Progress on Max and Jay pic

Since I have a few nice progress shots of this pic, I thought I’d share them and show how this pic got started.

Max: She’s gone. I just can’t get past it.
Jayesh: You have to move on, man.

This is the finished pic. I really had fun with the smoky bar atmosphere, and I looked at a lot of bar and grill interiors on Google. They all seem to have the earth tones and low lighting in common. (Heck, I wouldn’t mind having lunch in some of those places. Some of them were really cute.)

Anyway, since I couldn’t find reference of the exact poses I wanted, I posed some of the 3D models in Clip Studio Paint.

It’s a painstaking process, getting the limbs and hands and heads and everything positioned just right. But it’s sure a lot faster than combing Google for somebody sitting in kind of the right position, then the arm doesn’t come out right and you can’t quite fix it because you can’t see it and just … argh.

Next comes the sketch:

Here’s the initial sketch, tracing over the models, adding clothes and gear, hair, faces, etc. The models are a nice shortcut, but I have to look up how to draw eyes every single time. Eyes, why are you so hard to draw?

I’m also trying to draw with more expressive hands, since human beings talk with their hands as much as they do their faces. I was pretty proud of the way the hands convey each character’s mood, here.

I guess I skipped taking a screencap of the inking stage, but you can see it here. My inking isn’t that great because I’m too impatient. So I went straight into making a value study. I wanted my characters to be sitting under one of those lights above the bar, with a darker background. Then I had to figure out what that kind of lighting does to the human face, so I had to go find reference for that. This took a lot longer than I expected, but it made the final version go much faster.

Some of the value study, I just painted over with a color set on Overlay and let the study show through. Other parts I repainted entirely because the study was messy. Since I am abysmal at drawing mechanical things like cups and bottles, I just grabbed some off Google and painted them into the scene.

This pic took me most of the week, so that’s all I have to show off. See you next week!

Sketching hands

I sketched a lot this week, rather than really finish much. I’m trying to get better at using hands to emphasize expressions.

Concept art for Vid:ilantes 2. I needed to draw the wyvern, since he’s kind of important, and of course any excuse to draw Jayesh is fine with me. I also wanted to try a Studio Ghibli style for the background. Landscapes in Studio Ghibli films always have

1. Puffy clouds,

2. Deep blue skies

3. Green landscapes with a complementary undercolor,

4. Flowers,

5. Often a picturesque cottage of some kind.

Well, I put in everything but the cottage, but I might try that in a later pic. This was just a speedpaint, and I left a lot of things undefined.

And now, the sketches:

I really tried to convey the sense of the scene with the hands, here. Max is saying, “She’s gone. I just can’t get past it.” And Jayesh is saying, “You have to move on, man.” The hands are instrumental in conveying their expressions, here. I’d like to finish this one up, even if all I do is ink it. Love my Destiny characters. And their hair. So much fun to draw their hair.

My husband has been getting into Warhammer: Age of Sigmar lately (I blame you, Jeff!). He’s teaching the kids to build models with the eventual intent of playing the game, but you need a ton of minis to even play a small battle. Anyway, there’s these creatures called gryph-hounds, which are like griffins, except eagle/grayhound instead of eagle/lion. I have been amused by the mental image of the warrior dudes petting their hounds and going, “Who’s a good boy?” I mean, somebody has to train these beasts and give them treats when they kill people. 😀

And that’s all for this week. It’s been really relaxing to just do quick sketches and not worry so much about finishing things, so I’m hoping to do more of that this week.

Wizards and critters artwork

I tried to make more art this week, but it’s been kind of hit and miss.

Here’s a Destiny warlock with a bearded dragon, kind of keeping with the pets theme from last week, of the guy with the sun conure. I forgot how much I enjoy drawing reptiles.

This pic started out as anatomy practice in a kind of fun pin-up pose. But anatomy is hard and I got frustrated, so I turned her into a Dawnblade. I also found a really cool fire brush in Clip Studio Paint that does perfect fire feathers. More practice is needed.

And then sometimes, you just have to draw dinosaurs. Dinos have always kind of been my comfort subject, so last night was just this fun scribble.

Sun conure and villain sketch

I started this week thinking, “I’m going to draw every day!” Then I got to writing a story that totally sucked me in, and wound up using all of my early morning time to write that, instead. On the plus side, it’ll be done in another week or so, if I keep writing as much as I have. More art after that!

Destiny character with a sun conure as a pet.
Sketch of the villain of the second Vid:ilantes book.

Once I finish writing this book, I’ll have more brainspace for drawing, heh. I hope people enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it!

Artwork: face studies

I’ve just been drawing my characters this week, trying to really nail down what they look like. These are collectively from After Atlantis and Vid:ilantes, since they share the same universe.

Tane is top right, hero of the After Atlantis books. James Chase is middle left, hero of Islesworn. Jayesh Khatri is the hero of Bloodbound, which I’m still writing. Three nationalities, one unstoppable team.
Concept art of Jayesh with fire wings.
Quick sketch of a Destiny Guardian in the new casual robe in season 9.

The rest have been commissions and I can’t show those off for various reasons. Got more to do, too, so I’d better get with it. Islesworn’s launch this week has kind of thrown off my artwork.

A little art and a lot of writing

This week I only had time to finish one pic. And it was a pic I drew ages ago and just got around to coloring.

Just Destiny stuff, as usual, heh. I just really like drawing the armor and stuff from it.

I did a speedpaint this morning, but I only got the first couple of stages done.

