Thursday, August 8, 2019

Mini-Paint: Action Figure / Still Life

Mini-Paint:
Still Life


Hey, it's another Mini-Paint!  Rather than just featuring one Star Wars (in)action figure, this painting is a still life of several nerd-based toys and such, gathered together.  In this case, it is a ceramic Chewbacca cup which I use as a paint brush/pen holder; a Hulk Funco Pop toy; and a GONK/Power Droid action figure (see?  I had to get a Star Wars (in)action figure in there somewhere...)

This is another in the paintings I am getting ready for a small art show in September 2019, which I am doing with my daughter down at the Middleton Library in Middleton, WI.  The (in)action figures are for the Children's section, while in the other part of the library, I will be doing more mythological based pen-and-ink drawings.  So, we'll see how that goes, as well.

Fingers crossed, I'm hoping to have 4-6 (in)action figure paintings--of which I'm on target with 5 of 'em so far.  And for the mythological drawings, I'm also hoping to have 4-6 of 'em done, too.  Again, we'll see how that goes...

* * *


STEP ONE:  I started with an 8" x 10" piece of matboard, over which I painted a mixture of matte medium and blue casein (it's a paint that uses a milk-based protein as a binder--it's a lot like acrylic paint) as an ad hoc gesso for the painting.  Using a Blue Violet colored pencil, I did a rough sketch of the still life I set up.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Here is the first layer of paint thrown down to give a sense of what the painting was going to be color-wise.

* * *


STEP THREE:  I'm not sure if it was too much matte medium/casein, but the gouache kept wanting to "lift off" the painting more than usual, where I would touch the paint to the board, but then the layer of paint would kind of dissolve or run off down the board.  So, that was a bit of a pain in the @$$.  But, after enough patience and persistence, I was able to get the painting finished.

Hmmm, I should have thrown more shadows in the background for the pens and paintbrushes.  But, then again, it was already a pretty dark painting.  Oh, well...

* * *

Done with Gouache on 8" x 10" primed matboard.
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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Mini-Paint: 2-1B Medical Droid Action Figure

Action Figure Painting:
2-1B Medical Droid


Hey, it's another Action Figure painting!  Or, rather, IN-action Figure...  Am I right, folks?  Hello?  Is this thing on?  Anyhoo, it's another action figure mini-paint.  This time around, I chose to do another droid: 2-1B Medical Droid, first seen in "Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back" after Luke was rescued from the Wampa cave, and also attached Luke's robotic hand at the end of the movie, too.

* * *


STEP ONE:  As with the other action figure painting, I used a mixture of light-blue casein (sort of like an acrylic paint, except it uses a milk-based protein as the binder) and matte medium on a 6" x 9" piece of Canson XL (#140) watercolor paper.  I then used a colored pencil to draw out the image to keep it from smearing around with the paints.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Here's roughly the halfway point.  I just threw down some color to model some of the darks and lights, and a sense of the form, as well as the background color.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And, as usual, lots of lots of painting, repainting, and re-repainting and here's finished painting of the 2-1B Medical Droid Action Figure.  For some reason, the color and painting gave me a lot more trouble than usual.  It took about 8 hours to finish, give-or-take.

* * *

Done with gouache on 6" x 9" Canson XL (#140) watercolor paper.

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Mini-Paint: Admiral Ackbar Action Figure

Action Figure Painting:
Admiral Ackbar


Hey, it's another Action Figure Mini-Paint!  This time, it's everyone's favorite Mon Calamari (to paraphrase Homer Simpson: "Mmmmmm, Calamari"), Admiral Ackbar.

I have a small art show along with my daughter coming up in September 2019 at the Middleton Library in Middleton, WI.  It will be a mix of about five-to-six pen-and-ink drawings based on monsters and characters from Greek Myth, and about five-to-six paintings of action figures in the Children's section.  So, there will be at least a couple more Action Figure Quick Paints in the near future posted on the Blog.

Oh, and of course: "IT'S A TRAP!"

