Inktober Wrap-up!

And here comes the end of Inktober 2015!  This is composed of three parts because I was somewhat slow to upload them here, so let’s jump right in to the first set.

The first set, 21 to 24 is all related to Natural Selection 2.  I totally have had a lot of fun playing it over the past year or two, so had to draw it as well.  Initially I was going to do all 5 of the alien lifeforms but I was hindered by the fact that the sketchbook I was working in was going to run out of pages before the last image!  I didn’t want to break up the set over two sketchbooks so I decided to pick the ones that I generally played — and then add in the MAC to represent the marines.  Thus, here’s the skulk, gorge, and lerk that I ended up doing.  I really like how the MAC came out especially though.  Definitely one of my favorites from all of my Inktober images.

Next up, parrots!  I went through and picked a whole flock of them.  In order, a budgie, Meyer’s parrot, Hahn’s macaw, blue & gold macaw, red rump parakeet, and alexandrine parakeet.  By now, everyone should know I like birds, gee.

My final image for Inktober, however, didn’t exactly have the greatest start.  It took me a while to decide what to do since I decided I was going to do a full page spread (versus the half page per image I was using for all the previous ones).  I ended up going with one of my dragons from Flight Rising.

Inktober 2015 #31 - Ganymede

Looks nice, right?  Well, let me note that all the fixes I did on it were done traditionally with acrylic paint.  So it’s not 100% ink like previous ones.. But why would I need fixes in the first place?  Because I spilled black ink over a reasonable sized chunk of it courtesy of a not-quite-closed container.  I think I cleaned it up pretty nice!  I will probably do a minor digital cleanup pass at some point too, but at this point, I’d rather just leave it at the minimally edited version.

Anyway, that brings Inktober to an end.  I’ll hopefully have some new projects posted soon!

Portfolio Pruning

I’ve been doing some updates to the site here, obviously.  Here are the pieces that have since been cut from my main portfolio.  This should hopefully mean I’ll have some new work up soon!

Also, since I’ve gone and edited my website’s skin in general, let me know if you see any bugs so I can go squash them with great justice and CSS skills!

Small Projects

I’ve also done some small, one-off images recently.  I’ve been trying to work with the methods discussed in the Magic Box, just so I get some more experience with it.  It had some pretty mixed results but I think at this point I’ve finally figured it out.  None of these are particularly interesting compositionally, however, as I was focusing more on the actual technique.  Hopefully in whatever my next set of smallish projects end up being, that’ll be more of a factor.

Golden Lerk Avatar


The first thing I did  was to do a a quick avatar of a lerk, one of the aliens from Natural Selection 2.  I did this for one of the competitive players I like pestering, Golden, who plays lerk for Titus Gaming.

At this stage, things were probably a bit too sharp.  I wasn’t using the lasso/gradients effectively and at a certain point just ended up just painting like I normally did.  Probably too much too fast, or something.

Asimov Doodle


I also of course had to draw more budgies because budgies are awesome.  I wanted to update an avatar or two of my own, so I made this, but I didn’t end up using it as much as I’d been thinking.  One of the things I noted about it was though I liked the style, but probably should have left it as a sketch and redrawn something more interesting for a better actual avatar.  I learned a bit more on how to effectively draw the little wing markings for budgies, though.

Risk - James Voulge

This might have actually been done before the drawing of Asimov, but it was within a couple of days of it, at the very least, hence similar styling.  Anyway.  Needed (yet another) avatar for a character I’m playing in a friend’s game.

Either way, these two middle drawings were probably too much the other direction — too soft, too flat.  The colors, also, are pretty weak.

Bryndel Badge - 2014

One of my long time friends from the great realm of the internet goes to one convention each year and so I try to make her a badge for it of her character.  It’s a bit large for a badge but it definitely allowed me to put in some more detail there.  Maybe I should have made the whole thing a bit smaller but oh well, too late now — I sent it off in the mail today.

This one, however, I’m much happier with.  I feel like it’s not hideously soft and not super sharp.  Sure, it could do with a bit more refinement, I’m sure, but it was a small item with a due date so I couldn’t do much more than that!


Magic Box Progress

For the magic box one of the assignments was to do a pseudo-master copy of a painting with a person in it..  Aaaaand turn them into an animal.

Fancy Animals - Rembrandt - Saskia Fancy Animals - Sketches Fancy Animals - Sketch Fancy Animals - Greyscale

I used a Rembrandt painting as a base and a harpy eagle as my chosen animal.  I had some pictures from the LA zoo to use as reference.

Anyway, I did 4 different color comps based on the colors of some other pictures I had and refined the one I liked the most, which happened to be based off the original image.  Guess you couldn’t go too wrong with that.

Fancy Animals - Progress 1 Fancy Animals - Progress 2

Anyway, here’s the current state it’s in.

Fancy Animals - Progress 3

The Greater Mittar

Of course, I can’t forget to show how I did my other Imaginatomy project.

It was kind of neat that I was able to go and do another project that was associated with Zikkihuru.  Hopefully in the next couple of months I’ll be able to go do a few more pieces with it.  I think I know what I’ll be doing, so we’ll see how it goes between any work I might have.

