Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Update - Guardian Challenge

Since my last post, took me 5 hours tops. Did lots of tweaking here and there, and here we have it:

The Fiery Crimson Guardian of Element Fire. I'll probably name her MARA.

If all goes well I might work on the other three elements. But first I got to get back to that other project.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New IFX Challenge - Guardian

My latest piece. The topic was GUARDIAN, so I decided to create a character who is guardian of the elements, one of them being FIRE, as I am doing here:

Took me 2.5 hours to get this far. I'll be doing more work on the face and the crown and the hair. There's also much work need to be done for the bottom half (neck, torso, etc.) I'm only doing portrait style this time, I think this gives me chance to focus on the face better.

To be continued...

Starting over

Boy...I know criticism is important, but I never knew how some of them can really hurt.

The last sketch got panned like burnt waffle that I'm going to throw it out the window and start over.

It never was that good from the beginning I know, I had some problems with it myself. Sometimes it takes a bad messup to learn something. Not all paintings can be successful.

Don't worry, I won't be bawling about this...those days are over. I just have to get back in there and try again.

To be continued...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm baaack...

Back from NYC. It was awesome. Took so many photos it's not funny. I'll put them up on Photobucket or someplace that hosts photo sharing later.

Now back to drawing. Here was what I had done before I left. Took three hours. Remember this is a speedpainting.

To be continued...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Adieu - for a week

I'm leaving for NYC tomorrow, I'll be absent from my desk for a week.

It's been my lifelong dream to go to the Big Apple. I know I was born there, but I don't remember anything, I was too young when we moved out of there. I'm sure I'll have great time, see all the museums I wanted to see, eat all the hot dogs and pizzas they're so known for, and the Times Square and...the list is endless.

Anyway I'm hoping I can get this piece finished before I leave tomorrow. It's a quick concept drawing, I've already done it before, just this time as a speedpainting exercise. I'm trying to get faster.


C'yall in two weeks.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Project - Planning phase 2

So I got the sketches and the ref in order.

These are ref of a Korean naval admiral. I wanted to get the armor right at least. For those who don't know, the images is that of Yi Sun Shin, one of the greatest national heroes of Korea:

Now that's done with I start with quick sketches, one of which I choose as the best one of all:

Now I tried Google's SKETCHUP, and I gotta say, it's the sweetest 3D program I've ever seen. It's so easy even a caveman can use it (haha, got that from Geico com). I just know the few basics for now, later on when I have time I'll try the more complex stuff, however much my shorting attention span allows it.

I do the basic mockup of the boat's sail, at about approx. 25 ft (or so I think that's how high a sail is), and I put a 6 ft man next to it (no I didn't model the man, I'm not there just yet). Then I use the orbiting tool and rotate the plane to try to capture the exact composition I wanted, just like in the sketch. It also helps me to pinpoint the perspectives and such.

I feel like it's progressing well so far. I'm gonna now print it out and start drawing the final line work on a huge Bristol board which will then be covered with washes of color, but that's another story...

To be continued...

Monday, May 12, 2008

New Project - Planning

OK, I've started on a new project. It's going to be a part of an epic naval battle scene, taken from an actual historic reference. I've whipped up a general color scheme of the overall image:

I've gathered some ref pics and few sketches, I decided for this one I'm gonna work it out first in watercolor, then paint it over in Photoshop. I did that previously with Dark Avenger (well, sort of), and it's worked pretty good so far, I'm always trying out new things to try and improve my skills. I'll be posting some progress photos later on.

Also I'm gonna take a look at SKETCHUP, a new 3D program from the creators of GOOGLE. If all goes well, it could be my new favorite toy.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day wknd and bleh...

So what will I be doing for Mom this special day? Well the whole family's gonna get together and treat her out to Cheesecake Factory and we'll shower her with gifts of skin care sessions and a Ralph Lauren Perfume, bought by me. Pretty simple, yes.

Haven't had much energy to do any drawing this weekend. It's one of those days when you're all so zapped of your strength and all you wanna do is sleep all day. It sucks when that happens. I do have several more projects lined up and once this weekend is over I'll be hitting them on.

Oh, yeah, in two weeks I'll be finally taking that long awaited trip to NEW YORK! I've been wanting so badly to go there, can't wait - the Met, Guggenheim, Times Square - the list is endless.

And to everyone else that reads this blog - enjoy your day with Mom.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New series - Character Sketch Art

I've finally finished with the Uplift Project. I've shipped it over to the server for processing, and now all I get to do is wait...

In the meantime I'm starting to put together a series of original character concept sketches I've been working on since January. I made it a New Year's resolution to fill the whole 100 page sketchbook with different original characters, but, knowing me, I haven't really lived up to it. I think I only got thru a third of the book. I'm ashamed of myself...

Anyway here are some of the first sets. I'm actually using these right now for a graphic novel that I started back in '05, but I got sidetracked two years after and I've put it off. Now I'm planning to start everything over from scratch cause I'm now trying to really move away from the usual anime-ish style I've been living on all my life. And also I'm opting for a faster cheaper approach- the computers. Before I was drawing and inking with Sharpie and standard .5 mm pen on a 11x14 Bristol paper, and occasionally filling in colors with markers and watercolor, and that just turned out to be very very laborious and time consuming. And Time is so very precious nowadays. I don't consider them a waste, really. I'll be keeping lot of the original elements in my new set. And yes, I'm gonna rewrite a lot of the really really crappy lines...

Enough rattling. Enjoy the first sets:

Enjoy your evening folks...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Uplift Universe Project almost Final

I was told the characters didn't have much emotions in them, so I did a little tweakin with the heads and gestures a little trying to give them little more 'character'. Hopefully that helps a little.

THE TUDORS is pretty good so far, first time watching it.

Monday, May 5, 2008


I found this picture online:

One of several IRON MAN related pictures I'm saving up. RDJ looks really hot when he's all beat up lookin' ROFL I'm going crazy...

Uplift Universe Project WIPS almost finished??

Latest update from the Uplift project:

I've added the bottles in the shelf, and I've tinkered quite a bit with lighting and Curves, and the new feature I discovered: Shadow/Highlight from the Adjust menu. I felt the glare in the bg was too distracting, this option helped to solve that. I also readjusted the heads in the fg as they looked too blown up (see previous post). Overall, I think I'm getting close to the finished product. I'm just gonna rest out my eyeballs now and take one last sweep of the picture for any final tweaks before dropping it into the digital mailbox of the competition.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Movie Weekend and Cable Issue

Haven't seen any movies in long time since BEOWULF, and now that we got cable in the house with free SHOWTIME and ENCORE I got to catch some few flicks during my breaks from the drawing board.

There was GHOST RIDER, which was okay, not an Oscar winner of course, but it's decent. Nicholas Cage did fine as the blazing demon biker, and man, he sure loves playing nutso in all of his roles. I only caught the last half of CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, a Chinese epic with Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li, something about a power struggle amongst the royal family. The costumes and the scenery were spectacular, though most times I had to fight my eyes from trailing away to the overexposed cleavages on the women. @_@ Also it had the bloodiest massacre scene I've ever seen on the screen.

The main highlight of this week however was going to see IRON MAN in theater. The seats were jam packed and I had to sit separately from my parents. And I have to say, I really enjoyed the movie, the best superhero movie I've seen since X-MEN. Robert Downey Jr. played the part of billionaire weaponmeister turned robot savior Tony Stark just well; I heard previously that the part was originally offered to Tom Cruise or Nic Cage. The latter already has a superhero model, and he's a bit too nutty. Tom Cruise, bleh, he's waaay too nutty; surely he would've sent IRON MAN to the scrapyard. Before this movie I never really cared for RDJ, but now that's changed. Grrr, what is it with me and my weakness for the bad boy types??

A week before I had rented NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, one of gazillion movies I had put on my Must Watch list but have been too busy to go thru them. It was a great movie, one that really makes you think about the extent of violence in today's society. The archvillain of the movie was definitely not the one you'd want to cross, and don't let the god-awful haircut fool you. Not much I can say about Al Pacino's latest flick 88 MINUTES, it was such a bore I forget what the whole thing was about. Not to mention some really really crap acting; whoever the casting director was, he must've been on crack.

Now that we got cable in the house it's very likely gonna become a source of temptation to stray me away from my never ending endeavor to better my art skills. Yes I've come to like THE COLBERT REPORT and ROBOT CHICKEN and SOUTH PARK, to name a few, but they won't get the best of me. At least, not yet. I'm almost pushing 30 and I really need to get my priorities straight. It's gonna be a violent-but-not-so-bloody struggle between TV and I.

Wish me luck...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Uplift Universe Project WIPS take 3

Some more update. It's starting to get there.

Have to do bit more adjustments with color and lighting, and keep the perspectives and proportions in check. So far the buggy bartender is looking, as a friend termed it, BALLIN'.

Gosh, is it May already?? I gotta get rollin, and fast.