Monday, March 31, 2014

The beggars are coming to town

Nursery Rhyme Personal Challenge with fellow Chris Oatly students 

"Hark hark the dogs do bark
The beggars are coming to town
Some in rags and some in jags*
And one in a velvet gown."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The mouse has married the bumble bee

Nursery Rhyme Challenge with fellow Chris Oatly students 

"A cat came dancing out out of the barn,
With a fiddle under her arm.
She could play nothing but fiddle-cum-fee,
The mouse has married the bumble bee."

Manga effect
Would love to know your opinion.  which do you prefer: the manga effect or the original sketch effect?

(original) sketch effect

The idea for this challenge was to illustrate a nursery rhyme using black, white, light gray and dark gray.
I did my sketches using the ASKetch app and downloaded them the Comicbook app

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I got your back

I've been doodling, doing little warm ups, and working out ideas from my Knotties story.  Nothing original here really, just having fun.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Learning new skills

 A concept sketch of my Mickey character.

Ten days ago I mentioned that at the end of 2013 I had taken classes through Skillshare,.  This post is about my second class, Introduction to Manga: Effective character design by Svetlana Chmakova.

I don't necessarily want to make a manga comic, but I like learning new skills that would help me start my own graphic novel project about Knotties, so I was very happy to learn that Svetlana Chmakova was and is teaching this particular class.

Bellow is my participation and posts for this class.


Updated Sat, Dec 21st 2013
Hi Everyone, 
I'm exited to finally start this project, and hopefully taking this class will  help me get me unstuck on some issues. This is what I have so far. 
My subjects are about 6" (10 centimeters)  knotties and their interaction in the human and animal world.    Except for their hair, which is easily mistaken for dust-bunnies,  they are completely invisible to humans and animals alike.  Only the animals can hear and smell their presence, and love their company because of their  playfulness and loving attention to them, house pets included.
The one thing about knotties is that they  become experts at is the art of making knots with all types of materials including human or animal hair. 
By the age of 6, knotties are farmed out in groups of two to live with humans, a sort of education to help them prepare for the "real" world of their parents.  One of the ways the knotties avoid detection with the humans or in nature is by wearing clothes spunn and knotted with spider silk which easily blends anywhere.  A grouping of knottiest is called a cluster, much  like a school of fish or a flock of gees.  A cluster is under the care of 2 older elders: Grampknotts and Gramknotts.
  At the age of 11 or so, knotties rejoin their parents and other knotters to live in knotting comunities that are spread allover the world. Their knotting skills help all types of animals in the wild as well as in the urban settings by strengthening their nests, or even babysit their youngs. 
Here are some sketches that I have worked on in the last months. 
This is Emma, and a crown that she has grown too attached to
My challenge are:  
  1. I like the brush that I'm using for this project ( from AskEtch app) , how can I make this work with the assignemts? In "cleaning" the illustrations, I might loose  the looseness of the design?
  2.  how to differentiate their clothing since they all made from the same material, and must be void any ornamentations that would add to a chance to be detected?
  3. I have a terrible time making hands, and would love any suggestions or any links links for me to learn from.
Any type of suggestion is much appreciated.
The head turnaround was hard.  The manga technique of starting with a sphere and adding features was new to me, and I understand how this insures  a quick likness to your character.  
My first try was no very sucessful with the boy's image.
Once I understood his features, I tried again as a sketch.  This illustration is one of Emma's younger brothers, Jack. 
The next illustration is Emma with a hoody to hide a crown 
For the hoody, I've decided to give it volume but also show spider silk threads.
Still working on those turnarounds
Still try to figure out those turnaround.  I'll get back to the girl's turnaround, but wanted to focus my attention on the third character, Mickey.
Hi's the yougest of the siblings and much more seroius/ deeper than his brother Jack.
Here are my initial drawing of him so far.
I'm not sure about his jawbone in the second and third drawing, I also feel that his neck is a little off.
Had a quiet day yesterday so I had time to flesh out my little Mickey character. 
This morning I wanted to experiment with expression and colors. 
Comparing this character to the other boy (Jack) character, I feel that I need to re-do Jack's feature in the same style as this character, Mickey.

