Friday, November 18, 2011


A recent sudden interest in 3D modeling has prompted me to research a bunch of programs like Poser, DAZ Studio, Maya, and ZBrush. I don't have a good head for math and geometry, so I was looking for a program that was extremely intuitive and didn't require too much learning about things like vertices, splines, polygons, transparency maps, turbo encabulators, and other incomprehensible things. All I want to do is realize my characters three-dimensionally, not animate them or do anything fancy like that (yet)!

ZBrush seemed to fit the bill pretty well. You start with a ball of virtual clay, and gradually sculpt it by shoving it around with your mouse or tablet. The full program is insanely expensive, but there is a trial version available. Before I got as far as downloading that, though, I noticed that the developers of ZBrush also offer another program called Sculptris, which is targeted at beginners. AND IT IS TOTALLY FREE.

It's insane. Everyone should download this program. It is SUCH a fun toy, and really easy to get the hang of. I think it's easier than drawing in some ways, because all the tricky shading is automatically done for me. Yay! I cranked out these two heads in one evening. They're still pretty rough, but I'm very pleased with how they're developing.

A raisiny old man!

Breckendy, sans hair.

It's an exciting adventure into the 3rd dimension. I'm eager to explore further...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vacation Doodles

Spent the last week in Independence with my family! It was wonderful to see everyone, even though I ended up contracting a wretched disease from my little brothers. It seems like I always get sick when I go back there! Oh, well. Plenty of rest and a hearty batch of veggie soup seems to have cured me.

Did a bit of sketching while relaxing at the homestead:

A studly specimen.

Breckendy, even shorter and more distrustful than usual.

Tending to a sick friend. But not all apples are good for you...

Vocab word of the day: digitigrade!

A picture I'm working on for my (big) little brother.  It was the only way I could bribe him into letting me trim his shaggy teen hair. =P A character from one of his numerous stories, a trickster god/demon who assumes the form of a six-tailed white fox, and is generally a dangerous fellow to be around, from what I understand.

After watching Tangled (for the second time),  was overcome with the need to draw some long locks.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kimuth plays a tune

Sorry again for the infrequent posting. The drawing mania ebbs and flows, and it's been ebbing for a while. But that means it will start to flow again soon!

Here is a picture of Kimuth playing some sort of small stringed instrument similar to but not quite like a mandolin. I made it up without a great deal of consideration-- you can tell because it has four tuning pegs and only three strings. Kimuth is also modeling my trademark footie pajamas, which I like to draw on characters when I don't know what they should be wearing, but don't want to draw them naked.

I wasn't particularly invested in it when I started doodling this last night, but I love how it turned out! I will certainly be working on a spiffy, full-color "official" version, complete with improved instrument design and Real Pants.

Rockin' those footies.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yoga & Meds

Sorry for the tremendous lack of posts! I have been drawing, but I've been doing much less in the way of scribbly doodles lately. Plus, I'm settling into the rhythm of working two jobs.

In the meantime, here's a business card I designed for my mom:

And here's some rough concept art for a fledgling comic project I'm involved in. It's conceived and written by a Beloiter acquaintance of mine, and it may involve several different artists and art styles. These three characters are representative of various psych meds:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sketchdump III

A hodgepodge of this and that.

Mr. Strunz being all high and mighty with his weird fashion.

A comic doodled during a morning class. I pretty much just like it for the last panel.

Fashions for Breckendy.

Some kind of lady with a wolf?

Beim Rom people.

Kimuth can't quite believe his ears.

An additional sketchdump of Tangwen/Czeslaus development stuff.

Tangwen and Czeslaus as kids.

Their first kiss.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Undone: Details

I just posted some nice, large-size images from my senior show to my DA gallery. Not everything, just my favorite segments. It's worth checking out because it the image quality is much better than in the photographs. Go forth!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Caved in and got a few Copic markers, the most overpriced and desirable art markers I know of. At nearly $5 each, they encourage budget-bound artists to select their colors with great deliberation. I decided to get a pack of flesh tones, a couple of yellowy colors, and a colorless blender. I printed out my lineart from the last post so I could practice coloring without the icy, heart-clutching terror of coloring directly on an original piece.

