Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Star Wars Portraits - Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia

I haven't done portraits in a while - so I started painting up some Star Wars characters.  After three I was pretty much done, but I certainly learned a lot doing it.  It was a little different than usual because the references I used were from the films.  Because they were filmed in the late 70's - early 80's, a lot of the information in the pictures wasn't very clear.  The colors were a little funky too for the same reason.  Back then their cameras shot in a much lower resolution, so to get things to show up clearly I'm sure they had to use a bunch of makeup and heavy lighting.  The challenge was fun though, and I think I got much better at blending skin tones / textures, and painting pretty much every facial feature.  I also learned to improvise texture in clothing and fabric by doing these.  I'd like to do more, but I need to switch over to drawing things from my head (tired of looking so closely at references).

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Here we go, we've got some massive updates to get done on this here blog...

So the story behind this one is pretty simple - I was TICKED!  For a couple of weeks it seemed like people were just out to screw up everything I set out to do in life. To let off some steam, I'd work on this in between all of my other projects.  The sudden frustration made me feel like a wrestling / beating the tar out of some frightening creature 10 times my size.  In the end it was actually pretty fun to do it and I learned a lot.

This time I actually tracked the process (as best as I could, anyway) so that you could see how I work on these things.  The process on this picture cuts some corners because it wasn't originally supposed to turn into a finished product.  However, I thought it'd be fun to share it because I did things completely differently - without planning much at all. Here's a gif of each stage and below I'll briefly describe the thinking behind each one.

1 - Quick, rough sketch.  I'm only trying to get a basic idea of what I want.  I didn't even care about breaking down shapes or anything - most parts can even be scribbles.  Usually I draw simple shapes on this step to make a structure to draw my lines over.

2 - Refined lines.  Here I turn down the opacity of my sketch layer and just draw some cleaner lines right over the top the sketch so I can get a better idea of what things are doing in the picture.

3 - Added some value.  I throw in some basic gray value over my sketch layer that will help give me the overall value of the two characters.  I decide what parts I want to pop out of the picture.

4 - Flat colors.  I choose some basic colors that each surface is going to have and put them in their own layer over the top of the gray value and set it to "Multiply".  The value shows right through the color.

5 - Concentrated highlights and shadows.  I add some lighter color to the parts that I want to accentuate more to add some texture, and add some shadows to give some depth.  I also put in some red tints on the flesh to make it them look full of life.

6 - Lose the lines.  I turn down the opacity on my line work and refine all the edges and details that the lines were giving me, then I delete the line layer.  This way everything looks more three dimensional.  I go in and add more small details in the fur, clothing, facial features, etc.  I add a gradient set to "screen" to the background layer behind the characters to add some intensity.

7 - More details, separation of the brightest highlights and the darkest shadows.  Then I blend the mid tones into the shadow and light to create a smooth transition.  This stage is just noodling away at small details like the fur, in this case.

8 - Fill light.  I add some faint bluish hues to the characters to make them look more three dimensional and help the viewer see their forms a little bit better.  Drool added for dramatic effect!

WHEW.  That was fun.  But exhausting to type it all out - it's much easier to just do it and not explain anything.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Link between...two...Links?

Cel Shaded Link

Painted Link

So I thought of an exercise that I wanted to try out.  I had the urge to both draw Link and do a picture with cartoony cel shades (which I'd never really done before).

What I ended up doing was finishing the picture on top in that style - using 100% opacity on my brush, leaving all the line work, and not blending anything together.  The process was kind of annoying at times because of the limitation of not blending, mainly because it was outside of my comfort zone.  Because of all that, I thought it might be cool to repost the picture with a paintover in a more realistic style (and some slight editing on the background).  That's the one on the bottom.

I like both styles in different ways - the one on the left is more storybook/cartoon looking, and the one on the right has greater contrast and pops certain things out more.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Daddy's Home

Everybody's got a soft spot - even nasty looking dwarves!  This started out as just a portrait of an old wrinkly guy, and it kept changing to what it is now.  I liked the idea of juxtaposing a huge burly man with a little baby.  Judging by the last several pictures I've done (with the exception of a couple), I guess I like using lots of blues and oranges.  Oh well!  I'm happy with the result, let me know what you guys think.

Wacom Bamboo tablet

Mario and Yoshi redesign

A long time ago I was challenged in a class to redesign one or more characters from Mario Bros. as an exercise.  I found sketches of Mario and Yoshi (which might find their way on here in a second) again and painted them up in Photoshop just for the heck of it.  What I was going for was more of a literal interpretation of Yoshi and a Mario that looks more like a stereotypical plumber.  I thoroughly enjoyed doing it, especially the background.

-Photoshop CS5
-Wacom Bamboo tablet

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunset Storm

We saw a really cool sunset right when a storm was rolling in - it was so colorful I tried to recreate it!

I haven't done a legitimate landscape in a long time, and this one kind of made me want to do a lot more.  We'll see.

I'm happy with the way the colors work together - I think it shows a lot of growth from past choices I've made in other pictures.

