Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quick and Dirty

This is a favourite phrase my accounting teacher used.  The girls in class got a giggle out of it.  Personally, I like it, in that it means, to me, let's do this thing, nothing fancy just functional and make it work.

I like that.  It doesn't have to be refined or overly pretty, the most important thing is that it works.  It can always be prettied up later.

I realize that it's been almost a month since my last post - and that's just horseshit! It's time to implement some changes in the what that I do.  Some serious examination of the why for some things I enjoy - or think I enjoy, and a more adamant determination as to what is important to me to spend the only thing we never get more of - time - on.

And one of those things is a world of some kind of something else, with a wristslash pen-dab and horribly quick-coloured peak into some of the later chapters of said world below.



As for the title of the piece, well, it's another peak into that world.  I''m still working on a title for the stories of this world, though I do have a tag-line / catchphrase for it, and no, I won't be sharing that here.

Obviously, the finished art for this thing I'm working on will have cleaner lines, better colour.. but for now, I'm just going to enjoy some rough, happy slap-work with my ink and paper while I finish hammering out the style that will eventually flesh out this pace I'm working on.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Speed

The speed of light.  The speed of sound.  Speed limits.  Speed-traps.  Speeding.  Speedy Gonzalez.

Haste makes waste, is what we're told.  Haste is to hurry, to speed along, to do something quicker.

And when I do art quicker, sometimes I achieve a nice slap-dash sloppy-look that pulls things together, like hair or fur or loose tendrils or something.  But more often than not, it produces ...things I am less than pleased with.

I tried not to hurry through the colouring on this too much.

After looking at it, I decided to remove the general lines i had for cheekbones, the nose, the eye sockets and such, and to just let the colours define it.  How well I did is up to anybody's guess, but only I know the truth, after all, I'm the one who made the thing.  That's one of the rubs about art, it's open to vast interpretation, no matter how closed-in-on a subject the piece may seem.

Anyhow, I'm sure the #Alphabeasts thing already has a few of these.. and while this doesn't match what's in my head, it's a close enough approximation to make me okay with it.

G is for Ghoul


There's a few types of ghouls out there.. and I'm choosing the zombie-like, fairly brainless revenant that rots and festers and decays.

Perhaps I'll do some more pieces this week and get some other ideas for ghouls out of my head and onto canvas..digital and otherwise.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Marking Time

As a kid, we're often told how many more sleeps until something, for example, it's only X-number of sleeps until christmas, or X-number sleeps until you go somewhere or do something. Generally, a very very rudimentary function of telling time.

As we get older, we mark time with other things.. dollar amounts, prospective numbers until something might be accomplished, months or weeks until events happen, minutes, hours and such, more precision to our markings of time.

There's approximately 34 days until I move into a new apartment.
I can't wait, and as anyone can tell you, when you anticipate something, are waiting for something, time seems to slow, stretch itself out like taffy, and sometimes that can seem to be unendurable.  But it is endurable, as other things eat away at the time and we don't notice the passage of such until we look again.

A prime example - I had intended to post some art here before tonight, and completely lost track of the day and time, and here I am almost 4 days later, posting an Alphabeasts critter instead of the art I wanted to post.

Could be worse.

Anyhow, here's Eldjotnar, the Norse Fire Giant, being a prick to the poor mountain-base village below him.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A price of greatness

It dawns on me that, as surely as man is capable of greatness as high as the heavens, and depravity as deep as hell, more and more we(the world) are losing great things.

From quotes that become cliches, to people who have the appearance of greatness but are in truth crumbling pillars of achievements.. Steve Jobs is a halfway okay example - the man is held up as a pioneer, though he's really just the figurehead of other people's brilliant works.  He's noted for great things that really aren't his, but is also proclaimed to be one miserable son of a bitch when it comes to people in general.

And this, to me, seems to be horribly necessary thing.  Those who aspire to greatness must forsake the things that most take for granted and enjoy, so it appears.
There's a wierd happenstance there - and the best example I can think of is soldiers.
One would think that, for one to have an ultimate soldier, said soldier has nothing to lose - most often those with nothing to lose are the most dangerous, right? - so no family, no real close friends, whatever yadda-blah.

But it turns out, that the best soldiers in the world are the ones with families and friends and people depending on them. The ones with highly valued, important(to them) things to lose.

Rising above and beyond, achieving amazing things, spurning the weak flesh and bone to outperform what is supposedly the limitations of such.

People possessed.

Throughout the history of the world, spirits, demons/daemons, ghosts, powers and fantastical beasts have been a part of it.

And if there's one thing that's often shown, it's that a person possessed has a spark of greatness imbued unto them - though usually that greatness is of a great evil, instead of a great good.

And so for Monday's #Alphabeasts, I choose to waterpaint & palette knife the daemon.

Eyed and non-eyed version.  I tried for a formless form, much as that contradicts itself.  Not the archetype of the goat-hooved, horned, rad-skinned and tailed beastie, but the spirit, the animated void that emanates terror and evil and sends people raving to the madhouse.


Not sure which I like more.. the one with or without eyes.. there is something about an eyeless critter that just knows where you are... but then, there's also something about same said critter being able to clearly peer into your soul.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Has it really been a week!?

Good Lord how time flies.
And I'm not talking about Time Lords and their machinations on the time-lines of worlds.

It seems like I've just had a weekend break from work, then it can't be friday fast enough and suddenly it's sunday night again.

