Not much to report! Work, and Dragon Age again. I sketched this guy in about 5 mins as a break from doing character designs for work, but decided to post him because there was something about his "look" that I liked. Maybe I'll make a character of him later. My next art study will be arm muscles.

1.20 Sketch

I've been soooo busy with work (It was crunch this week) that I just didn't feel like doing art after 10-13 hour works days of doing... art. Dragon Age: Inquisition took up most of my nights. I took today off after working over the weekend, and sketched out this ... horned, knife-eared sorceress woman. I'm not sure what her story is. This took a completely different turn from what I had intended.

Viking Warrior - Finished


Here we are, first finished painting of 2015! My goal for this year is to step out of my comfort zone a bit more, and this was my first test of weaponry, some sort of armor, a man, horns, and even a snowy landscape.
   It took a lot longer than I had initially intended, and I hope to resolve that issue of mine and become quicker at painting for future work.



More Viking Work in Progress


Again, today's update is just some more progress on this guy. I am pretty confident I can have him done this weekend! It's about time, I spent way too long on this painting and will resolve not to waste this much time on the next ones I plan to do for this year.

Viking Work in Progress



Instead of a new daily sketch today, I'm using some progress on this painting as my contribution. I've been feeling really tired and sick all day, and feel that I'm probably coming down with something. It's been going on progressively all week and unfortunately, seems to be hindering my art production. I'm hoping to push out of it over the weekend.

Daily Sketch 1.7.2015

Wednesday was a long and tiring day. I was exhausted from going in and meeting my managers and coworkers at Apple yesterday and focused most of my morning on errands and chores. My Cintiq21UX stopped working a few months ago and I finally called Wacom to get it taken care of. It needed to be mailed in, so I dropped it off and then continued with more mundane human-related things. I didn't start work until around 4pm, and so most of my evening was spent catching up on my job hours. I was incredibly tired in the evening, but still wanted to crank out a daily sketch to continue my new year's drawing-a-day project. Unfortunately, I didn't learn anything from this as it was such a quick doodle, but I decided to post it anyway to keep the momentum going. I will just need to accept that, sometimes, the drawings will be bad and that's okay. I also forgot to post it last night (bad!) so I will be making two posts today. ;)

Daily Sketch 1.6.2015

Tired, but committed to this daily sketch thing. I spent about an hour and a half on this study. I was looking at some detailed costuming to get myself familiar with it. It's super rough, but at least I got something that I can upload for today. I'm hoping to spend some more time on something tomorrow, maybe from imagination. :D

Daily Sketch 1.5.2015

"Please, save my people." Watched the first episode of Galavant and it was everything I had hoped it would be! haha, so much fun. I really loved the expression in this shot and wanted to do a study of it.

ArtCamp Week 1

I started up Noah Bradley's art camp a little early (it does not officially start until the 21st of May), but I was very excited to jump in and get my feet wet with it. It looks like it's going to be a really great 12 week course and I look forward to pushing myself in my studies!

The first week is to study paintings from master artists. The idea behind it is that bad art loses itself through time and the good art is remembered and recognized as such. Finding the good, classic art that is timeless can really help improve a learning artist's skillset. I felt very drawn to William Bouguereau, John William Waterhouse, and John Singer Sargent. You'll notice that most of my studies below came from Bouguereau because I am simply in love with his figure work and color palettes. I draw a lot of inspiration from him and would like to carry over some of what I learned into my own pieces. 

I wasn't really focusing on detail a whole lot, which is why the thumbnails are so tiny. I was really just eyeballing the colors and trying to become very accurate with what I was seeing. The two larger images at the bottom were ones that I decided I wanted to spend a little extra time on. I really look forward to doing more of these and can't wait to get started on next week's assignments!


Child of Light (fanart)

I've been so incredibly inspired by the new release of Child of Light. I had to stop playing the game just so I could spend about a day painting a fanart for it! I didn't think about documenting my process for this one because I figured it was going to be a quick doodle that I most likely wasn't going to post online, but it got way out of hand and I took it to almost a full render. I did manage to capture some video recording of my coloring process, although it doesn't take it to the final image. I'll try to be better about showing my process from start to finish in the future! :)

The final image

 Close-up of the character


And here is the part of the painting process that I managed to capture


Practice Sketch

I'm starting up a new freelance job this week to do character design art, so here is a quick practice sketch just to get me in the mood 


Ghost, new personal illustration

http://aliphelps.deviantart.com/art/Ghost-450602540

This is a personal illustration where I tried to work some on of my recent composition studies. I'm trying to learn to hold back detail in an effective way, and felt that a ghostly figure would be a good practice subject to keep the details very soft and undefined.

Also, for some reason the image keeps posting as a very light version. Please click the image to see it as it should appear (link will open in a new window).

And here is the process video:


Figure Drawing Studies, Level Up!

