ALHs Creatures, Cartoon & Crypt Character Compendium
After a recent life-shattering portfolio review from a guy at Rare, it came to my attention that these past few years i've been lazy as heck and havent been pushing myself nearly as much as i should have, especially when it comes to producing something *finished*.
Stagnation in both drive and progress, fuelled by a course which doesnt really support those who arent beginners at drawing ( Game Art course,good if you've never touched 3D before, frustrating if you already know how to hold a pencil ) all kinda of crazy overworked 3D deadlines, and a slight obsession with study.
I've always avoided this place because it scares me, its full of people who are awesome and i never thought i was good enough to join in the fun. Wrong attitude!
My Rare encounter has told me one thing- If i ever want to get anywhere with my art, let alone employed, i need to start hanging round a place like this where people can rip me apart. The amount of drive that returned after i was told a lot of my stuff is meh was pretty huge, and inspired me to get off my ASS and force myself to do a creature-per day for 100 days- which will probably be extended to a human character or prop/vehicle per day once i'm finished uni.
Attached are numbers 4 and 5 of the creature collection. I cant actually put any colour onto these because i'm in the middle of an animation assignment and my PC is too old and shitty to render and run photoshop/painter at the same time.
The others, which i dont really like as much, are on my site/blog @ www.frenchbird.wordpress.com
Last edited by ALH; July 7th, 2009 at 06:24 PM.
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Yeah, there's no better motivator than a bad review - it can also be a demotivator, but you've got the right idea.
I like the top one of these two, it flows along nicely, except for the hooves... I remember reading something - I think it was Guns, Germs & Steel (but it might have been elsewhere) that said that hooved animals aren't carnivores for a reason... so it's a "design flaw" of sorts in your creature.
But not a serious one.
The second is too patchy for my tastes - too ill-integrated in it's parts. It could work if all the parts are given the same treatment as the elephant/head part - a cartoon style, emphasising cuteness.
Your drawing skills are really good though, and you have no problem with executing concepts. Only really briefly browsed your wordpress page, I'll probably go back to it and give you some more feedback later. Thanks for sharing. The 100 creature deadline will be a tough one, but it's a good goal to have. Keep posting them!
>>"I like the top one of these two, it flows along nicely, except for the hooves... I remember reading something - I think it was Guns, Germs & Steel (but it might have been elsewhere) that said that hooved animals aren't carnivores for a reason... so it's a "design flaw" of sorts in your creature.
I agree- this was going to have dog/cheetah feet ( which are pretty much the carnivore version of hooves ) but i thought it would be interesting to see how hooves would work, part of the whole imagining a prey animal as a predator theme which i'm bound to come back to during this run.
As for the second creature- i'll be honest, i didnt put much thought into it. I spent the morning stressing out over my animation assignment for no reason and my concentration levels were pwnd. I hate making excuses, but i think its pretty obvious when i rush this kind of thing, because what i create i dont even end up liking myself. At times theres quite a large gulf of disconnect between what i actually like to look at and what i create, which bugs the heck out of me, something no doubt fostered by the whole stagnation/loss of drive thing.
The funny thing about the review was that it was a bit of a double edged sword- i didnt know wether to laugh or cry for an hour afterwards. The Rare guy loved some of my pages, and adored a couple of my dinobirds ( which isnt surprising considering that they're my favourite thing to draw ) and gave me some useful advice.
The things he hated were the things i really hated creating,had rushed to design due to unrealistic personal deadlines, and had to force myself to finish because i was so knackered physically and emotionally from forcing myself to work non-stop. It was a bit of a bummer to hear that the time spent on that work was 'wasted', but at the same time an absolutely overwhelming relief.
Since this could be seen as a bump and therefore breaking the rules, attatched is a creation i spent hours mucking about on last night while rendering. I was feeling quite drained and dizzy for certain reasons and couldnt really stand and concentrate at the same time. I was happy with it..then i went to take a photo.. and realised that in my worn out state, sitting at a flat desk with a low chair, i'd created an image which only actually looks good if viewed from a horizontal angle.
An angle my camera couldntcapture effectively because even though its pretty wide angle for a P&S bridge, its not as wide as the human eye.
I've lost count of the amount of times i've made this mistake. I'm smart enough to never draw for 'serious' when im that tired thankfully x_x.
im still not used to this sketchbook, the loss of the couple of inches it doesnt have over the last one i've been using is irritating. The claw of this guy needs to be rotated to properly carry its weight, but it wouldnt fit on the page.
im not so sure about this whole pencil shading business, i love me some clean linework, and putting shading on always feels like murder, smudging up perfectly lovely flatness. Until i can start to add some sexy colour to these itll do as a placeholder.
Wow, I really like your stuff. I'd like to see more ^-^
Wow, I really like your stuff. I'd like to see more ^-^
thanks . I put gallery links in my sig if you want to see more, not sure if its actually working or not though..
Its a wonderful day outside, and i have 24 full hours of rendertime to do as i please. How am i spending it? cooped up with no energy, a sore throat and a splitting headache.
