Sunday, January 29, 2012

Going back to basics...

I feel like I've been hitting wall after wall with drawing and it's been frustrating the mother out of me.  Today I tried doing a character design challenge for our Animation Workshop, but my stuff just wasn't coming out right at all.  I mean, it got to the point where I can see a flicker of what I want to accomplish, but the drawing collapsed because of all of its other shortcomings.  It wasn't until I watched this video on character design that things started to fall into place.

The instructor makes an analogy, comparing his techniques on character design to flying airplane tricks at arial shows.  Sure, you can try to learn a spin, but how can you really learn that trick before learning how to fly?  Long story short, the reason why I'm getting so frustrated is that I haven't spent enough time practicing my fundamentals to the point where they can come more subconsciously while I'm performing the creative aspects.  Some stuff I want to really revisit include...
  •                            perspective
  •                   anatomy
  •                   value/light sources
  •                   color
  •                   composition
  •                   use of media
  •                   etc

The instructor also says that these sorts of things are difficult to really execute via video tutorials because they require a lot more discipline and are more suited for a classroom environment since they are more dry in subject material.  I think this is why I'm craving Ringling so badly... just a little more linearity & guidance on where my focus should be.  I'm so tired of running into these fucking walls and my attention being split to job hunting isn't helping much either...

But enough whining, Kyle.  I might post my progress, I don't know since I think I'll be doing value charts, shapes, and more of the sort.  As I said, bit more dry in terms of material to post up, but we will see how this goes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Now that applications are out of the way, I've had 3 things on my mind

  • Keeping up with drawing
  • New job back in Wisconsin
  • Scholarships

I won't hear back from Ringling or CalArts until March, but acceptance is still just the first step - gotta focus on finances.  I'm mainly staying in Chicago because of George's class and because the city has all the resources I needed for my portfolio, but I'm really aiming to move back home to Wisconsin since it will save the most money in the long run.

It's simple enough, but still easier said than done.  I'm quite frustrated right now because I'm job and scholarship hunting again, which is really paralyzing my drawing workflow.  I've been drawing when I really should be filling out job applications, so I'm trying to self-discipline myself and adjust myself to priorities (I deactivated my facebook account too to prevent further distraction).  All the podcasts I've been listening to have also been stressing the importance of being financially first, then you can do your drawing.  I'm just so worried that I might somehow forget what I've learned in the process...

If I can make it till March, I think I'll get that kick in the pants I need once I hear the results because everything revolves around that big, "IF I get accepted..."

I might not be posting anything here for a little while now because of it, blog.  Thought I'd give the courtesy of letting you know.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Story Game: 6

It's been a while since I've done a story game.  This took stupidly longer than it should have... I never mentioned it before, but drawing with the tablet still feels very foreign to me for getting loose, proportionate line work.  Put that on the list of a bunch of other things I need to practice...

But as for the boards themselves, the only thing I like is the conflict between Peter and the cat.  You can also tell I was an avid Pokemon trainer by the staging (over the shoulder... over the shoulder... study compositions in film damnit).

Image we referenced

Aaand just for fun, I posted my notes for the overall concept.  Drawing with regular pen felt 99% faster and more natural compared to the tablet...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Character Design Challenge

Started a one-hour character design challenge with some friends over Google plus.  The only rule was that the design had to be based around a character archetype (we picked "eccentric").  I created a new sub-blog where I posted everyone's awesome stuff, so check it out!

My "eccentric" entry.  I played to the archetype's traits of being self-absorbed, uninterested in others, and engrossed in the pursuit of his talent by drawing him with a large head (big-headedness) and playing his favorite instrument in public like he just doesn't give a darn.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Uncharted Photoshop WIP

Worked a bit more on rendering today.  Watched some photoshop tutorials and definitely got a lot further than yesterday's attempt.  Decided to stop here for the night since it feels like I'm noodling and it's starting to get muddy.  I'll have to study some more tutorials to push to the next level.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Photoshop again

Trying to learn how to push my drawings in regards to character, force, and light sources - particularly within photoshop.  I'd like to get my human characters at the same render-quality I had with my creepy Marrill (he was less complicated to draw since he's pretty much a sphere).  Consistency will make progress, as always.  

Lover boy

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Late Night Drawing

Been practicing some various stuff tonight.  Learned how to blend Copic markers and do more light source rendering with them, then trying to do some gestures via Pixel Lovely.  I'm trying to draw with force and rhythm but I keep getting held back since I'm having difficulty putting down confident strokes while keeping proportion.

I'm also trying to keep story in mind while doing these, but my mind keeps either drawing blanks or giving me ideas that are sort of bland...  Maybe it's just a matter of not being picky about those ideas and they eventually get better the more you creatively think.  Overall, I bet it's also a matter of balancing intense observation and concentration while maintaining looseness

Some of the better gestures of the evening

Friday, January 6, 2012

Practicing looseness

Figure drawing from yesterday evening.  These were some of the better ones, imo.


Back to Basics: Render Practice

Been listening to a lot of Bobby Chiu podcasts lately.  He's like this insanely motivating pep-talker/psychologist for drawing and I can't get enough of his wisdom.  Anywho, I've been practicing my rendering - trying to understand shape and form with values along with light sources/reactions.  I'm giving myself the extra challenge to do this in photoshop since I've never felt like I've accomplished rendering representationally with the program.  I'll be posting my progress throughout the day.
Sphere exercise

Rendering other shapes... specifically without a marquee
Applying those spherical studies to a drawing that required a bit more creativity.  I love those creepy wtf-moments of shows like Adventure Time and Invader Zim, so thought I'd give the influence a whirl.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Comp Sketch

Haven't been drawing a whole lot of environments, so I've been focusing a bit more on translating loose drawing into compositional stuff and spatial relationships.  Gotta remember to keep story in mind when drawing.