I want to draw - I have to draw!

This little blog should – in a perfect world - function as a peek into my personal little trip down the road of drawing. I can guarantee there will be plenty of road rage, steep learning curves, crying and thumb sucking involved.
If you scroll down you will see some of my begging steps (hahahaha I'll let that stand - Freudic slip - but I mean *beginning*). Since I never really did any drawing prior, I don’t have any old drawings lying around to share either - unfortunately.
My starting level was nothing, stickmen and general straight line challenged, with an newly added circle handicap – good fucking game.
But I’m determined I will learn this, whatever the cost.
- Tue

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blah Blah Blah more SAI stuff

Was away for a couple of days and getting back into the grind is a slow process for me. :)

Butts, I’ve been looking into “painting” with SAI some more and done a few pieces, nothing big though.
I’m starting to get frustrated with it, in an attempt to get as close to a painting sensation or work process – how I imagine it to be at least – I kept it to one layer, no fancy effect or tricks, just one brush setting and that was it. This is how it looks if anyone would be interested in that stuff…

Anywho, the first one is Jeff Bridges in True Grit, I did it in pretty much one go, I got a bit lost tbh it was fun and new… blah blah. I didn’t measure a single thing it was all done “gefühl” or wtf too call it… sense? It was major annoying not being able to do details, I really fucked myself over trying to keep it “realistic” when you have to paint over the same spot 10 times before the color really sets, then doing details like correct eyelids, nose and well general features, becomes a bit of a “meh cba”. Still fuck it, it was sorta fun :)

I started on a painting with the same premise as the True Grit, but of Queen Anne’s Revenge from Pirates of the Caribbean. Initially I thought I had start something I couldn’t possible finish, the shit was just too complex, but this “lolol paint shit” sorta defeats the whole getting the whole detail shit right, so I was slightly surprised I managed to finish it and not just throw it away after a couple of minutes. This time I did make sure to save the steps though, so yeah gg… Half-way through I felt I made the sky too bright, so I wanted to correct that, but omfg that shit is impossible when u got a ship in the middle of everything and it’s all on one layer… fml! But again it’s the same story as the girl in the jeans; I gotta get the background shit correct first and then move on, going back and do an entire rework of the background in the middle of things is just a huge ass time sink, so hopefully I’ll learn that someday.
In the end I did a brightness/contrast adjustment, because I’m weak…

Also I put some colors on the Aliens in Photoshop, just for giggles, it’s… I don’t know, not correct, the glow from the finger should be reflected more, but what can you do… you live and learn :)

 Oh and last one. I wanted to try something with Plato's cave allegory, but I never got past the idea really... maybe another day.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Me, your momma, and someother whore..."

I hate how I handled the drawing of the little girl and her genie, it was done from the genie head to his body and then adding the girl and boy for some… sense? But never going back and really changing anything in the sketch in the process, which shows imho, it’s way to flat and boring, plus the characters are… well I’m certainly not satisfied.
So I wanted to do another run or attempt, again I started without a real idea of wtf I was going for, but well maybe third time?! 

I didn’t finish any of the drawings ofc… :P I got the attention span of a coked up reality star, so I started sketching a bit in SAI without really noticing the transition – autopilot much? I really like the sketching part of the program compared to PS, but when I tried to do a more paintish thing it turned weird, I can’t control the brush at all >< I have too paint over the same part 10 times before the bloody value shifts, major frustrating! But I managed to do some quickies before it got too unbearable to work with… -.-

And yeah sketching to Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon might have influenced me a tiny bit… :)

Went into photoshop with the second Alien picture, since I know how the goddamn brushes work there! Did a quick fix to some of the details I couldn't do in SAI and well yeah "Fuck it dude, let's go bowling"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Never compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon."... and stuff

 I tried some imagination sketching, in the start I couldn’t even come up with a basic idea of wtf I wanted to draw. A friend told me to just start with a head and then build on that, so I did… It’s extremely weird for me to go around things like that.
I finished the head and thought it looked a bit like that bomb guy from Super Mario, so I added a bowler and a cigar to downplay that a bit, then I didn’t know what the fuck I would do with the body… so he got some generic thing, which didn’t really do all that much, I wanted to force myself to try and do a bit more feel of dimension instead of a flat 2D feel, which turned into a palm in the foreground and a bat in the background – baby steps okay! – adding those got me thinking of some cartoon schoolyard bully asking for lunch money. I got into some problems with the legs, I couldn’t come up with anything other than a flat and boring stance, so yeah… removing them and just giving him some djinn form was easier – don’t judge.
I didn’t have any room to add anything else on the paper and it needed some more to make any sense, I thought about what scenario I could use the djinn and came up with the little girl who lost her rabbit teddy or what you call it, added the boy and called it quits.

