Thursday, August 21, 2014

UFO Aerodrome

...Complete with Belgian triangle floating in the background.

Besides trying to get better at laying down tone, have also been playing around with contrasts in lighting and atmosphere. Consider Catch Me If You Can as the template - or as I call it, cake frosting cinematography:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Nihon Ghost

Another piece done for the friend's obon festival booth. Despite messing around with textured brushes, thought the color came out a bit Photoshop-y, what with the one gradient used for the background. Take note of the Unsolved Mysteries lighting hitting both walls.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Nihon Sketches

Done as merchandise for a friend's obon festival booth. A bit more what I was hoping for last few posts in terms of hitting shapes. Started out as a fairly undynamic single drawing, redrew it on another layer over the old image, then flipped it and started on another character (right panel).

So again, breaking the rule of starting from scratch. I find I'm doing this more as a consequence to being a board artist, where you're essentially redrawing over an older image if you're redrawing anything at all, given the time constraints. Double edged sword of learning how to draw fast, which theoretically should make one better at hitting something with a quick gesture first time through, but getting so caught up in the time constraint "must make output" mindset of a board artist that one doesn't bother with doing proper multiple studies of the same image or subject, as any pre-digital artist would've done. Which is sort of a negation of why anyone would redraw something in the first place, in'it.

Dream Interpretation, continued

(...Redrawn somewhat from the last post. May not have improved significantly, but at least the shape consistency, anatomical correctness of (admittedly cartoon) faces, and line rhythm - so far as I can tell - seem decent enough when viewed in thumbnail format, nothing too jarring, though nothing overly dynamic in the Cyril Pedrosa sense. Found also that falling back on the usual M.O. of using a light blue/violet for secondary light source - or shading other than the core shadow - helped negate some of the more awkward shape solutions when it came to color. Again, so far as I can tell. 

Primary rule of redrawing, which I didn't necessarily follow here: Start from scratch. Just like most anything in life, trying to rig something workable from a bad start or weak structure isn't going to have the same sort of pay off as opposed to hitting it fresh. Pull on one thread and the rest follows: Redrawing the head usually means redrawing the neck, which means repositioning the trunk and shoulder line, which means etc. Same goes for color/tone. Beauty of Photoshop is having layers that one can reposition or free-transform so as to match with previous drawing structure; in this case, the trunk and hands/arms, which turned out ok. Redrawing from scratch though can have its own drawbacks, namely innumerable variations on the actual design that can go on ad nauseam if one is either uncomfortable or bored with the drawing, or one simply hasn't nailed down the character design... or both.)

Friday, August 01, 2014

Dream Interpretation

(Bath robe not included. Don't remember if there was any cape or cowl sported.)

Had this dream several weeks ago. Was in a courtyard of some sort, a campus I'm guessing. A girl - who I didn't see at the time but knew she was there - was apparently about to draw a massive mural on the ground, so she was busy sweeping up the dust from what looked a cobblestone courtyard (the actual stone in the paving was crazy small). The wind started kicking up and kept making a mess of the ground she'd just cleaned, blowing the dirt back onto it and whatever. So with one hand I was apparently able to make the wind speed up, concentrating it into a sort of dust devil, compacted it further, and as I brought my right hand down into my left, completely obliterated it. And whoosh, all of the dirt from the ground was cleared away.

~ Image Removed Until Further Notice ~
(Since I don't have a Facebook or Instagram page, this is the only venue I have for public narcissism. No greytone pass on any of these before adding color; just straight fiddling around with base tones and later cell shading. Which probably shows, for better or worse.)

I don't remember if it was me thinking this in the dream, or if it was someone else talking, but the basic upshot was that although you think you've done well in getting rid of the wind kicking up - as well as all of the dirt - the act of cleaning the ground before painting/drawing anything was part of her ritual; a sort of prep-mandala that served as much meditative purpose as the drawing itself.
Later on in the dream, was in some sort of work studio that resembled the art dept. at an old community college I went to years ago (the Animation Hellhole for you one or two old timers reading this). I was explaining - either to the girl or someone else - that the right hand represented either element or vitality, while the left represented nirvana; bringing the right down into the left thus ceased whatever element one was controlling at the time. I think there might have been ideograms, shapes or schematics in the dream that represented each concept that I had in both hands, but I don't remember.

And I've been reading Isocrates, for f*ck sakes. Don't know where any of this Korra or Kundun action came into play.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Papasha, 1st pass sketch

...Not-so-rough seems. Again, not necessarily following my own advice with adding details on a first pass, though I did lay down and solidify an undersketch before getting into the small stuff this time around. I think I'll start hitting these one-off illos in terms of comic pages, adding a panel or two inside the image just to break up the composition a little. That, and to convince myself that these are somehow story-oriented drawings.

Friday, May 30, 2014

One-off illustration

...yet again. There's a series of color vignettes that involve these two that I've been sitting on for months. May post them next time.

Friday, May 16, 2014


These were somewhat throw-away tertiary characters for a set of one-off production illustrations. I like how both turned out, and since they'll probably only show in this mini series of vignettes I went ahead and threw together a montage of the more finished pieces featuring these two. My only regret is that the cigarette holder got cut off in most of the cropped frames.

(Untoned versions, still in the works.)

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Friday, May 09, 2014

Friday Sketch Dump, plus Alien Abduction roughs

Series of exploratory roughs. Alternating between the literal and more simplified/pushed versions. Am enjoying the pushed versions more.

And here are some of the alternate versions/compositions of the Alien Abduction pieces from a few weeks ago:
(Cape should be indicating flow of action in the first pic. Perhaps this the very beginning of the burst from the gun and he hasn't had time to settle into the action yet.)
(One thing I ought to be doing at the very beginning, before even drawing the characters or anatomy, is just laying down a series of lines and possible shapes to figure on how the lines of action will compliment one another. As is, feels like the negative space wasn't utilized as much as it could have, as well as the background not really doing much other than reenforcing the upshot in the second piece and indicating "Here is hole in wall" and "Here is where character is in relation to other character" for both. Backgrounds are just as much a character in relation to the others.)