Thursday, March 27, 2008

Second Life Drawing Session

Got a couple more hours at class today to finish up with our model. I tried correcting a few mistakes from last week, more successfully in some areas than others. Was tough because his pose was just slightly different this week, as was my angle I'm sure, so connecting this week's hand to last week's wrist was tricky & it looks pretty sloppy in spots.

That said I'm really quite happy with it. Ran out of time before I could fully render it, so there isn't much detail. Only made one pass with an "F" pencil to block in tones. If I had time I'd have gone back over the whole thing, add details & push the shadows & highlights more, but this is what I got done & I don't want to keep working on a life drawing when the model is gone. Feels sac religious somehow.

Here it is then, let me know what you think.

Read more!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Portrait Practice

Working more on my portraits. Started off liking this one, ended up sort of hating it. I'm sure in a couple days I'll feel somewhere in between. Did this from a photo, it's a friend of mine from the Animation Forum. I'd like to start doing portraits more often, I know it's not animation, but I really enjoy them. Too bad mine never quite look like the people they're portraits of lol.
Anyway, here goes this attempt, c&c's welcome as always.

Read more!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Final - I think

Here's what I think is going to be the final version of my first Falling Rock BG. At this poin I'm not really sure what to add & am afraid I'll do more harm than good. Seems like a good time to call it a finished piece... Any accessories or moving pieces I'll add in Toon Boom or Pencil. I might mix it up a bunch with the bitmaps & vectors... we'll see. Long way to go before I worry about that. So until my next posting, let me know what you think of this one. Comments on the texture & such would be particularly helpful as I'm thinking of doing the rest of my planned BG's in the same style of mixed media. Does it work for you in general?

Read more!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Update on BG WIP

Went at my background wip for a bit today. Just added some lights & darks really & worked on the reflection in the water. Pretty happy with it, I think I'd just like to further define the overhang of the embankment. It needs some grass or twigs hanging over in places & maybe some roots & such popping out of the dirt as well. I'll post that when it's finished, but in the meantime, let me know what you think of this version.

And another version using Squirlz Water Reflections (link on right side of page). Let me know what your thoughts are on the effect here. I can tinker with it more, but in general does it add appeal or detract from the painted look of the image?
Here's the link.

Read more!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Nude Life Drawing Session

We had a nude model at class today, he'll be back again next week so this is a WIP. Just tried to get the general form down today, next week I can work on shading & details.

I got a lot from this session, next week if we get have enough time I may ask him to do some quick gesture poses. I'm enjoying the life drawing stuff, but I'd like to do some looser stuff as well. I think some 30 sec to 3 min gestures would be fun.

So here's what I got done today, I made him a little thicker in the waist & legs than he really is, but I think my proportions still fit in with human anatomy, or pretty close at least. Would love any crits & comments as always, I feel pretty good about where this is headed & think I can produce a quality finished product. Here's hoping...

Read more!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Profile Drawing

Here's my latest homework assignment, a drawing of someone from a profile view. I ended up drawing my wife because I waited til the last minute. Nothing against drawing her, but when you try to capture someone close to you on paper I often find it a struggle to keep all my preconceived notions of what they should look like out of my head. It's easier for me to just draw what I see when it is a total stranger or acquaintance. I don't think I'm alone in that problem though, so it's no big deal, & drawing Erin was probably great practice.

Couple parts of it I caught in the high-res scan that I hadn't noticed on paper. For instance, the contrast between the shadow & highlight on her upper lip is too stark. Also I could have done better on her cheek. Overall though I'm pretty pleased. Would love to get some feedback as always, so please fire awawy with any crits or comments.

Read more!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Background WIP

Here's something I've been messing with in Painter lately. I'm half working on the painting itself & half just getting used to various brushes in Painter, so it contains a wide variety of mixed media right now, but that's fine with me. I like how it's taking shape so far, & I'm definitely getting more comfortable in Painter. I'm only using the "Essentials" version that came with my wacom right now, but I can see a future investment in Painter X for sure, I like it far better than PS for drawing/painting. I've used it for a few things before but mainly stuck with a small array of chalks & watercolors. I've been trying to expand my toolkit so to speak with this piece & I'm glad I'm doing it.

I used a lot of impasto oil brushes & palette knives for the ground, as well as some oil pastels on the trees (will probably use more of these to add definition to the ground). I also used some watercolors in various places as well, mostly with a very low alpha to help with the water.

Anyway, this piece will most likely find a home as a BG scene in the Falling Rock project I'm working on . Would love to hear what you think as always, especially if you see something that looks drastically wrong, as this is still a WIP, please let me know so I can fix it before I get too far off on the wrong track.

Other than that, what do you think of the overall look? Does the combination of media work for you? Just curious as I'll probably take a similar approach to the other BG's I have planned. This one & the others are all from photo references. I took a bunch of pics at my favorite trout stream & based this painting off one of them. Didnt trace, but tried to keep it pretty accurate. Anyway, hope people like it, I'm very curious about your opinions, so please feel free to leave feedback.

Read more!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Concept Art

Was continuing to mess around with Pencil today & ended up with a scene I may use as a BG for a project I'm getting started with. I'm going to animate the story of Falling Rock. Not sure how many people are familiar with it, but it's a story that I believe originated in the Boy Scouts. I thought for years that my father had made it up, but after some research I found other re-tellings of it around the net.

The versions I found vary greatly & were all interesting reads that just made me appreciate the oral tradition even more. Anyway, the common theme in all of them is that they take place in a mountainous area, and they involve an Indian by the name of Falling Rock. Sometimes he's a boy, sometimes a man, sometimes anywhere in between. In my version, he was always a boy, probably because my dad kept him around my own age to keep me interested. If you live or have traveled anywhere near a mountain region in the U.S., then you've probably seen a sign that says "Look Out For Falling Rock." The short, short version of the story is that the boy grows up the son of a Chief, and learns the ways of the tribe as he grows. Eager to impress his father & show his strength, he goes off to hunt on his own & never returns. The tribe searches endlessly for him & go so far as to have signs posted to keep people on the watch for him.

It's really a great story & one that I was old a hundred times in my youth. I think it will make a great animated piece, I only hope I can do it justice. Anyway, here's the sketch I scribbled out today, obviously needs refinement, but I like it as a start.

Read more!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Just Messing Around

Well I was playing with a new program I downloaded recently called Pencil. It's free, open source, and the code is available (in fact I think they are looking for programming help). The main thing that attracted me to Pencil is the fact you can draw & animate both bitmaps and vector shapes. I think this is one hell of a feature, especially for a free program.

I really haven't spent much time playing with it yet, but I can say I'm a big fan of the drawing tools, particularly on bitmap layers. The pencil tool itself serves different functions depending if you're drawing on a bitmap or vector layer. On bitmaps layers it behaves beautifully like a pencil, & is one of the most natural feeling drawing tools I've come across yet. On vector layers, the pencil serves much like the stroke tool in TBS, it draws invisible lines that make borders you can fill in with the paint bucket.

The coloring tools in pencil are limited but ok. The palette is very basic to start, but you can add custom colors and save palettes as well so it's no big deal. I didn't do much coloring in Pencil, but I did find a look I really like by sketching in Pencil on a bitmap layer, then exporting as a series of PNGs. I then imported these into TBS & added a drawing layer underneath where I added color. The animation is very simple, just 3 drawings, & the eye itself could be better for sure, but the overall look is very pleasing to me & I think I'll be attempting more stuff in this style.

I'd love to hear what people think, so feel free to leave crits & comments.

Read more!