Santa Claus- Thanks for the crits, you jolly old elf. Ah, you've probably heard 'em all. Oh well. Anyway, I'm basically painting on top of all the old layers anyway, so there shouldn't be too much of a problem. I'll add some mist or something between the tree and the robot on the rocks, and make the foreground very sharp and high contrast. I'll add some elements off in the distance for depth, as you suggested.
Bard- Thanks, man! I'm looking forward to the day when people will go "I love your robots and vehicles!" in the same way they do my creatures. Got more work to do. Going to grays before color has its advantages. You can work out a very nice value composition before complicating things with color. My first two thumbnails for the most recent EoWs were done in values before being colorized. When working on my most recent thumb, I had to constantly desaturate it to check out how the values were working together. As for my school, I'm just going for an associates degree at my local community college. I'm undecided as to whether I want to go to a formal art school, with all stress and expense that that entails. I'm definitely going to apply for the CA.org atelier next time there's an opening, though! So, on that note, gotta go draw. (Actually, work on an essay )
super nice sketch here. i think you would really benefit from customizing your brushes and making your own. the rocks are coming out really cool. i think i would like to see this piece darker with more dramatic lighting =]
theredshoe- I do make my own custom brushes. Pretty much everything I do in photoshop is done with custom brushes. Take my most recent piece, fore example. The rocks were done with a mixture of a default round brush and a custom rectangular brush, both with opacity set to pressure. I have a vegetation brush that I use for sketches that I got from using the magic wand tool on a photo of a bush, and I'm doing most of the real rendering on the vegetation with a few "spackle" brushes that I made. So, my custom brushes might not be very obvious, but I do use them. I don't know about the dramatic lighting; I'd like the image to have more of a calm, yet mysterious, feel. I'll think about it, though. Thanks for the crits!
Here's another update. As you can see, I changed it quite a bit. Rest assured, though, that the new pile of rocks will not just be another pile of rocks, similar to the ones already in the picture. It's going to have runes and other mystical thingies around it. Also, some more animal leg and foot studies. The second sketch page was really fun. I don't draw a whole lot of insects and invertebrates, so I'm doing some studies on those. I also made up some carnivore skulls. The second one from the top and the lowest one are more studies for my Nemean lion. I'm getting much closer. I may even be there.
i really like the rock in the foreground. that is coming out nicely. although, my eye keeps on focusing at the empty greenish space and i almost completely miss out on the figure framed by the rock. i think i was really liking the tree that was there on the post before. where are you planning on taking this piece? i definitely get the calm feeling though.
when you make your custom brushes, at what canvas size do you make them on? i never save it as a psd, just set as a brush preset. does that matter?
Hey, theredshoe. Thanks for the crits on that piece. Here's a more or less finished (pending further crits) version of it, so hopefully those crits have been addressed. I think what I've learned most from this image is to know what I want to do from the beginning, not just make things up as I go. I think there were better ways I could have presented my ideas for this one.
For custom brushes, I just make them on a 1 in x 1 in canvas at 300 dpi. At that size, the default size of the brush is about 150-200 pixels, and I rarely go much larger than that.
Amazing work! as usual. I think that this environment is your best yet. Just like everyone else has pointed out, I think that those rocks are incredible. But to be picky, I think that the forest-look could be pulled off better if you at least showed some light shining through the trees. It just seems like to much of the same shade of green in the sky.
Incessant Doodlings of a Wandering Mind (my sketchbook)
"Avoidance of what you can't draw well doesn't stimulate growth." -Cory Trego-Erdner
"Only the mediocre are always at their best."-Jean Giraudoux
Thanks, Moai for those refs you gave..those are great!
Animal sketches?-I don't even need to say they're great because they are.
Maybe incorporating mechanical animal robots in your design could help in some robot designs or for you to play around.
The guy in the enviro looks like he could slid off any second, though.
No problem, Bard. Thanks for the suggestions and the crits!
Two things have happened since my last update. One, I checked out Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing From Life, and I'm having fun and learning a lot already. The way he breaks down the shapes is great!
The other thing is that, by some random Wikipedian occurrence, I rediscovered an old favorite book series of mine: Animorphs by K.A. Applegate. In case you don't know, it's a young adult (actually, a bit younger; the step between kid books and young adult books, I guess) science fiction series, in which a dying alien warrior gives five regular kids the ability to transform into any animal they touch in order to fight off an impending alien invasion. The invaders, called Yeerks, are parasites, and so plan to slowly enslave the human race in secret. Though rather juvenile and implausible, the series is nonetheless one of the most creative and non-cliched sci-fi stories I've ever read. K.A. Applegate did a great job of having the plot progress logically while constantly introducing new and unexpected twists and dynamics. Unfortunately, the series also spawned a terrible, terrible show on Nickelodeon. Anyway, I was inspired to draw a few of the many alien species from those books. (Animorph species list from Wikipedia)
The images (and some geekish ramblings):
-Bridgman studies, of course. Bridgman is awesome.
