Friday, May 30, 2014

Illustration Friday: Temptation (Slojo Intro)

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: TEMPTATION
Thinking of the word temptation reminded me of an old animate clip i made. Click "Start the Cartoon" below to watch the clip . . . 

This is an old animated clip from 2000, one of my first Flash animations when I was still learning Actionscript coding. It features a sad sack character, Slojo, who used to be a clown. The premise was simple, he's the most unlucky person in the world and generally bad things happen to him for no given reason. Even when he does good things for others, karma is not on his side.

It was important to give Slojo normal, yet clown-like features. I didn't want the character to instantly be recognized as a clown, but looking at him you can see the former clown that is still his persona. 

Even though I wrote several 5 minute cartoon shorts for the character, I never finish animating them. It was a hectic time with the Internet bubble breaking and the company I was working for had to let go of about 85% of my fellow co-workers. 2000 wasn't an inspirational year . . . and then of course by 2001, things became even worse.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Daily Quick Sketch: Baby Hawkman

It's been a busy month between work, festivals and fixing up our home so we can put it up on the market. I've also have a frozen shoulder again, this time the right side, which makes working even harder since I'm right-handed. But finally a breather with this Memorial weekend holiday.
So I want to try to get back into doing a few daily sketches this week.

The sketch below was done for CBC ComicBook Alley which had the theme of Thanagarians this week. Those who grew up reading comics like me, know this to be the people of Hawkman's home world. I thought it would be fun to make a baby version of Hawkman, since his people are a warrior class from birth. (This is also a nod of inspiration to the best "Baby Super Hero" artist/cartoonist out there . . . Scottie Young.)

Quick sketch of Baby Hawkman made using ArtRage Pro pen and water brush settings
Few words about Hawkman. I always liked his character as a hard-headed warrior, a space officer and as a brutally violent avenger. He is one of the few heroes who doesn't consider killing a foe to be wrong. But his history is probably the most messed-up. Hawkman has been revamped and resurrected into so many different versions - it hard to identify him anymore. Even with DC Comics constantly rebooting their comic books, Hawkman's history is still a mixed bag of conflicting origins.

The original pencil sketch of Baby Hawkman

Friday, May 16, 2014

Daily Quick Sketch: It's Over!

Had this sketch laying on my desk for quite some time now. No idea why I would sketch an image of the old cliche "It ain't over till the fat lady sings". Simple no idea why I drew this. 

Sometimes, sketches just happen with no reason at all. Perhaps I overheard someone say the phrase -- or saw a TV commercial that referred to the saying. Either way, I feel it's always nice to simply draw whatever comes to mind. I rarely use reference when sketching, doing this challenges my memory and forces me to think about what I'm creating. It also helps explore and discover new ideas.

Daily pencil sketch . . . Well, I guess that's it!It's over!

I like this sketch, but feel there's much to be improved.
Her shoes should be sandals or something more relative to the era. I like the face, but the body needs to be tweaked. It doesn't balance that well and the overall composition and center of gravity of her girth should be corrected. I think she should be holding a shield too . . .

Curious about the origin phrase itself, I found the saying refers to the Valkyrie Brünnhilde in Wagner's opera, Ring Cycle. She sings an aria that is about 20 minutes long towards the end of the opera - which then ends with the Armageddon of the Norse Gods called Götterdämmerung.

So yeah, I guess that is definitely an end to everything . . .

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Illustration Friday: Voyage (Bobby's Biggest Bubble Sketch)

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: VOYAGE
Inked and gray marker comp version of a Bobby's Biggest Bubble Kickstarter sketch
Thought Process: Not much thought behind this one. I had already had this image pencil sketched for one of my KickStarter backers for helping me get my children's book published. In all, I had to make about a dozen different full pages sketches of the four main characters from Bobby's Biggest Bubble. 

Pencil sketch of the four main characters from Bobby's Biggest Bubble
This is very close, but a rougher version to the original Kickstarter reward pencil sketch

This turned out to be my favorite of the group and I've been thinking of doing this image as a promotional poster for the next two sequel books.

Another version of the sketch, playing with different subtle changes with textures and details

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Doodle: Lyon

Here's another doodle of something I made while trying to think of designs for pet toys.
Again . . . a doodle to me is when I simply sketch without any forethought or plan to what I am drawing. Sometimes the final results surprises even me.
A doodle of a lion made with a #2 pencil
This character looks like I was starting to draw my dog character, Roger, (from my comic strip, "Home of the Brave" and children's book "Bobby's Biggest Bubble".) It definitely has Roger's face -- but then with more doodling, the character turns into a vagabond looking lion.