I need another long weekend.  Mostly on account of so I can just get sick, get over it, and be all better again.
I'm not sick-sick, but I've got a cough and a half, sometimes it's so bad my head swims and vision becomes this odd blur of swirling colours - and at work, that means a lot of gray and beige smashed together.

Anyhow.. continuing with the Alphabeasts thing, here is the Cat Sidhe, or Ca Sith / Cait Sith, of Scottish lore.

Basically, depending on what you choose to believe, it's either a cat-faery/faerie/fairy/fairie/whatever or it's a witch named Cait Sith that's been turned into a black cat with a white splotch on it's chest.

Or, y'know.. the annoying and usually useless critter from Final Fantasy VII that rode around on the giant Moogle. ...at least, I *think* it was a Moogle.

Anyhow:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More AlphaBeasts - and Batman: Arkham City review

Where the bloody kerfufflesaurus did the week go!?

Away from me, apparently.

Anyhow..

First, my entry into the AlphaBeasts thing: 2 of the same, just one without the lines:
I really like the no-lines idea, letting the colours and shapes form their own lines as they tend to in the real world, for the most part. Oh.. in case I forget - B is for Basilisco Chilote, from the Chilota mythologies. 
Apparently, they feed on phlegm and saliva, causing the people to die from dehydration.
One of the more gross-disturbing critters I've read about.

The only description I came across in my very very lazy search was basically a serpent with a rooster's crest.
Boring, screw that noise! You're gonna mix a chicken and a serpent together, let's get some basic draconian fun out the box, but replace the maw with a beak, 'cause I'm like that. 


Now to Batman: Arkham City.

Batman, I am not. Holy mother*%@&! I am not batman.  I even make a bad Catwoman!
But then, I've always been more of a charge-in, guns blazin' & swords swingin kind of gamer.
And Batman is NOT that kind of gameplay. Catwoman, not being Batman, is even arder to play like that, as she doesn't handle the abuse Bruce Wayne does in any kind of the same fashion.

I've finished the main storyline, and Rocksteady could have easily gave up at a few points and let that be that, and the game would have still been good - but no, they pulled the strings on a few other things and let it all unravel to weave themselves a seamless tapestry of Batman that is deserving of both Batman and The Awesome.  My main gripe from the first game (Batman: Arkham Asylum) remains - let me jump on command!!, but given that this is the Bruce Wayne - Batman, and not the Dick Grayson - Batman, well, Bruce was never really one for getting off his feet without the aid of some gadget or gizmo. Still, a few new gadgets that definitely deepen how you can Batman-ize the baddies, side missions that are at points maddeningly devious and then, once you've learned the curve to get where you need to go, it seems easy.. until the next one.  

Enemies I didn't expect, the nice ability to (once you've played through once) play through in the skin of Batman-of-choice (I'm looking forward to downloading the Batman Beyond and Batman - Adam West versions... Adam West if it's available, anyhow).  

One thing I noticed - your suit gets trashed, and it gets worse as you go along just like in  Asylum, except this time, it gets trashed pretty early in the game.  Catwoman's outfit also gets trashed - mostly in one shot, and I won't ruin the HOW, because it's just well done in it's execution.

There was a couple of battles I didn't expect.. and a few moments where I thought it was just plain cheap and horrible of the developers to do this particular thing - but it fits so horribly well with the idea that here's a criminal city-section, and the Batman's baddies are running things.

Battlefield 3 comes out in a couple days..and I'll definitely be wasting some of my life on that, and a review is to come, I'm sure.

Now if you'll excuse me, I should really go find the Riddler and beat the crap out of him if for no other reason than his traps and riddles are simply maddeningly frustratingly clever.
But I'm the Batman...right?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Making Myths Anyone?

So, I found via someone's (sorry, I can't find the original post or remember your name!) post
that a couple guys are doing this awesome weekly mythological monster things on Mondays.

Go here to check it out.

So anyhow.. I got a little confused about something, asked a question, got an good answer and here's my submission to the piece:

A is for Alseid, one of the varieties of Nymphs from Greek Mythology, specifically a Nymph that dwells in groves and secluded forested areas, but likes to play tricks upon humans - the kind that scare the crap out of you.


This is about half the original file dimensions. (I was going to say size, but this is about 110kb, whereas the file-proper is roughly 25meg - gotta love IrfanView for it's amazing scaling abilities!)
Mixed media, all digital though.  Done in Corel Painter Essentials 4 (program came with my Wacom Bamboo).  I originally had some outlines, but I think it looks better without the lines delineating everything.

So, yeah.. go check out that site, and hopefully you'll join in.  I know I'm looking forward to seeing the different entries for each letter that comes up.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It beings...without ending!

Man alive.. it's not even halloween and I'm seeing christmas ads.

What.the.FUCKLEBERRIES batman!?

Don't we ever get a month off from all the 'rush out and buy stuff or you're a horrible fun-hating monster!' advertising crap?

And now I realize I haven't posted anything in WAY to long - sorry folks.
Not that there's anyone who really reads this thing on a regular basis, especially because hey, I haven't updated in what, 2 weeks?

Anyhow.. while the roomie was watching Supernatural (season 6) I whipped out the sketchbook and doodled a lil ol' Jimmie Gordon, while thinking about how awesome the little snatches of Batman: Year One that I've seen are.

Personally, I'd like to see something like a " Batman - Vigilante " where he's still starting out, maybe not as vicious on the criminals as he needs to be yet, and the cops are definitely hunting him down - maybe even with a young Gordon being the lead detective on the Batman case - which would completely lead to run-ins and opportunities to show some growth into the relationship we often see Batman & Gordon having in The Animated Series

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Octember!