Looking back, it was stupid of me to stop there. I should have started over, using my sketch as a concept of wtf it was I was trying to do.
If I had an idea what I was going to draw from the start then this is not how I would have choose to do it, I would have made the Djinn a lot more gaseous and demon like, no solid features just some glowing eyes maybe and have it take up a lot more space, like it looking directly down on the boy instead of this, this is to flat and action less.
Still it’s not too late for doing it over! So who knows :)

I got persuaded into trying to draw a Harpy Girl, I thought it would be pretty much impossible since it would require some sorta anatomy knowledge which I don’t have… AT ALL!
Still what’s the worst that could happen…? Instead of going about it as the other cartoon drawing, I did loads of ideas this time, just quick scribbles trying out different things and poses. I ended up on a mix and tried to sketch something rough in SAI and then color it quickly in PS, I didn’t want to overdo things, since I knew I would get into trouble if I went overboard on details, then you suddenly need to know a bit more exact where the elbow joint is located instead of just “uhmmm on the arm somewhere”… It’s a stupid notion, but again… baby steps!
After I did a very quick coloring and a bare minimum of detail, I called it done and tbh was pleasantly surprised, it’s not very innovative or complex, but coming from a stickman background it’s reassuring to see that even if I don’t know it, I must be learning something at least :)

It got to rest a few hours, but I felt I had to come back and at least attempt to finish the coloring, so I did and after a while I got aware I was going with a very one color tone theme which I wanted to break or at least upset slightly, so I did the glowing eyes… it wasn’t really my Harpy anymore, but more some evil fairy or demon in my opinion.

So what have I learned?
I learned I need to lose the idea that the first sketch has to be the final and I should still attempt to do the things I want, instead of just doing compromises without even attempting new things – fuck it man you learn from mistakes, the best is when you can see the mistakes and NOT knowing how on earth you correct them, it may sound stupid, but in my experience I will keep ruminating over the problem and if I’m lucky the solution will come while I’m doing the dishes or something.
I don’t draw nearly as much as I would like – I’m like a level 31 procrastinator – but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m thinking about drawing constantly :)

Oh yeah also did a quick environment study, but haha yeah... nvm.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Goddamn imagination needs to L2Draw!

"Are we there Yeti?".... "No we are not!"

I can’t do shit when I can’t use some visual reference, still I try and force myself into new things, instead of treading water with the light/shadow painting style.
I spend waaay to long trying to solve the perspective issues and problems creating a hanging cage in a top view perspective. It’s not all bad since its good practice I suspect, anyway I had to solve quite a few problems drawing this in photoshop and coming up with a solution to placing the bars correct without drawing a million lines, finding all the right angles and shit… omg the nightmares.
Figured out I would just draw two squares, free transform them and add some quick “walls” using the one vanishing point the two squares would make and voila - I tried all kinda weird shit before that though – so next time I don’t have to reinvent the fucking wheel “weee” :)
The bars I made by making a line fence, duplicating that into four and "distort" them into place, thought that part would be impossible, but turned out that was super serial simple... yay learning shortcuts! :P
SOooo before I could continue the cage kinda needed some “content”, I wanted to throw in a dead skeleton jester/jack-in-the-box character, but that was opening up a whole can of “OH FUCK” drawing a imagination character like what would be close to impossible for me, but throw in some very weird perspective and complicated foreshortening  and it’s a mental K.O. – solution: buy a pizza and soda, put on some UFC and tell yourself that it’s just because the angle is stupid and it has nothing to do with ability…
Still it’s immensely frustrating to know you have a plan and a vision of things, but you simply can’t put it down in practice.

So you try again… fucking imagination needs to get with the program!
I got a thing for zombies okay! So thought I would create a big fat ass zombie with a baby… seemed logical and smart enough, what could possibly go wrong? Apparently a lot of things, two problems I assumed I could free draw a zombie with pulled open guts… I couldn’t… then I also assumed I could draw a baby attached to the mother by the umbilical cord… I couldn’t… hahaha so yeah fuck that shit, I went and got some chips instead – by the time I know wtf I’m doing I will have gained 20kg! 

