Saturday, April 30, 2011

Week 18: Paid Job

This week's project is a commission for one of my friends on DeviantArt. I wouldn't feature a black and white commission on this blog, but since this one will be full color I think it should qualify as a week-long project. And this way the client can see what I'm up to.

These two are her version of Metal Knuckles and Metal Sonic 2 from the Sonic games. Thankfully she allowed me to draw them in my own style rather than that of the official art, since she doesn't draw them that way either. Humanoid anatomy is more fun anyway.

The female character will have clothes, this just seemed a good point to scan what I had so far.

Background noise: "The Shining". What? I'm bored. And it really sucks compared to the book, just FYI.

Week 17: Influence to Results

Okay, so this was finished last night but I didn't get around to posting it. The remainder of the work only took five minutes, but as per usual with me I kept putting it off. And now I'm not sure if it's the least bit obvious what it's supposed to be. This is why I usually draw rather than do anything else.

The collage at the top consists of what's inspired me through the years, mostly cartoons but a few artists and my father as well. That's a sort of... abstract outline of myself in the middle and the bottom collage is my own work, notably was has the most obvious influence from the images on top. Hopefully the glasses are at least somewhat of a decent visual cue.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Week 17: In and Out

Technically what I posted this morning was done yesterday, someone just forgot to update her blog for it. I'm also not finished for the day, but things need to dry before I continue, so here's a second entry for everyone. Even if it's finished tonight, there won't be another update until tomorrow.

Week 17: In Pieces

It's probably not a whole lot more clear what's going on now than it was last time but trust me, it's coming together pretty much as planned.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Week 17: Still Kickin'

First, let me assure you that I'm not dead and the Weekly Art project has not stopped, not by a long shot. It's very much alive and well, as am I. Having almost an entire week off was wonderful and so was Easter. I hope you all had a great one, too.

Second, this week is going to be quite different. The idea occurred when I read about an art contest at my school on a bulletin board. However, I read it about three days before the deadline. Rather than forcing myself to rush through the concept that developed on a walk home from work, I decided that using it as a weekly art piece would be a better idea.

To avoid giving away too much, the only explanation I'll offer so far is that it's two parts collage and one part illustration in ink. Other than that, a progress photo is all you get.

Hope you enjoy the ride, and thanks for sticking with me!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Article: Against Andy Warhol

Warning: If you're a fan of Andy Warhol, I highly recommend not reading the following unless you like being offended. Otherwise, go ahead. But I warned you.


Even twenty-four years after his death, Andy Warhol is a well-known name in the world of art and fashion. His most famous works are his Campbell's Soup can paintings and silk screen prints of Marilyn Monroe. Warhol also fathered the term “super star” and is responsible for modern phenomena such as celebrity tabloid magazines and reality television. But was Andy Warhol an artist? Or was he an insult to the very term? After researching the man born Andrew Warhola, I have to lean towards the latter.

Andy Warhol actually did start out creative and original with his work. Before his rebirth in 1962, Warhol was an illustrator and a designer of fashion and business logos. He started drawing in his early childhood and graduated from art school that his father had saved money for despite the family's extreme poverty (so extreme that his mother often made soup from water and ketchup). In fact, at age twenty-seven, Warhol was making $100,000 a year with his designs and illustrations. In the 1950's this was an impressive amount of money. However, this financial success was not enough for him.

In the 1960's, Warhol exchanged the shabby wardrobe that earned him the nickname “Raggedy Andy” for a more fashionable means of dress. He referred to his new outfits as “Andy Suits” and donned various wigs to match them. While there's no harm in a change of appearance, Warhol used these “costumes” to play different roles and to draw attention to himself. Along with his new look, Warhol adopted an “aloof” and “mysterious” personality.

This was also when Warhol's work began to slide downwards. Though his Campbell's Soup paintings (originally thought to be a joke by many) and Coke bottle painting were at least completely his own effort by his own hand, the same can't be said for his silk screen prints of various celebrities. These were re-prints of photos that he did not take himself – only colored over. Warhol even admitted that his work was not original and said that he copied because it was “easy to do”. Aside from this, Warhol would not explain his work.

While Andy Warhol claimed to hate the “modern” art movement with it's paint splatters and extreme abstractions, was his work really that different from it? His work may have actually resembled something, but recycling images and designs from fashion, brands, and grocery store items was hardly creative. Scribbling color onto black-and-white photos was not making something new and original. To him high art was just a brand, and Warhol himself said that “department stores [are] the new museums”. His style is so cheap, in fact, that you can “Warhol-ize” photos of yourself with various internet programs.