Yeah buddy!

Octember is almost my favourite month.  It's like October and December smashed together.  Sometimes there's snow, sometimes not. Halloween, Thanksgiving (for Canada, anyhow) and the joys of the season changing.

I've been reading some Conan lately, as you can tell from the image below.
I like Conan. My first exposure was with the Schwarzenegger movie, not the comics, and I didn't even know the written pages of story existed until I read the footnotes in the most recent collection I just read.

One thing I love about Octember is halloween.  If you've got cool friends, someone throws a costume party and people have a good time.  Or if you're like me, your friends are married and have little kids, so the most you can hope for is to hang out and hand out candy or go with them while they toddle their anklebiters off in costumes.
I think this is one reason I like good cosplay - because it's not halloween and people are dressing up as critters they like.

Also read my first issue of The Goon.  Thought I'd check it out since I saw a sneak preview piece for it via Twitter.  So far, I like it. The art is definitely something unique to itself, yet familiar in an odd way.

Anyhow. bloody cimmerian!

But lo, no blood on the weapons, what gives?!
One could argue that this view is from the eyes of someone who's brain is exploding out his face in simple fear of seeing Conan coming at him..
Yeah.. that's it... or not.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A small review

So I'm learning more about Manga Studio Ex 4.

I think one of the things I like - because I'm lazy and ignorant(in that I lack the proper knowledge), is that there are built-in panel options for page layouts.

I like this. It makes it easy for a guy like me, who's never done a comic, to have a template of structures and different layouts available, to do

I'm still getting used to the different brushes, keyboard shortcuts and types of things I can do with the program.  At one point, there was a minor lag between drawing and what happened on the screen, so it looked like the ink was 'settling in' or 'soaking in' to the page I was working on. Not sure if that's an intentional thing or not, but man it was cool!  I don't care for the brush-brush, but the pattern-brush is very nice. The brush-brush.. I don't know.. seems like all the ink runs off on the first part of the stroke, and the last part, with nothing in between - on the thin brush. Doesn't happen on the thick brush.  I like that you can edit the tapering on the pens, intro and outro, so it more resembles working with dip pens.  The pencil doesn't quite seem like a pencil.. the Soft or the Hard seem to be the extreme version of each.. so I'll be sticking to The Gimp for penciling works for now, until I can get MSEx4 more to my liking, if I can.

One thing I haven't gotten to yet is trimming pages so there's no huge white border around it.

Long story short - Manga Studio Ex 4 is definitely THE program for aspiring webcomic artists and anyone starting out and looking to do their own graphic novels and such.. there are so many nice features and option that just make it easier and less tedious to get things looking 'like a comic book', it's just great.

I had initially thought I'd introduce a project I'm (slowly) working on with this small review, but then I thought better of it. The below image was slapped out in an hour - which includes picking the # of panels, the layour, and then what to put in them.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Aaaaand...... GO!

I don't do cardio. I can go the gym and bang weights, work machines, get on a stationary bike and go nuts for a while..but give me `proper` (i.e., treadmill, running) cardio, and it does me in.
I've never had it. Strength in spades by comparison.
[segue]
Sometimes I think life would be a lot easier if it were like a race. That way you could train properly and when the whistle/gun/horn sounded, off and away you go. Time for a few years of general education - tweeeeeet!! Okay, time for career-specific education - Tweeeeeet!! Okay, now it's time for the house, kids and spouse - tweeeeeeet!!

But we live in a glut of information society.. insta-everything and we get cranky when we have to wait 5 minutes for something we're used to be almost-instant.  Makes me think the old-old-old school was the better way.  Because for the most part, a kids the age of 8(roughly) was out with one of the parents, learning, working, and being some kind of productive.  By the time they were 20, they'd have about a decade of work experience under their belt, so is it any wonder the 'builders of the ancient world' made things that are so amazing??

None of this generalized taste-of-every-pie education crap, let's see what you're good at, and what you like, and then throw you headfirst into that kind of educative career path. Yes, I realize that's not exactly how the old-old-old system was, but there's too many bleeding hearts demanding youth be treated as everything but to just make choices for the kids and expect them to comply.

RAMBLE!

Anyhow.. playing with some light and shadow again.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Manga Studio Ex 4

You know when you buy something on sale, and find it on sale again 3 weeks later at a cheaper price?
Yeah, that just happened to me.

Normally retailing for something like 4-500 buckazoids, I decided that when it went on sale, I'd buy it.
And I did, for about 150-200 buckazoids instead.  Then I find it on sale for even less.. though I might be mistaken, and instead of Ex4 it's actually the other version, which is basically a toned-down rendition.

Either way, I've been trying to take this program for a test run for a while now.. and finally got a chance today, without distractions, to do that.

So.. one of the first things I notice is that, the Beginner's Helper thing is nice.. but it takes up too much screen space.  For those of us accustomed to photoshop or Gimp, we're used to our tools on the left, layers/colours/mixer/etc on the right. ..well, as general defaults. All the stuff here is on the right. Something to get used to but NO!.. I turned the Beginner's Helper function off, like an idiot.

And then spend about 10 minutes going through the online manual to figure out why nothing would work in colour under the Draw tab, but it would under the Sketch tab. And then I learned how to essentially turn colours on and have the program stop pissing me off.

I am a fan of instruction manuals - not the online variety, either. I'm a fan, in general, of the material. Of being able to hold something in my hand and go `yup, that thing right there is..well, that thing right here, in my hand`.

