Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Know How to Flatline Without Taking a Life

Nothing too thrilling, just a couple of pages of boxes in blue.

More important, I've started changing my habits with regard to drawing. More and more, I'm sitting down in the evenings with sketchbook in hand, instead of playing games or net-surfing. This is a positive thing, and probably equal parts knowing I have to put in the work to get better and confidence gained from the past few weeks of shape and mass practice. I'm starting to branch out as well, doing gesture studies and basic head shapes on large newsprint and doing life drawing on the bus home after work. I've got a ways to go to be good at either, of course, but I've come to accept that I'm not good at anything right out of the gate. Everything takes practice, and if it takes breaking things down into the most basic of basic steps to really get the idea, then so be it. That's what the summer is for, after all.

Monday, June 28, 2010

What's the big deal about sophisticatin' yo' palate?

Finally sat myself down and watched Brendan and the Secret of Kells last night, which if you know me is a bit of an achievement. I've had a copy kicking around since the beginning of May, but like most movies I really want to see, I somehow just never got around to actually watching the blasted thing.

In any case, it was worth the wait and then some. The deliberately flat, iconic style echoes the medieval Irish illumination theme perfectly, and the pace of the film is nicely bouncy. Oh, there could be a bit more depth in the characters, but for a straightforward adventure study revolving around artwork, it's still a satisfying romp. Although it does amuse me how they studiously avoid calling the Book of Kells a Bible, despite the fact that's what it was. It's also interesting to note how the English trailer is all about adventure and dark threats, while the French trailer concentrates on joy and wonder. Interesting, no?

Sketches in the key of green today.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Flicker Flicker Flicker Flam Pow Pow

Not really a lot to say today. Been a relaxing day, much more relating than the insanity in Toronto lately. Mostly chillin', playing games and working on my art. Things are coming, stuff I found tough before are far less tough than they used to be. If I can just keep up the pace for the rest of the summer - and even increase it by a good deal in August - I'll be a much better artist walking out of this summer than I was walking in. Time will tell.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

You will hear a nightingale sing, seek me out then

Finally back to regular drawing, what a relief. Between the animation workshops, the new job, and helping Roomie out on the drywall, it's been hard to devote a lot of time to creative work. But things have calmed down, and I have a much clearer direction than I had before, which is always nice.

So the usual today, a page each of regular boxes, bendy boxes and blobs. Tomorrow, hopefully, I'll get a chance to take some pics of my big newsprint pad to show you the gesture studies I'm doing. It's a new way of thinking about poses for me, so I'm going to be concentrating on it a lot over the next couple of months. In any case, I'm drawing more and more as time goes by, which is where I want to be heading. I've got goals, and this is the only way I'm gonna get there. I don't have talent, so I've gotta get there through hard work instead.

Couple of performers you should be listening to:

  • Adrien Reju
  • Will Knox
  • You Say Party, We Say Die
  • The Redwood Plan
  • Amelia Curran

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A bit of figure work today, although technically I did it yesterday. I can't fit this paper (12x18" newsprint) on my little scanner, so I wanted to wait until I had some daylight for digiphotos. Seems to have come out okay, though.

Haven't been doing as much as I'd like this week, which is odd since I've been doing lots of drawing in the Summer Animation Workshop with Ian Jeans. Ian's gesture technique is a lot different from what I'm used to, which is hardly a surprise since the only real instruction I've had on how to do gestures is reading about it in the Vilppu book, and a short description of the same thing from Paul one week in P&P class. In Life Drawing this year, all I got was "here's some examples of gestures, now do it", which was no help at all, so this is pretty handy.

In any case, here's some attempts to put Ian's method into practice, as well as trying to tie it into the Vilppu stuff I've been doing by way of bendy boxes. I must say, I'm finding it appealing and it seems to bypass some problems I've had with the figure in the past. Who knows, maybe this is how I'll settle on doing it in the future. I could do worse.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Bit Slow

Not much to show for yesterday and today, I'm afraid. Yesterday, the whole house got up turned upside down with organizing for a charity event happening in the living room, which made it hard to really concentrate. Then last night, due to various unfortunate events, I ended up with almost no sleep (less than 4 hours) before going off to my first day at work. So you can imagine, I'm not braining today.

