Saturday, November 6, 2010


Where'd the time go?
I started working on the piece below, for the SketchOholic interview-contest (hey, who wouldn't mind winning a copy of Corel Painter 11?) and I figured I'd spend maybe 20 minutes plotting things out in my head, get a couple quick roughs down then get to work.
Well, 4 hours have gone by and I'm done.
Granted, the last 35 minutes have been fighting with Corel Painter Essentials 4 and Photoshop CS3, as apparently, my watercolour layers simply get dropped now when I collapse or drop-layer-onto-canvas. And they didn't save when converting to PSD either. Am I doing something wrong here? The watercolour layers saved the last few times I saved as .jpg files. Either way, both art/drawing/creative programs are starting to chap my buttocks and generally make me wonder if I should quit digital works and go back to actual paint & pens...  ......but I won't quit, not altogether.. because must force myself to get the same quality, the same detail, from my happy Wacom Bamboo Fun+ tablet as I can with a pen & paper. I must. Therefore, quitting is an option for quitters, and I ain't no quitter, no how. (triple negative, yay!)
I must say, Irfanview has saved my bacon more than once on shrinking an image by mere percentages but dropping the file size by megs, and keeping the quality intact. Thank you IrfanView folks, for a great image viewer/semi manipulator, that's also free!

Well, I must say I think this is the second-longest I've worked on any one individual piece. The longest was an 8-hour-stretch, doing a black & white, un-inked jungle scene. I might snap a pic and post that here somewhere down the road. Sometimes the longest part of anything is getting the ideas to look right in the rough-drafts.

Friend of mine tweeted that she pointed someone to this thing.. well, if you're reading.. Hi! Thanks for reading. You should know (and I'll remind the others that read this thing) that I generally start somewhere between 930 and 10, if I start late, it's past 10:30, and have a self-imposed deadline of midnight (daily drawings afterall).. so the majority of the works here are all done in less than an hour - that's going from a blank canvas and no real idea, to coming up with something, roughing it out, and getting it done.
Size is almost always 800X600 at either 300 or 600ppi, depending on what I'm angling for. (I should just keep it at 600..can always scale down, scaling up is a chore and then some)

So, if you mosey over the SketchOholic site, you can check out some of the great artwork that people are submitting for the various contests and fun stuff that goes on there.

And yes, I really like the thick, pasty lines of the Thick Wet Impesto reminds me of fingerpainting with really really thick acrylic paints.

Friday night pt.2

I hate being late by a few minutes. A few minutes or a few hours or a few years.. late is late is late and it's always unacceptable if you're a professional.

Lucky for me, right now I'm just an amatuer. Still, it doesn't bode well to be late with things.

Anyhow, here's a pin-up that's not traditional pin-up

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday night Lar-night! Finally, ustream isn't being a connectivity-drag and the stream is going well.
Started later on my piece for tonight, and distractions never help.

It will be posted when it's done.. but there's no promises that it'll be posted before midnight, but I'm aiming for it. and might actually get it by the skin of my teeth.

... Nope, not gonna be done by the skin of my teeth. 5 minutes left, and I've got about another 10 or 15 minutes to finish up.

It'll be posted soon though, but thursday's a bust for now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Awwww nuts

I'm not going to get my piece finished in time.
Yes, I'm still planning on doing more nature and pin-up pieces, but my current piece is still in the rough stage, haven't even begun to refine let alone colour.

For some reason, `Our Truth` by Lacuna Coil, `Celebrity Skin` by Hole and `Bodhisattva` by Steely Dan are really just feeding my energy right now. ...or maybe it's the cookies. Mmmm.. cookies.

So.. here's a lil something else in the meantime.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Step by step

Okay.. I stayed up to what is my normal bedtime.. but I'm trying to cut it back to a `normal` bedtime... anyhow, I was up late last night.

I spent about 20 minutes picking through my song collection & making iTunes my indentured slave for the night. Set playlist to random.. some songs came on in a sequence thta just really fired into the ol' creativity-centre and I did some digital painting.