-A very minor species of the Animorphs universe: the Capasin. They aren't described very meticulously; just squid-like, with glittering blue eyes, a beak, and several multi-jointed legs. I also attempted to draw one of their ships and some of their weapons. I'm fairly happy with the way the weapons came out, but I had a heck of a time with the ship. A heck of a time, I say.
-A much more important species: the Hork-Bajir. They are very large and powerful tree-dwellers, somewhat like humanoid dinosaurs. They are also very peaceful and somewhat unintelligent. They have blades on many parts of their bodies, but in their natural state they use the blades to harvest tree bark, their main source of food, rather than as weapons. I had a somewhat difficult time designing a Hork-Bajir head that I liked. The other creature, the chadoo, is an animal from the Hork-Bajire homeworld.
-Yet more Animorphs creatures, of varying degrees of importance to the series. I'm very happy with the way the Helmacron and its ship turned out, except that I ran out of room to draw the Helmacron's entire body. Helmacrons are only 1/16th of an inch tall, so that ship is practically life sized. The Veleek swarm member is basically a miniscule flying insect with vicious jaws; they travel in deadly swarms which resemble tornados. The Taxxon is a large, centipede-like species which is intelligent, but has such a powerful sense of hunger that it can hardly control itself. The design is basically what I wanted, except that its legs are too long. The Gedd was the first host of the Yeerks. It's a stupid, nearly blind, primate-like animal that evolved with one limb shorter than the others, for unknown reasons. I couldn't really recall whether they were hairy or not, so I just suggested a few tufts here and there and called it good.
And there you have it.
Hey hey! Hows it goin? the Eow is looking good! I really like the texture you've applied to these rocks, it really makes them stand out. The trees look great too. Its really interesting to see how you apply your blues into the picture as a whole.The studies are looking nice, I've never tried Bridgeman before, would you recommend it? The sketches are nice, but the Hork Bajir heads is a fave. I think you should do a full sketch of one of your creatures from head to toe, that'd be rly cool, to see some details in your rendering.
oh my god, i havent heard the word animorphs since middle school! i was so obsessed with that series. good drawings from the books though!
also the bridgeman studies are great as well. i picked up his drawing the human head book and i think from all the figure drawing books i checked out, he's the easiest to learn from.
I jus hafta say that I'm loving the critter doodles. As always, I like where you take the experiments. There is a (hope this discription dosn't annoy) "cuteness" factor to the critters I'm drawn to the most. All the little guys in the 2nd to last post of sketches. They're very organic and have movement.
Your Bridgeman studies are very nice. Keep up the great work. You definitely deserve stars for dedication to your vision(s).
Sorry for the delay, all. No real reason for it. I just haven't been drawing. I have art class today, so I know I'll do enough for at least a little bit of an update. Until then, just this pencil sketch. The centaur-like Andalites are another Animorphs species, and one of the more technically advanced and powerful races. They also have a bit of an unusual biology; instead of eating with mouths on their faces, they crush and absorb grass with their feet. I took the concept in the book a little bit further and added some grinding teeth and a mouth. I also went a bit farther than the book by adding breasts to the female's upper body. The book, being for kids, doesn't mention stuff like that, so I was basically left on my own. My logic was that breasts on the upper bodies would condition infant Andalites to fixate more on the upper bodies, rather than the lower bodies. However, I just realized, right now, in this very moment, that Andalites, being foot grazers, probably wouldn't need any at all. Damn! They're that much less sexy, then.
Also, some caricatures of me! They were done without reference (y'know, a mirror), just from my own memories of staring vainly at my own reflection. Only the top left one is any way accurate. The rest are just kinda weird. I'll have a colored and polished version of that either today or in the next few days, since I need to do a self portrait for class and I like this one.
Also, one last little bit of news. My Hu-Huffle piece (the one with the blue hills and weird trees) got accepted into the student art show here at my community college! Weefun.
Amer-Nazri- Thanks! Yeah, I was really pleased with the little blues I placed here and there in the rocks. When I first did it, I said "Oh yeah!" which made some people look at me oddly. I'd recommend Bridgman 100%! You'll learn the ins, outs, bumps, and lumps of the human body more thoroughly with him than anyone else. He's great! I was actually frustrated with the Hork-Bajir heads, as none of them were quite what I envisioned. I'll do a full sketch of a creature pretty soon.
theredshoe- I was obsessed with it too! Thanks for the comments. Bridgman is definitely awesome.
