A few days ago, did abit of a doodle-trade with my partner in lines(geddit?) T-Deines. She asked me to switch the 'careers' of my Superhero; Magpie and my Race ace; 99. It's all very silly but it was a really interesting way for me to really see the differences in the characters, if only for their visual design.
A random google-image search pulled up a W.I.P shot from this guy. I had a further juke into his files and then eventually visited his main website. He works for Bioware now, which is one of the games companies I respect the most. His work? Incredible.
3D has always been magic to me, especially digital 3D. This stuff is just jaw dropping.
I seem to have built the majority of my methods around covering up the fact that I have incredibly messy pencil work. Over the past while I've tried to tighten my pencils to define my lines more clearly, it makes the artwork harder to produce but I'd rather be able to have the option to be able to clean up my lines if needs be. It's really hard for me because naturally I still sketch with 100 lines where there should be one, it's just the way I've always worked. I'll always maintain that method of production but I figure it's not good for me to never attempt to learn how to control that a bit more.
When it comes to the cell stage or color stage I know which lines to pick out because it's my own artwork. If I was to ever be in a situation where someone else had to carry the artwork to the next stage, I can't leave a confusing mess for them to decipher.
I'm very slowly approaching a clean pencil line with some of my artwork, I've noticed I spend alot more time defining that stage than I used to.
99- 'Felicity's main hero, has gone through a few design tweaks while my style itself has begun to evolve. I've uploaded just some of the Full color refs I've done since the characters conception, including the first ever design that I brought to coloring stage. You can see how I've gradually altered the design ever so slightly.
Funny how her hair has got droopier as it went along. The Han Solo inspired red stripe down the pants was dropped in the 2007 designs(and isn't part of her design in Issue 001)I've since then brought it back, which you can see in the bottom picture.
One of the constant aspects in the design is her Crimson Scarf. Brought about by the unwritten rule that all cool characters have to have something that can flutter in the wind. Besides the inspiration I got from Aviation pilots when first designing her, there isn't any reason for the scarf.(She spends most of her time in a closed cockpit, why would she need a scarf?)
He needs no introduction. Just a decent new game. A superbly quick doodle of Sonic. I've picked up his Bioware DS outing and so far.. mixed results. In some ways it's a brilliant game- I love the fact the characters have been given fleshed out personalities and actually seem different to one another- Love how it looks.
But I can't really say I'm a fan of some of the ideas behind the combat. It seems to me that it's just way too hard. I've had special moves(which take pinpoint precision with the stylus to execute)miss or fail on me despite executing them correctly. It takes its random 'you missed even though there's no way to control that' liberty way past the line and I just can't find alot of fun in the combat.
As a kid though, I was a huge sonic fan (fandom that lasted up until Sonic Adventure 2, which in my opinion was the last good Sonic game) and I'd actually made a Sonic RPG myself with RPGtoolkit. I always loved the idea. So I think that's why I get an extra kick out of this.
I'll tell you something- It's the only Sonic game I've played in years that actually makes me remember why I like Sonic. That is an amazing feat.
I just finished writing Issue 2 of Felicity. I'm pretty happy with the fact I hit no snags in the road with this one. I've had ideas floating around my head since beginning work on Issue 1 and I'm kind of surprised they all came together to form a pretty solid issue. Probably one of my favorites out of the 6 more or so to come.
Right now it's a pretty long script, I don't know how many pages I can comfortably storyboard it onto until I try. Hopefully it won't be too much under or over the usual 45 page mark- It'd be nice to have a consistency with the Issue lengths. Although I know Issue 3 and 4 will have to be extended.
My job now is to tidy up the script quickly, just change any dodgy dialogue and bold and italic stuff. Then I'm going to put some effort into design ideas for Felicitys website and contact some people whose help I'm going to need.
99, lead character of my comic Felicity, totally playable in Rockband thanks to the create-a-rocker. I've had to put her in 'Civis', going mainly with her 'Volume 325' outfit.
I also totally have the greatest guitar ever. No, your eyes don't decieve you, that really is a Pikachu guitar. I'm just that AWESOME*
It really is awesome though, rockin' out as my own character. I never bought Rockband because I didn't see the point when I heard Guitar Hero:World Tour would feature the same variation in instruments. Eventually though, the wait and the temptation finally succeeded and I caved in.
