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About Digital Art / Hobbyist Core Member AshenLightsFemale/Australia Recent Activity
Deviant for 4 Years
3 Week Core Membership:
Given by an Anonymous Deviant
Statistics 151 Deviations 1,006 Comments 8,416 Pageviews

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Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
Hi there! Welcome to my dA :)

I'm just another uni student who likes to write and paint in her free time. I'm self-taught and am constantly working towards improving my art. If you have any feedback on my work or advice for improvement, I'd really appreciate any comments!

I also post my art on my tumblr!


City Lights by AshenLights
City Lights
I felt like painting a city this time. Or at least tried to - this is my first time trying to paint a cityscape haha. I really love the cyberpunk genre (though I haven't read/watched that much as of yet. So far, I really like Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and Psycho-Pass), so I guess this is kind of something in that genre too. 


This is kind of sketchy- I don't think my usual painterly style fit in that well with the background I made? And it looks a bit too 2D. :shrug: I guess I'll keep trying.

Tumblr Social Smiley Also on my tumblr:…
The Green Seat by AshenLights
The Green Seat

"It is a creature called Kouki. It dwells deep in the darkness and forms an enormous stream of light. We created for you a unique wine cup that can extract from the stream. From the day life was born it has existed. Life grows strong where it is close and dries up where it is not. In short, it is the water of life. "

So I finally finished Season 1 of Mushishi! These are just some of the key things from the story in Episode 1- The Green Seat (Midori no Za). It's really hard to decide on a single "favourite" episode, since there are so many good stories in Mushishi, but this one is probably somewhere up there with the rest of them. I guess because it was the first episode and my introduction to the series. 

I might do more of these for some of my other favourite episodes from Mushishi. I don't know, we'll see.

Fun fact, this originally started off as a still life/practice-study thing, until I started painting the wine cup and got carried away haha.  

Tumblr Social Smiley Also on my…
Speedpaint: Aurora by AshenLights
Speedpaint: Aurora
The third and final speedpaint I did today. This one only took about half an hour. 

Looking back at all these speedpaints, I'm surprised I took so long to paint them all, especially given how little detail I managed to put in them. I guess part of the reason though is that I took a lot of time getting the composition right and picking the right colours. Like, a lot of the times, something might look like a certain colour due to lighting, but it isn't actually that colour at all when you look at it closely. Relative colour and all that. So with more practice, my eyes will probably get quicker and more accurate with these things. :shrug: We'll see. 

Reference photo used:…
Speedpaint: Light in the Snow by AshenLights
Speedpaint: Light in the Snow
The second speedpaint I did today. Trees are hard seriously. I still don't know how branches work.

This one took me about an hour as well.

Reference photo:…
Speedpaint: Sunset coast by AshenLights
Speedpaint: Sunset coast
I really want to get the hang of painting landscapes so I decided to try speedpainting. Since I can't just lug my computer and tablet outside (and there aren't any great natural landscapes in the city anyway haha), I'm trying to paint with reference from free stock photos instead. I'm thinking of maybe doing one of these everyday? This one took me about an hour, but hopefully with more practice, it won't take as long (and will be more detailed too!) 

Any critique/suggestions for improvement are very welcome! I really have no idea how landscapes work :P

Reference photo used:…
Hey, long time no see (?)! I haven't written a journal here in years and wow have things changed. This is going to be a bit of a long ramble, so apologies in advance haha. It's funny, I don't talk much in real life, but when it comes to writing, I can go on and on. Lol. 

I just got gifted a 1 month core membership (from participating in the Holiday Card Project) and thought I might as well make the most of  journal skins and all these other fancy features :) 

Username change

As you can probably see I've changed my username, from AesuithielSilver --> AshenLights. I've been meaning to change my name for a while. When I first joined DeviantArt, I simply chose two words/names that when combined, would produce a unique username. At the time, I was obsessed with learning Tolkien's Elvish (Sindarin in particular), so I chose a random Sindarin name that I liked the sound of - Aesuithiel (I think it means bird-like or something like that).  I then tacked on "Silver" to the end just because...I like silver? I've always found it to be a bit more subtle than gold, yet beautiful nevertheless.  

As well as being hard to spell and explain to people, this username doesn't really mean much to me anymore. So now that I have a core membership for a bit,  I thought I should change it to my current tumblr art blog username: Ashen Lights. If you've looked at my favourites from way back, you can see that most of my favourite art has always been things with dramatic lighting, or glowing elements, or lots of colours...I guess in essence, a lot of light and dark, with vibrant colours mixed in. Like these:
Welcome to the Wormworld by daniellieske In a Safe Place by JJcanvasThe Forest Giant by TheEchoDragonA painting as a door by AquaSixioFortune's Favored by juliedillonMushi shi: Journey by OXMirukuMap of the visited worlds by anndr
So you get the idea. This type of art is still my favourite - I can stare at these for ages and am still hugely inspired by them.  It's only recently that I've been trying to make art of the same style and though I still have a lot to learn, I'm really enjoying it! So that partly explains the motivation behind my new username Ashen Lights. It kind of reminds me of will-o'-the wisps at night, or just bright lights in the darkness. (Though on an interesting note, "Ashen Light" without the "s" is an astronomical phenomenon describing a type of glow seen from one side of the planet Venus. Which isn't too bad either I suppose.) An extra bonus, is that AshenLights sounds vaguely like bits of my real name...well, maybe if you scramble it a bit haha. I usually go by Ash online anyway, so this username fits it a lot better!