* * *


STEP ONE:  I used a mixture of light-blue casein (sort of like an acrylic paint, except it uses a milk-based protein as the binder) and matte medium on a 6" x 9" piece of Canson XL (#140) watercolor paper.  I then used a colored pencil to draw out the image.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Here is about the halfway point--just a quick laying down of the colors to give a sense of what it will vaguely look like, and also to give the gouache paint something to "stick" to.  It helps to have a thin layer of paint down, then it allows you to paint more opaquely over top.  Otherwise, it can become something of a streaky mess--um, just like the painting above, in fact.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And, after lots and LOTS of back-and-forth, painting and re-painting, here's the finished effort.  An Admiral Ackbar action figure painting, done after about 5-6 hours.

* * *

Done with gouache on 6" x 9" Canson XL (#140) watercolor paper.

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Dark Tower - There Are Other Worlds Than These.

The Dark Tower:
"There Are Other Worlds Than These."


This was a commission of sorts.  A friend of mine is a HUGE "The Dark Tower" fan and wanted me to do a painting of the Tower.  I've read "The Dark Tower" and was a fan of the series.

Being a sucker for alternate universe stories, I happened to mention the line "There are other worlds than these", one of the lines from "The Gunslinger" which always stuck with me (and, in the context of the story, was a bit of a cheat, IMHO).  That turned out to be her favorite line in the whole series--so that nailed down the theme right away.

I went with a more graphical image for "The Dark Tower", rather than something more literal; she was super-please with it, while I'm slightly more ambivalent.  I'm not sure if I will do more with this or not.  I am half-tempted to go go further with it and do it up as a giant, digital print.  Then  again, maybe in an other world.

* * *


STEP ONE:  The pencils were done digitally in Clip Studio Paint EX using the Symmetry Tool.  I found a reference to groups of roses and drew it freehand from there.  And, I admit to cheating a little bit by typing out the lettering in non-photo blue and then inking over it.  (Yeah, I still **HATE** lettering... :-)

* * *


STEP TWO:  I printed out the digital drawing in non-photo blue.  I used painter's tape to keep the sharp edge for the banner across the upper-half of the drawing; it did a remarkable job of keeping a sharp edge when I inked/watercolored over top of it.

I did a layer of Cadmium Red for the roses, and a mixture of light-red near to the tower.  I then used a mixture of the Cadmium Red, Ultramarine, and Burnt Umber to paint the lines for the roses, thinning it out with water to make it lighter.  I painted the watercolor/gouache over the Dark Tower inks.  And, decided to leave Roland in white silhouette, with a slight nod to the doorways in "The Drawing of the Three".

* * *

Done with digital pencils and ink with watercolor/gouache on 8" x 10" Arches Hot-Press paper.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Mini-Drawing: Seven of Nine

Seven of Nine


By request of a friend from work, here's a drawing of Seven of Nine from "Star Trek: Voyager".  I always liked the character.  I even remember reading Star Trek novel writer, Peter David, in his "But, I Digress" column in the late "Comics Buyers' Guide", had suggested a female Borg long before Seven of Nine appeared (and the Borg Queen from the Movie, too).  At the time, the Producers just said all Borg were male and left it at that.  Hmmm...  

Anyhoo, I liked the character and have been doing some drawing in colored pencil lately, so figured "Sure, I'll do it... and post it on my Blog for good measure."  It's a two-fer!

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here's the start of the drawing sketched out with a black colored pencil on 8-1/2" x 11" toned cardstock.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Hmmm, I thought I had scanned in the drawing sometime during the mid-point, but I thought wrong!  Here's the finished drawing.  It was done with a series of black, white, and gray colored pencils.  The toned cardstock gives a nice, neutral value which can either be brightened or darkened, with the added bonus that it really makes the lighter areas pop out.

* * *

Done with colored pencil on 8-1/2" x 11" toned cardstock.

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Mini-Paint: Chewbacca Action Figure

Action Figure Painting:
Chewbacca


In memory of the late, great Peter Mayhew, here's a painting of a Chewbacca action figure.  When I was a kid, I always thought of Chewie as Han Solo's pet.  Nowadays, I have to wonder if Han was actually Chewie's pet... 

Alas, it is a little delayed, as I had to wait until I visited my Mom again to raid some more of my childhood action figures (I have a fist full of 'em to paint in the future).  Sure, I could have just pulled an image off the internet, but it somehow felt like cheating, so once I was able to get my filthy mitts on the actual action figure, I set to do another Quick Paint.  It was done with gouache--an opaque watercolor.

Again, I should probably be doing more of these Quick Paintings... and probably will.  So, look forward to more "Inaction Figures" in the future, sprinkled throughout!

