27 February 2010

Gun(g) Ho!

Had some down time so I practiced more with SketchUp combined with Photoshop. I was inspired by a colleague who painted a gun using the same tools. The barrel is not really painted but you can probably see how the model looked in that section. My knowledge on gun anatomy is crud so Im sure you can pick out some errors in it :P
Today was very eventful. We had some students come in for an open day and a colleague proposed in front of everyone! Whoa!
More to come... watch this space. Ima gonna paint tomorrow (or today rather), I hope you all join me :D

25 February 2010

9 Tails

Aha! A little update! Lately Ive been addicted to some traditional paintings and have been looking at pre-raphaelite work. Geez there is so much in art history! I read up on some of the compositional devices used there and tried to apply a bit of them in my work here. I am trying to capture a bit of mood in this one and used dark shadows above the image (creates a foreboding, dramatic feel) and also below and have the lit areas in the middle. This can probably hold your attention at the center where the light is contrasted. This hopefully can create depth with tonal stripping. Lighting can really sell the form and depth in a painting and when lighting so that objects cast shadows on each other, it can sell the believability of the image. So tonal stripping is something Ive used in landscapes and trying to put into my characters more. This is when a form goes from a dark value to light and back to dark (or vice versa). So here I am trying to suggest a 3d space by a casting shadow and light from something off the canvas.
I also tried a bit of a classical pose and tried to keep things subtle. Theres going to be a knife held in the shadows rather than throwing it out in the open quite obviously. I came up with a bit of a story to help direct me too. She is a 9 tailed kitsune fox demon, a spirit in disguise that causes mischief seducing humans and breaking them down. She then falls for an officer charged to slay her and could not turn his resolve to leave with her so she decides to kill him so he could belong to no one else.
I thought of a character of the same mythical creature for the Kung Fu Romance idea and was thinking of illustrating her for this brief but decided to free myself of having too much criteria to try and follow so I could get the best result for this. Speaking of which.... on Tuesday the amount of visitors to the Kung Fu Romance blog spiked to more than 100 that day. I found that odd and wondered why there was a sudden surge of visitors that day. But Im just left guessing :P


Quick update... Doing another Chow... its pass 1am... got work tomorrow... I should go to sleep! More update and babblings soon!

23 February 2010

Insect Battle! Complete!

Right, lets wrap it up for now... I want to move onto some new stuff :D The new Chow is right up my street so Im going to have to give that a go! There are parts I can tighten up for sure... but that will take more time and I want to move on for now, maybe when I have fewer ideas of what to paint I will retouch it.
Ive tried to apply some ideas of composition I read into this piece. Trying to balance economy/ details to lead the eye, having major line's angles repeated... it was a fun juggling exercise! Ive also been reading my graphic design book and need to put more time back into the anatomy book too. My old animation teacher told us that our idol should be this guy. So stay hungry for knowledge!

22 February 2010

Insect Battle!

The title has a little in joke there for anyone from Conceptart.org! :P
This is still a wip... I havent been working on this much Im afraid. Been hanging out with old classmate Huw who is a rigger at Rare and not too far from where I am. Good to see how old art buddies are doing. It didnt seem long ago when we were all little amateurs drawing our poor drawings in class.
The study piece is also still incomplete... I will finish these soon! Then I can move on to some new stuff! Cant wait!!!!!!!! Ive already planned out what I wanna do for the next couple paintings :P

18 February 2010

Its a Bug Planet!!!!!

More work in progress shot on the insect piece. Havent made much progression on this, I should stop working up the background and get into the focal characters. I found a problem with the values... there were too much contrast in values dotted randomly about the place and so I had to ruthlessly go in and take out some of the detail and texture, still need to do more of it!

16 February 2010


An update on the study. 2 days on. I am really enjoying this! Was a daunting challenge but I was surprised with how much I think I am learning from this! I just have to try apply it next! Gotta do more! And gotta apply the studies! Again, no fancy tricks just trying to paint it as it would have been back in the old days... with a basic brush!
What really helped was an article I read recently on colour. It addresses how colour shifts in temperature. Something I was aware of but never really payed attention to it. But thats how I decide on what colour to pick for shaded and lit areas. I cant really explain it well but Im sure theres loads on it on the internet if you are interested.

15 February 2010

A Princess Who Is Fond Of Insects

Another WIP. This is what Im cooking for the AIB Jumble blog. I used a lot of my photoshop shortcut tricks lol! Mainly reusing old paintings as textures, they will form the basis and I will eventually paint over them.

