Monday, August 11, 2008

Adventure! Mystery! Robot-Ninjas!

Alright, alright: I'm anticipating the outcry of the Piratical community: I have to admit, I had my own misgivings about the other half, but who can resist the opportunity to get paid to draw robot-ninjas facing off againts ghostly samurai? C'mon. ;)
This gig was good fun! A throwback to all the comics and movies of my pre-pubescence in a big way. This is the cover for a project I can't discuss much, but it's the job I've been hinting at for a few posts around here. Nothing HUGE, mind you, just a comic-pitch cover...but still, neat! (I think) So, I was comissioned by Paul Pierce (of Lucasarts games) to collaborate on a personal project of his and design the characters and put together a cover for this project (the name and plot details of which are strictly under-wraps at the moment). Albeit: hopefully the cover will give you a fair idea of what to expect :) And since I've resolved to show some of the process sketches on this little old blog for the people who like this sort of thing, here's some of the doodles that were tossed around before landing on some final designs and finishing the cover:

^ Just some of the character design doodles. Being unused to the Ninja aesthetic, myself, I tried to find a way to get robot-ninja without it looking too....stupid. Some ideas. I kind of wanted them to look sleek and Ipods. Deadly ninja Ipods. I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted to do with the ghostly samurai! And for the kid...well...I think "white" was the predominant thought :)

^ The actual layout sketches for the cover (with and without background ninjas). Just to show y'all just how rough I start out. Hey, as long as it works, right?

Still in Michigan at the mo'...soon to be in California (LA) for a week of seeing the sights! And then...the school year! Can't wait. More work before that, though...maybe some stuff I can post, some that I can't. Keeping occupied, nonetheless!



Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Big Ol' Post.

Hey everyone!
I am back stateside and posting this from my Aunt's home in Michigan (one of my favoritest places to Aunt's house that is...not necessarily Michigan in general: we have a love/hate relationship, MI and I...). I am glad to be back "home" (one of them, anyways) and I'm slowly getting excited to kick this school year off! Anyways...I figured it was time for a proper piece...enough of this smudgy crap, eh? Well, I'm not sure if this qualifies as "proper"'s more just a glorified doodle/game with my friend Lia.

Well, as some of you may have heard...I've been introduced to Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long blog and it's all Lia's fault. I love it. If you're reading this and you don't know what I'm talking about, then get y'self an education here. And if you like it, the whole thing's 4 bucks on Itunes!

It's a supervillain musical by Joss Whedon (creator of FIREFLY!!!) and it has reminded me why I love superheroes and comics in a big way. Good fun. Not because it's shiny or particularly well-produced...he made it all out-of-pocket during the writers' strike. I love it because it's sincere...because it has heart...because it's freakin' adoreable and I love musicals. I also love superheroes and this summer has been a good one for those of us that do...more on that later.

SO...we both got buzzed about Dr. Horrible and Lia started doing inspired-by we challenged eachother to a superteam-off. This is the result. Her current submission to the grudge-match it a hapless team of evil-doers called the Doominati. So, since it's summer my sister and I (both Doc Horrible fans) put our heads together, setting out to create a truly lame team of heroes and...well...without further ado, I present: The Good Intentions Association!!!

They are (top-down, left to right):

GREEN T The Obeast
Salma Nella
and Flambeaux

So, since this is the blog where I can bore everyone with process sketches, here are some process sketches! I did each character seperately, after getting a basic idea of how I wanted them to fit together, which wasn't a bad call per-se but I wouldn't do it again...there's just a bunch of compositional opportunities you miss when you do that. But anyways, that means I hae individual lineart for each character...I had to kill some babies along the way (for the sake of composition, babies = parts of the drawings that are precious to me...stupid stuff like Rash's shoulder and Salma's hip) But here at Happy Rock, our babies are on display!


And, for the first time I thought I'd try something like this out...I saved a few in-process versions of the finished piece. It wound up being pretty much entirely useless tutorial-wise...since all the important parts are the parts when I get "in the zone" :p

Basically, I block in the flats as I go along...generally I like to block in the flat colors for everything first, since it's my least favorite part. I make sure the flats are deep tones, so I can work up from them (I like painting the shiny parts :)) And as I go along I do a lot of quick layer masking and tweaking in Levels and Variations. In the end hopefully you have something coherent!
If anyone is ever interested in seeing something like this, but...y'know...more helpful...let me know!

So, that's that for the G.I.A.
Also: I went and saw The Dark Knight and Wall-E (finally!) And really enjoyed both. I think Wall-E is more instantly lovable. I had mixed feelings about the Dark Knight until I saw it twice and in IMAX. my verdict: much better the second time, MUCH better in IMAX! Still a little bleak, and IMO, frequently visually underwhelming. Does anyone else feel that way? I miss wayne manor and the narrows and the oranges and seeping sewer-vents and the slightly exaggerated sense of urban decay. It all seemed a little too normal...which i understand was all done in the name of realism, but c'mon...have a little fun! Essentially I was just bummed out by the visual lack of romance to the whole thing...and too much overhead lighting! I mean, I get makes the Joker threating and spooky because he's out in daylight, but I really don't like the grim, utilitarian look. Just my opinions. Otherwise, those are really minor complaints...the film was pretty amazing. And seeing it in IMAX brought alot of the fun back into it. I recommend both...I have little to say about Wall-E besides that it was freakin' adoreable! Now I just need to see Hellboy 2....

I hope I haven't bored you to tears with this enormous post! Bless you for reading this far if you have :) Now, I still have work to do...more soon!