Friday, June 1, 2018

Digital Painting: Shuri

Digital Painting: Shuri


I meant to do a digital painting from "Black Panther" for a long time, back when "Black Panther" was out in theaters, but was distracted with other things, alas.  This was done noodling around with Painter 2018, trying to get adjusted to the program, mostly using Chunky Oil Pastel brush.

The movie was really fun, and it in my personal Top Five of the many, many Marvel Movies, up there with "Captain America: Winter Soldier", "Guardians of the Galaxy", "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Iron Man 3" (yeah, I'm probably one of the few that praises "Iron Man 3" that much).  The order changes depending on my mood, but those are my general Top Five.

In "Black Panther", Shuri was probably my favorite character, being Wakanda's "Q" from the James Bond movies and is a joyfully fun character, as well.

As I did most of the painting on and same layer, I forgot to keep separate pictures of the work in progress.  Ah, well.

* * *

Done digitally with Painter 2018.

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

If I Were a Serial Killer...

If I Were a Serial Killer


CLICK TO EMBIGGEN

One of the numerous podcasts I listen to is the "Last Podcast on the Left".  It is a rather darkly humorous podcast about serial killers, conspiracies, UFO's, cryptozoology, and such.  Anyway, they are currently writing a book and a little over a month ago they put out a call for artists who would be doing something in a comic book/Mad Magazine format.  "Well," I thought, "this sounds like something right up my alley!  I'll give it a shot."

I gathered up some links from my Blog showing what they could vaguely expect from my work and sent it along to them.  I also pointed out the irony that I happen to share the name with the FBI agent, John Douglas, who helped to develop forensic profiling for hunting serial killers and co-wrote the book, "Mindhunters" (his name is also in the credits in the Netflix Series of the same name).  Imagine, I noted, the semi-irony of a book about serial killers illustrated by John Douglas (not that one).

Several weeks went by and I hadn't heard anything "yea" or "nay".  So, I thought rather than just sit around waiting, I should do something more personalized and see if I could sway them that way. 

In this case, I decided to write a two-page, semi-autobiographical story--no, not the murdery/serial killery part of the story, just the realization that if I **DID** go on a killing spree and I signed my name at the each murder sites there would be some... confusion.  Also, the hosts of the show are the first group of my victims, so it had that going for it.

I finished it up and sent it off.  Sadly, even though they liked my "If I Were a Serial Killer" submission, they had already decided to go with a different artist.  D'oh!  I guess I was a day late and a dollar short...  Or whatever time frame and denomination are appropriate.

All that said, it was good practice and more stuff I can throw on my Blog.  So, here we are...  Oh, and I presumed it would be in black-and-white, which is why this one isn't in color, using a line tone, instead.

* * *

Done with Clip Studio Paint EX (Formerly Manga Studio)

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Saturday, May 5, 2018

May the Fourth Be With You - 2018

May the Fourth Be With You!


OK, so it isn't technically "May the Fourth" anymore, but let's pretend it is!

Once again, I am on my mad quest to make Jaxxon the Rabbit somewhat cool and bringing him up every year.  Someday, it may result in... well, something or other.  Who knows?  I'm sure it involves Underpants Gnomes version of Monetary Theory (Phase 1: Collect Underpants; Phase 2: ???; Phase 3: Profit!).  In your face, 200th Birthday of Karl Marx!  :-P

The secondary title, "Jaxxon/Jaxxoff", is intended as a pun from "Karate Kid" with "Wax-on!  Wax-off!", with the same vague, masturbation joke in both.  So, it has that going for it.  :-D

I decided not to do a step-by-step this time around.  They seem to take up a lot of space and I'm not sure if they really say much of anything.  I'll leave it to y'all if you're interested in the Work in Progress portions, or save them for times when it may actually be neat, or I have something in particular to say (we'll leave aside the whole "Hey, Dummy, you should have been doing that the entire time..." argument).  I'm ambivalent about it at the moment.  Also, the half-finished drawings turn up in Google Searches, so it really looks like a less-than-ideal representation of my work.

* * *

Done digitally in Clip Studio Paint EX and colored in Photoshop.

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Saturday, March 31, 2018

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018 - Part 5

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)



It's the last submission to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog for the year, just under the wire!

I decided to go out with a bang and do up a two-page parody of the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon, "Duck Amuck", with Arnim Zola and M.O.D.O.K.

Step-by-step below (Click to embiggen!)

