Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Environmental speed painting 2 - Winter Wonderland

I think I'm getting better at this speed painting exercises.

The following two is based loosely on the song "Valentine's Day" by Linkin Park, the part about 'black winter' (Though the last one doesn't really look like it, but so what? It's still winter)


This one is more closely with the song. Total time: 1.5 hours (too much Chinese tea kept me bouncing around all night @_@ )


This is by far the fastest I've ever accomplished. 34 min. flat! Presto!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Environmental speed painting 1 - Little Things


Thought I try some speed painting environments. I based this one on the song "The Little Things Give You Away" by Linkin Park (from their MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT album released this year), particularly on the line which I wrote in the picture above, I think you can read it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Update - Character Art 1


Update of the previous posted image. I redid the background and fixed the nose. I'm actually quite pleased with the result. I think it's safe to say finished.

Looking forward to doing more of this type of montage character painting.

:)

Monday, December 17, 2007

New painting - Character Art 1


Some new approach to digital painting. I could do more work on it but for now my eyes are bit hazy and I can't really see anything else. Took me couple of days.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

ENDING IT ALL FINAL


Finished piece. Total time: 4 hrs. (approx) in course of 3 days.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Forum Challenge #2 - ENDING IT ALL - WIP

I've moved on to another challenge.

The Topic: ENDING IT ALL

The scoop: two lovers swept up in a tumultuous love/hate relationship caused by many different circumstances, their stormy affair finally about to end in a tragic and rather violent climax.

It's somewhat similar to the storyline for this comic book I'm writing (and currently on a fifth month hiatus). But that's another story.
Meantime here are my wip sketches:


12/1 - The first sketch. Done with quick swift brush motion on Photoshop. Approx. time: 20 min.


12/2 - Stage 2 of WIP: color blocking, begin refining lights/shades and forms. Approx. time: 1.5 hrs.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

SHIPWRECK FINAL


Another hour and I was finished with this piece. Not much more I think I want to do with it.

Needless, I didn't win. But I didn't expect to, it's my first try.

Onward now to second challenge: ENDING IT ALL.

That just sound so synonymous with Death. Don't you think?


No matter. I'm still doing it. I already have something in mind. Sketch to come soon...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Shipwreck WIP 2



Time it took: 2 hours (approx.)

Some refining and detailing in this second stage of artwork. After two hours straight with no rest, my fingers are pretty numb now.

I may finish the whole thing by tomorrow. Or next day. or the day after.

Depends on how my brain is functioning.

ImagineFX Forum Challenge #1-Shipwreck

Ok, u see, this forum (http://community.imaginefx.com/forums) has this weekly or so 'challenges' for all artists, amateur or not, to submit their own artworks based on a particular topic chosen by whoever initiates it. I've heard how that helps a great deal to connect with all other like-minded artists and eventually build a network that could lead to big opportunities, like, jobs. But not only that it also helps to broaden an artist's spectrum of creativity and skills.

So after putting it off one time too many (like I always do) I decide today to finally take on the challenge. My drawing skills has started weathering out again, and I need to really sharpen up my digital art skillz as they seem to be a necessary commodity in today's competitive art world.

So today's challenge is: shipwreck. I get to draw anything I want based on that one word.

After almost an hour of mindless sketching and doodling, I finally come up with this. Note: this is stage 1 of wip, so don't snicker.



I guess the idea was a Siren-like deity figure who sings a lullaby in a midst of storm that wrecks a ship nearby. Whether she caused the demise of the ship is up to the viewer to guess.

I haven't really REALLY come up with exact elaborate design for the figure, so that's gonna take some time.

Hey give me a break. This is my first challenge after all.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A look back - Two Months in review



My adorable cast from "Long Story Short" Nov 7, 2007


The last three months was a theater equivalent to "hell months". Being the first time at a real, major design project for a play that's never been released anywhere else, I don't think I was thoroughly prepared for what awaited me.

