Friday, January 08, 2021

Khylov's Daydream Moleskine Notebook

Some notebook pages out of the Moleskine. Very much budget Miyazaki's Daydream Notebook, except instead of WWII and planes it's ancient Byzantium with their tiny kingly hands. And featuring Theodoric and Odoacer hashing out their differences in aristocratic manner.

The color is Photoshop, but otherwise it's all pencil and pen. I also did a bunch of pages covering favorite comics I'd read recently, notably Fabien Mense's Agito Cosmos, Cyril Pedrosa's Portugal, Markus Mawil's Kinderland, Anthony Holden's Hard Boiled: Ace Detectives. I may post the full pages here next time.

I posted these over on the Instagram already, but since they're asking for people to log-in just to even browse the main page, here they are, along with a WIP preview of one of my more recent posts. Tens of viewers take note, I'm putting up with the stupidity of both IG's censorship campaign and Blogspot's broken formatting to bring you my table scrap sketches. If that's not love, then I don't know what is.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Sketchbook Pages Fresh Off The Press

Well, not off the presses. More like fresh off the Cintiq. Recent series of digital sketches below, like literally from the past few days. Plenty of storybook vignettes and random character pieces.

...And here's a redux of an older piece from... 2018 I think? 8-bit characters hanging out at the old Chinese takeout place we'd hit after class at the local JC:

I guess at the time I thought the shapes were pushed enough on the first version (small inset picture on the left). But in all likelyhood I just wanted to get the color and lighting done, and didn't take enough steps back to see if I actually liked the overall feel of the poses or the drawing itself. And as usually the case from back then, I didn't really push the concept or character interactions either, so... here you have it. More characters, a little more activity, including burping. Hopefully some color soon.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Cosmonaut Sketches 02

As promised some months ago, here are the rest of the sketches for the cosmonaut girls in combat, and a somewhat finished version or two below. 

Exploratory sketches:

I don't exactly remember which order I did these in. I'm pretty sure the latter two below were later, though all of this was months ago so who knows. 

The 2nd pic above has the most recent revisions with the black lined character in the foreground (3rd or 4th pass each). Not exactly proud of that, but it's better to be honest about methods rather than saying "I can hit everything perfectly 1st pass in 20 minutes!"  Yeah, maybe a small subset of things I obsess over, but definitely not everything. I still have to put the legwork in just like everybody else.

 All of the above I of course did in my basackwards way, after the first or initial version which is below.

Added some Gaussian blur for a little depth. Even this wasn't the original version; I did some slight revisions even after I'd posted it over on Instagram. In fact the first version of this got the Learnuary treatment by me (or the "How NOT To Draw Like Me" lesson plan):

 At the least and as I always say, my mistakes are to your benefit my tens of viewers.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Animation Hellhole Memories Part 5

Full two page spread below. Some story ideas and more memories from the Animation Department over at Allan Hancock College.

The one page was loosely based on when friends would skate over at the Oak Knoll Bowl / Orcutt Bowling Alley shopping center. I don't remember if they ever tried to do tricks off the elevated foundation and walkway. Either way it probably wouldn't be possible to do what I drew as he'd land straight into the railing after clearing the steps. But maybe that was the point.

The other page on the right was a memory I had of a bunch of us jammed into the Animation Hellhole, working on lame Monty Python-style cutout animation on one of the test machines. This was probably late November or sometime in December, before winter break and all of us going our separate ways til the next semester, so it has that bit of a holiday nostalgia filter for me. All of us laughing like idiots making dumb cutout characters doing even dumber things, improvising most of the action and voicing over the dialog whenever we'd play it back on the crappy little tv they had in there. Sometimes good memories are hard to come by depending on what transpires after the fact, but this was one I was able to hang on to for whatever reason. 

Another redux of stuff I posted earlier. Wasn't happy with some of the poses I did in the previous version - I'm not totally happy with what I have here either - but well, what can you do other than try to not get too lost in nostalgia while drawing and to keep going. 

That was always something that tripped me up, up until maybe a few years ago, the excitement of having an idea or wanting to finish a drawing (or just being under some arbitrary deadline), but not having the patience or discipline or time to really look at what I was doing and think "Maybe I should do a couple more takes on this drawing or pose and really figure out what the hell I'm doing or trying to do." Anybody from the Animation Hellhole days can tell you that I locked myself into the testing room more than a few times to try to finish a scene. I instinctively knew like most everybody else would in that kind of situation, I needed to block things out in order to get things done. But that realization would get lost later on down the road once I started going to a "real" art school and doing time at studios. Alot of intuitive things would get muddied during and after the Hellhole days.

