Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Digital Painting Class

So last semester one of the classes I took was digital painting. Digital painting is something I know basically how to do, but I was very slow at it and only knew how to do it in the way that I had figured out myself. I wanted to learn more techniques that I had seen other people do. Unfortunately the class was only a three hour class instead of a 6 hour class and we had to learn a massive amount of information so it became very rushed. I'm not really completely happy with any of the finished products because I took too long experimenting with them. I kept trying to figure out the styles I wanted to learn based off of the information I was actually learning in class. A lot of my trouble came from a lack of color knowledge, but thankfully I am taking a color theory class next semester.

The first assignment we had was a landscape we painted in Corel. We were allowed to add a person into the painting if we wanted but the main focus had to be the landscape.

Our second assignment was also done in Corel and was the cover of a type of book we would like to illustrate. I chose a children's book since I would absolutely love to illustrate one in the future. I didn't have an original story in mind and I love the classic fairy tales so I chose a favorite of mine, Little Red Riding Hood. The only problem was we had to look up the standard size for our genre's cover. Children's books can be all kinds of sizes but the standard size was a very awkward square...

Our third assignment was a continuation of the book. We were to take a page from inside the book and illustrate it. I LOVED my original sketch but it didnt fit into the square page as well as I would have liked. For this assignment we could choose to do photoshop if we liked, but the technique I had used on my cover kind of required Corel so I stuck with it.

Our last assignment was to do whatever you want. I had seen a friend do a smooth painted scene for an animation and I wanted to do something similar to learn the technique. Unfortunatley my teacher didn't have the time to really sit and teach me the process so I took what I was doing in Corel and applied it to Photoshop. Thankfully while I was on break between Spring semester and summer school I had time to practice the style I wanted to learn in Photoshop. I haven't perfected it yet but I am a lot better than I had been so I'm pretty excited about it!

Stephen Silver Week

For week four of my character design class we focused on Stephen Silver. I remember being obsessed with the show Kim Possible when it came out on the Disney Channel so I was ecstatic to try out drawing like the show's awesome character designer. It was also a great excuse to watch some Kim Possibles as research. As far as my heads were concerned I was still trying to practice capturing someone's likeness. So this week I used the actors of 30 Rock as my reference. I still don't believe it's perfect but I was definitely excited by my progress. When it came to my figures I felt like having a theme for the week. I have a fondness for the old circus and I felt it could produce some great characters as well as some fun poses.

Monday, June 27, 2011


In our third week we studied the all mighty Bruce Timm. I LOVED this week! Although I am not the biggest fan of super heros and such I did grow up watching Batman; the Animated Series after school on a regular basis. I remember loving the edge the cartoon had and the sexy pin up style the girls were drawn in (Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn being particular favorites of mine). Of course now the thing I gravitate towards drawing the most is girls, and I especially love drawing in pin up style so Bruce Timm was right up my ally.

We also had a lecture on race in our class that week, and how you had to make it readable right off the bat. At this point I had gotten the idea from a fellow classmate, who had done Dexter characters for his head drawings, to similarly do iconic show characters for my own heads. In my mind I wanted to be able to capture the character, and become stronger at drawing a likeness to a real person. So me, being the nerd that I am, decided to use Lost since it had such a racial diversity, is a well recognized cast, and well, I am a nerd. I was fairly pleased with how it came out. At first I wasn't sure it worked. And when I showed it to friends who didn't really know the show, it was less than encouraging to have to show them the reference pictures, and just lose the desired impact all together. But when I brought it to class without any kind of label on the paper or words from me, one by one my classmates started pointing out the characters. I don't think they are all total successes, but the fact that enough of them look right so that people could identify the show, and then narrow down who each person was, felt like a good step forward.


So FINALLY I get around to posting a blog. The problem was I have tons of sketches I want to post from my character design class. BUT! I wanted to clean them all up digitally before I posted them. Due to the fact that I have what my neurologist has so kindly told me is called an intentional tremor (meaning my hand shakes when I try to focus on doing something with it... i.e draw clean lines or detail), a lot of my pencil work is not where I would like it to be. Fortunately I am going to be testing some medicine very soon to try and fix my hands. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to digitally go back over my lines and make them as clean as I would like. Now I have started summer school, soon I will soon be off on a trip to Europe, and shortly there after returning to San Francisco to move into my new apartment. So I just have to face the fact that my lines being cleaned up won't happen. Which is super hard for my OCD self to accept, but I can't let my blog go unattended. I especially can't let it go with no character design assignments on it, since that is after all my passion!

Anywhoozle! These are some in class sketches done in usually spans of either 3 to 5 minutes. We would have a model with some sort of costume on. Our teacher encouraged us to often draw something inspired by the model rather than what we were actually seeing. So we were to get ideas from their poses but not necessarily draw a man in a homemade looking superhero outfit (which was often the case). I followed this very often since I'm not too much of a fan of the action macho guy sort of stuff (which was a lot of what we got in the beginning). Then later on as we got more and more sassy girl models I began drawing more directly from the model. These particular poses are from our final assignment. For this we put together a final portfolio of our semesters work, in which we had 4 pages of in class drawings. So these are my favorite drawings that I picked for my final. I hope you enjoy and I'll be posting more from this class soon!