Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Star Wars Sketchbook - Star Destroyer Chasing Tantive IV

Star Destroyer Chase


Hey, it's another two-page spread acrylic painting in the Star Wars Sketchbook I started a month-and-a-half ago or so.  This time, it's just after the opening crawl, with the introduction of the Tantive IV being chased by the Star Destroyer.  When I first saw this scene in the theaters (yes, I'm so old I actually saw it in the theaters in 1977 when I was a kid).

The palette was basically the same as the last post: Titanium White, Carbon Black, Payne's Grey, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, King's Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Anthraquinone Blue, with just a dash of Naphthol Red Light.

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the pencils, done with a Indigo Blue Colored Pencil on casein and blue-acrylic paint as the under-painting.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Here's the first pass in acrylic paint, just to lay down something for the rest of the painting to stick to, as well as model some of the light and dark masses.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And here's the finished painting.  The Tantive IV was a little too big in the previous Step, so I shrank it down.  And stars... painting lots and lots of stars.

* * *

Done with Acrylic Paint on 8-1/2" x 11" Stillman & Brin Mixed Media (140#) paper.

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Friday, June 26, 2020

Star Wars Sketchbook - Stormtroopers: "Look, Sir, Droids!"

Stormtroopers:
"Look, Sir, Droids!"


OK, I'm probably a moron (oh, I just **NOW** realized that?) for starting down this path, but here are pages 1-2 of the newly designated "Star Wars Sketchbook".  I always liked the "Look, sir, droids!" scene, so figured I'd do that one, next.  It probably has to do with the background Dewbacks--well, also foreground Dewbacks in the New Edition(s).  I found them cool when I was a kid (and still do), and always really liked the Star Wars card with a Stormtrooper on a Dewback.  I guess I should have just done a painting of that Star Wars card, I guess?  Oh, well, maybe next time.  I still have 25 Double-Pages/50 Single-Pages left to make that painting, if I so choose.

Now, for the next point in this decision tree...  Should I keep just doing drawings/paintings from "Star Wars: Episode Four: A New Hope", or scenes from other "Star Wars" movies, as well.  Hmmmm...  I'm thinking it will be all from "A New Hope".  Find out next week!  :-D

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here is the double-page spread in the Sketchbook.  It was primed with casein fixative and acrylic paint, then used a blue-violet colored pencil to draw the rough placement of the Stormtroopers.

* * *


STEP TWO:  This was the first pass with acrylic paint.  The background Stormtrooper and Escape Pod were moved up a little bit, as the placement was a bit awkward as compared to the foreground Trooper holding the... whatever the heck that thing is.

The palette was relatively simple: Titanium White, Carbon Black, Payne's Grey, Naples Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, King's Blue, Ultramarine Blue, and Anthraquinone Blue.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And here's the final painting, done with lots of finagling, going back and forth with different paint colors and values.  

* * *

Done with Acrylic Paint on 8-1/2" x 11" Stillman & Brin Mixed Media (140#) paper.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Sketchbook Cover - Greedo

Greedo


I happened to get a couple nicer watercolor sketchbooks on clearance and figured I should doodle something on the cover so I know which side to open.  Hey, how 'bout... [very, very, very long pause].  Oh, heck, I can't think of anything--I'll just do one of Greedo.  Why  not?

So, that's the story of how I decided to do an acrylic painting on the cover of the sketchbook.  However, now that has given me a bit of a dilemma.

There are 26 sheets of paper in the sketchbook, which is 52 pages.  Which also just so happens to be the number of weeks in a year.  You may already see where I am thinking of going with this.  Part of me thinks it would be a great idea to do another stupid challenge to myself--hey, Dummy, how 'bout a painting a week for the whole year in the sketchbook?  Hmmm, I dunno about that, it seems like a pretty big commitment.  I already have "31 Days of Hell-O-Ween" in October to think about.  Should I add more to that?  Probably not... but that hasn't ever really stopped me before.

Also, what would I paint on all those pages?  Should I keep going with all "Star Wars" characters?  Or broaden it out just a little bit to all Science Fiction movies in general?  Decisions, decisions...

I guess y'all will find out what I decide shortly after I do.  Or something like that.

