Hamthology Volume 2

DSC01043A year ago, I participated in a comic book anthology by a community of amateur artists/writers from around the world. It was called Hamthology, Volume 1: The Quest. The first time round, I submitted a short story about a busker scraping a living in Victorian-era Melbourne.

This year, we have Hamthology, Volume 2: Choices. It’s not exactly out for sale yet but I have just received my complementary copies yesterday! I didn’t draw a comic story this time but I did write one. I had my brother draw the comic instead. It’s about a young Filipino boy wanting to possess the ability to become invisible by acquiring a legendary stone.

I was so excited when I finally got my hands on it. It definitely looked a lot better than the first book. As it should be. It’s good to know that there was an improvement over the first one.

Even though I didn’t actually draw a comic this time, I’m still very proud of our second book. At least I was able to help out in an artistic capacity by adding the shading to our comic.

Update: Hamthology 2 now available for sale!

Below is a quote from Bryan Wong, our editor-in-chief:

Hi everyone!

I would like to announce that Hamthology Volume 2 is now available for online purchase! The collection features seven stories focusing on the choices that people have to make, and the consequences they have to deal with. It also includes many pinup art as well. The whole book was put together by a wide range of artistic and writing talent, all from our own pOnju backyard, including Akira Hasegawa of Tsunami Channel fame and Wish 3’s Sylvia T. Leung!

You can go to lulu directly to purchase the graphic novel.

You may also visit our official website to learn more about the book, the contributors, and see previews.

Published in: on July 1, 2008 at 10:18 pm  Comments (2)  

Unfinished Lenten Project

Now that Easter’s over, I’ve decided to currently suspend my personal project for the past Lent where I attempted to draw all the Stations of the Cross as a form of penance. That’s eight out of the fourteen Stations I’ve finished pencilling so far. I had intended to add in a bit of colouring and/or shading in Painter or Photoshop after I scanned the drawings on to my PC. Instead, I’ll just leave things where they are now and add the finishing touches to the eight drawings and complete the remaining Stations next Lent.

Meantime, you can look at what I’ve finished pencilling so far. Note that these are basically the basic drawings for the stations, lacking any additional effects (such as additional blood) which I intend to add later. Click on the thumbnails to zoom in.

Station 1 – Jesus Is Condemned to Death

Station 2 – Jesus Carries His Cross

Station 3 – Jesus Falls the First Time

Station 4 – Jesus Meets His Blessed Mother

Station 5 – Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

Station 6 – Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Station 7 – Jesus Falls the Second Time

Station 13 – Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross

Meanwhile, I can go back to drawing other things. Raquel suggested I draw more fairy tale images and/or Filipino myth images. I’ll probably be doing those in the coming weeks. That is, if I don’t get distracted by my other hobbies.

Published in: on March 27, 2008 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fairy tale art

I’m currently trying to build up a bit of digital art portfolio that can better represent what I can do, art-wise. That meant also doing art at a very high resolution. It wasn’t as easy as doing stuff real small. I really have to be careful with the lines I draw because I’m drawing them zoomed out and mistakes aren’t as easily visible. I only find out about these mistakes when I zoom in to look up close.

As subjects for these newer pieces, I followed Raquel’s suggestion of using characters for fairy tales. First one was Rapunzel and the latest one is Tinkerbell from the Peter Pan story. These two pieces were coloured and “inked” differently but that’s probably not too noticeable when zoomed out. I’m still experimenting with the colouring and I feel like I’m close to getting to a method I’ll be satisfied with.



Published in: on February 24, 2008 at 12:18 am  Comments (4)  

Going into the art business?

I love drawing and sketching even when I was young child but I had never thought about earning any money for my making art. I had always envisioned myself as being in computers either as an engineer or a software developer. Fast-forward to the present, I’m now a programmer by day but I still love drawing in my free time.

I actually love drawing so much that it makes me think about the possibility of earning a living solely from doing freelance art. In the short term, I seriously doubt that any money I can possibly earn from doing art can match the salary I get paid monthly from programming. So, if I do decide to concentrate on my art, I would certainly be taking a pay grade dive. It’s something that I can’t consider specially since I want to have a kid soon.

But maybe I can start by getting into the art business as a part-time thing. Maybe I can take on simple commissions at first. Maybe I should make a series of art pieces I can make prints out of and sell them at the local Sunday markets here in Melbourne or sell them at online sites like Etsy and eBay. Maybe I can compile a series of sketches and publish it via Lulu and call that an art book. Maybe I can go back to making comics and publish that via Lulu too.

