Saturday, March 18, 2017

Daily Markers 249 & 250: Willi and Ida

I have a month's worth of pictures to scan. I'm still going strong with the daily marker drawings, up to Number 250 today. I wanted to share the last two days' worth of images because I have changed things up. Until now I've used the Strathmore Artist Tiles, namely the bristol paper, which are a 6x6 in. square format. I ran out of the tiles for now, and so, instead of going to get some more of that paper, I chose to use the relatively new Strathmore 400 Series Marker Paper.

Strathmore already had marker paper, but that was intended for concept rendering, such as architecture or product design, not for the heavy application many crafters and other illustrators tend to do with markers. I had order a number of pads of different sizes late last year, but I haven't done any marker pieces larger than the tiles until recently. Otherwise, I'd probably be sitting on on the paper for a while, except for a few finished pieces in the 9x12 or 11x14 sizes. (Incidentally, like many artists, I have a lot of sketchbooks and pads waiting to be used. I need to make my way through my supply.) So, I'm playing with the Strathmore 400 marker paper until the end of the month. A good time to see how it actually holds up.

So! On to the images. Because I'm not sure how the marker paper will hold up to my very messy rough drawing style, I opted to draw the rough sketches in a separate sketchbook. I used a 6.25" x 8.5" sketchbook to do the roughs. Unfortunately, I forgot to take into account the size after tearing along the perforated edge, so the original is a little narrower and taller than the final marker page. You can see that in the sketch of the Willi from Princess Tutu. I also left behind part of the arm.

The good thing about the narrower sketch is I can adjust the alignment so it's better centered, although I may lose part of the height. I was able to use the missing arm sketch in the final tracing and inking. I've gotten so used to the bristol artist tile surface that the super smooth surface felt a little odd. Not sure how it affected the inking for either piece, but I'll try to adjust. I used warm and cool grey Copic multiliners. The final rosemary was freehanded in marker.

Today's drawing was fanart of the smartphone game Monument Valley, a fun and relaxing puzzle game. The featured characters are Ida and Totem, a creature that helps her in her quest. As you can see in the rough drawing, I made some effort at proper perspective and alignment. It was a mild success there.

The final piece first had it "inked" with an orange and blue color pencil, which I attempted to knock back with the kneaded eraser. I then used the markers to color it in. I felt it needed to be cleaned up a bit with a brown pen for Totem and a cool grey pen for Ida.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Sword in the Stone (Daily Marker #207)

I've mentioned a few times my desire to do more thought out and detailed pieces. I haven't really done many of those since the end of the last Inktober. Much of the problem is due to time, both not much time in the evening to give to drawing and not taking much time to do the planning, studies, and other prep work. The gap between thought and action can be a bit big with me.

I was able to act on one of my intended illustration ideas: the Sword in the Stone. It's a pretty classic image for illustrations, so it was a challenge to try to create a slightly unique take on it. I did bug a friend of mine who is more versed in Arthurian legends for suggestions regarding the sword and whether to include the anvil or not. I hope I was able to give a slightly unique take on the anvil-sword combo by having the anvil wedged into the stone instead of just on top of it.

Since I was drawing this on the artist tiles, I started with one of my colored mechanical pencils for the rough sketch. I then inked it with a brown 0.1 Copic Multiliner. I attempted some hatching in the crevice shadows and on the sword pommel, the blade,  and end of the guard.

I then followed with the marker coloring. I began with the stone, using a blend various browns (Es in Copic labeling), starting with the darker colors and then going over with the lightest brown to have relatively soft blending. The crevice's shadow was colored in dark browns. I then worked on the brass/gold of the pommel and guard with a mix of yellows and yellow-reds. The blade was next and colored with mix of warm greys. The anvil was last, and started with some of the rust textures in browns before going over them with various cold greys, light to dark to reflect the changes in surfaces and fall into shadows. Last, I went over the picture with a white gel pen to add some highlights.

And that's it. The first of what I hope will be many more illustrations.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Daily Marker Challenge: 201-206, Lots of Knots

When I don't want to think too hard about what to draw, I will pick a pattern/theme and stick with it. This week that theme turned out to be Celtic knots and spirals. I first learned how to draw Celtic knots and spirals in high school, but they are are pretty technical and easy for me to forget how to do if I haven't done some in a while. Thankfully, I found my two books on drawing them, and largely drew upon Draw Your Own Celtic Designs by David James and Victor Gonzalez to refresh my skills. Thank goodness for compasses, guides, and rulers. I still freehand the final designs, but the skeletons of each was drawn with help. It makes things so much easier.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Marker Challenge: 186-200

Hit another milestone by making it to 200 daily marker drawings. The drawings for the last couple of weeks are not as grand as I'd like but they are signs of continued progress. I finished with masks for now and moved onto a variety of subjects and a couple studies.

