Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012


A somewhat more exciting take on the end of the Fellowship of the Ring that sees Frodo and Samwise fleeing across the river while Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli hold back the remaining orcs. Beats me how they'd get out of this one alive, though.


Finished rereading the hobbit today, and then doodled a few things while watching The Fellowship of the Ring. Now I'm going to go to read a bit of The Silmarillion before bed. I bought Unfinished Tales and ordered Children of Hurin as well... Makes me think:

Draginses, Bagginses, Wizards and Tooks.
I will surely die before finishing all of Tolkienses books!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


IDW001, "Dark Sharks: Melee Space Mechs"
In the far future, the Chinese government will overpass the space technology of all rival nations and have established homebases on far away planets.
An hostile and intelligent alien race was discovered on a planet in a far away system. The aliens attacked the Chinese and repealed their attempts in harvesting information of their world, aswell destroying all their research ships.
The chinese government choose to send out a squad of space marines in a newly devolped Space Mech. Space Travel does not allow the transport of nuclear or biological weaponary, so the Chinese Space team devolped mechs with strong Melee capibilities to protect future research teams.
These Mechs were known as the DarkSharks.

Honestly, a lot of these IDW briefs are pretty retarded, but I picked out all of the ones that weren't completely idiotic. This is, unfortunately, one of the stupider ones.

It's kind of weird to imagine a shark brawling someone, so I tried to stay away from the basic idea of a melee mech... If one could even come up with a stereotype for such a thing. Instead, I wanted to move in the direction of something quicker and stealthier.

I also doodled a bit today. Weird things, a flower-queen-lady-person, and an anthropomorphic bee lady.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Been missing a few days, but I still haven't gone a single day without drawing. Not since October 13th, anyways. That makes just over two months, but I suppose that doesn't really matter. They're just numbers.

So last night, and carrying on to this morning, I found myself very discouraged. Fact of the matter is, anyone can improve their technical skills, given time and effort. There are other skills, however, that are not so easily improved, such as the ability to generate ideas. I know that as a child, I was a wellspring of imagination, but that evaporated by the time I was thirteen or fourteen. Whenever I think about it, I get scared - what if I'll never be creative enough to succeed as an artist? I mean, on top of everything, I want to work in concept art. I can't possibly get anywhere in that field if I can't produce ideas at the drop of a hat.

Yesterday, watching Feng Zhu's latest Design Cinema video, Before and After, I was hit with the same realization. The video shows works from the application portfolios of some FZD students, and then compares it to their current (some of whom were only a few months into the one year program, while one other had graduated). While promoting the program, this video seemed to really highlight the significance of what was present in those initial portfolios, despite the demonstration of amateurish technical skills. Feng Zhu pointed out the design that was struggling to emerge. The problem wasn't that the artists were unable to come up with designs, but rather that they were unable to communicate their ideas effectively. It made me think, I could receive the best training in the world, but it wouldn't help me become successful if I'm not bringing certain things to the table.

I mentioned that to Khuyen today, and she helped shake some of my fears - for the time being, at least. She reminded me that there are things I can do to improve, and made me realize that when I draw, I seem to be skipping a crucial step. For the most part over the past month (since I stopped doing photo studies), I mostly spent my evenings marking down random lines until something started to emerge. I've never liked that process, because it always felt so horrendously hit-or-miss. Even when something great comes out, it wasn't necessarily planned from the beginning, so it feels a little cheap. I came to realize, however, that if designs and ideas are solutions, then I am entirely lacking a problem to be solved when working this way. How does one come up with a solution, if there is nothing to solve aside from a blank canvas that needs to be covered?

That motivated me a little bit. Finding something I can change, something I can do differently, reminds me that I haven't yet exhausted my options. When I got home, I dug up all of the past Industrial Design of the Week challenges and started saving off anything that seemed remotely interesting into a text file. I didn't want to look at the forum itself, along with all of the other artists' interpretations, because I didn't want my mind to be clouded with what other people had done. If I can give myself problems, then perhaps I'll have an easier time producing solutions. I'm going to try to avoid bogging myself down with technique for the time being - I won't outright ignore it, because I don't think I'm capable of that - but I'll accept for now  that my perspective and proportions will probably come out wrong. What's important are ideas.

I did one this evening - only one iteration, sadly, but I hope to do more as I get used to squeezing them out of my brain. Also, for sketching, I've moved away from Photoshop and given Autodesk Sketchbook Pro a shot (which I've had sitting around on my computer for some time, since I bought the Autodesk Suite to get my hands on Maya a few months back).

