Saturday, December 31, 2011

A regular sleep schedule? Pff.

I don't really know what happened with the last week or so of my life. I seem to recall getting a Sony Cybershot for Christmas and taking lots of pointless pictures of food, a dirigible shark, fits of obsessive painting, and playing lots of Fire Emblem and Minish Cap. Anybody who knows me knows that I have an extremely sporadic sleep schedule, and I will usually be awake at 3AM doing something artistic.
This is my most recent finished thing. It's really more of an excuse to monkey around with creating textures and screwing around with color balance in photoshop, and I think I spent a little too much time on this portrait to simply call it a sketch. It always amazes me how people can create photorealistic portraits with traditional media, especially pencil, and I was going for a similar feel with this. I have a number of female characters/muses that buzz around in my brain and play important roles in the stories I have yet to share, and Quill is one of the oldest and most important. This portrait isn't very indicative of her personality at all, which I find kind of annoying, but I was feeling a bit emotional, so nyeh.
Razell doodles I clipped together and posted to Deviant Art a few days ago. I have seriously bad handwriting, but don't worry about trying to read the speech bubbles, because they aren't important. I am super proud of that cobra, though. I find animals hard as hell to draw, and snakes in particular are difficult to convey with a believable sense of form. I think it's in the scale patterns. However, if it's one thing I love, it's doing research, so I spent about an hour looking for photos on the internet so I could scribble out a tiny cobra in my sketchbook. Whatever, SUCCESS. It's a decent looking snake and I am proud of it. So there.

Just like that, it is now 5:15 in the damn morning, so I should prooooobably attempt to sleep before I get on with another project or another episode of Jem and The Holograms.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Assorted sketchbook stuff, etc.

Let's start with something new.

I bought a new sketchbook yesterday, which was totally unnecessary, and this is the first thing in it. It's sketchy and quick, but I kind of like it because it's one of the better pictures of Raen I have. It's also pretty illustrative of the kind of relationship he has with Gabriel.

This is the big sketchdump I put on Deviantart a few days ago, but now I have the time and I feel like talking about it a little. Gabriel has been showing up a lot in my thoughts and sketches lately, but I'm not entirely certain as to why.  He is my oldest muse and I depend on him quite a bit for direction. So yes, in order of appearance:

Top Left: Gabriel in an elven style sweater outfit. It's almost Hollowellian in design, which I guess would make more sense if I ever shared my concept and costume designs for the Hollowells. Haha.

Top Right: A thumbnail sketch of the Junk Sphinx. One of the other cyborg monsters that roams the wasteland.

Directly below Gabriel: Privilege in a winter bunny outfit. I ended up liking this sketch so much that I took it into photoshop and posted a colored version on Deviantart. I am now more pleased with the sketch than I am with the final version. Oh well.

Next to Privilege: 3 AM is a great time to scribble mindlessly while listening to Beyonce. I don't know, I guess the thought was that Raen is a whiny romantic so of -course- he'd transcend time and universes to sit around in women's lingerie sobbing over a telephone in the desperate hope that Gabriel will FINALLY PAY ATTENTION TO HIM. Again, I don't know, but it's funny.

Directly below beyonceRaen: Tiny Junk Sphinx head.

Below Privilege: Yep, the Luka chibi again. It never got a makeover in photoshop because I am lazy.

Next to the Luka Chibi: You know those "draw this again" memes that keep popping up over deviantart? I didn't really want to share any of my super old and embarrassing art, so I just decided to reconfigure one of Gabriel's old costumes. It's pretty skanky, but I get the impression that sorcerers are expected to bare some midriff while they toast the country side with flaming pillars of destruction.

Below all of that: The Junk Sphinx! It didn't really deviate far from the barebones sketch at the top of the document, which is cool. I usually go through a long and exhausting process of designing my cyborgs and I am rarely pleased with the results.

Finally: Gabriel and chibi Gabriel. This is how he currently appears in my head.

After having typed all this up, I realize I never crossposted my first sketchdump to this blog. It's not super interesting, but maybe I'll do that later. Once we get a little further along towards New Year, I'll probably do a self evaluation post with a summary of  my art in 2011. The only other thing I can think of that is pertinent to art is that my stupid tablet pen is jacked up, which is making it nearly impossible to do all the comic work I set out to do! Argh. I have some replacement nibs coming soon, and if that doesn't fix the problem, I get to pay more money for a new pen. Crap in a hat.

