Forward

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I keep doing what I say I won’t do… I should either stop saying what I won’t do or start saying I won’t become a great Concept Artist and make Trillions of dollars.  Life is silly.

I drew today.  :)
-Jesse

“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”  – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Moon Boots?

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Anatomical reference to the rescue, I’ll get back to being able to draw from the darkest depths of my imagination, but until then… there’s always reference.

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Not sure why they put all their Mass Effect Concept Art pics on a black background… but it definitely made my job more difficult to accomplish.

I ended up using the Liquify Filter to adjust her proportions towards the end which was really helpful because it allowed me to keep the line-work and not have to redraw everything… Small victory that I feel will be really useful in the future.  Cool trick I learned from watching CubeBrushes’ YouTube tutorials.

Still experimenting with some Uniform details, no clue what I’m going to do with the boots yet, cause having the pants over them wasn’t looking right.  So this time I gave her ankle/calf high moon like boots.  Which are probably not here to stay.

I’ll figure something out.

-Jesse

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”  – Walt Disney

The Pros and Cons of Drawing After Bedtime

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So, about fifteen minutes or so before bedtime, I had the sudden urge to create.  I decided Dianne has had enough of my attention for the time being and went back to my page of Red expressions.  I actually started on two expressions a day or two ago, but failed to generate anything but frustration and disappointment ( you can see some of the leftovers of that experience in the bottom left hand corner).

First I decided to finish up the crying sketch I started but gave up on.

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Reference for this emotion.

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Where I left off the other day…

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I started to see the areas of opportunity once I rotated the image and referred back to my head turn-around.

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Next I chose one of the “Smirking” poses out of the book.

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Pulled out my full body sketch to ensure I was getting as close to the intended proportions as possible.

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Something I’ve been noticing more often now that I’ve been drawing so consistently and pushing volume more.  I’m not sure what they call these little slivers of an edge that stick out.  It’s like my first gut reaction to where the edge of the shape is – plus this little extra that peeks out only after I’ve found that first edge… I’m sure it’s a known thing… probably something they mentioned somewhere in my many years at school… but I forgot.  :(

Anywho, I’ll be looking for it in the future as it seems to be helping me move my drawings further and further into the third dimension.

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So, at this point it was about two hours past my bedtime and while I had acquired a healthy does of motivation, I was loosing focus.  Should have took a small break, maybe grabbed a snack… Anyway, I started thinking about the confident (almost heroic) pose and how it would really fit Red before life threw a monkey wrench at her.

I must have been thinking about her in a confident pose in her Futuristic Sport outfit (Not sure of the name of the sport yet, using Calvin Ball as a placeholder simply because of how I’m merging so many different sports together that any onlookers wouldn’t be able to understand the rules/concepts of the game… almost as if they were making it up as they went… hence the name Calvin Ball), because the next thing I know I was using circles to signify the planes of the side of her head and forehead and then this happened.

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Seeing as this is the only image I have of what those suits look like, I decided to run with it.

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I felt like I was loosing the aerodynamic feel to her helmet, so I went ahead and threw in the towel for the day… got some grub and put all the sketches together.

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I like the level of comfort I get drawing Red each time I complete one of these sketches.  It feels less and less foreign and more natural.  Looking forward to my next drawing session, hopefully when I have more time on my hands.

-Jesse

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

Express Yourself

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Really wanted to explore some expressions today.  I understand the need for the turn-arounds (both the head and the full body ones), it’s how I’ve been able to keep Arissa with a fairly consistent look so far.  But they can be quite the burden creatively.  Too straight forward maybe.  Anyhow I’ve still got some exploration to do on Verena before I’ll get her down pact, but I have this sneaky feeling that it’ll come in time.  Until then, we’re working on some of the finer points of Red.

I’m using several different resources to accomplish this.  First, and most importantly are my collection of images I’ve created of Red so far.

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Already, I’m outgrowing some of these and moving in different directions.  Some is the characters themselves growing, but mostly I feel I’m getting more comfortable with drawing again.  That stretch of working in my sketchbook really helped too.  Not to mention my recent studies of the human head thanks to all these library books I have (like 20 at the moment).

Speaking of Library books, my second set of resources comes from my growing collection of library books.  In this case the Draw Manga Faces for Expressive Characters, by Aya Hosoi, published by IMPACT.

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Weirdly the authors name on the front of my book has the first last/last first names in the opposite order… I wonder if this is one of those Japanese translation things?  The back of the books, “about the author” section also writes it Aya Hosoi, but the Amazon webpage (where I snatched the image from) writes it Hosoi, Aya.

