel - Polly and the Black Ink that I finished in a year.
The graphic novel has been shared with you slowly online and the first 105 pages are already available as a paperback on amazon.
The second volume will come out this next January/February.
I can't forget www.notfrombrazil.com The webcomic series gathered family and many new friends with several uploads a week. Thank you for being around. Stay close.
There will be new projects and more of the old to continue to see.
Next events: Katsucon 2017 and Awesomecon 2017