Friday, September 25, 2015

Space!

 Lately I have had more space themes in my random sketches in my sketchbook.  I think it started at GDC when I saw some concept art for a space shooter.  From that time on, space characters seem to be sneaking in among the other sketches.

 This one was a little more retro.  Very early sci-fi superhero.  He needs more, but at least it was fun.  I still pull out the markers on occasion and play around as well.

This one wasn't necessarily space inspired, but the mood seemed to go along well with the other two.  Flowing hair and all...

Autumn Life Drawing

Summer has ended and Autumn is beginning.  It has been a while since I have posted.  I have been keeping up on life drawing though.  It is nice to have live models to work from again.

 I have been working to develop my concept art abilities.  It is a painful process at times (there is a lot of soul searching and humility involved), but it is good.  As I am doing exploratory sketches, all of the life drawing over the years is finally helping me to understand more, and I am making progress.

 Over the years life drawing has been one of the few reasons that I have seen any progress at all in my understanding of form, structure, and art in general.  I know it can be a controversial topic for some groups.  But I swear by it and think that every artist needs it to truly progress at their craft, and understand the fundamentals of art.


Saturday, April 04, 2015

Finally! Figure Drawing!

Hello everyone.  It has been a month since I posted last.  I will have to try and catch up by posting more again.  Between GDC, Spring break, and sick kids, the blogging fell by the wayside.

I did have something great happen though.  I finally found an open life drawing studio in my area.  It is only twice a month, but it is nice to be doing real life drawing again.  I will post more later.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Off to GDC

 I am heading to GDC today.  I will be in San Francisco all week.  Because of that I probably won't be posting on here much.  I will try posting some of my sketches that I do while I am gone, after I get back.  I am hoping to get a lot of cafe and conference sketching in.

For now, this is another concept that I am not going with.  The premise was that it would be about a young Inca child that learns to be a Messenger along the Inca trail like his father.

I didn't really give it too much more thought than that.  I was mainly just looking at the aesthetic and exploring designs.  Once again, these are done with china marker on smooth newsprint.  I also used blue prismacolor pencil for the skies, and white gelly roll pen for the highlights.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Daughter Drawings

 I am working on a young girl character and have been drawing from a lot of photos in order to get the proportions down better.  Tonight, after filling a few more pages in my sketchbook with them I realized that my oldest daughter is the right age for the character I am working on.

So with very little coaxing, my sweet little girl was kind enough to model for a bit before she got tired and wanted to be done.  They were very quick and rough, but drawing from life is much more helpful than drawing from photographs.

Drawing her tonight, it made me realize that my oldest kids are probably willing to pose for me more.  Rather than always looking for reference, I need to spend more time drawing the people and things around me.

With the drawings tonight, I apologize for the ripples.  It is an old drawing pad that I forgot I had empty pages in, and have decided to start using again.  No sense in letting it go to waste.  I still get practice all the same, and none of this needs to be framed or anything.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sheep doodle

In an effort to keep up on things, I decided to just ink one image per page, rather than trying to get all of them and spending a whole evening rendering.  That way I will still get practice with the markers, and I will still be able to get a lot of drawing in.

I liked the way this sheep character turned out, although in many ways it kind of looks bear-like.  This was another drawing from doodle lines as I was looking for new ideas.

Monday, February 23, 2015

New Markers / Doodle Sketches

 I am very happy.  Last Friday I got my new marker set.  It was the 72 color Prismacolor chisel tip set.  First thing I did was organize the markers, and then test each of them on the sketchbook I am using so that I could see how each color reacts to the paper.

 From there, I started playing around.  Without anything specific to draw, I just did some quick swirls and squiggly lines to get something on the paper.  Then I tried to create drawings of faces and figures with the doodle lines as a guide.

I like to do this on occasion when I feel stumped.  This is another tool in addition to just doing life drawing when I have no direction.  Through this exercise, I explore shapes I wouldn't normally try.  It also helps prevent me from just staring at a blank sheet of paper.

Here is what turned out over the last couple of days.  I have a lot more drawings, but I am finding that the marker rendering takes quite a bit of time.  I hope that as I continue to play with them, my speed will increase and my rendering and colors will improve.  For now, here are some of the fun ones that came out.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Witches Concept

 These images are more concept explorations for my MFA thesis project.  This is another one I ended up not going with.  Not sure I am entirely done with it though.  I really enjoyed drawing the witches.  It is fun material.

