Sunday, May 15, 2011

A squirrel goes bad


When I buy art books and collected comics, my favorite sections are usually the sketchbook or the process sections. At times, I may not even like the final piece, but I do like looking at how the artist got to that point.

I know I wanted to take a break from work and try drawing something, but I didn't really have any idea what. The FCBD event at Evil Squirrel Comics was still fresh in the mind and so I decided to putz around and make an evil squirrel. This isn't a "how to". I can basically count the number of times I've tried to paint on one hand. I've done quite a few things wrong and some things I don't like either, but it's just a look at how things went whenever I remembered to save the image as a new file.

Squirrel transformation
This basically the doodling phase of it. I started with that upper left one which still kinda looked like a squirrel, then I ended up in the lower right one. I actually like the feel of that lower right sketch more than I like the final product. There's a certain amusing energy and personality that I lost or changed on the way to the final product. Some artist are really good at retaining that energy, but I'm obviously not at that point yet.

So I cut and pasted the image and stretched it out a tad because I wanted to ditch the cuteness of it a little. That was probably a mistake in the end, but I do tend to think taller when I think evil. Probably because I'm so short in real life.

 I slapped a new layer on top and start to paint over things and work out the shapes.
Adding in details and trying to work out the lighting a bit.
I then added in the Mortal Kombat-ish flying green skulls. You know, because it's easier to tell who the bad guys are when they either shoot out or suck out green glowing skulls/souls. I also tried working out the background shapes a bit more.

I finish it up by adding some lighting to the background trees and throw in some fog.Yup. Skulls and fog. No cliches there! :P

And that's pretty much that. Nothing spectacular, but for now I feel like I'm learning and getting a little bit more comfortable so there's at least that benefit.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

If I only had a brain..

.. then I'd come up with a better title than that. So I sat down to do some practice drawing again, but as often is the case, nothing came to mind. Fortunately, I remembered the scarecrow mask (not the Batman villain) that I made for last years Halloween costume. With nothing else better in mind to work with,  I started doodling some scarecrow silhouettes and hope that something would hit me. This is pretty much all I came up with, but hey at least I got some practice time in.

I liked the last one so I decided to work with that a little more. I basically just cut and paste the torso of that one and enlarged to play around with.

This ended being  the result. It's not a finished or refined drawing and was never meant to be. It's basically me just wandering aimlessly in the digital painting world and trying to learn something as I go along. Hopefully once I get better I can come back and do more of a finished piece.

So that was Free Comic Book Day 2011

This past weekend was this years Free Comic Book Day. For those of you not aware of the existence, FCBD is basically the one day a year where people can go into participating shops and get their pick form a selection of free comics. It usually comes around the weekend of a big movie release (usually superhero). I'm not sure if that was always the case, but it works well since people are still riding the high of the big budget movie and are more likely to head to a comic shop to read more stories involving their new favorite superhero.

But enough of that background stuff. Let's start over-ish. This weekend we went to Evil Squirrel Comics for their FCBD event. This was our local shop back when we lived in Rogers Park. Prior to living there, I had never bothered with a pull-box since I read comics in collected form, but that all changed when I popped into the shop. Shawn the owner is just plain awesome. He's a super-friendly guy and loads of fun to BS with. Picture comic-book buy on the Simpsons but opposite. Anyway, I wanted to support the local shop and have an excuse to stop by every week so there it was. Of course, now we live in Tinley Park, so it's no longer local and we can't stop there every week, but we still try to stop by there every few months just to see Shawn.  The future of this shop is a little unknown right now and it may or may not be around much longer, so Shawn and Decapitated Dan Royer made an awesome push to pull in people. Now, you'd think with the possible closing that it'd be all doom and gloom there but you'd be wrong. The place was packed that day and at times it seemed more like party than a shop. It also made me realize how badly it would suck if the store had to close down. We may not be there all the time, but I think the area is definitely better for having Shawn and his store there. It really does help to break that negative stereotype that often keep people out of the shops. If you're ever in the area you should stop in there.

Evil Squirrel Comics
6928 N Glenwood Ave
Chicago, IL 60626

Tues- Sat 12 PM - 8 PM
Sun 12 PM - 4 PM

I did a terrible job taking photos. It was pretty busy there and I was also BSing with Raf Nieves (*thunk* that's the a name dropped with the weight of Mjolnir (and that's a reference to capitalize on the increased familiarity due to movie release.)) a lot when not buying everything in sight.

Oh, I will have a drawing related post later today, I just wanted to let this ramble-fest chill by itself for a while.

Packed!

Brian manning the register



Amy, Tony and Shawn

Sheila and Amy

Raf and Decapitated Dan

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Well, it sure didn't take me long to fall behind on this thing did it?

Wow, a week already.

So here's the thing. When it comes to work, we're on a two week cycle. What that usually amounts to is me working not as hard during the first part of the two weeks, and then doing nothing but work for the second half while I try and do a mad sprint to the pay cycle. "Why I don't you just work harder during the first week so you can have an easier second week?' you ask. Because I'm an idiot.

But yeah, last week was me trying to get back into my groove with Golden Age recon work. Human Torch and Sub-Mariner stuff.. blargh. Color recons on golden age fire and water are probably the things I hate most out of any of the interior work. I can't use that escuse for today though. Today I was playing Portal 2 which is awesome.


Anywho, here' are a couple of sketches/doodles. The rock troll thing was drawn while waiting for food at Chili's. The old man is me practicing and trying to work out a look for something I want to try working on.