Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Current Experiment- almost done

I've left it alone a few days so I could come back with a more objective eye. There's some more detailing around the eyes to do (mainly eyelashes); a little more detailing on the hair nearest the face (that forelock is also a little 'blocky' looking); some more 'atmospheric colour' and definitely a crop on the left hand side so the face is more central. I think the shadow under the nostrils is still too strong- she is a mutant who has no nose, just a subtle bump with faintly-rimmed nostrils. This was actually harder to get 'right' than I'd thought- whatever 'right' is.


I'll try to bash on and complete it tomorrow, as I'm getting bored of it now and want to move on to something else. The only real purpose was to try to learn a bit about the technicalities of how to 'paint' in photoshop, beyond that I had no real 'vision' for the painting so I've been just making it up as I went along- not the best method for getting the strongest picture, but hey-ho, it's only practice anyway.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Painting Practice - the continuing saga...

Moved the painting on a little- mostly background stuff though. My original plan to keep the clothing fairly loose appears to have fallen through...

It's getting there, but I felt I needed a little break from it as I need to refocus to getting the finishing done. I've been jumping around repairing and building the other parts up to catch up with the face and I just need to consider where I'm going next. This is what happens when you don't plan a piece out. Still, I've done better than I thought I would already- just need to plan the final push.

Also, I suppose I should mention I managed to do my first page of comics in a year and a half a wee while ago, for Dogbreath, the Strontium Dog fanzine- what else would it be? :)
The story is part text, part strip (mostly text). I won't post up any panels for it, as there weren't many, but it's a start and I'm just glad I can still use my arm. Details, as ever are on the Quaequam Blog here...
DOGBREATH #30 now available from Futurequake Publishing

Also check out ZARJAZ, the 2000ad fanzine while you're there.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Current Experiment - My new mantra will be 'New Layer...New Layer...New Layer'...

...instead of "edit... undo... edit... undo".
So, I've worked more around the eyes and tidied up the adjustments a bit on the painting, plus I couldn't stomach the hair and clothes being so loose, so I decided to bring them on a little more to integrate everything together a little. If you right click on the image and show in a new tab, you can zoom in a bit to get a bigger view.


There's still more to do to the face- particularly down the right (her left) side- the eyes needs attention and the side of her face is sticking out a bit. I need to cool and darken into the hairline to push it back a little, also the back corner of the jaw is too harsh- I need to round it off and push it up a little. The eyebrows are only just started as well, and the corners of the moth are still not playing ball. Ideally, the clothes should only need a little more, with the neck and hair having more of a finished look and then the face more polished still- that should (hopefully) in the detailing stage. Then I'll need to start looking at context- lighting, shading and background. I think if I was to do it again, I'd get to this point a lot faster- this has been a steep learning curve.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Current Experiment- ongoing...

So I've been carrying on with trying to get a handle on the digital painting malarkey and have made some progress with the painting... I got fed up with the lack of the rest of the painting moving forward so quickly brought in the beginnings of hair and clothes...

The eyes were freaky and drawn wrong- that's what you get for using the finger-pad on your laptop instead of plugging in a pen & tablet. So I've adjusted them a little and started alterations to the corners of the mouth, thus...


Those areas need working up and also the tone around the eyes could be pepped up a bit. She also needs eyebrows and lashes, otherwise she will continue to look... disturbing. Overall, it's going okay and I'm learning- which is the main thing. You can discuss, read, watch vids and research as much as you like, but it's only when you actually do it that you can truly learn, abstract knowledge is only a small piece of the puzzle. Nore later, (assuming it doesn't end up in the digital bin, of course).

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Busted Art- Doc Death

This one was done for another 2000ad message board competition round about November last year- A Tribute to Dead Characters. I chose a Strontium Dog character (naturally), Dr Lionel Death- who supposedly graduated from the University of Santiago with a Masters in 'Torture as an Artform'. I had to pare back the complexity of my initial ideas to accommodate for the fact it would take me ages to draw, ink and colour it with the arm still in bad shape, so I simplified it while still trying to get the idea across.