I am excited about tomorrow, though. The summer animation workshop starts tomorrow evening, and I really have no clue what to expect. I know I was recommended as someone who'd benefit from it, and there will be students from other grades there as well, so I doubt it'll be "one size fits all". Beyond that and the instructor's name, I don't know a thing, so it'll be really interesting to find out.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The World Is Square

No blobs today, but it's a box jamboree! There's no question now, I'm on the track of something really important with the bendy boxes. Gotta keep working those, and working them hard.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fish, plankton, sea greens... protein from the sea!

If you know the significance of that title without looking it up, you're exactly as much a geek as I am. Way to go.

Just boxes today, I was a bit wiped out after life drawing so I didn't get to the blobs. Not to worry, they'll be back. Fact is though, my priority is developing my skill from the ground up, and the fact that I'm finding bendy boxes tough means they're a major priority at the moment.

Also, I hate this sketchbook. Paper's too thin and not really quite, and I prefer a smooth paper to one with tooth to it. Not much I can do about it, though, since the ones I do like are sold out until September from the college bookstore, and Wallack's doesn't carry them. So unless I find them elsewhere, I ain't gettin' any.

And we all know how unpleasant not gettin' any is.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tougher than it looks

So the Vilppu train keeps chugging along, no sign of stopping yet. This is about the point where I gave up last time I tried, because I got sidetracked into doing my webcomic, so I'm eager to see what new things I discover from here on out.

One thing I did discover is that the soft, flexible boxes which I started doing today are hard! Seriously, it's the first really challenging part I've come across and it occurs suddenly to me as I type this that it's the exact same thing I found tough about the flour sack!! Holy crap. How did I not see that?

Well, that tells me one thing right off, I need to work on this a lot. It's part of my daily routine now, so the aim is to do a page or two a day for the next little way along with my other regular stuff. The list keeps growing of stuff I do regularly, but the amount that I enjoy it is going up too, so it all works out. Let's see, two pages of spheres (with ellipses), two pages of regular boxes, 1-2 pages of bendy boxes, and 1-2 pages of blobs. If I can just do that until the end of the month, I think I'll be on the track of something big.

In any case, here's today's results.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Audio quality

Not a lot of art today, just two pages of boxes and one of increasingly disturbing blob creatures. I'm not really sure what it says about my subconscious that I'm tending toward more and more complex, mass-of-writhing-flesh creations, but there you go. I assume it's something about my mother.

In any case, I thought I'd pass on a couple of music podcast recommendations today. Like a lot of artists, I listen to music a lot, but I haven't exactly got a huge budget for CD's. So while I'm not all that morally opposed to downloading albums, it's really way too much of a hassle so I can't be bothered. Besides, how do I find out who the good artists even are? Not a lot of my current circle of friends are into the music I'm into, as far as I know, so I can't rely on them for recommendations.

So enter podcasts. Honestly, I'd been avoiding the whole podcast scene and iTunes in general up until about Christmas. It wasn't something I really wanted to deal with. But then my mother went and got me an iPod for Christmas, and you know how these things go. So I've recently gone looking about at a few random podcasts, and I came up with a couple of gems to share.

KEXP A radio station in Seattle, they've got a bunch of offerings. Most importantly, Music that Matters and the Song of the Day. I've downloaded a bunch of the shows, and found a lot of really amazing stuff that I wouldn't have otherwise. And you owe it to yourself to subscribe to Song of the Day and download the track by The Redwood Plan. It's wicked, really.

Acoustic Long Island They've got an audio and video podcast, the audio generally runs about a half hour, with an hour for the Open Mic nights. All acoustic and folk, which lends itself to not only great performances but great storytelling and banter in between songs, which I personally love. The Princess Peapod show from last October is really awesome, check that out.

TransAtlantic Acoustic Podcast A cool variety show hosted by Sam Salter in the UK and jill no jack in the US, again loads of lively banter and seriously good acoustic music. Pretty wide variety of styles, although not a lot of shows online. Still worth a listen at about a half hour a pop.

The Roadhouse Blues, blues, blues! I'm more of a folk and acoustic fan than a blues fan, but an hour a week of good, solid blues isn't something I'm gonna turn down. Lots of independent and small label stuff as well as bigger acts, and an intelligent host who knows his way around the business. Worth it every time.

