Thursday, 31 May 2012

#5 Inspiration " has wings"

One of my neighbours has just aquired ownership of a retired greyhound. Her racing name was "has wings"
My dog, still in her puppy phase was jumping around her and licking her face which she didnt like.
I felt sorry for the dog to be honest, When its done racing they just get rid of them, the poor thing must be heartbroken.

She was really thin aswell, I know greyhounds are thin in general but this one was just too thin. I know my neighbour will feed her up.

I took some pictures of her weird long face. Shes so skinny you can see her muscle/skeletal  structure almost underneath her fur.

I think it would be cool to use her features to inspire me to design something. It'll have to wait til morning though, yawn.... perhaps a speedy vehicle of some kind?

Later that day

Ive been working on the concept for a greyhound inspired vehicle today. Ive decided to post when its all done.

On reflection I realised that I had trouble with rendering vehicles. It would hurt me to look up some tutorials.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

#4 mini master study continued

This is a follow up from yesterdays watercolour trials.

I have done a few more trys this morning, Its better but I'm still not happy with it.
I waited for layers to dry in this one. A small step forward. It appears to work better. I have found out that to much paint feathers the paper, even on quality watercolour paper. I suppose that even the artist relied on fluke for this style of painting..

attempt number 3, paint ran in directions I didnt want it too. Still an improvement and I'm learning still. You can see the creases in the paper. I hypothesize that the next attempt will be worse than this one as is usually the case. I think i'll try a different approach to laying the paint down though.

later on

I did a  speed paint of the image, It turned out quite well considering it was a quick one.

As for the rest of the day I think I have a few jobs to do around the house. Maybe i will attempt the watercolour again. who knows.

Later on

did another speed paint of one of his paintings for fun.

Experimented using some different brushes. Will go back to the traditional media tommorow. Night

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Building bridges - a new universe

I have come across a forum in the past couple of days started by the coming years 1st years.
I thought it was worth mentioning.

I have had a chat with some of them and positively answered some questions they had.
The mixture of exitement and nerves and mispreconceptions brings back alot of memorys of what I felt like during the summer before the beginning of my adventure as a game art student. Bless.

Honestly I felt something I think it was an emotion.  It has created a feeling that resembles a new universe being created in my chest that starts out small and spreads into a warmness. A new exitement in side of me. For the future and the years to come. ( I just speed ate 2 oranges and an Avacado pear though so it could be indigestion ).

Yes. I am exited. There I said it. I cant wait.

Its funny how certain situations can recall and even respark previous emotions (makes mental note).

#3 Mini master's study

I thought to myself and realised that I learned more about painting from studying a single artist than I did in a whole year just doing it myself and practicing. I enjoyed the masters study.
This time I decided to do turner.
I have just done a few speedy thumbnails using digital media.

Half way through these I realised that this particular artist is a watercolour job so to speak. So im going to quit using digital media and have a go in watercolours.
 I have been reading a book about watercolours and this particular style of painting when you literally let the paint blled on the paper can be hard to master until you learn how to control the paint.
When I say control I mean find ways in which the paint will do certain things for you depending on how it is applied.
I will talk about that in more detail when Ive done some watercolour attempts.
see you later.


Well I had a go and the paint was very naughty! I'll post up the disaster anyway and then go off and attempt another.

On reflection I think that I used to much paint. I shouldnt have ever used black I dont know what came over me. Ill try it again with less paint. Maybe I should let the layers dry before I put more paint on. Theres no control c and conrol v with traditional media. It just takes a lot of skill and effort. oh and practice.

will post up attempt 2 in a bit. Even though it didnt turn out I had fun watching the paint bleed across the paper.


I thought Id look at some tutorials on how to get this right

Monday, 28 May 2012

#2 The mind - understanding and accomplishing anything

This is number 2 in the summer independent learning and self discovery posts.

I have been for a number of years as stated in many posts gone by trying to figure out the psychology of my own mind works. It has always been a goal for me to develop an understanding.