So, while I'm still learning what this program is capable of (both raster and vector art, which is nice) I'm also shaving off what little bits of patience I have left for things like new programs that usually require you to learn on your own.
I thought the tutorial videos might help.. but no. Can't enlarge the embedded videos, and there's no sound. So not only can I not really see what the person is doing (or read the tabs/options/text of the thing they just clicked), but there's no audio description of what's going on either.
Major deduction in happy-points, folks.

But the general upshot is that this program has quite a few added-in features like panels and word balloons and such, which really just help kill some of the time-eating things for making comics.

Also, as I have now just learned.. the pages go pretty much one way, despite changing their orientation.
A book is a book is book, not a fucking calendar, it seems.  Though I'm sure if I rip some more of my hair out and search harder than hard, I can find out how to change it from tall to wide (or landscape, if you prefer).

Also, while I know this is designed for making manga books (ugh) the guide that is automatically on deceived me quite a bit, as I thought perhaps nothing outside the box would be saved, that it would be cropped.

WRONG.. and here's the proof:


Also, a very large poke-in-the-eye-with-a-sharp-stick to the person who decided that Wolverine should have mutton-chop sideburns... as I can't draw a person with long sideburns or muttonchops, and their hair slicked back, without thinking it looks like Wolverine now.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tick Tock

The song 'tick tock people' is playing..well, what I can remember of the song anyhow, in my head.

Which is kind of weird, because dance/house/club music is playing through my headphones.

There I was, playing some Dead Island, laying merciless waste to the various zombies trying to eat me to death, and my phone blips.  I got a text, and it turns out my mom's in the hospital with some blood clot/lung thing.

Now.. I can only assume that most folks would be worried and all that.
Being 600km away from their ill family member with no real means of being able to get up and see them would probably irritate them, perhaps adding to some 'feelings of powerlessness' or some headshrinker bullhonky lingo.

Not me.
Maybe it's because I'm not very close with my family to begin with, or maybe I'm just a cold hearted basticho.. but I'm just not worried or overly concerned about this thing.
Maybe it helps that my mom's religious, or maybe I just know that life's a rather shitty deal and sometimes all you can do is grit your teeth, square your shoulders and keep clawing your way through.
Dunno.

Still haven't done any real work in Manga Studio Ex 4 yet.. still playing with it, learning it as I go.

So, in the meantime..

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dipping back to Painter

Given the stresses at work lately, and what with my roommate just adding to them (and I don't know why, normally she's fairly cool about things.. but lately she's just really getting on my nerves in disgusting ways), I HAD to draw something.. doodle something.. paint something.

I don't use Corel Painter Essentials 4 very often (it came with my Wacom Bamboo Fun+) anymore.. but I do love how it replicates brush-strokes.

While trying to think of something to creatively vent.. I recalled a tweet by the always talented Eric Orchard about Painter and decided I'd whip this mixed-media up in an effort to show him some of the subtleties and niceness that Painter has over say, Photoshop, for painting.
Sure, you can make brushed in PS, but unless you are anally-meticulous and go through the various trial&error strokes to see the effects, PS custom brushes are fairly useless for replicating that actual-paint feeling that Painter (as per it's name, duh) captures.

So, this is watercolours over-top round-bristle acrylics with very few fine-point-pen ink lines and some light airbrushing inside the swirl.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pinball Creativity

There's this thing I call 'Pinball Creativity'.

Essentially what happens is, you read something, hear something, observe something.. but not much, only a little bit, and like the coiled-spring in a pinball machine, it fires off an idea to go bouncing around your head for a while, and when the product finally comes out, it very rarely if ever is obviously from whence it came.

(because while it *is* possible to flipper-shoot the ball back into the launchpad, it doesn't happen very often while playing pinball)

This is what has brought the following image about.

And I can blame Cameron M Stewart for it. Blame?? Thank, I suppose. Either one works, depending, hah!
He had posted a link to an image on twitter, and I looked at it..and while trying to be funny, most likely made myself out to be a nitpicky asshole. But it bounced something around in my head for a bit.

So, here you go.. if you like it, thank Cameron Stewart and share it (giving proper credit & link-back, of course)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

First Post, Year Two

Aww, yeah.

Prezackly one year ago today I posted my first post, not sure what I was doing or about to get myself into, and having the thought that probably 3 or 4 months down the road I'd just abandon this thing.

And here I am, a year later.. life's improved a bit, I think my art's improved a bit.. and just..yeah. Still here.
Huzzah!

So.. as seems to be something I enjoy doodling.. warrior with winged/wonky helmet against a cloudy background.

It's not the original size, but it's close to it. You can't quite make out the flecking I've done all over the skin, but you can more easily see the effects on the vest and helmet.

From doodle-start to finish, this took about 4 hours.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Year One.

Well folks.. not that it means anything or matter to any of you, but I am now a whole year older.

Working a job I hadn't even thought of, not `in my field`, but it's still pretty good, probably even better, if I think of it.

Anyhow.. It's been a year since I first decided to start this art blog. I tipped over the 30-years milestone(31) and decided to make a change to my life.. and did so.  A year on, it's slowed down some, but I can blame that on working a full-time job and trying to make some other changes to my life.. and sadly, there's only 24 hours in a day, roughly 1/3 of which are spent sleeping/recuperating.  So really, in the general 16hours of a day that are spent awake, half of those are spent at a job, with the remaining half being divided amongst the general daily activities and tasks that require doing.
I don't plan on quitting, but noticing that the last couple of months I've not been doing daily, or even bi-daily entries, I think I might cut it down, maybe try for 2 or 3 per week, no more quick works, but actually put some time into the pieces and showcase some actual works of my art instead of some quick slap-together stuff.

