Two Artists, One Blog

Everybody's Alright, Everything is Automatic

Everything we've posted so far has been pretty serious/big, which wasn't the original intention ( or mine, atleast ).

So, to make the first insignificant post of the blog, here's a quick sketch I did while watching a movie. Just needed a new sig for a forum.

Quick doodle of my character, "Ringmaster." He has no official name, so he's just assumed my own alias until he gets one.


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Doggy says Hi!

Okay, so this is my first attempt at a flash animation. Obviously it's incredibly simple, but I thought I'd share it with you just because it's the first thing I've ever made in flash. I'm not gonna post a how-to on this one because frankly, I'm only just figuring this shit out myself.

I would like to say though, for the record, that this was fucking HARD. It took me like, 2 hours to do this animation, which all told is about 9 layers and 32 frames. I have NO idea how people make 10 min. videos with this crap, and if anyone wants to give me tips, I'll love you forever. Enjoy.

EDIT: Okay, Blogger and Photobucket are both being the most irritating fucks on the face of the earth right now, so I'm just gonna post a link to the Flash video on my DA account. If you have a problem with that I DON'T CARE.


Process of Thumbnails and Sketch-- Video!

Alright, here's my first video attempt ( ever ) much less trying to explain my steps at 2x the speed I worked at!

I have started doing a step-by-step ( via screenshots ) colouring method of the sketch I posted last, so look forward to it within the next couple of days. Below the video are stills and extended descriptions of what's going on. Any questions or comments are welcomed and will be appreciated, also, don't be afraid to critique it!

( Song is Matthew Good - Champions of Nothing off of the album Hospital Music )

Breakdown of video with screenshots

Alright, first off I just got the document set up. for this because it's pretty basic. Set it to 900x900 pixels because that's just the size I like to work at. The brush I'm using is just a default Photoshop brush with a size-jitter set to pen-pressure. You can change brush settings by clicking a tab labeled "Brushes" in the top right and corner, usually next to tabs labeled "Tool Presets" and "Layer Comps."

Here's the few thumbnails I went through in the sketch process. First, keep in mind that this is zoomed in 200%, they are very small so they don't take long to draw. I'd like to point out just a few things about this part. First, don't worry about any details or complicated specifics, just get the figure and idea down. This whole step is merely to organize thoughts and to make sure you choose the best possible basis for a picture. Sure, we might think our initial thought is pretty good, but you want to explore it in-depth before you commit an entire picture to it. Rarely do I go with my first thumbnail, as you'll see here, I end up going with the second.

Also, remember to keep things versatile. There's no point in drawing the same pose just altered a little over and over. I tried to keep in mind here that in the last picture the character was facing the right at a 3/4 angle, so I avoided that as to have some diversity from it. Another great thing about drawing out several thumbnails is you might end up getting ideas for future pictures.

Not much to explain here, but it is a necessary step to discuss. I used the lasso tool to draw a selection around the thumbnail I chose to use, then ( by holding down the CTRL key and clicking it ) dragged it away from the others and erased them. After that, I used the selection tool to grab my thumbnail again, and with it still selected, right clicked on it. This shows a drop-down menu, which I clicked "Free Transform" in order to stretch it to the size I wanted the picture to be.

After all of that I sketch over this blown-up thumbnail, because, well, it's not very pretty. In order to see my black sketch-lines, I use the colour menu ( CTRL+U ) to adjust the lightness, saturation, and hue; these are dark to light, dull to bright, and colour value-- respectively. Changed it to a blue-green/blue, which you can choose any colour your comfortable with so long as you can distinguish it from black. I just use blue because in traditional arts I used a blue graphing pencil for the same purpose.

I'll combine these two into one section, as there wasn't much done between them but still worth noting. Redefined the basic anatomy in black then went back and listed the main details to the right as I did with the last sketch. This should look familiar, as it's the stage you all saw in my last post! There isn't really much to explain in words here, the video is better to show what I've done. Simply drew in the prominent details and made sure everything was moderately defined. Take note, like my co-author, I still draw in the figure THEN the clothes/details over them. Always try and build from the ground up: stick figure--> life figure. Anatomy-->Details.

