Friday, April 28, 2006

'Tis Friday...

I put the comic up earlier today, so my obligation for this week is discharged.

No painting today, but here's a little thing I'm doing in Sketchup, which now has a free version for download - it's really awesome.

If you remember that imaginary city I was painting yesterday, this is the beginning of a 3D model of the central plaza where the government buildings are located. The middle of it is three large circular fountains, with roads or walking paths connecting the two ends of the plaza. Most of it would be parkland with trees etc. As I build more of it I'll post progress shots.

Most likely I won't bother texturing it, instead I'll use different views of it to paint over and make realistic images of it.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Late Comic, so you get a bonus...

Not one, but two! I left the artwork for today's comic at home, so here's some more quick paintings. They are very rough but they were done very fast.

Just a random spaceship. I do a lot of random spaceships.

When I was a kid, I lived in a futuristic sci-fi city that was all in my head. I did numerous drawings of it, I still have most of them. Unfortunately for me, if you've watched Star Wars Episodes I - III, you've seen what it looked like in my head, for the most part. I think my architecture was more influenced by the Jetsons. Nevertheless, this is the start of a painting of a view of my personal city. Super rough, just looking at masses and lighting.

*Sigh* I wish I hadn't been such a dumbass when I was a kid, and had gone to Art Center. I feel pretty lame when I look at stuff like this.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Quick Paint, Day 2

Why yes, I have been playing Star Wars: Battlefront! Why do you ask?


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Daily Quick Painting

I've decided that I'm going to do a quick painting every morning as a warm-up at work. I need to get my painting chops together, since pretty much the whole concept industry is just doing paintings these days. Sketches and marker renderings have given way to digital paint, and I'd better keep up if I'm going to keep my job and stay in the concept business.

So, every day when I get to work I'm gonna whip out a painting in 30 minutes or less. They are going to be pretty rough, especially at first. This one, yeah it's pretty rough. But it's okay.

I probably won't put a painting up every day here, but I'm sure I'll put at least one or two up every week. Gives me something to add, helps me get better at my job.

I decided to do this after watching some of "Icons: Prince of Persia" on G4 this morning as I ate breakfast; they showed a ton of concept art, and it was all paintings. Ubisoft is some kinda crazy art mecca, and they do amazing work there. Back when I was in the music biz, I set my bar very high; I didn't compare my work to the local bands around NJ, but against Van Halen and Ozzy and Def Leppard, the guys at the top. I have to do the same thing with my art, and try to get to that level, both for my own personal sense of achievement and to keep my employment prospects up!

I did this painting using a very cool and inexpensive program called ArtRage, which has a free version you can play with. I definitely recommend you go ahead and pay the $20 for the full version, if you're into painting. I'll be using ArtRage a lot for these paintings because it's fast and smooth and has some really cool features. Thanks to Kevin for turning me on to it!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

New comic is up. I got complaints that my eyebrows were getting too big, so I toned them down some. Geez, artistic license! It's just a cartoon...

I'm feeling some frustration with my technique this week, well recently I guess. I feel very... imprecise is probably the best word, with my handwork. Very scribbly and sketchy, which to me feels unprofessional, since I know so many really stunning artists who have these incredibly precise, exacting, delicate and detailed lines. Guys like Bill Morrison, Tone Rodriguez, Mark Dos Santos, and Trevor Goring, what they do just seems light-years ahead of me - not to mention Feng Zhu and Thang Le.

The problem is that I'm always kinda rushed doing what I do. The storyboards and environment sketches I do at work serve their proper purpose, but they look sloppy to me. Even the few environment paintings are generally a bit rough. The character paintings are the only things that I've done in a while that really look polished. I even feel like the comic could be a lot more crisp and cleanly inked.

Of course, I'm measuring myself against Feng Zhu and guys at that level, who have a lot more experience, but still I feel like I should be able to be more precise and confident with everything I do. It's been bugging me lately, but I'm not sure what I can do, since for the most part I'm working on a deadline and I just have to blast stuff out. Finding time to slow my hand down and focus on precision will be difficult.

Ah well. I'll figure something out.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Comic is up

Wherein we meet the cartoon version of The Girlfriend. Go read, then come back.

I didn't know which one of my many already-written strips I wanted to do, so I was looking thru them and not finding anything that was hitting me, until I noticed one of them had a Post-It on the back, so I turned it over. I found today's script and it cracked me up, so I had to go for it. It is actually a verbatim conversation that we had a few months ago, unrelated to recent events... and The Girlfriend points out that she delivered the punchline with far less snark (and much more smiling nudging) than the comic would lead you to believe!

Here's a bonus, my favorite sketch out of my sketchbook from last year:

I did this at The Drawing Club, kind of a life-drawing club, when we went there for our CAPS meeting, which was most excellent. The model guy is actually a retired Disney animator. I have a bunch of sketches from this session in various media; this one was done with my Japanese brush pen direct to paper, no pencil, in about 5 minutes.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

About time, yeah

New comic is up. I got bored with the setup continuity, so I'm just gonna start jumping around. Today's comic I wrote last week, pretty much as it happened, so it's slightly more than a six-year leap from the last one. I'll be bopping back and forth all over the timeline from here on out, so things may not seem to entirely make sense. However, each comic should be pretty self-contained, so it shouldn't be too jarring. There will be a lot of characters from various different locations, but you should be able to tell where I'm at by context and also by changes in my clothes and hairstyle!

Back to lots of pitch work this week at work. Painty painty painty...