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here is a peek behind the curtain, showing the evolution of the strip (including parts that were dropped/changed).  Originally, it was going to be just a single panel with "Ain't I a stinker?", but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of doing it as a multi-page, comic panel layout.  Except in this case "multi" means "two".  There were other little scraps doodled out here and there, but rather than show every little thing, here is the nucleus of the cartoon upon which everything else was built.

It's the way I do most of my stuff: a piece of paper and ballpoint pen to scribble out some ideas and see where they lead.  Usually, it is down dead ends and blind alleys--like this one!  I had doodled the "Ain't I a stinker?" line last year as a possible idea, but ran out of time.  So, here it is now.  And I have several ideas sketched out that I didn't get to, so probably next year.  Or the year after.

* * *



STEP TWO:  The pencils are particularly rough and somewhat off-model, as I was still deciding if I wanted to do Zola in an updated form where his face is a blue computer screen, or more of classic Zola.  I went with a mostly classic Zola after all, so that changed.

* * *



STEP THREE:  Here are the digital inks.  They were done with a .7 size digital brush in Clip Studio Paint (formerly Manga Studio), since Photoshop decided to start acting up on me.  I should take the time to use Clip Studio Paint more, except I'm used to Photoshop so default to it out of habit.  I like a lot of Clip Studio Paint, but just have to get used to where all my normal tools are hidden...  :-D

* * *



STEP FOUR:  I colorized digital inks with a Multiply Layer, as well as a few Normal color layers over top.  I also hand drew the speech balloons, since I didn't have time to learn the proper way to make them in Clip Studio Paint before I had to submit it to Pedro and Brendan at the  March M.O.D.O.K. Madness site.  Time was ticking and I was down to the last hour.  Made it!  Whew!

* * *

Done digitally in Clip Studio Paint.

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Friday, March 23, 2018

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018 - Part 4

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


It's another submission to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog!

This time around, it is inspired by what I call Kaiju Cutdowns, drawings showing the internal anatomy of various Japanese monsters of my youth.  In this case, it is more of a M.O.D.O.K. Melt-through, revealing what all is happening inside that giant head and floating canister.  This is probably a more disturbing submission (mostly due to the image of M.O.D.O.K. riding around commando--YIKES!), but here you go, nonetheless.  Irk, easy stomach...

Now, to race to the finish line and try and get that last submission done before time runs out at the end of the month!

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here is a quick sketch I did for the idea on a piece of 8-1/2" x 7" piece of paper with a ballpoint pen (it was a sheet of legal-size paper folded in half).

* * *


STEP TWO:  I did some digital inks over-top the pen sketch, using a 7-pt brush on a 2,100px x 1,500px 300dpi canvas in Photoshop.  I will admit to cheating on the anatomy little bit (well, more than usual, in this case), in that M.O.D.O.K.'s right arm and leg (y'know, the metal sheathed ones) are both moved over to an untenable degree.  But, then again, a LOT of M.O.D.O.K.'s anatomy is untenable.  So, there ya go.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And here are the colors, which I just added as a Multiply Layer.  Nothing fancy, as I was trying to keep it relatively simple, what with all the extra line work all over and everything.  Otherwise, it may look too busy.

* * *

Done digitally in Photoshop

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Friday, March 16, 2018

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018 - Part 3

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


It's another submission to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog!

This time around, it is a parody of the Maxell tape ads from way back in the day.  Way, way back in the day.  Like, in the late 70's, early 80's.  Y'know, audio tape?  Anyone?  Holy cow, I'm old.  Sigh...

In this case, it is a Cosmic Cube blasting back M.O.D.O.K.'s hair, rather than a Maxell tape playing "Ride of the Valkyrie" or "Night on Bald Mountain".

Just for fun, here's the original Maxell ad:


I'm hoping to get one (or possibly even TWO) more M.O.D.O.K. posts before the end of the month.  So, we'll see...  :-)

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the quick, digital pencils, done on a 2,100px x 1,500px 300dpi canvas in Photoshop.  I threw in a gradient as a background just to fill the space I would be using for the digital painting.

* * *


STEP TWO:  In this case, I just skipped to the final.  Mostly 'cuz most of the steps in between weren't all that interesting.  And I forgot to get screen grabs, so there's that, too.  So...  Digital painting, used some shapes for the speaker, lamp, and end table; added lettering... Done!  Ta da!

