Monday, January 30, 2017

Portrait Practice/Canvas Selection - Rebelle - SurfaceBook


This project caused a bit of indecisiveness. When I use Rebelle, I decide on a canvas at the very beginning of a project and stick with it throughout. I never change it at any point mainly because it can cause me to reconsider the direction of the project even if the initial canvas choice is working out well. This can trip up a creative process by throwing variables into the equation and waste time trying the legion of different canvas types available and the custom variants. I broke with my usual plan and changed the canvas toward the end of this project and it caused the very indecisiveness I speak of due to providing viable alternatives to my original choice. I posted the original black textured canvas and a blue textured canvas after the jump as an example. There were many others that were also good choices for various reasons. But the two presented here, I like both more than the others and had a hard time deciding which to post. I ultimately said "screw it" and posted them both. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Misty Copeland (Painted version) - Rebelle - SurfaceBook


Misty Copeland is the first person I've ever painted that is so incredibly beautiful and so amazingly skilled at her craft that it's intimidating for me at times. Not much more to tell here. I used a similar canvas to the "yoga" paintings and almost the exact same technique. The only key difference is the palette and this was more of a speed painting. Completed in nearly 4 hours.

"Disa" update - Affinity Designer - SurfaceBook


This project is coming along well. I'm trying to find a better way to reproduce and control the ambient glow from the original. It's easy to reproduce using bitmap creative apps. But I want to produce the effect as a vector. So the experimentation phase is in full effect as I try to find the best practice within Affinity Designer. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Metal Gear Solid Inspired, Outer Hell - ArtFlow - Nexus 7 - Clip Studio EX - SurfaceBook


Similar to the "It's Dangerous..." project I posted a couple of days ago, this is an idea that started out as a drawing in my sketchbook. It was originally rendered using Photoshop but I hated that version. Stripping out the colors, I transferred the drawing to my Nexus 7 and rendered it again using ArtFlow. That version is much better. I added more touches to it using Clip Studio EX which is the version you see here. My current creative tools on the Pro 3 and SurfaceBook allow me to do things with older projects that simply weren't possible when I originally completed them. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

RollOut! - Sketchbook Pro 7 - Surface Pro 3



This is a quick color render of a rough sketch. I worked on it months ago but never finished working on the idea so I took care of it today. No special project here, just sketching various ideas to loosen up. I liked this particular drawing so I added colors and a background to see how far I could take it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"Disa" Vector WIP - Affinity Designer - SurfaceBook



This is an old stylized version of Londisa that I completed a few years ago. The original looks like vector art but I used the pen tool in ArtFlow to cheat it. Working in high resolutions 2560x1600 at the time, I was able to use the pen tool to generate lines so clean that the final project looked like vector art. Of course, when it came time to actually use the piece within other designs there were none of the benefits of vector art since the graphic is still very much a bitmap. With Affinity Designer I'm rebuilding the project as an actual vector and making corrections as I go. 

It's Dangerous to Go Alone (Update) - Artflow - Nexus 7 (2013) - Clip Studio EX - SurfaceBook


These are two characters from the same story as the Twins and the Bladesman. It started as a sketch in a really old sketchbook featuring only the warrior and the young afro puff girl with the creeper behind them. I scanned and transferred the file to ArtFlow on my Nexus 7 (2013 version) and did a quick sketch of the background, which you can see after the jump. The original color work which is almost the same as presented here, was completed entirely using ArtFlow on the Nexus 7. The current update involves using some of the advanced layer effects of Clip Studio EX in combination with the airbrush tool to add a bit more glow to the lamp and brighten the highlights from the lamp and the ghostly blue from the background. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Yoga 2017 Update, Crow Pose - Rebelle - SurfaceBook


