Transportation Issues


K9 King


Continuing with that heroic stance I found last time that I liked and working it from a few different vantage points.  I want the king to be the focus of all the attention, so I want the view to be like the viewer is on the sidelines of the parade, looking up at the king as he passes by.

With that in mind, I did a couple variations and found that the pole held forward and the flag trailing behind seemed best.  A couple of the best poses put the shoulder/arm up and covering most of the face and seeing as I want the light to be coming from the top right, that would throw most of him in shadow, including most of his face…  Armor at this point isn’t concrete, just general shapes and contours.

Another issue that came up was the stage/palanquin/ pedestal thing he’s standing on.  I started getting this 300 vibe, with the king as Xerxes.  Not what I wanted (although, I did toy with the idea of having it being carried/pulled by enslaved cats), so I started thinking about changing the mode of transportation.  Which meant changing the poses I’ve been working two days on. 

So, in a fit of despair I put down my stylus and watched some Firefly and when I came back I had an idea, what if he was on a horse?


  • “Yesterday’s history. Tomorrow’s a mystery. Today’s your victory.”
    -Yellow Jacket 

Character of the Week #358 – K9 King


A parade is held every year at the kingdom of Woof. All the people of the kingdom show up to cheer on the participants. The most anticipated participant in the parade is the king him self. He always shows up in such shiny armor, it is a grand sight to see.

This week you need to design the K9 King in Shiny Armor!

The Guidelines:

  • Must be HUMANOID/k9
  • Must be wearing shining armor
  • Must include the kingdom insignia (of your own design), on a flag/banner which the king carries.
  • You MAY do a queen instead if you wish
  • Background’s Permitted, but don’t forget what the focus is!

    Read more:

    I decided to choose a dog that naturally had a beard, that way I could get a older kingly vibe from the character.  Went to Google to check out which breeds had beards and eventually chose the German Wire-haired Pointer.


    Still working on some back-story and personality for the character and also some armor designs… no idea what the insignia will look like though. 



    “Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”

    –David Frost

Two Weeks Later

The Wizard’s Apprentice

Final Turn In

Regardless of the end result, there’s a certain sense of accomplishment when a project finally comes to an end.  I was fortunate with this one to have a couple things work in my favor, but I can’t always expect it to work out that way.

The first thing that really stands out to me is the change in art style, over time the character went from being drawn in the comic book/Disney/anime style I have to leaning heavily on realism.  There wasn’t a real conscious decision on my part to do this, I decided towards the end to try the Mixer Brush on my blocked out colors and it created realist folds in my clothing and then decided that the cartoony face looked weird on a realistic body. 

I ended up spending a lot of time reworking the face and without reference.  A big no, no, especially when pushing towards the real of realism.  But after some initial struggling, I founds some reference, but only followed it loosely and because of that I ended up with a weird smirk on the characters face.

Learning experiences I suppose.  The new CHoW is up and I’ve started doing some thumbnails already, so I’ll see you tomorrow.


  • “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”-Steve Jobs

A Splash of Color


The Wizard’s Apprentice

After completing both a more refined line work and grey scale values, I merged my work into a single layer, created a layer on top of that in Overlay mode and began coloring on top of the grey scale.  I used the Mixer Brush on the lower robe on the bottom left just to test out how it would blend the colors and I liked how it turned out, so I decided when I zoomed in (the image is at 25% zoom right now, I’ll do details at 50%) and started doing details next time, I’d continue using that approach.

Also, as you might have already guessed I flipped the image horizontally (also widening it an inch or so).  I did this after flipping the canvas to check for symmetry issues and other errors, but ended up keeping it like this.

Tomorrow I’ll start getting into details and look at some issues that come up, but for now I’m really satisfied with how everything has turned out.



  • “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
    -Eleanor Roosevelt

Value Added


The Wizard’s Apprentice
Work in Progress

Tightened up my line work and solidified a bunch of scratchy ideas I wasn’t really sure what they were, but liked their shapes.  Still not sure what that thing is around his neck.  It started off as a scarf type of thing, but now I’m not too sure.  I like the look it helps provide, but not sure what it is or what it is made of, or what type of texture it’ll have.