- Photoshop CS5
- Wacom Bamboo Tablet

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Boy and His Minion

Yet another movie still study - this one is from Megamind!  I hope you've seen this movie.  If not, watch it.  Now!   Your life will be at least 20% happier.  Go ahead, try it.
I haven't done anything cutesy like this (you know, with the beaming eyes and all) in a long time, so it was fun. I really liked the lighting and the effects in this shot, so I decided to paint it. This one helped me to learn even more about blending skin colors and doing better textures.  Right now I think I'll take a break to do some original pictures and see what I've learned before I try more screenshot exercises.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The King

This is another movie still exercise - I thought a certain Lord of the Rings shot of Aragorn was pretty cool, so I painted it. It was much more time consuming than I originally thought it would be. I started out thinking I wasn't going to put in much detail, but then I got into it! I learned a lot about picking the right colors, texture, etc.  Getting the likeness 100% is always a big challenge, but I think this one turned out nicely.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Let's Rumble

Been working a little harder lately - I've started painting movie scenes in order to better my skills a little bit.  It's been fun, and I've learned a lot from it. I have a few more coming soon!  This one is from How To Train Your Dragon - Stoick is about to take on a dragon with his bare hands.  I'm happy with how it turned out.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Gone Fishin' Repost

Ok, here we are - I got some tips from my brother on how to improve this one.  This time around I added some more depth/design to the water so it would flow better. I also darkened the mountains so that the contrast would not compete with the foreground as much.  I like how it turned out!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Gone Fishin'

For those of you that have been following the blog, anxious for another post, the wait is over!  I apologize, school kind of kept me a little too busy as of late.  This is a project I had started about 4 months ago.  Recently, I finally had time to finish it up.  I mainly had the urge to practice painting water/reflections - this is what I came up with.  It was fun to work on, but I sure am glad to be done with it.  I've posted a couple of different versions because I couldn't decide if I liked a cooler or warmer feel for the color scheme.

I'll be posting a lot more regularly in the near future, so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Smog City

Alright, check it out - we did an exercise where we painted a cityscape in under 45 minutes.  The theme was "ventilation," so I filled mine with all kinds of vents, fans, pipes, hoses, etc.  I liked how mine started out, so I went on to throw on some colors and other finishing touches.  Below is the finished product:

Basically what I took away from all of this was more commitment in line weight.  I had fun using thick dark lines in this one - I'm going to experiment with it a lot more later.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Noel Gallagher!

so I started doodling the other day and it slowly turned into a caricature of Noel Gallagher. Maybe I was listening to Oasis or something at the time, I don't know.  I thought it might be fun to color it up and see how it would look.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Attack of the Demon Bunny

Yeah, I know it's horrifying. Here's the deal - I was given the task of mashing up 3 random pictures. Here are the links for the 3.

#1 -  http://chaes1126.egloos.com/photo/album/72645/1758980
#2 -  http://chicho21net.deviantart.com/art/Killer-Rabbit-100685977
#3-   http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-152ORBgzbks/T9p36elymrI/AAAAAAAABFU/_HDD6Ew02Sk/s1600/PG1_3.gif

I mixed the fire beast thing with the evil bunny, and the guy with the sword from #3 became the protagonist. The composition is loosely based on #2. I'll probably tweak the background shortly, but at this point I wanted to move on to my next project - so I decided to post it. I had lots of fun with this thing. Kind of reminds me of a boss in Zelda.

edit: 9/28/2012 - changed the background and cleaned things up like I said I would. Hope you like it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

why so serious, Eminem?

Uh oh, Eminem's been possessed by the Joker...

Think about his nickname "Slim Shady" - it's just an alter ego he used in order to clown around and say all kinds of controversial stuff. Its purpose was to protect him as a person. He would always say it was just a character and that he really didn't believe the things Slim Shady said. Pretty clever!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rainy Days

This thing kind of gradually pieced itself together as I went along. I pretty much started by putting in a stairway and some hills - I knew I wanted that much, but the rest wasn't planned out at all. I only had the urge to do some sort of mountainous scene. It probably ended up all stormy due to some wishful thinking on my part. It feels like my whole state is burning up because of wild fires! We've got too much smoke in the air, and haven't had any storms to blow that junk away. It's driving me nuts! Anyway, hope y'all like the result.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lost Woods, Master Sword

When I finished that last post, I felt like drawing a forest scene.  It started out as a speed painting, and as I was fine tuning the thing it seemed like the Master Sword should be there because it reminded me of the Lost Woods from Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.  So this was the end result!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Frog / Glenn

Did this while I was playing Chrono Trigger.  So what if the game is 16 years old?  I think we should make it a law to play through it at least one time a year - that's how great it is.  They just don't make 'em like they used to, that's for sure.  Here's Frog with the Masamune....'nuff said.

Tupac and Snoop Dogg

Alright, so Tupac Shakur wanted to change his professional name to Makaveli in 1996.  It was a reference to Niccolo Machiavelli, an Italian philsopher/writer.  Fun fact: The Black Panthers based some of their ideas on his writing, that's where their "by any means necessary" motto comes from.  That's probably why Tupac came up with the new name.  Anyway, I thought it would be cool to try and mix the two together - ol' 2pac looking like a guy from the Renaissance period.  Oh yeah, and Snoop Dogg over there was definitely a no-brainer, heh heh

KRS-One: The Blastmaster


Here comes another one, KRS-One!  The guy has the nickname of "The Blastmaster" because of the way he would win rap battles.  When I first heard the nickname, Ironman instantly popped into my head.  Yeah, THAT guy fits the description pretty well.  So, lo and behold, Krs-One in an Ironman-esque super suit!