Fanart of a Cheshire Cat from the webcomic Namesake

Fanart of the nebula trash floofs/caterpillars from Voltron Legendary Defender

Saturday, January 14, 2017

New Year, Still Going Strong

Happy Belated New Year! The old year is over, the new year started, and I'm still going strong with my daily drawings and the marker challenge. For the last two weeks I've been doing mostly original pieces, which I admit is a little challenging coming off of Pokécember. I got used to having a list as a starting point for images, so when I have to resort to my own inspiration it takes a bit more work. Also, I don't always give that much time and effort to plan my pics, hence my original images can be pretty simple in concepts and execution.

I wanted to take a break from fanart for a while and do some original ideas. Here are what I have for the first two weeks. I started with a simple sword, then a demon from a random character generator, and eventually I started doing masks.

So, I still need to work on doing more studies and refilling my creative reservoir. I have an idea to do some illustrations from myths and fairy tales, but I need to take time to plan, thumbnail, and do some referenced studies so the pieces are better. And I want to continue with the masks, but I want to push them. I also want to do more standalone and larger pieces, not just the 6x6 in. dailies I have been doing. We'll see if I can do that.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Pokecember: 25-31

It's the last day of both the year and Pokécember. It's been a pretty good year for Pokémon, from the overall 20th anniversary (did you grab as many mythical pokémon from the giveways as you could?) to Pokémon Go to Sun and Moon. I am glad to use this month's challenge to try out a few things with my Copic markers. And now, to wrap up the year of drawings, here are the last seven days' of Pokécember drawings.

 25. Fave Generation Trainer (24): XY. It was the first game where you could customize your character, which I was so happy to have. I could change the appearance and the clothes, which makes the player character more like me. I also really enjoyed the Pokémon and setting for this game, especially Poke Amie. Glad to have both customization and a slightly modified version of Amie back in Sun and Moon.

 26. Fave Trainer Class: Pokemon Ranger. If I was an actual person in the pokémon world, I'd probably be a Ranger. I opted to go with the XY design because, again, I just really like the design of the rangers in that game. The uniforms look nice and I would wear it.
 27. Fave Rival: Blue/Gary Oak. Going classic with this one.

 28. Fave Gym Leader: Lenora from Black/White. The first gym leader of the game, but I liked her a lot.

29: Fave E4 Member: Siebold. I really liked the Elite Four members of XY, so it was a tough call which one I wanted to be my fave, but Siebold one out this time. He's a chef and a water user.

30: Fave Evil Team: Team Rocket. Again, going with the classics. Even now, 20 years later, everyone knows who Team Rocket is. Opted to go with the game's version and not the more familiar team of Jesse, James, and Meowth from the show because I wanted to homage the classic game grunts.

31: 20th Anniversary Moment. I opted to go with celebrating the overall game's anniversary. I had a couple memories I was tempted to use, but I don't know if I could get them across in the available space. But I can say that the reference used was the Pokémon Red cartridge I held onto over the years. I'm pretty sure I started with Blue, but kept the Red cartridge from my second attempt at the game.  So, what's better to celebrate the 20th anniversary than referencing one of the games that started it all?

And that's it for this month and this year. I'm rather pleased with the progress I've made over the last half of the year with my daily marker challenge, as well as my larger goal to draw something everyday (462 days strong!). I hope to keep both streaks going for the next year. I want to do larger and more polished pieces, as well as get back to the basics to strengthen my overall skills. I'll continue to work with markers as well as try to do more digital and watercolor/gauche paintings. And, if I can get my act together, I want to get to do some comics, probably short ones first followed with getting to an ongoing story. It'll take work, but I want to do what I can to add to the world what positive things I can.

Happy new year! May it be a creative and positive one!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Pokecember: 19-24

Here are almost a week's worth of Pokécember pictures, plus a general walkthrough of one of the pieces.

19. Fave Alolan form: Alolan Vulpix. This was one of the first Alolan pokemon revealed, and I just loved how it contrasted with the original fire versions of Vulplix and Ninetales. The Alolan Ninetales is just a gorgeous as the Kalos one.

 20. Fave Mega Evolution: Mega Gardevoir. I enjoyed using this psychic-fairy cross, especially later in the game.

21. Fave Z-move: Breakneck Blitz. I haven't played much of Moon yet, so I haven't used many Z-moves. Which means, yeah, this one. I like how I was able to do the dust cloud for this image. I opted not to do any inked lines for the cloud to keep it less solid compared to the Yungoos.

 22. Fave single stage: Furfrou. Big poodle pokemon from XY, but I really liked it. I had some other pokemon that took its spot later in the game, but I liked playing with this normal type for the early parts.

23. Fave starter (25): Froakie. Hey, my fave pokémon is Greninja, and I liked pretty much the whole line, so of course Froakie is my fave starter. I also got a little ahead of the list and jumped a couple days. This means that I did day 25's day on the 23rd, and will have to adjust the next couple of days. Which leads us to day 24 (23), fave legendary.