I don't regret it, I think it's actually miles better than GH, the style is ace and it's just so much fun to play.Which is something so few games seem to succeed in doing these days. To actually createfun.
I did this back in April/May. For whatever reason I never uploaded it to my Deviant Art, so just before it becomes too old- I'll throw it up on here.
No 'theme' to this piece. It was an exercise in pose and weight and also a chance to explore 2500s NYC fashion. The future is bright, the future certainly is orange.
Why orange? Besides her whites and reds, Chase seems to suit oranges the best. I tried alot of different colors(not on this outfit but in general experiments)and she always came out best in orange. I'm told that your hair color, tone of skin and even face structure can determine what colors look best on you- so perhaps that's why it works.
Gotta be one of the only times I've drawn her without a belt. Interesting.
The comic is like, pretty much finished. I've got one last day to give a final push of victoryz. It's taken longer to finish it than I had expected(Obviously since I haven't yet said so) but I am getting there.
I'll tell you what though- I can't wait to start Issue 2, I can't see myself taking much of a break before I do so.
O Hai. Just wanted to slap up the origins of the quick Faith sketch I put together.
Just started out as random poses, tried to focus the pose abit and ended up with this mid-skid sort of thing. You can see here, I was just going by memory- tattoo incorrect, colors abit iffy too. Pants super vague- thought they were baggy but wasn't sure. Shoes a mess too. Once I had a look a refs and tightened the pose alittle, I threw on a line layer and then took it in a very simple direction for colors.
Colored version you shalt find here. Zero Samus- I've meant to draw her for a good while.
Because I lost a day(Friday)to meeting up with friends, as expected I'm about a day off finishing Felicity. So everything is going to schedule, I should have the priority items finished this time tomorrow. Huzzah.
Today was a hard day for artwork, I haven't stopped all day. I need a cup of tea.
Mass Effects 'Mako' was inspired, in design- by the shark with the same name? Google image (Mako) to see an instant resemblance. This is very cool news to me- Sharks are incredible creatures and it's no wonder they were chosen as a base for inspiration.
Probably not wrong to suggest the 'uncharted worlds' were compared to the 'ocean'. Another possibile reason they arrived at sharks for a theme of inspiration.
I love Mass Effect.
I also love Soul Calibur 4(although the two aren't comparable obviously.)
I only wish the A.I would decide on a difficultly level and then stick to it. There are 8 stages in arcade mode(no option to choose a difficultly). You fight for 2 rounds each stage, 3 if it's a draw.
I can clear the first 6 stages with perfects (Not getting hit once) and then all of a sudden that skill I have means nothing because the A.I reads my moves and blocks them accordingly.
Then as soon as my guards down I'm treated to an unblockable barrage of impossibly powerful hits and spams from the computer. It's like hitting a brick wall. It makes no sense, they should atleast make each fight alittle harder as you go, not easy, easy, easy, IMPOSSIBLE.
It's impossibly annoying. Kills your thunder pretty fast when the computer decides to be completely unbeatable. It's just hard to think of the A.I being too smart and not the usual too dumb.
The most irritating thing about it all though- is the fact I've beaten Arcade mode plenty of times before and I never ran into this bother. Now I can't clear The Apprentice stage without getting ruining my Perfect-streak.
But I still love the game, it's got alot of depth. That's why I love it, you can actually train to become better.
Felicitys Artwork should be finished this weekend- as I finally have a day off : D Goodtimes.
I was inspired by alot of 'Popular' figures and 'Celebrities' when trying to define the characters of Felicity abit more. What I often found myself doing aswell- was including homages to my own personal heroes or favorites.
99s visual look is a blend of famous faces and celebrity clothing styles- and quite often those celebrity would be influenced greatly by my own personal choice. While I've listed before the direct visual influences- I also looked to other less obvious sources for inspiration.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers singer; Anthony Kiedis has had a pretty big influence on 99. He's an iconic figure, a rockstar and is far from free of a hard life. Obviously his visual look wasn't going to have too much influence on 99s- but some of those traits are carried across. The body language is often recreated- the kind of energitic crazyness Kiedis is known for. Though arguebly one of his most prominent features are his Tattoos.