* * *


STEP ONE:  I used a mixture of light-blue casein (sort of like an acrylic paint, except it uses a milk-based protein as the binder) and matte medium as a sort of ad hoc gesso on a 6" x 9" piece of Canson XL (#140) watercolor paper.  I then used a colored pencil to draw out the image, as it would both be lighter to allow for it to more easily covered by the gouache, and would also smear less as it was painted over.  

* * *


STEP TWO:  This is the first step in laying down a layer of warm colors over it's complimentary color (blue and orange/brown are on opposite sides of the color wheel... I won't bore you with color theory at the moment).  Laying down a light layer of gouache also gives the new layers of paint something to grab onto and do more opaque paints.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And, after a **LOT** of painting and re-painting shadows and highlights, here is the finished painting.  It took an embarrassing amount of time to finish this (4-5 hours), but it turned out all right, all things considered.

* * *

Done with gouache on 6" x 9" Canson XL (#140) watercolor paper.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Revenge of the Fifth/Sixth - 2019

Revenge of the Fifth 2019 /
Revenge of the Sixth - 2019


Hey, I made it just under the wire of being only one week late!  Um, nevermind trying to diagram the meaning of that sentence... It boils down to I was busy--mostly out of town--during "May the Fourth" and "Revenge of the Fifth"/"Revenge of the Sixth", so it messed up my schedule quite a bit.  But, excuses are like E. coli... everyone has about a trillion of 'em.

For some dumb reason, "Revenge of the Fifth" seems more popular than "Revenge of the Sixth", even though "Sixth" is a better pun of "Sith", IMHO--although "Fifth" has the singular advantage of being the next day to "May the Fourth".

Anyhoo, once again, my lone, Quixotic vision of having Jaxxon the Rabbit being returned to "Star Wars" canon has motivated another cartoon/comic strip this year.  Why do I keep doing this to myself and others each year?  What part of "Quixotic" don't you understand?  :-P

This time around, Jaxxon is Quantum Leaping into Darth Vader having a heart-to-heart with his son, Luke (if you'll forgive the reference to the 90's TV Series, "Quantum Leap").

* * * 


STEP ONE:  It's the quickly scribbled blue line pencils, done in Clip Studio Paint EX.  The canvas is 1,500px x 2,250px at 600dpi.

* * *


STEP TWO:  The inks were done in Clip Studio Paint EX, with a standard inking brush. 

* * *


STEP THREE:  Finally, the coloring was done on a series of Multiply Layers.  When it was done, I imported the image into Photoshop to reduce the resolution and output it as a .jpg for the Blog you are indifferently starting at right now... as... you... read... these... words...  :-P

* * *

Done digitally in Clip Studio Paint EX.

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

May the Fourth Be With You - 2019

May the Fourth Be With You!


Hey, it's my "May the Fourth Be With You" for 2019.

"But, John," I can hear you saying, "it's May 11th.  You're a week late!"  Yes, well, that is true... but I was busy!  So there!  

"But, John, where is Jaxxon the giant, green, Star Wars rabbit?  Aren't you supposed to be on some Quixotic quest to get Jaxxon back into Star Wars cannon?"  Very true!  But, that post will have to wait until either Sunday May 12th, or Monday, May 13th, when I do my posting for "Revenge of the Fifth/Sixth".  See?  It all makes perfect sense!

Anyhoo, this a really dumb mash-up which I alluded to last year when I used the Power Droid/Gonk Droid/GNK Droid for one of my "Unwanted Valentines".  In fact, I used most of the drawing of the GNK Droid from the "Unwanted Valentine" and just added the arm and He-Man's sword.  Two parts of my childhood, Star Wars and He-Man, brought together!  You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!  And you got your peanut butter on my chocolate!

* * *


STEP ONE:  Just for fun, I included the line drawing for the Power Droid.  It was done on a 1,500px x 2,100px canvas at 300dpi.  When I dropped the resolution to 200dpi for posting on the Blog, it resized to 1,000px x 1,400px.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Hey, it's a bunch of colors which were done on a series of layers.  I used the Radial Perspective tool in Clip Studio Paint to make the radiating lights from the He-Man sword.

