Thursday, December 19, 2019

Baby Yoda Christmas Card

That time of year when I try to create a Christmas card. After several requests for me to draw a "Baby Yoda" -- I figured this would be a the topic of this year's Christmas Card.
Digital pencils and coloring using Phtoshop

I'm still in the process of creating the card.
Once it's completed, I'll update this page to show the entire work.

Practice Inked version with some background

Original pencil sketch

Sunday, December 15, 2019

D-Bot: Developing a Main Character for a Picture Book

UPDATE: New Type for Title
I'm playing around with type, trying to develop a title design for the book.
Placed the type on a lower layer behind the character artwork.
Not sure it's good for a children's picture book, but I do like it.

UPDATE: Color experiment
I'm playing around with using a very loose coloring and pencil scratchy pencil holding lines.
Not sure I want to add the rustic tones, might be too much, will have to try out several other color scheme variations. Thinking each type of robot should be a specific color, but not sure the colors should be drastically different.
Liking the look, but the rustic feel might not work for this character

Those who see my work on Instagram might recognize this character. This is D-bot, the main character in its self-titled picture book story. The look of D-Bot has changed quite a lot over time.
A pencil sketch of the latest version of D-Bot
In fact, D-Bot looks nothing like the original sketch from several months ago. As seen below, it was just too ordinary and had no striking features. The story of D-Bot is about self-confidence and self-worth, which needs to show emotions to truly work.

The original 1st sketch of D-Bot

But that first sketch did lead to the 2nd and 3rd versions of the character. Each molding towards the latest design. Take what works and drop what is weak.

2nd sketch of D-bot showed more expression

I like this 2nd version, very playful and simple . . . but I still wanted to explore the character design

Image from a video that was posted on my Instagram account

The character was merging into something I could see starring in its own story. I want a robot, but I also want the character to show emotion. If it's too robotic, it'll usually have a dead stare, and the #3 design didn't have pupils, (which doesn't help the character connect with others.)
Seen here are version #3 (left) and #4 (right) of D-Bot. #3's eyes were too dead and cold.
Below, I broke D-Bot down to all his parts to help analyze and remember how to draw the character. Now, I'm considering using a similar image as a repeat pattern inside the end pages of the book.
Anatomy of a character: breaking it down into small components

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Giddy Santa 2019

It's that time of year when Santa is getting a little too giddy.
That time of year where I play around creating new character versions of Santa.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Inktober 2019: Day 07 - ENCHANTED

A week into the Inktober, I was already falling behind. My professional work increased, and deadlines were already hard to meet. You'll see more rushed designs at this point, no longer having the luxury of time to make the proper adjustments. Again, with no time, I didn't give much thought to today's word, ENCHANT.
Final marker colored image
The only thing I thought might be slightly entertaining was to have Mouse do the enchanting. But I couldn't think of what to do under the stress of going back to work. So I added the floating fishbone, which never made sense to me. Why the fishbone has become an iconic symbol of cat is a mystery to me, because I've never seen a cat eating a fishbone (or fish.) 
Original rushed pencil sketch rough

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Inktober 2019: Day 05 - BUILD

I struggled with this word, BUILD.

Drawing daily for Inktober is a challenge, especially during one of the busiest months in my business. So I was focusing on only character images, with minimal backgrounds to help save time. So the word BUILD almost demands some time-consuming background details.
The final marker colored image for Day #5
I finally thought of this concept, which I liked for one main reason: it was adding more detail to the main character. From this point forward, I would add the star to the witch hat of Scare D. Katt.

Mouse adding so finishing touches to the hat in this original pencil sketch.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Inktober 2019: Day 04 - FROZEN

Day #4 of Inktober 2019 was the word FREEZE. Here I originally was going to do an image where the two characters were frozen, but later decided for a more fun action scene.

The final marker colored image for Day #4 
The inked version

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Inktober 2019: Day 03 - BAIT

As mentioned in my previous post, this image is coupled with my Day#2 image. Always fun to flip the roles of the characters, now having Scare D Katt in control over mindless Mouse.

