Monday, November 29, 2010

The stories would excite me


I have been waiting so long to watch these episodes again.

Ego side story: when you search Google Images for "Tom Haverford", "Ron Swanson", or "April Ludgate", you get my fan art. <3 This pleases me. You can bet there will be new fan art after rewatching season 2. I remember there was a Tammy drawing for "I'd rather be Cleopatra" that I never finished...

It'll all get better in time

I drew my holiday card design last night, and thought I'd post the process for those interested:

I came up with a couple of ideas that I thought would work for the card, but as soon as I drew the girl with her reindeer, I didn't want to draw anything else.

I searched Google Image for reference. I liked this site a lot, and I found my reindeer's pose here.

I posed for a reference shot to use for the girl. Necks, shoulders, and arms are the most difficult for me to draw correctly from imagination. Even a somewhat similar reference pose is a big help. I used things like my hood and wrinkles around my elbows in the final drawing as well. I used this expression, but tried to change the face shape.

I penciled with non-photo blue lead. Pros: don't have to erase after inking, so ink scans nice and dark, paper doesn't degrade from erasing, and I save time and energy. Cons: can't erase, so pretty much have to get it right the first time, and the original will have lots of visible blue lines.
At this point, I generally know what the setting will be, but I get my characters in place first and leave drawing the background for later, since it should complement their pose and composition.

I inked the foreground first, and went left to right whenever possible.

I inked her hair without clear pencil lines, and ended up with the braid being out of perspective. I have to remember it's worth the time to put down my brush and tighten up my pencils when I run into these areas...

I started to stray from my pencils in the background. I realized that the hay/wall division was too high for the perspective I was using.

I used a photo of the image and messed around with it in Photoshop to test out a new background composition.

I added a spot black in the background to help frame the important part of the composition (reindeer face, girl face, hands). That left hand looked ungrounded, so I increased the shadow that it cast.

I scanned the image into Photoshop, cropped, adjusted the levels to get rid of any visible pencil lines and make the ink dark, converted to bitmap, and saved as a Photoshop file. I closed and reopened it, edited the line art, and converted to grayscale.

I converted the image mode to CMYK, added a layer set to 'multiply' called 'flats', and began flatting the image. My black and white line art stayed untouched on the background layer.

I colored the reindeer on a new layer so I could push color around with the brush tool and not ruin the flats around it. Then I selected the areas around the reindeer on the flats layer, moved back to the reindeer layer, and deleted where I went outside of the lines. I merged the reindeer layer down onto the flats.

I made some adjustments to the flats like differentiating the foreground and background wood and changing the levels and saturation of different areas to complement the girl and reindeer.

I added some highlights and color to the flat layer (blue reflection in sleighbells, pink flush on her cheek, white highlights on reindeer and her hair). On a new layer called 'shadow' set to multiply, I add shadows in a reddish gray.

I made a final layer called 'effect' set to multiply and added a radial gradient in the same tone that I used for shadows. This is a little cheat to pull the eye to the center of the image.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I love you more than words could say

Practiced drawing my Over the Surface characters during my wonderful, lazy Thanksgiving holiday:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Give me something to sing about

Buffy: Season 6 highlights! Again, spoilers, so beware. Spoiler notes below!

Okay, so apparently, "Shut up, Dawn!" is what people shouted at the sing-a-long screenings of OMWF at that part. xD I had no idea before I drew that; that's just exactly what I was thinking when it happened.
Dawn got a lot better this season. Losing Buffy made her grow up a lot and shake a bit of the self-centeredness that drove me crazy last season. She even staked and kicked! And when she finally hoisted a sword and lopped a demon's head off, she joined the club IMO. Plus, the speech that Buffy gave her in Grave was so touching! If she's the key to Buffy wanting to live, she's okay by me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You'll never see me coming

Finished Buffy: Season 5 this weekend. Gah, it's getting so good! The end of season 4 and beginning of season 5 had some of the best episodes yet IMO.

So don't click on this if you don't want (minor) spoilers, but here are my favorite things about season 5!:

I despise Dawn, but yeah, that line made me laugh for days.

And some sketches from this weekend as well:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Been there done that messed around

Another old line art, new colors illustration:

I think that this is the last one in my 'to color' pile. :> Somebody is discovering brushes and lighting layers~! Very uncertain about both, but have seen them done well and would like to learn. @___@

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Let me go and I will want you more

September piece I kept meaning to color:
Flat colors:

And with a flat green layer set to 'pin light':

I get the feeling that this is a beginner effect, but I like it. So bah.

Messing with your head again

New illustration:

Actually, I drew this in August, but only now finished/colored it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's cold outside but I don't mind I'm not lonely

Omigoodness. I've been hearing what an amazing manga artist Urasawa is for the better part of a year, and I can finally attest that it is all true. I read 7 volumes of Pluto this week in a mad rush to the end, and was sooooo impressed. I haven't read a comic that drew me in so completely since Death Note! Urasawa's storytelling is so great...even at the natural breaks in the story, I couldn't put it down because I HAD TO KNOW____ OR ____.

My sketchbook after 24 hours of reading Pluto:

Next up: Monster!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mukandou mukanshin kiri ga nai ne

Man...I would make such a great cranky old lady neighbor. I hate noise. I am watching my little brothers (neither of whom are little), and dealing with 4 of their friends and the new Call of Duty game in addition...color me not happy and not able to work.

But! Ahaha! Happy spin: I used the time to color that Utena fan art from a couple weeks ago:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Let's just drive until we're completely alone

My second finished pin-up for Hansel and Gretel:

This will probably be my last, as the art is due tonight. I had an idea for one more, but maybe I'll get a chance to do it later just for fun. :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On my guilty feet I follow him in the trees

My first finished pin-up for Hansel and Gretel:

I'm hungry, I'm dirty

The Portland Opera had another Comic Artist Night at the Opera event last night! It was SO fun. :D This time the opera was Hansel and Gretel, which was incredible! So creepy and funny and entertaining! It was in English, we all had book lights, and we all knew what to expect, so I think the work that all of the artists turn in will be even better this time around.
I decided to sketch during the opera and make some finished pin-ups at home (coming soon). Here are my sketchbook pages from the show:

And some other doodles from this week: