Saturday, April 30, 2016

Premiere Markers Review: BlueBird

The hobby and art supply chain ACMoore had a recent sale on markers, so I decided to purchase a whole set of Prismacolor Premiere Markers. The markers usually sell for $3.99/ea but they were on sale, 4 for $10. So I bought 20 markers. The only markers I use are alcohol-based because their inks tend to blend better than the cheaper water-based markers. (Water-based markers leave streaks and uneven coloring.)
Just to note: this is not the first time I talked about these markers. You can see my previous comments here.

Premiere markers have good color, the nibs are well made and the inks go on wet, (or at least it seems wetter than other alcohol-based markers.) There are duel tips on both ends, allowing one side for broad strokes and the other pointed for detailed work. The price is reasonable ( Reg. $3.99 / cheaper in sets) when compared to Copic markers that sell for $6-$7/ea.

Quick color chart of the selected pens
Note: the 20th marker is a blender (not shown)

Cons: While these markers are good, they aren't Copic quality markers. The ink goes on very wet, which forces you to color faster so that the ink doesn't clump in one area. I also find I need to go over an area several times quick to get an even spread. This causes the ink to bleed through the paper, ruining the next page or two (which doesn't happen with Copic markers.) Because the inks go on so wet, there is more bleeding into other colors and spreading outside black lines.

The original blue pencil sketch of the blue bird

Finally, the only store I have found these markers is in AC Moore stores and they offer only a limited assortment of their colors. I tend to stay away from dark or deep colored markers because using markers one should work light to dark, (recoloring over the same area creates a darker tone.) This cuts about 50% of the colors off my to-get-list.

(Note: for some reason, Premiere markers are not displayed in the Art supply section of the store, they are usually displayed near the stationary area in the ACMoore stores I visit.)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: Green Dog in T-Shirt Running

Another recent sketch made with the second graders at Reynolds School helping me create a new character. Three simple questions: Animal? Clothing? Action? Their answers for this image were: A dog, wearing a t-shirt and running.
The above image was cleaned up a little, lines darkened and then quickly colored on a tablet. 

After pencil sketching, the answer "green" was given for the question: "What color should the dog be?" Lotta of green in this image!

Original digital pencil sketch which was cleaned up and added bold detail to the pencil lines

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Doodle: Horse Head

To me, a doodle is something drawn without any planning, thought or reason. Often I find that when I doodle I'm letting my subconscious create the image, allowing the drawn lines dictate what the doodle will become -- searching for the final image.

Doodle of a horse's head on a yellow sticky note -- drawn with several gray tone brush pens
I usually doodle on sticky notes for some reason. (Maybe because I'm on the phone taking notes or jotting down reminders of what to work on next.) The size is enough to usually do a full character or profile image. The size also restricts creativity, sometimes forcing the doodle to be drawn differently than it would if created on a larger sheet of paper.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: Giraffe in Shorts Hanging Upside Down from a Tree

Recently, I had the privilege to draw for the children at Reynold School. All this week, I will be posting a few examples of these images made at various schools + library readings.

The sketch below was created by asking several children the following: Name an animal. What is it wearing? What is it doing? Their answers given were: A giraffe, wearing shorts and hanging upside-down from a tree.

With less than 15 minutes to sketch, the image was roughed out enough for the children to see their concept. Over the weekend, I cleaned up the original sketch, added a simple color layer and added the confused looking monkey.
The pencil sketch cleaned up and colored (with an extra character watching the monkey business)
I thought this one sketch was quite a challenge with the limited time, but everything seemed to work out okay. The biggest response from the children was when I added the banana in the giraffe's hand. I decided to add the monkey to give the image more of a story and action.

The original digital pencil sketch made using ArtRage Pro 4 on a Surface Pro tablet

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: Lasso Dog

Another quick sketch made digitally (circa 2014). This image was originally created at a local library, projecting my work to a huge screen, as the children helped suggest what I should draw. Their answers to my questions (what animal, what's it wearing, and what's it doing?) were: dog, big hat, lasso. They seemed to really enjoy how I created the rope using a simple pattern technique.