Ooh, those Copics handle like a dream. They blend almost like watercolors! And the brush tip on the Copic Sketch markers (which is what I got) is delightfully flexible and precise. I hate to admit it, but they're worth the money. Mostly. Almost. One amazing thing about them is that the nibs never get contaminated with other colors. You can blend a light color on top of a dark one (still wet!) without any damage. And the edges just vanish into soft nothingness, so you don't get that annoying striping where layers overlap. I had to use some old Prismacolors to fill in the fellow's red shirt, and the difference in smoothness was astounding. You can see the blotchiness even in the photo.

I'm still in the process of coloring these two characters digitally.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Characters & New Blog

Did some fun new character designs yesterday! Here are the original sketches and the digitally inked versions. Fancy colored versions will go on DA once I decide how I want to color them.

I ended up liking how she looked flipped. She doesn't have a name yet, but her character and appearance is a hearty blend of many different influences... Éowyn, Delilah Dirk, Aveline, and my old character Reidun. Combine, blend until smooth, and you get something new.

This one's Ben's character. He doesn't mean to frown, he just has really bad eyesight! His appearance was based off the model Ned Shatzer, but to me he also looks a little like canon male Hawke from DA2... I guess all the Dragon Age I played recently is still influencing my drawing, consciously or otherwise.

Also, an announcement! I've done what I threatened a while ago, and started a new blog for comic reviews. Do check it out if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Works in Progress

Tomorrow (actually, today) is my first day On The Job-- I got a part-time job at the college bookstore, which is a small Barnes & Noble.

I'm working on a few art projects for fun-- Blackbird-themed, of course. I'm trying to learn (read: cannibalize and assimilate) a bunch of different painting and coloring styles, so my goal is to do something dramatically different with every piece.

Here's a portrait of Breckendy. I'm trying a technique where you paint the whole thing in grayscale first, and then drop color in on a separate layer. That way, you can jump right into the composition without worrying about your color palette at first. Eesh, painting is hard. I'm such a line person.

She's laughing at you.

Detail shot! She has white freckles.

And here's Ball hard at work collecting gossip. I spent a lot of time looking at Norman Rockwell's "The Gossips" for inspiration... not that it shows, really. What a phenomenal artist. I could happily look at his stuff for hours. My eventual plan with this is to do very precise, detailed lines and then color them. Haven't experimented much with coloring outlines.

A Talk-Betwixt at work.

"It was really quite large."
He betrays no judgement. Busy scribbling an indecipherable shorthand.

Finished pieces will go on my DA gallery if I deem them good enough. Otherwise, they'll go here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Animals Caged and Imaginary

After all the stress of my senior show, it is very comforting to go back to low-profile sketching for a while. Sometimes it feels good to draw the same thing over and over again. I keep returning to this profile pose of Ceazaght (a creature from the Blackbird storyverse), who is kind of a big, warped, possibly not-quite-alive maned wolf. Maned wolves are AWESOME animals, by the way, if you didn't know.

Experimenting with scale.

Skewing the proportions of neck and legs.

Elspeth rests by her twig. Ceazaght inspects some black feathers.

Creepy baleen mouth? Interesting idea, but I really just need to learn how to draw a snarling wolf.
Half-baked comic I drew during work, starring Ceazaght & Breckendy.

Way back during spring break, I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo with a horde of buddies and managed to make some sketches of animals. That zoo is awesome, and free!! If it weren't such a drive I would go more often.

Lazy lions.

More lazy lions.

Slightly less lazy tigers.

An assortment of quick impressions.

I was surprised the zoo allowed the caiman to smoke in its habitat. I imagine the caiman mafiya has something worked out with the zoo management.

A couple of undeveloped (or yet to be explored) Blackbird characters...

Hampkin, who always seems sad and tired.
Thatma, who I really don't know much about, including what his clothes look like.

He is serious. >:C
These aren't characters, these are real people. Haha, silly classmates wonder why I keep staring at them.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Senior Show: "Undone"


My senior art show is complete, printed, installed, the opening reception has passed, the oral exam is over with, and all this means I have successfully completed my major. The rest of the semester is just fluff, just filler. I feel so light and directionless all of a sudden. What do I do now? I can do anything!

Some of you may have already seen my installation; some have yet to see it; some, unfortunately, are geographically challenged and will never be able to see it. =( But despair not! What follows is a very thorough photographic tour.

Here's how my gallery started out looking.

...And here's how it ended up.