I’ve already started doing some research into this commission work thing. I wanted to know what doing digital art commission work entails. I wanted to know how much other DA artists were asking for for their work. How much are people willing to pay for a certain level of art quality? I use these artists as a sort of a price guide. I wonder if anybody out there is interesting in commissioning me for some art.

Last weekend, I went to the Arts Centre Sunday Market at the city to check out what the artists there are offering and how much they are selling their stuff for. Again, I’m hoping that this would give me an idea of how to price my own pieces when the time comes (if it ever does) to sell my own. I even learned about Giclee prints while there. I need to look into that a bit further but it seems like a more expensive way to make prints.

At this stage though, I don’t really have a lot of finished work to sell as prints that people will want to buy. That means, I need to first make more high-resolution detailed and coloured pieces that might attract buyers before I can even think of earning money from prints.

With my limited free time, it seems like that doing art commissions might be the more feasible option. My only fear is that I have absolutely no clue how to do one. I mean, drawing the actual piece might be the easiest bit because that’s something I know how to do already. But I don’t know what to put into a contract that would be fair both to me and to my potential customer. How exactly should I deal with the customer? Do I draw drafts first for his/her approval? Do I allow him/her to change his mind after he/she approved the draft?

So many questions. Maybe I should just take the plunge and wing it all the way.

Published in: on February 6, 2008 at 11:34 pm  Comments (2)  

A new monitor, some sketches and a request

I love my small Dell XPS m1210 due to its small size. However, its small size is also the problem. My PC’s maximum resolution is only 1280 x 800 pixels which makes for a very cramped screen real estate. Ordinarily, this isn’t such a hassle but when it comes to drawing and colouring digitally, it’s a good thing to be able to see the entire picture all at once while working on it. So, one of the things I had wanted was to buy a large secondary monitor I can connect to my laptop.

I have been shopping around for a new laptop since late last year but I couldn’t find one that is not too expensive but at the same time have a resolution larger than 1440 x 900 which was the maximum resolution of most wide screen monitors I was looking at. One monitor did seem to fit my requirements and was relatively cheap: Hanns.G HG216D 22″ Widescreen HDMI LCD monitor.

A month ago, it was selling at Harvey Norman for about $500+ if my memory serves me right. I guess that’s just about right since it is a 22″ monitor with a maximum resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels. I also like that it had an HDMI input which would potentially allow me to turn this thing into a monitor for a PS3 when we do decide to get one in the future. My only concern was that this was the first time I’ve heard of the Hanns.G brand.

Well, after I looked up the monitor on the Internet, I was satisfied that it was a pretty safe purchase if ever. However, I found it a bit too expensive at the time since I only mostly wanted it for my digital art needs. Last week though, it was being sold for only $349 at JB Hi-Fi! That’s a big price drop and suddenly the monitor was within our budget.

But instead of buying the monitor at JB, we went to Harvey Norman instead where it was being sold at a discounted price of $397 (slightly more expensive than at JB). Good thing Harvey has this 110% price match policy. That is, they’ll match the lower price of a competitor and reduce it a further 10% of the price difference. I don’t exactly understand the policy completely but the end of it was that we got the monitor for less than JB’s $349 price! Yay!

Of course, I quickly tested it when I got home by doing some sketches.

After connecting the new monitor to my laptop, I quickly sketched this piece using Painter X’s Artist Pastel Chalk brush mainly. I was still feeling a bit nostalgic about my old webcomic after drawing Nadine last time, so I went and drew another Lovarian Adventures character. Helix the rogue this time. He has a different haircut now and he seems a bit younger here than in the comic (according to Raquel).

While at Borders (mega bookstore) yesterday waiting for Raquel do some shopping, I saw this girl across from where I was sitting really intent in reading her magazine. Since I wasn’t really doing much, I whipped out my trusty drawing book and started drawing her expression, face shape and hair. I wasn’t after her likeness but her overall look. I scanned the sketch when I got home and modified the image further in Painter.

In the end, I’m pretty happy with the new monitor. It certainly works the way I expected it to. Watching high definition (HD) videos on it was pretty cool, too!

Just before I end this, I just want to add something that doesn’t warrant its own post, I think. I just got a message from a DeviantArt member who had been looking at my stuff and I think I just got my second commission offer (Rick was asking about commissions first). Here is the message:

Cool art! Would you like to draw some sexy sketches of my wife in your style?