The basic premise would be three witches living in a cabin in the woods with their mentor and learning their craft.  I really like slice of life stories.  So, this would have explored their interpersonal relationships, and just been fun.

 Like the undersea concept, these are done with china marker (as well as blue prismacolor pencil, and white gelly roll pen on the second image) on smooth newsprint.

As you can see, I am also trying to explore different styles between the drawings.  Even after 17 years of drawing, I still haven't found my style.  I hear that it is something that just comes eventually.  Instead, I am trying to explore other styles to find something that works for me on a particular project.

I got my marker set yesterday.  I am very excited about it.  I will have to post some new drawings with them.  I'll likely do that soon.  Take care everyone.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Go Figure

 Here are some more figure drawings.  I thought these would be good to post tonight.  On nights when I run out of ideas of things to draw, I pop up some quick gesture videos, and draw people.  These all came from the beginning of the week.

 I ran into a problem today.  I finished a drawing on the drafting vellum.  I thought it was well rendered, and turned out the way I wanted it to.  In person, I thought that it looked good.

When I went to capture it, by taking a photo with my cell phone like I do to capture all of my images lately, it turned out horribly.  No matter what lighting, or quality I chose, it just didn't capture well.

It was actually getting to the point where I just looked at the captured image and felt like it must just be a failed drawing.  However, when I look at the original, it looks good.

Has anyone else had this experience where you just can't get the reproduction to work?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Quick Sketch

In an effort to stay up on posting, here is a sketch from last night.  I am still playing around with brush pens and markers.

Last night was a bad night for drawing.  I notice that some days I seem to be "on".  Everything I draw feels good.  Images are clear in my head, and things just work.  Some days, I can't draw well no matter what I do.  Last night was one of those.  As I was just about ready to give up for the night, I decided to get just one more in.  This is what came out.

After adding a couple more markers, I have decided to take the plunge.  My new set of 72 chisel tip markers should be arriving tomorrow.  I am excited to get them.  For the first time, it feels like I will actually be able to make good use of them.  I am hoping to see a lot of improvement as I keep using them.

I am also back to playing with prismacolor pencils on drafting vellum.  It has been a few years, but so far, it is feeling very good.  I will post more when I can.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Undersea Concept

 Right now I am going through various ideas for my MFA thesis project.  One of the ideas that came up was an idea for an underwater themed story.  So, as part of the exploration, I did some concepts.

As this isn't the idea I want to run with, I thought that I would post them here.  I will likely post many of the others that didn't make the cut as well.

These are done with black and red china markers on smooth newsprint.  I like the big 18" x 24" drawing pads.  I got hooked on these when I first started drawing.  They are nice for jotting down concepts at a large scale without feeling bad about the materials or making mistakes.

My drawing has been greatly improving since September when I decided to really focus in on it.  It has been wonderful to have breakthroughs with my art again.  Even though I still have many other areas I have to keep up on professionally (modeling, texturing, design, music, programming, and etc.) I want to keep honing in on this particular skill and giving it extra attention.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Robot and other sketches

 I had such a large post yesterday, that I thought I would just grab a couple of quick sketches for today.  Not even sure where this one came from.  I was kind of doodling and ended up with it.

Not sure why I like this, but it seems to work.  I have been told recently that my drawings (especially of characters) need to not be in lifeless static poses.  This is kind of a static pose, but it comes across as a very melancholy robot.  I will be attempting to infuse my drawings with more personality as I continue.
 I really like the way this princess and dragon came out.  I struggle sometimes with exaggerating shapes and forms.  I always want to fix it and make it as anatomically correct as I can.  Because of that I usually end up with something that isn't quite stylized, and isn't quite realistic.  It ends up bad.  This princess actually worked out alright though.  I am hoping as I force myself into different styles and shapes that I may initially be uncomfortable with, I will continue to develop.

This is another attempt at using markers.  I am starting to get it, but need to keep practicing.  I did this sketch a week ago, before I had picked up a flesh colored marker.  So, I faked it with colored pencils at the time.

