Saturday, October 18, 2014

Color and Tone Studies

(Am finding whenever I do color pieces, any sort of dreams I have afterwards are way more involved and detailed, almost to the point of exhaustion whenever I wake up. Was it Picasso or Van Gogh that was said to have suffered from epilepsy, which in turn is speculated to have contributed to their unusual color palettes and shape choices. If that's an accurate portrayal, I can see the merit in the concept. And how disturbingly prescient Zamyatin was in We.)

Some color and tone studies from these past few weeks. First one's from a story that's been rattling around for awhile; second and third are more Halloween themed that I'll probably color over the next few weeks. Am sure I'll spot mistakes in the meantime, but I partially blame the Hitachino Nest for uninhibiting enough me to post these.

("...uninhibiting enough me..." No occifer, I'm not drunk.)

Older sketch revision

(Hopefully for the last time.)

Redid this drawing from the previous post after about a week of looking at it. Just wasn't happy with the line/shape rhythm going on with the hair in the main drawing - line on the right side of her head was too similar an angle with the outer shoulder line on that side, as well as the strand of hair in front of her face being a bit forced rather than naturally flowing. Also, continuing the line from the hair to the left side of the page somewhat helped. Whenever in doubt, draw completely through and finish the line or shape no matter how far out it reaches, even if that outside part of the drawing's never going to show up. This is something board artists learn when laying down perspective grids... that is, before Sketchup and fbx files provided the backgrounds. 

Nothing stunts the shape, line rhythm, and general flow of a drawing more than trying to draw within the bounds of the page, comic panel, or storyboard template, rather than feeling free to break outside of it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Older sketch, revision

(Just to benchmark my own progress; newer illustration based on the older sketches below. Characters in background seem to be running circular laps around the main character. Maybe she's just caught one of them to ask what in the hell they're doing.)

She's supposed to be in the middle of swinging the character from left to right. Her lower torso, hips and legs should probably be positioned a bit more mid-stride as opposed to a cold-start pose, in order to give the whole thing more energy. As is, the hair, tail and the character being thrown seem to be carrying most of the intended weight of the pic, the main character's pose being a bit too static for what I was going for. Goes to show that marriage to an exploratory sketch or sketches can hinder later possibilities.

Older Sketches, continued

Remember doing these either at the old office space, or at a sketch session with the coworkers at Starbucks, back around October of 2012. Above is 2nd pass, below is the 1st; Colerase on paper.
Ended up redoing the faces (and a couple of the graphic logos in the margins) on the Cintiq this past week, plus the additional character study on the bottom right. What a (hopeful) difference a few years makes in learning correct understructure. It's funny, what at one time you think "Yes, that is the sh*t" only to see it a few years later and realize "Yes, this is sh*t.

To quote Max von Sydow's portrayal of Dr. Kynes - and in the same resigned voice, "The process of removal continues"...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Older Sketches

(Started Oct/Nov. 2011; finished Oct 2014. Efficiency par excellence.)

I've mentioned before about sitting on a sketch or illustration for a few weeks or months to spot all the mistakes. So how about a few years. Which seems to be what it takes for me to gauge not only any potential progress, but to correct whatever bad drawing habits, shape choices, facial geometry issues I tend to fall into. It's one of the reasons why I'm grateful I've kept most of my mistakes from, shall we say, being immortalized.

(Another from the same batch, roughly same time period.)

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.)