He didn’t send me any photos of his wife for reference yet but I did ask Raquel if this was a bit of a weird request. Draw his wife in sexy poses? Raquel was okay with it as long as we get paid. Cool.

Published in: on January 20, 2008 at 9:57 pm  Comments (2)  

More art experimentation

First of all, I’m glad that Raquel has finally been posting again (and without any prodding from me to boot!). That means posts that aren’t always about my artistic endeavours which seem to be the majority of my most recent posts here.

Speaking of artistic endeavours, I’m still not satisfied with my skill level when it comes to digitally colouring my drawings. To remedy this problem, I’ve been playing around with Painter X a lot lately, trying different brushes to see how each one looked. Here are three results of these experiments in chronological order (click on the thumbnails to enlarge):

Used Cover Pencil for the actual quick sketch and the Artist Pastel Chalk for colouring (this fact is also written in my ugly handwriting on the side of the drawing itself). By the way, he is not meant to be anybody specific in the Harry Potter universe. It just so happened that I decided to give him this dark blue robe-like shirt with an orange tie.

This was something I actually sketched on my physical drawing book on the train ride home from work. But as you can see, the sketch itself is incomplete because we got to our train station before I was done drawing. Anyway, I scanned it in and tried some stuff on it. Had a coloured background and used Soft Airbrush tool for the light colouring and the highlights. I’ll probably come back to this sketch again and finish it properly.

It’s been a while since I’ve drawn my webcomic character Nadine Strange. So when I did another doodling experiment, I decided to make her the subject. Although, I admit she looks a lot different here than how I used to draw her. In Painter X, used Artist Pastel Chalk for the sketch, Wet Detail Brush for the colours overall, Soft Airbrush for highlights and Just Add Water for blending.

For a few weeks, I haven’t been able to submit anything new to my DeviantArt gallery all because I was playing Half-Life 2: Episode Two. Early this week, I finished the game and was finally free to get back to my art hobby.

Speaking of DeviantArt, my Grinch drawing won an honourable mention for the ‘Tis the Season DA contest. That means that should get a one month free subscription on DA as prize. However, I have yet to receive my prize. I wonder what’s the hold up?

Another contest I recently joined is for Caroline Dy’s Draw. Write. Play. webcomic about two girl gaming geeks. My entry is the thumbnail you see on the left showing the two lead characters of her webcomic: Pixie and Cel. There were only five entries and the grand prize gets a one year subscription to DeviantArt (again, I know).

Seems like the last entry is pretty cool and all painterly so that will most likely win. I’ll probably only win on a technicality if ever. But, I rather win on merit than on a technicality. With that said, if I win, I win. If I lose to the last entry, I’m also good with that.

Published in: on January 18, 2008 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

My new Bamboo Fun is fun

For my advanced birthday gift, Raquel gave me a brand new spiffy Wacom tablet called Bamboo Fun to replace my old Wacom Graphire4 tablet.

The Bamboo Fun model actually replaced the Graphire4 model in Wacom’s line-up of tablets. It is aimed primarily at amateur/hobbyist digital artists who would want to have a decent enough tablet but don’t want to spend a fortune on the high-end models such as the Intuos or the Cintiq which sells from $600 up. The Bamboo Fun model I got is the medium-sized one and sold for about $299.

The new tablet is essentially the same as my old tablet except for the following advantages:
– It also came with a wireless mouse that uses the same tablet technology as the pen stylus.
– The drawing surface is wide which proportionally matches my laptop’s wide screen. Meaning, no wasted tablet space.
– Using the pen on the tablet surface feels like pencil on paper unlike the older one which felt like ballpoint pen on glass.
– It has two more buttons I could assign functions to.
– It’s thinner and therefore more portable. I could place this side-by-side my folded laptop and have both fit in my small laptop case. I could also unplug the cord from the tablet itself. The older one is wider, thicker and you can’t detach the cord so you have to wrap it around the tablet if you decide to take it somewhere.

It should be pretty obvious by now that I love the new tablet. I was first taken aback by the pencil-on-paper surface texture when using it because it meant I have to be more forceful with my strokes. With the older tablet, my strokes just glide off the glassy tablet surface. With the new tablet, my lighter strokes trasnlated to more crooked lines and very light lines. But now that I’m used to the new one, I find it’s no longer a problem.

