Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wake Up And Smell The Ashes


Oh, and here's a better version.

We Live in Hard Times, Not End Times

You know, it's funny. I began the basic block in for this one during the summer, but then, all of a sudden, I lost interest in it. I only shaded one part of one leg, and then stopped altogether. Yesterday (Well, more like early this morning) I finally decided to finish it (after finally finding a mechanical pencil with lead in it). It's on an illustration board.

You see, it's supposed to be a headcrab. However, for whatever reason, I decided that I could probably wing the accuracy bit, so I boldly decided go through the laborious toil that is the Google search for a reference. As long as it has a main carapace and four legs, I thought it should be fine. I had some fun doing the textures on the legs. I think they're rock formation textures. The main shell has some turtle textures, a tangent that I believe stems from this painting of a turtle shell I did a bit back. I'm fully aware that it doesn't actually look like a headcrab, but still.

As far as critique goes, I think I could have gone further with the shading, and brought out the contrast a bit more. Having a pure white background doesn't help it at all. The positioning of the back legs is probably a bit off plane as well, and the whole drawing is probably a bit stiff from the hard outline. I have, however, tied up a very annoying loose end from the summer. That feels good.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

You Are Already Dead

Actually, when one scans brown paper, it is important to remember that the paper itself has been lovingly pre-crumpled, and will scan like it was soaked in the Panama Canal and then dried above the Gobi desert during a sandstorm. No way to fix that, unless I get really good brown paper later on.

What I notice about the hand drawings is the lack if visible structure. Sure there's lots of heavy shading, but other than that, there's negligible demonstration of an understanding of structure. Some of these hands could potentially be considered deformed. As the person who drew them, I can also personally attest to how little care I put into some of the fine work. Some of the folds of the skin, some of the placements of the veins, and even some of the lighting seems to be mashed together at random, resulting in some illogical contortions here and there. Also, the foot poses seem limited. That I can account for by my own lack of ingenuity. It did not occur to me to use a mirror for any of the poses. In fact, two of the poses feature identical feet orientation, and only upon further inspection would one find that the big toe on each is positioned differently. The failings here are mostly due to sloppy work, rather than a lack of fundamental understanding of structure. That may be it too, but mostly, I believe it was the sloppiness.

Necrodelineaticon, by Abdul AlHazdrawn

Here's a few pages from the sketchbook. Having 8 weeks worth of material means I have a wide range to choose from. I'm a bit iffy about the whole "posting other people's faces on your blog" thing, so if anyone has objections, those drawings will be down quicker than Han Solo can draw his blaster on a Rodian. I took down some of the personal info stuff on one of the pages as well. That I know for a fact to be an obtrusion to another's privacy.

I can't really judge sketches by composition or contrast, but I suppose that since most of the sketches I've chosen were done in some form of pencil, I should try to expand my use of media. Maybe try out those markers that everyone else seems to have a full set of (Note to self: Ebay myself a set of markers). Doing more studies is also a good idea, as most of these seem to be just doodles. 

Personally, of all the potentially cringe worthy things I've drawn this year, I'm most proud of the cartoon designs for Samus. (Note to self: draw Samus more. Maybe sketch more in general. But definitely draw Samus more)

No John, You Are The Demons

Okay, this is really recent. Last Sunday recent. It's a quick concept sketch for a game that a buddy of mine is developing. It's essentially worms, but apparently with ASCII art and slugs. This sketch was based on his designs, which had a more varied costume, and more explosions.

I might spruce this up a bit later, add a real background, do some cleanup, render some of the details better, biscuits and tea.

Do Vampires Dream Of Emo Sheep?

Ah yes, forward the progress. This is my cover page for Digital Tools. I learned how to use custom brushes here, but did not actually use any. Any further edits to this that I make would be well and moot, since the grade won't change any. However, for the sake of improvement, further analysis reveals that the floating platform neither looks like its floating, nor does it actually conform to the basic lighting of the background. I suspect it has something to do with how there's no way cast shadows could extend like that in an environment of such diffuse lighting. The improbable floating thing is probably because the center piece was cleaned too sharply before being plopped into the background. Looks unnatural. The brushwork for applying the textures was a bit heavy handed, particularly in the cliff area on the left. (Note to self: create actual custom brushes next time).