2 B A Master!

Studying master painter Edmund Blair Leighton. This guy is too awesome, I felt really humbled by his work today so I felt compelled to try do something similar which lead to this study. I am very happy to have started it, at first I felt daunted because I respect his work a great deal. But I think I learned a lot from this already and am so pleased with what I picked up that Im considering another one soon!
If you are wondering about the crisp look of this, I used a smart sharpen filter followed by add noise. Its a combo I do a lot with my work, but try not to push it over-the-top! The whole thing was done with a basic round brush with variation between hardness and softness. First step starts with blocking out the drawing and landmarks where you can measure from and also add a general colour to it. Its a good exercise to try not to colour pick and judge it by yourself. Use the picker from time to time to check how accurate your judgment is.
I must translate what I learn from here into my own work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh... and its the new Chinese year! This event is always about harmony and I try to live by that all the time. Being positive and happy is a good mentality that can also help your art journey I found. I have read somewhere that as artists we must try to draw humanity. What that means is to experience moments and be sensitive to your surroundings and life. There were times when the smallest things made me drop my jaw in awe, so sometimes when I paint or draw I appreciate the opportunity to be there, experiencing life and enjoying it! I think this is a great mentality that can help you work:D
So go grab that brush!

12 February 2010

Anatomy Moar!

More anatomy! Enjoying the studies and learning new things. Ive been studying off reference and then tried to draw from imagination often refering to reference when I feel stuck. I feel this helped me to get some things stick to mind! Mostly learned about the back muscles, how the scapula moves about and where the muscles go as a result... I stll need to decide what ACTUALLY shows up though. The teres major muscle is apparently an important one that helps define the back and the big diagonal line is the false scapula. Ive placed some of the dents above the ass a bit too high though (the crackius maximus!). Legs need a lot more work! One step at a time though :P

I think the bg thing I got from today's exercise is a bit more understanding of how the muscles around the shoulders move (alond with the scapula) when you raise an arm. I also had a crack at showing the front view of the pecks when this happens. So far Im already learning a lot and seeing better results just by finding out how some of the muscles work and where the bony landmarks are. Now I feel I can place these distinct forms in place more accurately rather than guessing like I used to! More to come...

Anatomy GO!

Im gonna try pick up on my anatomy studies. Theres a few concepts I wanna paint but Im gonna have to find time for this too. My colleagues have been encouraging and helping me with my anatomy and Ive learned some helpful things already. Main point is bony landmarks. Getting these down will inform where the rest of the muscles will go, these are areas of bone that comes close to the flesh and are visible (eg/ elbows). So I plan to do more and more studies and nail down some figures. Its back to basics for me!
This is the only study worth showing today... I did a few drawings over photo references trying to locate the bony landmarks. Made a few mistakes but with time they shall be corrected!
Ben... work on your speed!!!!!! You are a slow bastard!!!!!! Man up gawddammit!!!!!!

8 February 2010

Champion of the Chariot *Finished*

Finished the chow! Its been a great challenge to get this one done. Mainly it was time management really but im glad to have pushed myself to sit through this even through times when I thought this was rubbish and was worried about the end product.
Today my colleagues taught me a tiny bit of anatomy and it got me very intrigued to study more. It was overwhelming again to think how much I have yet to learn and I felt small lol. But I know that I will become better at it if I put the time to practice that. Ive also been given a book on graphic design that Im gonna get into now that my Chow is done. My team manager thinks it will be beneficial for me to get into graphics not only for my personal development but for the work I do too. So I give that some time. I might be tempted to do more logo stuff then :P
Oh so much to learn!!!!!!!

6 February 2010

Bday Bash!

OMG I just turned 23 just then! Erm... heres the first thing I did in my new age... little changes, Ive been fiddling around in a different direction (trying to add a background) but it didnt work so I went back to the original so theres just small changes atm... gonna get some sleep then try get this close to finished.

5 February 2010

Hmmm Update!

Just a quick update of how the chariot rider is going. Had to pull myself away from Uncharted 2 to work on this today lol XD

3 February 2010

Champion of the Chariot

Its been a while but I am going to attempt to enter something for the ConceptArt.Org's Character of the Week (Chow) weekly contest. The topic is of an Essedari - a war chariot fighter from gladiatorial roman times. I gathered a lot of reference for the armor and horses, there were times when I jumped in and wanted to just draw and paint straight away with little direction but in the end I had to take a step back and start again with some proper research. Anyway... I hope I can complete it in time for the competition's deadline. Annnnndddddd.... heres an anatomy study from a sculpture we have in the office.