Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Old Man Faces, Pencils, and Watercolors

The bic pen got put aside today - just a rest, not a permanent retirement - and I returned to roots of old: pencils and watercolors.

These two mediums are classic and will always be there for you, even in rough times.
You may notice this man looks vaguely similar to a certain Top Gear presenter.  (You would be correct.)  I was doodling this morning while watching an episode and, what can  I say? His wrinkles were fascinating.

I'm not particularly happy with it, but it is what it is.  I couldn't do too much with the watercolors since I was working on ordinary cheap paper (any more water on that and it would have tore right apart).  Next time I'll start right on watercolor paper. :)

In other news, I'm going to start doing prompts for illustration friday! ~>
It seems like a fabulous way to keep up the drawing and to create finished pieces instead simply doodles, which I suffer chronically from.

Monday, November 15, 2010

NaNoWriMo Illustrations

The blue bic pen returns...

As I mentioned a few posts ago, November has been consumed by the beast that is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  These drawings come from my current story writing endeavor.  These characters are minor to the story, but fun to draw.

The first is the light keeper, the sole producer of light. The second is one of the running men who populate the entirely dark world that exists beyond the edge of the world.  They can only travel in groups since their scope of vision is limited to the bulbs stuck to their heads.

Both are examples of how it's possible to go too far with a drawing and would have been much better if I had just stopped earlier.  But I just couldn't help myself.  It was too fun.  :)

After this I promise I'll stop posting blue bic drawings.
(But they're just so much fun!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ink Bird

I've got very little to say about this, other than it was a joy to draw and it actually turned out pretty well.

Drawn in between troubleshooting during the computer art class I T.A. with a blue bic pen over a period of an hour and a half.  (I'm a slow drawer, what can I say.)  I threw on a textured background in Photoshop afterwards, but since its a bit sloppy I might fix it up later. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Photoshop Painting: To Smudge or Not to Smudge...

...that is the question.

Painting in Photoshop is loads of fun.  The undo feature lets you step up to 15 paces backwards in time, which can be epically useful when you make as many mistakes as I do.  You are limitless in materials, you can spread endless digital paint (of any color imaginable) and have as large (or small) a canvass as you'd like.  You can literally do anything.

And you can also fall into the Photoshop traps like I did yesterday.  Particularly easy to slide into is the smudge trap.  It's a nasty one.  You're short on time, things aren't blending the way you'd like them too -15% opacity is too low and 20% is too high, and you don't want to find the right spongy brush that would solve your problems because you don't want to download anything new...  So you send your cursor over to the smudge tool button and click it.


Unless you're really good, your painting will look like it was dumped in smudge oil and any life it had will die.  Bummer.


Turns into this:

It's definitely salvageable, but it is always depressing to realize that something you've spent hours on is too smooth.  It's just freaky! She looks like she's plastic.

So I caution you, smarter-than-I viewer, do not fall into the smudge trap. Use the tools given to you wisely and do not depend on the smudge tool to fix your inability to paint (as I did).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Children's Book Project: The 1893 World's Fair

One of my big projects this year is creating a children's book for the Logan Museum of Anthropology (the Beloit College Anthropology museum).  It's going to focus on the Chicago World's Fair (The Columbian Exhibition) of 1893 and how the objects and exhibits helped create museums (like the Logan and the Field Museum).

The project is broken up into two parts.  This semester I'm writing the book and scripting everything out, and next semester I'm illustrating everything and putting it together for print off of  With any luck there should be a finished, buyable book come May.  With lots of luck it will be for sale in the Logan Museum's gift shop. :)

Although I'm not allowed to start actually drawing it yet, as that is next semester's task, I've gotten a couple of little concept drawings done here and there.
(I'm changing her hat in the final so she looks a little less like the Madeline character)

The project should actually be pretty cool when it gets rolling.  Non-fiction children's books are something I'm interested in getting into more and more.  (One of my long term goals is to create one for William Marshal and Eleanor of Aquitaine!  When I'm better at it.)

(Also, wow. I used a lot of parenthesis in this post.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Photoshop Anne Marie + NaNoWriMo

Today I realized I hadn't posted in over two weeks and so I looked around my desk frantically for something interesting I'd drawn or painted between the last post and this one.  What I found was that I hadn't actually done anything interesting since then.  o___o
Between that realization and now, however, I sketched Anne Marie from CarnivorousGiraffe's and my Mad Jack project, just so I felt like I had done something.

Done quickly and entirely in photoshop.  (Anne Marie's had a few drinks, and you're about to have a few bullets lodged in you...)

Blog posts are bound to be a little more scarce this November.  Classes have deadlines and NaNoWriMo is an integral part of my being.  Yeiks!