Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Schoolism Assignment 3: Robot Cow...

Robot Cow escaping!

Again, no time to upload the step by step... sorry, got a lot of paying work on the table... with the main characters being cows. Dairy cows. And for Schoolism we needed to do something with metalic texture, shiny character, with texture in the background... so rather than look for more and more reference, I did... a dairy cow. A robot dairy cow, attached to milking equipment, escaping..... :) Here she is:

And here is some of my photo reference for dairy cows. I actually have tons more than this, and drew the cow pretty much from my head (I have been drawing a lot of cows), but this is representative:

So here is the sketch:

Here is some more reference from suits of armour, for people and for horses:

...and you can see I took her tail and the hip bone bump from my shower hose:

Here is the milking set up:

And I decided to make her udders (since she is a robot cow) black rubber:

The texture for the background overlay came from my rusty file cabinet: yes that is dog drool from a Saint Bernard that eats away a file cabinet's paint and metal like that! eeee!:

The chainmail on her butt came from the suits of armour reference above, and I made a pattern chalk out of it.

So, once again, the finished deal:

Hah, now that I see it so small I see that the shapes are a bit confused from far away. It is all a bit dark. Ahhh well... that's all for tonight! Mooooo!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Schoolism Painter Assignment 2 final and reference

Hi! No time to do the Step By Step post yet, working on paying work.
But I did "sort of" finish and hand in my second Schoolism.com Painting in Painter with Ryan Wood class assignment, which was doing a feather or fur creature. Well, I did both: my doggy as a puppy and pigeon wings... because I have lots of photos of both for reference! So, here is the assignment, and then the reference material. And I will also post right away my very unsuccessful attempt at a shadow, just in case my prof drops by and wants to see if I followed the tutorial (I did, and I hated it, and I erased it and put in clouds I got from looking at google images instead).

Let me know what you think!

This is where I got to at the end of day one of working on it.

And this is the bad shadow I deleted:

The clouds I used for reference to repaint the background:

And the finished work once again:

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Photoshopped or Not? Take 2

OK, I realize that skinny girls actually have space tween their thighs and their crotch has width, not coming to a point as I drew in the previous post. Here's a sketch of Ms. Rompers without the photo:

Some other photos:

And Ms. VS again:

Anyways, I am probably not the best anatomical artist around by a long shot, but really. The curves on her thighs are um, muscles, and her legs are NOT too far apart for the width her knees and feet would be spread.

Now we can maybe move onto some really bad photoshop disasters of which I have seen many, and leave the skinny girls in baggy rompers alone.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Photoshopped or not?

Hmmm, well, here is a photo of a girl in a Victoria's Secret romper (which btw I like and would wear, though at nearly 50 I might look a bit silly)... that supposedly is photoshopped according to PSD Photoshop Disasters:

Now supposedly her legs are too far apart where they come out of the pant legs, indicating that her hips have been erased in photoshop in a very amateur manner. A few dissenters in the comments say, no, the jumper hangs low.

Exactly. I really couldn't resist downloading it and sketching in where her body would be. Her waist is where her elbows are, like everyone's waist and elbows. Which puts the "waistband" down by her bikini line. And her legs... jeesh people commenting, women ARE capable of standing with their feet apart. I know they try to make it "common knowledge" that women are only capable of spreading their legs for men, and other than that their thighs go STRAIGHT DOWN as they never separate their ankles more than a foot apart, but no, they can also plant their feet on the sand of a beach!

So there ya go. If anyone really thinks I have done a bad job of drawing in her body, do let me know. On other points, yes other commenter, it is annoying they lined the top of her white top with the sea horizon line. And of course they probably DID photoshop out every possible conceivable blemish. But no, her legs are NOT too far apart to be true. thanks.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

World Book Night Giveaway Boosts UK Sales

Now this is very interesting. There was a lot of controversy, apparently, about giving away a million books to people in the streets on World Book Night. Apparently many booksellers thought that giving away good books to people would devalue books, and take away from sales.