I remember seeing a photo a long time ago(not long after my obsession with the Chilis was birthed)of Kiedis practically tattoo-less and mid-way through getting those iconic symbols. I just remember really liking the history in the photo.
A good while after I'd given 99 a tattoo(was in part another step to individualise the character but mainly due to story reasons)I thought it'd be cool to do a sketch of her getting it. A Homage to the Kiedis pic.
It's pretty old now(My guess is maybe Jan08?) but I found it- decided I'd upload it to keep a record of it here as I'm very unlikely to do much more with it. I also tracked down the Kiedis pic that inspired it.
Aside from the flip in character stance- I think I remembered it pretty damn well : D.
Interestingly aswell- Volume 325 and the few pictures of 99 with Zowie(I've uploaded one of them below)were all inspired by images/magazine covers of Kiedis I'd previously seen. Unfortunately I can't track them down.
Interesting fact- while I can still remember! The image of Chase with Zowie there is the first image I ever drew in 2008.
Really long time no post. *Wrist-slap*. Right now I'm nursing a headache which I've had lingering around up there since I got up this morning. I'm sure my shift at work didn't help things but I'm totally confused as to why it has yet to clear. I've sent in four of those tablet-troopers since this morning. Must be pinned down at the minute, another few hours and I can send the last of the reinforcements in.
I've been working on at Felicity, kinda irritating because I can't really spare anytime for much else and it seems like I'm not working at all. My Deviant Art is in serious need of something being uploaded so, as I have a headache, I may just take time out and sketch something under the sun before it disappears for the day.
The Dark Knight. Suprisingly lived up to the insane hype everyone and their mothers gave it. I won't drone on about it because there's so little I could say that isn't being said by 100 million other people. I thought Heath Ledger stole the show and that his Joker was incredible, I think without that performance the film would have been elevated out of that grounded reality it seems to maintain. That's what makes the film in my opinion- Chris Nolan, as a creative visionary certainly succeeded in the notion of creating a realistic story about a man who dresses up and fights crime. It all feels very real.
That said, it isn't perfect and there's alot I don't care for- always out weighed by the good however. And I still hate Chris Nolans fight direction. You can never see what the hell is happening, that sort of chlosterphobic type camera work is great when used correctly but mix it in with odd compositions and blurry-blur-blur-blur and it causing more headaches than whoas. But that's part of his style, the entire film is in his style so credit to him.
I've had a few people enquire into the making of the Banjo-Kazooie pic I put up on my DeviantArt.
It's just a sketch that was scanned in. I'm lazy when it comes to linework so I never really bother with the inking stage anymore. I use to actually be pretty good with inking but after years of not bothering- it ends up being a waste of time for me.
My line control has become alot tighter though so I'm usually able to maintain a relatively clean line for my tidier linework(Note that in order to get it this clean I usually redo my original sketch).
I colored using the Multiply method in Photoshop and added shadows to help give it a 3D lift. Simple as that really.
I am re-realizing how close I am to actually getting Felicity Issue One finished. It is both an awesome yet frustrating sensation. Still alooot of work left in it but it's actually going to get finished. Considering how much I've had to overcome in my personal life since I started this and how much this actually means to me, I'm quite giddy at the idea.
I hope I don't somehow obtain yet another illness, or tragedy or immense distraction in the next week or so(Read:Dream girl? Don't come into my life until riiight after I finish this k?)
I have a start and don't stop mentality with alot of my work. I have like, momentum based efforts- I rarely start something that I don't finish and if I do I never go back to complete it. This is one of those pieces. I think I put like 2 or 3 hours into it to get where I was but it's unlikely I'll ever finish it.
Zepher from the 'End War' Chapter of Broken Falcon. Inspired by the thought, 'what's actually under that poncho of his?'. I was reading up on alot of Metal Gear related crap at the time- I can see influence of it here.
It was the last thing I was working on before I took a break from the computer- hence why I think it's unlikely I'll go back. It started as a doodle then I began to play with coloring it up. Cintiq based piece, this one.