Lazy- Hot damn, I was wondering when I'd see you again! Welcome back to CA, man! I'll comment in your sketchbook shortly. Thanks for the words.
Jens- That would be a nice challenge to keep the tree. Maybe I'll do that. I think I'll have a week of two where I just polish up my old pieces, rather than start new ones. Thanks!
AztcFireFlower- Yay! You're back! I need to comment in your sketchbook also (as well as everyone else who's been commenting in my sketchbook! ). I'm not offended at all by you calling my creatures cute. I myself think that almost every animal is cute, except for some of the creepier arachnids (solfugids, whip scorpions, purseweb spiders...:shudder: ). Thanks!
One last thing: has anyone else noticed that you can now put small images in your signatures? How long has that been there?
A WIP of my earlier sketched self-caricature. Some proportional issues have been rectified--nose shortened, eyes/glasses made a bit bigger--but it still shouldn't be considered a perfect representation of me. Plus my shadows tend not to be purple, but that's just a technicality. I also need to "weird up" the colors of my hair somehow, to make it more stylistically harmonious with my face.
On another note, I'm having a fun time alternating between hard and soft edges on the shadows of my face.
Edit: I just noticed that I cleared the 1,000 post mark! Like, yay.
Last edited by Moai; April 24th, 2007 at 10:08 PM.
Definitely learn alot when I come to your thread!
I can't see the self portrait for some reason...
Hey Moai, wow I have missed a crap load of stuff. Can tell your keeping yourself busy. Sorry for being gone for awhile, and not updating. But I'm back to normal now.
On to the art...
Post # 197: It's great to see you mixing up the subject matter with the weapons,faces, and buildings. Reminds me that I need to try some more environment stuff. I really like the kid bot, the cloacked skull guy, and the u-shaped head robot guy. They all stand out to me, really great designs. A thing I notice through many of your sketches is that their are some great characters,creatures etc, but many of them just stay simple sketches, and not fleshed out. One thing I think you could do is to use more of your paper and just sketch one or two things. Use your whole paper on them, instead of trying to fill it with many sketches. I believe their are countless little gems in your sketches that would make a better polished piece. Its just a suggestion I don't want you to change how you work, just something I noticed.
Great progress your making on the Eow. and great to see some more color stuff from you as well. I actually liked the tree a little more then the rocks, but they are coming out nice. I'm kind of confused in the scale of things though, are you wanting the viewer to be looking at a distance, is the character suppose to be very small, like insect small. Or is the rocks over towering the character. Maybe you could add more things in front of both the left and right side rocks, or push the left side back further. Overall though great progress in it, can't wait to see the finished result.
Its really cool to read your thought process in making your characters and creatures. Really great that you go into why you did this or that. Also congrats on getting accepted into the art show
Great to see your keeping up with the studies as well, in post 221 and 227 again I see some gems in their, which I think you should try bringing some of these idea out further. One of the characters that stand out again is the bottom 4 legged creature. Oh I think its cool that your using the Animorphs books as influence great idea, man when did those things come out, I feel old. The self-portrait is interesting, it something different from your normal stuff which is good. Great stuff all around, just keep doing what your doing. Happy drawing
Okay now.... Time to post some actual proper reply as you always do to me.
This will be hard for me, so, be gentle... ahem.
Gotta love those creatures you do, I could imagine them living on earth later or on an alien planet similar to ours. And I really can't see anything to critique. The sketches are clean and clear and easy to diagnose for my mind.
Very nice studies once again. I like the way you made the heads look very fleshy instead of boney without making them over-exagerated(sp?).
Weapon and machine designs look nice, a tad too Eldar-ish for my taste, though. Not my cup of tea. But they are great
Creatures, once again, are great. I noticed something about the "Taxxon", though. Those legs do not fit with that body. I would recommend you either shorten those legs with similar designs, or then use more of an araknid(sp?) leg design.
Intresting sketches once again. Nothing to critique.
Great job again, Moai. Just make the shadows of the hair purple, too, and that'll be a fine avatar.
There... That was quite hard for me. You better apprechiate this! Haha
Bard- Thanks! Can you see it now? I don't know why you wouldn't be able to, since it's hosted by CA.
Yautja892- Hey man! Welcome back. I'll need to go over to your sketchbook and give you a proper reception. And in response to your PM, yeah, I'm definitely going to the next Conceptart.org workshop that's anywhere near here. It'll probably be another year, though, since they're doing one in Europe first. I'm also going to try to get into their atelier at the next opportunity, which should be in a year or two.