* * *

Done digitally in Photoshop.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Happy Pi Day 2018!

Happy Pi Day 2018


OK, I'll be the first to admit I am not smart enough for this joke.

It's a mash-up of two things I really don't participate in: Video Games and Math.  Video games I gave up for the most part cold turkey almost 20 years ago.  I had burned myself out on a combination of pumping every spare quarter I had into arcade games (remember those?), Atari 2600, Nintendo NES and the next gen Super NES, and any other game systems I could get my hands on right up to 1999, when I realized I was wasting too much time on video games and basically quit.  Granted, I was (and am) still wasting time on a LOT of other things, but video games wasn't one of them.

And Math, well... Math and I don't see eye to (i).  That's another joke I'm not smart enough to make.  I think.

So, "the cake is a lie" is from the video game, "Portal", which I have never played.  However, I have seen enough of it referred to in the nerd culture I swim in that I was aware of both "Portal" and "the cake is a lie" meme.  Heck, it even has a really great ending song in which the insane computer, GLaDOS, taunts the survivors that she is "Still Alive" (written by Jonathan Coulton, no less).  I listened to it again a few weeks ago, which is why it was semi-fresh in my mind.  Here it is for those interested:


There is even a symphonic version which also makes me smile, since I appreciate seeing low-brow and high-brow cultures mix it up.  Lest this go from a Pi Day post to a "Portal" end song "Still Alive" post, it's probably in the "Suggested Videos".  Go look, I'll wait...

As for the formula Pi^(e) = 22.459157718...  Well, I went down a YouTube rabbit hole about  calculus, graphing imaginary numbers, and Euler's Constant.  Not much of it really stuck because of what I said above about Math and me.  But, I did remember (e) was something in math.  I guess that means it wasn't completely wasted on me.  Close, but not completely.

With that as the background, my chain of thought went something like this: Pi Day... If the cake is a lie, Pi is something else.  If the cake is a lie, maybe Pi is the truth?  Nah, that's obvious.  Bleh.  I need a pun--the worse the better!  (Which is how puns work, after all.)  So, then I tried to think of a pun from cake to Pi...  Oh, wait, with Pi being mathematical, and (e) also having to do with math, well there we go!  I Googled the formula "Pi^(e)" and it turned out to give an actual answer--No one was more surprised than me!  And, even better, it could be plotted on a line.  LINE!  Of course, that pun is almost bad enough to work!  If the cake is a lie, the Pi^(e) is a line!  Ta da!

Who says explaining jokes isn't fun?  :-P

For my amusement, I posted this as close to 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 (CST) as possible.  Y'know, 'cuz Pi.

* * *

Done in Photoshop.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018 - Part 2

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


It's time for another submission to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog!

In this case, it's a team-up of two Jack Kirby creations, Devil Dinosaur and M.O.D.O.K.

And, it ends with a rather bad pun, so there's that.

* * *


STEP ONE:  A little peek behind the curtain as to my working (HA!) process: here is the doodle in the margins which was the germ of the idea for this post.  I thought it would be amusing to give M.O.D.O.K. a bonding moment with everyone's favorite crimson-colored T-Rex, Devil Dinosaur, over their tiny arms.  It was worthy of a smirk, or perhaps even a quiet titter, at best.  But, then I thought of the line "GASP!  You have tiny, vestigial arms just like mine...  I cannot kill such a noble creature" and thought it could be expanded into a actual comic page which ends in a team-up (of sorts).

* * *


STEP TWO:  Here are the digital pencils, done on a 1,500px by 2,250px canvas at 300dpi.  I made it a little more cartoony, ala Calvin and Hobbes (one of the greatest comic strips ever).

* * *


STEP THREE:  Followed by the inks, which were done mostly using a 7pt. hard brush.  Of note, in panel 3 of the pencil page, it cropped off Devil Dinosaur's rear end enough that it didn't visually read as if he had a tail.  He just sort of looked like he was squatting down... perhaps getting ready to leave some coprolites for future generations.  So, I moved him over just enough to have some of his tail showing, but still leaving enough room for the word balloons.  Also, I changed the direction of M.O.D.O.K.'s cowlick on top of his head.  Not sure why, but it seemed funnier leaning the opposite direction.

Oh, and I got rid of the Kirby Krackle/energy bubbles coming out of his headband.  It looked as if I were drawing him as drunk, rather than readying up a Mindblast.

