Monday, April 25, 2016

550 Views!? What's the Point?

You guys, everyone hates my portfolio site! At the time of this writing there have only been 550 views on my portfolio site. Nauseating! I need to draw/add pictures of sexy ladies or something, yes? No, I only draw deformed men, semi-cute monsters, and truckloads of killin' tools. But I just need cool portfolio stuff to draw in the masses, which is something I'm working on. I actually have 2 things I'd consider portfolio-y in this post. And then there's those coupla weapons from the last few posts. What else, what else. Oh, I'm still waiting for the Summer class to appear online, that should generate some portfolio. After that I'll set up Artstation and get back to Instagram and Twitter. I just feel obligated to manage that stuff and respond and communicate! I respond to EVERY comment on this blog, and I'd have to do the same elsewhere! That's a lot of strain added to my feeble grey matter. I'm sorry, I'm rambling. I have to go to the bathroom. Also- I'm not sure I mentioned this last time, but I did add a link to the portfolio site on the right hand side, under my profile picture (mobile device users- I'm not sure where you can find that if you can't see it. I'll look into it).

Here's a guy I added some polish to. I'm finally pursuing my lifelong goal to finish something I started. You can see how this began life in this sketch.

This next brute is from last time. Remember this? I painted him all up and gave him scary teeth. The better to eat you with, my dear.

Then I've got some sketches from my new sketchbook. I was happy about the guy in the upper right because Kaitlin said he looked good. Also, a guy with a ridiculous beard.

#soblessed is a ridiculous and obnoxious hashtag and I don't know why it's here. Also, there's a vampire alien. You can tell from his shiny medal. All vampires worth their salt wear a medallion.

I threw together that guy with the horn from the last image in Blender and painted him up real quick. I got cranky because I couldn't hide my hideous geometry with a nice texture. This was more practice/prep for my next thing than anything else. It's not quite as stylized, which I don't like, but hopefully I'll be able to get closer to my initial sketch next time. I don't know that I'll get around to that 3D guy I've been talking about for the last few posts. I have something else I like more that I want to start on. If I'm going to be dumping time into a model, it will be that one. I'm hoping to have that modeled by the next post.

Then some pen sketches.

I have a final tomorrow and then I'm free.
Free to begin working super duper hard on portfolio stuff.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Interlude: Realization

Here's the last of my current sketchbook, going to start a new one today. Hoping to also draft out a prop and start modeling a character. Maybe I'm an idiot for never realizing this, but it's not just painting that can benefit from working large to small, general to detailed. I think this approach works well when modeling in 3D, too. I've been looking at past posts searching for a character I want to model and invariably there's a complication that would make it difficult to build. I think I'm getting stressed by the micro level before really looking at and approaching the macro. All complicated shapes started life as basic primitives and there's no need to bite off more than you can chew! So while I still intend to finish the character I started a couple posts ago (I started re-UV-mapping it yesterday, actually) I want to start another one (probably the "SLEEVE" guy from the first picture here) and a non-swordy prop.

Two posts from me in a week? I'm hoping I can continue to do this! Also, these images are pretty large. Is anybody having issues with that?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Zero Views Per Day: Slow Going (ALSO! I LIED)

Hey! Long time no see. It's been since MARCH 20TH 2016! So much has happened since then- Kaitlin had a birthday, I had strep throat, I registered for Summer and Fall classes (the last time ever?!), we finally saw Star Wars (which I liked a lot!), Dark Souls III came out (which I can't afford/play), etc. Life has been busy.

I've been putting this post off for weeks because I promised you that I'd finish painting that character from last time. I actually started but was having a very difficult time getting it to look how I wanted. It could have been I was painting with only the vaguest sense of color scheme. With my rudimentary feel for color, it was certain death. I also need to uv it again before painting, just another step to worry about. I want to complete it, but I was sad that I'd been neglecting my blog for weeks.

A couple weeks ago, I was playing with a custom action in Photoshop that was feebly attempting to be the mirror mode that Photoshop still lacks and I came up with the sword sketch this model was based on. I finally finished painting it today, so here it is! There are a couple spots that could use some polish, so maybe I'll revisit it. The top two views were rendered with perspective present, so I included a third view with no perspective (flat from the side). 978 tris, 1024x1024 diffuse map.

I sketched this sacrificial knife a couple weeks back and banged it out pretty quick in Blender. I spent hours painting it, though. I really like the hand-painted look for textures and have been playing with that as a way to avoid learning more modern ways of generating maps. I'll be getting to that this summer, hopefully. Also, I figured out how to take nice screenshots today, which means the image I snapped of the dagger looks nasty, but since I'm in class I can't make it look nice. Maybe I'll swap it out when I get home (EDIT 4/15/16 - I snapped a new shot and the quality difference was negligible, so I'll just leave this image here).

I've almost finished another sketchbook. I'm on track to do so within a month, which is nice, but it's been a doozy for me. The first half is just atrocious. None of you will ever see any portion of it. I'd been slumping pretty hard until I switched to a black Prismacolor and for some reason I've felt much better while drawing with it. These first two splash pages were done when I'd just changed drawing utensils, so I was still hating my life and everything I drew.

This next one has a cool sword I'd like to model and a character with a flaming head I'd like to model. I'm saving him for a summer project. Also, that really ugly guy in the bottom left!? It's depressing.