However the creators of this event have been vindicated, since sales actually ROSE for books included in the sale.

Now this does make sense. As Tim Waterstone, the founder of the UK chain Waterstones noted, books are not a finite market: you can always draw in new readers, and you can always get old readers to buy more books (I look myself in the mirror: I tend to buy more books than I ever have time to read!!! Suck me in, suck me in!!).

Some books sold over 60% more copies on the SAME DAY as the giveaway (presumably as their profile was raised, either in the media or by people getting them and talking about them) AND some of the books had a double or triple increase in sales in the weeks following the giveaway.

Now this all makes sense to me. When they give away iPads for a day, does it devalue iPads or create a buzz and a feeding frenzy? If they gave away cars for a day and you saw your friends driving that spiffy new Toyota hatchback the next day, or got a ride in it to work, might you not want to pick one up for yourself? And unlike cars, books are "consumables", ie when you finish one, if it was good, you put it down and look for another one, esp another one the same or similar flavour. Kind of like ice cream giveaways, or imported organic chocolate giveaways. Food vendors have understood the "give away today, create a fan for tomorrow" consumer for ever... why not book publishers and vendors.

I think this is a fantastic idea, and can only hope to see it here in Canada.

Similar initiatives? Free Comic Book Day (on May 7 this year), and the TD bank's Canadian Children's Reading Week book giveaway to all grade one students in Canada each year. I was lucky enough to have a book I illustrated, "The Girl Who Hated Books" be the featured book in 2003! Let me say that it cuts a nice royalty cheque!

Give a book today!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Step by Step of the Princess Mulan Schoolism assignment 1

OK, I decided to edit this to point out what I am doing at each stage. Hopefully that will be helpful.
This first image is the final drawing. I tried to get detail in some areas, and rest areas for the eye in other spots. To differentiate between different surfaces, like the fuzzy hoodie, the hair, the wig, the fuzzy tiara, the shiny dress, the skin. I also tried to have deep tonal differences from dark blacks to white whites (see back a couple posts the Ingres reference given to us by our teacher, Ryan Wood).

I started by drawing my son shouting in his karate suit to capture the size and shape of his bod. The two fists are from two separate karate class photos, as are the eyes and the mouth.

Here I am drawing in the mouth and eyes properly after having established the shape of the head and body.

Next I looked at two photos of my son in his princess dress from last summer and Christmas 2009 to draw it on the karate body.

Here I look at a photo of him dressed as a princess for Halloween October 2009 to draw in the hair. I tried to get it swirling around to give interesting shapes that cut into the background, as well as be appropriate for his action pose. I especially wanted to show that it was a wig by having his black bangs hang out conspicuously.

I realized I didn't have enough space to fit in the tiara so I added another couple inches to the top of the canvas, and drew in the tiara.

I decided to put some texture contrast in, as well as contrast the princess dress to his regular boy clothes so it comes across more as a costume by using an old photo of him in a fuzzy hoodie to draw in the hoodie arms and neckline. This took a bit of imagination.

Satisfied with the sketch, I added in a layer, dropped in a grey tone fill, and turned the layer to "gel" to establish midtones and see the sketch through.

I start using an eraser brush tool to rub white highlights into the grey layer.

Doing some tightening up with the pencil tool: Real 2B Pencil.

Finished putting in white highlights, I add another layer to do the dark tones on. (see three layers in layer palette to the right side)

Starting to put in the darkest black areas with an airbrush tool.

I was having a hard time making the background black as the airbrush tool on a wide setting was too slow: too much memory. I tried using the lasso tool to outline the whole left side and drop in a dark grey (which is a bit bluish), but I didn't like it so I deleted and started again with the airbrush.

Here I am redoing the background with a large airbrush. Frustrating as with the lag, I kept overshooting and coloring on the edges of my person/foreground. and I found the background to come out really spotty.

