Saturday, March 19, 2016

Monsters and Bunnies: Nap Time

Another image from my collection of sketches called "Monstas and Bunnies". This is one of a planned set of 12. Once the set is complete, I plan to create a calendar for 2017.

"Nap Time" - finished sketch created with pencils scanned and colored with Photoshop
Possibly might try to KickStart this project, hoping the work itself will be enough to generate interest to get the calendar printed. If the KickStarter goes past the set goal, I plan to then turn the set of images into a children's book with a story about the Bunny and his year long travels meeting "Monstas".

Penciled cave background added and gray tone colored using Photoshop
Originally, I created a single image of a lion terrified of a group of bunnies. It was a sketch exercise I created for the website Illustration Friday, where I still occasionally submit new artwork, (work + time permitting.) The lion was high in a tree while several cute innocent bunnies were simply passing by. I got a lot of site hits and feedback from posting that image and it later inspired more similar sketches. But this time, the big creatures weren't frightened by a bunny -- they were adoring the bunny.

Original pencil sketch created around Spring of 2015
There something appealing about big giant monsters (many inspired by Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are") being friendly with a small cute bunny. One by one, images appeared in my head and I started sketching them down. More to come ... 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Doodles and sketches: Alien Critters

Here are a couple of creature doodles laying around my desk for the past year. Many of these were simply quick sketches, but then I started inking in details. I currently have no plan or intention to use any of these characters yet, but  I may one day look back and reconsider (or revise a character into something better.) Instead of having them get lost in a pile or just forgotten -- I'm tossing them up here.

Various alien characters sketched and inked over the past year
The name near each character was given when saving each image. I tend to name things on the spot without reason or meaning. (For example the creature in the lower right is named Space Cow, even though it has more fish-like features than a cow. But for some reason, Space Cow works for me.)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Creative block / 5-minute exercise: Mouse Skiing

This unfinished image was done a few years ago, I found I was having a creative block and needed to get out of that state of mind.  Many times when a project is not working, I'll stop what I'm doing and doodle. In this case, I set a 5-minute alarm to create a character.
Quick digital inking of a pencil sketch, unfinished due to a 5-minute limitation

The trouble with having a career as a designer is that you eventually burn out, especially when the work is repetitive, tedious and just not inspiring.  There are good days and very bad days when nothing seems to work. But taking a few minutes to create something you enjoy can sometimes do wonders.

Very loose pencil sketch of the inked drawing above
For this exercise I simply started penciling a character, not really focusing on any specifics. I usually start with the head and after adding big ears it was looking more mouse like. Once the head was made, the body's pose suggested a skiing posture. After adding the scarf I felt there was enough of the sketch to scan and ink in Art Rage Pro. Once the 5-minute alarm went off I stopped drawing the image.

(Just to note: This exercise turned out better than I expected . . . it doesn't always work out this way every time.)