Of course, I had to start somewhere. So the first step was to go and build the wire skeleton.  I decided I wanted it to be slightly more dynamic, so I started working with one of the feet off the ground.  To balance this, I curved down two of the rear toes so that it’d stick into the foam base I was going to build this on.

Then came the clay.  It was a lot easier working on this one than it was the hyena, mostly because the bones were broader, comparatively.  The main issue I kept having was that the head was pretty heavy, even with the majority of it made out of tinfoil.  Keeping it attached and not crooked in some way was troublesome.  Once it was baked it was less of an issue — though I was afraid that it’d crack right around where it stuck onto the neck.

I set to work on the base next, which was, of course, a total mess.  Since I had experience with it from last time, I sort of knew what I could get away with and how to more efficiently use the materials.  Because of this, it was pretty easy to sculpt out a little creek bed sort of shape and make it look more natural.

I painted it, then added some real dirt to blend it in better.  I left the part where the fake water would be a slight more blue tone to compensate for the yellow cast the fake water had.  I used some white glue and duct tape to create a barrier which would keep the fake water from running off and making a huge mess, and it seemed to work okay.  I really liked the result as well.

I bought a garland of fake plants and trimmed them down to be more of the right scale for the piece.   Combined with some moss and some random cheap herbs from the grocery store to be leaf litter, it blended in really well and made a much better presentation than the one I did last time.  I kept the background fairly simple, and after a few rough prints, finally got one that worked.  I got that attached, painted the front of the model, and added the very compact information card and the whole thing was ready to go.

I learned a lot from the hyena project last time I took the class, and it’s really obvious how I was able to apply that to this one.  Sculpting is definitely fun and I’ll hopefully have time to do it, if only for myself, in the future.  I’m sure that if I hadn’t graduated this term that I’d be TAing the class again and making a third — but hey, I can always do it on my own.  Just got to say thank you to Rey Bustos for teaching such an awesome class, and letting me TA for him these past four semesters.  Definitely going to miss it.

The Turaco Rider

There was this big green bird that hopped a lot in the pet store in the town my parents lived in.  Turns out, that bird was a turaco.  They’re pretty neat birds, so you should totally read about them.  For this, I picked the red-crested turaco, because it wasn’t too extravagantly colored, but wasn’t just the basic green bird I had seen in the pet store.

Most of the development for this piece was spent just working on the Turaco itself. The stylization was proving to be somewhat of a problem at first — there were so many potential ways to do it.

Though I could have likely pushed it more, once I decided I had enough potential variations, I went through and started the composition.

Mice or rats seemed to be a fairly logical choice for a rider just because of  their size.  Somewhere between the two would be the right steed-to-rider ratio.  Combining them with the turaco drawings I did, I was able to figure out just how much I did want to stylize them, and went forward from there.

There were a few fun influences in this one, I think.  Take a little bit of Final Fantasy‘s chocobos, combine with Bill Peet’s Cowardly Clyde, and a splash of Brian Jacques’s Redwall.  All things considered, I’m pretty happy with the result, considering it was a goofy, random idea.

The Toy

Budgies are great little birds — and quite silly, which lends itself well to one-off images.

For those who don’t have parrots, understand that they can be scared of the most bizarre things, including their own toys. I picked a normal green budgie and an English violet crested budgie, and went from there.

The toy is based off of one that we actually had and attempted to convince our birds to play with.  I don’t think they ever really got used to it, let alone used it in the intended way.

Zikkihuru : Friends, continued

And now for the final Zikkihuru piece (for the moment), Friends.

Of all the images for this project, this is still the one that I am the most happy with.  It pretty much lived up to what I had been hoping (again, unless I went and redid the whole thing now).

This piece had considerably less development work — I pretty much just worked straight through and ended up where I did.  Not everything could work that way, but if I recall, I had a pretty clear image of what I’d wanted in my head before I even started messing with the values.

However, I do have some prototype doodles of various Zikkihuru critters to make up for it!

Zikkihuru : The Fog, continued

So the final version of the Fog is below. The main change that I dealt with on this one was just going through and painting the water so it looked more like water.  All things considered, I’m pretty happy with how this came out.  Of course, as with everything, I’m sure there’s more that could be revised, but at this point I think I just want to let it go and if I do want to revise things, just start over from scratch with this as my rough.

In my original sketches, the image was flipped the other way.  I find it interesting that it and the Lava piece both started off facing in different directions.

Daily Deviation & the Turaco Rider

So early this morning/late last night I was given a Daily Deviation on deviantArt!  Put that on the “stuff I wasn’t expecting to happen” list.  You can swing by and see the page here.

It’s been good fun watching the numbers in my inbox rise — I always enjoy watching the views, favorites, and similar on those sites just to see what the community likes.  Besides, then I can compete with myself and see if I can make something that gets even more attention than whatever the previous piece was.  Even if the general public doesn’t understand why the piece was developed the way it was, it at least appeals on some aspect, and as long as it’s not just being faved because of cute fluffy animals (ie, some of my bird doodles) it means enough people were curious to see what the full image entailed — and liked it!  A little ego boost every now and again is a good thing.

Anyway, I’m sure you’d rather see the piece, so have a peek.  I’ll be posting some of the development work and some further edits later on, but here it is as it stands.