The Perfect Beat For those days you really need your blood moving, three hours of solid dance beats from DJ Eros every Wednesday. Loads of variety, great textured mixes and energy galore, I love it!

So yeah, here's some art.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Bit More Mojo

So I didn't get as much done today as I'd like to have, since I spent a lot more time out of the house than planned, but it was a good drawing day anyway. For one thing, I moved on to boxes as planned and managed to get a good solid page of the silly things. I'm shooting for two pages of these a day as well as two pages of spheres as my warmup, then moving on to an indeterminate number of pages of blobs and maybe in three or four days start adding soft, bendy boxes. I don't want to rush things though, so it'll happen when it happens.

What's cool here is that I did end up doing a page of blobs today as well, and they turned out WAY better than expected. I think I'm finally starting to internalize the concepts of volume and depth, which is seriously positive if I want to make characters and environments that really grab a viewer. What I need more than anything is to capitalize on that progress and really push the concept as much as I can, even if things get seriously weird in the process.

As a bonus, I've added a couple of pages from last Friday's life drawing session. The group keeps meeting until the end of the month, but my last week is going to be this Friday, sadly. I'm going to be starting the animation workshop on the 15th, and I can only justify so many nights out of the house to myself. As it is, for those first two weeks it'll be Tuesday/Thursday for classes, plus Wednesday for life drawing at Sandy Hill and I gotta fit groceries in there somewhere. So something's gotta give, and it might as well be the thing that's gonna end soon anyway.

In any case, my gestures have really transformed in the past couple of months, which is really amazing. I had no idea there'd be such a change from just using Vilppu's method, but wow. That stuff's seriously powerful.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Brane Ded

That pretty much describes my day, honestly. Not feeling too hot and totally unable to think coherently. Probably nothing to do with working last night, unless you count coming home in 12C weather with no jacket, but probably a lot to do with hauling drywall yesterday morning. Maybe even more to do with the crappy weather today, who knows.

In any case, two pages today. not terribly pleased with them overall, but at least there's a feeling of form and volume to most of it, and that's really what's important.

Now I'm gonna go watch Iron Man, I haven't seen it yet.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Easy money

Turns out work was way easier than I thought, giving me some time to putter about in my cute li'l 5x7" purse-sized sketchbook with the Robert Batemen cover (goat!). I probably should have done more, but it's really hard to get into it when you've got interruptions every 10-15 minutes or so.

My output tonight seems to be more on the "disturbingly biological" side than the "impressive megafauna" that I had been doing, but that's how it goes. Tonight seems to have been the night for slippery flukes and gnarled pseudopenii in any case, so that's what y'all get to look at.

Oh, one other thing, it seems I've got something cool to look forward to this summer. I was contacted by Algonquin about a summer animation workshop that's going on, and it seems I was identified as someone who could really benefit from the extra instruction. Well now, it might come off as "remedial" or whatever, but you know what? It tells me there's somebody out there who wants me to succeed, and they're tossing opportunities at my feet, that's what it tells me! And damn if I'm not gonna pick them up. It's 27 hours of class time spread out over the whole summer, starting on the 15th, and you know I'm gonna be there.

I'm pumped about this. So that gives me another week and a half to push my basic drawing ability, so my goal right now is to post new stuff every day until then, at least. Mostly Vilppu, of course, since that's my focus, but if anything else happens to get done, I'll toss that up as well.

Anyhow, blobs. Enjoy!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Still not pen...I mean King

So more variations on a theme again, will continue a bit longer before moving on to cubic forms (although I'll probably keep doing a page a day of these). I'm noticing a few things though, like what's working and what's not. Mostly those cool large animal-type critters, but some other stuff besides.

Which, I suppose, is exactly what Paul wanted us to do on the final assignment. If you're reading, Paul, this is where you get to feel smug because one of your students belatedly realized you were right all along. I just hadn't gotten to the point where I'd internalized it.

Anyhow, probably nothing tomorrow since I'm hauling drywall in the morning, and I actually have a paid gig in the evening (hotel front desk), so that doesn't leave a lot of drawing time. But who knows how things will shake out. We'll see. In the meantime, enjoy the blobs.