Monday, 20 August 2012

Electric Boogaloo

So, as I mentioned in the last post, working in digital gives me the chance to change and edit images and experiment with different angles. In this case I was able to alter this characters hairstyle after the fact, a process at one time only possible by using a xerox machine and masker.


I was unhappy with the way the hair turned out on the original sketch so I used painter to go back and try a couple of alternatives, settling on the longer hair version (although looking again now I'm kinda swerving back toward the pigtails...).

Next stage was to put some inks over the line work and tidy it up somewhat:

Lining the sketch also allowed me to pick out details I wanted to work on when it came to painting it up.

God damn that background looks cheesy. Should really do something with it. The palette I chose for the colour job was mostly earth tones with a smattering of reds and greens. I'm particularly happy with the way the details on the corset and the silver scroll work on the gloves and boots turned out, as well as the lacing on the dagger sheath. The shadow I dropped behind the left arm helped add some depth to an otherwise rather flat pose.

I am horrified at how flat the gun looks. I had wanted it to be held in profile to show off the design but in retrospect I should have pointed it out of the frame somewhat.

We live, we learn.

Next post with showcase some of the sketch work I've been doing of late.

Ta-ta for now. 

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Digital Pencil Case

Okay, so anyone who has read this blog may have suspected that predicting an update in less than a week was probably more than a little bit optimistic. Still, at least there is an update.

I have received some gentle encouragement to produce more work for DECONSTRUCTED and of course, this will be forthcoming, however, as mentioned in my last post I have experienced some revived interest in the slightly steampunky/ fantasy world of my Untitled Fantasy Project No.2.

On a side note it may be interesting to point out that the time I am able to devote to creative projects has greatly increased of late owing to the recent demise of my artistic nemesis. After many years of unproductive time consumption my beloved Xbox360 finally gave up the ghost last week and popped its metaphorical clogs having suffered a failure in either its lens or laser optics. The green- eyed cyclops now sits blind and impotent, no longer able to exert its terrible powers of indolence. Rejoice!

On the subject of todays post it is fun to again note that the image posted above was rendered completely in Painter 12, and although it may not look very different to many of my other works it has allowed me to create in a less restrictive way.

The character is a 'Pirate Princess' thus far un-named, who would serve as the leader of a renegade group within the fantasy setting. Commander of a rag-tag group of dubious moral standing she, of course has a heart of gold. Picture if you will a female cross between Robin Hood, Captain Jack Sparrow and Mance Rayder from A Song of Ice and Fire.

The fun thing about drawing in a computer is it leaves me free to chop and change features, experimenting with ideas that might otherwise be left unrealised owing to the more perminent nature of paper and graphite, for though pencil lines can be erased there is no way to revert to earlier versions or to mix and match changes other than creating an entirely new rendering.

This picture went through various revisions; with cape and without cape, both hands on hips, flintlocks holstered on her belt (which had the unfortunate appearance of sex toys which, combined with the heeled boots, tight leather trousers and corset gave a decidedly different slant to the character) and various hairstyle revisions. I'm still not satisfied that I have tried all of these permutations and I may yet go back and make some more alterations, but the fact that I have the option to do so excites me.

Unfortunately work calls, and I am required to eat, live under a roof and pay for electricity (one thing a pencil and paper don't require) so I am forced to leave my creative musings here.

I shall not make a prediction for my next update, you wouldn't believe me anyway.

Ps. Apologies for any particularly noticeable spelling catastrophes, Blogger's spellchecker doesn't seem to be working properly.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Mixed Bag of Holding

It's ironic to think that a blog I originally created to escape the daily pesterings of Facebook has that same wretched life- eater to thank for it's first update in a year and a half. 

Here I am, however, looking at a daily hit spike that can only be explained by the mere hint of an update  in an earlier status message and I'm forced to admit that it may have it's uses after all. 

For anyone paying attention, I have been sporadically posting new sketches on my Facebook feed for the past couple of weeks (mostly due to the discovery that drawing in Corel Painter 12 is awesome) and I've got pretty addicted to the instant response that I can gain from using it as a forum. That being said it seemed wholly hypocritical to expound my hatred for it as a soul sapping time- thief if I continued to ignore this blog and use it instead.