Not my best work..though I don't think I'll ever have something I can claim as `my best work`.. because I'm always trying to improve. Anyhow.. There's this funny girl named Danielle Corsetto who draws this amazingly human, touching, hilarious comic called Girls with Slingshots that, really, you should go read. Well, if you're over 18, because it deals with adult-issues.. and no, that's not code-for-porn..its code for mature things, like relationships, jobs, drinking and... KITTIES! Yeah, kitties. The girl's got a knack for drawing adorable kitties. So what makes me mention her? Simple.
Every time I hear John Denver's "Country Roads", I think of her.. because she's in of.. the Virginia's.

Wow.. brain-failure there.
Anyhow.. The 2 songs that played together were Molly Hatchet's Flirtin' with Disaster and John Denver's Country Roads.. and I haven't done anything organic or nature-y in a good while.. Not sure if I like how I did the leaves.. I'll probably re-attempt this later (later being months from now) ... But it's amazing how when you do something step by little step, it looks like crap until it starts coming together.
Everything is on it's own layer.. 2 layers for leaves, 3 layers for trees.. just.. yeah. To look at the individual layers, it looks like garbage.. but when they're brought together..

"Two paths diverged in a forest and I.. took the one that fell into the river. Damn."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New postcard!

I sat down to some cheesey, drawn-out anime called Ghost Hunt.. the opening is about a minute & a half longer than neccessary, and has a murder-inducing woman's wail for the vocals. It might sound better if surrounded by chanting, or screaming..or.. anything else. The music would be fine by itself, but no, they've paid some woman to wail through the scales while the opening runs it's course..which is also longer than neccessary. *sigh* I miss decent anime. Even if Cowboy Bebop is a bit contrived at times, predictable even, at least it was a good blend of music and animation. At some points, you thought certain characters might actually die. Well, when the narrator/main character says `I hope I don't die!`.. you know she's not going to. Main characters never get killed off, except by people like me.

Anyhow.. that stuff was going on in the background while I was whipping this up. It's still going on in the background. I thought the dvd would've been done by now.. live & learn, heheh. Speaking of living & learning.. be careful who you go hot-tubbing with.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Sometimes I just don't want to bother with a title. So, a bunch of dots instead.

This is a progressive piece.. I keep redesigning the character, but the face always remains the same.

The body build is from something I did years ago.. maybe I should recreate that critter.

Either way.. so far, it's just a goon that rumbles through my imagination.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Double post today.
I could do more if I wanted to sit here all day drawing/painting. And as tempting as that is, no, I don't want to.

Mostly because my laptop is on a small end-table at the end of my bed, and I use the drawer to balance my tablet (Wacom Bamboo fun+) on while I draw/paint. After a while my lowerback hurts like all getout and I just have to get up and more around. If I had a proper table to draw on, with a comfy-enough chair, I could do this all day, sure. But I don't, and I'm just not up for destroying my lowerback before I'm 40. I've done enough to my body the last 3 decades, I kinda of want it to last another few years at the very least.
And by `last`, I mean, I want it to do what I want it to do, when I want it to do it. Not fight me to move, bend, curl, straighten or otherwise do what it oughta.

This is a mostly-mummified, slightly-frankensteined flower girl:

and this, of course, if you run of the mill wolfman.

Eventually, I'm going to be able to get the same degree of detail out of my tablet that I can with a pen & paper.. but that might be years off. Simply because I can't afford the newest gadgetry & programs that comes hey, all you high & mighty employers take the frickin hint!! Self-employed/unemployed artists cannot afford to be as familiar and professional with the newest art programs that you demand they be, unless you don't mind hiring software-pirates - which if course they would, because if you'll steal from someone else's resources, you'll steal from their resources..ahhh, logic.

It really pisses me off that companies just expect you to be familiar with programs that are either now-considered-archaic (Photoshop 2.. not CS2.. photoshop 2.0 ... I kid you not, I lost a contract because I failed the company's test on PS2.0 (64% is a fail, apparently - I thought it was good for not knowing the version of the program).. I'm used to the CS3 version, with all it's bells & whistles. I should've asked them to test me with current software) or to be a wizard with the released-yesterday-program.. I was in an interview, and asked how familiar I am with CS5. I said not at all, but I know CS3, because it was a)given to me and 2) I can't afford the thousands of dollars for the new program.
The interviewer sympathized with the not being able to afford the latest, greatest techno-toy..but still wants someone who knows it inside&out.

Lucky me, I can learn just about any program quickly when properly motivated...and money just happens to be one of those motivators.
Creative Commons Licence
This work is created by Dan Shipton unless otherwise noted, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.