I figured that if I could understand how my own mind works then I will be able to accomplish anything by tricking myself almost into a state of learning and understanding.

I believe I am in that special place now. I believe I know how my own mind works.

I re - read my posts gone by, from this and my old college blog.

(I am on an organic juice detox at the minute and feel ill from the toxin removal, needed to be said)

My discovery is that I am able to remember, memorise and understand lots of information about things.
I have an urge to collect information a passion if you will.

I realised that If I could use that ability for this subject then It couldnt be a bad thing and may, would rather benefit me. Interest and passion may not be enough, I need to become obsessed. That way I will learn without having to kill myself. Because I will want to learn and gather information. Like I do about other subjects of interest that I find impossible to pull myself away from.

#1 Finding another way to kick the ball.

Its monday 28th of may. This is the day That I promised my self I would get things done by so that I could get back to the grind and start studying again.

I feel a positive attitude of recent. 

I will do something everyday! and I will post it. ( yes you will young lady)

Now is the time to find new ways to do things. So that I a better than I was before.

Ive been drawing from life which I enjoy but I thought it was about time that I went a bit furthur and did something that would help me with this.
This day has been saved for the study of anatomy.  I wanted to study anatomy rather than just draw people.
The anatomy pictures have been on my inspiration wall for months now and I have looked at them each day enough i'd say for the images to reach the long term memory.

Muscle structure. Thats another thing to study that will help with my figure drawing. knowing where the muscles are and what goes together and even the names will help. That way I can recall them from the visual library in my brain.

I have done some pencil work over the weekend which I have enjoyed, today but will carry on with them and post all at the end of the day.

Until then I bid you adieu.


The scanning didnt really turn out that well, I did alot of blind contour drawing before this, it looked so faint it was hardly visible. For now Im just posting the anatomy sketches. Not very happy with how the pictures look though.
I was quite pleased with how they turned out and they didnt take too long. I did some more blind sketches after and they turned out better because of what I had learnt today.
I will carry this on.

posemaniacs had a really cool feature that changes the image every 30 seconds allowing you to practice quickly getting the shape down. Its a good resource if you dont have anyone to sketch or anyone willing to be sketched.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

old plastic - and why I find it fascinating.

Im in a good mood. I spoke in a recent post about restoring some old vintage toys. I have found a lot of information out about plastic and what happens to it as it ages. I have also come to the conclusion that there is no logic in collecting things that are made out of plastic as it basically destroys itself over time.

And why, might one ask,would anyone want to hang on to anything that would basically deteriorate? how could one keep it in good condition?

 Pin dot mold. Also known by the disgusting name smooze. I got a really old dirt cheap one off ebay that had this I managed to get rid though.

Regrind, this is what happens when the lovely folks at the toy factory back in 1982 decided to recycle old plastic and mix it with another colour plastic. As the plastic age's the colours seperate causing this blotchy effect.

Age spots. Caused obviously by the deterioration of plastic as it ages. Looks disgusting. Fortunatley I only have 1 that has this and its not that bad.
Worst problem is when the plasticizer breaks down and makes the plastic all sticky and eventually it becomes hard and then brittle.

I have discovered ways to "get rid" of most of these probs though. except the regrind, that cant be cleaned. That has to be painted over.

I learned a lot of interesting stuff about old plastic. Theres a crane fly in the room that needs to be slain.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The summer overload, collections and watercolours

Ive finally nearly finished all of the really rubbish jobs I had to do around the house. The spring cleaning. I found so much cool stuff one of those items included a really old 3d digital character book from 1999. It is shocking.... to see the difference 13 years has made to the quality of digital characters. The shock factors gone now though, you pretty much expect things to advance.

Anyway.... Summer is almost here. You'd think I'd be glad but the noises of summer are pretty distracting and annoying. Whirrs of lawnmowers, the smell of about 10 different kinds of meat on people's bbq's and the smoke, the blinding white light, the smell of mown grass, pollen, insects buzzing, children screaming or laughing both sounds are equal in annoyance and I swear I cannot distinguish one from the another. I like to call this effect the summer overload, the view of summer from the shade thats my thing.