In the second image I realized I had messed up. Usually I just draw over the rough thumbnail ( literally on a layer above it ) but here I forgot to do that. Though, it does give me a chance to explain "Levels." Using the Levels Menu ( CTRL+L ) you can seperate whites, grays, and blacks. This is extremely useful when scanning pencil works for digital inking/colouring and here I used it to make anything that wasn't solid black to turn to white.

Finally, I moved the sketch layer above a blank layer and set it to multiply ( note: I like to work with a white background and setting this to multiply will make it see-thru, so I've added a third layer underneath all of them that is completely white ). Multiply allows you to colour/paint anything that isn't black below it, which is perfect for lines. I blocked in the main colours for the picture, making sure everything looked right-- sometimes things can look fine until you start getting into the colours and realizing that something key is way off. So, we fill in the basic colours first.

That's all I can think to write at the moment about my process of thumbnails and sketching. If anyone has any questions, comments, or critiques I greatly encourage them to comment here and let me know-- I'll answer all the questions I can to the best of my ability, and hopefully through your comments I will produce a better video next time!

Here's the finished sketch:

( Click for full-view )

Thanks for reading!


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The Thumbnail and The Sketch ( AKA: BS POST )

I know I had planned to put up at least one sketch per day and that has obviously not happened, so let me explain. The purpose for uploading one drawing daily, whether it be a sketch or finished piece, was that I was to draw at least one time during any given day, which is something I do not do, and regretfully so; however, over the past few days I've been working on a couple commissions that I won't be able to share until I get payment for them, so I am working, I just can't show you! Sorry!

What I can do, though, is at the very least post the sketches of each of them. There are three in all, and they are all of the same male character.

Anyhow, enough with my running off at the mouth, here is the first sketch:

( Click thumbnail for full image )

Alright, to flesh out this post I'll explain what little I've done so far in this picture and what happens afterwards ( roughly ). Bare in mind that I have taken plenty more screenshots as the progress went forwards and they will be talked through as Ari has done in her previous post ( Which she did beautifully, I might add! ) but I obviously can't show you those if I can't show you the finished image!

Now! It all began with an extraordinarily small thumbnail sketch in the upper-left hand corner of a 900x900 blank image. I usually set my hard-round brush to 3 to draw my stick figure/thumbnail at a zoomed in view of 200%. It usually ends up about an inch tall and an inch wide, and several are drawn until I find one I like. This is simply to explore different poses on a small scale as not to lose time.

Once I've chosen the thumbnail I want to use, I erase all the others and free-transform it, stretching it to as big as I want the finished image to be. Now having a large, very blurry and unspecific sketch, I tint the colour to one that contrasts with black, because I intend to draw over it ( Much like if you use a red or blue drafting pencil before you go onto inks or regular pencil ) which is what you see as the blue-green behind the black sketch.

As this was a commission, I was given specific things to be included on this figure ( I was given complete artistic freedom, but I saw no reason to not go by the details in this particular case). So I would not forget anything ( I'm awful for that ) I wrote these things out to the right of the image before I began to fine-tune. I realize my hand-writing is awful ( And yes, that is how I always write ) so for anyone curious the list reads:

  • Mohawk
  • Horns
  • Bandanna ( Which I spelled wrong )
  • Visor
  • Bullet Belt
  • Collar
  • Spike Bracelet
  • Skel. Gloves ( Skeleton Gloves )
  • Scruff ( Unshaven )
  • Cig ( Cigarette )

After establishing the list, I did something similar to what Ari does, I fleshed out the figure for the most part, adding key notes in anatomical changes. I colour over my sketch or "line-art" so there's no need for mine to be as pretty as hers. Added all of the details I saw fit except for the visor, I don't really dig the raver scene, so visors are out. Was a pretty quick process, simply a new layer for the black sketch, used a hard-round brush with size-jitter set to pen pressure but no opacity-jitter. I did this above a blank ( white-filled ) layer so that I could see it without the blue-green underneath if I wanted.

Well, after I saw I was happy with that, I went on my merry way with the colouring process. I'm not sure when I'll be able to post that, but you'll get to see it eventually, promise!

That's all from me, I'll post the second sketch sometime tomorrow, I'll probably make a few more screenshots of the sketch process, or maybe even a video!