This is the second yoga update in a series of nude yoga stances that a friend posed for. This one was easier to do because I removed the original textured canvas from the drawing (posted after the jump) and used a canvas with far less texture. Then I switched to high pressure, high loading and more water than I normally work with. I worked loose, not being so concerned with exact details until later. Focusing on the general pose and putting more effort into the lighting as a early priority. I also blended a lot of colors without testing them within the palette, just to save time. It worked out really well with the red touches across the skin. I can't stress enough how much easier it is to work from a more detailed drawing than a really rough 2-5 minute sketch. I'd really feel bad about it as if I were cheating if the original drawing wasn't my own work.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Yoga Camel Pose Painting - Rebelle - SurfaceBook


This is the completed painted version of my friend's nude yoga portrait. Normally I don't use detailed drawings when painting because a really quick, rough sketch will do. But I have to admit that working from a detailed drawing makes it much easier to paint as well as improvise with light, shadows and texture. As I mentioned I used a different canvas than the "Tasha" update and it made the paint easier to work with. The other canvas isn't bad, but it requires a different approach to really get the most out of it that I didn't fully understand. I may revisit it soon. 

More after the jump!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Yoga 2017 Update "Camel Pose" WIP - Rebelle - SurfaceBook


After working on Tasha's portrait I decided to try again using another portrait of a friend I completed last year. This illustration that was part of the "Nude Yoga" series. I have mixed feelings about the canvas I used for Tasha so I decided to run with my go-to canvas in Rebelle it's not so coarse so it has less texture but it's easier to control the paint and water as a result. I'm using a totally different palette that's been greatly modified over time to change the lighting in the piece. It's a bit tricky because I'm using a different image as a reference for the palette and using my original drawing as a reference at the same time. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tasha 2017 Update - ArtFlow - Nexus 9 - Rebelle - SurfaceBook


My friend Tasha asked me to paint a portrait of her recently. I decided to run a test first to see how I should approach it. The version on the right is a digital drawing of her I finished in 2015 using ArtFlow on a Nexus 9. The version on the left was completed using Rebelle on the SurfaceBook. I tried a different canvas and a new palette too. I like the quality of the canvas but I'm not sure if I used the paint as well as I could have. I may try this again with something else.

Indigenous Chronicles (Incomplete project) - Quark 2016 - Rebelle - Clip Studio EX - SurfaceBook



Lessons from freelance design work. These images are a couple of cropped sample spreads from a project I was working on late in 2016 that will probably never be completed. I was tasked to layout a 44 page poetry book and create illustrations for 42 of the pages...in 6 weeks. Uncompleted projects are unfortunate but it happens more often than not. In this case, I should have seen it coming but I was being overly optimistic because I thought the project was a good idea. The devil, as they say, is always in the details. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Iron Man Vector Art (WIP) - InkScape - Affinity Designer - Surface Pro 3



This is still a WIP as the background is going to take more research than I have time allows at the moment. But I wanted to share what I've done over the last three days. The original version of this piece is posted after the jump, is an old illustration of Iron Man that I completed years ago using Android/Sketchbook Pro on a Motorola Xoom. Recreating it as a vector graphic in InkScape as seen above is a good test. It took an incredibly long time to do but like most things, it's a process. I can do more with a vector version of this graphic because it won't lose integrity if I enlarge or reduce its size drastically. Logos and more simplistic graphics work extremely well as vectors but there is something to be said about graphics that reflect more of a person's own style of illustration. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Portrait - Rebelle - SurfaceBook


This is finally complete. The vector art is fun to create but I needed a short break from it. So I finished this portrait to relax.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Snowy Mountains - Affinity Designer - SurfaceBook

Latest in a series of vector creations. I wanted to try something with a high level of asymmetrical detail to see how well Affinity Designer would hold up throughout the creative process. In a word, impressive. Two words, very impressive. It's a really good sign when you can do what you imagine in an application and then realize after completion, ways your idea can be even better executed using different tools or modifying the process used within the software. Affinity Designer is very easy to work with. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Jazz it Up! - Affinity Designer - SurfaceBook

