Sunday, September 29, 2013

War Days: Sketches and Development

War Days is a comic idea I've had for many years now since undergrad cartooning classes at Columbia. I've thought, wrote, and sketched about the idea over the years but am finally fully committed to seeing it through! The idea comes from my experiences (as well as my older sister's) going to a very strict Catholic grammar school as children. The initial drive for the story was to express how I became an atheist and my views about religion, but there's also a lot of other themes such as defying traditional expectations of girls and women and other's preconceptions and judgments of who you should be. It's a coming of age story at its core. Almost two years ago I made a comic for the project but then took a long hiatus, however I never stopped thinking about it. Now's the time!

So I've been starting with a lot of sketches to define the characters and the style before diving into the comics this time. I also plan on making some short animations as well since I've been getting the animation bug the past few months. In the meantime, here are some development of characters.

the main character will be myself, but there will also be teachers, fellow students, my family, and possibly my stuffed animal Brownie will make an appearance or two.

This is the principal, the strictest sister of them all. I feel like the teachers and priests still need a lot more work...

lineup sketches to depict the character's development

I started a full time contract position at VUDU about two weeks ago so that's why posting has dropped. I'm going to get back into it and will update weekly (instead of twice a week) and the day will fluctuate, but I still want to keep this blog alive. It really helps to ensure that I keep drawing and working even while having another job. On another note, I'm a mere five heads away from hitting 900 in the Thousand Head Drawing Challenge!!! So there will definitely be some heads in the future....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Goths Are People, Too.

Another speedpaint from The IT Crowd. I absolutely LOVE the character of Richmond and captured a few good screenshots to paint from episode four, "The Red Door" from season/series one. I also spent literally three hours yesterday organizing my brushes in Photoshop. Although it was quite the effort, I am now much more efficient and can get to brushes a lot faster with MUCH less confusion. I used just chalk brushes for this one to experiment with a different texture and look.

One difficulty I've always had with digital work is drawing; I am absolutely terrible at drawing digitally from scratch. I always do my drawing traditionally in pencil or inks, then usually only color digitally. I've been thinking of incorporating line in the speedpaints, but it's so rough. I'm guessing that a Cintiq would possibly change the feeling of drawing, but since that option is a ways away from being a reality, I'm going to keep practicing to adjust to sketching digitally. If anyone has any tips or tricks for getting used to drawing digitally, I'd love to hear them!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Speedpaint: IT Crowd

I did my first tv/film screenshot speedpaints today.... and they are pretty awful, haha. But that's the point of the exercise, eh? Practice, practice, practice! Cause man, my speed painting skills are not up to par...

I chose screenshots from The IT Crowd since it is one of my top favorite tv shows of all time. I'll have to revisit IT Crowd several speedpaints down the line to do them justice. Gah!

Moss from It Crowd (Richard Ayoade deserves better... lol)

"FAATTHHEEEEEERRRR!!!!!" I listened to copious amounts of Matt Berry while painting...

Several times I almost stopped throughout painting these--especially the Moss one--because it was just too awful. Man, I need to work on my digital painting skills. When my precious lineart isn't there I get a little scatter-brained. Also, I need to organize my Photoshop brushes like whaaaa.... it's a bit of a hot mess in there.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Reference Informs and Inspires: Jellyfish are Awesome

Another post in the series "Reference Informs and Inspires!" I have quite the collection of reference photos I've shot over the years in various places and I thought it would be fun to share these. Reference is so important to artists and illustrators, both for specifics and inspiration.

Today's reference comes from my trip last summer to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This is a pretty sweet aquarium. If you're anywhere near Monterey, it's totally worth the drive (although I'm not sure if I personally would travel a very long distance JUST for the aquarium). If you're in Northern California or plan on visiting anytime soon, make sure you take this place into consideration!

beautiful sea anemones... 

There are plenty of exhibits and displays in the aquarium, but I was really there for the jellies. They did not disappoint.

their color and movement was beautiful to watch...

I hadn't realized how many different variations of jellyfish there are...

I loved the squashiness of this one, especially how it changed in appearance when it moved.

These were super transparent and gorgeous. I'm pretty sure they were called ghost jellyfish or something.

It was a great experience and I took a ton of reference photos--although I still feel like I could have taken more. I was visiting with family so I felt a little bad dragging behind taking my 90th picture... but there's just so much to see!

If these photos inspire you I'd love to see what you create!