Oh look what I found

I was cleaning my desk cubbies yesterday, and found these.

Dragon and BirdsMoth monster

The moth creature I remember abandoning, because I realized that I’d accidentally used water-soluble walnut ink on a piece I’d intended to watercolor. The dragon I remember drawing (it was around the same time as this piece), but I can’t for the life of me recall why I put it down.

Artist secret: we give up on a lot of things. Though now that I’ve found these, who knows. I might clean them up and use them for digital coloring practice.

In other news, I recently revived my Dribbble account. If you’re a member, be sure to drop by and say hello! I need more folks to follow.

 

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Process, on a small watercolor

I actually remembered to document my stages on a watercolor! A small watercolor sketch, but it’s something.

Blue forest

Those who follow me on twitter might recall this one! I was extremely unhappy with it for a while, though I’ve since grown a little more at ease. After the jump, I’ll talk a little about the process that goes into watercolors like these.

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Of dinosaurs and videogames

Some months ago, the inimitable Jon Davies asked me to do some internal promo art for a game his company, Megadev, was working on for Adult Swim. The game came out today, so now I can finally share this!A man and his sheepherding Allosaurus

There wasn’t much in the way of existing art representing the game at that time, outside of Jon’s original proposal sketch, so I actually got a fair bit of creative leeway. Here are some of my initial character sketches.

Character sketchesAnd here are the compositional thumbnails.

Compositional thumbsI can’t even describe what a great experience this was. I’ve known Jon for some years, and working with him as an art director was just terrific. And his own art, in the game? Standout gorgeous.

Give it a play. Just watch out for those exploding tomatoes at the carnival, they’re brutal.

Toothless

I’m supposed to be taking it easy today. I had all four of my wisdom teeth pulled yesterday. And while it wasn’t as terrifying an experience as I’d expected, I’m still in a fair bit of pain and a little out of it from the high dosages of vicodin I’m taking every 4-6 hours. But of course being told you’re supposed to relax makes it all the harder, so instead I’ve been knocking about online and doing minor design work for most of the day.

But then I remembered this blog, and the fact that I hadn’t posted any art on here since my trips to the museum. I recently, on Eric Orchard’s recommendation, acquired a new pen nib to replace the several I utterly destroyed while making these pieces. So far it’s held up really well, and on top of that it’s been producing just the sorts of lines I’ve really been wanting from my pens anyway. Here’s my first stream-of-consciousness ink test with it:

Llama Deer personAnd at the same time, I went and found my initial ink test for my lovely tachikawa sepia fountain pen (which I also destroyed, and had to order a new one of). It was sketched back when Cinnamonopteryx had been living with us for just a few days, and still needed to be babysat in our room or else he’d start crying. So, rather influenced by him:

The Cheshire CinnamonI plan on painting both of these at some point soon.

Oh, and if you happen to be on Google+, I’ve been fairly active on there lately. Find me!

Everything goes back to normal

So I think my art crisis is over. I’m back to painting in about the same way I did originally (save for the fact that I ink last, rather than first) and I no longer feel quite as convinced that my color work is terrible. I do think that the experimentation was really useful, but it’s nice not to feel so panicky whenever I think about making work for someone. Expect more of that sort of thing next time I start feeling insecure about my art (which knowing me will probably be next week).

Three creaturesI tried using gouache for the first time in this one! And I also used salt successfully for the first time! So I guess I’m not actually done experimenting, but at least it’s more typical to my work. Ink, I missed you. I think I’d like to practice painting slimy things some more.

I was having an extremely strong urge to draw pokémon fanart, which I channeled into this instead. So I guess this is what pokémon would look like if I’d been the one to design them. This must be your three starter options. Which would you choose?

I forgot to get a scan of the initial pencil lines, but I do have an ink-less and gouache-less stage below the cut, if you’re interested.

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Goldfish Monster, with some WIP

I’ve mentioned that I’m working on my color usage, yes? The entire point of this particular piece was to push my color usage, and experiment a bit with my application of watercolor. Also, I was trying to speed up my overall worktime (this sort of worked out). It’s a pretty silly, simple picture, but I like how it turned out overall. Sometimes one needs to draw something silly.

I don’t believe I pushed myself nearly enough, in the end, but the result was good at least. One lesson I learned is that I really, really need to make more of an attempt to prevent my hand oils from getting on the paper while I’m drawing. It’s hard to see the effects of this in the scan, but it’s there. And of course it drives me crazy. I’ve heard that laying down a layer of spray fixative over the pencilwork can help (putting a barrier of plastic between you and those hand oils!) so I may try that. Or I suppose I could put a slip of newsprint down under my hand like you’re supposed to. Heh…

I took photos of the piece as it progressed. If you’re interested, they’re after the cut.

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