Saturday, June 16, 2012

Esa concepts

So, yesterday I made a new warlock character on World of Warcraft, and caught myself trying to create a character for her. It all started by trying to decide what talent spec I wanted to make her - affliction or destruction. I didn't really want to go the typical "leveling spec" route of demonology with her. I wanted to have fun and just run quests with her.

I started formulating a personality - she was wearing an heirloom headpiece, so I decided that as a worgen, she was ashamed of her face and didn't like people looking at it. Depsite her implied meek, sweet personality, I thought it would be funny that she actually had a bleak outlook on the world, and just wanted to set it all on fire. So, I went with Destruction.

Something clicked in the back of my brain. One of the things I've really been struggling with lately for August Rye is that I needed a female character that could fit somewhat into the circle of August's 'friends', or rather a loose collection of people August can somewhat get along with. The only female August's age was a girl who she hated, plus was dating the boy that she was smitten with. This creates a bit of a sterotyping problem, because on the surface it looks like 'two females who can't get along because they like the same man.' I'm not too big on that kind of cliche, so I've been trying to think of a suitable female character to fit into the narrative. The problem is that the main character, August, is not exactly a friendly little ball of sunshine, so the trick was finding someone that was not so like everyone else that she'd get shot down by August as just another peasant. No, this girl had to be someone special.

So yesterday, Esa was born. Roughly around the same age as August and Billy, Esa roams around the demon world, keeping only undead and a few other demons as company. She's absolutely erratic and eccentric when compared to the main cast, which may be part due to her upbringing with other demons in the demon realm. She absolutely hates when people look at her actual human face, to the point of being ashamed of it. Instead, she always wears a hood, or a mask that resembles the face of the species of one of her closest undead companions. Her main powers are lighting things on fire and necromancy on Thursdays. When it comes to her outlook on life, she sees no problem with her rampant acts of destruction - as far as she's concerned, everywhere you look is something that needs to be destroyed, so you might as well watch it all burn. Despite her bleak outlook on life, she's very pleasant and polite, if you can get past her cultural quirks.


Got a couple more commissions done recently, a Furcadia portrait and a full digital artwork.

 A portrait commissioned by Banish. When I showed the final product to a friend as a way of getting some extra feedback, they remarked that they could really tell how much better I've gotten at portraying the male form. I have to admit - they're right. I'm rather proud of what I did here. I usually tend to avoid drawing shirtless men because I simply cannot do them justice, but I'm glad I got a commission for one and was brave enough to take it on. It came out well.

This picture is a rendering of an avatar, from one of the avatar sites similar in function to Gaia Online, or at least that was my impression anyway. I'm a sucker for the kind of dress-up factor these kind of games offer, but I find little patience for the endless gold farming to buy items. It just kinda rubs me the wrong way nowadays, which is why I 'officially' quit Gaia a year or so back. Still, actually giving life and personality to avatars is still always fun, so I was more than happy to do this commission for an old friend, who was more than generous with her offer for it. I kinda shuffled my feet a bit on this one, but it did come out quite well overall. I'm just fussy about details I can never get quite right - it's something I need to work on.

Two very enjoyable commissions that I think have shown some of the progress I've made over the past year. An interesting starting point for my summer!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Demon Lords cards

For August Rye, there's a huge backstory and world behind the "demons" that inhabit the story. The Demon Lords are not actually particularly in leagues with one another, but a select number of highly powerful and influential creatures and characters in the demon realm. In the story's present day canon, there are currently eleven lords, with several old relevant ones either deceased, defeated, or missing.

Since I picked up some small 2.5x3.5" bristol cards, I've been drawing these demon lords (and some other characters) onto individual cards. I plan on coloring them eventually, but I want to get them all drawn and inked first. The twelve I have in progress so far are nowhere near close to the actual number of characters, but maybe a little over halfway.

In order: Helvizar, Sangri, Ymara, Cheshiredame, Lilith, Galeo Cavier, The Songstress, The Reaper, Snuggles, Billy Bay, August Rye, and Ravenfang.
I'll post more when these are finished and when I have the rest drawn as well. August Rye's been on my mind lately again, which is good. I'm getting inspired to get back to work on the story, just in time for the summer. :)

Things to keep busy with

School has a lot of them, don't you know.

The spring semester of Foundations is split into three workshops, and I was in a couple called Figure Drawing, Color Abstraction, and my current and final workshop is Shrinkstallation. I think my work's generally improved since the fall.

Three pieces from my Figure Drawing class, from January through February.
 Figure Drawing involved a lot of steady work and practice. I felt pretty good about it towards the end, and apparently I got one of the higher grades in the class.
Having some fun with my feet.
The three paintings in the center and the scales and spectrum next to it are my work.

My color abstraction final - a palette and painting based on a particular 4-part sound.

Color Abstraction was an interesting one, and I learned a lot about mixing colors and paints. Unfortunately it's not something I want to experience again, because it burned a huge hole in my funds for paint supplies.

My building model, in progress.
My final workshop involves making a to-scale model of an actual location, and then creating a public artwork proposal to place in it. I chose the abandoned Michigan Central Station as my location, and it's still in progress. The artwork proposal will involve some figures inside.

Semester ends on May 11th and it's been quite an interesting year. All of my professors have been really awesome and I'm looking forward to start working with my specific major in the fall. Plus, apartment hunting. Woo!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A little pixel project

Well.. okay, it's a bit bigger than little. Sort of.

I got the idea for a friend of mine's Furcadia dream to add in some first-person sprites to go with a couple non-player characters that were mainly there to explain game rules and tips. I thought the sprites would make it a bit more lively and feel a bit more whole. I also decided to take on the challenge of having them animate speech. On the surface, it doesn't look hard, but I can be very particular in how well done I want them to look. When I want the characters to speak, I want the face to respond to that speech!

Unfortunately, my little project had to go to the back burner temporarily for two reasons: I was still waiting for my tablet pen nibs so I could actually use it, and I've been busy with school work. Though I have my tablet in use again, I've still been pretty busy. Hopefully next weekend I'll scrape together some time to work on it.

I did make a fair amount of progress, though. I used my mouse to piece together some bases for the characters and even fully animated one shot of the first character. All she needs is a bit of shading, which will come last, after I've finished all the rest of the shots, which are about five total poses and about 6 frames.

 They still need some work, and some consistency kinks to smooth over, but for entire mouse work (which I haven't done in years!) I'm pretty proud of how they've turned out.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Recent Commissions

Due to my extremely poor advertising skills, I usually don't get a lot of commissions. However, there was an awfully strange weekend earlier this month where I was bombarded with about four different requests at once, on top of a commissioned larger work that I was making for my aunt, and had been slacking a bit on. Very unprofessional, but there was no rush.

This is the commissioned picture in question... albeit it's an unfinished scan of it. The finished picture still only has red bits colored in, as she requested. I think the red cape had more of an impact on the first attempt I did at this piece - but I did not care for the picture (plus I realized I had misread the cape requirements!)

I also got three Furcadia portrait commissions from two different people. Zuko came back for a couple more portraits, while an old friend commissioned a portrait as well. I'm extremely proud of how these came out. I do wish the portrait of Ewickly could have had a bit more details in the clothing design, though.
I also got a quick and dirty digital lineart commission. I feel... okay about it. Rather wish I had put more effort into it (or started over), but the commissioner loved it anyway. It's always a sad dissonance, when you feel like you didn't put your all into a paid work, but the person who paid for it sees absolutely nothing wrong. It makes for a rather awkward exchange, especially when you have to send them more final copies because you were fixing your mistakes.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Secret Santa gift

I've been trying to keep the two worlds seperate - keep my deviantArt stuff to my deviantArt, and keep the other stuff here. But I really do feel like this deserves a post here.

The picture is of a Raichu character, Roxy, from a deviantArt group called Pokemon Crossing, a crossover between Animal Crossing and Pokemon. I participated in a Secret Santa exchange organized by one of the members, and being myself, I like to put a lot of effort into gifts; I guess I also like to go the extra mile for strangers. I used my precious new Prismacolors for this, and I'm glad I did, it turned out very well!

I just mailed the physical copy of this to the character's owner this afternoon, along with an extra little drawing to go with it, which I didn't scan. I didn't feel I had to. I feel I have a need to get over this idea that I need to share every single thing I've done, or to keep it all. That picture will be like a precious secret, between me and this girl half a continent away, from a deviantArt group and with whom I've barely even spoken with. A secret between me, her, and whomever she wishes to share it with.

I will go as far to describe it, though: it was an ink drawing of my own Pokemon Crossing character, a Froslass named Lycie, holding up the wrapped present and drink mug to the viewer. There was a little note I wrote in the corner, nothing special, just wishing her a happy Christmas. I hope she has a wonderful holiday season, along with everybody else, too!