So many things.

So watching a blinking cursor doesn’t get a blog entry written. If it did, I would have so many missing blog entries written.

It’s been six months since my last blog entry, and so much has happened, and yet so little?

I’ve worked through a tremendous art block, worked on pages like a madwoman, gotten incredibly sick, re-injured myself, and I could go on and on. Like I said, a lot.

But instead of cramming everything into one blog entry, I’m going to try to spread things out a little bit so I have, you know, other blog entries to write in the next coming weeks.

 

So how did you break out of your art block?

In some ways, I’m still kind of in it if I’m going to be honest. But I stumbled upon Juicy Ink’s 30 Day Sketchbook Challenge (which you can watch in all one convenient playlist here) just as she started it, and went through the journey with her, and realized 1) I too have not been giving my sketchbook the attention it needed, 2) I haven’t played with any new techniques in quite a while, 3) I was going a little crazy constantly working in black and white and I desperately needed to play with some color 4) If I didn’t start to try to break this block, I would be SOL when it came to summer convention time (which *cough cough* is coming up very quickly on my heels, compounding the pressure to produce things, making the block all the worse).

anatomy001Because I was struggling with some anatomy on the pages of TS, I decided to focus on that to begin with. Most mornings for the last two months, I’ve spent around half an hour doing anatomy studies ranging from one to five minute sketches. But not without guidance. I’ve been re-reading the Loomis books in my spare time and taking notes. This has resulted in a 100 page sketchbook almost being filled in this time– which is something I haven’t been able to do since SCAD.

The massive improvement under these few weeks of dedication cannot even be expressed. But the more important part is that it allowed me to make some ugly drawings, which is something that I don’t normally do. I usually will abandon a drawing if things look wonky the instant it does, but I forced myself to at least finish it, and then identify what went wrong.

Things I learned:

  1. I draw heads small to over compensate my tendency to draw heads big when I’m working without a reference. This is something that I will never understand why I do, but I’m getting better at keeping the head size consistent with the rest of the body.
  2. gesturestudies001I draw too fast sometimes. I start to rely on what I know, and not what I’m observing. I used to be much better about this, but I think it’s because I have such a limited amount of time to work on things now, so I don’t want to waste time observing (perish the thought!) and that’s a really bad habit to get into– thus I’ve spent most of this time trying to get myself OUT of that habit. Because of my short time allowance for art, I also start to get impatient with anatomy studies after about 30 minutes. It’s staggering to think I used to take a two and a half hour class on it twice a week in college, and now here I am struggling to make it half an hour. Is it my attention span? Is it because I want to work on other things? When did doing such basic studies become so hard to do?
  3. My anatomy skills are even rustier than I thought, and I need to keep this up.

 

But that was just the beginning. Next, it was time to mix it up a bit– which I’ll talk about in my next entry.

 

Inktober At A Glance

Inktober at a Glance

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know, I’m not dead– just things have been crazy since I started my new job. After this week, I should be able to have a handle on things to go back to weekly posts. Until then, have a gander at some of my Inktober creations that I’ve been doodling. I’m behind by a few days, but considering how busy I’ve been, that’s actually really good. If you want to follow my Inktober stuff in real time, catch me on the Twitter where I post the illustrations nightly.

Massive Illustration and Sketch Dump!

THINGS! DRAWINGS! I was supposed to have this posted last week, but during the weekend, I was really pushing through some things story and art wise, and instead of stopping that flow, I decided to postpone this post until now. An update to the illustration section is next, but that might have to wait until this weekend. We will see how things go work wise for me, as I do not want to put too many things in the way of getting this story planned out. Right now, the schedule is to have three chapters (and the outline of all 12 chapters) done by the end of this month. It’s been so long since I’ve written anything for the comics format, this will take a little while to kick myself into doing I’m sure T^T

WITHOUT FURTHER ADO. SKETCH DUMP!