Amer-Nazri also suggested that I try sketching some things larger, with more details, so I guess I'll need to do that. And those designs you pointed out, the skull guy and the robots, were my favorites too, so thanks. I've been meaning to do a full portrait of the horse skull guy, so perhaps I'll use a full piece of paper for him. I'm not very good with wrinkly robes and such, though.
The EoW piece...well, I didn't do a very good job with the fore-, middle-, and backgrounds. The rocks on the left are supposed to be in the foreground, while the guy and the rocks he's on are supposed to be in the background. And I'm thinking it wasn't my best decision ever to get rid of the tree. I don't know if I'm going to work further on it, though. Perhaps.
Oh, I found out where your forum name comes from! I was randomly looking at aliens and predators online when I found it.
Monsterkill- I appreciate the hell out of it, my good man! Thanks for taking the time to do that. A lot of the animals in post #215 look really because they are real. The bugs are all real bugs. The skulls are all heavily based on lion and dog skulls, just warped out of proportion. I'm not really familiar with Warhammer stuff, but I looked up some Eldars and I can definitely see the resemblance. I don't really like Warhammer's art style either, so I'll be sure to steer away from that. You're absolutely right about the Taxxon legs, much too long.
So you think I should make my hair shadows purple, eh? I'll consider that. I think that might make my hair too similar in color to my skin, though. What I'm going to do with that hair has been on my mind all day. And once I figure that out, I'll need to think up a background color, too. Always choose a palette before you start painting, kids!
And one more thing, Monsterkill. These critiques get easier the more you know and learn, so just keep on studying, y'hear?
No drawings today. I returned my big ol' architecture book to the library yesterday, since I haven't drawn anything in it for weeks. I replaced it with a big book on...weapons! Prepare for some fun submachine guns and maces!
No! I still can't see it...
It says done buit with errors on the page
That's why I don't use it on my thread(Ca attachement)....
Always have trouble seeing and uploading images....
Hey...wait it uploaded when I replied...hehe
Nice use of complimentary color scheme....
Definiteley don't have any idea at all how you look...
Nice to have an image when I talk to somebody and not just a signname..
Nice...creatures as usual...phallic symbolships are good to use...
We actually had a subject like that in animation...some subliminal recall to the audience...Like in The Lion King- when simba lied down and leave flew off and reveal rafiki...It actually spelled SEX..hehe
Plus in the little mermaid, the priest marrying Ariel and Eric had his wang exposed in an in-between...I think thats just artists tripping out, though..
Love how you integrated those bettle horns with those rhinolike creatures!!
Be Blessed, Maoi!!
Thanks, Bard! Glad you can finally see it. I had a similar problem on my old computer, in which I basically couldn't see the lower half of page two of my sketchbook. Computers do things like that; mysteriously stop working correctly, then magically start working again. Who knows.
So here's a few images. I worked a bit more on my self portrait. I may have gone overboard on the hair coloration, though. And I was feeling some creature withdrawal symptoms, so I took a break from my portrait to doodle up a warthog-otter-antelope-dragon. I'm going to change his single horn and fix up some drawing and anatomy areas before I take this further.
Edit: Thought of a name for the critter: The Warty River Dracolope. Scientific name: Aylakionyx catoblepas. Aylakionyx means "grooved claw," and Catoblepas is a mythical creature with a heavy head.
Last edited by Moai; April 27th, 2007 at 02:10 AM.
cool self portrait here, i really like the stylized hair. i actually like the colors on the second one. i think it would be cool if you can take this to flash and outline it there, have the smooth outline.
the dragon has a cool head design. i would love to see it with bigger legs, and i cant wait to see it fully painted. btw, i'm passing down there in a couple of weeks, trying to get a couch arranged, lol. msg me when you get the chance!
I really like your last sketch (of the "Warty River Dracolope"). Theres good movement to your lines.
What can I say.................just AWESOME!!!!!!!Great updates since my last visit!!!
theredshoe- Thanks, man. I just might take it into flash and do something with it. If flash is free and easy to use, that is. I'm glad you like my latest creature, but I got to say that giving it larger legs would contradict the fundamental concept behind it. It's meant to be a sinuous, low-bodied creature of the river and underbrush.
nevolved- I keep trying to read your name as "no loved." Thanks for the compliment.
Camara- Thank you, my enthusiastic friend! I'll comment on your sketchbook as soon as you have an update.
TheGnoll- Thank ya kindly.
I'll have an update on my dracolope or dragolope up pretty soon (more linework and some color studies), and perhaps some more drawings as well.