Progress Doodle #7 – Random Sketches

Before getting the Cintiq, I used to sit at my drawing board with a large stack of copy paper next to me and doodle away, tossing those drawings into the trash as I created them. I didn’t throw them away because they were bad. I threw them away because I created so much of it that it wasn’t feasible to keep and store a lot of nonsense sketches which served no purpose beyond my having some fun doodling.

After getting the Cintiq, however, I would do the same thing digitally. So basically, I’d create a Photoshop document, create a new layer, start doodling, delete the drawing, sketch something else, delete that, and so on. It just didn’t make sense to keep so many sketches, even digitally.

Then I decided I could keep the files if I just created one file, create a layer, sketch on it, lock the layer and turn it off, then start a new sketch on another layer, lock that and turn it off, and sketch again on yet another layer and so forth. This way I could have one layered document with 20 or 30 doodles on it. The problem, of course, is that the file thumbnail only shows the visible layers, so if I want to find a sketch among so many files, there’s no way to tell which file has the layer with the sketch I want. This really isn’t such a problem, because if I ever liked a sketch enough to go back to it, I’ll usually save a separate jpeg of it anyway.

These days, if I want to doodle digitally, I’ll create a Procreate file and just do different sketches on different layers. The nice thing about Procreate is the video feature, so instead of having to open a file and look through so many layers, I can just create a video of my sketch sessions and going through that video will show me what’s on a particular file.

So how do you doodle for fun?

Be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Advertisements

Illustrative Storytelling 3.0

Here’s yet another sampling of an illustration done at Plain Joe Studios as a supplement to the spacial story characters created for River Valley Church’s Go Kids ministry. The smaller versions show the different ideas before arriving at the final rendering.

Be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

IG Process Videos – Jan 1, 2019

Here are a few progress doodle videos I posted on Instagram last week, in case you don’t follow me there.

These are all just quick color sketches. When I sit down to do these, I really have no idea what I’m going to do. I just start drawing or blocking in colors and whatever happens, happens. Sometimes I like the results, other times it stinks. But it’s an effective and fun way to practice getting fast at conceptualizing.

The thing about working professionally is that you can often get stuck working on something that only focuses on one aspect of art. If you don’t practice other things, you don’t grow. So, for example, if you’re doing a lot of coloring, your figure-drawing skills may fall to the wayside. Or if you draw a lot but don’t paint, your color sense may suffer.

The thing is, no matter how good someone is, I notice that they aren’t great at everything, which is fine because no one is great at everything. But in those limited areas at which you want to excel, you have to constantly practice and keep growing. It’s difficult to stand still. You tend to either move forward or backwards. And I don’t even mean moving backwards relative to others whose skills have exceeded your own (though that will happen as well). I’m saying you either use it or lose it. If you’re good and you lose it, you may regain that skill with practice, but it’s frustrating to have to go through the relearning process every time you ignore some aspect of your skill-set. So I figure if I keep practicing, at least I won’t lose it and hopefully I’m moving forward, even if it’s at a glacial pace. Maybe by the time I’m dead I’ll be really good at what I do.

Be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Progress Doodle #5 – Christmas Elf

Here’s a little Christmas doodle I did on Procreate a couple nights ago. I know I need to cultivate a habit of posting regularly and I think Procreate’s progress video feature is a great way to share the creative process, even if it’s just personal little doodles and stuff.

I notice when deciding what to sketch, I tend to default into character design of some sort. Characters (being persons, more or less) are, well, more personal than a still life, landscape, architecture, etc., and I think they’re more likely to grab people’s interest more so than things. Well, at least they grab my interest more.

The one thing about working at Plain Joe Studios is that I’m more aware of the importance of storytelling. And it’s not that I didn’t care about telling stories with my art, it’s more that I’ve always sort of told stories or at least implied them without really being aware that I was doing so. And I’m not suggesting that an image needs to tell a full-blown narrative, but that it’s something that the viewer can look at and imagine in their own mind a story to go with what they’re seeing, even if that simply means they want to know more about a character.

