Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Sunday, 27 November 2011

'Catgirl' Compositional re-sketch v2 screen-capture PART 2

Here's the link to Part 1:Compositional re-sketch Part 1 . At the moment I'm sketching over the previous sketch but as I progress I redo the sketch completely at times. My main aim in these re-sketches is to fine tune compositional elements and to finalize the design. From here I could go anywhere I choose. I could redraw it and clean it up as a line sketch... or turn it into a watercolor painting or fully render it. It is always a temptation to settle for the first sketch you do. I'll always remember hearing Iain McCaigh say that if he enjoyed drawing it the first time he'd enjoy drawing it again. He was commenting on redoing something you've done. It is all too easy for us to settle for the first sketch we do, re-sketching and thumb-nailing stops that very human tendency to stop at status quo and push onward for a better design or sketch.

Below: 2nd re-sketch

Below is the final version of this rough compositional sketch - ready for painting or another re-sketch

Below: This is the 2nd rough thumb-sketch. I expanded it a little from the thumb. This is the first iteration. 

Below: 2nd version of thumb 2. Loads of problems with figure still but those I'll fix later as I am mainly looking at composition here and as I progress with my sketches.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Compositional Re-sketch screen capture

This is work I'm currently doing. I'm still in the planning stages. I have three compositions I very much like and have decided to do multiple re-sketches on each one; because it is a good discipline to develop and keep as part of your practice. Notice how I have used my reference material. This is my usual mehtod for using reference, when I use it. I keep it in front of me as a reminder as to what I'm drawing. In that manner I easily visualize the subject from any angle. Saves me time really.

above: two of the three composition thumbs
below: The thumb I re-sketched on this post.

below: First re-sketch, I'm sketching over these but others I'll redo from scratch.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Another blog - for crits and learnt stuff

So I want to post things that I learn and crits on my own work or links to other sites with great information... and so on. I don't want to do it here though, so I started another blog to do that. It would be great if blogger had the facility to makje pages function as your main blog page but they don't so this is the next best thing. I posted up a crit on one of my own images. If you care too, go to

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Quick photo study - landscape

Here is another quick photo study. I used to have dreams as a child with these kinds of landscapes, in the dreams gravity was somehow different. I could leap across the terrain easily. Immediately attracted to this photo, so I did a study of it. Growing skills.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Rough Pencil Sketches

Rough sketches from my sketchbook:

Mejuthaarge the messenger - Character Illustration

I'm hoping to put up two more of this character soon. Mejuthaarge was, and still kind of is, a god; but he made the others angry by tricking them and trying to eat up the earth so they demoted him to being their messenger. They changed his form, I'm going to post up his original form later, to having one of his original heads and a body of a man. I son doing forcing him to feel the limits of humanity. As the messenger of the gods he still comes up with mischief and even though his power is limited compared to what he had he is still very much capable of creating chaos. 

 So this is one of my Ideation methods I call 'populating'. I use populating when I first get a brief and have no visual language to readily apply to the idea.  I begin by furnishing myself with the basic language I'll be using, quick ideas and sketches. This stage can take on the form of various exercises. Line ups and variations are one of them. Of course if I have a visual language already the process will usually go straight to thumbs. 

Below I included the rough idea I took to the level of the sketch above. 

Updated: 20 November 2011 - The God Mejuthaarge

Before his fall.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Mr. Casau - Character sketch

So I'm trying out different styles and trying to show versatility. I know I can do anything, but my portfolio has to show it or no one else will know. Just wish I had the time do all the things I want in one fell sweep! I'm planning to post some 'machines' soon. More characters - not so stylized - serious villains and more technical stuff. I love painting fantasy and sci-fi subject matter but that's not all I can do.

 The original rough sketch - doodle mode :) 

Line drawing complete:

Alternate 1:

Alternate 2 (shadow added):

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Photo studies and exploring new approaches

These are two photo studies I did recently. The aims I set for these studies were very specific. I didn't want to just create copies, as valuable an exercise that might be at times. I recently got Donald W. Graham's book 'Composing Pictures' (birthday present) and I have been undergoing paradigm shifts at the presuppositional level. Earthquakes. The changes in viewpoint are subtle but things I have been searching for for a long time. They eluded me for a while but I have finally been able to make progress on this level. I remember reading something that Sparth said and thinking how that was something I was trying to get a grip on. He said that going digital gave him a sense of the canvas, that he had discovered it in a sense (paraphrasing, from what I remember). Well, this is what I'm discovering: a sense of the dimensionality of the canvas - the picture surface. My views are shifting radically and I have discovered something I've been looking for for a while. I think for an artist sometimes the Gnostic idea of hidden truths is really applicable. You study, you paint and experiment, you know something but one day suddenly those things you know transform and you relearn them from a deeper point of view. It's time to level up babe and I'm going to ride this monster wave right in to the shore this time.

These were speed painted studies:

The figure study: I chose a photograph with nice light and my purpose was to be super aware of the surface whilst painting, being aware of the symbols, lines, shapes and areas I was creating. Further I have come up with a concept of hidden light and color that has surprised me because I think I might be right. I held these ideas in my head with the aim of creating representational art but not thinking of the subject matter as representational. Strange? I am pleased with the end result of the study because I captured an essence beyond that of the photo and all along I was in this abstract mode of creation.

The landscape: I want to do more of these. Again, the same as above. I struggled a little at times but managed to pull myself away from mere reproduction most of the time. It has been an interesting experience. These images are obviously not completed but they contain more than enough information to convey a meaningful message. 

Friday, 4 November 2011

Dwyn the bear - Character Sketch

 Sometimes when 'thumb-nailing' I go through a 'progression' where I choose a particular pose or aspect and re-sketch it as much as I can. I find that the iterations get better as I go and I come up with great ideas as I go. Above is one such progression - looking for what I wanted the character to be. Below is the finished sketch, done in a simplified cartoonish style.
Doughy and shlumphy - Dwyn the bear