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.)  :-)

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

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

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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!

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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Done digitally with Photoshop.

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Merry Sithmas - Count Dooku

Merry Sithmas


Gee, it's been a while since I put out a Sithmas Card.  And, with a little movie called "Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi" out in theaters, now, I suppose it's time to dust them off again.

Originally, I intended to give him an elf's hat, but I just didn't have enough room on the top of his head to get it to look look correctly.  So, I cheated a bit and went with holly on his cape, instead.

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the digital pencils, scrawled and scribbled with a 5pt. hard brush.  Gosh darn it!  The pencils almost always look better to me than the finished inks.  Sigh...  Probably 'cuz they are more loose and sketchy, giving your brain the opportunity to choose the best lines it likes best to finish the drawing, rather than being given a single, solid line.

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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 Count Dooku and output it as an animated .gif.  Ta da!

* * *

Done digitally with Photoshop.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Separated at Birth: Pennywise and Killer Klowns

Separated at Birth


Hey, it's another joke that is rather obvious, and of course that means I cannot allow it to pass by without a comment!  (Thanks, Captain Obvious!)

Both Pennywise and the Killer Klowns from Outer Space:
- Came from Outer Space/Alternate Dimensions
- Have clown-like appearance
- Murderous... Very murderous
- Generous use of balloons for terror
- Crazy hair
- Bad teeth
- Divergent strabismus (exotropia)

* * *


STEP ONE/TWO:  In this case, I did do some step-by-steps for the Killer Klown digital painting ("Slim", in this case).  First, I did some quickly scribbled digital pencils (5 pt. hard brush).  Followed by the color roughs on a new Layer just below the pencils which were done with a 50pt. chalk brush.

* * *


STEP THREE/FOUR:  I merged the digital pencil layer down on top of the color layer and began to build up and tighten the colors--pushing the shadows and bumping up the highlights.  The head was pretty much done, leaving the collar and shirt to finish.

* * *


STEP FIVE:  I also decided to update the Pennywise a little bit, moved the nose down, re-colored the hair, and made minor, um, cosmetic changes.  I made the lighting slightly more dramatic so it would better match the Killer Klown digital painting.

* * *

Done digitally with Photoshop.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pennywise / Poundfoolish

Pennywise / Poundfoolish


OK, I admit it: this is a joke so obvious that I've had it kicking around in my head since the very first time I heard of "Pennywise the Clown" in the pages of Stephen King's "It".  And, what better time to actually getting around to doing it?

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here's the quickly scribbled digital pencils, done in Photoshop with a 5pt. hard brush.

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STEP TWO:  I used so many different layers to paint over top of the digital pencils, that I forgot to save intermediate steps.  Well, that I'm a little slow, sometimes.  So, here it is all finished.  Ta-da... 

* * *

This was done digitally in Photoshop.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Inktober 2017 - Invaders From Mars (1953)

Invaders from Mars


Well, I only got one more of my planned Inktober 2017 done, alas.  I was busy with several other projects of varying importance, so had to set my Blog aside for a little while.  I have quite a backlog of stuff I still want to post this year--so, we'll see how that goes!

This is for "Invaders from Mars", the 1953 movie about, well, Invaders--from Mars!  I watch this movie when I was a kid, and it struck a paranoiac chord in my psyche.  Flying saucers, Martians, and mind control--Oh, my! 

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the pencils, lightly sketched out with a 6B pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Bristol board.

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STEP TWO:  These are the inks, done with a No. 2 brush and Medium technical pen.

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STEP THREE:  Sort of ruining the purpose of the purpose of Inktober, I did a stylized colorization of the pen-and-ink drawing by using a Multiply Layer.  Oh, well, I've never been much for listenin' or following directions.

* * *

This was done with pen-and-ink and colorized in Photoshop.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Inktober 2017 - Zeiram (1991)

Zeiram


Well, I'm off to a bit of a late start this year, but it's time for Inktober 2017, which I usually use as an opportunity to mash-up with Halloween to feature various monster movies and such.

In this case, I decided to go with Zeiram (1991), a semi-obscure Japanese Sci-Fi/Monster movie.  The movie starts strong, with an awesome prison break from an alien Super-Max by an unstoppable killing machine, Zeiram (the scene was shot in stylized black-and-white).  They did a great job of building him up, but by the end the movie devolved into our plucky, female bounty hunter, Iria, fighting a series of rubber-suited monsters.  Overall, I thought it was fun, but the potential from the greatness of the opening scenes was lost by the regression to the mean for sci-fi monster movies and standard sci-fi/monster tropes.  Still, Zeiram as a monster has stuck with me, with his unique look.

Zeiram had a really creepy "Flesh Core" (even the name "Flesh Core" is creepy), with a tiny female face in the center of his hat, and a snakelike body.  Most of the time, the face in his hat had it's eyes closed, but once they opened and opened its fanged mouth smiled, death and destruction followed...

Smile!  The "Face" on Zeiram's hat / Flesh Core.

The Work in Progress is below for those interested.  For those not interested, the Work in Progress is still below, I guess.

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here are the pencils, lightly sketched out with a 6B pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Bristol board.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Taking a .07mm Needle Tip GelPen, I drew out the basic line work from the pencil drawing.

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STEP THREE:  I then took a Pitt Brush Pen and No. 8 brush with ink and filled in the dark and shadow areas.