What I realized pretty quickly about Stylization is that Anatomy is more important than anything.
Stylizing something is all about understanding the basic shapes- and then knowing how to pull, push and warp those shapes beyond reality. So you gotta know your stuff(unlike myself).
Anatomy is a huge part of art in all its forms- it's really important that any Artist practices anatomy & proportions- to understand what grounds it has within reality.
I did alot of anatomy doodles and practice when I was banned from computer use(Self enforced). I just wanted to upload a select few to show how loose and airy it is- it's practice. It's not meant to be neat or tidy or precise, this kind of practice is more like making mental notes on paper- Testing your knowledge.
Just a few anatomy practice sketches. The way of practicing that I find to be most effective is to find reference of a pose(Mainly from books)and then draw that pose without referring to the pose at all. You can then crosscheck your drawing with the pose and see what you did wrong, what you left out or what you managed to get right. It's kind of like revising for an exam? Only it's not quite as shite. Trust me on that D:
Dynamic Anatomy is the book I use all the time for my anatomy practice. And it's bound to have already been recommended to you by now if you're interested in improving your drawing skills. If not- allow me. Go and buy it. It's full of so many huge words that can be difficult to easily digest but you don't need to read the technical stuff. He has a bit at the end of every section called 'Things to note when drawing'. Just read these parts and pay careful attention to all of the drawings and you'll gain a wealth of knowledge.
I was concentrating alot on legs with my recent anatomy sketches, as legs are one of my weakest areas. I have trouble maintaining a weight in my poses and often struggle to correctly proportion my legs. The main cause of this is simply not enough practise. All I have to do to improve on it is to simply study more reference and try to learn.
Please note that these aren't at all correct enough for reference or anything. I'm simply uploading them to show my thought process and how I try to apply my style to studying from reality.
Metal Gear Solid 4 hit on friday there, I think. I'm not really that huge a MGS player- but I am a fan. I love the artwork, the designs, the games stories and cutscenes. I just suck ever so badly at playing it.
If like me, you don't and never will have a PS3- I found this guy on Youtube. He uploads each cutscene as he plays through the game- allowing you in on the story. Which, so far is incredible.
I thought Old Snake would be crap- but he's just the same badass character we all love. 'Cept- to be honest, I think being old makes him even better.
I'm still going strong with Felicity- I'll try to throw in a couple more updates before I'm finished. Still another two weeks or so left in it I'd say.
Very early on in Felicitys character designing stage- I did occasional 'realistic' renders of the characters. It was simply to try and help define the characters as I was finding my feet in the new style I'd begun to create. Whilst I've not maintained a constant 'realistic' rendering of all the main characters- I seem to have done one speed paint of 99 per year. So I figured I'd upload them here.
2006 - Earliest version of 99 sported a ponytail at one end of her hair aswell as this sort of Misty-like side tuft. This is extremely faithful to the look of the 2006 99 and bares resemblance to Elizabeth Hurley who was one of the first inspirations for her look.
2007 - As far as I can recall, this was latter half of 2007. It sports 99s more defined hairstyle(which was first implemented in 'Volume 325', the banner at the top of the site). It's way too heavy on the eyemake-up but I think it conveys a far more defined personality than the one prior.
2008 - The lastest of the speed paints, simply did it to continue on the tradition. Subtle tweaks and differences are noteable here. However, 99s visual development reached the end of its cycle by the tailend of 2007. The biggest changes to her character since then were personality and similar non physical attributes.
My Cintiq, as you can see- made this a hell of alot smoother than in the past- I used exactly the same techniques.
Still alive! Just heavy on the Felicity Comic workload right now :V
Might eventually cell this one up. I'll keep mum on the details, although I couldn't really spoil too much of Felicity with them.
A quick glimpse at a twelve year old 99 and the rest of the Fox Family. I've done a few similar family portraits over the past year or so- had been a while since I did an up-to-date one.
A thing to note- the Zepher plushie(Zepher, the main protagonist of Broken Falcon) who in the world of Felicity is the mascot of a popular kids TV show. Chasity is a dog lover, a love that started with her own dog- seen here. The dog is named 'Zowie' after a friends own dog of the same breed.
