Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Matt Smith and William Hartnell Dr. Who revisited

The old...
 And the BOLD!

And the two of them side by side on the table as small prints.

 The original park sketch that you see up there actually sold and is the only one that I don't have hanging up on the wall.  Besides that fact though, it's also the main sketch of the entire group that was a definite candidate for a digital followup as I felt it was the weakest of the four Who sketches.

Needless to say, much of the faces on both doctors were altered considerably.  Especially Matt Smith's likeness, but a lot of William Hartnell was reworked as well. Also changed up some background elements, particularly with the lightning bolt, and the TARDIS flying in the distance.  I felt like it told a more epic story that way.

Technique wise, I went back to the older digital acrylic settings similar to the ones I used for the painting of Christie.  I didn't allow for the gradients to be as smooth as that one though, as I needed their their faces to look a bit more chiseled and defined.  I was thinking of making it more detailed, but started feeling like too much would take away from the whimsical feel that I felt like was really showing its head.  1000 wrinkles or no, you can still tell who it is.

That said, I am considering another Who revisiting.  But I think this one will be done with real canvas and paints.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Portrait of Apryl

The final finished piece.  16 x 20 acrylic on canvas.

This was one of those things where I could've easily decided to do this digitally like many of the other ones and been done with it.  The issue with that was that I've been looking at a lot of traditionally done paintings as of late, and while I have zero issue with digital and will continue to explore that option I felt like I needed to "return to nature" for a lack of a better term.  I needed to feel that brush, the strokes on canvas, the experience of physically mixing your colors instead of relying on a color wheel or slider.  More importantly, there was a question I needed to have answered.  Could I survive without the undo command?  The ability to lasso and move something if you don't feel it's correct?  Could I work without the comfort of that safety net?  And could I still get the kind of results that I wanted knowing that certain things that could happen easily with digital wouldn't come as easy on a real canvas?   

Well, it was time to find out.  Even if it didn't work out, I'm not gonna argue one bit about the subject matter.

This was done with acrylic paint on a 16 x 20 canvas.  The reason for acrylic instead of oil is two fold.  Oil would force me to work outside unless I want to die of the fumes from all the chemicals used in it, acrylic dries much quicker, and I've always felt at home with it back in college.  Granted the trade-off here was that blending would be a bit more of a pain since it dries faster though that acrylic glazing liquid from back then offset that factor a bit.  
In the beginning I used just the primary colors and white to create every base color that I wanted to use.  Granted, whether traditional or digital, I think this phase can be one of the scariest times of the whole project.  You can see what it is that you want it to look like in your mind, but you often have to remember that things constantly change.  This one was no exception.  
A second pass, a good deal later on down the road.  Still working out a lot of stuff, but the figure is getting more refined at this point and the beginnings of water is starting to take shape.  Background is still very basic though.  When I worked on this I moved around the figure a lot.  Don't stay in one place for too long, or you'll find yourself missing the big picture.
Solidifying the color temperatures of the environment at this point, adding details in areas, and making corrections all around as I went.   

I went for a full figured portrait on this one, as I really wanted to capture as much of the real person in the painting as I possibly could.  A caricatured figure could've been interesting though and that'll be something I'll consider for a future project.  That said, while the approach to the subject was pretty strict I did keep parts of it open to interpretation.  After all, if someone wanted it to be 100% exact you can just get a photograph to do that.  It's like my instructor George Pratt mentioned in my illustration class long ago, "Let a painting be a painting!"  Couldn't think of a more appropriate approach.

Credit goes to Paul A Presenza's Photos for the reference shots used, and to Apryl Crowell for being an awesome model. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Zombie Caricatures!

 The first one I did as a test for things.  Getting a basic feel for things.
 Another one.  Still working on it.
 I like the look of it, but still a bit too complicated for my liking.  That and it wasn't until the next one where I figured out why the blood was bugging me.
 Redraw of a sketch from early last year.  This time using a red marker for the blood.  It's quicker and looks a LOT better.
 Starting to get there a bit more now.  He needed to look a bit deader, and I also needed to watch my coloring as well.  It's really easy for these to get too muddied up.
 Redraw of the first concept sketch.  Much more like it this time.  Definitely getting nastier.
 The first zombie sketch I've done of myself in a while.  If I didn't know any better, that looks like it should really hurt.
 The second real person done this way.  Starting to incorporate brains now.
 The second actual sale.  The first one was done beforehand and I couldn't get around to taking a picture of it.  Found some ways to simplify it for the sake of time, but it still looks pretty decent.  They liked it.
 He wanted football incorporated into it somewhere.  I incorporated it into his head.
 This one was the start of a bit of a different approach to it.  I felt like this was when they started cooking.
 Tried some new things with this one too.  That split head thing is the pits...
This one was done at home for someone who saw my instagram posts and wanted one too.  I used it as an excuse to try out things, and because of that it took two hours just about.
Still gruesome, but still recognizable.  I'm seriously surprised that I got away with giving her the chin that I did.
 This one kinda got rushed to finish, so cuts (no pun intended) were made.  Still worthwhile though.
 Enter, THE MOUSE.  His face turned out really interesting.
 The dude's ok, but the chick...  She turned out almost entirely how I envisioned it.