I hate hypocrites. 

A couple of days ago I put out a request in my status for ideas to draw. One of them was "medieval steampunk". I thought this was a pretty cool idea, and then I realised I already had a ton sketches on the subject, related to 'Untitled Fantasy Project No.2' so out came the old sketchbooks...

I found character sketches, location drafts and technology concepts. Sadly I cant remember much of the world I had crafted in my imagination to house them. There were far too many to post in the format I had been using in Facebook so it struck me to post them up here; to that end-

These guys were to be main characters, it would seem. Justin Bieber with a sword, a young Madmardigan and a dashing pilot- type fellow. Can't remember anything about any of them but I think the pilot guy looks quite dashing.

 This is the main setting for the story; a walled city built up in the style of Mont St. Michel. The higher towers have mooring points for visiting airships.

 A royal airman. If our heroes were to be the heroic rebels, these would be the guys they would be fighting.

Plans and doodles for airships; these were the main concept that the rest of the world grew around. Dirigibles with underslung gondola hulls powered by steam driven prop shafts. I came up with tons of wild ideas for these.

I really like some of these designs. Think I might fancy another stab at them. Look out for some new material, maybe as early as wednesday... 

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Ships of the Line

My planned DECONSTRUCTED update has been delayed until Thursday, so to fill the time I'm uploading the spaceship doodles I Tweeted the other day, so apologies if you've seen any of this before.
I've scanned and cropped each individual design to the same width so that Blogspot's habit of scaling by image width will not interfere size of the images. I've also included a size comparison image to give scale.







Although these designs fit with the general design philosophy of the DECONSTRUCTED universe as far as I have realised it so far, I must stress that these ships have no exact background or purpose. I'll leave that up to DECONSTRUCTED god-creator Den Patrick.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

No Power in the 'Verse Can Stop Me

It's much later than I had planned and I really should be making my way to bed- pretty pathetic for a Saturday night but that's retail for you and I learned to live without a weekend social life long ago.
As promised in my midweek post here is the colourised version of my Firefly characters.
I've just put them against a neutral background until I can throw together a background that compliments the composition and palette that I've used.

I'd planned to write in some detail about techniques I'd used and colours I'd selected (Most noticeably Rivers pallid complexion) but I think I'll save that for when I've got the backdrop rendered and the piece is actually complete.
Also, work in the morning and bed is looking more and more inviting.
Two straight days off next week which I plan to put to use on MOAR PAGES for DECONSTRUCTED, so expect an update on that next week (should keep Mr. Patrick in happymode for a few days if nothing else.).

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

You Can't Take The Sky From Me

In an attempt to avoid my weekly blog updates becoming mechanical and perfunctory I've decided to do a midweek post- you know; mix things up a little bit.

This is made all the more exciting because, as I write this my lovely Mac keeps repeatedly warning me that my Bluetooth keyboard batteries are spluttering their last dying breaths and could conk out at any moment, in fact because I type eyes- down I could at anytime look up and find an entire passage missing and my screen covered in a big pretty "HA! I TOLD YOU SO, MOTHERFUCKER!" sign. Fun, no?

For some time I've been working on some Firefly fanart (not that kind you dirty, dirty bastards) and thought I'd share it with you lot. If you don't know what Firefly or it's big screen incarnation, Serenity are I kindly suggest you stop wasting you time here and go and watch it now. Now NOW NOW.

Ok, back now? Lets continue.
The intent is to produce a nice big group shot of the whole Serenity crew in cartoony caricature style. I figured the best way to manage this would be to produce each character separately and then combine them in Photoshop later, this allowed me to fully realise each design without elements being concealed by obstructive foreground characters. Doing this also allows me to post a separate pic for each character and add some brief notes about each one, which can be found below.


Mal was a difficult prospect; a character who is at once totally devoted to his crew and yet at the same time often stands apart from them. For obvious reasons I planned to place Mal at the center of the composition and paired him with Inara but to highlight the unrequited affection between the pair I placed them back- to- back, with both of them sneaking over the shoulder looks at each other.


