Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Grannys Last Trip!

So here is my storyboard at last. I tried to keep it simple. Frankly, I know very little about storyboarding, and I think maybe this could use some more work. But for now it is acceptable and if I get any worthwhile critique I will improve on it during the 10 days before I have to hand in. Right now I am very much on schedule to have everything finished for the portfolio come Monday! :)

This was a good learning experience for me, storyboarding is pretty entertaining once you get the hang of it! :D

Monday, 27 February 2012

Last Two Characters!

So here are my last two characters! Glad to have a section finally complete! I plan on having everything complete by next Monday, so I will have 10 days to compile my work and give it all a little extra polish. :)

I tried to make a stylistic divergence from what I usually do here, and I think this was fairly successful. :)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Flame Beneath

So, my portfolio is coming along swimmingly now. I am nearing the point where I can count the number of drawings I have left on my hands. :D Below are my latest two pieces (the second of which is still a work in progress), the Icy Waste and the Flame Beneath. Enjoy!

I find the idea of an indoors background particularly challenging. I don't want to make any pics with flat angles, but most interior shots will involve a lot of perspective drawing if I don't... and frankly, three perspective drawings is already enough thank you very much. I am dodging the first of my indoors backgrounds with a cave... We'll have to see how inventive I can get with the next two.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I'm No Web Designer

Well, I've been fiddling around with the look of my blog, and now it has a new (somewhat better) title, at least until I can think of something clever that isn't ridiculously obnoxious.

Still nothing fancy I'm afraid. :P Oftentimes I wish I was better at this. Anyways, it's better than before (I think), so that's progress at least.

For your enjoyment: the Old Merchant. Painting detailed faces is HARD... At least in colour. There is a lot of subtle lighting and painting techniques I am sure I do not know yet, but here he is! Enjoy.

I was discussing with one of my classmates today how large the body of work is that is necessary to apply for CGA. He is applying to CA, and not to belittle the potential CA students out there hoping to get in, but we agreed that the CGA portfolio is a much more monumental task. I'm not complaining... I just find the discrepancy odd. But I guess the difference lies in the fundamental difference between animators and concept artists - one is paid to draw quickly and another is paid to get into the details.

It's an interesting thought, anyways.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Fat Merchant

Here is the first of my merchant duo, this being the younger, more likeable half. I am getting significantly faster and more loose in Photoshop, which is great. :) 5 Characters complete now!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Zillo Beast

So here is an awesome alien I scribbled while watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars, it's far from perfect, and it was a real challenge to even get this far with it. It has been through many, many different colour schemes and approaches. Ultimately I had to learn that skin is a challenging issue that I just can't fully grasp yet. Nonetheless, I am happy he's finished, and he will be in my portfolio. :)

The Pebble Knight

I'm gonna be whipping out completed images at an increased pace now, and I am eager to post them immediately after I am done. Hence: lots of short posts. :) Enjoy the Pebble Knight!

It's Coming Together

So, I've been fiddling with the blog and it now sports two extra pages! One for all the collected works of my application portfolio (still very much in progress), and another for my letter of intent (which is absent right now, but coming soon!). You can check them out on the side panel, right above the picture of my hairy head.

On that note, I thought I would post the completed versions of The Stranger and Beyond The Wall, since they never saw the light of day on this blog, as well as some speed paintings which might make it into my freestyle section. :) Enjoy!

Friday, 17 February 2012


So, now that the due date for the portfolio is crawling ever closer, I am actually starting to panic a little bit and have managed to produce a lot in the last few days. Namely: 3 characters and a sheet of random creature designs (I want something cute for my final character). Check them out!

This guy is a pebble knight. :) The final image will show him squaring up against a snail. :D

A fat, loveable merchant. :)

And his old grumpy counterpart.

And random creature designs inspired by David Lanham. :) One of these will be my cute character.
Hopefully these will all be coloured up soon, which will mean the character design section of my portfolio will be nearly complete.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fighting the Good Fight

Hey guys. :)

Once again, it has been a long time since my previous post. I'd like to say that I was busy, or predisposed, but I was not. To be honest, I was lazy. :P

Procrastination and laziness are probably my greatest enemies as a young artist, and I am ashamed to say that more often than not they get the better of me. Despite my eagerness to improve as an artist, there are always new books to read, movies to watch and videogames to play. Somehow I manage to put them all before my art, as if art was work, or a chore. Lately I am having to face up to that weakness, and I am battling every day to put more of myself into it, because I know I want it. It's funny how an old school habit can push you away from something you love... Being able to cruise through highschool on wit alone did nothing for my work ethic, which is something I have yet to establish.

However, I am pleased to say that I have produced more stuff in the last few days, it is just too early to post it. More will be online soon, and hopefully I will find out how to stop procrastinating.

Until next time!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Why Working Digitally is WIN

I've been learning Photoshop for only a very short time - a month or two at most. But already I am finding there are huge advantages when working digitally - besides a super-efficient eraser. 

One of the things I have found so useful is the ability to change colour balances, brightness and contrast in an image you are working on. This allows me to take an image that was flat and uninteresting:

And rework it to something much more interesting! This way I get to keep all my hard work and still can make sweeping changes - such as changing the setting from day to night.

Likewise, even a slight colour rebalance can vastly improve the feeling of an entire image. One of my fellow artists was kind enough to rebalance this image of the Stranger for me. While he started like this:

Removing some distracting background elements and adding a lot more darkness, contrast and (strangely enough) purple, creates a much more menacing figure.

In many ways I've learnt that there's a lot more to any image than meets the eye. Subtle mechanisms: colour, composition and many other aspects of design all come into play and influence you. Part of being an artist is learning to manipulate these. I am just beginning. ;)

Until next time!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Work Continues

So, the last few days I have been mostly working on backgrounds, experimenting with new techniques and brushes in Photoshop, and watching Mad Men. ;D

I had a rather severe crisis of faith (in myself) a few days ago. I was really struggling to paint, and I've really been pushing myself on that front. Ultimately, I had to discard a character design that I'd spent the larger part of a day working on, simply because it did not meet the standards I had set for myself and this portfolio. It was a frustrating way to realize that I simply have to accept that there are some things I can do right now and some things I can not: namely, paint a character from the ground up without a lot of pencil lineart to hold my work together.

But as a result I realized that my pencil work is my strength - not a limitation or a weakness. And as such I have begun working on several backgrounds that I sketched up in pencil. They are all in various states of completion, and you can see how I block some of them out before going into more detail.

This is the most complete work I have. This started as an A4 sketch, and now I am nearing completion. Most of what is left is detail work: rocks, dead shrubbery, and some shading on the snow. :)

You may remember this piece. Due to my frustration with painting, I had not returned to it as I realized it was quite flat, and would need a lot of shadow...work I was not eager to perform. Luckily someone suggested tweaking it to a night scene and now I am incredibly keen to finish it. It will include hard light from a full moon in the gap between the trees, large and dark patches of shadow and the house will have some warm oranges spilling out of it to make it the focal point. Gonna be AWESOME!

This is a piece I've just started on. This is a fairly old idea: it began with a fantasy city that I drew a year or more ago, and now I have a sci-fi one with a star destroyer coming in to dock. :D This will have a lot of green in it and some nice lights from the city when its done.

And last as a matter of interest is this dramatic Maya temple I blocked out last night when I was too exhausted to do anything more complicated. This is how they all begin at the moment: a sketch with a few primary tones to base everything on. This will be pretty fun (and kinda nightmarish at the same time) to light, with the lightning and fires on each pillar, not to mention the man carrying a torch.

That's all for now! :)