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STEP FOUR:  I then scanned it into Photoshop and colorized it in a stylized manner, using a Multiply Layer.

* * *

This was done with pen-and-ink and colorized in Photoshop.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Happy 100th Birthday to Jack Kirby! (Part 2)

Jack Kirby's 100th Birthday (Part 2)


I had two different ideas for Jack Kirby's 100th Birthday, and just barely enough time for both, so here we are...  :-)  In this case, I thought a halo for comic's patron Saint made from a Kirby Krackle would be fitting.  Hail to the King, baby!

It was done mostly the same way as the previous post, so excuse the repetitive steps through the work in progress, below.

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here is the original charcoal drawing, done with charcoal and carbon pencil, done on 8-1/2" x 11" gray toned cardstock.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Here is the finished charcoal drawing, where I used a white charcoal pencil to work in the highlights.

* * *


STEP THREE:  I imported the charcoal drawing into Photoshop and modified it, using a mixture of Multiply Layers and Normal Layers.  I corrected a few things that were slightly off (the right-hand cheek needed to be extended out a little bit more, for example), and blended some of the charcoal digitally.  Hmmm, traditional charcoal crossed with digital chalk brush...  Once again, I darkened the outside edge of the paper to draw in more contrast with the Kirby Krackle halo.

* * *

Done with charcoal, carbon pencil, and white chalk on 8-1/2" x 11" toned paper and enhanced in Photoshop.

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Happy 100th Birthday to Jack Kirby!

Jack Kirby's 100th Birthday


Today would have been the 100th Birthday of Jack Kirby, truly the King of Comics.  I can't add to everything which has been said about Jack Kirby and his importance to the history of comic books and pop culture, but his work has had a grand influence on my life.

Yeah, his writing was a bit... stilted, with his characters talking as if your grandparents were trying to use the "hip lingo" of the day (which is straight up what it was, now that I think of it), but there was an earnestness which shined through--he wore his heart on his sleeve.  His art was distorted, bordering on the grotesque, but it is visually captivating and displayed so much dynamism and power.

And the ideas!  They are truly amazing and astonishing: a One Man Army Corps set in a corporatized future; Space Gods who have experimented with life on Earth, giving rise to humans, monsters, and gods; mythical sci-fi battles between forces of good and evil... I am obsessed with many of his creations just for their sheer brilliance--they occupy a place in my imagination so deep it has bonded to my DNA.  OMAC, The Celestials, M.O.D.O.K., Galactus, Silver Surfer, New Gods, Inhumans, Eternals, Kamandi, Devil Dinosaur, and so many more.

So, I shall pour some out (ink, in this case) in honor of Jack "King" Kirby:
"You truly are the King of Kings!"
(To be said ala Troy McClure in "The Simpsons" episode, "A Star is Burns")

* * *


STEP ONE:  Here is the original charcoal drawing, done with charcoal and carbon pencil, done on 8-1/2" x 11" gray toned cardstock.

* * *


STEP TWO:  Here is the finished charcoal drawing, where I used a white charcoal pencil to work in the highlights.

* * *


STEP THREE:  I imported the charcoal drawing into Photoshop and colorized it, using a mixture of Multiply Layers and Normal Layers.  I also darkened the edges of the paper to give more focus to Kirby's drawing hand in the drawing.

* * *

Done with charcoal, carbon pencil, and white chalk on 8-1/2" x 11" toned paper and colorized in Photoshop.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Cover Replica: Batman Adventures - Mad Love

Batman Adventures: Mad Love


Here's the original "Mad Love" cover by Bruce Timm.

* * *


And here is here's the cover replica for my pal (and Superman's), Jim, from Jimmy Jams Comics and Games here in Winona, MN and La Crosse, WI.

Once again, these things seem to take forever.

* * *


STEP ONE:  I cut a 20" x 30" piece of hardboard, and then glued a 22" x 30" sheet of Stonehenge (#140) paper using acrylic medium, and trimmed the excess paper after it dried.  I then used a mixture of gesso and acrylic medium to paint over top of the Stonehenge paper to prep it for painting.  When that was done, I drew a 1" x 1" grid and set to pencilling the cover image.  For the pencils, I used a blue lead .07 mechanical pencil to keep the lead from smearing too much.

* * *



STEP TWO:  Once the pencils were done, I began to paint the large areas with acrylic paint.  The straight lines were done with a Sharpie marker and a ruler, while the other line work was done with a mixture of acrylic black paint and waterproof, acrylic black ink and painted on with a round brush.

* * *


STEP THREE:  Here is about the halfway point with the colors using acrylic paint.  I did some drybrushing for the shading and highlights to give it more of the feel of the original marker coloring.

* * *


STEP FOUR:  And here is the finished piece.  As usual, my camera didn't do the best job, and since it is so large, lighting it uniformly is problematic.  Sigh.

I did cheat a little bit by painting the cards with a darker blue, solid color, rather than trying to replicate the 50% screen effect.  I did try to use a Sharpie marker to recreate the screen, but it just didn't look right, so just went with the solid color, instead.  I guess I could have just used my printer and glued it onto the drawing, but that just doesn't feel right to me.  Ah, well.

* * *

This was done with acrylic paint on 20" x 30" gessoed Stonehenge paper glued to hardboard.

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