Friday, September 28, 2007

One Week And Counting!

Well at this time in 7 days I'll probably be pacing around church, counting down my last hours as a single man. 4pm on Oct 5th marks the beginning of my married life. Wish me luck, I'll be sure to need it at some point :)

I'll be sure to post some pics of the wedding & honeymoon when I get back. Gonna be spending 10 days on the beach in the Riviera Maya for some well deserved R&R. I'm looking forward to all of it, and with 240(ish) Irish relatives at the reception, you can be sure it will be one hell of a party :)

Speaking of parties, I get to do the bachelor party thing tomorrow night, but I'm not sure I can promise any pics from that one :P we'll see. Anyway, I may not be posting for a little while, but I will be back sometime after Oct. 17th, hopefully a happily married man :)
Cheers all,

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pat The Pirate Rough Model Sheet

Model sheets - yet another thing I have a hard time with... I've had some ideas lately for a story, & it actually involves my toon self, Pat The Pirate. Here is a VERY rough model of him, done with the assistance of some photos of me. I'll be the first to admit I'm not above tracing if it will help me get the feel for something that I struggle with freehand.

I don't know if that's frowned on by the art community or what, but I don't really care either. I know I can take what I have now & work it into a cool looking character that I'll be able to draw from all angles. To me that's good results & that's what I'm looking for. I actually think tracing can help improve drawing skills as it helps you to concentrate on forms & shapes, which can only improve your freehand skills.

Anyway, here it is, 3 turns on 1's & 3 on 2's. Let me know what you think & I'll have more soon as I refine it.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

General Iron Nuts - And some TBS 4 talk

Well I finished this week's character design challenge & it's barely Wednesday! Usually I'm rushing to get these in at the last second, but this one was so much fun I couldn't take myself away from it.

Here is the final image. I'm pretty damn happy with it. Couple things off as always, but again, I still feel I'm improving, & that's enough to keep me satisfied.
Name: General Iron Nuts
Age: Unknown
Weaknesses: None
Special Move: Iron Teabag of Death

I went nuts with some of the new features in TBS 4.0. Feathered edges in particular. I've gotta say I'm a huge fan! Something I discovered while playing with them was that you can go outside the set parameters of the # of steps and their width. TBS says the width can be between 5-100, and the # of steps can be 3-30. I actually can't say I tested all boundaries, but I know you can drop the width all the way down to 1. I got some really nice results with the settings on 1 width & 3 steps. It gave the drawing a lot of depth and also added a more painterly feel I think.

Here is an example using General Iron Nut's face. The first one is exactly as drawn, and the second is with feathered edges applied to thew whole thing, using the settings I mentioned above. I used that one for the final image.

I like both, but the feathered edges really add a lot to me. It's not a huge difference, but the subtle softening of the fur on his "cheeks" makes for a greater sense of depth, and it adds a little irregularity, which is also good. I've been trying to get away from putting hard black outlines around everything. It works sometimes, but more often than not I think it makes my work look flat & 2D. Not outlining everything in black was already helping, and I'm finding that using just the right settings with feathered edges can really add a lot to my drawings as well!

I plan on posting more soon about some the uses for new features in TBS. I have one in the works already that involves using feathered edges increasingly over time to aid in the effects of acceleration & speed. With a looping background it can be quite easy to make someone run/ride/drive from zero to light speed in no time!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Another Character Design Challenge

Well the Animation Forum picked up their character design challenges, and I'm in luck! I've been working on my anthro-critters lately, and wouldn' you know it, this weeks' challenge is "General Iron Nuts" a squirrel with the strength of a rhino, the speed of a cheetah & the full Rambo collection on DVD. This squirrel answers to no one.

I was pumped when I saw this challenge as it's going to be a great exercise for me. I think I'm getting some general ideas down when it comes to anthro-animals, thanks to the tutorials at drawfurry & some other tips, but as always I still have a lot to work on.

Here is a rough idea of what I'm going to submit for this challenge. It's nowhere near finished, but I still have a week to work on it. I think I like where it's going though,... I wouldn't mess with this squirrel.

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Some Critters

Well I had a big first tonight. I actually wanted to stay at work past closing time! There wasn't even any debauchery involved! We were pretty slow tonight & I was able to get some sketching done, I had just read a tutorial on drawing anthropomorphic animal faces, so around midnight I sat outside & challenged myself to fill a sketchbook page in 30 min (I lock up at 12:30). Well, as you'll see, I didn't quite finish the page, but I'm extremely happy with what I got on it. And for the first time I ever remember I was actually bummed when it was time to close up shop! I wanted to fill that page & a few more!

Animal faces are something I've really struggled with, not that I'm very good in any department, but my animals have been particularly bad to the point that I've never posted any of them before,... and we all know I've posted some crappy attempts at art. Anyway, I got some good pointers from the tut I read at Draw Furry, and I feel like I really took a step forward tonight, even if it was a small one. I genuninely like a handful of these & will definitely develop a couple of them further. I'm also pleased with some of the better pairs of eyes. I think I can actually see a bit of personality in a couple of these.

I'd really like some crits & advice on this one if you have any. I will post more as I tighten a few of these up.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

14th Dimension ER - WE NEED MORE CORN!!!

Just got turned on to these two toons from one of my favorite forums, they are produced by The Nursery, and I strongly suggest you check them out. There are some obvious John K. influences here, but I don't mean that as a bad thing (today's toons could use more of it). These are the start of a beautifully rediculous series, and I hope they give us more soon.

Things I found particularly interesting are the color schemes & background styles. I'm not sure I can even say why, but it all seems to work perfectly together in helping to create this fantastic environment of the 14th dimension er.
Check them out for yourself & enjoy!

Part 1:

Part 2:

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Couple Quickies

Was messing around with some watercolor pencils last night, I find these much easier to handle than traditional watercolor paints. Nothing special here, didn't spend much time on either one, just trying to get a feel for these things. I think I want to start working with these & oil pastels as well as my wacom. I'm hoping the different mediums can add something interesting to my toons & help give them a unique look. This should be a little easier to do soon with the new features in tbs 4.0, so I'm trying to get a head start with my watercolor practice :)

Here's a street corner, the perspective is off but I was really just experimenting with the pencils & getting a feel for colors. Spent 15-20 min on this one.

And here's my coffee mug, otherwise known as my security blanket. About 5 min on this one.

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