* * *


STEP FOUR:  And here is the finished comic page.  The colors were all one on a separate Multiply Layer, and the lettering was added.  I also decided to change the word "Kill" to "Harm" in panel 4, to make it seem as if M.O.D.O.K. was so moved by his connection to Devil Dinosaur, even the though of harming him was too much to think about, let alone killing him.

I threw in a shadow under Devil Dinosaur in the last panel so he didn't look like he was floating in space for no reason.  I will also admit the car crash of logos and fonts in the last panel makes my inner-graphic designer cry a little bit.  

* * *

Done digitally in Photoshop.

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018 - Part 1 (Updated)

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


I decided to update the picture to an animated .gif for no real reason at all.  Well, other than it amuses me.  Which, now that I think of it, is responsible for way too many of my inane actions.

Also, if you're gonna label something as "Techno-Color", well, by gum, it better have some color! 

Whoa, man, the colors!

* * *

Done digitally with Photoshop and Painter 2018

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March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018 - Part 1

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2018
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Greetings!  It's March, so that means it's time again for submissions to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog!

So, while some people's minds begin to turn toward thoughts of Spring, mine begins to grind away at trying to think of submissions for everyone's favorite Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing.

I can't help that some of you have misplaced priorities...

* * *


STEP ONE:  This was just a quick, scribbled idea in a sketchbook with a ballpoint pen.  Originally, I intended to have the letters toppled and jumbled as from the Mindblast, but realized it would be a bit of a pain in the butt, so changed it to letters on an arch. 

* * *


STEP TWO:  Here was a vague drawing of the sketch, which I did in Photoshop on a 1,500px x 1,650px canvas at 300dpi.  Since the view of M.O.D.O.K. was straight on and symmetrical, I cheated a bit by just drawing the left-half, then copying and flipping it over to the right-side.  Yeah, sinister, I know!  (I'm sure there's nothing more clever than a left-handed, Latin joke.)

* * *


STEP THREE:  Here is the initial start of coloring the drawing.  I included a rainbow gradient just because it was there and thought it would look cool.  However, for this particular choice, the problem was the purple on the left side would be too close to the purple of M.O.D.O.K.'s arm, and the orange on the right side would be too close to the orange of his chair/headband.  So, bleh on that!  Also, the head just didn't seem right for him, either--he needed to have a bigger forehead.

* * *


STEP FOUR:  I started goofing off with a new program along side Photoshop, Painter 2018.  I found a pretty handy symmetry tool which allows you to digitally paint the same thing on both halves of the painting.  So, I got to "cheat" again but just painting on one side of the painting and having it show up on the other side at the same time.  Nice!  I finished all the digital painting, added the lettering and the glowy bits, and changed the rainbow gradient.  And, of course, added the bad pun on "Technicolor (R)" as "Techno-Color".  

I'm witty like that.  Well, half-so, anyways...

* * *

Done digitally with Photoshop and Painter 2018.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Unwanted Valentines: Leeloo Dallas

Unwanted Valentines: 
Leeloo Dallas


This "Unwanted Valentine" is from "The Fifth Element" (1997), a somewhat goofy, fun, sci-fi movie for which I have an inordinate fondness.

Happy Valentine's Day!  (Or, VD as I prefer to call it.)  :-)

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the digital pencils done with a 9 pt. hard brush on a 1,500px by 2,100px canvas at 300dpi.

* * *


STEP TWO:  The digital inks, again, mostly done with a 9pt hard brush.

* * *


STEP THREE:  Coloring was done over top the digital inks on a Multiply Layer.  After it was done, I dropped the resolution down to 200dpi, which reduced the canvas size to 1,000px by 1,400px for a smaller upload size.  I decided to keep the coloring stylized as its own design element, rather than a more realistically colored image.

* * *

Done digitally with Photoshop.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Unwanted Valentines: Power Droid / GNK Droid

Unwanted Valentines:
Power Droid / GNK Droid


OK, fellow nerds, it's time again for "Unwanted Valentines"!  Alas, Valentine's sneaked up on me this year and I got off to a bit of a late start.  Sigh, I had such beautiful plans...  

Anyhoo, for this one, it is the Power Droid/GNK Series Droid from "Star Wars".  Y'know, the droids wandering around in the background that only say "GONK!" (yeah, yeah, I know there is one being tortured in Jabba's palace that doesn't say "GONK!", no need to correct me).  I always thought they were amusing and they hold a soft spot in my heart--and even softer head.