Still I wanna upload these major road blocks, because drawing is so much more than these portraits I’ve been doing. They have turned into some comfort zone for me and while it’s good to have something you can go back to and tank up some positive experiences it doesn’t move you all that much in the long run. If you only see one side of the story you could have the impression I learned something, and come on, that’s just highly unlikely we all know that! :)

I also started on a new figure drawing using a reference photo, initially I thought I picked a pretty simple photo… yeah… as if.
The body was pretty straight forward and fairly simple light/shadow tones… but, wait… uhm jeans?
Holy smokes, two big problems, you have to sell a texture illusion and you have to do it while building up the butt underneath… that’s like valuing out a shape in a minefield of details. I could have done better, but I had boxed myself in with details and tbh I didn’t want to redo the whole thing.
I’m fairly sure I know what I should have done, I should have thrown away every single detail on those pants and just shape in the butt with light and shadows using a good texture brush and THEN do the fucking details on top of that. That way I wouldn’t have to juggle ten spinning plates at the same time.
But I ended up just blending in the body quickly and throw in some hair shizzle – DONE! “Live to fight another day” right?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When do you put down the pen/pencil? (Work in progress)

What to do… what to do…

Started on a portrait but now I don’t know what the fuck to do… the reference is Colin Farrell from Crazy Heart (movie).
Either I keep on rendering until the reference pops out – so to say – or I stop now and claim to be “artistic” hahaha – that’s such bullshit – but actually I kinda like it as it is now, I’m afraid of making it stale or just to polished if I continue.
But on the other hand why not just continue for the experience if for nothing else… ugh fucking choices seriously, there are 10 things I wanna do at once atm.

 Cropped version

The bigger picture...

Also I wanna do some more body drawings and not just a face. I started on a Mickey Rourke drawing, but I’ve hit some wall with it. I don’t see how it can be harder than drawing a face, but it is… even when I just focus on drawing light and shadows it still fucks with my mind, maybe it’s a question of comfort zones.

And I wanna do a little single page story to the theme from Crazy Heart “The Weary Kind – Ryan Bingham” I got the rough sketch in my head, but in all honesty I’m a bit hesitant about starting it, it’s completely uncharted territory with so many pitfalls and I’m afraid I put my own bar way to high up for it to be realistic… yeah long story short I’m too scared to attempt ><

Monday, July 9, 2012

We are bangin' on all cylinders now!

Three updates in two days… omg what is going on?!

Forced myself to finish my Tron girl, I measured and guide lined waaay to much in my humble opinion, so I  see it as a practice painting in value really and finished it.
The Value stuff is in some areas are just scary off, I fucked myself over by keep adding light(ness) to it when I should have gone way darker, like her left eyebrow should almost blend in with the dark surroundings, but I progressed to far, to just “fix” it… though… thinking of it now, I am kinda stupid… because I could/should prolly just have adjusted the brightness/contrast or levels… for fuck sake man!
Anyway I finished it and I can take some experience from it, the shadow/light was MUCH MUCH harder than anything I’ve done previous, so that’s something – look at the bright side (no pun intended)

Another day another portrait

Wanted to add some background and stuff, but not sure what really, so for now the "?" will have to do!

Managed to finish one more portrait, this one of Laurie Holden from The Walking Dead.
I’m not super satisfied by the outcome, there are some quite big mistakes in it. I made her look quite a bit older… sorry! Her features are a bit off, mainly her eye placements and I’m not sure what happened to her chin either, it’s like I angled things a bit off and one mistake carries over to the next etc.
Also my hair “brush” didn’t work here… QQ, so yeah same old shit -.-

When I see these youtube wizards doing their speed painting they can correct these mistakes in a second, but I got no idea how the fawk to do that, the only way I know about is just simple ctrl+c/v (copy/paste) and then free transform, but when I try that I… I don’t know, it messes with my brain, if I change one little thing I have to correct 90% of the painting to match the change, that’s how it feels at least. Say I wanna move/transform the nose, then I wanna only focus on that thing and not just some big fucking square block which leaves my painting totally “scarred” – if that makes sense. I could prolly use the lasso tool instead and make some haxxing with layers, but everything I can come up with feels overly complicated at this point.