* * *

Done digitally in Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint EX.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Mini-Paint: Death Star Droid Action Figure

Action Figure Painting:
Death Star Droid (3B6-RA-7 Protocol/Spy Droid)


For no reason at all, here's a watercolor/gouache painting of an action figure I owned as a kid: the Death Star Droid (although, he was actually seen on the Jawa's Sandcrawler on Tatooine, so... Sandcrawler Droid?).  It's been a while since I've done a "Quick Paint", and no real reason I shouldn't do more of 'em, now that I think of it.

My Mom was doing some spring cleaning, going through a bunch of old action figures we owned as kids and, when I was visiting, I saw the Death Star Droid action figure and felt like painting something shiny.  So, here we are.

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the pencils done with a .5mm mechanical pencil on 6" x 9" Canson XL watercolor paper.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Here is the quick under-painting, done in about 20-30 minutes.  I kept the palette very limited--Carbon Black, Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, and Ultramarine Blue.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And here's the finished painting, with a total time of about 4 hours... much longer than I intended.  One of the problems with painting something so shiny is that because I was a moron, I just held it in one hand and painted with the other (I needed it close enough to properly see the detail of what I was painting).  So, any little turn or change in position in my hand, caused a significant change in the lighting/highlights with the action figure.  Sigh...

* * *

Done with watercolor/gouache on 6" x 9" Canson XL watercolor paper.

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Saturday, March 30, 2019

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2019 - Part 6

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2019
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Well, it's my last submission to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog for 2019!  The month just flew past, faster than a NOS-fueled Mechano-Chair!

In this case, it is a callback to the side-scrolling video games of yesteryear, with their pixels and jaggies in all their 16-bit glory.  Yes, it's M.O.D.O.K. vs. Arnim Zola, engaged in... MORTAL KOMBAT!  [Queue the titular 90's techno song.]

* * *


STEP ONE: Here is a little peek behind the curtain with a scan of the original doodle which became this post.  It was just a quickly scribbled idea in a sketchbook (about 30-to-60 seconds), but it ended up pretty close to the finished drawing.

* * *


STEP TWO:  These are the digital pencils, done on two separate levels--one for the characters of M.O.D.O.K. and Arnim Zola, the other with the slightly Kirby-esque background.  As usual, they are just a quickly scribbled mess to give a rough idea of what goes where.

The original drawing canvas is 2,100px by 1,500px at 300dpi.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And here are the digital inks, done in Clip Studio Paint.

* * *


STEP FOUR:  Followed by the colors, which were done on a separate Multiply Layer.  Hmmm, now that I look at it, I probably should have done the Cosmic Cube in blue outline.  Oh, well.  Live and learn.  Well, live, anyways...

* * *


STEP FIVE:  And, finally, to get it to look like a right-proper 16-bit video game screen, it took a surprising amount of trail-and-error.  Originally, I imported it into Photoshop, dropped the resolution from 300dpi to 72dpi.  But, Photoshop was anti-aliasing it, so it just looked blurry as heck and not like an old 16-bit video game.  

Finally, I figured out to use the Resample option for "Nearest Neighbor (hard edges)" when resizing it, which kept aliasing and made the downshift in quality jaggy in all the right ways.  

So, for those of you nerdy enough to care: It went from the original 2,100px by 1,500px at 300dpi, then shrank the image way down to 504px by 360px at 72dpi while keeping the aliasing, then blew it back up to 1,200px by 857px at 200dpi.  Ta-da!

* * *

This was done digitally in Clip Studio Paint with an assist from Photoshop.

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2019 - Part 5

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2019
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Oh, my, yet another March M.O.D.O.K. Madness submission!  I'm pretty sure I'm wearing out my welcome to poor Pedro and Brendan with all the spamming I've done of their mailbox this year... 

I actually had this idea last year, but wasn't able to get around to it 'til now.  But, I thought it would be funny to have M.O.D.O.K. being hypnotized by a fake Cosmic Cube ala the Anglerfish, with some rather large, sharp teeth just at the edge of the panel.

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the digital pencils, done in Clip Studio Paint on a 1,400px x 1,500px canvas, at 300dpi.

* * *


STEP TWO:  And here are the digital inks.  Nothing too fancy, although I intended to colorize the line work for the "Cosmic Cube" to a blue color.

* * *


STEP THREE:  I did the coloring in Clip Studio Paint, then moved it over to Photoshop for converting the image to 200dpi and saving as a .jpg.  Photoshop, naturally, has a much better engine for saving images as .jpg's.