Anyhoo, here's the Work in Progress for this painting!

* * *


STEP ONE Hey, it's a sketchbook on clearance!

* * *


STEP TWO:  I coated the cover with a mix of Matte Medium and Casein fixative to give the Acrylic paint something to stick to.  I figured, since the cover was a darker blue, to do the painting as a monochrome painting, with the palette consisting of: Titanium White, Carbon Black, and Ultramarine Blue.  Here's the first pass with a large, 1/2" flat brush and a No. 12 Round.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And here's the finished painting.  A lot more modeling and texture added to the face, and just general adding of detail.  I did add my name in Photoshop, 'cuz I realized a little too late I forgot to sign it.  Oh, well.

* * *


STEP FOUR:  And, just to add the symmetry from the Step One, here it is in hand after I just finished spraying it with Krylon UV-Protective Fixative.  Weird how a lot of the blue color was lost on the phone pic; I guess I'll blame the fluorescent lighting.  Now for the difficult part: Trying to figure out what to do next with the sketchbook with all those blank pages!  Hmmmm....

* * *

Done with Acrylic Paint on 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" cover.

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Friday, May 22, 2020

If H.P. Lovecraft Wrote SHAZAM?

SHAZ-THULU!


OK, this was idea that came to me a while ago, but **FINALLY** got around to working on it.  While looking at some of the origin stories of SHAZAM, I came across the panel talking about Elder Gods, which immediately makes me think of H.P. Lovecraft:


I've always been a fan of H.P. Lovecraft's stories and the idea of a cosmic horror-based mythology (one that was more-or-less Open Source--with other authors adding to it, which delights me even more).  So, it was just a matter of plugging in the Outer/Elder Gods from the H.P. Lovecraft Mythos into the acronym/initialism of S.H.A.Z.A.M.:
S - (Yog) Sothoth, the Key and the Gate
H - Hastur, the Unspeakable
A - Azathoth, the Blind Idiot God
Z - Zhar, One of the Twin Obscenities
A - Abhoth, the Source of Uncleanliness
M - Mordiggian, the Charnel God
Yes, Yog Sothoth is a bit of a cheat for "S", but Yog Sothoth is a far more well-known Outer God and has more cultural cache.  Besides, the other name in contention, Shub-Niggurath, is... problematic.  And a bit too long to fit properly into the scroll, so that bullet was dodged due to lack of space.

As a side note, I was considering doing this as a full 4-6 page pastiche of the original origin story with subtle changes here and there, but I guess they say brevity is the soul of wit.  Or, in my case, half of the wit.  Maybe I'll come back to it.

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the digital pencils, done on a blue line layer in Clip Studio Paint on a 1,500px x 2,250px canvas.  It amused me to mix together the cartoony drawings of Billy Batson from the original origin in "Whiz Comics" and a slightly more realistic drawing.

* * *


STEP TWO:  And here are the digital inks.  I thought it would be more of an in-joke to have Cthulhu's symbol as part of the lightning blast to transform Billy Batson into SHAZAM.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And here are the colors, done with a series of Multiply and Normal layers.  When it was finished, it was exported as a .jpg at 1,000px x 1,500px.

* * *

Done digitally in Clip Paint Studio.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

May the Fourth Be With You - 2020

May the Fourth Be With You!


OK, sure, it's really a day late, but I won't tell anyone if you don't!  And, once again--against all common sense--I have decided to hitch my wagon to Jaxxon, the 6' tall green rabbit who is now... semi-canon (he has made appearances recently in various comics within the past couple years, so "Mission Accomplished" on my mad quest to make him canon?).

Anyhoo, 'cuz I am nothing if not a one-trick pony, for the past several years I've used Jaxxon as part of "May the Fourth Be With You"/"Star Wars Day"/"Revenge of the Sixth".  Of course, it is also one of those things where you kinda begin to regret starting something, then feeling like you must keep it going.  So, I guess my one-trick pony died and I will keep flogging it.

That said, I'm not entirely displeased with this cartoon, and will no doubt use use Jaxxon again in the future.  For better or worse, I remember reading about him wayyyyyy back in "Star Wars" #8 (1977/1978), when anything related to "Star Wars" was eagerly consumed by myself.  I remember him fondly enough to keep bringing him up on this Blog at least one a year; I'm not entirely sure what that says about Jaxxon, or myself for the matter. 