Actual Drawings III: Rise of the Machines

Funny thing about the posting mechanism here, apparently, there's an image limit on how much you can put in one post. Evidently, I was pushing that limit in my last post. However, as luck would have it, my other four pieces are all black and white portraits of other people's characters, so they have a kind of pleasing continuity.

Upon further reflection, I note a number of contrast, form, and compositional anomalies, along with one of the more irksome traits of painting on a separate layer, and then cleaning the edges to smoothly. I don't plan on ever coming back to these pieces again, so the lesson here will be for future reference. Practice practice.

This concludes my posting of older, pre-college pieces. If I ever do find the time to scan my portfolio, I believe I may post them. However, as it stands, I don't think I've quite developed the audacity to do anything that adventurous.

Actual Drawings II: Electric Boogaloo

Okay, so here you have it. Digital work. In fact, most of these are from this summer, and the only reason I post them now is because I cannot for the life of me find the will to finish them. Let this post be a sort of Artwork Graveyard, where unfulfilled visions go to commit seppuku. Maybe. Probably.

There's a few here that warrant mention, probably only because of how delightfully wonky the story of their failure was. 
The green alien is one of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Green Martians, inspired by the Frazetta paintings. I believe I scrapped it because it looked nothing like what I wanted it to look like. I also couldn't decide on what each arm should carry, so I was never able to get past the basic planning stage (or the proper lighting and contrast stage, or the correct anatomy stage, uh...I guess I got a lot of work to do). That is my explanation for the bizarre posing of the hands. (Note to self: do more studies)

The poster of the face with a Sephirot on it is a grade 12 assignment, I just thought it would add variety. A BW filter also proves that there's not enough contrast. 

Carmen Sandiego is from the summer, couldn't think of a background. Anatomy's a bit wonky too, but that's a whole other can of worms. BW filter marks the tell tale signs of lack of contrast. In fact, composition is a bit skewed too, but I guess I can blame that on incompleteness. Uh, then again, it may just be a crappy composition. (Note to self: work out composition/pay attention in painting class).

The portrait of BURSTING WITH POWER Gore was just for fun, and again, I couldn't think of a proper background. 

The Samus thing was ditched because of perspective, and because I couldn't think of a background (growing trend amirite). (Note to self: Get Daz and pose the thing to see how exactly to draw this).

This must be what absolution feels like. I am now no longer obligated to ever look at any of these pieces ever again. From the summer, I learned that I am horrible at layouts and backgrounds, something that I perceive very, very acutely as my time at Sheridan rolls by. More work more work, I think.

Actual Drawings

An art blog with only a poorly written short story is totally improper! Thus, ART.

A few of these I actually used in my portfolio, but that doesn't help the fact that all of them are quite old. They're what I have on hand though, so perish the thought. I was going to do two introductory posts, one with traditional work, and one with digital, but uh, I seem to have sneaked a few digital pieces on here anyway.

Let's see, items of note....I think that cropped off life drawing is actually from two years ago, the sphinx was MS Paint and Nintendo DS. Uh, I think the cat was my first time using Photoshop to paint ever (About 1 year and something back? Makes me feel real green, that does).

Friday, October 29, 2010

O Brave New World That Has Such Expensive Food In The Cafeteria

It is a moonless night.

I sit in my room, upon a stooped, wiry armchair, its leather upholstery thin and tattered. Before me is a wobbly wooden table, upon which rests a well worn laptop. An unobstructed window to my side allows cool gales to freely enter the room, bringing with them the sounds and smells of the wooded ravine in the distance. I gaze briefly towards that window, noting the deep darkness that seems to blanket everything outside, in a landscape bereft of a moon's light. 

The pale glow of the monitor sitting before me is all that suffices for illumination, coloring the spartan furnishings of my room with a lifeless blue. These feeble highlights are all that preserve my surrounding clutter from fading into shadowy nothingness. 

The idle patter of my keyboard plays harmony to a gamut of muted beats, rhythms of life that only emerge with the decrescendo of humanity's symphony.

I find myself absentmindedly sipping at a cup of flat, tasteless coffee, full of the morning's bitter dregs, watery and without savor. It keeps me on the edge of wakefulness, and steels my nerves against reluctance at the task before me. 

Long have I deliberated upon the what I am about to do, fearful of the consequences of meddling with such fell forces. Yet in the cover of darkness, and in the absence of company, I muster the will to carry on. 

It is a ritual known by many names, and in as many tongues. 

The druids of B'logg'spotte, however, know what I am about to undertake as "First Post".