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.

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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)  

Daily 30-minute drawings

I started drawing the Lovarian Adventures webcomics back in 2001 to keep myself from getting bored and lonely. I started drawing three full comic pages per week at the start but eventually slowed down to drawing one page per week by the time I stopped drawing comics altogether.

Still, over the five or so years I’ve been drawing the comics, the best thing I’ve gained from it was that doing it had improved my artwork considerably. It probably stemmed from my being forced to draw on a regular basis to keep up with my self-imposed page update schedule.

However, now that I haven’t been drawing comics in a while, I’m afraid that my skill would just continue to stagnate if I don’t practice. So, I decided to do something about it starting yesterday.

I know I probably don’t have the time nor the will to start doing webcomics again at this point in time so that’s out of the question. I needed to do something that I can stick to. It has to be fairly regular and doesn’t take too long to do.

What I eventually came up with was that I should draw something with the intention to post it on my DeviantArt gallery everyday (except weekends and holidays) that will only take a maximum of 30 minutes to draw. Mainly, it should look more finished that the typical doodles I draw in my drawing books. I should add colour to it if there’s time.

I’m hoping that by doing this daily exercise, I’m giving myself a chance not only to improve but to experiment a little. I’m also hoping that in a few weeks’ time, I’d be drawing faster and better than now.

Lastly, I also hope that I can keep on doing this self-imposed exercise.

Click on the thumbnail above to zoom in on my first drawing in this series of exercises.

Published in: on December 18, 2007 at 11:38 pm  Comments (2)