Monday, May 19, 2014

ArtCamp Week 1

I started up Noah Bradley's art camp a little early (it does not officially start until the 21st of May), but I was very excited to jump in and get my feet wet with it. It looks like it's going to be a really great 12 week course and I look forward to pushing myself in my studies!

The first week is to study paintings from master artists. The idea behind it is that bad art loses itself through time and the good art is remembered and recognized as such. Finding the good, classic art that is timeless can really help improve a learning artist's skillset. I felt very drawn to William Bouguereau, John William Waterhouse, and John Singer Sargent. You'll notice that most of my studies below came from Bouguereau because I am simply in love with his figure work and color palettes. I draw a lot of inspiration from him and would like to carry over some of what I learned into my own pieces. 

I wasn't really focusing on detail a whole lot, which is why the thumbnails are so tiny. I was really just eyeballing the colors and trying to become very accurate with what I was seeing. The two larger images at the bottom were ones that I decided I wanted to spend a little extra time on. I really look forward to doing more of these and can't wait to get started on next week's assignments!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Child of Light (fanart)

I've been so incredibly inspired by the new release of Child of Light. I had to stop playing the game just so I could spend about a day painting a fanart for it! I didn't think about documenting my process for this one because I figured it was going to be a quick doodle that I most likely wasn't going to post online, but it got way out of hand and I took it to almost a full render. I did manage to capture some video recording of my coloring process, although it doesn't take it to the final image. I'll try to be better about showing my process from start to finish in the future! :)

The final image

 Close-up of the character

And here is the part of the painting process that I managed to capture

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Practice Sketch

I'm starting up a new freelance job this week to do character design art, so here is a quick practice sketch just to get me in the mood 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ghost, new personal illustration

This is a personal illustration where I tried to work some on of my recent composition studies. I'm trying to learn to hold back detail in an effective way, and felt that a ghostly figure would be a good practice subject to keep the details very soft and undefined.

Also, for some reason the image keeps posting as a very light version. Please click the image to see it as it should appear (link will open in a new window).

And here is the process video:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Figure Drawing Studies, Level Up!

After a few weeks of doing a little bit of anatomy study each day, I am pleased to announce that I have improved my figure drawing! In all honesty, I had gotten pretty awful with sketching. I had been cheating my way through anatomy by throwing colors and values around on a canvas and just re-working it until it looked right. WRONG. DON'T DO THIS! It ends up taking so long to get something that looks right, nevermind that it probably isn't right. I have wasted so many hours repainting figures because something was off, but I couldn't figure out how to correct it. Instead of using that time guessing, I should have been studying more. I feel like studying is very similar to physical exercise. I have heard so often of people just starting out who exert themselves for maybe 10-15 minutes and they're tired, whiny, and frustrated. If it is done consistently however, the body adapts and allows you to improve a little bit each time. 

Ever since school, I've been so against studying anatomy. I have always found it boring, tedious, and scary. After I received my portfolio review from an artist over at Riot Games (where he said I needed to really study my anatomy), I told myself this was it. There was no way I'd grow my career as a character designer or concept artist if I could not depict the human form correctly. Thus began my rigorous study. I've been doing about 1 hour of gesture drawings every morning before I start work, and then trying to squeeze in a good 3 hours of long studies throughout the week. While I haven't been happy with a lot of what I'm doing, I do see a huge improvement and would like to share that here. 

OLD (a year or so ago)


February 2014:

March 2014:

 April 2, 2014

 April 16, 2014

New, today (April 20, 2014)
(I also did some Game of Thrones screenshot studies, I had to throw them in here!)

Friday, April 11, 2014

A failed painting attempt and some new sketches

I've been working hard on studying some male anatomy, which is my poor excuse as to why I haven't been posting anything on this page in a while! I have a real hard time sharing my study work, but i hope that once I begin applying it to sketches and paintings, it will become evident. 

I started this new painting idea based on some inspiration I had from a song. I wanted something a little creepy, but still very sentimental. The concept behind it is that this man is a necromancer who was blamed for the cause of a plague that swept through a village. He fled while others remained, and lost his daughter in the chaos. A week or so later, he returned and summoned his daughter back from the grave.

 At this point in the process, I really liked how it was looking. I didn't want to fully render it out as a painting, but I did want to try my hand at creating depth using out-of-focus areas with detailed areas, as well was practicing my values. 

 Along the way, I was beginning to get really frustrated. The colors weren't coming out as I wanted them. I was aiming for a foggy, after-the-storm forest look, but I couldn't get away from wanting to do bright greens and warm sunlight. I expressed my unhappiness to my boyfriend, who took a look at it and said that he thought the composition, perspective, and color scheme were all too similar to things I had done in the past. Frustrated by this, I realized that he was right and decided to scrap it. I still love the idea though, and may come back to it at some point and try to make it better. For now, here is a closeup of the characters.