And, while working on this GONK Droid card, I got another idea with the GNK Droid which I'll (hopefully) be posting soon.  For now, I have at least one other nerdy Unwanted Valentine to get done... ONWARD!

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the digital pencils.  Originally, I did them with a 9 pt. hard brush on a 1,500px by 2,100px canvas at 300dpi.

* * *


STEP TWO:  The digital inks, again, mostly done with a 9pt hard brush.  I used some guidelines underneath for perspective and to make sure things were (mostly) square, but I also wanted it to look hand-drawn.  So, I didn't bother using shift/ruler tools and the like for the linework, but just drew everything overtop the guidelines.  Lots of drawing and re-drawing and re-re-drawing lines until I got them close to right.  Bleh.

Well, except for the word balloon.  By that time, I was near to the end and just said #$@!! it, I'll just leave the word balloon as a stroked shape and be done with it...  :-P

* * *


STEP THREE:  Coloring was done over top the digital inks on a Multiply Layer.  After it was done, I dropped the resolution down to 200dpi, so the canvas dropped to 1,000px by 1,400px for a smaller upload size.  Ta-da!

* * *

Done digitally with Photoshop.

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Arishem the Celestial: Happy New Year - 2018

Happy New Year!


Hey, it's a New Year!  Happy New Year, everyone!  I just got used to writing out 2017, and now this--another year to add to the stacks?  Anyhoo, what better way to bring in the new year than have the Celestial, Arishem the Judge, with 2018 inscribed on his thumb, rather than the code to destroy the planet (will they be one and the same?  Only time will tell!).

I just want to take a few moments to thank everyone who has stopped by and briefly gawked at my modest site before moving on to other sites, or were searching for something else and accidentally got referred to my site...  Heck, I'd even settle for rubber-necking at the digital car crash which is my Blog on the information super-highway.  So, thank you to all who have visited (some on purpose!), and even provided words of encouragement (names are withheld to protect the guilty)--It means far more than you can know and is greatly appreciated! 

I have plenty of resolutions to break, including posting more this year (don't say I didn't warn you!).  I only had 24 posts in 2017--just under one ever other week.  Rather meager and personally disappointing, IMHO.  This year, I hope to have more posts, a few projects which are more ambitious.  Well, we'll see.

Onward to the preposterous process portion of this post!

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here is a quick, digital thumbnail of the idea I had for the New Year's posting.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Another really quick drawing to layout the figure, etc. on a 1,500px by 2,100px canvas.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And here it is a little bit further along and tightened up.  It's starting to take shape and resemble (loosely) Arishem the Judge.

* * *


STEP FOUR:  This was the finished picture, done with multiple new layers, using the blend and smudge tools to smooth out some of the brush strokes.  However, after looking at the original quick sketch, I decided I liked the idea of Arishem's hand breaking out of the frame, even though it was due to me doing a poor job of drawing a rectangle, rather than something planned out that way.  That said, if anyone asks, I meant to do that!  So, I went back into the picture and carved out around the hand to make it look like it was popping out of the frame.

* * *

Done digitally in Photoshop.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Roy Batty: Year in Review

Roy Batty: Year in Review


I think Roy Batty from "Blade Runner" sums up the year pretty well.

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are some quick digital scribbles indicating the general layout, construction, and color.  This was pretty much the halfway point, give-or-take.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Basically, I just used the chalk brush at varying opacities to finish digitally painting the pic, as well as some blending brush to smooth out some of the more obvious brushstrokes.  I also did a rain in a separate layer, then blurred it a few pixels, and moved the opacity down to about 65%.  Oh, and I added some type, of course, with the word balloons just being white-filled circles with the opacity also dropped to 65%.

* * * 

Done digitally in Photoshop.

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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Sithmas - Supreme Leader Snoke

Merry Sithmas


Hey, it's another Sithmas card, this time for Supreme Leader Snoke.  I have a few more in mind for next year, so there's that to look forward to... I mean, if you're into Sithmas cards and all.  So, temper your enthusiasm and all that.

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the digital scribbles with a 5pt. hard brush.

* * *


STEP TWO: I dropped the opacity of the pencil layer and inked overtop again with a 5pt. hard brush.  Here is the finished digital ink layer.

* * *


STEP THREE:  Several layers were used to color beneath the inked drawing.  I then animated the stars behind Snoke and output it as an animated .gif.  

* * *

Done digitally with Photoshop.

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