Friday, January 28, 2011

Animated Chewie Sketch

Here's a comission I did a few weeks back - I got a request to do a 11x17" Chewbacca, based on that Hoth version I did for last summer's Chewie Week.

I usually do the animated style drawings at a smaller scale, 8.5x11", but the commission was for somebody who had a collection going at the larger size.  And then I had to figure out what his feet looked like, something I bypassed on the original Hoth image.

I wonder if Boba Fett had real Wookie slippers, to go with his braids...?

Here's the thumbnails, trying to find what the guy had in mind, visually.  I like where that #4 was going, maybe that will show up in the future somewhere, maybe with a Han firing alongside him?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Flash

Ok, so I did a few quick render images, and now is the time to incorporate what I learned into my usual digital style.  Keeping with the Justice League theme, I did the Flash.  I've always like the costume, but I've spent the last couple of years basically revising and updating old characters for work, so I thought I'd bring a little of that into the piece as well.

I forgot to save the pencil drawing - it was very rudimentary, just a figure drawing with lines where the costume breaks were going to be.  I rough rendered the body, before going to my usual approach, with defining bits with the Path Tool, etc.  As his costume is mostly body suit, he was ideal to test out the quick render exercises, but afterward I wanted to slightly modernize his suit.  It's mostly identifiable with his boots, but I also added seams, and small vents to emphasize it wasn't just a spandex suit he had on, but something designed to withstand the speed.

And to further bring out the differences in the suit, I two-toned the reds and the yellows, and of course added the speed effect.

And that's about it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Quick Render - Batman

The Batman.  The last of the three quick renders, the focus being on how fast I could bust this out, and the secondary focus on lighting for this one.*

After I got this blocked in, I felt he was just too skinny, so I just stretched him width-wise out a bit.  I used the Path Tool to define the mask, but did the rest freehand.  (which is why the emblem is a little mushy - just wanted to see what I could get away with!)  For the lighting, it IS Batman, so I wanted the it to look like he's perched on some building, lit from the streets below.

After the color, I went back and used the Path Tool to pull a lighter tone across the top of the emblem, and add a couple seams to the cape.

And that's that.  Next, I'm going to put combine this practice work with my usual approach of path-select-fill super clean edge renders, and see what I can come up with, the subject will be The Flash.

*I'm not sure I mentioned the secondary goal for Wonder Woman, it was simply to render a female, not something I get a lot of chances to do, working on Boys IP stuff...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quick Render - Superman

Superman.  All do-goody'n'sh*t.  I've really not drawn Superman much in my entire life, despite the Superman the Movie poster being the one comic book related image I had on my wall as a kid.  And I played the hell out of the Atari 2600 game too...these days, I love Alex Ross's Supes so much, I think I have the attitude of 'why bother, it's perfect' when it comes to doing him professionally.  Same with Drew's Indy Jones, and Adi's Iron Man.

On to the rendering - and it may seem like a small thing, and I think many other artists avoid - is that hard to define area where chin and jawline meet the throat.  I think I overcame it with how Dorothy is portrayed in my Oz painting (finishing touches this week!) but it's not something I've done digitally much.  Of course, there's a whole lot more Supes left...!  As with the others, I approached it simply, moving quickly over all the parts, and building it up.  Path Tool of course to define the chest emblem, but freehand the rest of the way.

Again, I think the overall pose is lacking in personality, but I'm happy that a secondary goal I had sort of came through; a small effort to evoke Christopher Reeve's portrayal. I mean, I had that dude's picture on my wall all those years ago...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Quick Render - Wonder Woman

Ok, one of the things I need to work on is rough rendering, to me that means not a ton of selections and gradients, but more straight up Cintiq work, digital brush on digital canvas.  I still can't get satisfactory sketches with it just yet, so I still prefer to scan a drawing to start.  There's a mental shorthand for me with the real pencil image that I can't seem to translate digitally at this point, but I'm sure this process will get me there.

I did do a bit of Paths lines for the hard surface, the head band and chest plate, and the main parts of the hair, but everything else was hand sketched - blocked in with two tones, a 40% gray backing with a 65% or so for the darks, and black for the details of the eyes, nose, lips, etc.  The I used the smudge tool to create the rough gradients, then went back and did blocks of light gray for the highlights, and of course brought back the smudge tool to blend it together.  After that, I went back with black and white at low opacity to do the punch-ups, and smudged around where needed.

After I was happy with the grays, I cooked up my usual recipe for coloring over gray, a main Overlay Layer for the colors, and some more for highlights and other color blends.

And that's that.  I'm fairly happy with the process, although the technique needs more work - post the three I did, still Bats and Supes to come - I was more concerned with speed and working on organic subjects.  The time limit was four hours from start to finish, and I easily hit that, so that's a positive.  I wish I spent more time on the drawing, by adding more personality, but as that wasn't my focus, I kind of let that fall by the wayside.

Since doing the three, I'm working on a culmination of what I've learned, and I've made sure to add more personality and flair into it!

Alright, next week for The Batman, and Supa-Supaman...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Goals for this year.

Getting better.  Mainly.

I'm probably going to be posting less this year, maybe once or twice a week, but hopefully more quality stuff.  It seems more likely that a lot of what I've done in the last two years I may never be able to publish, so I need to start taking this side work more seriously.

Not that I haven't before, but this blog was set up as a disciple for myself to R&D in the downtime, and that's worked out great - I get some good stuff out of it, but probably I would only use about 1/5 of it for the portfolio, because I view a lot of this stuff as practice and development for the paid work.  Of course there's cross over, but often times I rush these practice pieces just so I have something to post every day.

I've been swamped with work since the beginning of December, and it's still going strong, so I haven't been posting lately, but I do have some things in the works.  Of course, there's leftovers from last year, the big ones being the Oz painting (SO close to being done), the Bounty Hunters painting, and on the board right now, the Eat Your Art Out IV, she-wolf derby destroyers painting.  So that's the painting stuff...

Digitally, I have some images drawn specifically to work on different aspects of Render.

This Space Marine is designed to work on fabric rendering, incorporating other elements like armor and skin.  Rendering robots so much the last few years, I've let my development of doing organic stuff fall by the wayside a bit.

And so this guy is pretty much all organic, pounded metal for the armor, and I want to explore both skin and body rendering, and work on passes for exotic skin texturing, and different styles of reflection - trying to get some skills dealing with super gloss, watery fish skin/scales.

And a vehicle.  While this seems like familiar territory, I'm going to do four or so versions of this speeder, Military, Racer, Police/Rescue, and a Junker version - and really try to cover all types of rendering; graphics, texturing, clear coat paints, fine details, etc.

I have a goal to get better at environments as well, and also work on quick rendering.  I have some ideas for a 'fortress on a cliff' image, and I have some DC busts (2D, of course) images I'm working on for the quick render, that I'll be posting soon as well.

All right, here we go...