Starting to work into the hair and arms with the black airbrush.

Here I've put a lot of black all over: face, hair, arms, dress, brooch.

Working into the ribbon on the front, dress texture, and hair lower right.

Standing back, I thought that the drawing was too even and part of the assignment was establishing darks with detail and lights with detail. So I used a large airbrush to go over the whole left side, arm, fist, hair, dress, with a low opacity black spray.

Here I have dropped all the layers to start painting with a paintbrush You can see I have washed over all of the dark background, and the right side beside his head: big brushstrokes visible picking up the color already laid down.

Startig to use the brush tool on his face and fists... the points I want the most detail and to come forward.

Looking at my karate face reference to paint the face details.

Lightening up the areas I want to come forward more by spraying white airbrush right over center fae, his right shoulder, hair and arm.

Zooming in to work on the face with smaller brushes. The basic hair tones and facial tones have all been painted in.

I was having a hard time getting detail or dark blacks with the brushes which were picking up underlying greys, so I "cheated" and went back in with the 2B pencil tool to define his eyes, mouth, etc. You can see I have used a dark bristly brush to put in his black hair, and (badly) an overdone eyebrow on the left. ewww!

I've gone back in with the pencil here there and everywhere I wanted a bit more darks, and I also whitened up his teeth and got the right shapes on them.

Again "cheating" with the 2B pencil, defining the edges of the hair in the front, and his sleeve and fingers.

Here I've done several things: Used the 2B Pencil in white to scribble on highlights on the hair, nose, dress texture and ribbon, then used a small brush to paint over the white pencil, and in this actual screenshot, using the black airbrush to push back the elbow and left side of the dress and face and hair.

Working on the dress.

Closeup of dress detail (I had "painted over" the white 2B pencil).

Here I am using the soft pastel to add texture to the neck of the hoodie.

Smoothing out the hair, more background painting on right side. Generally making sure it is painted everywhere and not just the gray layer showing through.

I was getting really frustrated with this soft smooshiness of the brushstrokes and how even it was everywhere, so I went back into the hair with the 2B Pencil brush in various shades of grey from white, midtones to deep almost black.

Here you can see I have just gone wild with the hair, making a bunch of unruly hairs flying about over his face, the dress, background (haha! This is really committing to those areas as I can't change them up much once there is a thin pencil line crossing them!)

A closeup of the work on the hair.

Going back into the hand and sleeve on the left side.

Here I realized I hadn't added pastel texture to the hoodie sleeve to match the neckline. And you can also see my "scumbling 2B Pencil in white" technique for adding highlights to the dress which I then brush out. I am sure this is not kosher! :D

Detail of sleeve scumbling and pastel texture.

Working pastel into the other arm.

Using the brush to change the white pencil on the dress sleeve to brushstrokes highlights.

Putting white highlights with the 2B pencil on the tiara jewels and tinsel in the tiara fluff.

Working on the lip shape.

More lip fixing. (cursor is on lower lip just right of the center).

Detail of the above. Also fixed the tongue and back inside of mouth, and added highlights on the front of tongue for saliva.

I decided that I wanted the attention to be on the top of the right arm, so I brushed out the dark pastel texture under the arm. Too much. So I redefined the sleeve with a dark 2B pencil (do we see a theme here of using the pencil as a crutch? lol!)

Painting out the dark pencil to look more painterly, and fixing the painted background hair.

Adding a bit more pastel on the arm for texture after painting it out: white on the top, and a mid grey instead of almost black beneath the forearm.

Arm/sleeve texture detail:

Enough is enough! The finished drawing! Not bad, my evolution using the cintiq and Painter 11 since I did this self-portrait on Feb 15! Yay! Now we'll see what my teacher has to say in his critique. I have learned so much in just one week... so looking forward to the next lessons.

OK, so there, edited since I posted this earlier on Sunday, to write down what I was doing at each step... a bit less of a "can you see the changes?" game! Hope you enjoyed it!