The final digitally touched-up color image, due to using the wrong markers
I was having trouble scanning the color image of this drawing. Unknowingly, I used several fluorescent markers, which don't scan very well at all. Something about the luminosity of these markers doesn't register correctly on a scanner. For example, the yellow cheese looks nice and vibrant on the original artwork, but the scanner picked up a brownish-green muddy tone. So I had to import this image into Photoshop to correct those marker colors (especially that of the hanging cheese.)
The original pencil sketch
The Inked version of the pencil sketch

Testing out the grayscale values of the image

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Inktober 2019: Day 02 - MINDLESS

I decided that Mouse would be the companion of Scare D throughout Inktober. You can now see the ring from Day 1 is placed on the collar and will be part of the character from now on. (So yes, these two are engaged.) 
Day 2: Final inked image with marker coloring
At first, I had the cat simply floating mindlessly, but I wanted some interaction between the characters. That's where Day #3's prompt word, BAIT, came into play. This allowed me to tie today's word with tomorrow's word, creating a fun sequential connection between the two images.
The original sketch, working out the concept. 
I switched the layout to have the mouse take control, knowing tomorrow, I will turn the tables on Mouse.
Original final sketch images before inking
For those Inktober fanatics who insist ONLY using ink during Inktober, here you go!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Inktober 2019: Day 01 - RING

Well, Inktober is officially here, and so the month of drawing Scare-D Katt has begun. (Sidenote: I'm not fully happy with her name . . . maybe something better will pop up this month.)

The final colored image using Copic markers on Canson Marker paper and the mouse size is reduced again.

Scare-D Katt is from Inktober 2017, created towards the end of that month. My thinking is there were great responses to the character, she's fun to draw, and cats are super popular online.

The original digitally colored image which as an old friend commented, was too clean and flat, (he's right.)

Day 01's word is RING, which immediately made me this of a way to incorporate mice into the month-long challenge. I could do more and show more with the added characters for Scare-D to interact. So expect to see more of these rodents with Scare D.
A prior inked version of the image before deciding to go full color with Copic markers.

It's was important that I establish the overall look of the following 30 drawings with this initial image. 
I had to do this image several times before finally feeling that Copic marker colors were the way to go (instead of digital coloring.) I thought about showing only the B&W inking at first, but with the main character being a black cat, shading in so many ink lines for a black cat would be a huge time consumer.  
Original pencil sketch before changes of the mouse's position and size.

So, I hope you enjoy the ride with me. Check here, on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for more to come. Happy Inktober!

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Month of Ink Cometh! INKTOBER 2019!

Yes, it's that wonderful time of year again, Inktober. This will be the 5th year I will "try" to complete the daily inking challenge during the month of October. This year I will focus on using one character, Scare D. Katt, a former Inktober character created 2 years ago.
Here's my little promo for #Inktober2019 using the original illustration from 2017
I also plan to use the prompt word list which is given by Inktober's creator, the great illustrator Jake Parker. I plan to sketch in pencil, then ink using various brush pens. I don't think I will have time to color, I don't want to over commit since work and life do get in the way.
The official Jake Parker prompt list for #Inktober 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Months Later: More #MerMay with #Mer-Kat

Back in May, I wanted to do the #mermaychallenge, an online event where artists draw and share their mermaid illustrations during the entire month of May. But I knew I had limited time, with everything happening that month (buying new home/moving/fixing up the old home to sell), and a fulltime job.
The inked version of "Octo-Pussy", using a Kuretake brush pen on Canson marker paper

I created Mer-Kat, a hybrid kitten/mermaid. I felt this was such a fun new character to explore. Life underwater with a feline-based personality.
The original pencil sketch, the background was later adjusted during inking, to create a better composition
Above is the sketch I did some time at the beginning of May. Got busy. Put the image aside, which then got grouped into other piles of papers and sketches, transferred to the new home, and pretty much was temporarily lost. So here are the original "found" pencils, and the inked version I was able to do over the weekend.

I plan to color this image some time in the future.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

UPDATE: Fantasy Reading Scene (for SCBWI)


I was working on this illustration a while back, but I had no spare time and had to put it aside. The composition was too busy, but now I think it looks a little better. I made a few major changes, like:

• Made adjustments to light sources
• Created bolder outlines
• Got rid of the Knight reading over the dragon's shoulder
The updated version of the submitted SCBWI illustration sans the reading Knight

Originally Posted on 2/2/19

Work in progress: One of several spot images I plan to submit for consideration with the SCBWI quarterly, Bulletin magazine. 
Testing out the grays, shading, and highlights. No color since all images need to be submitted in grayscale. I still need adjustments to the tones and values. (Also, note to self . . . Make better use of the negative spacing, especially around the knight area.)
Greyscale image, still in the works

Digital pencil lines are drawn over the scan of the original pencil sketch on a separate layer

Adding some green tones on a layer under the digital pencil lines