Thoughts on Improvement

So I've been on Deviantart for almost 5 years now and I can say that I have improved somewhat over the years, however slowly. There were periods (and whole years) where I didn't devote much time to art at all, but during the past few months (this month Jan 2016 in particular), I've been drawing and painting like crazy. Here's a little summary of some of my art from when I first started:
Face Practice (shaded) by AshenLightsPortrait Practice by AshenLightsSora Profile Drawing Practice 1 by AshenLights
Risa (contrast) by AshenLightsRapunzel by AshenLightsNight elf sketch by AshenLights
Mage by AshenLightsNorthern Lights by AshenLightsWarrior by AshenLights
Edelorana (for failefayce) by AshenLightsDarx by AshenLightsCrow by AshenLightsWraith by AshenLightsGinoza by AshenLights
God of Calamity by AshenLightsPsycho Pass Tarot 01: The Fool (Kagari) by AshenLightsHusk by AshenLightsWild Crow by AshenLightsTea Study by AshenLightsMushishi by AshenLights
Yeah, I still have a long way to go, but at least now I feel like I'm making a bit of progress! There are a few things I've learnt from others or just noticed myself about the process of improvement in art and I thought I'd write them here. Maybe someone else will find it useful? Or this can just be a record anyway. 

        Turquoise Bullet - F2U! The only way to improve is to practice. A lot. In terms of improvement, quantity is often a lot better than quality. It's better to draw something, move on and draw more things than to agonise over a single piece of art until it's perfect. 

        Turquoise Bullet - F2U! On the same note, having a sketchbook for practice sketches is really good. No one has to see the sketches at all, and they don't have to be perfect. I've been filling quite a few lately with sketches of poses, faces, everything. Also drawing from life or from reference is best. I've been using… for poses and faces. is good for landscape drawing too.

        Turquoise Bullet - F2U! Art is hard. It's a skill and not some kind of inherent talent people are born with. So if you want to get better, you have to work hard at it. 

        Turquoise Bullet - F2U! Art is one of those things that is really easy to give up on. It's so easy to get discouraged when what you've made looks far from what you've imagined in your head. But the key is to keep going. Not all of your art will be great. There will certainly be a lot of bad ones that will make you cringe looking at them. But then again, you have to get through the bad art to get to the good art I suppose. 

        Turquoise Bullet - F2U! Don't get caught up comparing your art to others. Everyone is at different stages of improvement/skill and some people improve a lot faster than others. 

        Turquoise Bullet - F2U! Always draw what you like. There was a year when I was so focussed on just "improving" that art became a tedious slog. I just tried to practice the same generic thing over and over again and eventually I gave up on art for pretty much a whole year. I've noticed that fanart is actually really helpful. Being inspired by a series (tv, anime, books, whatever) can be really motivating and can push you to try things you're usually scared of. (For example, after watching Psycho-Pass and being inspired by it, I've taken on a Tarot card project which has been forcing me to paint more fullbody figures and experiment more with lighting -  things I would usually avoid). Fanart has really been pushing me out of my comfort zone (of generic front on faces haha) while making it enjoyable all the same. 

        Turquoise Bullet - F2U! In the end, art (at least for me) is a hobby. It's supposed to be fun and purely for your own benefit. So make what you like to see, and draw what you want to draw.  

I'm sure I'm forgetting some things but this is what was on the top of my mind anyway. Let me know if you have any other tips! I'm hoping that I'll actually still be drawing another 5 years or so from now, hopefully with some more improvement!

Tumblr Emote

  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Mushishi soundtrack
  • Reading: Mistborn: The Hero of the Ages
  • Watching: Mushishi


Add a Comment:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the watch. So sweet that you support me :hug:
AshenLights Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem! :)
Lormet-Images Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Thank you so much for adding my stock photo of a "Pavilion in the Chinese Garden" to your collection, I really appreciate it! :)
ToddNTheShiningSword Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

Do you still give 3 Comments and a Llama for 2 :points: like you said HERE ? ;)
SadisticCartoonGirl Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
thanks for the llama :)
AshenLights Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem :)
pokings Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013
Thanks for the watch!
AshenLights Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem! I love your art style :D
lostie815 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch! :D
AshenLights Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're very welcome! I really love your art :)  I have yet to start reading your webcomic (sorry! =p), but I will definitely get on to it asap! It sounds like a really interesting idea :D
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