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Posts tagged as “The Dresanians”

Day 087

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kelthani sketch

Super quick sketch of Kelthani, an alien character from the "Alliance" universe of my "Stranded" and "Sibling Rivalry" stories. Fun fact: Serendipity the Centaur in "Stranded" is named after Kelthani (her middle name is Keltanya). The barely visible tattoo is the first three letters of "USMC", because Kelthani is literally a U. S. Marine drill instructor born in Darlington, South Carolina ... about 500 years from now.

And yes, he can probably kick your ass. He was a Marine for 300 years.

Done to celebrate finishing a notebook and switching back to an older (like, 20 years older) notebook with blank pages that features Kelthani quite a bit. Sharpie sketch right over very light roughs, trying to reconstruct his bone structure from memory, cleaned up in Photoshop with the levels tool.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 042

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Sketchy Porsche

A deliberate attempt to just sketch in pencil and not ink. I decided to sit down and methodically start working through Wizard's How to Draw: Getting Started, working on roughs, when I noticed that one of the things I like about the book is that it has a mental model of artwork.

That inspired me to dial it back even further and to try to generate my own theories of art. I measured a Green Lantern figurine and a drawing dummy looking at proportions (hips are about midway in the figure), then examined old Superman comics and sketched one trying to see what I'm doing wrong.

Since I cut my chops inking my own webcomic, as fast as I could manage, wherever I draw it, I got in the habit of inking right over my own pencils, trying to get a good rendering in one go, which is a thing people do. But I've noticed many great artists use roughs to plan for success in their drawings.

rough of superman

These roughs often have several levels of shading, which right there is an improvement over my "everything is an outline" style, when in reality, outlines are mostly in our minds, not in reality. So I sketched out a few figures, with shading, in greater detail than I normally would in pencil.

I can't tell you how hard it was to NOT start inking.

Still ... drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 039

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More Space Hair

Another attempt at space hair. I did a better job at creating dimension in the hair, I think, but fell for two classic blunders: first, the face is too large compared to the size of the head, causing the top of the head to appear cut off, and second, this first error was caused by me leaping too quickly from roughs to inks, which may not be a classic error for everyone, but is classic for me. Also the eyes are off angle:

According to Google Image Search, this is also Zendaya. Apparently she would also make a good model for Porsche in addition to Cinnamon, up to heritage (while Zendaya has German, Scottish, and African ancestors - a good match for Cinnamon's mixed-race heritage - Porsche in contrast is Sino-Anglic, a Chinese/English derived centaur ethnicity which won't exist for another 500 years).

Still, the exercise helped me expose a couple new art errors that I can now start to work on.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur


Day 038

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Porsche Face Redux

Now that's more like it. Another exercise in making a face look like a face, except this time I was not using a real person as a reference, but older drawings of one of my own characters, centauress explorer Porsche Kirkpatrick-Saint George, from yesterday's entry. Here's a couple zoomed in shots:

Porsche Reference Far

Porsche Reference Near

Differences in the new version: slightly narrower face to better fit what I currently understand about human proportions; slightly wider nose, because she's a frigging centaur and needs to breathe; slightly thicker neck, because even at 22-23 here she's supposed to be an exceptional martial artist (and lives in 1.7 gravities). Otherwise, I tried to abstract the older proportions and recreate the same person.

I think I got close, but my faces are still not yet stable. I see I still have the same problem with the "errant pen" occasionally jerking and messing up my lines; I also see I could be making her giant mass of hair more dimensional and less flattened to two planes (though I note my time-traveling action archaeologist and her space hair predates River Song by quite a bit, even if Stephen Moffat beat me to the screen).

Lots of work to do, clearly. Took me two hours. Need to do that in half or a third the time. Still ...

... drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 037

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Cinnamon Sketch

As it says on the tin. Fell down a rabbithole trying to clean up my files prior to doing my art, decided to cheat by posting a sketch I did earlier today, then fell down more rabbitholes since I apparently can't not experiment with coloring a sketch. For reference, here's the sketch from earlier, the first entry in a notebook that I hadn't written in in over 18 years:

Original Cinnamon Sketch

I came across this notebook just trying to find an appropriate notebook for a science idea (my sketchbook is at hand, but the science notebooks are ... buried in boxes?? Not sure) and found this one, a "commonplace book" filled with various ideas, including a life review from almost 20 years ago. I'm ... actually pretty happy with how things turned out over the last 20 years, between my wife, my novels, my comics and Google, but there's so much more to do.

Finally, for reference, here's a piece of art I found while I was re-organize my files. This is from 24 Hour Comic Day, mind you ... a bit ambitious, I think, but this pre-break art I think shows the kind of work that I'm intimidated by when I try to get back into drawing:

Porsche from the first 24hcd

Yes, there's a lot to be improved with this art, but (a) my inking was a lot better, and (b) wow, I had forgotten how much the Porsche St. George character was supposed to be a "knockout". So much of what I've written / drawn about her since then has been the workmanlike space warrior stuff, not so much the original romance between the twentieth-century time traveller and the thirtieth-century centaur.