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SHPMA Concept Art (there will be a lot of this in the future)
hyperpretty
Moreeeee

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magicalawesome

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And some illustration stuff I’ve finished recently, but haven’t had a chance to add to the gallery… all Avengers related things. I’m sorry. I really like the Avengers ;_;

inthewires
Illustration for the fic, Ghost in the Wires
reversebigbang1
Western AU Reverse Big Bang illustration as it is my new goal in life to just draw Marvel characters as cowboys apparently.
A cowboy Obie. Because… why not?

iPad youPad wePad allPad

So what I didn’t mention last post was that I had finally taken the plunge into the tablet market and bought myself a refurbished iPad 2. I chose this for a number of reasons, but the bottom line really came down to price. While the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 or the SurfacePro would have been awesome to get, in the end I wanted to spend less money, and still have something that could function in my work-day life (I needed a laptop for work) as well as my art work life (I wanted touch tablet to produce more digital things). I got my iPad with a handy case (with a bluetooth keyboard) AND a WACOM Bamboo stylus for cheaper than I would have buying a new Galaxy Note, or even a new iPad for that matter. And instead of having to eat ramen and vegetables for a year, I’ll only have to do it for a month, and even in that month I can splurge and maybe even eat some tofu as well lol. Plus yay recycling! I’ve always had a good experience with refurbished items (knock on wood), so when I decided to make this move, refurbished items quickly became practically all I was looking at.

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Sketchbook Pro delivers with sketching capabilities in the same way as I have grown to love.

I would be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous about the drawing aspects on the iPad, however. I had talked to friends and read everything I could about artists working on the iPad. It wasn’t until one of my old co-workers bought one and an art app for it and let me try it that I decided to get my own. With my finger I was comfortable enough with the touchscreen, I figured that with a stylus everything would be roses right?

Well, sort of.

When I was looking for reviews on using the iPad as a formal illustration tool, all I could really find were written reviews and they really didn’t go into the whole “not having pressure function” aspect of creating, plus most of them, for comparison, would just draw stick figures. That does not help a person determine whether it is for them or not– am I right?

So this will be a review of using the WACOM Bamboo stylus on the iPad screen.

First of all– I just have to come out there and say that I hate the soft nib. With a firey burning passion do I hate it. Well, at least when I’m drawing. If I’m just using the stylus as a pointer for other apps, then I can see the appeal. But ULGH as a drawing tool it’s horrid. I was under the impression that the stylus would come with extra nibs and the other option (the hard tip), as the actual WACOM tablets always do, but that was not the case. In fact, in taking apart the pen, I’m not exactly sure how to get the nib off without really pulling. I’m going to have to find a how-to video on how to change it. So I have to spend a bit more money to get a hard nib and try that out. This may change my experience on the tablet.

However, despite my hate, the stylus performs well. My only other complaint would be the thing that many other reviews have praised– the weight. Every review I’ve read have said that the stylus was weighted perfectly. It’s not. It’s too heavy. I like working with light pens, as I’ve found weighted items wears my wrist down and makes it hurt much much faster than a light pen would. The stylus is heavier than a normal stylus for the Intuos tablet, which is probably slightly only too heavy for me.

I’ve only used the Sketchbook Pro and Wacom’s own Bamboo app, but both have worked really well– much better than I was expecting. The Bamboo app in particular is very fascinating to use. While there are no layers, you can get some awesome effects by layering the highlighter tool using multiple colors. It would be difficult to do anything finished with the set up of the Bamboo app, but I do find the limited options frees me up a little? I know, my brain works weird.

 

There are a few down falls. In Sketchbook, I’m constantly trying to flip my pen over to erase, which doesn’t work– but that’s a habit from working on a Intuos tablet. I also don’t think extreme detail work is going to be possible. The nib and the limits of the iPad are going to hold you back. You can zoom in, but even then trying to zoom in you might accidentally place a mark instead of zoom. I use zoom a lot when I am working digitally, because I am used to doing fine detail work. You can do this with the Sketchbook program, but zooming in, I’ve noticed will up your lag time, if that’s something that bugs you (I could deal with it).

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An attempt at a finished product in Sketchbook Pro

But what about my biggest concern about making this dive– the lack of pressure sensitivity? My background in digital illustration started with an optical mouse, so not having pressure sensitivity was nothing new for me. It hasn’t really bugged me all that much. If I want a smaller or bigger point, I change the brush size– no muss no fuss. In fact, Sketchbook makes this really easy once you are used to using the palette tool. The lack of the sensitivity, in fact, has kind of showed me how much I don’t really use it in my digital illustrations as I should, to be honest, because I am adjusting the opacity and brush width just about as frequently. The only thing that is driving me mad is the soft tip on the stylus itself.
Can I sketch on the thing? You bet. Can I create a final product? Who knows. The more I work with it, the more comfortable I have gotten, but I’m still missing the fine tip precision of the Intuos pen. The soft nib on this stylus feels like a mushy thing I push against the screen that may or may not draw where I wanted it to.

Maybe all I need is more time…