One of my favorite children’s book is “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick” by Chris Van Allsburg. The thing I enjoy about it is not really the illustrations, as good as they are. What Van Allsburg did is present single, stand-alone illustrations on each page accompanied by a small caption hinting of some further mystery, intended to pique the curiosity of the reader to want to know the whole story, or perhaps to create a story in their own mind. That book still captivates me when I go through it. but I digress…

Be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Spacial Storytelling Characters

When Plain Joe Studios does spacial storytelling, that often involves creating characters to aid in telling the client’s story. One of the characters we created as part of the Go Kids cast was a squirrel named Tom E. Over the years I’ve had to create different iterations of this character for different applications. Justyn Smith of River Valley Church took the various renderings I did and assembled this for a side-by-side comparison.

 

That one on the bottom-left was supposed to look like TomE. if he were in the world of Minecraft. You might think it should be easy to copy a character made up of blocks, but it was actually more difficult than doing something organic; it was very time-consuming to get all the angles and shading precise enough to fake a character made of blocks in a 3D digital space (I hope to learn SketchUp and/or some 3D program in the future to streamline these kinds of tasks). In a future post, I’ll share the entire image with the faked Minecraft background illustration.

That iteration on the bottom-right was a sketch I did when asked to imagine the character in the wacky style of Nickelodeon’s Ren & Stimpy. It was never used because, well, I guess after seeing how goofy the character looked when adapted into that style, they decided it wasn’t a direction that suited the character.

How about that version of Tom E. on the blue stand; can you guess what that was done for?

Be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Doodling During Movie Time

Sometimes, while sitting and “watching” a movie (either which I’ve watched a million times or am simply not in the mood to give my attention) I’ll grab the 12″ iPad and doodle stuff using Procreate. I could always sketch on a drawing pad, which I do at times, but I like sketching digitally also because I don’t waste paper on scribbles that are unimportant to me. The way I doodle digitally, I’ll usually do some quick sketches and then delete them immediately and then sketch some more, rinse, lather, repeat, you get the picture. Once in a while I’ll keep some odd scribble to share, which is what I usually post here.

This time, I colored one for fun and the rest are really quick sketches that I usually delete because I sketch so many of them that there’s no point in keeping them. I thought I’d share some to give others an idea of what I usually throw away.

Be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Go Kids – Beyond The Illustrations

In 2013, Plain Joe Studios subcontracted my services to produce some character designs and illustrations for the Go Kids children’s ministry of River Valley Church. Since then, I’ve been doing illustrations and children’s books for the Go Kids program using these characters. gokids_group-pose

Recently, Justyn Smith, co-author of the Go Kids series of children’s books, shared images on Instagram of costumed characters and products based on my character designs and illustrations. I asked his permission to share those images and he graciously gave his consent.

The image of Tom E. Squirrel on the left is a poster I created for Go Kids. The watch and pins on the right are products based on my illustration.

The image of Tom E. Squirrel on the left is a large poster I created for Go Kids. The watch and pins on the right are products based on the illustration.

The cookies on the right also utilized my illustrations, like the image I created on the left.

The cookies on the right also utilized my illustrations, like the image on the left.

gokids_mug-tshirt

Go Kids t-shirt and mug.

Justyn Smith with Robbie the parrot.

Justyn Smith with Robbie the parrot.

gokids_tom-costume

Tom E. Squirrel in the flesh… or, in the fur.

gokids_carlos-costume

Justyn Smith with Carlos.

When I showed my wife these pics, she immediately asked if we could get some of the items, so I wrote to Justyn and he generously offered to send me some stuff gratis. What a guy!

Be sure to follow us on , Twitter, and Instagram

Food Chain

Something I doodled yesterday just for fun.

crocodile-frog

Completed Live Drawing

So I spend 25 minutes doing a live drawing video with an app that a friend recommended called OBS. Having never used it before, I had something set incorrectly and found out that I recorded a black screen the entire time, which is like driving with the parking brake on. Naturally I was wasn’t a happy camper after discovering my error.

In any case, here’s a two minute video wrapping up the illustration. It’s pretty boring because most everything was already done, but I’m disinclined to repeat the entire dog and pony show.

Be sure to follow us on , Twitter, and Instagram

Off With Their Heads

More head doodles…

heads

Be sure to follow us on , Twitter, and Instagram