Sunday, April 30, 2017

April Drawing 22-30 (Daily Markers 285-293)

Another April Drawing has come to a close. This last week was pretty fun.

 Day 22: draw fire. I chose to do a simple candle, and I used some references to get the appearance. A dark background might have helped the effect, but I think it turned out all right.

 Day 23: draw cold atmosphere. A winter lake beneath some mountains.

 Day 24: draw warm atmosphere. In contrast, here's a desert road.

 Day 25: draw liquid (ex. blood, paint). I had in mind a puddle of watercolor paint.

Day 26: use your fav colors. I really like these three colors, B16, B18, and Y08. I probably could have used more colors since the blank white skin makes her look even creepier than I intended. And I'm so rusty at drawing people.

 Day 27: choose three markers blindly, AGAIN! Another drawing with random colors. This time I drew some variations on seaweed and used BG60, BG11, and YR16. For random colors, these went quite well together.

 Day 28: use only colors that end with number 7. For this piece I drew inspiration from starfish. The hardest part was doing the rocks; because I could only use markers that ended in 7, the grays I used blend into each other a bit and the linework is obscured.

Day 29: use cheap markers (prefer non-alcohol ones). I drew a Portuguese man-o'-war for the non-alcohol marker piece. This was a really interesting challenge because I've spent most of the year getting used to alcohol-based markers, namely Copics, and then I had to use a completely different kind. The challenge suggested using non-alcohol markers, so I opted to go with the washable markers that are meant for kids. I got a set of Crayola Super Tips, and boy are the results streaky. I think this is largely because of the paper I used; the Bristol paper probably didn't take the ink the way Crayola intended. I did buy some Crayola paper, and while they aren't on par with the blending I get with Copics, the Crayolas did blend a bit better on the brand paper than the Bristol. Not having a brush tip did not help.

Day 30: do again the challenge piece you were least satisfied with and then compare the two pieces. I wanted to Day 26 again. I did not like how I left her skin blank, which made her look pretty ghastly; also, there was nothing in the prompt that indicated I could only use three colors. So, here are the same colors plus E33 for the skin. Also, I think the drawing is stronger than the original.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

April Drawing 16-21 (Daily Markers 279-284)

Well into the second to third week of April Drawing. I admit these were a bit more rushed and not as polished as I would like. A bit more experimentation that didn't go as planned.

 Day 16: draw something metallic. I opted to draw a mug I have. I would like to do more studies of surfaces so I can render them better.

 Day 17: make space/cosmos. An attempt at drawing a galaxy. I tried to use the ABS airbrush system, but I realized after the fact I'd hooked up the air can incorrectly, hence why the attempts at airbrushing the black (and using the marker itself) looks so shoddy.

 Day 18: use colored paper (non white). I used some warm paper in a sketchbook I've had for a while to do a dogfish, which is related to sharks. It's a challenge to use markers on colored paper because some colors don't show up and merely darken the page, while others look different compared to white paper. Another thing to play with more.

 Day 19: draw stone/crystal.

 Day 20: draw fur. An attempt at a furry rabbit. Much more splotchy than I'd intended. I used some colorless blender to add some texture and a colored pencil to add more fur direction.

Day 21: draw water. A puddle.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

April Drawing: Daily Markers 271-278

Second week of April Drawing, days 271-278 for the daily marker drawings, and still going strong. This week saw further movement away from the marine theme of the first week, and it looks like that this may be the end of that theme for now.

 Day 8: choose blindly two colors. These were chose chosen blindly, and while they were complimentary colors (good because complimentaries work well together), they had to be the boldest and most garish of contrasts you could get. Such blinding colors! Anyway, the picture is based on a triggerfish.

 Day 9: use only 00, 000, and 0000 markers. In Copic's coloring system, 00s are usually the lightest color in each color family and are usually pretty pale. Over time, the company has added 000s and 0000s to some of the families because there are times people really want to go even paler and lighter than the original 00s (some artists will even create paler color mixes because all you need is the color ink and a lot of colorless blender, so I'd imagine there are some really pale custom colors out there). This was a pretty pale picture, but "pale" can be relative. This flying fish may use light colors, but it harmonizes pretty well and looks pretty nice.

 Day 10: color skin without using any E, R, or YR colors. Many, if not most or all, artists use combinations of certain Es, Rs, and YRs because they fall in the ranges for human skin colors. One could probably create a very human looking skin tones without them, but I opted to do a mermaid (yep, that's a merMAID). I chose to keep the pale colors I'd pulled from the previous day's challenge.

 Day 11: redraw one of your old Copic works. I chose to redraw the sun witch from Inktober 2016, mostly because it just barely counts as a Copic image (no color was applied, but it was drawn with Copic multiliners). I opted to do a mid-range image and use colors for this version.

 Day 12: shade white clothing without using any gray tones. One does not need to use gray to shade white; pretty much any pale or appropriate saturation color will do. I used a light blue to attempt to shade the dress. More volume and form knowledge (and fashion) would help this one.
 Day 13: color ombre hair or clothing. I had to look up "ombre"; it pretty much means "gradation." I forgot it was supposed to be clothing, so let's pretend it's a cord or ribbon.

 Day 14: use at least 10 colors. A lineless drawing of an area of sea floor.