This mom and daughter duo was very interesting.  Was shooting for personalities more than the gross factor here, though I do like how what I planned out in my head mostly happened how it was supposed to.

So if it's anything I've come to realize about these is that often times you can still get good results without even doing a lot to them.  I've also found that due to the nature of these, there's things I seem to be able to get away with in terms of the head that I normally wouldn't be able to do on a regular park sketch which I find absolutely fantastic.  What I've found is that just doing two to three different things tops will usually sell the idea just enough.  Too much, and you'll run the risk of cluttering up the sketch like I did with some of the ones in the beginning.  Clutter puts a hurting on likenesses, as you still need a certain amount of facial clarity in order to be able to see the person inside the sketch that's being maimed.

Feel free to check back to this album, as more of them along with insights will be added as Howl O' Scream progresses.

10-1-2013 update.  Some new ones.
Just looking at how I handled the blood on the blade makes me cringe...
 Another couple.  Tried a couple new approaches to these ones.  I think the gal turned out really interesting.
And this kid wanted the undead special as well.  Yeah, he's definitely the man, with that stake in his head!  Mom LOVED it!
One note for this week:  I'm finding that drawing sticky and stretchy stuff looks cool when done right.

10-22 Update.  

Zombie wedding proposal.  The only full body one I've done so far.

 With these two, they came to me specifically to get theirs drawn.  The daughter especially wanted to be bloodied up really good.  Come find out her and dad are also artists themselves, which is always an awesome thing.
 Hey, you're not supposed to... OMG!!!!
 Looks like she had a rough day at the park.  The infected pets at Pet Shenanigans got to her.
 Is that blood from her mouth from an injury, or from a previous brain buffet?
 These two got stuck on Apollo's chariot.  Unfortunately, the ride operators were infected too.
 Some zombie wants her brain the "posh" way, we're actually gonna cut it up first like real people!  Her friend is amused.
 Before going to Busch this day, he was told to make sure his wife didn't get "ahead" of herself...
 The infected eagles in the wild reserve decided that the park food was no longer going to cut it.
 These two walked into DEADLINE one way, and came out minus their souls.  The dead of Pompeii LIVES!

Save for the first one, this new batch has one major difference.  The use of foamies.  It actually makes the coloring and shading quicker and easier, and it doesn't bunch up like crazy like it normally would either.  Back in my second year in the park I used one for a little bit but didn't like the results of it at the time.  While I probably wouldn't use it for the regular sketches in the park just because of the nature of them, it will be used for every zombie at this point, and quite possibly every commission I do.  It gives everything a finished look that doesn't require as much effort and allows me to have more coloring options for shading too since colors like indigo blue won't initially go on as strong anymore.  There is another one that I'm working on for someone, but I won't post it until it's totally done.  I will say that the foamie went a long way toward getting the results that I got from it.


Absolutely, positively cannot forget this one.  If I have words to describe it, she's beautifully ugly!

Oh, and one more for the road.  This one's all about the ponies.  The contrast is quite striking if you ask me.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A new portrait frontal after a long hiatus.

So, out of the blue I got another crack at frontals in the park.  This time I tried to get it closer to the newer technique that's being used for them.  If there's anything I like about this method, is that it does look pretty damn good once you get it down to a good degree.  It's got a much more painterly look to it that you wouldn't normally get without building up the values this way.  I still gotta get the time down on these, and there's a few things I still need to experiment with and improve upon but I like the direction these are starting to head into.   I do need to watch the size of the heads past the eyes though.  It's really easy to run yourself into caricatureville if you're not careful.  It might be as simple as doing a loose sketch of the overall shape and then adding the block-in for the eyes so as to use that as a potential measuring point.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The late Freddy Mercury

Still playing around with the figure and gesture a bit, and also playing with exaggeration a bit too.  I think I'm beginning to realize that I prefer to exaggerate "within reason", meaning not too much, but just enough to where it's not confused for a portrait.  I think it worked out pretty well.  This was done with prismacolor art stix along with markers, a white gel pen, and a white acrylic marker.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Batgrrrrrrrrrrrrl, Batgirl!