Actually, I got the gift a few days ago so I was able to use it already to draw some of the stuff I’ve posted on the blog such as the Little Drummer Boy and Tomas and Nilo.

Apart from these two, here are a couple more stuff I drew with the new tablet (click on the thumbnails to enlarge):

The first piece was originally just a sketch I did as part of my daily doodling exercise.The original sketch had incorrect facial proportions on it and I knew it. But, I wanted a sketch I could practice some colouring on so I used it anyway.

After doing a quick colour experiment, I was a little satisfied with the result so I copied the whole thing from Painter to Photoshop and proceeded to distort the image to make the proportions look more or less correct. At the very least, it now looks better than before I altered it.

As for the colouring, I’m trying out something that I can do real quick but remain pleasant to look at in the end. This was more free form and it was a lot quicker to do compared to my other method which involved a lot of cleaning up and precision.

The second piece, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, was something I did for another Christmas-themed art contest at the DeviantArt art community called ‘Tis the Season for Illustration Contest. The rules state that we should draw a Christmas-themed scene from a book or film.

I did this on the day of the deadline so I had to draw something quick and finish it quickly. The only thing I could think of drawing was the Grinch. Since I’m basing it off the movie instead of the book, I sort of used the Jim Carrey Grinch as reference instead of the Dr Seuss book Grinch or the Grinch from the cartoons. It was rushed but I hope I win anyway since all the other submissions weren’t all that flash.

Published in: on December 29, 2007 at 12:05 am  Comments (2)  

Little Drummer Boy

I wanted to join the DeviantArt Christmas Carol Contest. So for my art exercise (I’m dropping the “daily 30 drawing” label, by the way, since it is not daily and it won’t always be a drawing), I drew something that maybe I can use for the contest.

Here is a summary of the rules as taken from the contest’s page:

Think of your absolute favorite Christmas Carol. Now illustrate it in the anime/manga style! All medias are welcome~

The only thing I can come up with in a short amount of time was The Little Drummer Boy. Well, I had been meaning to draw the boy a few weeks back so I already had a little idea on how I wanted to proceed. However, since I only have 30 minutes to finish this (less the planning part), I only had time to draw both baby Jesus and the drummer boy. No time to put in colour and still make it look good.

This is isn’t the final form that I will submit for the contest, but I will use this as basis for the actual submission a bit later though.

EDIT 23/12/07: Here is the coloured version if you are interested.

Published in: on December 21, 2007 at 11:24 pm  Comments (2)  

Tomas and Nilo

As part of my so-called 30-minute daily drawing exercise (which I shorten to Daily 30), I drew this quick sketch of two characters in a story I wrote for a short comic story for a comic book anthology. I was supposed to be the writer while my brother is the artist of the story. However, he is currently very busy with his work that he couldn’t draw much of anything for this project.

So, to sort of help my brother out when he finally gets a chance to draw stuff for our story, I will draw some sketches related to my story myself. At the very least, my drawings might help better communicate the scenes I want in the story to my brother.

As for my Daily 30 exercise, maybe “daily” is a bit too much after all. I’ve already skipped a day since I decided to start doing this because of other more important things I needed to do yesterday evening. Now, instead of daily, it’s down to three times a week. I’ll still be calling it Daily 30 though. Much shorter name.

Published in: on December 20, 2007 at 11:05 pm  Comments (2)  

Christmas greeting cards

In my earlier post [Vintage Christmas art contest], I mentioned that the artwork I made which depicted a Christmasy living room scene was for two things. One is for the contest, which I already mentioned. The second reason, which was actually the main reason for my drawing the artwork was to use it as covers for our home-made greeting cards.

I didn’t want to mention this in the blog earlier because I wanted there to be time for some of the actual greeting cards we sent out to reach the intended recepients first before they learn about it from my blog. Since some of our friends have confirmed that they have already received our cards, it is probably safe to post about it now.

I haven’t made my own greeting card since I was in elementary school when the teachers forced us to make them for our homeroom classes. Raquel and I figured that making one instead of buying one would make our greeting card more personalised and heart-felt. Since, I can draw a thing or two, I decided to give it a go.

Here is a photo of the cards as taken by Raquel:

Click on photo to zoom

Art and printed text was by me. Raquel did the handwritten greetings, the folding, the home-made envelopes (couldn’t find ones that would fit our cards anywhere) and the cut-out snowflakes you see in the photo.

Published in: on December 19, 2007 at 12:14 am  Comments (2)