That's it for today.  I will keep trying to post and have new stuff to show.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Figure Drawing Image Dump

As part of my last post, I have decided to just take pictures out of my sketchbook to post.  That way you can all see the good with the bad.  I am still working on developing my drawing abilities, but they are coming along.  My figurative work is still better than it used to be.  These are a few example pages.  There are also many, many, many, many pages that ended up just having nothing but poorly done drawings.  I will spare you those.

Most of these are either one minute, two minute, or five minute sketches.  As I posted before, in lieu of having open life drawing studios accessible to me right now, I am using videos from youtube.  I have been very appreciative of New Master's Academy and Croquis Cafe for putting them together.

I still struggle with my anatomy.  Over the years, I have gotten better with my proportions.  I am still trying to get better with the rest of the shapes though.

 I need to work on my hard and soft shapes to differentiate between the bones, muscles, and fatty tissue.  I am also trying to explore pushing style with the figure when I draw from memory rather than from a reference.

I am getting quicker.  But, I need to work on getting more accuracy.  I am still getting the hairy lines, and it takes me far too many lines to get the shapes.  But they are getting better.

 I am also working on an old nemesis.  I still fight hands and feet.  I know this is common for many artists.  I have been trying to find a balance between getting too detailed, and with stylizing them.  They also become confoundedly complex at times.

So, on occasion, I like to focus on them for a while in order to improve.  All of these drawing need work, but they are good at showing my current progress.  There are many many pages out of my sketchbook that will never be shown.  Even with opening myself up and showing the faults in my drawing, some drawings are better left as practice and forgotten.

 I find that I much prefer the female figure to the male figure.  I do draw both male and female anatomy.  I want to become proficient at drawing everyone of every shape and size, which is why I try to draw people in public as well.  But it is so much more pleasant to draw women.  The lines are smoother and more fluid.

When I draw women I am able to focus on the gesture, as in the case of these one minute gestures.  When I draw men, I tend to focus on the muscle groups and blocky shapes.  Unless of course they are overweight men, and then it becomes series of interlocking rounded forms and then I start getting some longer, smoother line work in.

 One day I hope to be able to draw people of every shape and size and really use it to help develop my art further.  Most of what I have learned about drawing, and art as a whole, I have learned from figure drawing.  There is no better way to learn, and no subject matter that is more effective at teaching the foundations for everything else.

With the improvement I have been seeing in my drawing in general, I have been trying to push myself by doing more conceptual pieces, and more finished work.  I will be posting some of them later this week in an effort to be more diligent about putting my work online.

I still have a long way to go on my journey as an artist.  These are some of the steps along the way.  I hope you will continue to follow me on it, and I wish you luck on your own artistic journeys.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sketchbook

 I have been feeling more and more that I need to start getting back in touch with the online community.  I put up images on occasion, but it has been a while since I actually was heavily involved.  So, I am looking for feedback.  I am trying to finally develop my drawing skills.  If you have feedback, or advice for improvement, I would like to hear it.

This drawing to the left was a daily mark.  SketchClub does these a lot.  You pick someone and then try to remember and draw them later.  This was from last week some time.
 I have been trying to get used to using markers finally, with mixed results.  I am trying to introduce one marker at a time into my repertoire in order to get used to them and not be overwhelmed.  I am now up to six markers as well as the gray scale markers.  I will continue to try and add to it.
I finally got to the zoo again.  I definitely need to get back more.

That's it for this post.  I am really trying to work on my drawing ability and develop.  Part of the reason I don't post more is that I keep waiting for the great drawing so that I can post that.  However, there will never be a final great drawing.  Instead, I need to just post my process drawings and show where I am rather than feeling bad about my current skill level.  My drawings will continue to have faults and flaws that I notice that drive me nuts.  But, that is no longer an excuse for me not to post.

Once again, if you see ways for me to improve, I would very much appreciate the feedback so that I can develop further.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Head Sketches

I have been discovering the joys of pneumonia.  I usually have very little good to say about being sick.  However, it has given me a lot of time to think and reflect.  Between being in and out of sleep, I have also had time to myself to work in my sketchbook and go through my thoughts and re-evaluate my goals.

I am actually happy with the direction my life is going right now.  I haven't always been able to say that, and I may have times in the future where I won't be able to again.  But for now, I am happy.  I enjoy teaching, I enjoy time with my family, and for the first time in a long time I feel like my art skills are starting to show improvement again.  That is a good feeling.  I am happy to be going back to the basics more and feel that it is a good time for it.