Like below, for example, is a re-design on Darth Vader.. to be submitted to the Superhero of the Month blog.
Vader's got so much black.. and shiny black at that.. that, for me, to do Vader is to do injustice to the creation, really.  But to redesign??.. well then, that's something else altogether now.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Certain phrases

Just lead to auto-dread.
"We need to talk" or "I'd like to talk to you" are never, from my experience never words that lead
to good, uplifting or even remotely nice conversations.

My immediate supervisor came in today, sat me down, we had a chat.
All good stuff.
I was so relieved.
For one thing, it's amazing when your supervisor goes to bat for you, and secondly, when he doesn't even put the gloves on (so he can take them off) and just swing for the fences in your favour is incredible.

And my boss did that.
I don't know all the particulars, and I don't want to. But I do know that my boss, awesome guy that he is, went toe-to-toe with one of the company's Big Guys, didn't back down and told them what the what is and just how wrong they are.... because of a mistake I made.  Except it wasn't really a mistake - it was more of not knowing someone only likes pistachio ice cream and blind-serving neopolitan instead.
The icecream is still icecream, but it's not tailor-flavoured to their specifically unique taste.

Anyhow.. here's some book doodles:

   

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wonder Woman... wonderful women.

Wonder Woman.

I hate, I mean hate, makes me angry enough that I would gladly assault the creator if he was still alive,
HATE what Wonder Woman was supposed to be.

I'm not going to get into it all here, do your own research - but basically anyone trying to pervert the
youth-of-tomorrow should be slowly dipped in boiling honey while people throw starving ants at them
before throwing them off a high-dive into a pool filled with warm jello and rusty metal shards on a hot
day.
ANYHOW.
But I do believe it's fair to say that while she's thankfully come out from the warped origins, the guys in comics are just as degraded.. everyone wears skin tight clothing, everyone's got muscles and boobs out the wazoo.. and to me, it's kind of refreshing to see a redesign.

Especially if it harkens back to something more practical.

Wonder Woman is supposed to be some (bs) amazon warrior princess....and like Xena, to me, a complete farce of a joke so bad you can't help but laugh despite not wanting to.

So... let's take her back to some of that warrior-root and do a bit more justice than skimpy panties and a can't-contain-'em bustier-top.

Now, it's been brought to my attention that some of the most endearingly erotic, timelessly innocent, and downright damned awesome art and stories come from some really kick-ass women.

So if you know any women who don't mind touching the darker-side of life, or forcing same darkness away so the light can shine in, and everywhere in between.. if you know a kick-ass woman (and chances are you do), let her know.

Darlin', Marisa, Stacey, Leena, Kristy, Deb, Emily, Glenda, Chris... we've had our differences, we've hated each other, we've loved each other.. and I wouldn't be the man I am today without your influences in my life.

Thanks.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Works in progress

Diamonds in the rough. Works in progress.
A lump of clay.  A freshly hewn block of stone. A blank canvas.

We're all 'works in progress'...none of us is ever `done`.. even when death comes to claim us, there are still things we could have been working on to improve ourselves as people.

I think artists (the all-encompassing term, not just specific to those who create visual art) are a bit more aware of this than the average person - or perhaps, how badly they want to improve at something... because there's always someone out there that they perceive as better than them - at all stages of the thing.

So here's a work-in-progress I'm sharing:
Generally, whenever I draw a woman, especially the face, winds up looking quite man-ish.
And yet, while working on one of the world's better known 'amazons'...the face has to remain feminine, despite the muscled, chiseled (for a woman) physique.

And yes, I had decided to redesign the costume a bit.. something a bit more practical for an amazonian warrioress. I blame http://www.superheroofthemonth.com/ for spurring the redesign on. ^_^

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wallpapers

So, I'm thinking I'd like to start making some wallpapers for people - well, whoever would request one, really. Wallpapers for cellphones, to narrow it down.  Of course, I'd be doing the original image ina  desktop size, and then just resizing it to fit whatever the cellphone resolution is. I know my own phone's resolution is about 320X240pixels, but it's not a 'smartphone' or anything like, so I'd have to look up the specs for whatever phone the person owns if they don't include their screen resolution with their request.

In my own style (because I really only have my own), and of just about(key words) any subject.

And for some reason I did a Green Arrow in a .....different.. Green Arrow outfit.. with a lightsabre-styled bow.

So, if anyone wants anything done.. let me know.

Green Arrow!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mutie Monday

Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh Monday is over. ...almost.
The only overly disdainful task left is to take the trash out before I go to sleep.

I've got a small cadre of characters and critters (try saying that 5 times fast) that I should really start redrawing, even re-designing. I used to draw them all the time as a kid, and maybe it's time I brought them out of the dusty shackles of the Long-Forgot in the back of my head.

Today's random doodle is a mutant. Not one of the genetic misanthropes, but more the kind of `let's take a prime specimen of the human race and tinker with it until it barely resembles what most folks consider to be a 'normal' human' kind.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Maquette, statue, bust, action-figure



Okay.. for the purpose of using the lingo herein, let me differentiate between action figures and "imagination dolls" - Imagination dolls (like barbie) are about the clothes and accessories and lifestyle reams. Action figures are about the adventure and conflicts and weaponized accessories.


