Monday, August 17, 2015

Daily Quick Sketch: Mean Pig with Banjo

I started sketching this long ago, to be submitted to the Dueling Banjo Pigs' website. But I never got around to coloring or submitting this image to the site. (Another banjo pig image I created awhile ago was colored and sent to the website instead.)
Grumpy ol' pig not having a good day, drawn with a pencil and shaded with a Copic gray marker C3

I shaded the pencil drawing with a copic gray marker while on vacation. This was done while lying on the beach. The great thing about Copic markers is how you can layer, creating darker shades from the same color marker. It also blends so cleanly that you can't really detect any marker strokes. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Character Development: Subconscious design

I'm often asked where I get my ideas and characters.
The honest truth is usually subconsciously.

I find that I often dream up stories and wake with the ideas floating in my head. The idea is never complete in full detail, that takes time. But if the thought is strong enough, it's often the kickstarter into a much bigger well-rounded story.

An example would be how I recently woke up with a idea for a story. I could envision how the story flows and ends and list all the characters needed. In this particular tale, a fox is one of two main characters needed, but I don't have the slightest idea of what the fox character should look like.

I find that I start to subconsciously doodle, sometimes on a pad, worksheet or in this case . . . sticky notes. This doesn't mean I'm half-asleep while I doodle, it simply describes the zen-like state of just letting the pencil wander without focus. I don't know what is going to appear on the paper when I'm done, but I collect the results and use that as reference to create the final image. In a way, I'm creating my own line-up of character references to pick and choose what I like and dislike.

Subconsciously designing and feeling out a character through doodling on sticky notes

The beginning sketches are usually very light pencilling, nothing really definite in form. Just feeling around for features that will make the character be instantly recognized as a likable fox. As time goes by, the features start to appear more defined and the pencilling gets stronger and darker. Finally, the character is slowly forming to a point that I can visualize it in my head - I quickly transfer that image to paper.

It's safe for me to say I dislike all of the rough sketch characters (seen on the left above), which causes me to continue until I finally reach the look that satisfies me. This isn't always 100% foolproof for developing characters -- it's a constant hit or miss. There are still characters I try to develop that have taken years -- AND several that still haunt me because I never reached a point of satisfaction.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Character Development: King Mudsok

It's been awhile since I've posted anything here. Been struggling with work lately, but I always have doodles and sketches that I gather from time to time.

Blue pencil and inked character design of King Mudsok, the beloved leader of the Molten People.

This one is a character I have been developing for a humorous story that takes place underground. His name is King Mudsok. Not sure where I got the name, but it popped into my head as soon as I finished drawing him. He is the king of the Molten People, a tribe that is at war with the Mucklugs, (a tribe of underground plant people.)

I see his character as being one who intimidates those who meet him. His voice is deep and rough and his size is pretty impressive. He speaks with a loud aggressive tone that vibrates the surrounding area. But underneath all that tough persona lies a very emotional, loving and caring soul. He really is a softie -- made of stone.

King Mudsok is a part of one of my many children's book stories for my "Timmons and the Lumpy Bumpy Monster" series. I'll try to find the Mucklug leader, Zoobi-Dang and post it later this week.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Illustration Friday: Ninja Mummy

Illustration Friday: Every Friday a word is given on the website, Artists and illustrators then submit an image that represents that word all during the week.
This week's word: MONSTER

This is a word of the week that I can really enjoy! So many monsters!

This was a sketch I had originally created around Halloween 2014. It was going to be an ordinary dancing mummy, but I stopped drawing it after doing the top half of it's body and put it aside for several days.

When I went back to finishing the sketch, I saw the character in a new light. The pose looked more like a martial artist stance, so I started to give the dancing mummy some ninja clothing.

The Ninja Mummy fighting in a sand storm

I started to imagine how this character would animate since its a contradiction of two movement styles:
A.) the fluidly smooth, silent and quick reflexes of a ninja, mixed with
B.) the awkwardly slow, stumbling and limbering motions of a mummy.
Merging the two styles, I'd picture he'd be a quick and skilled martial artist, but he would often spastically twitch uncontrollably, groaning and create nontraditional (but humorous) fighting poses.

The original pencil sketch that was going to be a dancing mummy . . .

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Doodle: Lil' Batman on Yellow Sticky Note

Been awhile since I posted anything, haven't been drawing much for some time. But I do have many doodles around my desks.

Doodles are images that I simply draw without thinking, as if my subconscious mind has taken over and the pencil just moves. Most doodles are done while I'm working . . . part of the creative process I guess.

Here's one of a tiny stubby Batman . . .

Batman pencil doodle on a traditional yellow sticky note

Friday, April 10, 2015

Illustration Friday: Warrior (aka Sir B' Gok!)

