Monday, December 31, 2012

Illustration - Fairy Tales Swap for Ten Paces

Top: Final by me, sketch by Julia Bereciartu
Bottom: Final by Julia Bereciartu, sketch by me

Lo and behold, another swap for Ten Paces and Draw!

This week's theme was "Fairy Tales". I received a sketch for "The Princess and the Pea" (which is a fairy tale I've always loved even if it makes absolutely no sense) and concocted my final accordingly. Then for my sketch, my absolute favorite tale is one of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, and Julia made a beautiful execution! Love that baby goat <3 p="p">

This is probably going to be my last swap for Ten Paces for a while - I've got a lot to do in the next month! 

Hope you all have a safe and happy New Year! 2012 was stupendous, I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Illustration - Happy Holidays

Does it not feel like Christmas for anyone else? Maybe because so many exciting things have been happening...

Anyway, this is my "holiday illustration" for the year. She's actually an old character of mine, and it was nice to get to draw her again.

To all my viewers - I hope your holidays are safe, merry, and full of cheer! Love you!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Illustration Series - Pokeddex Challenge Week 1

Hi again!

Because I can never seem to make an excuse NOT to draw Pokemon, I am participating in the Tumblr-centric December challenge, the POKEDDEX Challenge. The goal is to draw one Pokemon per day, the first 17 days dedicated to drawing your favorite Pokemon for each of the 17 types. This is my first week's result.

Stay tuned for the next update! Thanks for looking!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Commission - The Harpy and the Wolf Summoner

Happy Monday everyone!

This week's update features a 3-piece commission I did in November. This was an amazing project - the pieces were challenging but rewarding, I got to try out some new techniques, the client was fabulous, and I had a ton of fun working on them!

I've got pretty much the entire month of December queued up for more art, and don't forget to check the Pokemon Sketchbook Project for new updates every Wednesday!

Hope you enjoy, and thanks for looking!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Illustration - Apocalypse Swap for Ten Paces

Top: Final by me, sketch by Karina Rehrbehn
Bottom: Final by Hannah Christenson, sketch by me

Happy Monday, gals and gents! 

This week I participated in my 3rd swap over at Ten Paces and Draw, and this week's theme was "Apocalypse". I was given a good ol' zombie monster mash sketch by Karina Rehrbehn to work with, and I decided to change up the perspective a little bit - what if the zombies were the ones being hunted...?

Then for my sketch, I went with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (my favorite set of religious icons), and needless to say the final result by Hannah Christenson BLEW MY MIND. Wow. Utterly fantastic. I want to buy a print of that it is so fabulous. Gives me shivers.

You can see the rest of the fabulous swaps here!

Well, I have a fair amount of content set up for the next month or so to come, so tune in on Mondays to see what I've been working on! Thanks for viewing, as always, and have a fantastic week!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Process Post: References

Hi you cool people!

So today's post is going to be a little bit different. Instead of posting a finished piece, I'm going to give you a little insight to my creation process!

So without further ado, let's talk about... REFERENCES!

In the beginning when I was a young, naïve artist (well, moreso than I am now), I had a huge problem with just making things up and not looking at any form of reference. This led to all sorts of problems... impossible poses, indistinguishable animals, and all sorts of other crazy inaccuracies. Only in my college years did I finally figure out the beauty of life drawing and reference images. It can make the difference between drawing a "bird" and a "red-tailed hawk", for instance.

As a character artist, I find myself needing reference a lot for expressions, poses, and details. Sure, I COULD make it up (and sometimes I still do), but I can guarantee that every time I use reference (even if I'm not using the pose/expression in the reference in its entirety) the image is guaranteed to look much more believable. And let's face it - sometimes there's just that damn hand pose you cannot get right!

So here's some examples of how I use references. When doing character pieces, I like to use myself for reference and I oftentimes use PhotoBooth (which comes as a default program with most Mac computers).

Here's a commissioned piece I did last year for my friend J.M. Lee:

For a good amount of these characters I took reference photos of myself, like so:

(It was just dumb luck I had a gun prop lying around!)
As you can see, some changes were made in the final sketches, but for the most part the photos I took heavily influenced the final poses/expressions of the characters.