First off, as I mentioned "Long Story Short" was a brand new, spanking hot-off-the-press new, script and therefore has never been seen or heard of anywhere else in the state, or in the country for that matter. It's a rather raw, poignant, story about the homelessness we the general public do not know of, or rather, are aware of but choose not to heed any attention to. Usually that type of story isn't too flattering to the public who's used to pert, happy tales and comic mischiefs, but if one were to stop for a moment and just pay close attention to the underlying message of this play, it should open his/her eyes and see their surroundings as it really is, that homelessness is no laughing matter or anything that can be sugar coated.
When I chose to move from Scene Design to Costume Design back in May, I had kinda hoped I'd be designing a cute fantasy type outfits. I have to admit, the first time i picked up the script for "Long Story Short" I wasn't too thrilled, since obviously there aren't any room for my overfilled brain of imaginations to go rampant. This was to be a modern tale in a dismal urban culture, things we see everyday.
But after reading the script, talking with my mentor and fellow student designers and listening to their game plans, and meeting with the fresh crop of student casts (most of them I've known for some time in my two years at Cypress) I felt I can really contribute something here. Since this is a new play I want to be able to make a first real good impression, to be able to develop a premier model for any future designers of this play to follow. (Ok, that probably sounded a bit cheesy, but there's no other way I can express it. ^_^;;) On top of that, they were going to enter the show into the prestigious American College Theater Festival, which is kind of an equivalent of Cannes Film Festival, for school plays. To be entered in that would certainly open many doors for me, and at the most crucial point in my life when I'm still jobless and trying to make something of myself.
Some challenges awaited me of course: there were to be total of twenty actors, some playing two, three, even five different characters. My costume team consisted of me, the mentor, and two girls, one of them who is in the cast. That's it. And we have less than two months before tech to whip up almost 100 different costume sets. I once asked myself: this is my first stint at costume design, am I ready for this monumental project? I thought this was going to be a small play with only a handful of actors. W-T-F???
But being a hog that I am I accepted the challenge. I was excited for it. For about two weeks. Then the Excitement meter started plummeting like the Titanic.

The next eight weeks was engrossed in many meetings with the director and fellow peers, sketches after sketches, digging in to the piles of old worn costumes in the theater storage (and taking care not to stand up too straight or bang my head against the slanted ceiling), calling in the actors for fittings and making any alterations where necessary. Sometimes the clothes don't fit, I have to go back to digging or opt for a day of happy shopping at a local thrift store. Even though the costume dept. got away with the largest budget ($750 to be exact) I did my best to spend as little as time and needs demanded it.
There were few costumes I did get to build from scratch: the exotic dancers. Not really my piece of apple pie, but I got the chance to be really creative with this one. I was suggested to actually go to a strip club as part of research, but, eh... (If you go to my previous posts from back in October, you can see the finished renderings of the dancer costumes)
Since this is a play dealing with homelessness, there were needs for clothes to look beaten, worn, torn, weathered, dirtied, well you get the picture. Some dyes and nifty tools were brought in to do the 'distressing' work. (Who knew a grater can come in handy other than for shredding cheese over the spaghetti?)
Of course the jobs were not without headaches. About three actors were cut out of the show for reasons best left untold here, roles were recast for about an nth number of times throughout the production process, the script kept getting changed...oh, did I mention I did not get the completed revised draft of the script until few weeks before rehearsal, which adversely affected some of the costume sets I've worked my ass off on for the past several weeks?

But those were really nothing compared to tech week, which I can now call "hell week."

Some of the dyes of distressed costumes didn't show quite well under the blaring lights, so I had to retouch them, enough so it can be seen by the naked eye. (this turned into a problem later during the show; it was one of the criticism of the adjudicators for the festival, that it didn't look realistically dirty.) The director didn't like some of the costumes choices and I had to go through the painful process of explaining to the actors/actresses about the changes (and some of them had hard time adjusting to the changes, really). Sometimes additional altering had to be made which I didn't catch before, and it was a lot harder because of time. Directing the running crew was the worst: never in my life did I have to direct anybody to do my bidding, I was always the follower.
Then comes one day before the play was to open: the playwright had the brilliant idea to cut out one entire scene and shorten another scene to have only one person on stage, therefore additional adjustments had to be made. Also I washed some of the costumes the night before, and what do you know, some shrank.
I remember during tech week that I was up and running about all around the dressing room trying to make sure things were in order. I probably didn't really need to be all that panicky then, but it's my first major, MAJOR, show, and I was just trying to make everything perfect and run smoothly. It wasn't like this back in Long Beach, where I just sat on my table drawing and painting relaxed and cheerful. Theater and Art are two different things.

Well needless to say, the play opened on 11/9, ran for two weekends, and got some positive reviews from audiences, teachers, even the adjudicators. Two months of toiling, I think in the end it all paid off.

And, yeah, I'm going to the Festival. Eyay!

The only real complaint I have about all this experience is I was literally driving myself up the wall trying to get things in order, which probably wasn't at all necessary. Looking back I looked like a dumbass, like I always do.
What I got out of it was a warm sense of camaderie among my fellow design teammates and casts. It's something I've always longed for, I never really had in the past 20 years of my life. I even have confidence to go around slapping the guys' asses and backs! hehehehe

I sure am going to miss all those guys and gals. That's one downside of being a costume designer - you get too close with the cast members. Another reason I switched my major was the idea that I get to be close to the actors, but I didn't count on being this close. No not in that sense, more like warm friendship that you don't want it to end.

So there it is. My tale of trials, errors, sweat and glory. Now I must prep for the festival, but that's another story...


Postscript:

After ten years of searching and struggling, I think i can safely say that my life is finally turning around for the better. I guess this is the 'plan' that God was prepping me for. And I'm feeling quite thankful for it. I don't really see all those years a waste too much now.
And if I can finally get rid of this gambling demon in me and tear myself away from the addictive WorldWinner site, I can start revamping my website:



Pretty much sums it up.



Ciao.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

At long last! Some break...

I haven't been here in so long. The past several weeks I was in tight bind. Even since I took on that costuming task for the new show it's been like hell week every week. Took a lot of energy doing all the shopping, sacking the storage, altering, fitting, building, talking, talking, talking, yeah that's the worst part. I am never good at words, and trying to communicate with the cast and crew I felt myself stumping a lot. This last week, the dress rehearsals, was the worst worst worst! Coming home every night at past 11. And the last minute 'changes' liek what!! Just day before opening night they up and change a whole scene, and cut out one entire scene. Just turned everything upside down.
But how time flies so fast. It's as if it was only yesterday that I agreed to take on the role of Costume Designer. Tonight I go to watch the final finished product in all its faulous glory. Sure it was tough, I mean, really tough, but once I watch it tonight, I think all the sweat and toil is gonna be worth it. I hope, at least.

But I still get lots of hurdles thrown at me, no it's not about the work I've been doing. It's the work I CHOSE to do, seems that my family still don't think it's good idea I'm pursuing it. Sure, I know there are risks, the job market for this particular job is less than stable, and sure I may even go years without any employment. That's entertainment biz for you.

But I knew all of that, and still I'm willing to take the challenge. This way I can prove everyone wrong that I CAN do anything, I CAN accomplish something. I'm not that naive and stupid anymore to not be aware of the obstacles I'll be facing. I'm making plans to have alternatives to which I can always fall back on when I'm struggling with my primary boals.

And this project is just one step.

Never fear, my lady...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Photoshop Speed Painting Session 2



Some renderings of costumes for a play that I'm working on, as well as prepping for a school theater festival. I spent over an hour on this. But I'm getting good feeling that I'm getting a real hang of this painting on Photoshop. Despite the aching fingers because I have such cheap tablet. I can't afford any new Wacom tablet as of yet, as I've depleted my resources for some "unplanned" purchases. It sucks when money is in control...

In other news that wildfire all over SoCal is just doing no justice to the air and to my allergies. I keep waking up with sore itchy throat. Even as I look outside right now there is no bit of clear blue skies I used to see days before. It's all clouded with red smoke and I can even see ashes now covering my car.
I heard some of the fires were set on purpose by some jackass. I hope they catch him and give him the fourth degree for all the troubles and lost lives he's caused...just like that Esperanza fire a year ago where four firefighters died because some assclown thought it be fun to light up a mountain. I hope he's burning in his cell right now for his stupidity.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Church Logo Contest


This is a new logo design entry for my church. I submitted it today. Done all on a nifty Photoshop.

The story is, the English section of the church I've been attending the past five years is to split from the main boss and go on its own, hence the need for new name and new logo. They were holding a contest to see which logo they like best to use to represent the new church.

As far as I know, I'm the only one so far... people don't seem too enthusiastic about showing off their artsy skillz. ;)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Photoshop Speed Painting Session 1

I'm trying to get the hang of speed painting on Photoshop.





The first one, this one took almost 50 min.

Just a random profile sketch. Loosely based on a character I had created a long while back.




Kind of a self portrait. Took about 30 min. (an estimate).

Postscript:

The ImagineFX magazine is a cool source for digital painting. I learned far better and faster from it than any classes I've taken. Though it's an out-of -country publication so the subscription is rather expensive, it's still worth the investment.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My FIRST Post (BURP*)

Welcome, welcome, a thousand *burp* welcome to my boring blog page.

From here you will see my useless life rants, drawings picked up from my junk drawers, such and such and such. As the title of this blog suggests, I'm a starving near 30ish artist just making my way through this topsy turvy world. Of course my life isn't as nearly as insane and crazy as what's in my brain and soul. I tell you, I can write a book or two about them, but I'm pretty lazy like that. This is as far as I can actually go on a good decent day.

Enough blabberish. Here my first image of the day:




This pretty much sums up my whole being.


Another day...BURP*

(Sorry, I just downed a bottle of Pepsi and I got a stinkin awful headache. ) Some woman I am. >_<