 [Older sketch from a few years ago.]

Haste makes waste as they say. I'd say being overwhelmed in whatever way you can imagine while simultaneously trying to "make it" is another surefire method to totally miss the mark while being blind to your own mistakes.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Space Harrier Girls - Revisions

[Full image and sketches below.]

Time flies when you're thinking about having fun. It's been a few years already since I did this piece. Seeing it recently made me want to do some revisions on the girls' faces and some minor tweaks with some of the shapes, as well as refining the color to look a little more painterly. 

[Simplified cartoon cel shading. Basically just dropped the layer that had all the smoothed out color overlay.] 

Looking at the older version (which you'll have to find yourself, old underwear rule and all), there's probably not much difference between the two to warrant a repost, but... whatever. I can see the differences and know where my old drawing habits were at the time, and how I need to improve.

Sketch part of the image. Usually when I draw digitally, I start at 3000 x 3000 pixels for the canvas size, and then double the image size the more I want to draw to either the left or right. (As you can see, the color from the first image above bleeds over a little on the right.) The sketch part of the file is just me messing around, proportion studies or turnarounds, screen caps of things I find interesting, or things I want to drawover on to see where I can improve on design choices, or just thumbnails for later composition ideas. Usually a mixture of all of the above.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Nintendo / Turbografx Squad

Or the Famicom / PC Engine Crew. However you want to name it, it's a collection of classic video game characters from the 8bit / 16bit era. Sat on this for about a week and tweaked a few shapes or colors here and there. Which goes to show that having more business or characters in a drawing means more things to have to keep track of. Which is a pain, even though I like these mash up style images, like the "Best Of" collection games that get released every once in awhile. 

 Having said that, hopefully I'm not using things like tons of visual business, detail, or color to hide bad drawing chops. Some folks rely heavily on super stylized brushes or minimal color to carry their drawing or style, but if it's the "right" style or choices alot of things can be overlooked technically. Either way, folks online tend to respond less to solid but no frills drawings, even when it's story related, than they do huge color or style explosions, sometimes especially when it's super minimal.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Samus Aran, Once Again

A more finished Metroid piece from this past week. Full image and sketches below.

[I ended up doing all of these after the finished piece above. I guess that's the part of my brain telling me I didn't push the pose or shapes far enough the first time. I'll probably do another version based on these sketches later on, something more cartoony and less contained. But we'll see.]

[Closer to the original. I think these were the first sketches before I started messing around with simplifying the design.]

[Quick preview of another piece coming soon.]

Friday, September 11, 2020

Animation Hellhole Memories Part 4.3

Another set of studies for night scenes revolving around the old Animation Hellhole courtyard over at Allan Hancock College. Full image below.

Not much to say here other than I wanted to get a better feel for how the scene would look at night, so one obvious method was to include the skyline along with some major silhouettes like distant trees or the roofline of the building.

[Some exploratory sketches I did around the same time. Most of these are pencil undersketches with ink on top, but a a couple are just loose pen. Lined Moleskine notebooks are a good mental escape from "finished piece mentality" and are more of a launching point for ideas and further drawings.]

[Only when I see these sketches in thumbnail form do I start to realize how much further I need to go with pushing shape choices. Maybe the inking or the smaller format is limiting my decisions or just reinforcing my bad habits? (One reason I've stayed away from Inktober.) I keep telling myself that these notebooks are to just mess around and that nobody is going to see them, and yet here we are. I need to benchmark myself somehow though, and like I said once I see my drawings like this it gives a good overview on how I'm approaching shapes or poses.]

Saturday, September 05, 2020

More Metroid Illustrations and Sketches

As the title suggests. Nothing super innovative, but full versions below.  

Was original a throwaway sketch with Colerase pencils on a Moleskine while I was working on a commission for a friend (yup, the same one from last time). All the inking and color is Photoshop. Cheated a bit and threw an image in the background as a color palette, worked the coloring up from there. Knowing the surrounding colors early on not only helps with choosing how intense your base colors and highlights are, it also helps give ideas for secondary light sources. 

More workup sketches, both Moleskine and digital, which got a color treatment much later. The ones below were from more than a year ago. I think I approach character faces a little differently now.

This was just me playing around trying to get a feel for general shapes of facial features, how far I wanted to push or simplify them. It ended up turning into figuring out how the Metroid Fusion Samus suit would actually work if it had to move.