Now, I've got a couple of G.I.Joe's.. those're action figures.. multiple points of articulation, weapon accessories, and little stands on which I can pose them.
I recently picked up some - what I understand to be - maquettes. Basically PVC statues, but we'll differentiate actual statues as being made of something more sturdy, i.e., it won't melt if left in sunlight/a heated area for a few hours.  Because of the price, I passed on buying a very sweet, from-just-below-the-nipples-and-up bust of Harley Quinn, who, as some of you may know, is easily one of my favourite Villainess'.


So, instead of my own art, I'll be posting some images of the 3 maquettes I have, with some comments on them.


First up, the Ame-Comi version of Robin.
The first time I ever saw Robin as a girl was in Frank Miller's the Dark Knight. Very kick-ass, in my opinion, and from that moment on, I wondered why Batman didn't have a female Robin from that point out. I really enjoy how she's wearing these huge, padded (if not armoured) gloves, and the redesign of the outfit to be more acrobatic singlet with some flare around the hips. Not entirely certain how I feel about that utility-pouch belt around the thigh, but it certainly adds something.
While I don't have an overly accurate measuring option right now, I *do* know that the distance from the tip of my thumb to the tip of my middle finger is approximately 8 inches, and the Robin and Duela Dent maquettes are clearly a solid 9-inches+. I couldn't get a decent in-focus back-shot of Robin, and plans for the night are marching along steadily, so I have to be as quick as I can, despite rambling here.

Now we've got Duela Dent as a Steampunk Joker:

Unfortunately, on the back-image of Duela, the flash blocks out the acid-level, which is a nice touch, clearly 2 pieces put together, one as a level, the other as the cover. Her arms move at the glove-line, as well as her head, which is nice. I saw this maquette and wanted to buy it, but held off for a while, as I did with the Robin maquette. After a quick google-image search for 'Duela Dent', I came across what appeared to be an old comic cover, of Harvey Dent/Two-Face holding a gun to what I immediately thought was a drawn Tim Curry-as-Dr. Frank.N.Furter... but it was Duela Dent. Man, I mean this was a spitting-image comic adaptation face of Tim Curry from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
After a little more research, it seems that Duela Dent was part of the Teen Titans for a while, claiming to be the daughter of each of Batman's 'greatest villains' (Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, Riddler) and it was eventually told that she's actually Dent's daughter, with, golly gee, a personality disorder.

Now up is a relatively tiny (almost half the height of Duela, who is a bit taller than Robin) Ame-Comi Batgirl, at a mere 5-6inches.
    
I really should point out, that while this was made in china, and I hate buying things from china.. knowing that it was made in china, I shouldn't have been surprised at a) the severe angle of the mould - look a the side-shot and how far back she leans -completely off the centre-of-gravity, and 2) I had to take my Dremel tool out and 1)enlarge and B) deepen the hole in her boot to fit on the peg of the small circular stand.

These gals now sit next to my laptop, which is under some great pin-up art from Lar deSouza, and add a little more charm to my abode.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I need a Hero

Actually, I don't.

"Heroes" are just people like ourselves, only we get to see the awesome that they do, not the dirty nitty-gritty of their everything-else.
I can't remember who said it, but someone is quoted as saying the someone should never meet their heroes... and I think it's because they never live up to the ever-growing expectations their fans have of them.

I've been listening to The Heavy's "Short Change Hero", after seeing it used for the teaser video of Batman: Arkham City.. it's a song, and used really well with the footage, and helps bring home the idea that part of Gotham is really, really screwed, Batman or no Batman.

So here's some rough shaded work of a place that, while it needs a hero.. is no place for a hero to be.
..or Heroine.. because they kick just as much ass as heroes do.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Long Weekends

Long weekends.. most of us like them... and while I don't know about you, I tend to dislike at the least one thing about them: The really mess with my work schedule.

Today is Wednesday. But it feels like somewhere late Tuesday while it should be early Friday.
If that makes sense.

It's like suddenly my week-day clock is fighting with my week-end clock and there's never a clear winner, other than that the whole week is just all kinds of wonky on me.. and then I usually do something silly like stay up way too late and mess with my sleep-clock, which tends to fight everybody right afterwards.

So.. some quick (10minute) quick lines of some brawling:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Countdown

Kind of weird, sometimes I think, that we live in the present, plan for the future, and fondly remember parts of the past, while simultaneously wishing we could forget other parts... and while as kids we'd look forward to things, like birthday, as we get older, some of us, want to sweep them under the rug. And then there's things that we mark on our calendars, or the calendars in our heads anyhow, and we count down the days to.

For example, I've got the release of Dead Island and Batman: Arkham City on my calendar. I know vaguely when they're coming out, more the time of the month they're being released in rather than the exact day. That's why it's on my calendar, so I don't have to remember the exact date, and if I forget, it's there written down.

I also count down to things I'd like to go to, but probably won't. Fan Expo is an example.. and of a greater importance (I went to fan expo in 2010, did NOT like how it was. Am only about 30% interested in ever re-attending), the Nerd Girl Burlesque thing that's going on.. it happens to be taking place on another significant date for me.

But I run into this problem: I don't want to go by myself, but none of my friends are a)into comics and such, or 2) into burlesque. The thing on point-2 is that they see it as porn, and this pisses me off, because only at it's worst is it possibly porn. When it's bad, it's just stripping. When it's good, it's art..and when it's great, it's a wonderful art-of-the-tease performance piece.

I've also got this awkward scenario dreamt up in my head where I'd run into someone and it would be a `you?-you!` kind of scenario that could go either bad or good, depending.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Overclocking

You can overclock some things. basically, make them work faster than they're supposed to.