Illustration Friday: Every Friday a word is given on the website, Artists and illustrators then submit an image that represents that word all during the week.
This week's word: Warrior

The chicken warrior known as Sir B'Gok, created in ArtRage Pro

Thought Process:
Through word association, the word "warrior" instantly reminds me of bravery. This in turn makes me think how a true warrior would never run away from any fight.
Such a warrior would never be . . . a chicken. This gave me the idea to make a "chicken" warrior.

The original pencil sketch of Sir B' Gok

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

UPDATED Daily Quick Sketch: Pre-Bladimere

This is a quick watercolor of a creature I did when trying to figure out my character for the story Worm Wire Glasses. Several features were kept to create Bladimere; the horns, nose and overall body shape.
The wings and antennae were the first things to go.  The antennae make him too alien-like and the wings weren't needed since the character doesn't fly. The body coloring was changed from purple to blue. Overall, this version of the character just wasn't cute and likeable enough . . . perhaps that's why I drew him without a smile.

Original pencil sketch inked using an old fashion fountain pen and india ink

UPDATE: As if things weren't bad enough for this character, I also tried to do a watercolor sampling and painted the character first. I then decided to add a slight water color background, so I used a liquid frisket to cover the character so that it would not get wet by the background paint. (Note: Firsket is a liquid rubber that quickly dries and protects the area you paint over.)
ARRRGGGHHH! This is what Liquid Frisket did to my water color image!
It's been awhile since I used frisket.  And the image was ruin by the frisket sticking to the waterpaper material so strongly that it tore the top layer off in many areas and removed color in other spots. a total disaster . . . lesson learned: You should use frisket on certain watercolor paper.

Sorry little dude . . . 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

UPDATE: Ulric Evil Unicorn


Had a few minutes to spare, so I colored Ulric, the Evil Unicorn.

UPDATED: added a color version
I thought of this character when the popularity of the "My Little Pony" craze took off several years ago. Unicorns are usually born "Lawfully Good" creatures; so in D+D/geek speak, this means a unicorn should never be inherently evil.

The crazy (and evil) unicorn, Ulric.
But what if a unicorn was insane? Then it wouldn't know it was doing evil. That's where the idea of the horsefly comes in. The horsefly is infatuated by Ulric's shiny horn and flies around it constantly in circles. This in turn drives Ulric insane on two counts:
#1 The constant buzzing sound is driving him mad.
#2 Ulric constantly argues with the horsefly that he is not a horse, so it should leave and find a real horse to bother.
Ulric constantly talks to the horsefly though it never replies back, making Ulric seem even crazier . . .

The original pencil sketch of Ulric the unicorn from one of my sketchbooks

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Daily Quick Sketch: Pirate Dream

Continuing my physical painting: (aka, an attempt to take a break from the digital creating and going old school.)

I've been struggling a bit, learning to leave things alone, where before I would simply make any needed changes in Photoshop or Painter. I've even destroyed another painting due to using liquid frisket. (Note: Liquid Frisket is a liquid form of rubber which can be brushed on a painting to mask and protected areas from being painted over or wet.) In this case, the liquid frisket absorbed into the paper and ripped the top layer of paper when it was being removed. I should have tested this brand of watercolor paper before using the frisket on actual artwork.
The finished image of "Pirate Dream", a watercolor and pencil painting
"Pirate Dream" was an idea I had for a story about a lonely little boy, Rudy, who dreams of adventures. The imaginary friends he meets on these adventures are often his subconscious mind encouraging, motivating and inspiring Rudy to face his fear and be a better person.

The original pencil sketch of the "Pirate Dream" image

I'm not happy with how the night sky turned out in the painting. It's never easy to paint dark watercolors in such a large portion of the image. I originally planned to use liquid frisket on everything but the sky, this way I could easily and quickly paint in the dark night sky. But after my last incident with using liquid frisket, I opted not to used that technique.and simply painted in the night sky.

I find that painting a large area with a dark watercolor is a challenge. Watercolors tend to dry too quickly which makes it difficult to get a nice consistent coverage. Adding more water to the paint often only dilutes the color making in more transparent.

Oh well . . . live and learn.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Daily Quick Sketch: Dinosaur on Toned Tan Paper

I've been trying to get back into the physical drawing and painting world, having been digitally illustrating most of my work for the past two decades. I like how it forces me to change my style and technique, but I also hate when things go wrong. There something assuring and refreshing when a simple keystroke can erase any mistake instantly; but in the non-digital world, a simple mistake can ruin the entire image.

Dinosaur character created on Toned Tan paper, using pencil, ink and a white Gelly Roll pen.

I always enjoy seeing images on toned paper. Usually created with charcoals or pencils with white accents that make the images pop. For this image, I lightly pencil sketched the character first, then colored with a blue color pencil. For an added effect, I tried to maintain a horizontal stroke whenever coloring.

The dino image was made using only old school materials: india ink, pencils and a good ol' white Gelly Roll pen

Next, using a white Gelly Roll Pen, I created white horizontal lines for the light areas and highlights; finishing with the black outlines with a fountain pen filled with india ink.