Lastly- although not known by many- you can see another favorite of 99s- Strawberry milkshake. You'll notice she drinks alot of the stuff as Felicity goes on.
Man, am I bad at this. I'm sorry. I can't seem to commit to uploading something daily. I guess it's just as I've spent time reshuffling my priorities of late. I have Felicity Issue one just begging to be finished and I've finally been able to open my eyes to that.
It's all I'm going to concentrate on for the next month, I cannot see it taking anylonger than that. I've really missed Felicity and I know that my absence from it wasn't entirely forced on me- to say that; I chose it in a way. I could have finished it when I didn't. I let life get in the way, I struggled to manage my priorities. I mean- I was trying to get a portfoilio together of artwork, I still am- and it's so difficult to then say 'Right. Do I just leave Felicity behind 'till I do this? or do both? Or just do Felicity?' And the amount that I want the comic finished made that decision really hard to make.
But now I've decided that work for my portfoilio, my partime job and eating and sleeping are the only things allowed to take time from the comic until it's done. I never make promises, because I'm always afraid sometime down the line I'll break them but I'm going to make one here. I promise I'll do my best to get Felicity Issue one done, fully completed.
On that note!
I wanted to upload this one to my Deviantart but the friends that I showed it to didn't really get what was happening. So I'll stick it up here and explain what's happening.
Inspired firstly by alot of music band promotional shots- that sort of random pose in an instant thing that the majority of photoshoots seem to involve. I've seen shots of people putting a bucket on their head, or tying their jacket to another members jacket and then- a couple of times- imitating hanging themselves with a tie or neck scarf.
Why they do it, is probably just out of boredom/randomness/wanting to stand out. I know that within my own band- I want photos that say we're fun. I don't like serious photos. So that's the second inspiration. I love character in poses- I love charmisa and quirkyness. Stiffness or lack of expression leads us to all look the same. So I wanted a 'photo' that'd break that mould alittle.
Lastly, and the main inspiration- was simply a shot that showed character. These guys aren't just designs anymore- they've got personalities and habits. I want to show that alittle more where I can. So I'd think that this shot shows a sort of familyness- a bond. It shows Mountys alittle uncomfortable and maybe not terribly happy to be there, which is exactly his character. He doesn't enjoy attention.
99 on the other hand is gasping for attention, so much so that she's pulled her neck scarf tight and is breaking her body sideways just to get it. She loves the camera- but she's a fun loving spirit aswell, she just loves having a laugh.
T-gate. Well, I think he always comes across with a sense of no-clue-what's-happening.
If you're like me, when you saw the leaked screens over at The British Gaming Blog you would have nearly died with fear. Why? Why is he in some crappy vehicle in both those screens? Why isn't Kazooie there? Don't ruin my childhood Rare! Noooo! etc etc.
Well, Have no fear. Better screens are here.
Holy shit. Rare are on their way back to the top ladies and gents.
Wow, long time no post. That's down to not-being-used to keeping a blog to be perfectly honest. Once I get into the swing I'm sure I'll finally be able to commit to it daily. I'm finding it hard to just make the time to pop on and upload something.
Been sketching away at the usual stuff, character concept is still taking up alot of my time. It's difficult to design characters for just the sake of designing them. I'm finding it tricky to concentrate my efforts without a 'brief' so as a result I'm having to make up my own briefs for the scenairo, story and situation said character fits into.
On my deviantArt I debuted my superhero character, The Magpie with a parody of a terribly famous Spiderman cover. I've just thrown up the lineart here so you can get a different angle on it than you did at DevArt.
I did the lineart for this on my Cintiq and I have to say- it really proved its worth. Before this point I'd only used my Cintiq for the odd 'Paint' practice or similarly messy things. When I came to ink a scanned sketch I found it beautifully easy to use. I'm no inker, so I'm not about to say the finished piece is at all good- but it's as good as I could do in reality on actual paper and that's something a tablet has never achieved for me before.
Incidently. Man oh man, do I need a photoshop that's actually up to date. I had to use Corel Painters pencil tool to ink this, as my photoshop version is so old it doesn't have custom brushes or tapered edges.