I like the colours, but I think I was a little too subtle with the textures, I was trying not to overdo it and undercooked it instead! I think I have one more bit of broken-arm art left from last year to post and that will be me caught up with things a bit. Meantime, I'm still working at the digital painting of Laura Gonzalez in the previous post.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Interlude- Current Experiment

So while I was laid up with an immobilised arm I was bored rigid- no drawing, no guitar playing. So I watched a lot of youtube vids on digital painting. I was looking at ways of blending colours in an attempt to get a more painterly finish, rather than the kind of 'digital colouring' stuff I've been playing with. Once I was able to use the pen & touch, I started playing with it- just practising blending techniques until I found something I could get a handle on- practising using it to create form and shape. So I finally decided to jump in and give it a go... though my scanner is bust at the moment so I just used a pic I already had on the computer. Normally I would take the shaded picture and trace it into a simple single-line drawing marking the areas of definition only, then scan that and use it as the initial drawing, but the broken scanner means I just had to clean it up a little in photoshop instead- not ideal and comparatively slow.

Now, I didn't clean up the hair, because I just wanted to concentrate on the face for now- normally (with real paint) I like to keep the whole painting moving at broadly the same time, as far as possible, but this is my first attempt at digital painting so I don't want to overwhelm myself. I can always add layer adjustments to the whole thing at the end to get colour/ tone balances fine tuned at the end.
Next up was to find photo-references for skin colours and create a basic palette to work from, then just dive in and start painting...

The palette is mainly from photo-reference, though there are a few blends into colours I thought might be useful based on what I had- it's on a separate layer so I can switch it on and off- handy for selecting colours from. I have another layer underneath with a basic palette of warm and cool primaries and secondary colours, plus a grey-scale- I haven't used it much yet, but it may come in handy. It's pretty basic and rough so far, and looks way better with the full drawing layered over; but I'll keep working on it and post up results as I go along. I should improve technique as I go and also get faster- which will be good.

I should also add that 90% of this was done on the laptop using the finger pad, which is utter madness! Really don't do that, cos it's shit- don't be lazy, go and get your tablet and do it properly! Now I'm taking it a little more seriously, I bit the bullet and walked to another room to get the damned thing, so I'm looking for it to pick up a bit in precision from here.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Busted Art- Judge Death

I did this one on the run up to last Halloween just for kicks. I was feeling a bit seasonal at the time, I think. I've got a half-finished colour of it kicking around somewhere- not too much as there's a lot of shading on it- I'll try to find the colour and finish it off- when I do, I'll post it here. Anyway... Judge Death pencils...

I kind of like the softness of the pencils, I always seem to prefer them to the inks for some reasons. I always think my inking looks scruffy and messy, though it suits pencils it doesn't look the same in ink. Here's the ink...

If I find the colour version, I'll finish and upload.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Busted Art - Judge Prager Wolfs Out

This was one I did for the 2000ad message board monthly art competition. The theme was 'Gods & Monsters' and I chose a werewolf as my monster- Judge Prager from the Judge Dredd story 'Cry of the Werewolf'. As an additional 'monsterism', the texture overlay I used on the colours in the sludgey water was from a photo I took of the reflections on the surface of Loch Ness when I was wading in it... anyway, coloured in photoshop.
Here's the rough, the drawing and the ink...
I'm quite partial to the B&W version, really- not much more to say about it. It won me a Strontium Dog graphic novel, courtesy of Rebellion- which was great.


Sunday, 12 July 2015

On the Recovery Trail Proper, I think...

It's been a while since I posted here- lots of water under the bridge etc. Most of this last while has been trying to recover from that broken arm, and things seem to be looking up a lot more now.
I haven't been totally inactive on the drawing front, but it was my drawing arm that got injured so it has been a long process to get back to being able to do much at one sitting.
I haven't uploaded anything here, but I did add some stuff to my deviant art gallery so I guess I could post it all here.
First up, a 'quick' study of Michael Ness from 2000ad's Caballistics Inc...
This was done just to try to get re-accustomed to inking again, as control was a big problem with most of my arm withered with atrophy- hence the looseness, which at the time I didn't like; but I kind of like it now! Caballistics Inc. was by Gordon Rennie and Dom Reardon and was absolutely brilliant.

Next up was a full figure stufy of Laura Gonzalez from 'Shadow of the Mutant'/ 'From Below' in Dogbreath. Again, the primary purpose here was just to tighten up my linework a bit.

This was a lot neater and cleaner lines, though the scruffiness in Mr Ness does kind of fit with the character. Not much more to say about it really- it's just a drawing.

Last, for now, is an ink I did of a another drawing I did of Laura and posted on here some time ago now.

I tried out some colours and textures in photoshop and even tried grey-scaling it, but I couldn't decide which I liked best, not that it matters...

I'll post up some more stuff I've done over the last while in a bit- I've a couple of other bits and pieces lying around.