Day 15: use only markers. No lineart. Once again I used sea jellies for the piece. No lineart at all, not even a preliminary sketch. Jellies work well with that approach. Used three RV markers for the piece.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Daily Markers 264-270: April Drawing 1-7

April rolls around again, which means it's time for another round of the April Drawing Challenge. The daily challenge is now almost a norm for me, but I still enjoy participating in the prompts for the community or doing my own thing; either way, I like sharing my art with others who are doing the challenge for improvement, fun, or both.

A marine theme kinda happened for this week, and I plan to keep with it as much as I can. However, I am also using the artist Sadyna's 30-day marker challenge, and some of them are meant for human or humanoid subjects (like clothes). I'm rather pleased with what I've come up with for the first week.

 Day 1: Use only one color. I started with a drawing of a Siamese fighting/Betta fish. I drew inspiration from the tradition in the April Drawing community to draw fish (based on French pun about April Fools' and fish). The only color used was V06.

 Day 2: Choose blindly three colors. I started with the drawing first, and I drew inspiration from the many different kinds of sea slugs or nudibranchs in real life. This one was from imagination. The colors were blindly chose by mom: B02, E74, and R37.

 Day 3: Use only gray tones. I drew this tiger shark using only warm grays for the shark and cool grays for the background.

 Day 4: Use complementary colors. I could use any kind of complementary combination, but I was thinking of how pleasant an earlier drawing of sea jelly/jellyfish was, so I went with oranges (Y and YR) for the sponges and B24 for the sea around it.

 Day 5: Use only markers' wide tip end. This is a scaly foot gastropod, a kind of sea snail. I might come back to this one because I wanted to get a more chiseled or scaly appearance for the scales on the foot.

 Day 6: Use only one color family. Inspired by an image I found (but not based on it), I decided to draw a pink seahorse, so the color family I chose was RV.

Day 7: Use markers that end with number 3. These jellyfish were drawn while I was out of town, so I wanted to keep it relatively simple. But I did attempt to draw two kinds of sea jellies. These were all drawn with markers that ended in 3 (ex. RV23 or YG13). A pretty good end for the first week of drawings.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Daily Markers: Days 250-263

March ends another month of my one-year marker challenge, and it ends with me just over 100 days away from the end. Yeah, I've decided I'm going to probably stop the public daily challenge because I'm getting a bit burned out (I plan to continue doing daily drawings for practice and working towards pieces). Anyway! The last two weeks include the proper 250th drawing and more work using the Strathmore 400 Series marker paper.

I did a simple fanart drawing of the masks the Daughters of Aku where in season five of Samurai Jack. I would like to do more fanart from the series, and the season continues the series' tradition of gorgeous art, so there's a lot draw upon.

 A simple, quick picture for the first day of spring. Used a brush pen for the lines.

 The Magic Mirror from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This is another subject I want to come back to, namely drawing the Evil Queen and Snow White. I want to do more Disney fanart and kinda work through the animated canon.

As for the pic itself, this was a fun challenge. First, I had to find good references for the frame of the mirror and had to pick and choose the most consistent parts. I had fun working out how to do the spirit's face. In the original movie stills, near as I can tell, the forehead grades pretty smoothly into the upper cheeks and nose. I am pleased with how I was able to get the gradation and getting it rather smooth. The blackness of the mirror background helped to pull the face's colors together.

 A quick pic of a green lady elf-fae being. I played a little with using some pink for undertones on the cheeks, nose, and shoulders. It didn't blend as well as I wanted, but it helps to keep it from being too monotone.
 A bit of a humorous self portrait. Sometimes the ideas don't come. So I drew myself trying to brainstorm something.
A pawn
For the last week I chose to do some fanart of Sailor Moon; when all else fails, fall back on fanart of the classics.

I opted to do those referred to the Inner Scouts/Senshi and Sailor Chibi Moon. For this series I wanted to play with using colored lines for most of the portraits, except for black for the eyes; depending on the color, I used a combination of Pigma Microns and Copic Multiliners. I was inspired a piece of Sailor Moon fanart by Chihiro Howe that used blue lines, as well as other pieces in her overall work. Using colored inks add a different look to a piece than what you would get from using black. Depending on the color and application, I think it can soften the line art once the color is added. The black being used for the eyes helps to draw attention to them.

Over the course of the series, however, I ran into a recurring problem and a gripe I have with the paper. You can see it in many of the above pieces, but especially with Sailor Moon's, the ink for the line art tended to smudge. I'm not sure if it was because the ink wasn't thoroughly dried or just the nature of the paper, but it was frustrating for the ink to get picked up by the marker and ruining an otherwise fine picture. I understood for the portions where the ink was applied much more strongly, such as under the neck, but it seemed to be worse around the nose and lips. Maybe I need to let it dry longer or apply less before coloring.

And there were some problems with Sailor Chibi Moon's image. Short answer: refilled a maker a bit to much and it was too juicy, hence blotting. If you want to see the original before my fixes, you can see it here.

And that's it for this month. April is here, which means time for the April Drawing Challenge. I've done pretty well for the last couple of years. I'll continue with the marker challenge, but I'll be using Sadyna's 30-day marker challenge prompt list for inspiration.

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.