The brief detailed a "Think Tank," a tongue-in-cheek war machine powered by brains. I mostly just noodled around, and had trouble for the first while getting any sort of a bulky, tank-ish, vehicle feel. But here's what I got:

So I may or may not have mentioned in the past my plan to work for a couple years (of which I've completed six months already), before going back to school with the intent of pursuing art more seriously. For the most part, I've been aiming at The Gnomon School of Visual Effects' Entertainment Design program in Los Angeles, which still looks fantastic (and isn't too hard on my bank account). There are a few hitches though, primarily my being Canadian and the program being a bundle of individual courses at a discounted price, instead of a proper accredited program. Basically, I can't get a student visa to attend. I can (probably) attend under a tourist visa, but that would require me to return to Canada within six months, breaking up the one year program into two chunks. Not exactly desirable, and it would make renting an apartment pretty tricky. Not the kind of complications I'm overly eager to deal with.

The other option is the Feng Zhu School of Design (FZD), which is all the way in Singapore. I've been there, and I distinctly remember myself saying, "If I had to live anywhere in Southeast Asia, it would be here." Ironic. The option's starting to look far more attractive, but equally terrifying. I'm practically a homebound hermit, so the idea of moving anywhere for a year scares the crap out of me, but it's something I'm going to have to get over either way. Moving all the way across the planet, though? Hrm. On the bright side, Singapore is known for being extremely safe and clean, and everyone speaks English (more or less). I'm getting off topic - I should be focusing on why the school itself is attractive.

As I mentioned before, I've been following Feng Zhu's online videos as well as his somewhat older Gnomon DVDs, and his philosophy behind the teaching of these skills really seems, for lack of a better word, correct. I would be lying if I said I wasn't attracted by the quality of the student work, and how quickly they seem to be improving. Of course, I'll always take that with a grain of salt, but when matched up with the teaching philosophies, I suppose it makes sense. At the very least, I will apply - probably in a year or so. Since they judge portfolios primarily on the applicant's creativity/ideas/visual library/whatever you want to call it, I feel like it would be a good test to see whether I have even the slightest chance in this field. If I don't... well, I suppose I'd have to stick with programming. Until then, here's to working my ass off.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Just a few thumbnails for tonight. I tried exploring the lower left one, but it didn't really amount to much.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I missed yesterday! ): I was exhausted after work, and though I did spend a couple hours drawing, I was too out of it to actually come up with anything. But anyways, I seemed to be back on track today. When I was doodling thumbnails at work (amongst all of my scribbly math and vector diagrams) I decided I kind of wanted to depict people worshipping someone. As I played with it, I started to come up with the idea of a group of people who worship what is basically a corpse. The person would have been alive initially, but in order to achieve some sort of divinity, was killed/sacrificed there (by having wet linen wrapped around his head, causing him to suffocate). Now, they try and mask the fact that he's a rotting corpse with incense (the stands in front of him), sweet smelling plants, etc. Pretty grim, but I like the concept.

What I don't like though is that silly super-foreground drape I stuck in the corner. Baah, bad decisions!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I think I'll do these every evening for a while. I got a new tablet this evening! So I spent most of the night tinkering with the settings. Didn't plan on upgrading until December, but Black Friday sales have their sway. I was a bit worried about going down from my Intuos4 large to an Intuos5 medium (I'd initially regretted getting the large, but had since gotten used to it). I'm happy to say that I don't feel any issue with the medium's size, and the fact that I got it for $100 less than the regular price definitely sweetened the deal.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Above all else, set design and all of the frustration it brings is the greatest challenge I've found when it comes to art. Coming up with a scene, figuring out the appropriate camera angle and perspective, coming up with architectural elements to fill up all of the stupid-empty-space-oh-god-i-hate-it, and whatever else it involves! IT'S ALL SO HARD. But I think I can conquer it. Maybe. Eventually.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I would have liked to have spent more than a couple hours on this portrait of IU, but unfortunately, I have work tomorrow.


Photo ref by Kathryn Lisko

Saturday, November 17, 2012


we buy the president.

On a whim, I decided to do a portrait of Eric Rolland portraying J. P. Morgan in the History Channel's The Men Who Built America. With a little twist, of course.

Earlier in the evening, and after I finished the portrait, I was working on another perspective sketch. My reference was a photo of Angkor Wat, easily my favourite ancient site. I'm not sure why I like it so much, but I'd love to visit there one day.

Edit: So I didn't feel like going to bed, so I doodled some more. I donno, this is a succubus I guess? Naked 'cause of my lack of desire to draw clothes and nothing more! I really have no idea how I'd clothe her, anyways. I should work on that at some point but there's SO MUCH STUFF TO WORK ON ALREADY. AAAH.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


For the next while, I'm going to be focusing on perspective. I didn't really want to start "officially" (as if there is such a thing) today, because I've been sleepy as hell all day, but I knew I wanted to doodle or draw something, so I took the opportunity to at least scribble some quick one point things from reference. I'm not going to lie, I had no idea what I was doing. I'm gonna go pass out now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Last minute speed sketching that looks like total garbage wooooo!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Hooray! 31 consecutive days of studies! And I celebrate that by a decidedly crappy study tonight - definitely bit off more than I could chew. Definitely shows me that I need to work on figuring out a way to paint backdrops and architectural elements. I think I'm going to slow down for now, though. I'll still get in a few studies each week, but definitely not every night. Probably not. Maybe.