Still the creatures must flow, heres #7.
Still got some long rendertimes on my animation project, so i took the time to do some study before doing todays creature.
Think of it as an alternate cerebrus.
i have to do a report all today, joy
it lives on table mountain :awesome:
I'm finding it harder to flit between work mode and draw mod that i expected for this 100 creatures thing, the two are SO different and going from writing an essay to painting is like OH GOD MINDHAX. Going from painting to writing is less mindboggling, but i certainly would not want to do an essay in the jumbled style of writing i have at the moment having just finished todays creature.
I have the feeling that isnt making much sense, but my head is running loops round itself at the moment. People often ask me if i do drugs to get my ideas, i've never touched em, because my god my mind does a pretty good job of messing itself up and today is an example of that.
Also, dinobird. fish.
ok, materials were watercolours, coloured fineliner and acrylic. I messed up a little in some areas with the watercolour ( its been a while ) so had to go over with the acrylic. The actual version of this is way more vibrant, but in a bit of an eye-assaulting way. As the pink is acrylic, it GLOWS, which is a bit too much on the legs. The room i'm in has kinda rubbish lighting, which is partially to blame for my earlier mistakes since its hard to see the washes, but luckily photoshop is a nifty little lifesaver.
Also, my scanner sucks. it must be warped or something, it randomly scans parts in all out of focus for no reason, even though this page was flat.
Last edited by ALH; May 9th, 2008 at 05:35 PM.
#11 was late for various reasons.
Its been a bad day.
Because i forgot to point this out elsewhere first- this is one of those creatures which is somewhat of a self portrait, although in this instance its a bit of a proxy because what its describing has muted off somewhat. I dont really explore this side of things as much as i used to, guess it freaked me out. also kinda comes off as pretentious since i can make a million excuses for things i usually wouldnt let myself get away with anatomically.
Last edited by ALH; May 10th, 2008 at 08:46 PM.
I really dont like this one, its boring. Working too big for the page too, which is compromising flow. My handin is soon, so i'll be able to get back into a real rythm.
Gotta say, im not really enjoying this as much as i thought i would, but i think thats probably more about my current state of mind in general, not just about art.
thats cool dude! wanna see more ! by the way... i made a sketch book.. but i dont know if people can see it? can u try to see my sketchbook? and, by the way, coment and say what u think
i dont really know if the sketchbook section is the right place to ask any kind of question, so i guess ill make a thread somewhere else too, who knows.
I'm playing about with painting styles today, and im finding it..fiddly i guess, because i dont really know what i'm aiming for. When i presented my work to the Rare guy he said my style of painting was old fashioned, which looking at the wild stylised yummyness in places like this is not really that hard to disbelieve- it doesnt help that a lot of my stuff is worked on really close up so the brushstrokes vanish once anythings printed.
God im such a spaz, these arent in the right order at all.
The bottom left with sensible colour is how i would usually work. it looks wonky as heck here because i more concerned about the colour and loosening up strokes than defining form, plus i guess i was looking at in bits instead of as a whole. I'm gonna go and blame warm up mistakes for that, because making excuses is lulz.
The horrible one at the top right was me messing about with photoshop, just to see if i could tolerate it. me and photoshop dont really get along, we have an agreement- ill only use it for tweaking, textures and layouts and it will not crash on me. I went back on our agreement today and it did the ' no tools work sucka' thing, so i guess i get what i deserve. Anyways, i wanted to see if custom brushes would be handy. They were in one way, but this example is kind of haphazard due to my meh status with photoshop. I shouldnt have included it really.
The top left is my messing around with kind of automatic stroke, my arm spazzed and i went with it. I did greyscale so i could add colour over the top, but found it baffling to get my head round once i got to adding the colour, which doesnt make much sense since i've scanned greyscale work before and found putting colour on no bother whatsoever. The bottom right is the colour overlay. Added in photoshop, which decided it didnt want to work when i tried to erase the messy bits. because it is made of fail.
I guess my question would be how to approach a new method of painting. My traditional skills lie mainly with watercolours, which is probably why a lot of my digital work is flat as a fart since the two are rather different in terms how how colour is added etc.
I guess i could look at some pictures by artists i like and try to emulate it, as much as that feels like cheating. Check me out answering my own questions, oh god. I hate my brain.
The really irritating thing about this problem is that i know if i had a tablet screen i'd find it a doddle to enter artmode and some up with something, but the disconnect between tablet and screen is such a kicker to how i work with a pen, which is frustrating.
I'm now convinced the fat sketchbook was effecting my work in a negative way, i felt guilty for wasting great paper on the more rubbish ideas, which didnt really encourage much freedom. Moved back to my old one, will probably end up just doing these on A4 soon because i dont want to clutter my study sketchbook with creatures.
My animation work is all handed in, and as of wednesday i'm officially finished uni- resits be damned. Planning on chilling out, boosting my portfolio, then sending it out for jobs and sucess.
Last edited by ALH; May 13th, 2008 at 05:36 AM.
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