Friday, September 28, 2007

Retreat and Final

Really this time. Really it is.

Since I used the same file names, you may need to reload the page to see the actual picture.

Never Really Is

Final, is it?

After looking at that picture a bit more, I'm strongly tempted to move back from the weird glow idea, and maybe just go with a more traditional second light source. I'm also definitely going to go over it and clean up some stuff. Still, it's nice to be basically finished with this image, and able to think about other stuff.

For example, here is a scribble of a cowboy couple.

This is playing around with ideas for what could be called a commission, except I'm not getting paid, so I guess you could call it a gift. It's a good thing I'm not getting paid, actually, because it's many months overdue now, and here I am going back to the thumbnail stage.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Weird Finish

And here I veer off towards my initial, admittedly weird, vision. I may be finished with this, depending on how I feel tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Non Color

A bit of fun with a rough, mostly monochrome treatment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Surgery Again

More moving things around to little or no effect. I also did some color, trying out darker shadows, which worked well, but somewhere along the way ended up making her look masculine (something about the chin), so I'm not showing you that.

I did some sketching separately today, so I'm feeling a little bit better.

Process Recess

I just wanted to note that my copy of James Jean's Process Recess 2 has shipped. This makes me happy. Next I'll be ordering the telephone-book sized Bone, One Volume Edition, I think.

I Know This Is Wrong

I know that the way I have been treating that picture (see the last month of posts, or so) is wrong. Or, at least, it's wrong from some perspectives.

A picture with energy, which is generally a picture that conveys a sense of being drawn with confidence and economy, is better than a picture which is more accurate or realistic, but doesn't have the energy. Working on a picture continuously, tweaking, is a great way to kill energy. This is why the sketch, waaay back, although it has some problems, is a better picture.

Also, by working on the same picture for a long time I am losing opportunities to practice. I'm getting rusty, I suspect.

So why do I keep at it? Sheer bloodymindedness is part of it. I'm not fond of giving up until I've done the best I feel I can do. I'm learning, too, especially with the color stuff.

About comments: I love getting comments. I admit, being told a picture looks good is a real motivator. I may not always agree that the picture in question looks good, but that's because I'm criticizing, not appreciating. Sitting back and admiring my own work is not conducive to getting the job done, but being reminded that maybe not everyone is so critical does wonders. Keeps me from stabbing my own eyes out with a stylus, sometimes.

Critical comments are good, too. I won't lie and say criticism doesn't sting at all, but it's important (very important) to be able to get past that sting and evaluate critical comments. Advice, even if I chose not to take it, always offers a new perspective.

Now You've Done It

Have I finally driven everyone away with endless fiddling on this same picture? Well, everyone was about six people, but six people I like. Oh well.

I keep coming back to this picture because, at some level, I like it. I like the image I have in my head, anyway, and this is frustratingly close. And of course, I keep looking at it and thinking, just let me fix that, that doesn't look right, needs a tweak there, oh, now that's gone and f**ked it.

So, after spending hours playing with coloring, I went back and tweaked the line art in what seemed like fairly radical ways, only to end up with exactly the same picture. Either this means the picture I started with was fine, or I can't do any better anyway. Of course actually it has changed, just enough to make the old colors partially useless. So, an opportunity to retry some of the color options from scratch. Yay.

Monday, September 24, 2007

And... Here's the Struggle

No pretty small image today. Click through as usual for right-sized version.

Either the light on her face is wrong, or my line art was wrong, or possibly both. Likely both. I like the line art better, though.

I'll continue struggling with it, even though a smarter man would give up and try again from scratch, I think.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Now she looks like she's freezing, naked, outside at night. Still not what I want.


Hmm. Still missing something.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Oh, By The Way

Just passed 35000 words, today.

Color Clean Up

Some clean up of color, adding in the light color, deepening some shadows to give more depth. There are a couple of places where the shading seems a little off to me, but overall good progress.

I was really planning a much darker and more difficult picture. I don't know if I can take this there from here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Basic Color

Establish basic darks and lights, and tones.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Episode 2 Back Cover Line Art

So, "final" line art. The color plans for this are vague, in my head, and considering how much trouble I had getting this far, I'm not expecting to get through to the end without a lot more grapple and struggle.

Still, my little voice is saying, "stop screwing around and finish the goddamn picture." I'd better listen, I think.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pandora and the Asian Kung-Fu Generation

Pandora is currently my device of choice for music while I doodle, and sometimes (less often) when I write. It does a pretty good job of finding songs and artists which I like based on the artists I have plugged into it. A case in point: Asian Kung-Fu Generation. I'd seen some of their albums in Japan, and always thought the cover art was quite nice, but I never sought out the music. Pandora served up one of their songs, though, and it turns out I like them quite a bit. Might even buy something, eventually.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Grapple! Struggle!

Probably this looks pretty funny. Obviously I'm having a hard time coming up with a pose/configuration that I really like. In some ways, I much prefer the "sketch" version of this picture to the way it looks now. I'm hoping that by continuing, I'll get a picture I can live with in the end, or at least learn something.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

14th Time's the Charm?

I haven't fixed the mistake about covering up the boobies, but I have made a lot of medium-scale changes. I'm liking it a bit better. Still, there are bits that I'm still not happy with. And no, it's not the bit about the lack of boobies.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Different Mistakes

Rework. Again. Different mistakes.


It is, to put it mildly, slightly annoying to work on a picture for two hours, finally be getting somewhere with it, and then have Photoshop Elements crash.

And I cut myself shaving this morning.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Clean/Mess Up

An effort to clean up the lines and fix some stuff. Clean up also involves adding smaller, "sketchy" lines here and there. Maybe it gives some texture. Anyway, it just seems to be something I end up doing.

On the other hand, I'm thinking of going back to a pose closer to the "pencil" sketch. I might keep some of this, and mix in some of the old. Or, you know, abandon it like I have so many others.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Another Take

No, this will not be a nudie picture.

Either I'm getting closer to deciding on a picture to do, or I'm getting sick of trying to decide.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Change Approach

Not entirely, but try something a little different to try and come up with a composition. If I go for this one, I'm just asking for trouble, because it would (again) be an ambitious coloring job.

In any case, I'll need to fix it up a bit first anyway.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

More Studies

Another picture which didn't really turn out to look like the person it was supposed to be. This time I was interpolating (i.e. guessing) based on a number of different pictures. Still, no excuse.

Funny thing about this picture is, I really prefer it zoomed out (see below). This is exactly the opposite of the problem I used to have, where my pictures would look terrible zoomed out, and better close up. How did that switch happen? Mystery!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Untitled #34782

Just another sketch.

This started with a reference, but quickly diverged. Thus, the bad bits are from my head, and the good bits from the reference.

Actually, I'm enjoying some of the lines I'm getting recently, but I don't think any line survives without being erased and redrawn at least four or five times.

What I'm hoping is that this doodling will eventually lead (by chance?) to a pose or design that works for the picture I have in mind. That's why there is this repeated theme thing going on.

I wasn't originally planning on drawing a nude, but it just seemed better without trying to mess it up (more) with clothes.

Next Problem

Another in my new series of women lying or sitting in chairs drawn without proper reference and therefore prone to terrible deformities. I've already spotted a couple in this one.

Still... might be the basis of a picture... maybe.

I keep starting out thinking I should paint pictures people are waiting for, but I still haven't managed to do much of that. I'm sorry.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Nothing in Particular

I'm of two minds. I'm sort of happy, because the picture worked out OK, for a figure drawn from imagination. On the other hand, I don't think this sketch will make its way to being a finalized picture. Well, good practice anyway.