After I put the above 2 collages together, I've been on a roll. By the way, when I say that I'm not tooting my own horn, it's more a description of how I feel when I draw. Drawing while slumping is a frustrating thing to do, and with these next ones I just felt really good about everything. On this first one, I really like the monster at the top.

I like the weird antlered creature down on the bottom. If he had legs he'd be grade-A awesome.

I like the guy who's too serious on the right. What's his problem!? He needs to take a chill-pill.

That's all I got! Hopefully next time I've got that character finished, but if not there will be more 3D. I really need to branch out from bladed weapons when it comes to props! Treasure chests, potted plants, braziers, etc.

I just realized I haven't eaten lunch and I ate breakfast at 6:30 am (it's 2:49 pm now). I'm hungry!

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Today is March 8th. I'm wondering when I'll actually get around to finishing this post.

March 20th, 2016.

I finished a sketchbook over the weekend and decided to post what I have. I'm trying to paint a  character in Blender but it's been an insane week. I got him all UV'd, I just have to finish the dang thing. But since I'm starting a new sketchbook I thought I'd post the completed character (FOR REALS) with my next collection of sketch pages. I will not post again until that point!

Also, Blender just updated from 2.76 to 2.77 and reset all my preferences. I don't like that.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Major Change: Complete! Also, Why the Slant?

Hi! This post is so long in coming because I got wrapped up in making a sword:

 I just snapped a screenshot because I deleted the camera and didn't have time how to figure out how to light it and render it properly. Modeled in Blender, 512 diffuse, painted in Photoshop. I don't know the rest of the information (polycount, etc). I don't even know where to look to find it, but I guess it could be solved with a quick Googling. Maybe next prop. Probably more bladed weapons until I'm more familiar with Blender.

So yeah, in the end I did change my major on Tuesday. I'll be getting a bachelor's in science with an emphasis in arts and visual communications and an associate's in associated sciences. I think. It's a huge mouthful and I'm still unclear. I'll graduate this Fall, but I'm being cautiously optimistic until it's over and done with. I was planning a pretty grueling Summer of training but I guess I have to take classes now. Hopefully, they too will gruel me.

Here's some recent sketchbook stuff. 
I've noticed I seem to be slanting the same angle every time. I think I have some excellent bad habits that enable me to lock angles into the same spot every time. I need to break this. Everything is slanting the same direction. And in this first sketch, one of the bald guys and the bottom-left person-monster appear to even have the same collar on their coat. Freaky!

This is a character turnaround  I hope to model in 3D sometime down the line. It's kind of stupid, based on a doodle I did in my notebook during a call at work.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Faces, etc.

I just don't have time to fart around, y'know?
I removed the Twitter and Instagram apps from my phone because I found myself sitting on the toilet for like 20 minutes. That's okay to do with a good book but not with social media. I'm concerned about all that stuff- It's weird that we feel like we're accomplishing something as we scroll and scroll and scroll down an unlimited wall of information. I don't think I'll be avoiding them forever because I think they can be great networking tools (and I'm not sure Twitter will survive the month!), but for now I feel like cold, hard practice is a commodity too valuable to surrender to a frivolity like endless internet perusal.

We may have found a way to complete school this fall. More on that when I know.

I just found out a local library is having an art contest. Maybe it would be fun to enter? I guess I'll go get started after I make this post! The deadline is the 29th, so I'd better get crackin'!

This first montage is sketchbook stuff. The pen was one of the last pages of that Moleskine sketchbook I've been jawin' about since early January. It held together pretty well. I'm still not sold on it, but my little sister bought me a nice hardcover one and I must say I'm liking it so far. It's bigger and hardbound and the paper fits perfectly into my scanner. I wouldn't say I'm a convert yet, but the paper is very nice to draw on. The blue pencil were from the busride home today. The first 5 or so pages in this new one are disastrous. I feel like I may be slumping somethin' fierce as far as that's concerned.

I doodled this next one out a bit before bedtime late last week. It was a nice decompression sketch and I thought it didn't turn out half bad. I didn't use reference, so I basically put shadows wherever I wanted. I need to work on that.


I lunch sketch from today. I did have a reference for the lights/shadows, but it wasn't very helpful. I was too lazy to find something that would have served me better.

Kaitlin is going on a business trip Thursday, I think this will be the longest we've been apart since we got married! Everyone knows when you're alone in your bedroom that's when all the monsters come for you. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Short and Sweet

Hello! I'm here to post pictures I drew today. I really need to do some 3D but I'm moments away from finishing my sketchbook and I'm just trying to get rid of the last coupla pages!

I may try to continue adding visual interest to this first one, but I like how it looks right now! He's like a cyborg warrior guy. I used reference for this (my own arms and quadriceps). There's a picture of me at the bottom of this post, you can see for yourself.

I used reference for the guy on the right. His buff foldy arms were difficult otherwise.

I showed Kaitlin this guy as I was drawing him and she suggested I put him in an environment, a scene. So I did! Eheheheheh! I excel at being an obnoxious husband.

This is a picture Kaitlin took of me earlier this week when we were celebrating my birthday. We walked to the dollar theater to see The Good Dinosaur. I thought it was too sad for a birthday movie, but I like watching movies with my wife!