In this case, I managed to merge a cartoon of one of the least popular Star Wars characters (Jaxxon) with one of the most popular Star Wars characters (Baby Yoda).  And you assume Jaxxon is just trying to jump on that bandwagon?  YOU'RE the one trying to get popular copying Baby Yoda!  And how dare you suggest he is just projecting?  Tsk!  Have you no shame?


See?  Totally and completely different!  I guess you must feel pretty foolish, now!

Speaking of foolish... Below is the work in progress that absolutely no one has been clamoring for.

* * * 


STEP ONE:  Here are the digital pencils, done in Clip Studio Paint on a 1,500px x 2,250px canvas at 600dpi.  Sure, it's complete overkill as far as resolution goes, but better too much than too little, I guess. 

* * *


STEP TWO:  And the digital inks, done mostly with their standard ink brush.  Although, I have begun to play around with their brush creation tools, so that may be fun in the future.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And finally, the coloring, done over a series of layers.  I had the inks on the top layer, then did each color on it's own layer.  So, the backgrounds on one, Jaxxon's skin/fur tone on another, and the robes on their own layer.  Each layer was a color flat, then alpha locked so only the areas in which I colored would be able to be painted.  Basically, I do it as a quick and dirty mask area.  It works for me.

* * *

Done digitally in Clip Studio Paint.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020 - Part 9

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Well, here's the last submission for March M.O.D.O.K. Madness for 2020.

Alas, poor M.O.D.O.K. is too exhausted to Mindblast anymore for the month and needs a nap.  I know the feeling!

I just wanna take a moment to thank Pedro and Brendan for the opportunity to play along.  It almost fills that spot from a couple previous fun art Blogs I used to play on: Covered (recreating comic book covers) and Repaneled (recreating comic book panels).  

Oh, and here's something mildly amusing: I had about a half-dozen notes and ideas scribbled down for submissions this year, but didn't get to a single one of 'em.  So, I'll probably use them next year.  I look forward to March M.O.D.O.K. Madness next year--and may have to do something to **REALLY** up my game!

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the digital pencils, hastily scrawled, done in Clip Studio Paint on a 1,500px x 1,900px @ 200dpi.

* * *


STEP TWO:  And these are the digital inks, also done in Clip Studio Paint--mostly with a 10pt to 15pt brush.  Mostly.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And, finally, here are the colors.  Nothing else to really report--it was a pretty straight forward drawing this time around.

* * *

Done digitally with Clip Studio Paint.

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Sunday, March 29, 2020

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020 - Part 8

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Yet another March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog submission.  And, possibly, it's one of the dumbest flashes of inspiration I've had for March M.O.D.O.K. Madness.

The conversation went something like this:

          John's Brain: John!  Hey, John, wake up!  
          John: Hmmama... whuh-hmbmbbb... [Snores]
          John's Brain: WAKE UP!
          John: HuhWha--?  Immuppp... I'm up!
          John's Brain: Y'know those tangerines you bought yesterday?
          John: Yeah...?
          John's Brain: Well, if you cut out the front section, I bet you can make it look like M.O.D.O.K.'s face.  Just Photoshop some eyes and digitally paint the front a bit and you can submit it to March M.O.D.O.K. Madness!
          John: [Long pause]  That's... [Another long pause]  Truly, that's gotta be one of the dumbest things you've ever sent my way, Brain.
          John's Brain: Yeah, I know...
          John: Well, it ain't gonna submit itself!  Let's do it, NOW!  [Leaps out of bed and races to the kitchen.]

So, this submission is a literal tangerine which I cut out to look like M.O.D.O.K., and then imported into Photoshop for a bit of digital chicanery.  The background is a photo I took of the interior of an old computer I had laying around (and should have taken to the Recycle Center a while ago now that I think about it), which was also imported and modified in Photoshop.

The accuracy of that conversation above is both a sad and shocking glimpse into my life...

