Sunday, April 21, 2013

Arrrggghhh! It's Another Quick Sketch Video: Illustration Friday TRAIN

A video showing my technique sketching, ArtRage Studio Pro 4.0.2 was used for creating this image. This was an image created for the website, Illustration Friday, where artists and illustrators submit artwork based upon the site's word of the week. The word for this image was TRAIN.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Illustration Friday: Train

It's Illustration Friday -- which means it's time to play creative word association! Each week a word is given on the website, Artists and illustrators then submit an image that represents that word. My added challenge is to try to do something humorous. I find this is not only fun - but just a great exercise for creating and experimenting with painting programs. 

This week's image for Illustration Friday: TRAIN

The purpose of blogging this is to try and explain the thought process behind creating this image. I like to time myself so that the creative process is instant . . . no lingering on how the image will be made -- just jump right into it. The total time for this took 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Thought Process: The word given was TRAIN. So my first thought was: Do I go with just drawing a train - OR - Do I create the action of someone training something. Then I thought, "why not do both?" Someone training a train. But who? A conductor would be the most obvious choice. So that made it really easy. There is only one cartoon conductor that I can think of, Conjunction Junction, from ABC's School House Rock! I quickly looked online for reference to this popular 70's character and started sketching right away. Drawing CJ was easy . . .

An old childhood favorite: School House Rock's Conjunction Junction image used for reference
. . . but the train was a little bit of a challenge. It needed to be detailed enough to be recognized as a train -- but not too detailed as to make it too busy to see it was "sitting" up like a dog being trained.  The final small detail I added was making the "doggie" treat be a piece of coal.

Image Flow:  This one was simple. Have two "characters" interacting + facing each other. The focus would be the little bit of coal in CJ's hand, which is dead center in the image. Some motion lines were added around the little train to show it was struggling a little to stay in place. 
Original pencil sketch scanned into ArtRage Studio Pro
If you would like to join in on the fun, head over to the Illustration Friday. It's totally free, no need to login or sign up for anything. You can view all the submissions from this week (and past archives of previous words.) Have a sketch to show? Send your own artwork up for others to see.

NOTE: See the video of this sketch being made.  It's available on YouTube

Friday, April 12, 2013

Illustration Friday: Wild!

Every Friday is Illustration Friday where many illustrators and artists submit their images based on the word of the week. The word this week is: WILD!

I always want to submit work that focuses on character design and humor. I also try to experiment with new styles and looks using different brushes or techniques... experimenting is fun.

The final image after adjusting the composition. the color value and tweaking the background

Thought Process: For the word "Wild", I thought of the jungle, which then through word association - made me think of a lion. I could have just made a wild-looking lion and be done with it, but I wanted to add humor to the image. So, I thought of making the "King of the Jungle" with a lion terrified of bunnies.

Illustration Friday: WILD week
Visual Targets: Throwing the lion in a tree added to the scared effect and emotion I wanted.  I need his fear appearing over-the-top and exaggerated for it to be comical. For the bunnies, I made them as plain,  simple and timid as possible... this is where "less is more" pays off. Keeping them all white too hopes to convey that these bunnies are angelic, pure and innocent.

Original pencil sketch of a scared lion
Image Flow: When someone first sees this image, the warm-colored lion should be the focus. As we follow his eyes to the left, it leads us to see the "un-scary" trio of bunnies. The blank unemotional stares of the bunnies back at the lion adds to the comical effect.

If you would like to join in on the fun, head over to the Illustration Friday. It's free to join in on the fun, no need to login or sign up for anything. There you can view all the submissions from this week and past archives of previous words. Have a sketch to show? Send your own artwork up for others to see.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Arrrggghhh! It's Another Quick Sketch Video: Chuck

Just posted another drawing technique video up on YouTube.

This time it's a little character I named Chuck, whose the twin brother of his "older" sister Charly**. The twins are part of a story I plan for release in 2015. 

Lil' Chuck: the subject of the newest Arrrggghhh video

This is a good example of developing years before finalizing the story. Though I have no plan to work on the book for some time, I will let these characters sit around in my head until I'm ready to do their story. They may change or something might inspire me to create a new look . . . but doing a sketch of them now helps me develop a better book in the future.

**(See Charley's previous post.)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Illustration Friday: Urban

It's Illustration Friday!
Every week, the website 
Illustration Friday posts a word and invites everyone to submit their illustrations for all to see. 

The word this week is URBAN
Since I've been pulling many all-nighters this week. I'm going into my archives for this week's image.

This image is from a children's book I was working on long ago, but never published. I was experimenting with altering images from NYC as the background. The character, Lil' Mouse, was painted digitally
 and shaded on top of the abstract images of the city. I did about 8 pages of the story before moving on to another project. (One of the reasons for dropping the project was the concern of owner's rights to the original NYC photos I used and manipulated.)

Cover to a children's book concept using abstract photos of NYC merged with digital characters and type.
The background used here was an image of NYC's Time Square.
Want to see more images of what others are doing with the word?
Have an image you want to show everyone else? Then go here: Illustration Friday

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Daily Quick Sketch: Charley

This is a character for a children's story I plan to do next year. The setting will be in a very snowy area where she and her brother encounter a very strange . . . "thing". (I have her brother sketched up too - maybe I will post him this weekend.)

Charley: Quick sketch done in ArtRage 4.0.2.
Copyright ©2013 Arrrggghhh Ink Publishing
The difficult thing lately is that I have been dealing with too many ideas at once. I've over ten stories that I constantly juggle and visualize in my mind, especially when going to sleep. Occasionally, I'll get an idea to improve a book, envision a whole new story concept or visualize a new character in my imagination. Many times, if I don't get these ideas down on paper, they are quickly forgotten.

I don't plan on working on the story that Charley is in until early next year. Yet, I can't let the image of her dissolve away. So, doing a quick sketch of what I imagined and putting it down on paper (and this blog) will help assure that Charley will be there when I finally need her character.