Saturday, December 25, 2010

IF: Winter

Merry Christmas, folks!

Responding to this week's Illustration Friday prompt, winter.

Materials: Copic multiliners and markers

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Secret Santa

Once again this year, I am taking part in a number of secret santa exchanges. Three, actually. Two of them are from art boards I frequent, and CGHub, and both are physical gifts to be mailed. I dragged on this one, but ultimately am largely pleased with what I came up with. Because I was doing two, I eventually settled on the idea of doing something paired but could stand alone. I have wanted to play with the theme of chess pieces for a while, black/red versus white, and each would have a thematic look. In this case, while I don't think I got across the "queen" aspect, I did manage to stick with the contrast/opposites idea.

One thing I am pleased with is how these are pictures I managed to ink with a G-pen nib and my WN #2 for the solid blacks. The originals, unfortunately, have some smudges, but nothing that distracts from the overall pieces.

I'll post the last secret santa image(s) when I get it done and sent to the recipient.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Still Life, sphere

Been rather quiet this month. Sorry.

Managed to get some time today to work on still life studies again, this time the sphere. Having an actual sphere helps grasp the whole form/value concept. While I may get it, I still can't quite draw it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

KTG Ahiru sketches

Pretty much putting this up for the sake of putting something up and wanting to share. These are some sketches I made before I did the actual work on "Kiss the Girl" last time. As I said, I was anal about Ahiru's hair and design before getting over myself and drawing it. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kiss the Girl

I have always been a big Disney animation fan, and I expect I will be for some time. Yeah, I will often agree on the digs and flaws of Disney as a company, but its animated films hold a special place for me. Not all are hits, but they generally do a good job with crafting and telling their stories. I've seen Tangled, and I enjoyed it. But this isn't about Tangled, this goes back a ways to another feature, The Little Mermaid, and how I managed to mix it with another animated property I love, Princess Tutu.

Those who follow this blog may notice that a lot of my fanart tends to be from the anime series, Princess Tutu, and part of the reason for this is I'm a co-moderator of a fan group of the series over at DeviantArt. This means we often come up with activities for the group to participate in, including monthly contests. That, and I really like the series. Becky, my fellow moderator, and I had decided early in the year to close out the club's year with a contest where the theme was a crossover with the Disney animated films, so I've had most of the year to consider what I wanted to do. Early in the summer, I made a list of potential ideas for both the announcement image and as a possible entry, including the image to the side of Femio as Emperor Kuzco that was used as part of the announcement image. That list included a lot of ideas that I thought were clever or cute, and a few that were what I felt were "obvious," ones that I expected a number of others would do or consider. Prominent among them were the "Princess" films and fairy tale inspired films, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and, most apparent to me, The Little Mermaid.

For a long time, I did not want to do an "obvious" film and characters, and The Little Mermaid had a lot that increased the chances of it being used by a number of other entrants. The two leads are both redheads, after a prince, not really human, and can't explicitly state their respective loves. So, in my attempt to avoid doing TLM, I considered others on my list and a few new ones, such as flower-loving Freya as the Sprite from the "Firebird Suite" in Fantasia 2000, a young Fakir as Winnie the Pooh's Christopher Robin or as Mowgli with Mister Cat as Bageera, and Uzura and Edel as Pinnochio and the Blue Fairy respectively from Pinnochio. But I couldn't shake my initial idea; thematically and visually, having Ahiru and Fakir as Ariel and Eric just worked, and I loved the "Kiss the Girl" scene. I eventually caved and started working on it.

I did a number of studies, and found a couple of images of the scene online for reference. Thankfully, I have the DVD of the film, so I used that a lot. Amusingly enough, I actually spent a few days fretting over adapting Ahiru's hair from the anime design, which shifts the bangs to the other side whenever she turns her head, which doesn't quite work with Disney animation. Then I realized I only needed to do one angle, so I got over it and worked on getting it to look right.

The images were drawn with a green Colerase pencil, then refined with a graphite pencil, and traced on a cleaner, larger piece of paper to get the boat in a better size. I then inked it and scanned it into my computer for digital coloring. The figures and boat were done separately from Flounder and the other fish because I wanted to be able to easily scale and move the parts so they were placed right.

Then came the fun part, doing the background. This was my favorite part of the piece, and the one I enjoyed doing the most. I believe I learned a little while doing this, and it's one of the few times I've actually attempted a background for a stand-a-lone illustration.

Next came the figures and the boat. One thing I was glad to learn is this scene was one that had flat coloring on the figures, i.e. no shading to have to emulate. I had to make color adjustments because the source scene is actually rather dark and not all that colorful. I opted to include Fakir and Ahiru's colors for them (green and yellow) instead of the original's colors because I wanted it to be them. This was a bigger decision for Ahiru, and I did briefly have dress and bow Ariel's blues, but it was agreed upon on Twitter that the yellows and oranges worked much better and fit Ahiru's character. The fish were easy,  and the adjustments I made was to lower the saturation in the later stages.

Lastly came the effects, and it was my least favorite part. The fireflies were easy to do, and I had no problem doing that. It was the sprays and water lines that were a pain. I got something I was all right with, and the image was done.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

International Self-Portrait Day 2010

Been quite. Mostly work getting in the way.