I've also been super busy with work this week, so to unwind a bit I went very loose with some sketches. They weren't planned out and don't make a lot of sense, but it was nice to just doodle without a sense of purpose.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Princess Irene - New Update

A million and a half thanks to my boyfriend, who is always giving me honest advice about my work. He said I should push the textures and work on patterning the dress of Princess Irene to make her read more royal. I slept on it, and upon waking up, realized that he was right. There was also something about her face that just wasn't sitting right with me. I think it was too long. I shortened the face and it instantly looked better (though much younger, which works, since the character is supposed to be 8 years old). 

This is also the first time I ever attempted to make my own texture. The pattern on the dress was inspired by traditional Hungarian designs. Below is a sample of the tiled texture, made in Photoshop.

I'm pretty happy with how she turned out. It's possible I will go back and edit again at some point, but for now I'm calling her done. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Princess Irene

I'm putting together a new portfolio to showcase some concept art. The personal project is based around "The Princess and The Goblin" by George MacDonald, one of my favorite stories! In the end, I want several characters, some concept paintings, and character interaction sketches.

To start, I began by creating thumbnails of the silhouette that I wanted for the character. This is the first time I have ever really done this, so they're pretty sloppy. I hope to improve it over time.

The top two rows are the sketch shapes, while the bottom row was taking some of the shapes that I liked and refining them a little bit.

Of the thumbnails, I really liked the two shapes in the middle. I wanted a poofy skirt with some pretty shoulder detailing. I began refining those details and then combined the ones I liked into the characters below:

Next, I started on building up form & value via a greyscale rendering process.

I'm still not 100% completely happy with it. There's something about the face that kind of bothers me, and I would love to add a bolder pattern to the bottom of her dress. I'm thinking of also playing with some textures to give the dress a heavy material look, as if she is wearing a very simple shape, but with a fabric that fits with her royal princess status.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

WIP Rough

A rough, work-in-process preview of a new painting I'm working on. I'm really trying to improve on composition, lighting, and storytelling. I'll reveal the story once I'm done with it. I'll probably finish it up tomorrow or Tuesday. :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I brought my bunny outside today...

As some of you may know, and as most of you may not know, I live with a bunny companion that I adopted from a rescue center. I've been living with her for about half a year now, and spoiling her like none other. I used to have an entire "craft" room to myself, where I kept my painting supplies, doll-making stuff, cintiq, and computer. Since saving this rabbit (quite literally, it turns out she was on the euthanasia list for the following week), she has just taken up my entire room. The floor is covered with her cardboard box tunnels, a cottontail cottage, little toys here and there, tons of hay, and of course, her 3-story condo that I built with my boyfriend.

ANYWAY. She's lovely, really. I don't mind sharing my space with her. She's been a real joy to have around (and occasionally a real sassy pain!). I happened by the pet store today and after briefly talking it over with my bf, we decided we would try purchasing a harness and a leash because we've noticed that my bunny (named Ramona Willow Flowers) really loves exploring. She's not much of a chewer or a digger, but just loves running around in new places. Just imagine what that would do to her to be outside for the FIRST time. What is that like for a rabbit? All those new sounds and smells - I thought that she would just love it.

So, that's what we did. We bought the harness, and agreed that we would take her out at around 4pm ... just so to not put her in direct sunlight. I live in California, so the weather is warm right now and the sun is just a-beaming. Putting her in the harness was a real struggle, I knew she would hate it. She kept trying to bite at the thing and running away when I went to pick her up. Eventually, I coaxed her into my arms with some treats, and then put her outside. She instantly took to it! Maybe she seemed a little freaked out at first, but after the first 5 minutes, she was obviously very excited and happy. I couldn't resist taking a video and putting some "cute" music with it. I thought that a Chrono Trigger soundtrack would do just nicely.

Without further ado, please watch the video because really, bunnies are just cute. It doesn't even matter that it's mine! She just melts my heart, really.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Unrequited Love

I need to get better at updating this thing :) There's just too many social media sites to keep track of now! This past weekend, I managed to finish another illustration that I'm actually quite proud of. I feel like this year is kicking off to a good start. I'm noticing that my work is improving, and that in itself is wonderful motivation to keep working at getting better.

It started out as an attempt at drawing something outside of my comfort zone, which would be a manly man burlesque type figure (i.e the centaur), but he kept getting smaller and smaller in my painting, until it became more of a story. Suddenly, this image was about a centaur chasing after his nymph love and trying to propose (I suppose before the satyrs got to her first?). Anyways, she has pretty much had enough of them trying to woo her, and scurries up into the trees to hide herself from their view.

I had a lot of fun with this painting, and I'm super excited that it only took about 2 days (off and on) to complete. I'm getting faster overall, though I need to definitely push myself further, and possibly do some anatomy studies.