* * *


STEP ONE:  I picked a random tangerine out of the bag and cut out the face mask area, and carved out the patterns and lights around his face.  For the background, I figured a blank or plain graduated color would be rather boring.  After a lot of thinking (all of 10 minutes), I thought about taking a pic of the motherboard of an old computer I had laying around.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Hey, it's an animated .gif of the process.  In this case, starting with the tangerine on the top layer and the motherboard photo in the bottom, I drew a face on the tangerine.  I added the lighting effects with an airbrush tool.  The motherboard was blurred and color corrected to blue to better set up a complementary color scheme (with orange and blue being on opposite sides of the color wheel).  I also went through with a charcoal brush in Photoshop to emphasize parts of the background to give it a little bit more of a Kirby feel to it.  Speaking of, I finished it off by adding a bit of Kirby Krackle.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And here's the finished picture which, given the rather sketchy nature of the inspiration, didn't turn out as horrible as it could have.

* * *

Done with digital manipulation in Photoshop.

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Saturday, March 28, 2020

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020 - Part 7

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Great Googly-Moogly!  How many more of these March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog submission am I gonna do?  The answer is at least one more.  Possibly two.

Oh, no, it looks like M.O.D.O.K. has too much MANGA-nese in his diet!  Ugh, I'll show myself out after that one...  This time I thought I would switch up styles yet again for M.O.D.O.K. and do it up in a Manga-style comic book page.  And, it seemed appropriate, given I used Clip Studio Paint (formerly Manga Studio) to draw this piece.

* * *


STEP ONE Here is the initial, scribbled doodle on a scrap piece of cardstock I had on hand that inspired this piece, if one could call it "inspired".  It was just a thought of "Oh, yeah, I should do something Manga-based.  I haven't done M.O.D.O.K. in that style, yet."  From there, I thought I should do it as a Manga comic page, rather than just an illustration aping the style.

* * *


STEP TWO:  And these are the hastily scribbled digital pencils on a 1,500px x 2,250px @ 600dpi (overkill, I know).  I was looking around for some inspiration by thumbing through some random Manga I have on my shelf and saw a panel with a back lit character and knew how the second panel had to look, aesthetically.  I do sorta like the thick line quality of the bottom panel, almost better than the finished one.  Too bad I wasn't quite able to capture that style as much as I wanted.  Ah, well...

Now it was just a matter of figuring out the first panel and what the story would be.  Well, as you can see, the "story" is just M.O.D.O.K. giving saying his name--a narrative twist no one saw coming!  Sigh...

* * *


STEP THREE:  Here is the finished page.  I used an inordinate number of layers and special rulers to achieve the line effects.  Clip Studio Paint has a fantastic brush engine, as well as perspective rulers.  I also decided to digitally hand-letter the page... which demonstrates my semi-crappy hand writing and why I hate lettering.  But, it seemed to fit the style of the page for some reason.  Also, I left it as black-and-white 'cuz, y'know... Manga.

* * *

Done digitally in Clip Studio Paint

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Saturday, March 21, 2020

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020 - Part 6

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Hey, it's another March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog submission!

This time, I was goofing off with a new app (to me), Art Set 4, on the ol' iPad.  It's a light-weight art app, and has a few tricks it does well--I like a few of the ink brushes and the watercolor and oil paint brushes blend in an interesting manner.  But, the interface can use some work and it just doesn't quite have the heft of some other apps I prefer, such as Clip Studio Paint, ArtStudio Pro, or Procreate.

So, this was just a random doodle of sorts.  I didn't even bother giving M.O.D.O.K. arms or legs in this one--just a floating, rocket head.  I'm hoping to get at least a couple more entrees done before the end of the month.  Fingers crossed.

* * *


STEP ONE:  I created a new canvas in Art Set 4 with one of the default, gray backgrounds and decided to use one of the more interesting, textured ink brushes called Koi.  For the white areas, I used their default Oil Brush

A brief aside to any Art App developers out there: I've really become enamored with Clip Studio Paint allowing Transparent as a brush color option.  Rather than using the eraser, it is more interesting to use the same brush to wipe out all colors and lines, instead.  It's a more natural eraser, IMHO.  Particularly when using a heavily textured brush.  