Why a lion?

Why worn out clothing?
No idea . . .

Friday, May 9, 2014

Doodle: Perched Owl

Another Doodle posting. I had a couple of people write me saying they enjoy seeing the unpolished designs. So I'll probably start adding more Doodles along with the Daily Sketches and Illustrated Friday images I try to post here each week.

This one turned out to be an owl perched on a branch.
Again, my doodles are very sketchy drawings I do without any plan or reason. The pen line just wanders until an image is formed. Generally these are made in several minutes.

I'm posting these on the blog because I have no time to submit finalized colored images this week (due to a heavy workload.) I'll be posting several more to keep the blog updated with new content.

Doodle: Korky

I find sometimes I just start doodling, with no plan or idea what I'm going to draw. It's almost like being in a state of meditation. So what starts as a few scribbles and lines, slowly starts to form into something unexpected. This was the case for this doodle below.

Sketch of my character Korky -- drawn with a ballpoint pen on the back of my 2013 tax forms
I've many doodles laying around, I'm thinking I'll throw a few up on the blog whenever my workload gets too hectic (like this week.) This way, it may not be my best work, but at least there'll be something new on the blog to look at.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Daily Quick Sketch: Thor

Had this sketch laying around for quite some time now. I believe it was initially drawn shortly after we saw the second Thor movie.

Fan Art: Thor in mid-float, colored digitally with Photoshop and ArtRage Pro

I went retro with the costume since it's the Thor costume I grew up seeing. I like the newer look of Thor's chain-mail textured suit seen in today's Marvel comics . . . But the classic Kirby style is the iconic look I prefer drawing. Probably because it is so "comic book."  If you were to wear such bright colors in real life, it would seem quite campy.

The original pencil sketch of classic Thor

While the modern style of superhero costumes tends to be more movie-like with realistic qualities, I feel the characters lose some of their iconic presence.  Every artist seems to take more liberties with how superheroes look today, which is a good and bad thing. (Look at Iron Man, he appears in so many difference suits - what is his traditional iconic look of today?)

Going slightly off topic: An example of comparing when a new costume design works for me and when it doesn't
(Images of Superman are the property of DC Comics)

Another good example is how Superman looked when DC's launch it's reboot with the New 52: Superman wore jeans, a t-shirt, and his cape. It was very enjoyable seeing him look more like an ordinary person. Then, several months later, DC's New 52 decided to make Superman's suit look like armor. He's Superman . . . Why does he need armor? DC's New 52 seemed like they were on the right track . . . But then they did a complete 180 and made his costume worse by adding the metallic armor style.

I'd rather see Superman go through 200 t-shirts and jeans a week, where every fight looks like he was in a battle. I never liked the idea that Superman would come out of a major battle without a single thread of this costume being torn or damaged.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Daily Quick Sketch: Prof. Vormit

It worked out that this sketch fits perfectly with Illustration Friday's word of the week: REVENGE. So I digitally colored the original sketch and submitted this to the I.F. website.

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.

Digitally colored and added a dark background, helps emphasize the glow of the fizzy drink test tube

Well, immediately, I thought of this character, and how I could use this sketch to emphasize "evil" . . . even though this character would actually be the kindest person on the planet, having just invent a great tasting and healthy fizzle drink for children.

The first version of this image: Digitally colored in Photoshop using various water color and texture brushes
Image felt too flat  . . . needed more depth and darkness

This sketch was inspired by a character concept I thought about for a story.
The idea is simple - create a character who appears to be vile, corrupt and evil -- but make him really be the kindest, most generous and caring person possible. I could see many uses for such a character, mostly for the humor, but also as a children's book character who can teach life lessons about prejudging others.

Original Pencil Sketch: Prof. Vormit excited about creating his great tasting health drink for children
The first thing that came to mind was the image of an evil scientist. It's such a strong stereo type, especially in cartoons. I gave him a hideous beastly face, with a bell-shaped figure and of course the mandatory evil looking goggle glasses. To counter his evil persona: He's always smiling, has lollipops in his lab coat pocket (gives them out to everyone he meets) and he's created the best tasting fizzle water soft drink that's healthy for children.

Once I finished the sketch, his name came to me instantly.
Prof. Vormit 
(a combination of varmint and vomit. I dropped the second T in his name, it just looks better.)

He's such a nice guy . . . really. . .