This is usually applied to computers, to cpu's specifically. Suddenly a 300Mhz system is running at 450..however this makes the system more susceptible to burn out.. sometimes literally bursting the chip into flame, which, while cool to see, is also a major pain to deal with.. usually because computer systems and fire are not the best of friends, or even acquaintances, at any given time.

I find in my new job that I am 'overclocking' myself.
Today, for example, I put in the equivalent of 13 hours and 45 minutes of work
into my paid-7-hour day. (I get an unpaid hour lunch)
How is this possible?! Simple - certain tasks are clocked out at an assumed specific time, that if the thing was done at a normal pace, or done as per usual, it would take X-amount of time. It should be noted I was hired for a skill in which I am above-average for speed and ability.

However, this does not mean I am consistently putting in good hours.. a few days ago I barely scraped 7 and a half hours into the my day. A lot of it depends on the work available. I can do many minor-clocked items, and while they will add up, they also eat up time, sometimes putting you behind the clock. Today was a day of tackling some monster items that, thanks to my abilities, were brought down in a good time, however, some are still not done. No matter how fast you go, there's only so much time in the day to do things in. Try as I might, I cannot add or remove a single second to the 24 hours in the days. (even if I used a different standard of measuring time, it is what it is)

I try to keep myself at roughly 10 hours for a day... there is a quota, after all..and if you go above, it's bonus-time, which makes the paycheque a bit nicer. And I like things to be a bit nicer.

Not so nice? Being robbed. And that's what thieves do. Today, usually at gunpoint. In the Olden Times? Blade-point.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Winged Weeks

WOW!!

It's been over a week since my last post.
What the hell?!?! you ask yourself. (well, maybe not).

I don't know what happened..other than that I've been going to work, getting home, trying to get some things done, trying to establish a bit of a new routine..and failing at it.

The job goes fairly well...I think. I get off work and home in time to be able to make & eat something before 7pm, which is one of the things I wanted. However, my job is a bit mentally taxing, so when I get home, I just want to turn my brain off.. not good for someone with artistic aspirations, huhn?

That, and I absolutely must being incorporating a workout routine, as my previous job had me hauling autoglass, while not a good workout, still had me sweating it out some. Now I sit in a semi-comfy chair..which was actually replaced with an ergonomic piece of shyte.. I hate everything ergonomic. Even the word. It's some amalgam that really means `incredibly uncomfortable`. Still, at least this uncomfy chair breathes..well, the back is mesh (granted, bent inward at an angle that forces your spine to bend 'properly' [read: painfully] ).

So, there's that. One of the guys in the office is trying to lose 40 pounds. So maybe I can have a cardio-buddy or something, if I get a gym membership. If nothing else, at least there's someone in the office I can talk to over the watercooler about getting into shape and losing weight.

Anyhow.. art stuff!
I wasn't sure what I was going to doodle, but I wanted it to be a girl.. but maybe a rugged girl.. or something like that.

This is all of an hour - from some random shape-doodling to a rough piece with some colour added to give it a little flavour...think I spent a good 10 minutes trying to get the focal-gradient somewhere I'd be happy with it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Retro-style, baby

So.. things are regressing nicely.. wait, what!?

Yeah. Apparently, things at work have gone almost completely backwards - instead of easing into the system, we've been dumped into the fire by complete accident.
But that's alright.. fire burns away the chaff, melts off the dross and even destroys the building..but leaves the solid cores, gems and purified metals.
But, instead of the typical `whaaaaaat are you doooiiiinnng?? We can't handle thiiiiis...Waaaaaah` that's prevalent in the workplace.. I muscle on through. Because yanno what? I can. And I *do* like a challenge every so often. Especially if it means things oughta get a bit easier once said challenge is done, and the skills learned from overcoming that challenge are cemented in my repertoire.
Yeehaw!

Doodled a bit of Karate Squid while on a break at work.. no Bondage Squid.. I was at work, afterall. If you're curious about Bondage Squid.. go ask Lar deSouza - he got a Bondage Squid Plushie (one of a kind) at Fan Expo 2010.

So, thinking what kinda critters would a Karate Squid fight?.. Ninja Turtles came to mind immediately. Maybe a Sumo Shark or something.. but Ninja Turtle works.

So.. here ya go.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Book Sketch

I sketched this out a couple days ago while my roommate was watching House.

Idle doodling can be good for the wandering brain, I think.

Until I can hammer out some kind of schedule..a habit, if you will, of this work, downtime, art-time, work out, relax, sleep thing.. I'll probably miss a few days at a time.
I used to doodle at night before going to sleep..unfortunately, my bedtime's been moved up because now I have to get up early if I want to, you know, be at work on time and keep my job (which I do).

So everything else is being rearranged..re-slotted into some kind of time that I'm hoping will stick, or at least, be malleable enough work around everything else that can't be moved around.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Randomocity

Not entirely sure where this came from.. or even what it means or represents.

I do know this much: It's not what I meant to doodle out when I started.
Don't think I like how that's been happening lately.


And yeah, because I can.. the Superbum symbol:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's a what?!

So, while I was waiting for some things to be done to my computer at work today (so I could, yanno, work), I did a quick doodle..and part of the costume design stuck with me.

Part of me immediately went `Tron?!` while the rest of me laughed.
Call me crazy, but I like outfits that have a bit of piping to them..especially when that piping, or even the seems, are kinda day-glow.

So, while trying to figure out how I wanted to do it here in The Gimp.. I was working away and just kind of idly deciding things in my head.. long hair.. want the piping to be bright orange and some really pale yellow/cream.. give the girl a visor... and suddenly the thing I'm doodling has become some kinda semi-tron-ish female version of the offspring of Shadow Cat and Cyclops.