  • Time Spent: Roughly fifteen minutes
  • Tools: Intuos3, Photoshop CS3
  • Music: Zeromancer - Eurotrash ( album )


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My Drawing Method - Part One

All right, here's where I show you how I work, digitally at least. I'm not saying this is the best method or even a good method. It's just what I do. Here's an image with the steps I'm explaining. Click for larger version.

So, down to business.

Step 1: A simple stick model, just to figure out the basic pose. Not much to say here - construction is just sticks and rough blobs to get a basic shape down.

Step 2: Slightly more fleshed out now, still mostly basic shapes the limbs in particular are more recognizable now. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with her right leg here, so I didn't draw it in fully.

Step 3: Here I'm trying to get in the basic outline for the nude figure - to make sure the shape is right I usually let things be transparent, so you can see things like the back arm through the leg - it's easier to keep the shape consistent if you're not breaking up lines for the sake of showing what's in front of what.

Step 4: Final rough outline for the nude figure - everything is pretty much where I want it, though still very roughly drawn, I'll get into details in the last step. It's important to do a nude before the clothing because in order to figure out how the clothing will hang you have to know what the figure under it looks like.

Step 5: Rough sketch of the clothing, so I have a basic understanding of what the costume will look like and where the largest folds will be. Simple enough.

Step 6: And finally, the polished lineart. I'm not done with this obviously, but the head and shoulders are marked out. I use a very small, round brush for this, with 100% pressure sensitive opacity and 40% pressure sensitive size.

All of this was done in Photoshop. The next post I do will be my color process, which will probably be a little more in-depth and enlightening than this.

Das Vedanya.

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It Has That "New Blog" Smell

And it totally smells like ass.

Howdy visitors, I'm Drew. First of all I'd like to say that if anyone see's any weird
formatting errors with the layout to just send me an email about what went down.

Moving on from that and onto biography stuff: I'm male, nineteen years old, and heterosexual ( if you ever see a photo of me, you'll know why I tacked this on ). I live in Jefferson City, Missouri and am attending classes at Columbia College as an Education major with an undergraduate's degree in English. That's right, I want to teach high school English-- fear for your children. I'd like to do tattoos at some point, but who knows? Of course, an art career is always my dream, but unlike my dear Co-Author, I don't like Easy Mac enough.

Also unlike Ari, you won't see any traditional art from my lazy ass. Mostly digital sketches, simple black and white, colour studies, maybe a full piece every once in a while when I have the dedication. What I mostly plan on posting are my methods, thoughts, and theories about art. Sure, practice is a big factor, but there are some things that when I found them out I'd really wished someone would've let me in on it. As far as specific styles go, mine fluxes. All of my characters seem to chainsmoke, but I've never smoked in my life, and they're all pricks.

Like Ari, I'm all up for some crit, that's half the point of my spot on this blog. The other is to teach what I know, but I'd like to learn aswell. I guess that's all I have to say, hope this doesn't crash and burn like a Joss Whedon pilot episode.


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Lookit Our Spiffy New Blog!

Oooooh, shiny.

Anywho, hlo there - I would be the female contributor to this particular art blog. Name's Ari. So yes, background information.
I'm nineteen years old at the time of this posting, and on a leave of absence from Rochester Institute of Technology for personal reasons I'd rather not delve into. Suffice to say it was voluntary and necessary. I'm looking to start a career in illustration, which I am fully aware will mean a whole lot of day-jobs while I'm getting started. I'm going to be eating Easy Mac and Instant Ramen for years after college.

Most of what you're going to see from me here will be inked sketches from my sketchbooks, color studies, and a few computer-only sketches since I'm trying to get better at working on the computer from start to finish. Fairly often my drawings involve a lot of piercings, random pieces of cyber-punk-ish accessories, and a little less clothing than you could get away with walking down the street in. If you have a problem with any of those things - deal with it. It's what I like to draw.

Now for the especially brain dead who think I'm saying I don't want criticism and have merely started this blog with my dear friend Mr. Phillips for praise, let me put it as simply as possible:

Good crit: "I'm not sure that the bandages over her tits look quite right - maybe shade or texture them different next time?"

Bad crit: "Ew, why isn't she wearing a real shirt you chauvinist!? Put some clothes on her, you're just going for shock value, blah blah blah blah...."

See the difference?

Anyhow, that's all from me - thanks in advance for anyone who ends up watching this place, and extra love to those of you who offer the ever-coveted good crit.

Das Vedanya.

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