I have been keeping up with my goal to try and sketch everyday, and that is causing most of the improvement.  I am also working on larger drawings again and am finally starting to find some of the line work and draftsmanship that I was looking for when I started this journey into art 16 years ago with my associate degree.

I still have moments of trepidation as an artist.  I start a project and wonder "Can I really do what I am about to try and do again?"  But, slowly, I am gaining more confidence and despite the fear at the start of each project I am getting better about working through it.  I have a feeling that I will be akin to Hokusai.  Everything I do before 70 won't be worth bothering about, but by 100 I might finally be the artist I want to be.

Whether I ever become the artist I want to be, I at least am feeling a sense of improvement.  Keep checking back, and I will do my best to keep posting what progress I make.

-Henry

Thursday, October 23, 2014

This year's Ohio Game Developer Expo has it's kickoff tomorrow.  I'm very excited for it.  This year we are holding it at COSI in Columbus Ohio, and it is going to be awesome.  Here is the link to the website with all of the information.  https://www.ohiogamedevexpo.com/

I am honored to have the privilege to speak again this year.  For those who can attend, I will be speaking at Noon on Saturday.  If you don't want to come and hear me, I still encourage you to attend.  There are going to be a lot of great speakers and exhibitors.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Life Drawing Studies


As I said in the last post, I am trying to get back to doing more life drawing.  Unfortunately, since moving to Ohio, I haven't had a lot of opportunities.  In Utah, I could find open life drawing sessions all over the place.  I could drop five bucks and have access to three hours of drawing.  I still have not found anywhere in central Ohio to go.  Instead, I have been turning to the internet.

-1 Minute Study
There are actually two youtube channels that I have really appreciated.  The first is the Croquis Cafe playlist from onairvideo.  Here is the link to it https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOq-SnwbtX9u231janaHRCo3tcTWshKML  They have live models that do one, two, and five minute poses.

-2 Minute Studies
The second is the Daily Life Drawing Sessions from New Masters Academy.  Here is the link to it.  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7EWYwaF6E-H65W-hXeKvvO_xNA_kIs5w  It is similarly set up with the one, two, and five minute poses.  The difference is that the New Masters Academy uses photos instead of live videos.  They also have two, five minute poses instead of the single five minute pose from the Croquis Cafe videos.  The only problem has been that after the first video the sets are dark, and so you can't clearly see all of the model and lose parts into the shadows.

-5 Minute Study
Here are some examples out of my sketchbook.  I have been doing figure studies for a long time, but I can still see many areas that I still need to get better at.  On the bright side, if I can keep this up regularly, I will continue to see improvement.  I guess, in the long run that is what is important.  In the meantime, I will continue to work on my drawing and post here.

-5 Minute Studies

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sketching Again

Recently I have been working to go back and further develop my core skill set.  I have been focused on so many things for so long, I feel like I haven't been able to make the progress I would like to in a specific area.  I haven't stopped working in other areas, but I am trying to focus on and put more time into drawing, painting, and 3D modeling.  To that end, I am making it a point to find time to sketch every single day.
I have always had difficulty being steady at sketching.  It is an attention issue.  However, because I have been doing so much better at finally getting a daily exercise routine, I thought I would try this again.  After almost a month, I now have formed a habit.  I have trouble going to sleep if I haven't gotten my sketch time in.  So, I am starting to see improvements.  It has been a while since I could say that about my drawing.
A long time ago I started sketching with a ball point pen, and I can't seem to break the habit.  The reasoning was that I would fudge and fiddle with my sketches until they were great messes.  By using a ball point pen, it forces me to make decisions.  My indecision on a line now is usually limited to three or four, where with pencils I would go over it a few dozen times.  It also forces me to move on.  If I am not happy with a sketch, I can't erase it and keep fiddling with it until I am.  Instead, I just have to move on to the next one and start fresh.  It takes away the tendency to be precious with each drawing and enforces repetition and practice.

I still have a long way to go as an artist.  But I am pleased to see some progress again.  My goal is to keep this up so that I have much more solid core skills than I have had in the past.  I will start posting more actual sketches again (which I haven't done in a long, long time).  Right now I am trying to mix these types of doodles, with actual life drawings and anatomical studies.  That way, hopefully, my doodles will start becoming more structural and solid than they have been in the past.