Still practice is practice, I prolly should have measured the features in a bit more, but I don’t know it feels nice to just wing things sometimes, you lose some realism, but maybe gain some uniqueness /shrug the fawk do I know :)

Oh and for those curious about how much time these things take, I actually know it with this one, it took about 3 hours - had 2 movies running in the background... :P (multitasking much?!)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Some random updates and ranting

I haven’t been drawing much lately… I can sit down and work one day, but I can’t seem to follow through the next day, really frustrating tbh.
But I’ve been managing some work at least, so fingers crossed! 3 projects are better than none.

I started out with some imagination stuff which is my biggest weakness by far; I’m so fucking visual it’s stupid. Anyway, started out wanting to draw some fairy thing on a leaf, can’t remember why… Did the first draft with pen and paper and then worked on it in PS trying to use a bit of color – I’m banging on all cylinders now!
Goddamn efing damnit that shit is hard when you don’t have any visual reference at all to lean on at all, at some point the leafs kinda turned into a plant I got here, guess that was the only mental reference I had in my memory bank -.- Still found it a bit funny I draw those leafs without noticing it or looking at it :) which raises the question: WHO THE FUCK IS DRAWING HERE!? IS IT ME OR MY SUBCONCIOUS???
Anywho, it’s obviously unfinished but I don’t know how to proceed yet, I wanna fix some sorta glow, but I don’t know how, doing it as I tried now isn’t what I want… so yeah good game, one more thing to come back to when I learn more I suppose.
Oh one more thing, HOLY Biggus Dickus trying to draw a body from imagination is hard “now where was it those breasts go…?” and “shoulders… hmm how the f do they connect to the body??” etc.

I tried to do some gesture drawings, but that shit just pissed me off, it’s like I’ve forgotten everything in my break and I have to relearn it all… well fuck that shit hahaha :P So just started drawing a portrait instead, I’ve been hooked on The Dresden Files series and I wanted to draw someone who I could see as Harry Dresden, I found David Duchovny to fit that bill – for me at least – I dug up a reference from Californication where he plays Hank Moody. I found it oddly simple to work with for some reason and everything sorta just felt natural. I valued in the basic shapes and just kept doing that, basically just one big process of slowly working towards details without ever really drawing them if that makes sense…
I didn’t like the beard I did on my Jens Pulver portrait so I knew I had to change something with that, luckily I stumbled over some youtube stuff about making your own pencils… and well - that works!!  I can download 10 fucking packs of all kinda pencils and none of them really fits me, but when I make them myself and do my own adjustments, then it’s something else (I only got the 3 basic brushes from ctrlpaint.com and 2 made myself – If I had more they will only confuse me I’m sure). Back on track, I made a small scatter brush with some opacity variation and used that to make the five o'clock shadow, made another dual brush for the hair, it wasn’t perfect, but felt a lot better than my previous hair failings.
I cut his hair a bit shorter and stuff, but unknowingly I sorta just changed Hank Moody (Harry Dresden) into Fox Mulder, but only saw that afterwards >< oopsie.
I could/should have spent some more time with the cloth, neck and hair, not to mention his lower lip, but I guess you’re never really done…

I started on a portrait of this Tron chick (name…?), but I made some mistakes somewhere in the start which just turned the whole thing into a brick wall. One mistake I’m sure of is that I started out with a too light a tone/value for the foundation (if that’s the correct word?). In my world I suspect it’s easier to value in from dark to light and not the other way around, which I suppose makes sense… for me at least.

But after the David Duchovny portrait which just fucking flowed and was done with pure gut feeling, I found myself in sheer frustration trying to go back and measure proportions aligning features correct, basically doing all the detail work before the whole value step was done properly… I’m sure that’s a working approach as well of course, but for me it doesn’t work to start out with one plan in mind and then suddenly shift gear. It’s like looking at the whole and working out from that, to putting down a puzzle one piece of the time only having narrow focus on one thing and then trying to juggle everything in place afterwards.
Or maybe it’s because it’s a girl, or the contrast and shadows are just too complicated… grrr fucking excuses. One thing is sure, I don’t like how I had tried to solve it like some fucking math equation in the end, so I’m gonna let it rest awhile and pick up something else…

Usual process gifs, been thinking about doing a video process, but even with 10x speed the size would be astronomical and I got 100GB left on my HD, not sure that equation would be solvable. Still it would be better than a gif and it shows my mistakes a lot clearer, if you look at youtube there are thousands of speed paintings by fucking masters, but I don’t see many by people who don’t know wtf they are doing like me, so… maybe.