Inara's pose is set to mirror Mal's but be simultaneously alluring and closed- her foot is raised denoting an intention to turn to face him but at the same time her arms are folded forming a classic barrier to his advances.


I designed Jayne to look BIG. Although in reality Adam Baldwin and Nathan Fillion are of similar height Jayne was always framed to look as big and mean as possible, helped by Adam Baldwin's superbly brutish performance he was always larger than life on screen and I wanted to bring this to his character when I drew him. Although you can't tell from this image because of blogspot's irritating habit of arbitrarily resizing images, the Jayne character is drawn to be at least a foot taller than any of the others. I rendered him in a plain t-shirt which I later added the Blue Sun logo to, and his simply awesome orange woolly hat (which he received in 'The Message' from his loving mum) which has become somewhat iconic for the character amongst fans. He also sports a grenade. Grenades are useful in many situations, and Jayne doesn't like leaving home without them.

Zoe & Wash

This was one of the easiest comps to come up with. Zoe & Wash are so obviously in love it went without saying that they should be drawn in an embrace. I wanted to put something in that would show Wash's playful almost childlike exuberance and tie in his position as pilot so harking back to his introductory scene in the pilot episode where he is seen playing with toy dinosaurs I placed a toy Serenity in his hand- this also allowed me to place the ship in the character line-up, honoring it's position as the show's "10th character". Zoe looks on, a tolerant smile on her face.

River Tam

River is meant to be significantly younger than any of the other crew. A child prodigy, she is rescued by Simon in the pilot episode (the actual events of the rescue are shown in flashback in the movie). In order to accentuate her vulnerability I drew her a couple of years younger than actress Summer Glau actually was when Firefly was shot, not being restricted by the abilities of a younger actress to convey the nuance of the characters condition. I drew River in 'wander mode' a condition that can be observed numerous times throughout the series when she is introduced to a new environment- this is in contrast to 'manic mode' and 'homicidal death orgy' mode.

Simon & Kaylee

Aw now come on- who wasn't pulling for these two during the original run of the show? Although Joss Whedon saw fit to bless the faithful fans with a bit of closure for these characters in the final scenes of Serenity I have chosen to draw them at an earlier stage of their relationship (similarly Shepherd Book's lack of bullet holes and Wash's missing impalement spike). Kaylee is playing her typically forward sexuality against Simon's clumsy inexperience. Looks like he's made the right move with those strawberries though.

Shepherd Book

Book was even harder than Mal to pose. Given that we learned so little about the character during the show's short run and his relegation to a supporting role in Serenity I went for a pose that reflected his position amongst the ensemble as the crew's upstanding moral compass. He holds his Bible before him, symbolic of his faith but also that perhaps he hides most of what he is behind it. People see the book, and not Book the man.

That's all for now- this post has unexpectedly turned into a monster and I really should be going to bed. Tune in for Saturday's update to see what happened when I coloured all these guys.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

So Very, Very Bored.

You know how, on the odd occasion it seems as though the world is trying to tell you something? That is precisely the feeling I got the other day when I saw the above image.

I mean, if the fucking Batman can't motivate you nothing will right? I'm thinking of getting the pic blown up and mounted so it can stare down from above my drawing board.

Been a fun week. So very busy at work now that everyone and his cat have realised that they've spent their entire January living budget in the first weekend of the year and have to somehow scrape a meagre living on the pocket change they have left after the new year's debauchery.

By and large this does not seem to have left anyone the means or inclination to buy phones. At least not from my shop.

This funny fella is a Robodragon. I wish I had more to tell you but the fact is this guy is just a doodle that sprang to mind during a quiet period at work. He has no background and i have no intention of using him in anything. Just a good way of wasting a bunch of biro ink and a sheet of copy paper.

The only thing exceptional about this sketch is that I did it in one shot, no uncorrectable errors or disguised mistakes- the design, pose and rendering all came right first time, which i must say is highly unusual for me.