The Character herself is based pretty solidly on my City Of Heroes character.
At the time I'd ran alot of concepts along the 'bird' theme, especially regarding the hood design and I simply went to CoH to try and recreate it. What resulted was the theme of a Magpie(a local bird) and the final design I seemed to settle on.
Another aspect I took into consideration were the 'Bug Eyes' similar to Batgirls in The Batman. I used one of the games new costume items to achieve that look, 'goggles'. At the time it was to make it seem like she had those massive eyes but since then- the goggles have become a part of the design.
Just abit of a doodle-dump, for lack of a better expression. I've been busy with my parttime job, the character artwork I mentioned earlier and alot of Felicity stuff inbetween. Not to mention GTA IV coming out on tuesday there- multiplayer with friends is alooot of fun and I'm not even a big GTA fan.
Earthworm Jim is making a comeback, which is only a good thing. This doodle above was sitting randomly on a page so I figured I'd shove it up here. I don't recall alot of EWJ other than it was hard and the graphics at the time were mind-bending.
Having checked up on that since has proven I was correct. But man- the character itself is just such an awesome concept, the artwork in the game is so beautiful and the animation is way better than any game I've since since to be honest. No wonder I loved it so much as a kid, though I feel I can appreciate it more now. Here's hoping his comeback is as good as it ought-to be.
Lastly then I found the same pages to be sporting the odd Pokemon doodle. Anyone who knows me will know I love the world of Pokemon, always have since that magical first encounter with Pokemon Red as a 9 year old boy. Bulbasaur is one of my favorite pokes, despite me never having actually had one in my team(I have a tradition of Fire-Starters). I think I always just loved the idea of the Pokemon- plus he kicked so much ass in the cartoon. Here's to you, Number 1!
I'm currently working on an array of Character Concept art for my Portfoilio, it's proving alittle less fun than I'd hoped so I've been toying about inbetween- doodling and sketching some silly things during my breaks (speaking of which, I'm done for tonight! Cup of tea time 8D)
I've just started messing around with Corel Painter, well, a watered down version I got free with my Cintiq. I'm still not entirely used to the Cintiq, I feel slow and have to spend alot of time reaching behind the screen for a single keyboard stroke(Though that's thanks to me not having a proper desk.) However, Painter is a great program, have used it alittle before. I'm planning to use it to break in my Cintiq properly, hopefully it won't take me too long to get used to it.
Futurama has always had an influence on Felicity. Although I'm not sure what exactly gave me the ideas that formed Felicity, I know that Futurama was an obvious inspiration for time period and location. Hell even the main characters? Two 'Humans' and a robot. Anyways, I owe alot of laughs during a very dark time to Futurama. So yet another Groening styled tribute, plus drawing your own characters in another style never gets old.
One of my all time favorite series of games is the Legend Of Zelda. Quite easy to understand- it's pretty much the definition of Adventure. You always start out smalltime, with nothing to your name and a world you don't have a clue about. By the end you've tread every inch of that world, you know it like the back of your hand and you're the one who is going to save it.
And as if that burden wasn't scary enough, imagine having to do it when you are just a seven year old kid. I mean, Link is one badass kid- when I was seven I was scared to be alone and couldn't stand the dark. This guy slays demons and runs errands across the world for idiot townsfolk. I just love that. Boy truimphs over evil, a mere boy- to me that's exactly what adventure is, overcoming impossible odds.
Part of what I want to do with this Blog is a daily warm-up sketch, nothing ever specificly set; just whatever I feel like I want to sketch. Today I felt like a quick sketch tribute to Hyrules hero.(Above)
I'm a huge fan of the Windwakers art direction- As may be evident here. I think it really captures what Zelda is all about and as much as I love adult link for looking so badass, 'Wee Link' is the Link I want to see in future Zelda games.
I didn't use any reference here so it's kind of blindly a mix of all kinds of Link-attire, though his shield decal is abit of a reference to A Link To The Past which was the first Zelda title I ever played. And that was all it took to fall in love with it.
As I have a few artistic ventures, I file it all under the roof of 'Crimson Feather Studios'. Right now, it's but a name! but someday it'll house similar lifeless geeks like myself, beavering away on something epic.