Just the big colors and shapes blocked in at this point. The armor is really detailed and fiddly, and I want to spend more time on it than I had.

This week I buckled down on edits for Vid:ilantes, the superhero youtubers book. It’s looking pretty good so far, just needs some more polish. I’d love to kick it out the door by next week, but that depends on how fast I can do a cover.

I also finished the first draft of a sci-fi story this past week, which felt really good. It’s very soft, as sci-fi goes (not much math, heh), more space opera than anything. I’d love to launch it next month, but we’ll see how many revisions it actually needs when I read back through it.

My next project is a sequel for Vid:ilantes, since I’ve been carrying it around in my head for months, now. Time to get it all out and see how it goes. It’s fun, because the After Atlantis trilogy deals with Island 1, Vid deals with Island 2, and the sequel will bring in Island 3. Then the book after that will be the big, fat crossover, where everybody unites the islands to face a bigger threat. I’m having way too much fun with this.

This week’s art: fake oil paintings

I’ve been in a bit of an art slump these past few weeks, so I decided to try something completely, totally different. How about a tutorial about digital oil painting? Oh yeah!

My first attempt, I couldn’t really get it to work right. Especially since I didn’t really know what I was doing.

Defaulting to my Destiny characters, as usual.

My second attempt, I hunted down Chris Saper and studied how she does portraits, because her portraits are sooooo gorgeous. And, you know, she’s still alive and stuff to give tips. (John Singer Sargent? I love you, man, but you’ve been dead a long time.)

Not sure about the expression on this one, but I was working with fewer brush strokes this time. Kind of hard to control. I’ll get better!

So then, I took what I’d learned and did this one.

Uldren the space pirate

Hey look I made a real art! Again, trying to keep my brush strokes minimal and not over blend. This whole pic was just a black silhouette with highlights painted onto it. And the planet in the background was just derped together with spraypaint brushes. But the overall effect is very nice, and you can’t tell how long I didn’t spend on it. *shifty eyes*

This pic gave me the bug to try to do some spaceships, so I did this one as practice.

I just grabbed some renders of Destiny ships off a model viewer and shaded them up, trying to figure out how people do this nonsense. NASA kindly provided a nice view of Earth to mess with. This whole pic was nothing but ghetto shortcuts, but I was practicing. I’ve never been good at mechanical things, but I have people asking if I can do science fiction book covers. So I need to get good at this kind of art.

So that’s been what I’ve cobbled together this week.

Art this week: concepts and comics

This week was battling against my own fatigue and lack of inspiration to make art. Surprisingly, once I sat down and started poking around, I was able to come up with this and that. So here’s what I made.

A pic from the end of my last fanfic, where Sorrel is pretty messed up.

Giftart for a friend who needed concept art of his steampunk characters. I haven’t done any steampunk before, and it was fun to mess with it.

In Destiny 2, there was this quest where you could travel through time and find your own grave. I had to make a comic about it.

Concept art for a character I’ve been thinking about. He’s basically a Mad Max vigilante with his Ghost worked into an energy shield usually carried by enemy aliens.

Pretty landscape and sketches

It’s Friday, which means … time to show off artwork!

I’ve been playing with this landscape on and off for a couple of weeks. I figured it was time to buckle down and finish it.

This was based on a screenshot from Destiny 2.

It’s a pretty area in game, but as you can see, there’s always room for improvement.

And now, for some sketches and things!

Character concept from a not-Destiny sci-fi. Just trying to nail down what the characters look like. The robots still look too Ghost-like, so I’ll be doing more concept sketches here in the next few weeks.

Since I’m redoing some Sonic fanfics as Real People Books, I get to reimagine these characters as humans. And they make awfully cute humans. This pic was just traced over a base and done anime because it’s fast and easy. I’d credit the artist who did the base, but I can’t track them down. It’s all over Pinterest, though.

“We’re waiting for your daughter?”
“Supposedly.”

Concept for the absentee father of the heroine of my last Destiny fanfic. I have this thing for forbidding, grumpy dads who are soft, sweet marshmallows on the inside.

And that’s all the art for this week. I’ve been grinding away at revisions on Guardian’s Wager, the third After Atlantis book, in every spare moment. And in every other spare moment, I’m writing this not-Destiny story that amuses me massively. You should have heard me boring my husband to sleep, explaining about the orbits of Jupiter’s moons and why Callisto makes the perfect hideout.

Catching up with art stuffs

I have a bit of an art backlog to post, so let’s see what I have sitting in my files.

There’s this artist who paints these gorgeous landscapes based on videogames, so I wanted to give it a shot. Also I followed this tutorial and it was really fun and interesting.

Fanart for the book Starship’s Mage by Glynn Stewart. I had known of this book’s existence for a long time, but didn’t actually pick it up until a friend recommended it. It’s science fiction with space ships and stuff, except the only way to hyperspace jump between stars is to have a Mage use magic to do it. So the ships are all engraved with runes on the inside, and in the ship’s center is a simulacrum of the ship that the Mage interacts with to Jump. Magic and the runes it runs on work like circuits and computer code, so it’s very logical. I’m very pleased with book 1 and will probably have to read the whole series. The heroes are in constant hot water because they are just trying to do the right thing. I LOVE that.

Also, I sent this to the author and made his day. 😀

This is a comic making fun of the Christmas event in Destiny where you make cookies out of bits of monsters. World of Warcraft had this same kind of event, so I think they must just be how videogames do Christmas-themed quests. These are a couple of characters I’ve been working on, and I wanted to draw the girl with the scars to see what she’d look like.