Where else do I find references and tutorials? All sorts of places! Here are a few of my favorite internet resources:

Anatomical Art (Tumblr)
Photo Reference for Comic Artists (subscription-based, but click here for a free photo pack! Lots of cool comic book poses, some nsfw)
Eye Draw Things
F'Yeah References (Tumblr)
References for Artists (Tumblr)
And, of course, Google Images. :)

Also check out these books!

Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists
Facial Expressions Babies to Teens

You can also collect your own references from magazines, newspapers... heck, I save old calendars and tear the pages out and use those sometimes. Or use your own - take photos of everything and draw from life! Use anything and everything! The world is your oyster!

And if any readers have any reference resources, feel free to post them in the comments!

EDIT: Here's a recent post about references by the amazing comic book artist Ming Doyle!

Well, I hope this post was helpful. Thanks for reading! I will definitely have some new art up next week, so stay tuned!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Sketchdump - Older Psychonauts

Sorry guys, I know I said I'd have something more substantial this week. I just can't show you anything I've been working on. I have a Christmas card in the works, I'm doing another swap for Ten Paces and Draw this week, and I'm still working on that big giant commission.

This week I have... surprise... more Psychonauts fanart (give or take 5-6 years in the future past the first game). These sketches are from this past summer so they're kind of old but I think they still hold up. And they're a nice example of the pencil Photoshop brush I made (which I LOVE, because I haven't been able to find a good one prior to this one).

Psychonauts © DoubleFine

Anyway, enough of my blathering. You all have a good week now!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Sketchdump - Lotsa Doggies

Sorry to report that I just have a sketchdump for you all today - I'm working on a big commission right now and that's been eating up all my time this past week, so I thought I'd put up some doodles I've done in the past couple months. They're mostly dog-related but there's also a Thor and a Loki and an Oshawott in there. :)

Enjoy! I hope to have something more substantial up next Monday!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Fanart - Vanellope von Schweetz

Jumped on the Vanellope von Schweetz bandwagon - what a great character! Needless to say, I highly recommend everyone check out Disney's "Wreck-It Ralph", which turned out to be a very entertaining and touching film. Bring your Kleenex!

Additionally, "Paperman", the short that plays just before it, is also very wonderful.

Thanks for looking!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Creature-a-Thon: Week 2



Second batch of creatures I did for the Creature-a-Thon. It feels weird to still be posting Halloween stuff, as I went to a Halloween party on Saturday and now it just feels like the weird 5-day transition into all the Christmas stuff coming out. I would love to do an Advent Calendar this year (post a drawing a day for the month of December), what do you think?

Thanks for looking!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Illustration - Pet Peeves Swap for Ten Paces (ft. Lucie Shearer)

 Top: Final by me, sketch by Lucie
Bottom: Final by Lucie, sketch by me
I participated in another art swap over at Ten Paces and Draw! The theme this week was "Pet Peeves". The one that came to mind for me was people in movie theaters that turn on their phones in the middle of the movie (AAARGH)! My swap partner, Lucie Shearer, came up with another good one and a BEAUTIFUL result! Wow. Go check out her site, she's a phenomenal artist! :)
Check out the rest of the swaps here!
I'm a little behind on the Monster challenge (as I attended a last-minute convention this weekend), but I will hopefully have another big master post up this weekend, and I'll be updating the Pokemon Sketchbook Project on Wednesday too!
Thanks for looking!  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Creature-a-Thon: Week 1







Here is the first batch of creatures from the Creature-a-Thon challenge I'm doing with my friends. These are in various stages of completion and I would love to go back and re-work some of these, but they were all super-fun to draw!

Stay tuned for more monsters coming the entire month of October!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Creature-a-Thon: Frankenstein's Monster

What's up people? This month I have resigned myself to start drawing more MONSTERS! I'm not only attempting the 30-Day Monster Girl challenge and some of my old MIAD buddies invited me to do the "Creature-a-Thon", which is very similar but not limited to just girls. So I will attempt to draw 2 monsters a day for roughly the next month or so. Should be fun!