Maybe if I coax and coo and smile prettily enough, my stupid pen will behave enough to let me do a little more work on my current page. Then I can put up a teaser pic. In any case, I feel kind of crappy, so it's time to lie down and play more Minish Cap.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I swear I'll try to sleep after this.

You know, I seriously wonder why I seem to create more interesting works when my brain starts to fizzle out. I have been sleeping poorly, even for me, as of late, and I spend hours contending with the frantic misfirings of my brain and sometimes I get some cool stuff out of it. Other times, it's just pages of the word "FUCK" scribbled next to stick figures doing gymnastics.

45 minutes. Ink, gel pen, cartoons, and pseudonightmares. Maybe it's my compromised sense of fuck-giving after so many hours awake that allows me to simply scribble without an agenda. Maybe it's my habit of looping songs. Maybe I just really like to draw Canta in various stages of gender neutrality and exploration.

In any case, I need to try and sleep before I get stuck at my desk and start to paint again.

Are you sick of me yet?

No? Fantastic. Yes? Also fantastic. So it turns out my order that came in today came from Deleter, instead of the one I was expecting with my white ink. So my materials post will have to wait a few more days, I think. This may or may not mean I'll plan it and actually come up with something that is informative and reads well instead of "HEY LOOK AT THIS OO ISN'T IT NEAT HERE LET ME SHOW YOU MORE NEAT STUFF OOO".

I have very little else going on in my life right now, so I basically live and breathe at my drafting table. I'm a bit compulsive when it comes to tasks, work-related or otherwise, so I tend to get locked in and kind of obsessive, which explains the crazy amount of work I'm churning out these days. I took a break from writing and drafting stuff to reread some Elfquest, which I do a few times a year. Elfquest is the series that basically started me on the path of art and I will always treasure it. I occasionally do fanart for Elfquest, but nothing has really been worth sharing. I rather like these little ATC things though. They are small and cute and easily carried around in a photo album to show to people! The image above consists of three ATC sized cards with (left to right) Nightfall, Leetah, and Moonshade. I spent most of my time on Leetah, but significantlt more effort on Moonshade because I found her harder to draw. She has a more squarish type face and her eyes seem to be large even for an elf, so striking a balance is a little trickier. Although that may also be because I tend to draw more oval faces by default.

Anyway, I have to get back to feverish scribbling and not sleeping.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finished Raphael and some kissy scribbles.

Raphael belongs to Yuki, who can be found at .  I love Raphael to itty bitty bits, but I have a hell of a time drawing him.  For a full color mixed media piece, I don't feel like this took too much time, but I might be underestimating it. When I start working on something, whether it's artwork or a task of some sort, I have the tendency to become very focused and can work at it for long periods of time.  Fortuitously, my order from Jetpens came in with my new pilot choose pens ( gold and white ) and some various other supplies, so I went a little wild with them! I'll probably do a materials post tomorrow once my holbein ink comes in, or maybe I'll do an entire post on inks. Part of the joy in creating artwork for me is learning new ways to use tools and exploring new mediums, so I think the things I learn might be nice to share.

I wasn't really planning this picture, really. I was using this page in my sketchbook as a blotting page to clean my texture stamps, and I got a little bored and started fiddling with a paintbrush. I decided I liked the background and sketched a bit onto it, and the sketch developed into Raphael. I've been listening to a lot of ambient electronic music lately by an artist called Burial, and I think I blame Archangel for how this picture came out. Anyway, I was trying to keep the end result a little unfinished looking, but I think I got a little too meticulous in blending and sort of destroyed that tentative balance. It's alright though, because I kind of like the result.

What can I say, cuddly dudes make me happy. Yuki pointed out that I make Lucifer more muscular every time I draw him, and she's totally right. Canta still looks like a chick, but he always looks like a chick. He's gender neutral so it's awwwwright. You might be able to see some of the thumbnails on the back of the page for a holiday fluff story I'm working on, but I haven't even started to draw it yet. I'm sort of waiting for a program I scored off of ebay to come in before I get on with it.