I added a white orb on another layer so I could visualize the light source and start working those values.

So far I’m happy with the expression.  I wanted him to seem like he was obsessed and excited about whatever it was he was doing, like nothing else on the planet existed.


“Do your own thing on your own terms and get what you came here for.”
–Oliver James

Emphasis on Character


The Wizard’s Apprentice
Final (W.I.P.)

After working on the previous character and pose I decided it put too much emphasis on the environment and background and once again scrapped the project and started from scratch.  Fortunately, this was only a couple days into the project and not a couple days from deadline.

I created a brief storyline and personality first and then a scenario and after some brainstorming with my roommate came up with this pose.  Now it’s just about rendering it.


“The roads we take are more important than the goals we announce. Decisions determine destiny.” 
–Frederick Speakman

Playing With Pose


The Wizard’s Apprentice
Character Sketch

Having picked the rock/earth wielding  thumbnail, I set out to get a epic feel of how powerful he could be.  Playing up the drama of the scene and focusing on capturing the moment of the action.  I learned from the last CHoW that I needed to get a head start on the pose and be a little more creative.

The one thing that stuck out to me when I completed this one was that there was a geavy emphasis on the background and environments, but the character was only occupying a small portion of the image and seeing as this is about the character I knew I was in trouble.


“Do what you love, and love what you do.”
-Tomas Gastaminza

Character of the Week #357


The Wizard Apprentice

Character of the Week (CHoW) #357

The Guidelines:

        • Can be male or female
        • Must be Human, Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Orc, or Halfling (no animalkin)
        • Must be casting a spell
        • Environment background’s permitted this week
        • Genre is fantasy

My first instincts said to avoid anything that resembles Harry Potter, it’s too recent and I want to push in different directions.  I want this character to feel unique, interesting, and relatable. 

I had the idea of a huge dwarf, towering over a small book and while the idea was humorous, it didn’t have that thing that really stuck out to me.  There were a couple of my thumbnails that I liked, but my first little sketch (with the guy lifting the rocks out of the ground) really felt strong and looked cool, so I went with that.


  • “Press on. Obstacles are seldom the same size tomorrow as they are today.”  –Robert H. Schuller

Procrastination Fail



The Panda Guide
Final Character 3


I was having some issues with her top, so I ended up simplifying it and having it droop down behind her.  Then I combined a couple different Chinese headdresses to get the desired look and shape.  I wanted it to look like the shape of the head of a Red Panda and I would’ve put makeup on her face to give her a little more animal look around her eyes, mouth, and cheeks.

But, I simply procrastinated too much over the course of two weeks, and I wasn’t able to finish this by the deadline.

I did end up realizing a couple things that would help me on the next Character of the Week (CHoW), But we’ll talk about that later.

You can check out the latest CHoW and all the entries as they work on them at



  • “You can make progress or you can make excuses, but you can’t do both.”–Unknown

Excess of Choices




The Panda Guide
Character Final 2


Having spent a couple hours scouring Google images and reading a few websites about Chinese deities, I have a fairly good idea about how Chinese Gods dress (although this character is suppose to be a Red Panda Spirit I wanted a similar vibe).  In fact, I end up with half of gig of images of red pandas, head dresses, hair styles, dresses, bamboo forests and make up ideas.  It’s reference overload.

It’s like when you’re at the store and you end up with so many good choices you have a hard time making a decision.  For me, I usually end up having to inspect every choice adding them to a list, then establishing some sort of ranking system based off of pros and cons… and this is in the store when I have limited time and other shoppers and store employees giving me weird looks as I make mental lists, price comparisons, and yeah.

So, I look at my thumbnails again and look for some ideas that seem to work and try to combine them together.  I go with a simple dress (not too many folds and loose flowiness), with long droopy sleeves and an exaggerated headdress that is a combination of three or four ideas.

Also, I’d like to not that it’s Saturday and I have less than a day to turn this in fully rendered… And I still have no idea what the staff is going to look like.  :/


  • “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”  –Joseph Chilton Pearce