Here's Frankenstein's Monster for the Creature-a-Thon! If you haven't read Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" I would highly recommend it. I tried to convey the wretchedness and sadness of the monster in this design.

Alright, stay tuned for the next post! Monster mash!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Illustration - Handsome Gents swap for Ten Paces

Today's piece is brought to you by Ten Paces and Draw, a really awesome illustration site that features art swaps, character redesigns, interviews, and more!

This was my final piece for the "Handsome Gents" art swap, and was based on a sketch by Irena Freitas (her work is marvelous) - she also received my sketch and created a FABULOUS illustration out of it!

You can check out the rest of the marvelous pieces here! Thanks for looking!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Illustration - Oppa Kaycie Style

Sat down and did a personal illustration! Had a few challenges with this one but I worked through them and I'm pleased with the result! Color palette was inspired by one from Kuler, and if you haven't seen the Gangnam Style video you should definitely check it out, by the way. Psy is a cool guy!


Friday, August 31, 2012

Gengar Birthday Card

Just a quick post today (I will come up with a regular updating schedule at some point soon, I swear). Here is a cut-paper birthday card I made for my friend J. M. Lee this past week. Go, read his books!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fanart - Temeraire (Laurence and Granby)

Hullo hullo!

Just a couple of quick sketches today. I recently finished the newest Temeraire book, Crucible of Gold, and it just reiterated my love for the characters Laurence and Granby. So here they are, looking very upset about something.

I'd highly recommend the Temeraire books, which is basically a fictional recount of the Napoleonic Wars with dragons. Even if you're not into historical fiction, they're really enjoyable books and all of the characters are awesome.

Well, that's it for today! Until next week!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Illustration - Paul

Hello all!

Today I have for you another piece commissioned by a friend of mine. (I also did this piece and this piece for her last year, so they're kind of a series.) It was really fun making that camouflage pattern! As you can tell, he's a bit of a chocoholic, which I wholeheartedly appreciate. :)

Thanks for looking, as always!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Character Design - Hattie

Starting a new character design project for myself! Simply put, I miss character design like crazy, so I'm going to attempt to get back into practice (and have a lot of fun doing it, too)!

First up is "Hattie" - she's fun, flirty, and can be a little bit sassy.

Thanks for looking!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sketch Commission - Saints' Calling

This is a sketch commission of some of the main characters for my friend Vicky's webmanga, Saints' Calling (which you should all go read, right now)! I had so much fun drawing these guys! They all have such crazy personalities.

Thanks for looking!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Magical Midwest Tour 2012

Hey everyone! Sorry about my absence -- I treated myself to a little vacation this past weekend! I call it my "Magical Midwest Tour 2012". I went to northern Illinois to visit my aunt and uncle (and their flock of corgis) and my roommate Alex, and then went up to Milwaukee to hang out with friends and reminisce about old times.

I admit I'm not super-excellent when it comes to taking photos (because I forget my camera half the time), but here are a few I did take.

Puppies! There were NINE of them! Adorable little balls of fluff and teeth! 
The beach I spent time at on Friday. 

One of the things I miss most about Milwaukee is Lake Michigan. Sure it's terribly polluted and full of invasive species, but it was the closest thing to an ocean I've ever had. I spent a couple hours at the lake's edge on Friday, watching seagulls and terns and people with their kids and dogs.

Seagull man! 

This guy was super-intense about feeding seagulls. They were eating out of his hand at one point!

I made some seagull friends of my own!

I sat on a bench with my book and box of goldfish crackers and I wound up with a bunch of seagulls around me, too! There was a really mean adult who was trying to chase all the youngsters away. What a jerk!

As for the rest of the weekend, I also got to see my Elements at Discovery World (finally), and that was super-cool! I also got to have lunch with a couple of my friends and one of our professors from school, which was incredible. Overall, an extremely fun (and NEEDED) break. Good friends/family, good food (I think I ate myself sick), good memories.

Well, it's back to playing catch-up for me! Another busy week ahead... time goes by too quickly! Hope to get some art up this week, so keep your eyes out!