I highly recommend Skillshare to anyone interested in learning new skills.  Check out all the available classes.  Their is something for everyone.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Perspective, and the use of Grid Brushes

For our next assignment at the Magic box, we 're learning how to use grid brushes in our perspective drawings

This is an illustration of one of my little knotties, Emma,  standing on a toy piano, putting on a crown in front of a birdcage mirror.  In the background is her unmade doll size bed.

For this assignment, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to use this illustration  to work out some perspective problems.

Here are some of the grid brushes to help me find my 2 point perspective.

this show the corrections after tracing over my grid brushes (not showing in this image)  

Here I re-worked the illustration using the blue lines as a guide.

This is the first time that I 've used grid brushes.  It wasn't as easy as it looked in our class video. Hopefully with practice I'll get the hang of it.
The one thing that  our teacher,Chris Oatly, pointed out, was that it's best to draw you illustration first, and then work out your perspective lines with the grid brushes, otherwise; if you start by trying to get the right perspective first, your illustration risk loosing its organic feel, and may end up looking cold and rigid.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Character Concept Art

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had an excellent Christmas, and a great new year full of expectation and awesome projects to tackle.

While I continue participating in the Magic Box photoshop classes given by Chris Oatly,  last October and December, I've also signed up,  to two art classes through  
They were:  Character Concept Art: from initial sketch to final design by Charlie Bowater and,  Introduction to Manga: Effective character design by Svetlana Chmakova.

 The reason I've enrolled in these three classes was to prepare prepare myself to illustrate a story that I wrote back in November 2012,  Emma, Queen of Knots. , and now my new year resolution is to dedicate myself to this project.

here are my posts from my Character Concept Art class.  For this class I decided not to use my knotty characters ideas, because I wanted to start with a blank slate, not having a predetermine genre in mind.  I figure that once I experience the process, I could apply it to my illustrations.
Sketching with simple brushstroke techniques and gradually fleshing out unique characters, was a fun and creative process.

Sea People
So here are my thumbnails.  I must admit that I had a hard time finding a brush that I liked In Photoshop for this part of the assignment, so I used the AskEtch app on my I Pad to start my initial thumbnails. However, I’ll be using Photoshop with the rest of the assignment.
My story is about a small North Sea town at the turn of the century.  The story came about as I started creating the characters, but I think that books on tape, about sea voyages, may have influenced me.
  1. Innkeeper's wife
  2. Her son
  3. Fisherwoman
  4. Young miss
  5. Milk boy
  6. A boy who think he’s an Indian
  7. Captain's wife
  8. Fisher boy dreaming of sailing
  9. A Maharajah
  10. Innkeeper
  11. Seaman
  12. Cabin boy
  13. Captain
So far I'm gravitating towards thumbnails 5, 12, and 13.  I need to pick two or three more.  Any ideas? apreciate any feedback!
Evaluating the thumbnails.
This is a learning process for me. I can realy see how this technique would be helpful in revising the silouhettes and making sense of the clothing.
- Kind of reminds me of the stars contellation  -  Hope I won't get lost through all of these. 
Out of these 5, I've picked 3 possibilities: 9, 12, and 13  because they have the most negative space in them.  
Your thoughts and suggestions are most  welcome, I haven't ruled any of the thumbnails out. :) 
Design variation
Even though this is about a small town port and it's people, I've decide to first  work on a tourist; A visiting thrill-seeking marahajah who's the talk of the town.
Here are the references for this images.  And yes, I blatantly copied these comptractions into the images.  
The maharajah is a fictional character that I though would be fun to add him as an unexpected  arc to the storyline.
More desing variation
I've desided to work on the marahaja on stillts, but realised how static he looked, so I made more thumbnails to come up with more interesting poses.  I like the last two equaly, and I' am undecided which one to pick to paint.  
Any favorites? Would love to know.
Maharaja at the sea side
Have been fleshing out this character a little more. 
Here is my take of a maharajah on stilts.  I wanted to use the idea of his shadow following his first steps.  Hopefully the V shape angles from the maharajah and his shadow gives my character a sense of vulnerability, especially with a strong light beaming down on him,as if all eyes were on him.   
Perhaps if I had added the rest of the town observing him, this “story” would make more sense.  
As it is, the character seems small and lost.  Is this a re-do?