Ive been cleaning and sorting out my collection's. No one who collects anything obsessivly can ever have enough shelves. I have 125 ponies (not including swaps) Mib/bnib/loose, Mint in box is boring, where's the fun in that? you want to get them in poor condition and restore them, my collection of vintage stuff is fairly impressive. I have all the sega,nintendo,microsoft and sony consoles bar 1, a sega master system. So many games most of which I have not even played. I found several boxes full of nintendo related nik-naks I have been collecting over the years. Bagpuss items x 40. A huge collection of books about various science's (loads about entomology, zoology, neuropsychology, biology) hundreds of old beano comics. I also have a collection of fairly old pretty hairclips In all different colours that I dont even use as im not into that.
Lots of really expensive marker pens/pencil crayons in the box's that have never been used and a stack of different types of sketchbooks for different media.  All of these collections relate to my interests. Games, art, Vintage stuff and science.

All of those are now neatly organised and clean on the shelves in order of value ( in the colour sense) Ive come to the conclusion that I just like collecting rainbows of things.

Anyway....... I didnt mean to go off on a tangent but speaking of colours I recently started practicing with watercolours I really like the feel of painting with them. I like the bright colours and the different hues you can get by adding white. Seem's like a good thing to get passionate about. Im going to have to go outside with them.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Understanding dynamic shapes

Previously whilst looking at character design it was suggested that we use triangles in our work or dynamic shapes, I looked into this. I think I included them in a post but it was very brief.

Again I come to character design so rather than talking about last times Ill address it as it stands now and how it applies to the new character. A few raised questions.

I have looked/am looking at some character design art and realised that yes artists do frequently use dynamic shapes particulalry triangles in there work, and the fact is the ones that do look better.

How much variety can one get? surely theres more interesting than the standing feet apart pose.
What about some of these?

 Sitting or even using objects to create that triangle. The object one seems to work pretty well. Sitting ones not so much.
These are just basic silhouettes. I think its worth thinking about though because I found that the stood up pose seemed a bit samey after several character designs

 I silhouetted some of my own character design of recent. to compare the silhouettes to each other. I set out to use dynamic shapes in each of these designs, or I thought I had... maybe I wasnt quite so thourough as I thought.

The fact is I expected the blue and orange silhouette to be better than the green/pink character silhouette but it wasnt. The second silhouette looked drastically better.

The costume on the first character blocked out the dynamic shape of the silhouette so even though I prefere the blue/orange design I think the other silhouette is better.

In comparison to the other examples I find that the triangle needs to be at 2/5 of the character to start to look ok. and 1/2  to look great. not much of a gap I know...

Seems ive over analysed, maybe... I dont think so. Im sure there are many other rules. the rest of the figure maybe should flow in the same direction like the hat of pink/green character? just a thought.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Generic rubbish avenue vs crazy idea lane

Theres a point in every project no matter how big or small when one comes to a fork in the road. There are two roads crazy idea lane and generic rubbish avenue.

From experience Ive noticed that when you choose the safe option or safe idea that is usually based on ideas from facts or research of what was known to be real you usuually end up going down generic rubbish avenue.

The concept for henry viii seems pretty solid... but is it does it have to be? Is it possible that the concept is actually pretty abstract when you view it from a different perspective?

We go back to the subject of henry viii, what is his identity? what we know? what do we know? is it possible that we dont know?

we all have a preconception of his identity but it is this preonception that gives him his identity. What we think we know.

The idea im thinking of now are his trademark features or things we know about him. He liked his ladys and he had his red hair. Can keeping that keep his identity. What elements of other character's may have these traits? that will be more interesting than  fat king sat at a table tucking into the head of a pig with an apple in its mouth.

When I started I wastold to be myself, I fear I have not done that of recent. Fear will not hold me back this time.