Friday, January 27, 2012

Artwork

Here are two quest screens I made recently for Dark Skull Studios' New Gods of Raanon for Facebook. Most of the images will be covered up with text. Images copyright Dark Skull Studios.



I was just contacted about doing a rush cover for Mark Fassett. This will be my third for him. Since I don't have a lot of time to work on this we're trying to do something where it's pretty much on a white background. Here's the first sketch. I haven't done anything so graphically reduced in a long time and I'm looking forward to rendering the interior details.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Doodle

Quick doodle for a background for an image. A character would be on the left and the rest would mostly be covered with text. Ended up preferring one of my other thumbnails so I abandoned this one early. I'm really looking forward to showing the images this one is related to. Starting to get a little less lousy at environments and quicker at laying down an environment sketch.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sketches

So here are some thumbnails for a book cover followed by some color roughs and a little bit of work-in-progress. This is a super early stage of rendering. Still pretty rough and not sure how I'm going to render the geyser of darkness. I guess I could render it like a regular geyser of water but it sounds like this magic stuff is described more as strands or threads. Then there's the whole magic streams above that are supposed to look like an aurora. I'm thinking I might bring in more water off to the left and right so it can reflect some of those color so that's they're not just in the sky.  I'm going to have a model pose for the adult woman. Should be tricky since it's an action shot and a cloak and everything is involved. I'll try to use my camera's setting for capturing action but I might just have to get a ladder and do some finagling.

Initially I was pretty interested in this composition of a column of dark with a bright orange stripe horizontally through the middle. Now I'm kind of wondering if I should have hit the characters with a a really bizarre and strong light from below so that they were more of a white on the black background of the column of darkness. I don't think I could get myself to do it during those color roughs because I couldn't come up with a logical reason for that strong of a light source from that angle.






Monday, January 23, 2012

Gifts!

One of my clients recently took a trip to China and was nice enough to send me a gift! Some clients are awesome. I've got plenty of stuff to post but no time to post it. Maybe next week I'll post some of the sketches I've been doing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sketch Night 1/18/12

Made it to sketch group again last night. Thanks Chris Pritchard for the new sketchbook recommendation. It's a nice big Utrecht sketchbook with toned paper. Most of the toned paper sketchbooks I've seen have really rough or scratch pages. This one is nice and smooth.

Also, I'm contacting artists to see if they'd like a table at Forge Con in Lexington in May. Tables are $50. Here's a promo commercial Forge has made. It's good and silly. Forge has also been named a can't miss convention of 2012 by Nicole Bremer Nash over at Tech Republic. Contact me if you're interested in a table.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Artist Reference Figures

 Triad's EVO and EVA in the back. Hot Toys TrueType muscular Caucasian  in front left and Hot Toys TrueType Advanced African American Male on the right.
I finally got too fed up with the Triad action figures I was using for reference. They'd be holding a pose and a leg would just pop off. Also some of the hands were practically impossible to change between. Well I ordered two TrueTypes and they blow the Triads out of the water. The Triad EVA and EVO review constantly has lots of views so I figured I'd let people know about these figures.

Right out of the box their joints were good and stiff making them able to hold poses well. The articulation is excellent in both. The skin color for the caucasian is better IMO than the Triad skin color. The TrueType Caucasian is more matte than the triad one but I'm not sure which I prefer. The African figure is a bit odd since they chose to make the head sculpt after Obama. So it's not really a leading man type of face and I think that may be less popular. The lack of popularity is why I was even able to find one in stock though. The snap on additional leg muscles are kind of neat.

I will say that I think I prefer the Triad hands. They're stiffer and more varied. The TrueType hands do go off and on much easier and consistently though.

Originally I was bothered by the way there aren't ankles on the TrueTypes but now that I've used the Triad ones I realize how much the TrueType system expands the range of movement. The TrueType muscular caucasian does have less range with not being able to rotate shoulder blades backwards and not having a neck that moves like the Advanced TrueType. The shoulder articulation doesn't bother me at all though as the movement seems more in line with a normal range of movement and the softer material actually does allow the arm to come forward and across the body. I do miss the neck articulation and the ability to rotate the upper arm. I really like how the elbows are done on the muscular version. On the upper body of the muscular TrueType they've tried to add a overall skin texture that comes off as a bit odd. I can't help but think they should have just concentrated on the big forms and not worried about something so small. The more matte finish to the muscular figure means that the little bit of gloss they have added to the eyes really makes them pop. The stands that come with the TrueTypes are really useful and much better than my homemade setup.

I would have bought a female TrueType but there's no articulation across the abdomen so there's no opportunity for contrapposto. I fear poses inspired by the figure would be extremely limited and of the more boring variety. Unfortunately it appears to be a popular design idea among this 1/6 scale action figures.

Note that some of the older TrueType models have big ol' giraffe necks as they're meant to have clothing put on them and a longer neck works better with that. I'm not dressing my figures up like dolls so I really want the anatomy to just be as close to normal as possible.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sketch Night

Trying to start going to sketch group again. I'm also going to start doing daily studies in the mornings and may start posting those.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2011-The Good, the Bad, and 2012


Here's a break down of the positives and negatives from this year. Afterwards is a break down of sort of how they all tie together.
Good
A.Income was extremely high this year
B.Raised my rates
C.I was able to spend more time on each piece
D.I got to experience some conventions I hadn't seen yet.
E.Spent more time with Zbrush
F. I already have enough work planned for 2012 that I really don't have to solicit anybody next year
G. I was able to help out a lot of friends by passing along work that I was too busy to do.
Bad
H. Expenses were amazingly high for me. A lot of this had to do with making the decision to upgrade a lot of my stuff (computer and camera) since I had the money plus going out of town three times and attending three conventions. I also bought a lot of reference stuff like armor,swords,etc.

I. Direction.Probably 7 months of the year were spent doing art or art related tasks that didn't consist of making the artwork that gets me any closer to my career goals.

J.Scheduling. I so wanted to spend time on the artwork that I'm interested in that I really packed my schedule tight so that I could manage to do that kind of work. Clients created some hiccups and it ended up making two months of the year pretty miserable.

K.Invisible. Because I haven't been doing as much of the artwork I want to continue doing, I haven't been as present on the web. A morbid sense of curiosity caused me to check my webtraffic for this month. 16 unique visitors. That's embarassing. Back in 2007 around this time of year I had 740 unique visitors in a month. My blog gets better traffic than that and I don't advertise this at all except on Facebook. When I took several months off to work on my mother's children's book it took a while to get the ball rolling again with work. I suspect the next time it may be even more difficult.

2012I think I'll be less invisible this year as the webcomic stuff is soon to shift to my own style so I'll be able to use that artwork to promote myself. Plus I've thought up what I think is a relatively genius plan for getting the freelance work rolling in should I suddenly be in need of it. I want to keep that my secret weapon though until the time comes.
Right now I'm working on ADing a Facebook game and it's a bit awkward since I'm coming in on the project midway and I'm not knowledgeable about Flash or this particular work pipeline. I'm watching training materials for Flash though and perhaps this will lead to some interesting places career-wise.

I'm also illustrating an entire RPG book this year from the cover to the interiors and many of the interiors are color. I've also been given carte blanche with the cover so it's pretty exciting.