Merry Christmas!

Christmas_2015

For those who missed what Linus had to say to Charlie Brown…

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

-The Gospel of Luke 2:4-14

Derwent Waterbrushes

While watching a video on YouTube recently, I saw someone use a brush-pen filled with water, a tool I’ve never before seen. I’ve been using a Cintiq now for a couple of years and have been out of the loop as far as traditional media goes. However, I thought the waterbrushes looked like fun, so I ordered a pack made by Derwent. It comes with three brushes, each with a different tip shape/size. They arrived in the mail a couple of days ago and I only had a chance to sit down and noodle around with them.

Derwent_Waterbrushes

I have a Sheaffer White Dot Balance fountain pen with a lever-fill, like the kind you used to see in slapstick routines where someone uses a fountain pen to squirt ink into another person’s face. After watching too many Three-Stooges films as a kid, I had to track one of these pens down. Anyway, I like using it to doodle using coffee-brown ink by J.Herbin (the color name is “Cafe Des Iles”).

Waterbrush_Head-doodles

I don’t use these tools for finished work or any of my professional work. It’s just something for fun when I want to noodle around. Combining the water brushes with the ink pen has added another dimension to these doodling excursions. If you haven’t tried it yet, this Derwent pack is very affordable to experiment with and play around.

Anyone else out there using these brushes? If so, how’d you like them?

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Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Folks!

Hopefully, most of you will be able to take the day off tomorrow and spend it with family and friends giving thanks to God for all of your blessings while enjoying a fine meal. My advice is to wear loose clothing and pace yourselves.

Here’s a Thanksgiving poster I did last year for a client, Plain Joe Studios.

Thanksgiving2015

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Shopping for Turkey

Hopefully by now most of you have managed to get your hands on a bird. No one wants to have to chase down their holiday meal at the last minute.

Thanksgiving2015-doodle

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“Three Dumbbells”

Here’s another Slapstix clown design I did at Cast Art. I probably did a hundred Slapstix designs while there, so not all of them were made. I don’t recall if we ever made this one. I eventually used a similar gag/pose on another character design I did.

Three_Dumbells

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The Poker Face

I decided to dust off an old Slapstix figurine design from Cast Art for today’s post.

Poker-Face

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Fuel Up!

Here’s something I did for Plain Joe Studios in Corona. It’s a flat, graphic style I don’t usually do, but it’s the direction I was given and it was fun for a change.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 12.05.19 AM

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The thing I hate about going to the zoo is that I rarely see the animals because they’re always hiding or sleeping behind a rock or in a cave or something else. About the only things that can’t hide are large animals like giraffes, rhinos, and elephants, and half the time some of those are off somewhere being fed or washed or massaged or something. Consequently, the zoo turns out to be not quite as entertaining as, say, a trip to the dentist when you know they’ll be using nitro.

MountainLion_Cougar

Anyhow, I’ve never actually gone to the zoo with the intent of sitting around and sketching, though I’ve always wanted to do that. When I needed to draw animals before the days of the internet, it required a trip to the library and checking out whatever reference material I could find. The internet changed all that and now I can just do a quick search to find reference. It’s amazing how easy it is to find proper reference material in this day and age. The downside? Well, the downside is that everyone is looking up the same reference. It’s like artistic inbreeding or something.

Thumbnails: An Economic Approach To Design

I did a previous post about how I brainstorm with doodles, and it was such a big hit with all three of my readers that I decided to revisit the topic.

The purpose of thumbnails is to work out ideas in an economical fashion. There’s no point in wasting time with an elaborate drawing, only to find out the composition doesn’t work. So what are the uses of a thumbnail?

Point-Of-View (POV): There are a lot of ways to view a scene, and a lot of different camera angles from which to choose.

If you look at the first thumbnail for the scene above, it was a straight-on POV. We see the same thing on stage, because a live performance pretty much only allows for that perspective. Because artists are not limited to this, it’s sometimes thought too simplistic a POV, but many artists use it successfully. Illustrators like John Bauer or Maurice Sendak pretty much used a straight-on POV, and they produced beautiful scenes. Basically, it’s okay just as long as the individual elements are still composed in an interesting way. In any case, I later used an overhead POV for the page above.

Relationships: Thumbnails can also help you determine relationships. In the scene above, I juxtaposed a close-up of the main character’s large head with little bees. Another effect was to bring the main character’s head through foliage, such that the daylight behind him produces a halo of light, further drawing the viewer’s attention to him. I used this same halo effect below.

Viewer’s Eye Flow: You can use thumbnails to determine how you want the viewer’s eyes to move across an image. In the illustration above, the viewer is first drawn to the main character (halo effect, remember? It says, “Look at ME”). From the starting point of the main character, your eyes drop straight down, working your way to the larger crabs on either side, flowing up the seaweed, back toward the main character. Guiding the viewer’s eyes this way can help them see things in a certain sequence, perhaps from most important element to least important.

Composition: Another principle used above is the rule of thirds. If you slice the image horizontally into thirds, you’ll note the sand occupies the bottom third, while the water fills the rest. This principle is also present in the illustration below. In this case, the image is sliced vertically into thirds, with the main character occupying the far right third, and the bright flamingos occupying the rest.

Another way to slice things up is to divide the image diagonally, and in this case, doing so causes the elements to flow toward our main character. In the scene below, the large branch slices across diagonally. The background tree-line also serve to reinforce that diagonal flow, again leading the viewer’s eye where we want it to go.Below are more thumbnails used to work out composition or character designs. Of course there are many other ways to work out designs, like digitally drawing, slicing, resizing, and moving things around.

Perhaps some of you would like to share different time-saving techniques which economize your workflow?

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GoKids_SearchParty

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