Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Getty Sketches!

Whew, finally some more stuff to post! Alina and I went to the Getty on Sunday to check out some Bernini sculptures. I was completely blown away by how much detail he was able to carve into the marble; I mean, he had 5-o'clock shadows on faces, lace and buttons and embroidery on clothes... it was amazing. There were a LOT of people there; we had to kind of push our way around to find good spots to sketch from. But it was so nice being able to get out and draw on location! I can't even remember the last time I did that... Anyway here's the result:

I love this guy's hair, hehe!  It took a long time to draw because of the complex shapes and the sheer amount of hair, but I think it was worth it. :)
King Louie XIV... Yeah.  Stately and regal, you'd expect a perfectly timed breeze to come along any second and tousle that flowing hair.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

You should have seen it

I was driving back to work after picking up my wedding dress from David's Bridal, and saw the most amazing sunset taking place... I knew I had to go watch it. I wanted my camera so badly right then, it was spectacular - misty pinks and purples in the mountains, a bright orange glow where the sun was sinking behind them, brilliant yellows and whites in the clouds, and the clouds, my God, no words to describe how awesome they were. Why did I leave my camera at home?!

As soon as I got to the parking lot I scrambled out of the car, grabbed my DS and ran out of the garage - luckily EA is positioned right near the coast, so when I stood overlooking Lincoln Blvd I had a great view!

It's times like this when I realize just how very mortal and inadequate we are; as I stood there trying to capture the sunset on that tiny touchscreen I knew I had no hope of really portraying what I saw. Honestly I don't know how some people manage to paint sunsets so well, the light is constantly changing, the colors blend together and the clouds metamorphose into different shapes. How can you freeze one moment in time when the moments are so fleeting?

After a few frustrating minutes I decided that while I couldn't immortalize the sunset through my limited means, at least I could experience it. If I couldn't share it with others, at least I could share a moment between me, the sky and the creator. There was something neat about "painting" on my DS while the sky was painting itself with its own palette of brilliant hues. I felt as though I was watching a true master at work, and I was but a lowly apprentice just starting my journey.

Oh the wonders of the internet! I managed to find a couple people who took some snaps of last night's sunset on Flickr. This guys was in Venice Beach, however, so his view was marred by all the palm trees. Too bad for him :P Still, you can kind of see the range of colors and the cloud formations:

This guy got more of the pinks and purples:

Thursday, August 07, 2008

More Colors! stuff

Still doodling around on my DS, I like that I can pick it up whenever I want to; it's helped me get back into sketching, even if it's not my best work.

This one was done from imagination... yeah. I guess I need to work on being more imaginative. :)

The smog in LA makes for some interesting colors at sunset. Drew this while Tommy was driving us to a friend's house up in the hills to the north. Didn't really have time to get any detail on the hills though.

Crappy sketch of palm trees on the bus ride home.

Some fanart from the French series "Wakfu," which a classmate of mine is working on. Figured I'd see how the DS handles more cartoony work. This was one of the times I really really wanted an undo button; inking the black lines on that tiny screen is hard!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Colors! sketches

As promised, here's a few of the sketches I've managed to crank out on my Nintendo DS using "Colors!" It's been tricky getting used to the controls and drawing on a tiny screen, but I guess they came out alright.

This first one I drew on the bus; the fires were still burning over the hills which is why the sun was all red.

The second one I started sketching out while we were waiting in line for the Dark Knight. This was the theatre across the street from ours. :)

While it's definitely not as natural for me to draw with a tiny stylus on a tiny screen, I do enjoy being able to use color without dragging around a box of pencils or a paint set. It's clean and organized! But if the battery runs out, I guess I should bring my trusty sketchbook for backup. And it definitely won't replace my home computer and WACOM for my more polished pieces, for sure. But it's a fun little toy to mess around with.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


So I just got my hands on a homebrew program for my Nintendo DS called "Colors!" (yes, the exclamation point is part of the name). It's a pretty basic paint program, but it's nice that it's pressure sensitive with the DS touchscreen. Pretty cool having sort of a miniature Cintique in my pocket that I can bring on trips! It'll take some getting used to, though. Not quite ready to show any Colors sketches just yet. I still have to figure out how the wi-fi thing works anyhow...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Painty Sketchy thing

I was inspired by some other artist blogs to try a style without concrete outlines. I think I only managed a half-success on that front, and the color turned out kinda messy... but there was something freeing about working mainly on one layer in Photoshop. Normally I end up with 10-20 layers all with different colors or shadows or whatever. But this time I think I ended up with 2, and mainly because I was afraid of screwing up the animals when I drew the reins on top.

I think it's good practice for being more confident in setting down "paint" as well. I wasn't relying on the undo button nearly as much, instead if I made a mistake I'd just draw over it. This would be essential should I ever get Colors for my DS, as that software doesn't have an undo button. And obviously should I ever decide to paint with a real canvas and brush, this would come in handy as well. :)

But yeah, overall I was happy with how different the style turned out, as compared to something like this, where I was deliberately going for hard lines and outlines:

Friday, February 08, 2008

Ok, so I cheated.

This isn't really a drawing per se, but I did have some Photoshop fun. This is what's going to turn into the splash page for our wedding website! Too bad doesn't let us upload our own templates, so we're stuck with a silly default one for all our info. But we wanted to have something theme-related for our guests to see first since we got engaged on the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland. So we're making this and uploading it to Googlepages, with a link to the Knot site.

I scrounged around for a good photo of Big Ben and found this on Flickr:

It's a neat angle and I liked the clouds, but I wanted the shot to more closely resemble the night scene from the movie where the kids and Peter all land on one of the arms. So I threw a bluish-purple layer over it set to Overlay (which happens to be one of the colors for our wedding):

Now the hue is correct, but that sky is way too bright to be a night shot. I went in and adjusted the curves to darken everything up (but kept the clock face relatively light since Big Ben lights up in the evenings):

Next came a little bit of lighting on the face.

I wanted the focus of the picture to be on the tower itself, so I found a photo I'd shot a while back of some clouds, chopped out a piece and covered up the part of the building I didn't want in there.

Lastly... a little fairy dust to add to the magic. :) I've got a Photoshop brush that I'd made a while back that does some nice sparkly effects!

It's nothing too fancy, but I think it'll look nice with a good font and a catchy phrase. Maybe "Think of a Wonderful Thought?"


I was mulling over my life (as I often do when Lent rolls around), and decided I needed to try to find some joy in my artwork again. I want to regain the inspiration and excitement I've felt before whenever putting pencil to paper. I feel as though my creativity is such a big part of my life, that to reflect on myself and find it lacking means I need to do some serious overhauling. What good is an animator who has trouble finding the energy or willpower to create?

So on Ash Wednesday I resolved to try to draw something every day for the duration of the season. I started small... I had been perusing James Baxter's website and watched his reel for Enchanted over and over again, marveling at his work. At one point I paused the frame and tried to sketch out the poses of the prince and princess as they sang their duet. I didn't get to the details of the faces and clothes; mainly focused on the gesture. There was something about the contrast of the proud, masculine Edward crooning to his "true love" with the slender femininity of Giselle that caught my eye.

Unfortunately my scanner is packed somewhere amongst all my boxes as I'm moving out of my apartment, so I can't upload the sketch here. I'm pretty rusty anyway so I don't know that I'd want to share it regardless. Here's the frame I was trying to draw:

If you're interested, James Baxter's site is here!