Ah well. Lots of work to do before I can get back to that level of quality, even though I see a lot of work I need to do to improve upon that once I get there.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 033

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visiting the deaniverse

As it says on the tin. I noticed that Travis Hanson uses negative space and shading with layers of flat colors (in at least a couple drawings I happened to have on hand, not saying that's all the time) and tried the same experiment in this little visit to the Roger Deaniverse and all its floating rocks. Though I didn't end up using negative space because clouds were in my composition, but hey.

Ehh, not the best drawing, but it's an interesting experiment in coloring without the normal Photoshop filters I use, but instead just using two or three colors per layer (excepting the skin tones, which had a few more and blending). I did use the "stroke" effect on some of the layers to fake inks, but the centaur and fish inks are drawn in a full inks layer, from which I took flats and then did coloring, using the select function to help me keep highlights / shadows to the right layers.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 029

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A centaur in a spacesuit

As it says on the tin: I has the ZZZ's, so you gets a real drawin' tomorrow, as Cinnamon would say. The purpose of the exercise is to make sure I draw SOMETHING, every day, in whatever medium comes to hand. This centaur in a spacesuit (well, you can't see the legs, but they're there) was sketched on a Strathmore 9x12 sketchpad with a Winsor-Newton 2B pencil, then inked hot to broad outlines with a Faber-Castell "B" Pitt Artist Pen Brush, with details via Micron 03, 08, and 1 Pigma pens. Scanned on an Epson 7720, retouched in Photoshop to pull up the inks, and then separations, fills, filters and effects to create the starfield, kettledrum starship, Porsche's uniform, transparent helmet section, main Porsche inks, and the glare off the reflection in the helmet. So while it's a quick sketch, I exercised quite a few things trying to pull the whole composition together. Hopefully these exercises are helping.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 028

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transnewtonian overdrive logo v2

Well, not a "drawing" per se, though I went through four pages of sketches of this comic book banner logo before I cracked open Illustrator. (Here are a couple of those, not very impressive though).

Sketches for the Transnewtonian Overdrive logo

I'm still not satisfied with how this turned out ... there's some image in my mind with this logo which I haven't been able to translate into an actual drawing, much less a realized logo.

But what's up with this logo, you may ask? Well, it's from a 24 Hour Comics Day comic I did, way back in the day, but never finished - "Transnewtonian Overdrive: The Front":

3 pages from Transnewtonian Overdrive

The "transnewtonian overdrive" proper is that little device in the last panel, an aftermarket component to our protagonists' Porsche Hexwing staryacht (first panel) which enables them to go places where other people can't. The idea, you see, was that in an era of faster-than-light travel, no-one would seriously be interested in the relativistic corners of our universe - but by inverting a normal hyperdrive to go just slower than the speed of light, our heroes could dive headlong into places with weird physics.

When I revisited the logo, my sketching - and looking at other logos of other comics - led me to the idea of the Hexwing cutting across the logo, with a thin line connecting it to the "O" of overdrive representing the invisible hypermass that our heroes are bungee jumping off of (and back to) to travel. I feel okay about it - the logo could be sleeker - but I can't quite articulate what the logo as drawn is missing from the image I have in my mind. If I could "see" that, perhaps I could fix it. This will require research, I think: I didn't figure out what was wrong with my Batman page (don't worry! I'm not going back to it) until I looked into DC Comics' book on coloring and lettering and realized I hadn't properly exploited value to make different planes of the page stand out from each other. Fixing this logo will require doing some research (and, likely, coming up with my own logos for other things first, before coming back to this, so I'm not working the same piece of art over and over again).

I didn't finish "The Front" that day - it was WAY too ambitious for 24 hours, and I think I only got 7-8 pages in. You know, in a way, I think 24 Hour Comics Day hurt my creativity as much as it helped it. It pushed my boundaries in a way I never had before, but the speed at which you have to work mean that my artwork wasn't up to the standards that I'd set for myself with f@nu fiku. Five years after breaking my arm, when my art was still rusty, I bit off more than I could chew, and may have hurt myself more. Not sure I'd go back and change it, but if anything, I wished I'd taken on a drawing discipline like I have now.

Drawing every day forces you to get over yourself, the good and the bad, and to move on to the next day.

-the Centaur


Day 12

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Porsche and the Scythe at the Waterfall, Colored

Day 11's drawing, colorized. Lots I would fix in the underlying drawing; many techniques of digital coloring I wished I had learned. But enough of that. Tired, going to bed now.

Still ... Drawing. Every. Day.

-the Centaur

Day 11

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Porsche at the Waterfall

Hello, Porsche, my old friend; time to draw you again.

Getting more comfortable with the Cintiq + Photoshop + Humanscale combo. But only had time for the inks today. Colors maybe tomorrow, or perhaps another drawing.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur