Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lady-Butt

Another week, another gaggle of figures. It seems rare when I'm inspired to draw anything specific of late, and when that happens, I just like to throw figures around. I drew the head in the upper-left and just didn't feel like going anywhere with it. From there, I decided to try an upturned head and it turned into an upper-body drawing (middle-left). Then I started drawing a knee and lower leg that turned into a full body (middle-right). His chest was a little squished, but I decided not to give a fuuuuu... and let it be. The lady-butt (bottom-left) was next, actually inspired by perusing Manara's lady-butts on Google images earlier in the day. Finally, frustrated by the abundance of nothing-but-figures, I did a few expressions, starting with the fella sticking out his tongue (bottom-right), the weird cartoony fella biting his lower lip (left) and the quick profile (right) before it was off for some late-night pizza.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bizarre-O

I forgot my clipboard and pencil at drawing this past week. I'm really particular about the pencil I use, which I think is the same one I've used for the past 10 years or so... some generic Pentel with a really big eraser. Ryan Ottley hooked me up with a different pencil but the lead was a bit dark and I felt like it threw my drawing all over the place, although the difference may not be very visible to you. Anyway, the first page was me getting used to pencils until Tim hooked me up with a lead that felt a bit more normal (I usually just use HB), and so I was happy. Out of the doodles, I enjoy the fella that looked a bit like Lion-O. I forgot how buff that cat is, since he always looked like such a doof.

Then, before we took off for eats, I just played around with what started otu as a profile. I imagined some kind of crab-like shape for a mohawk, and decided to make it fingers. That's it!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Let It Hang

There was supposed to a blizzard the week of Thanksgiving, and even though it was a no show, it stalled doodling for a week. Standard fare here, just random scribbles. The only thing that started with a purpose was the nekkid fella. I was in the bathroom the other day clipping my toenails after showering (soft toenails, yay!) and Jen looked over at me and said, "You should try drawing this from my perspective." Draw night was a few days later, but I gave it a whirl. It's getting a bit personal now, innit?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chips!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The voices from comments haunt me, and motivate me to try, for another while at least, to stay regular with updates. Unfortunately, the November month has been a bit hole-filled when it comes to drawing. This past Tuesday, the crew stayed home to avoid an incoming storm, but I hadn't posted my doodle page from last week.

The upper-left drawing I started fiddling with was influenced by Ryan Ottley working on a Eve zombie commission he was working on next to me. Ryan luuuvs drawing the macabre -- it flows naturally for him -- which I can't relate to. I think it's because he loves detail in his drawings, and I usually prefer the opposite. When I was learning to draw, I would look in the mirror and ask myself, How can I duplicate this image with the least number of lines? Not that there's no way to simplify a zombie, just that I haven't tried. Maybe I should try.

Other highlights? I liked the guy with the bag of chips; I drew his left hand and it seemed like a good hand for opening chips and I ran with it. I also enjoyed the kitty shape; I don't feel good at animals, but I'll take random stabs to see if I can evoke the right animal in others' heads (it seemed to work). Finally, I enjoyed the nekkid lady in the background. I actually made a point to avoid the ween this week just because it's all over the place in my doodles but what really interested me about her was the stylization in the face; the non-eyebrows, ultra-long lashes, and lack of lip detail aren't things I fiddle with. Man I can blab a lot about not much.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stuft Update

Howdy folks. Been awhile again, and I thought it was high time for another update. I get to begin clear back in... lessee... June, so you'll have to forgive me if my memory about the doodles has faded, or at least I humbly beg you to. This first drawing features one of my furry mammals. I often just let animals form from lines without caring too much what they end up as, and I kind of enjoyed this big-headed rat-dog. His speech bubble is just a random snippet from a conversation nearby, and to help it make sense, I added some beans to assume the roles of its subject.

This guy was just a lonely little doodle on a big empty page, as was the next drawing. They needed some buddies to hang out with, but missed out. Maybe they would have fallen in love with each other. Not drawing them on the same page is shameful. Then again, she looks kinda judgmental. Maybe it's best they never met.

I really enjoyed this next doodle page and the flash of inspiration that led to the drawing on the bottom right. I don't think there was any rhyme or reason to it -- I was just drawing a glassy-eyed critter when it must have reminded me of those weird critter costumes people subject themselves to for any ol' kind of cash. And they all brood in there, I just know it. And it gets hot, so sometimes they have to take off their pants. A page without ween? If only.

This draw night, when I looked over at Rachel Hunter's sketchbook, I noticed this really cute octopus in it. I have kind of a thing for octopuses (suck it, octopi) and asked her to doodle one on my page. When I passed it around at the table, someone thought her critter was what the nekkid guy had tucked under his legs. I hadn't seen that, but thought it was funny. Afterwards, anyone else I showed the drawing to that didn't notice it disappointed me oh so deeply.

I think there are a few flat-as-a-board doodles to round up in this post. I find them fun to draw on the feminine form, perhaps because they allow the "other bits" to catch your attention. *stares* Or perhaps not! It's at least an interesting deviation, as is the little cartoon guy. He seems quite sure of himself. Even my cartoons hate pants, I'm not sure I appreciate the letters he's leaving on the page. Fella needs a toilet.

My next page is a bunch of chicken scratch. It looks like I was in an angular mood that night. It also looks like I was exploring my jealousy of Ryan Ottley's power poses, and that I was trying to see if I could duplicate them in thumbnail form before transferring them over to a more-rendered doodle. Not that I ever got around to rendering here. This desire to acquire some skill at power poses appears later, as well.

I'm not sure what it is about girls with long hair that make me want to add giant flowers to them. There's another older drawing of mine of a dark-haired girl with her long hair covering her breasts holding a giant flower, and this one has some hibiscus-looking thing tucked behind her ear. Maybe that's the clue -- it might be my exposure to a traditional Hawaiian look of long black hair and flowers behind the ears that gets pricked whenever those long strands appear. The knife though? Not so much part of that look.

Ah, and we finally get to the subject of this post's title. I was really looking forward to 24 Hour Comic Day this year because last year's was successful and (as such) gratifying. I was nervous that even hoping to complete a whole comic again was setting myself up for disaster, and that may have been the case. Of course, my ambitious certainly didn't help; whereas I focused on a purely cartoon-looking book a year ago, this time I wanted to tell a more serious story with fully fleshed out figures and some fighting. I let my initial page of doodles kinda tell me what I was in the mood for and I attempted to stick with that theme, as you will see over the next three pages. (The guy in the lower-left reminds me of the Ryu intro to one of the Street Fighter II games -- I can't remember which.)

A particular idea began to form in my head of something a bit more dark. I really enjoy stories that use combat as a marker of spiritual enlightenment, like Star Wars, The Matrix, and Karate Kid. And having recently finished the surprisingly-terrific (and surprisingly-appealing-to-my-girlfriend) Nickelodeon series, Avatar, on Netflix instant streaming recently, I had in mind a moment when the series protagonist, Aang, can't achieve a final step of enlightenment in his mind because he can't leave behind his "material" love for a traveling companion named Katara.

Blending the two ideas, I imagined a character who was captured by some evil baddies, and forced to endure some kind of gladiatorial combat. He succeeds for awhile with his great skill, but eventually needs to reach a more enlightened state that requires giving up his love and fear for his lover, who is hiding in the audience. When she sees his impending death because she knows his internal conflict, she can't bear it and commits suicide in the audience before his eyes. Devastated but freed of his fear for her, he is able to hold back his anguish long enough to tap into his final power, defeat his opponent, and even bring revenge to the arena overlords, who thought they were safe in its upper levels behind countless guards.

I was excited about the idea, but ultimately couldn't bring it out of myself. I was going for a more realistic style, so it was complex, and some of the visual ideas that needed to come through in the narrative were difficult for me to get across, too. I kept fiddling with and fiddling, and time was bleeding, and I became frustrated enough that I knew I was heading for disaster. Doing a 24-hour comic is grueling, and started debating whether it was worth experiencing the gruel when I was off to such a frustrated start. I decided to take it easy and head home. Disappointing. But the past four pages were my only output after 4 hours or so, and I think I made the right decision.

Just a few days later and it was back to regular draw night fare. More bodies as usual. I love the female form as pictured here, and really wish I had more of it on my day-to-day pages. I think I've mentioned before that I feel a lot more pressure for it to be aesthetically pleasing and I think that's why I often avoid it. I feel like the male form lets me get away with more errant lines and bad decisions.

Though this page is just a lot of stick figures, there's some interesting exercises going on here. Since I always lament my inability to swiftly drum-up dynamic superhero poses, I thought I should practice it a bit more. I started with the top-left, just trying to get a good punch, but even looking at it, I felt like it was missing a lot. I didn't think he looked like he was leaning enough into the punch, and the limbs are so straight that a lot of energy are sucked out of them. I had Ottley draw the same pose in blue pencil, and the lower-left is the result. I drew over the pose to get a feel for some of the differences. There's a lot more curvature from the left hand to the right as well as in the back. I also asked him to draw someone throwing an object at another character, and you can see that in the lower-right. That sketch is revisited in an upcoming page.

This page was fun because it features silliness, lots of pubic hair, and some super-pits. I don't remember if it started with the werewolf head or body -- either is completely plausible -- but the woman's pose was just another exercise on the page. At some point it clicked in my head to combine the two, and it became a theme on the page. Even the egghead got in on it. Way to go, doodles.

For the longest time I struggled with bigger broader body types, but I like to think that I've gotten better at it.

I mentioned a few drawings ago that Ottley's throwing pose would come back, and this is where it happened. I still had drawing dynamic figures on my mind, and this was the latest experiment. I had him sketch out the figures for a larger version of a rock toss and then went to work filling it in and made some adjustments as I did. When I asked Ottley to sketch it out, I just mentioned a guy throwing a rock at another guy, and I noticed that he put the focus on the victim, who in this case was catching the rock. I thought, yeah, I should put the focus on impact and tension in the interaction, which is at the catch, or would be on the person being hit. So I tried to place myself in the shoes of the catcher and wanted to get across the feeling of the rock sliding under his fingertips or the weight of the rock forcing his feet to dig in the ground. I changed the placement of arms and legs and tried to foreshorten the tension locations, and I'm not sure it all worked out visually, but I thought it was a good superhero-pose improvement over what I might normally doodle.

After getting Ottley's help, I decided to fly without training wheels, and started to draw one character backhanding another. As previous, I wanted to put the focus on the tension in the scene, so I foreshortened the fist against the other character's face. I tried to get some curvature and not just straightness in the attacker's limbs, and felt fine with the victim's body kind of becoming a twisted noodle, even having the head almost turned around 180-degrees, since I thought it helped emphasize the impact. I fiddled with the drawing a lot -- it wasn't very time efficient -- but I was pleased with the final result.

Then I took a break with a simple doodle...

...before trying again. This time I asked what I should draw and Derek suggested I draw a woman kicking another guy in the face. I chose a side view, but think I should have stuck with the "foreshorten the impact"-approach I had started. Regardless, I thought it still had some good punch. It looks like I focused primarily on getting a nice extreme in the attack with some curve instead of pure straight lines, and I never finished the victim, which sucks. I hate being a lazy bastard.

It was about a month later that I hit my next draw night (what happened?) and it looks like I had forgotten about my exercises, and just focused on tricky poses, with the guy in the lower-right being the most tricky (and compromised, hum). I also threw in a bean because when I show Jenny drawings at home, I always score extra points for them. Prolly my favorite image, though, is the upper-left, all twisty and disheveled. And the text in the upper-left? Notes jotted down while playing through Metroid: Other M.

This doodle is me playing around with visual ideas for the game I've been working on for the past year. It's still a long ways off. Apparently, it's hard to program a complicated game by yourself without prior experience. Silly me. I'm still trying to figure out when to spill the beans on what I'm more-specifically doing, though, so I'm not going to say much more than that.

Almost caught up now. This is from about a month ago. I'm not sure what's up with me and guys that look like Bert, but yeah, there's a guy that looks like Bert there, clawing at his face. I think the girl running was just a superhero-pose thought, just like the guy with the Superman fly-pose. I partly chose that one just because it freaks me out to draw. I always found the pose kinda awkward, so I wanted to see how it would turn out. And the op scribble's interesting to me, because I know I was imagining tons and tons of leg cross sections, trying to swirl a line around his legs as I extended outward from his pelvis in my mind.

Last but not least is a doodle from a few weeks ago now (I'm already falling behind again), which is a nice, chuck-full-o-figures page with different styles on it. I like all the deviations on it, like the three figures in the lower-left corner of the page, the little in-action figures running and catching, and monk penis. Yeah, why not?

Until next time, which I'll try to make sooner than later...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Magic is Stupid

I've been reading a lot of Drizzt books lately, trying to connect to some of my junior high reading to see if it's still as much fun as I remember it. For the most part, it's been a nice return visit, but at 14 books in, it's managed to burrow far enough into my consciousness to appear on the page a bit. I have no idea what kind of costume elements the characters wear, really, or how to draw any of it, but oh well.

I'm continuously haunted, lately by a reminder someone left me to draw more women, and if I remember correctly, this was one of those intentional endeavors. Believe it or not, I always feel a little self-conscious putting any detail into the most naughty of ladies' naughty bits, even when it's just a line. Weird.

As per the comments from my last post, I knew that I needed to do something more enlightening, and this post was the result. Juuust kidding. Honestly, I was just happy to see a return to commentary and humor, as with the return of the "crowd o' figures"-style pages, just because I miss it from the old blog. That's my kind of enlightenment. In general, I have a lot of disdain for woo-woo, and perhaps that eeks through a little with the bean magician. Beans!

There's a gap in my drawing of about two weeks for some reason or another (part of it was a trip to Portland; a city that has my approval (Hi Emi!)), but this past week produced a crowd o' figures that made me happy. Perhaps my personal fav is the guy in the lower-right, with his shoulders on the ground, but the attempt at an upside-down twisty-dude mid-left keeps catching my attention because it looks a bit off even though I was fairly happy with the result as it was doodled. Shrug.

And wrapping things up was a quickie I did when I ran out of page space, while we were inhaling sushi and tonkatsu. Yummy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Drawing Gaggle

My drawing has slowed after spending my days scripting. My brain is mush by the time I get to draw night. For awhile, I thought my creativity was also dying -- that doodling was becoming less interesting to me -- but it was just paranoia and slumping that went away with time. The gap between this and my last "regular" posts was intentional because I missed the comments that seemed less forthcoming when I updated every week. We'll see how my evil plan turned out...

Ever since quitting my job, printer paper has been a bit harder to come by, so I sometimes appear with no paper to doodle on. Luckily the guys spared me this comic page to scribble on. Derek's been doing these amazing "PrintCutPlay" cutouts from IPs that he likes, and when he was working on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle version, I felt compelled to join in on the action. I used to love the Turtles back in their violent days and different artists would do different interpretations of them, in the days before the more cartoony TMNT appeared. I started doodling Donatello, but didn't feel like fleshing out his Bo staff. Not sure who the guy on the bottom is, but he seems Vampire-y to me.

Next up, nude forms of the male and female variety. Nothing particularly noteworthy about them, except her extremely long neck, and his terrible hair. Actually, the fella's belly reminds me of my own. Must... defeat... belly...

I remember doodling this next one at home, rather than coming to draw night. I must have felt really frazzled after a particularly bad day of coding so I just sat down on the couch at home and fiddled around. Both images are meant to be the same girl, but I'm pretty bad at keeping a head consistent between frames; I simply never practice it. Still, hands, feet, foreshortening, semi-stylized body, weird hair, and some complaining notes from myself make for an interesting page, methinks.

The most interesting thing about this one is the face in the upper-left. The style of drawing is fairly uncharacteristic of me, I think. I usually like pretty squiggly or flowy lines, and the impression the drawing gives me is more angled and precise. It just strikes me as an odd thing to come out of my pencil. The rest are the regular goofy doodles, but the fella with the big arm is fun for me to look at.

Um. So this one is a bit more obscene. I'm not sure why I share everything but there it is... a guy slapping his own penis in wah-wah-wah-waaah disappointment. Thinks just never work out for this hunky garden gnome or his lady, do they? Nope.

I'm not sure if this was in the same draw night, but this was a quick experiment of "space marine" shapes for a game prototype I'm fiddling with. I'm not very good with the sci-fi tech stuff, but it was fun just fiddling, even though it's hard to read what's going on with the doodle. I found it helpful, at least. :-p

It's hard to remember much about this doodle, but I kinda like the "thick" figure of the guy. Most of the figures I draw are pretty wirey. For some reason, the stick figure up top keeps catching my eye. I think I hadn't done any action shots in awhile, and I was trying to imagine a good pose for some kicking forward at someone or something else, and it just lacks that punch. Some people (like Ryan Ottley) consistently churn out the awesome poses, and I'm always, always jealous.

Next up, more space marine junk. Just fiddling with stylized figures trying to find out what kind of stylized body might be fun to look at. The whole realistic-stylized warrior thing seems a pretty common in games since TF2, but meh, I enjoy looking at it, so the exercise was fun.

Where the last two pages came from the couch, this was at another draw night. I'm ashamed that only one teeny doodle came from an entire night of drawing. I must have been yapping about something else. Damn me to hell.

And one week later, still too little to show. I think it was after this night that I was starting to wonder if "art" was just slipping from my bones. The drawing on top is one of those "create something creepy on purpose"-type doodles, and the bottom effort to fiddle around with a "gritty" Link, just turned out all wrong. I think I was starting to feel discouraged with both output and quality.

Next week didn't do much to assuage my fears but didn't send me spiraling further downward, either. I got to do a bit more space-marine-y stuff, and I think someone was asking me about how I think about shapes in the body based on the figure in the lower right. If the drawing makes you curious about how I approach it, feel free to torment yourself with my ramblings on google video.

But things started to feel better for me. I had fun with this page of figures, and was happy to do the "full page of doodles again." I think I came late and drew fast this night, and since we've been adding lots of new people to draw night, I think it actually inspires me to put more interesting things on the page than I might with the pressure-free zone my close friends provide. Who knew the pressure would help?

Still feeling the full page thing, I did a repeat performance a couple weeks later, and had Rachel rate my figures in order of preference. I like seeing what other people respond to, and I should remember to do this more often. There are sometimes interesting surprises between what I like and others like. I'm not sure the drawing she rated with a "3" would have earned it without the appendage she added and signed.

Last up is another montage. I remember more about this page since it's the most recent. The character at top-right has head and body hair inspired by the excellent Geoff Shupe. And I particularly liked the lower-left and cartoony-middle guys, because they were very abstract, follow-the-line drawings with interesting results. Hope you enjoyed browsing the latest haul.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Missing Links

Heya. I'm in the middle of a much bigger update and found a few drawings from last December that tried to slip through the cracks. I'll have none of that, even if they're hard to make sense of. First up is a doodle that features a nice pair of bewbs surprisingly overshadowed by whatever-the-hell is on the male character's head. I think I imagined some kind of corn husk or something, but every time I see the drawing my brain says "banana." Faulty wiring, no doubt.

Next up is some Christmas doodling, made "Christmas" by the "Mele Kalikemaka" bowl-cut on blondie up top. I suppose the most eye-catching part of the page is the mass of flesh in the upper-left, contributed by the signer, but my personal fav is the fella with the helmt. I was trying to explain what a Hawaiian helmet looked like, and doing so from memory was bound to be accompanied by a certain amount of fail. Still, it's interesting for being out of my safety zone. I also like the monkey-looking fella and the egg-yolk-fire-headed guy. Fuller pages of doodles are fun.

Last but not least, a quick doodle on the edge of a work-page from my desk. The rest of it (not shown here) is full of hand-written notes about one of my game prototypes.