* * *


STEP TWO:  The inked image was colored with a series of Multiply and Normal Layers.  I didn't do any fancy layer or brush effects, as it was sort of intended to be more like a Sumi-brush effect.  Sort of...  So, I kept it simple.

* * *

Done digitally with Art Set 4 on an iPad Pro.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020 - Part 5

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Well, it's another submission to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog!

I hope everyone is doing well (which, in these times, has a slightly different urgency than usual).  This submission was actually inspired by Pedro from the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog replying to an e-mail saying he hoped I was "doing well during these strange days".  Sure, it's just a simple acknowledgement of good wishes (and much appreciated, of course), but I flashed to M.O.D.O.K. trying to wash his hands as suggested by the CDC, et. al.  The rest of this submission was built upon that.

Yeah, one may say I have problems with priorities in my thought processes... But, we'll leave that for another day and to someone with a higher pay grade to figure out.  Also, my sense of humor tends to run a bit on the dark side, as well as seemingly irreverent--especially when things are serious.

And, hey, I even decided to put in links for people to get actual information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [https://www.cdc.gov/] and World Health Organization [https://www.who.int/].

Be safe, everyone.

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here is the original idea thumbnail drawing, which was done on the iPad in Procreate as a 2,048px x 2,048px @ 133dpi canvas.  While it started with the idea of M.O.D.O.K. trying to wash his hands, it sort of built up from there.

* * *


STEP TWO:  These are the actual digital pencils, which were done in Clip Studio Paint as a 1,500px x 2,150px @ 600dpi canvas.  I did use parts of the original sketch idea as an overlay for the pencils.

* * *


STEP THREE:  And here are the digital inks and lettering.  

* * *


STEP FOUR:  Finally, over a series of Layers, here is the finished colors.  When it was finished, I reduced the size to 1,000px x 1,433px and called it DONE!  Again, be safe and be well, everyone!

* * *

Done digitally in Clip Studio Paint.

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Sunday, March 15, 2020

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020 - Part 4

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


It's yet another submission to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog!  This time it's a change from the previous wood block cut and on to something more in line with what I usually do--for better or worse.  I'm hoping to get another two to four M.O.D.O.K. pics done before the end of the month.  So, we'll see...

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here is the black-and-white under painting on the iPad using the ArtStudio Pro app.  The canvas was 1,500px x 2,000px at 300dpi.  Unfortunately, I just started and kept going and didn't bother with Work in Progress at the time (ie. I didn't think ahead enough to take screenshots and such).  

This was actually drawn with M.O.D.O.K. facing the opposite direction, but when I flipped it to see if any mistakes were glaringly obvious, I realized I too often have characters facing right-to-left, so just left it flipped horizontally and continued to work on it that way.

* * *


STEP TWO:  And this is the basic color with the Overlay layer done over top the black-and-white under painting.  Some of the Layer Effects were either too dark or too colorful for the mood I was vaguely trying to establish.

* * *


STEP THREE:  Over top on a Normal Layer, I added a few highlights and other colors, as well as the lighting effect with a digital airbrush.  I exported it as a .jpg at 1,000px by 1,333px and called it good 'nuff.

* * *

Done digitally in ArtStudio Pro on the iPad.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020 - Part 3

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2020
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Hey, it's another submission to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog!  Every once in a while, I like to do different art styles for M.O.D.O.K., just to keep things interesting.  This time, it's something a bit more primitive in style--a sort of digital wood cut print.

* * *


PART ONE:  In Procreate, I created a new document 2,048px x 2,732 at 132dpi, and used the "Inka" Inking Brush, which has a bit of a rough, dry line.  Using just the black and the white lines, I went with a more rough hewn style--looking to emulate a sort of wood block print aesthetic.  When I was finished, I imported it into Photoshop and changed the size to 1,200px x 1,601px at 200dpi.  I didn't bother with any digital pencils, or use the symmetry tools, just to keep it looking more primitive. 

* * *


PART TWO:  The colors were done over top with a Multiply Layer, also with the "Inka" Inking Brush.  I didn't bother doing any fancy airbrush or lighting effects, as the style would have clashed with the heavy line look, methinks.

* * *

Done digitally in Procreate on an iPad Pro.

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