Digital sketch made using hard pencil setting in ArtRage Pro

Monday, April 25, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: Stealing Honey Bear

This sketch was created some time ago (~ spring 2015) with a group of children at a local library supplying these three subjects: Name an animal. An article of clothing. An action.

They gave me a BEAR wearing a HAT and he's STEALING HONEY. (Pretty sure "hat" was picked after "bear" because of the very popular Jon Klassen picture book at that time: "This is Not My Hat". If you don't know what that means -- look it up!) 
The revised version of the first sketch below after being revised -- more of a stealing action

I'm showing these now because it has been awhile since I drew images with a group of children. I usually try to get the children involved in helping me decide what to draw as I explain a little about the thought process of creating something new. Originally I finished with the image below, but then the child who gave me "stealing honey" insisted the bear was just holding honey -- so I quickly made changes and made him running -- that seemed to make everyone happy.  (That kid's probably going to be an art director or critic one day.)
The original pencil sketch of a BEAR wearing a HAT and STEALING HONEY

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: Dancing Dino

This year so far has been a mental drain on my creativity lately, at least for drawing. I'm going to try to get back on track of submitting more images to the blog. I've also have been sketching more on my Wacom and hand-held tablets. I still prefer pencil and paper, but that usually means having to prepare and sit at one of my desks. Tablet drawing can be done anywhere, even lying down.

Dancing Dinosaur, colored and drawn on Surface tablet using ArtRage Pro4

This week, I'll be uploading several sketches made using ArtRage Pro 4 on my Surface tablet. These are usually an animal (or creature) wearing something and doing something -- these subjects are usually given by children. (More about this in my next post.)

The main difference with tablet drawing is that the feel of the stylus is much smoother than a pencil on paper. This causes me to sketch far lighter and  shakier lines than I usually draw. Sketching lighter loosens my sketch hand, so I create far more light lines which eventually need to be cleaned via eraser.
The original digital pencil sketch

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Guster: Re-Covering a cover video

I usually only post stuff related to my character designing or drawing. But this is something I want to archive on the blog for future viewing. Guster has been my favorite band for over a decade now. I've gone to see them perform more than any other band. It's not just the music. It's the band members. It's the fans. It's the humor.

It's the fun things they do, like:
• Firedrills! Where all members of the band switch to the instrument on their left.
• Having their drummer Brian (who is the worst singer) sing an old pop song from the 80's.
• Playing an acoustic set of their songs with violins.
• Doing surprise "pop-up" sets in public, (like when they performed by the rear gates of the Mann Theatre or in front of a dumpster in Pittsburgh for 12 people.)
• Hiding free tickets for a scavenger hunt and giving video clues online.
• Tweeting fans to bring strange items to their concerts to dress the stage up (like potted plants and strange lamps.)
• This video . . .

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: Teddy Bear

Just trying to get back into submitting stuff to the blog. This sketch was a simple teddy bear image I was doodling with a brush pen. No pencil sketching, just directly drawing on a pad with a brush pen.

Teddy Bear sketched with pen brush and colored with Copic Markers

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Illustration Friday: Sparkle

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: Sparkle

Thought Process: It's been some time since I did any sketches for Illustration Friday. The word sparkle immediately made me think of the comical effect of "sparkling teeth" often seen in cartoons, commercials and comedies.

Cartoon lion with a shiny tooth/fang -- hand inked and then scanned into Photoshop for coloring
I remembered doing a pencil sketch of this cartoon lion seen below, except he wasn't smiling -- in fact I drew him without a mouth at all. So I added a huge toothy grin -- exaggerating the smile. 

The original pencil sketch of the cartoony lion (sans mouth)
To add the "sparkle", I had to darken the entire image in order to visually show the white tooth shine. It helped to texture the image, creating a slightly darker tone to help emphasize the sparkle.