Monday was International Self-Portrait Day. Here's my relatively quick self-portrait.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oct. 19-20

Stuff from Oct. 19 and tonight. Mostly studies from photo reference or still life drawings.

For some reason, I opted to go with a Col-erase pencil for the timed studies; graphite for the quick and dirty still life.

Timed gestures of a My Little Mermaid figurine. Different figurine from before, but same set. I'll probably work my way through them all at some point. 1-3-5 minute gestures.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Still Life, rhino and mermaid

The last week has been really busy with grading and work, so not much time to draw like I'd intended. Here are a pair, one from before the workload and from tonight. I spend about an hour on the figurine.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Still Life, blocks II

Missed yesterday, but got some in today. About 25 minutes on this one.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Still Life, blocks

High time I got around to doing some still life drawings. A couple of pages drawn featuring a couple of wood blocks I had actually bought exactly for that purpose. I spent maybe 15 minutes on each drawing. The plan is to build up my patience as well as my skills.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Testing Inks

I think I'm perpetually trying to figure out what tools are like and which ones are best.  If you recall from my past posts, I'm currently interested in inking. You want to go with what you like best and best meets your needs. In my case, I have two general needs: a good ink for general sequential inking and a good ink for marker pieces. For the later, you want one that is pigment based and waterproof to resist the alcohol of the marker, which is hard to find. There are inks out there that work well with markers, especially in pigma microns, but not so much dip or loose inks unless you know where to look. The first inks I learned that would work well with markers are Deleter Black, but only a few of the six or so Black inks they make are good for markers. This is where reviews are a lifesaver, and help point out ahead of time which ones work.

Of course, sometimes you just have to test them, especially if some inks are glossy while others are matte. Right now, I want a good matte ink that blends well in a nice even black. You can see I tried seven inks on Bristol smooth paper to see which stood up well to pen inking with a G-pen nib, a quick brush applied solid black, and marker tests. I'm not the first to test inks to see how they hold up; go to this LiveJournal post for a more thorough series of test. I tested seven inks: Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay Black India Ink, Yasutomo black sumi ink, Dr. Ph. Martin's Black Star Waterproof India Ink matte, Winsor and Newton black India ink (watercolor drawing ink), Deleter Blacks 2, 3, and 5. The scan doesn't show it, but the sumi ink, W&N and Deleter Black 3 have a sheen; not noticeable in a scan but there. The one I liked the least was W&N's watercolor ink; it wasn't a very even black and had a the worst feathering when used with the pen. For now, I'm planning to use Black Star matte for sequential inking because it was so dark and matte, and Deleter Black 5 for marker work. This is not set in stone, and there's always the possibility I could change my mind in the future.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bena (finished)

Here's the finished version of the piece I started earlier. Okay, really they're the inked with pencils and the inked and marker colored version.

Done largely with a Zebra G-pen, Winsor-Newton Series 7 (solid blacks), and Deleter Black 6. I wish the solids were smoother, but not bad for my first real attempt.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bena (rough)

Those who know me from undergrad will recognize this character from my long on hiatus comic. I just felt like drawing her. I'll probably ink her after I do some other pieces that are waiting for me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Arm studies

A little bit of animal anatomy from Goldfinger, followed by Bridgman arm studies and trying to apply it to photo refs.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Watercolor PT Promo Image

This is the promo image for the next contest over at Club-Tutu. Also an attempt at watercolors. Yeah, I need to work on it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spider-man and Batgirl versus the Rhino

There was a dynamic challenge over at, and this one involved a cross-over with Spider-man and Batman, or any combination of people from their respective groups. This included Batwoman (although I think they were thinking Batgirl), Spider Woman (which I'm pretty sure has no relation to Spider-man), any version of Batgirl, Robin, and Spider Girl, as well as respective villains. I went with Spidey and Steph Brown Batgirl. I dunno, they seem like they'd get along pretty good.

Below are the thumbnails, roughs, and final image. I need to work on my inking, but I think I did okay. Of course, Steph's costume is almost entirely black. Doesn't help things.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sailor Spider

Sketchoholic is an art resource site that emphasizes contests as part of its toolbox for motivating artists to draw. I was alerted to one contest by my friend, Autumn, via Twitter. I checked it out, and the combination that popped into my head was Spider-man and Sailor Moon. I just loved the idea of a sailor scout/senshi with elements of Spidey's costume. And it was crack enough to make me jump on it.

This was my first page of sketches to get a feel for what to keep. Drawn from my memory of how the two looked. The next page is a mix of quick studies of Spider-man's costume. It's very iconic, and I think this is my first time ever drawing anything Spider-man related, so I needed reference. Damn that webbing on the costume. One thing I wish I could have had on my final costume is the webbing between his arms and body, but there weren't enough elements from the sailor senshi uniform to connect to.

 Next, the pencil sketch. I did some thumbnails of her swinging from her webbing from different angles and the classic Sailor Moon post-transformation pose, but my favorite was a simple pose of her braced on a wall. It's a very Spidey kind of pose, and a way to show how she has at least the adhering power. Largely went with the animated version of Sailor Moon, first season, hence lack of hair pens. Included an appropriately different version of her Moon Healing Rod.

And this is the final version. I colored it vibrant colors, then lowered the saturation because I liked how it looks. We'll see how I do in the contest.