This is an old graphic I recreated in Affinity Designer to further learn the application. Sometimes, it's not enough to know how to perform a function, we have to know the best, most efficient way to perform a function. In this case, the "Jazz" vector creation was a speed test. Given time, many things can be achieved within the application. But sometimes, especially in corporate offices working with people that don't have any concept of preparation or teamwork, time is a luxury we won't have.
More after the jump!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

WipeOut 2048/F-5000 - Affinity Designer - SurfaceBook


After using InkScape to complete the Monkey man I posted a couple of days ago, I completed a small project using Affinity Designer to see how it compared to InkScape. First, a bit of backstory. I have a tribute lock screen wallpaper on my SurfaceBook dedicated to the now closed  game developer, Studio Liverpool (thanks Sony, really, because closing one of the best developers in the world makes total sense). But, the quality is poor. So, I redesigned a series of WipeOut classic icons in vector format to remake the wallpaper with some extras. Although Studio Liverpool are known for WipeOut and some gamers may remember RollCage and Colony Wars, others remember Studio Liverpool from the Commodore Amiga days when they were known as Psygnosis and made games like Agony and Shadow of the Beast. Sony bought the studio in 1996 if memory serves to work on Playstation 1 and was renamed Studio Liverpool. It was on PS1 that WipeOut, a futuristic hover car based racing game was created in 6 months as a launch title for the console, inspired by Nintendo's F-Zero and Mario Kart. I've been a fan of the series since the original WipeOut release. To see a studio with such a pedigree closed was a sad, sad day indeed. Sony sucks.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

WIP - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

This man's face is really interesting to me so I thought I'd give a portrait of him a go. 

The Bladesman (Again) COPIC version - Clip Studio EX - SurfaceBook

I finally finished this update to the character. I'm using COPIC palettes as the standard for characters in the Bladesman's story but he was the only character that didn't use COPIC. I also removed the original crown he wore because at the point in the story I imagine for this version of the character, he shouldn't have the crown. It's far too early. I also added more grey to this version. That too is for story purposes which I'll post at some point in the near future. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Monkey Man - InkScape - SurfaceBook

A local T-shirt company used a sample design online as a reproduction test for local artists to gauge their skills for an open position in their office. I thought it was a good test and fun too even though I won't be applying for the position (offered salary is far too low for the skills they want. Sign of the times). I haven't used Inkscape in awhile so I thought I'd run with that for the test. It was simple really. Just reproduce the graphic from the t-shirt design in vector format. Initially I was going to try this in Affinity Designer, but decided to go with Inkscape because it's more like Illustrator. The final was saved as a .EPS Postscript 3 file as well as a .SVG file. I completed the piece using the Surface Pen which is far more intuitive than using a touchpad or mouse especially when dealing with larger numbers of points.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

CandyNJuice 2016 Retrospective - Surface Pro 3, SurfaceBook, Roland XP-50, Roland Fantom G6 - Pixel XL, Nexus 6P


The annual retrospective video is finally done. I kept this shorter than the 2015 version and used two different songs as opposed to one. "Salvation" is a track I wrote many years ago on an XP-50. It started as a simple sketch that wasn't supposed to be anything special but I heard it recently and decided to run with the song because it has the right feel. "BellyRub" is a track I started playing the parts for last week while working on something completely different on the Fantom. I switched the Fantom G6 sound banks back to default as I was using a custom project prior that had at least half the keyboard filled with custom sounds. As much as I liked those, the default settings have sounds I found myself missing quite a bit because they reminded me of the XP-50 but with more depth and richness. "BellyRub" is a tribute to my XP-50 as a result. I used more of the sampler too and had quite a bit of fun with it, 😆 as I'm transferring old XP-50 songs to the Fantom G6 since my XP is on its last legs. I've had that keyboard for 20 years and it has served me well. Hopefully, I can find a way to get it serviced without spending a mint or at least learn to do it myself. It's too good to simply trash.