On that note, I am going to finish my grapefruit and start on some ATCs.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mixed Media Tomfoolery.

I love working with mixed media. About the easiest way in the world to make me happy is to give me art supplies of any sort. I'm always on the look out for wood and wood panel that can be used for paintings and drawings, and a new favorite of mine are these cheap little panels that you can find in craft stores with varying degrees of thickness and edge design. Prep the surface with gesso or something similar and you're ready to go! This is a teeny little work in progress picture that I don't really have any particular direction in mind for, but I'm having a lot of fun just doodling and playing around.  I was wandering around a home decorating store the other day and I saw a large custom decoupage-type painting of a chandelier, and the design kind of stuck with me and inspired me to use a similar design for this silly thing. I'm still working on it, and I'll post a better quality picture when I'm done!

So I decided to color the Koren picture from the last update, since I have a good hi-res scan of the lines to use if I decide to mess around with the scenery again. I'm trying to make more dynamic pictures with less white space, so I made a quick little last-minute backdrop.

I have a little block of watercolor paper that has sort of been sitting around collecting dust, but I used it in the past to blot the excess off of my texture stamps. That's the black texture on this page. I have some deep purple ink that I like, so I played around at painting it over the black patterns and used my waterbrush to fuss with the edges. After some soufflé pen detailing and some level-tweaking in photoshop, I was done. Here's the end result:

Yeah! I like my purple background even if it was totally winged, and I'll probably use it again for something. I might even make more with different patterns. 
All of this because I am procrastinating drawing actual comic pages. I guess we'll see if I can actually get shit done tonight without getting distracted by other random projects.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Deleter Scenery Collection

I found two of the Deleter Scenery collection books a few days ago, and being extremely lazy with drawing backgrounds, I snapped them up. Last night, I decided to mess around with them! I started with this:

 I'm actually kind of fond of this because I like the chandelier design. The only thing here is that Koren looks a little too much like Jupitor in the face. Okay, so with the drawing lined and cleaned up a little in photoshop, I scanned in the stock image of a bar from one of the scenery books and slapped Koren onto it.

The original image is straight black and white, but I made a layer under it and threw some gray on it just to see how it looks. I'm not very good with traditional comic toning in photoshop, so I'm trying out alternate ways to make shading and definition look good. I'll probably try to get a better handle on toning in the future though, because I'm not really sure how I like the straight grays. Also, as much as I like the relative ease of using the stock images to spiff up a picture's background, I think my line-art style is a little too curvy to make it look totally cohesive.

I do like the Scenery books and I'll probably use them in my comics, but I need to get better at making them look like they belong where I've placed them. Also, I know the flipped image of Koren creates continuity problems with his eyes, but I don't really care. I was just fiddling around, really.  Let me know what you think!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Nereid WIP

Gotta stay productive. Gotta stay productive. I was thinking about the various mechanical creatures that run around inside my brain, and got to thinking a little about Nereid.  The concept behind Nereid is a little hard to explain and delves into some of the backstory I have squirreled away for the stories I will someday share with the world. Without explaining too much, the Nereid was a personal project by a bio-artisan who wanted to explore the long-lost art of shape changing. It is purely synthetic in origin and would have been considered something of an artistic masterpiece if not for it's hijacked programming.

I'm going to shuffle into coloring now. ;w; I have a few long and trying days ahead of me, but after Tuesday, I should have all the time in the world to put into my art.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fond Nightmares + Some Goddamn Vocaloid crap.

Crossposted in like, a billion places. This picture caught me off guard. I was scribbling about in between scriptworks and thumbnailing, and this kind of exploded out of my brain when I was looking at high fashion photos. Sometimes I think that the things I create more or less by accident are better and have more impact than the things I actually plan. I don't know. Often when I paint, there really isn't any rhyme or reason to how I do things, only that the basic picture starts as a huge scribble that slowly gets refined over time. This picture took two hours, which is very quick for me. I used inks and a white gel pen for this on some extremely sexy watercolor paper which is toothy and fantastic, but a pain in the ass to erase things off of. I really should use it more.

I tried so hard to not like vocaloids. I really did. They're just fun and fluffy and ... well, shit.  My favorites are Gackpoid and Megurine Luka. ;w;  So....yeah. Luka scribble. This may or may not get a makeover in photoshop.