* * * 

Done digitally in Clip Studio Paint -- with an assist from Photoshop.

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2019 - Part 4

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2019
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Hey, it's another March M.O.D.O.K. Madness submission!  This time, done in a more Cubist vein (eat your heart out, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso... oh, wait, that pun was completely unintentional--shame on me for missing it the first time through).

I was half-tempted to make it even more abstract and just the barest suggestion about it being M.O.D.O.K., with more geometrical breaks in the picture plane  Maybe next time...

* * *


STEP ONE Here is the quick breakdown of the Cubist concept on a 1,200px x 1,600px at 300ppi canvas

* * *


STEP TWO: And... done!  Well, pretty much all that was left to do was extend the planes a little bit, accentuate the edges here and there, and push a few shadows to give the illusion of depth (well, as much depth as you can get with a Cubist-style drawing).  I dropped the resolution down to 200dpi, and the image to 1,000px x 1,333px--suitable for posting.

* * *

Done digitally in Painter 2019.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2019 - Part 3

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2019
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Well, another March M.O.D.O.K. Madness submission!  This one was sort of meant to resemble a block print/screen print, or perhaps a spray paint template for graffiti-style posters.

This one is a bit of a letdown from a direct ripoff of Charles Schulz like the last post, but what'cha gonna do?  :-D

* * *


STEP ONE I didn't bother to do any pencils, just went straight into drawing in Clip Studio Paint EX using one of the ink brushes.  I used the Symmetry Ruler, so all ink lines were mirrored on both sides.

* * *


STEP TWO:  I exported the image to PhotoShop and resized the drawing.  At first, I was intending to just do it as the strong black-and-white image, but thought I'd colorize it with a flat orange/brown color scheme with a Lighten Layer. 

* * *

Done digitally in Clip Studio Paint -- with an assist from Photoshop.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2019 - Part 2

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2019
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Hey, it's time for another submission to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog!  In this case, I had the idea of using the very first Peanuts comic strip (formerly "Li’l Folks") with M.O.D.O.K., Arnim Zola, and Doughboy replacing Charlie Brown, Shermy and Patty.  It was completely unbidden, and not one of the projects for March M.O.D.O.K. Madness I had planned; but, once in my head, it would not go away until I got it done.  So, here it is!

Here's the first "Peanuts" cartoon, so you can compare and contrast...

I did have do some thinking as to who was going to replace whom in my version.  Was it going to be Arnim Zola skipping merrily down the street, and M.O.D.O.K. complaining about how much he hates Zola, with an A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) sitting beside him?  But, since it was March M.O.D.O.K. Madness and NOT August Arnim Agitation, I figured it would be M.O.D.O.K. for Charlie Brown.  But, who should sit beside Arnim Zola?  Not a member of A.I.M, or even Hydra...  That's when I remembered Doughboy from the issue of Captain America I had--Zola's own creation as the Bio-Fanatic.  He would fit perfecting in Patty's place.


So, with the characters chosen, it was just a matter of plugging them in and using Charles Schulz's style.  Done and DONE!

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the quickly scribbled digital pencils, done in Clip Studio Paint EX on a pencil layer which I color blue, being a creature of the olden days when Non-Photo Blue was a thing used to setup for printing.  Even though it is easy to hide any color chosen, I still like the look of blue line artwork.  The aesthetic appeals to me.

And, yeah, I wanted to include the obvious joke of turning "Friends" into "Fiends" by crossing out the "r" in "Friends".  Let it never be said I'm nothing if not obvious!

* * *


STEP TWO:  Here are the digital inks, also done in Clip Studio Paint EX.

* * *


STEP THREE:  I colored the four-panels in Clip Studio Paint, then imported it into Photoshop so I could add a Filter for Color Halftone (set to 35% opacity); I also dropped the opacity of the original drawing to 70%, as well.  There was also a vintage paper texture I added over top, set on a Multiply Layer and lowered the opacity to 75%.

* * *


SIDE NOTE:  I really like the vintage-paper look, which gives it a newsprint feel.  I **ALMOST** used this as the finished pic, but I had already gone through and colored everything, adding the vintage paper texture last.  So, here are both examples to look at and compare, just for fun.

* * *

Done digitally in Clip Studio Paint -- with an assist from Photoshop.

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