Strange the things that bother you at 5am in the morning.

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The expressions themselves are pretty simple and straight forward.  The real source of winning, is the shear amount of them.  The book boasts “more than 900 faces,” and although I have managed to resist the urge to count them to ensure the legitimacy of this claim, I will attest to there being a high volume of expressions packed in the 180 or so pages.

I appreciate the simplicity of the line work used to portray the emotions and although they do aid some of these depictions with Anime’s/Manga’s visual language, most of them are easily readable.  So, when drawing I’ve started off using these simple lines/arches/etc as a starting point.

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Fortunately, I didn’t think to save the struggle that happened between these two images.  I drew the hand by her face first and then drew the arm… which didn’t want to cooperate at all.  I eventually ended up twisting her body, which fixed the problem for me.  But I almost stopped for the night here.

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It’s probably something I picked up from my time spent learning to model in the 3D software Maya (where I can first remember really understanding/seeing volume), but I tend to draw wire-frames over the body to help my visualize the surface and volume while I’m drawing.

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I initially wasn’t going to place any bodies on them, just the heads, but that second one I really wanted to portray that sense of laughing so hard you have to hold your stomach.  Like she’d soon be doubled over in a visual pose of LMAO.  :)

In the end I’ll probably do a whole bunch of these for all my main characters and probably the supporting characters too and just pick the best ones to go into my character sheets.  Had to stop on this one because it’s getting late/early, and it’s time for my nightly battery recharge.

Tomorrow I’ll probably post some more of these or my latest painting of Dianne.

-Jesse

“Better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than in the middle of some ladder you don’t, right?”  – Dave Eggers, The Circle

Lip Chewer

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Haven’t quite nailed down what I want to do with her hair, but I feel like I’m getting closer.  Her face and height are right, and her expression (although completely accidental) fits her character so well.

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Still using almost the exact same process as before, although instead of going over the blue line-work with black and go for a ink like look, I opted to throw a Hue and Saturation adj layer on top of it and soften it to a brownish blue instead of pure black.  I felt like if I’m going to find a balance between cell shading/coloring and digital painting, I need to get away from the heavy ink lines that are more closely tied to western comic book art style.

I’ll probably do one more row as I render her further, I’m still using 100% brush right now, just focusing on shapes and creating volume at the moment, but I know from experience that when I start pushing the digital painting/rendered look; I’ll need that solid foundation.

I’ve got some ideas on how to add some interest/details to the uniform to help bring it to life more.  I’ve been noticing that although I wanted something simple when I initially design it, what I got was just a starting point and like everything so far I need to be open to change.  This whole thing so far has been quite the learning process.

One I’m enjoying more and more.

-Jesse

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”  – Oprah Winfrey

Ketchup

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Red and Verena

It seems like I had already posted this, but I guess I didn’t… Just got my internet connection in the house, man it feels good to be typing this from my desktop and not my phone.  :)  lol  I got my WACOM back too and I have one of my computers up and running, but I’ll have to see if I can resuscitate Ling Tsu to life.  Still not sure if it was a Power Supply or Motherboard issue that brought her down oh so many moons ago, but I’m ready for her return.

Verena has grown quite a bit and when I post some art later, you’ll see she is still growing.  Dianne has also seen some huge leaps in growth too.  Really excited about posting those images soon.

The story itself has taken a huge leap as well, as I recently decided to move it from taking place on Earth and placing it on another world entirely.  A bold move, but one I hope will pay off in the future.  Without the framework of Earth, I feel I’ll be able to create a more interesting world and environments for this story to live and breathe in and already I’m having a blast putting it all together and doing the research.

World Building

Been hording this book from the library with every intention of rechecking it out as soon as all my renews are up.  B-)  I’m only just starting to figure out what I want to be different about my world, but as I’m only a couple chapters in, I’m starting to see my options open up and horizons expand out into infinity.

The book itself can be a bit heavy at times, but it’s a great resource.  Especially for someone as nerdy as me when it comes to learning the science behind things.  I love knowing how it all works.

-Jesse

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.  – Thomas Jefferson

Sevenz

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Been spending most of my days off reading The Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, about half way done with it now… won’t see part three until sometime in early 2017 probably.  :(

More quick gestures, just practicing getting the pose down quickly without much thought.

-Jesse

“No one is a failure until they blame somebody else.”

– Charlie Tremendous Jones