So.. enjoy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Body Art

So.. what is art to you?

There's a weird kind of.. something.. imprinted on photos and canvas and whatever else is used to capture an image.. there's a feeling.. about things. Surely you've noticed it.
It's the unknown thing that helps you discern between what is nude art, and what is porn.
Between what makes a black & white image of a wheat field austere, lonely or nostalgic.

So.. I did this well over a year ago.. using just some regular water-soluble markers...
to me, it's art. To others.. well, their opinion is their own.

and yes, that's a bum-cheek. The other one has the Superman emblem on it, which, if I don't get any art done, will be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tomorrow is another (work) day

Hey folks..

I start my new-new job tomorrow.. excited and can't wait to see how things go.
I really hope it lives up to some of the tv-dreams I've got about office-work and cubicles and the whole deal.. but it probably won't because we live in a PC-fear-of-lawsuits-lack-of-humour world nowadays..


So, you may've noticed I didn't update yesterday, or for a couple days... well, I've been spending more time on the Google+ thing.. and wow it's freakin awesome!

Thanks to Inkybat / Eric Orchard I've been able to connect with, at last on a very thin skein of internet-style-connect a bunch of amazing artists.
Starting to feel like some kind of peeping-tom pervert being able to see the comments and awesome works these folks share.
And I mean SHARE.

So far, Google+ has been a place where I've seen a few pages, up to entire comics being uploading by the creators, shared.. things I wouldn't have found or enjoyed otherwise.

So, here's a little something I shared with the people in the "Art" social-circle I've got:


And the community.. seems bent on being friendly, safe and keeping it that way.
I recently read a post about one user coming to the defense of another who was ... semi-politely propositioned ... by another user. Now that's community, man.
No flame-war, no textual-castrations, just `yo, that ain't appropriate` and back to doing the things we do.

I realize Google+ is still in the infancy stages.. still kept in it's playpen, if you will (mostly closed beta stage).
And I have the fear that once it's open, the raging flood of typical shit-disturbers will commence their shit-disturbing and cause issues, as seems to be the (unnecessary) Norm.

Someone also touched on the use of pseudonyms and fake profiles.
This is a little troubling, because let's face it.. when someone names their kid 'Apple' or "Lemonjello' as has happened in the past, it becomes harder to write a program that accepts a name as a name, and not whatever gibberish someone wants to put in just to create a false profile.

But it's still growing, adjusting to the users and issues and suggestions..and despite still being such a `young` social project... it's easily more accessible and intuitive, cleaner and less-cluttered than anything that's come before.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A little upbeat

Okay.. so today's been another general wash of things.
Got up late (have to curb that something immediately)...barely doodled or drew anything.. made a late dinner, been ingesting caffeine all day.. I need to detox it a bit, start back on the water more, less Coke.
But I loves me some Coke.. or Dr.Pepper.

Still, healthier choices gotta be made.
The roommate & I've agreed that, instead of buying our fruit on the monthly grocery-run, she'll pick up whatever weekly-deal's being offered at the grocery store.. we'll buy less at-once, which means less food-spoilage.. and maybe get a bit more diversity in our fruit-intake.

Apparently, dancing is a great cardio exercise, disguised as fun... well, fun if you like to dance.
And I don't mean `go to the club, grind on some stranger, have a few drinks, call it a night` kind of dance.
I mean salsa dancing, ballroom, some of them classic dances... which I wouldn't mind trying, given the proper company.

So, while listening to some more upbeat music, I randomly doodled out this girl, dancing to the music, probably safely behind the curtains of the kitchen-window and a sink-full of dishes...image in my head, anyhow.

Also, I've recently joined the Google+ thing.. under my more commonly known alias of SeirX.
It seems like it's what facebook was  *supposed* to be - fairly intuitive, social on a level of life-imitations.. social-circle of friends, of family, of business acquaintances, of others who share similiar interests.. not like crackbook's everybody-gets-the-same-view-of-you thing-depending-on-permissions. (granted, I haven't been on crackbook in months, so that might've changed).
It might sound similar, but that's where the similarity ends.. because even the folks in whatever social-circle you're sharing something with.. not all of the has to receive whatever you're putting out there, if I've understood thing program correctly.
Anyhow.. it's something differently-similar, if that makes sense.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quick works from Twitter

Okay.. so I started to doodle something out..and it was turning out kind of okay, I could see some areas I'd have to redraw and re-proportion and such..decided I wanted to do something outside of my own imagination.

Hello Twitter!
Took some random words from a few tweets and conglomerated it into this super-quick sketch of an unholy mess: A Cosmic Panda that cannot Sleep because a Dragonfrog doesn't know how to Cook.


Come to think of it.. a lot of people don't know how to cook.
Sure, they can order pizza, or make anything `instant` or pre-prepared.. but when's the last time you actually made a roast, diced the onions, chopped the taters, peeled the carrots and seasoned the meat?
Or, better yet.. killed the chicken, plucked it, disemboweled & cleaned it, then seasoned & cooked it?

I've done all that. And what did I make for dinner tonight?
Wieners & beans.. with some diced carrot tossed in. The cooked carrot altered the beans' flavour a little.. a nice little touch, but not something I'd want all the time.
Oddly enough, I hated wieners & beans as a kid. ...not my favourite now, but I'll eat it.
Instead of buttered toast, I put some cheese on a pita & let the beans' heat melt the cheese, then had-at it.. not too shabby.
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.