After a few weeks of doing a little bit of anatomy study each day, I am pleased to announce that I have improved my figure drawing! In all honesty, I had gotten pretty awful with sketching. I had been cheating my way through anatomy by throwing colors and values around on a canvas and just re-working it until it looked right. WRONG. DON'T DO THIS! It ends up taking so long to get something that looks right, nevermind that it probably isn't right. I have wasted so many hours repainting figures because something was off, but I couldn't figure out how to correct it. Instead of using that time guessing, I should have been studying more. I feel like studying is very similar to physical exercise. I have heard so often of people just starting out who exert themselves for maybe 10-15 minutes and they're tired, whiny, and frustrated. If it is done consistently however, the body adapts and allows you to improve a little bit each time. 

Ever since school, I've been so against studying anatomy. I have always found it boring, tedious, and scary. After I received my portfolio review from an artist over at Riot Games (where he said I needed to really study my anatomy), I told myself this was it. There was no way I'd grow my career as a character designer or concept artist if I could not depict the human form correctly. Thus began my rigorous study. I've been doing about 1 hour of gesture drawings every morning before I start work, and then trying to squeeze in a good 3 hours of long studies throughout the week. While I haven't been happy with a lot of what I'm doing, I do see a huge improvement and would like to share that here. 

OLD (a year or so ago)


 

February 2014:


March 2014:


 April 2, 2014

 April 16, 2014


New, today (April 20, 2014)
(I also did some Game of Thrones screenshot studies, I had to throw them in here!)


A failed painting attempt and some new sketches

I've been working hard on studying some male anatomy, which is my poor excuse as to why I haven't been posting anything on this page in a while! I have a real hard time sharing my study work, but i hope that once I begin applying it to sketches and paintings, it will become evident. 

I started this new painting idea based on some inspiration I had from a song. I wanted something a little creepy, but still very sentimental. The concept behind it is that this man is a necromancer who was blamed for the cause of a plague that swept through a village. He fled while others remained, and lost his daughter in the chaos. A week or so later, he returned and summoned his daughter back from the grave.

 At this point in the process, I really liked how it was looking. I didn't want to fully render it out as a painting, but I did want to try my hand at creating depth using out-of-focus areas with detailed areas, as well was practicing my values. 

 Along the way, I was beginning to get really frustrated. The colors weren't coming out as I wanted them. I was aiming for a foggy, after-the-storm forest look, but I couldn't get away from wanting to do bright greens and warm sunlight. I expressed my unhappiness to my boyfriend, who took a look at it and said that he thought the composition, perspective, and color scheme were all too similar to things I had done in the past. Frustrated by this, I realized that he was right and decided to scrap it. I still love the idea though, and may come back to it at some point and try to make it better. For now, here is a closeup of the characters.


I've also been super busy with work this week, so to unwind a bit I went very loose with some sketches. They weren't planned out and don't make a lot of sense, but it was nice to just doodle without a sense of purpose.





Princess Irene - New Update

A million and a half thanks to my boyfriend, who is always giving me honest advice about my work. He said I should push the textures and work on patterning the dress of Princess Irene to make her read more royal. I slept on it, and upon waking up, realized that he was right. There was also something about her face that just wasn't sitting right with me. I think it was too long. I shortened the face and it instantly looked better (though much younger, which works, since the character is supposed to be 8 years old). 


This is also the first time I ever attempted to make my own texture. The pattern on the dress was inspired by traditional Hungarian designs. Below is a sample of the tiled texture, made in Photoshop.




I'm pretty happy with how she turned out. It's possible I will go back and edit again at some point, but for now I'm calling her done. 



Princess Irene

I'm putting together a new portfolio to showcase some concept art. The personal project is based around "The Princess and The Goblin" by George MacDonald, one of my favorite stories! In the end, I want several characters, some concept paintings, and character interaction sketches.

To start, I began by creating thumbnails of the silhouette that I wanted for the character. This is the first time I have ever really done this, so they're pretty sloppy. I hope to improve it over time.


The top two rows are the sketch shapes, while the bottom row was taking some of the shapes that I liked and refining them a little bit.


Of the thumbnails, I really liked the two shapes in the middle. I wanted a poofy skirt with some pretty shoulder detailing. I began refining those details and then combined the ones I liked into the characters below:

Next, I started on building up form & value via a greyscale rendering process.




I'm still not 100% completely happy with it. There's something about the face that kind of bothers me, and I would love to add a bolder pattern to the bottom of her dress. I'm thinking of also playing with some textures to give the dress a heavy material look, as if she is wearing a very simple shape, but with a fabric that fits with her royal princess status.

WIP Rough


A rough, work-in-process preview of a new painting I'm working on. I'm really trying to improve on composition, lighting, and storytelling. I'll reveal the story once I'm done with it. I'll probably finish it up tomorrow or Tuesday. :)