Just had to go with that title.  That theme song is so corny it's great!  I figured that I should work with a celebrity this time that involved a figure and gesture so I went with Yvonne Craig's Batgirl from the 60's Adam West Batman series.  She was part of season 3 along with Eartha Kitt as Catwoman, matter of fact they both had their share of run-ins on the show.  I found this one very fun to work on, and it also gave me an excuse to give that white acrylic marker a go on a more serious drawing.  It made for some great effects on that suit, especially when gone over with different colors.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


THE CURRENT RULES as of 7-30-13  
Movement is easy.  Every $100 lets you move a space during the day until you get to a red battle square. At this point you are in battle, and accumulated net sales will only contribute to gaining experience until you match the level needed to beat the enemy. Each red space has it's own enemy, so you'll have to look at it's respective card to see what has to be done to beat it. Once an enemy is defeated you are allowed to start moving again the NEXT fiscal day.   

The ONLY exception to this rule is Derp the Dragon.  Derp is a pushover on START, so I will allow you to move on the first day if your net sales is more than $400 as a level up is every $300.  Ex.  You make $500.  You defeated Derp, but can only move 2 spaces ahead that day since the first $300 contributed to the experience needed to win the battle.  For every other battle it is the standard rules.

? Chance spaces.  There are three of these on the board.  If you land on this space you have to pull a random chance card to see what becomes of you on your quest.  As of today, chance cards will NOT be out in the open for you to pick yourself, so you must get a hold of a manager or supervisor to be able to pull one.  If an affliction on the card disables your movement for a day your avatar will have a red X drawn over it until the next fiscal day is over.

Beating all enemies through levels is one way to win.  The other way to win is through assist cards.  These can be acquired through various acts of valor that help us out at work during the day.  When you're eligible for one, you get to pick a random card out of the bag which gives you a specific boost which you can use for one time only.  The card must be returned to the box of the game master who gave it to you once it's used.


On Thursday, July 25 2013 Kaman's Epic Quest was unleashed to the world...err Northwoods.  This has been a project in which I've worked on for the last couple of months in my spare time whenever I've gotten the chance to look at it.

The design of the board.  It looks small and seems like an easy game to win until you realize what the rules are.  


All pixel art done in the 8 bit NES style of graphics.  This game was an excuse to take a stab at 
stuff this basic.


Two of the three available assist cards...

And the third secret assist card.  She's so powerful that there's only ONE of her in the whole deck.






This is the first ACTUAL game I've ever produced  (not to mention the most ambitious one) 
as the last one was something I did on a TI-83 calculator back in high school.  

There were a lot of challenges involved in the making of it.  It had to be simple enough to where it was straightforward to understand and also easy enough to be able to produce. 
Needless to say some ideas I had ended up on the cutting room floor, though ultimately I believe it was for the better.   Originally, the actual board was going to have the scenery where all the enemies were located drawn out and interconnected with each other, but there were two reasons why I left it the way it is now.  One, the enemy graphics would need to have totally transparent backgrounds and the time just wasn't there for that.  Two, some things are just best left to the imagination.   I kept the majority of the art and design in black and white as well
for the purpose of cost cutting, and as an excuse to use that brush in My Paint again.

In a small sense, the game is still a work in progress.  Here is a list of patches done and pending to the game.  Current revision is ver. 1.3.  Any changes made at this point will be from watching how 
things unfold.

Ver. 1  initial launch

Ver. 1.1  More chance cards added.  Wyvern gained a tail in art. 

Ver. 1.2  Gwen, Maximo, and Rebecca avatars updated to be more accurate.  One set of assist cards laminated.  Update to the rules, you can move on your first day IF you make over $400.  The first $300 goes toward the battle to beat Derp.  What's remaining can be used to move forward.  Ex.  You make $500.  $300 goes to beating Derp, so the remaining $200 allows you to move two spaces.  This is the ONLY battle this will be allowed on since Derp is supposed to be a pushover.  Also, if a Chance card
disables your movement for a day you will have a big red X marked over your avatar and will not be removed until that next day is over.  After that, you can move on the next business day.

Ver. 1.3  A Quest Leaderboard is now up.  You will be able to use a dry erase marker on its laminated surface.  I do apologize for its delay as this should've been a day one thing.

Ver 2.0 pending:  Support for Portraits and Body Art is being considered.  If enough are interested I'll do it for those who actually wish to play it.  For Portraits this may require a few changes to the enemies for it to work.