So, while Andrew Warhola may have started out an artist brimming with creativity and putting forth genuine effort into his works, that was not how he ended. Warhol became a tool of the industry and killed the artist inside himself for a shallow life and lazy means of becoming famous. He brought the spotlight from works produced with great effort to those that are common and easily copied, lacking in meaning. Thanks to Warhol, attention is more important than hard work, and for an artist this is truly unforgivable.


Sources: BBC Documentary on Andy Warhol, official Andy Warhol website

Monday, April 18, 2011

Week 16: Works For Me

I was on a roll yesterday and so decided to finish the entire thing at once. I may edit it later this week, but here you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Week 15 and a Remnant

So this week it's back to fan art, and really simple fan art at that. In fact, it may be finished in one or two days and that's honestly just fine. It's Hetalia art again, Matthew, in fact. In the series he's the personification of Canada, but in this case he's for an RP that I'm in and he's human. Believe it or not, I prefer the characters as human because the "Nation Personification" concept is rather odd to me.

Also, Bit's face has been fixed a little with a few suggestions from a friend. It looks better.

Background noise: Strange Brew (what? It's a rental that I have to return tomorrow), Switchfoot's "Beautiful Letdown" album.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Week 15: As Good As It'll Get

Much to my relief, I was only up until 11 pm working on this rather than midnight or 1 am. There's still some bothersome things about her face, but with a complex drawing like this, there's just going to be factors I don't like no matter how long I work on it.

I'm rather worn out, so don't expect the Mona Lisa from me this week.

Background Noise: Strange Brew and Rescuers Down Under

Friday, April 15, 2011

Week 15: Progress 06 - Almost There

Okay, so it's not finished quite yet, but darn it, it's close. I also keep forgetting about the cigarette in her hand so I should probably do that next. The background's going to be rather generic, I can say that already. Spent too much time on her for it to be overly detailed.

It will be finished tonight, and I'm not planning to go back to her face unless someone points something out.

Background noise: Strange Brew

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Week 15: Progress 05 - Face Value

Finally to the part I wanted to work on most. The lips took forever and then I realized that the eyes didn't line up with them right. So they're both being adjusted; haven't made it to the far one yet.

Background noise: Playlist, general

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Week 15: Progress 04 - Shuffle Forward

My computer was being... itself today. Photoshop was running incredibly slow and I didn't have the motivation to deal with it for too long, so Bit's arms and some of her shirt were all I worked on. Also, for the sake of space and to keep my main page from looking too redundant, we're just going with a close-up of an area I'm having trouble with.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week 15: Progress 03 - A Leg Up

Done working on her legs for the most part. Worked on her shirt and her other hand. Just truckin' right along.

Background noise: Don Bluth's Thumbelina

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week 15: Progress 02 - Underestimating Your Opponent

Don't you hate it when you do that? I sure do. Several hours were put into this piece today and it feels like there's not a lot to show for it. Someone on DeviantArt also gave me tips on how to use Photoshop different and... it looked awful. Maybe I was doing it wrong? It ended up being a combination of their method and mine, and things look the better for it.

Also, take a good look at the hand that's on the floor. Here, I'll help:
Does it look good? It'd better. It took forever. The other one's in a more complicated pose so it'll probably take even longer. Looks like I'll be working more on this later tonight. I don't think I can afford not to.

Background music: General from my music folder

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Week 15: Progress 01 - Shortcut

If the background of the image above looks like a photo... that's because it is. Of course, that's not the permanent background, but I have yet to erase all the elements of what I based the image on. Namely, the photo below (of yours truly, specifically taken for this drawing).

The face in the drawing is not based on mine at all, and I gave her more curve, plus the lighting is totally different and I had to add her lower legs by eyeballing a different reference altogether. At first there was some paranoia that this was cheating, but after fussing with the camera a bit to finally get a good shot and realizing how much work there's still to do even with the traced outline, I don't feel guilty about it.

Actually, as mentioned in the last entry, her face will have some influence pulled from Queen Latifah. Also, some of her dreadlocks will be in her face, but I'm saving those for when I have more of everything else done.

Yes, that's a cigarette. I'm the original photo I have a really stubby pencil.

Background Noise: Various anime - Spriggan and Fullmetal Alchemist

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's Coming

So, after several weeks of lacking in a non-progress journal it's about time for another one. This is going to be a preview journal of sorts, and also a good deal of contemplation on my art's current standing in my mind.

Looking at my last few Photoshop endeavors, the work seems... cheap, somehow. It could be the lack of black lines that my traditional work has. Perhaps it's time to find a different method of working with the tablet? This does, however, lead me to my plans for next week's artwork.

I doubt it's any coincidence that the portrait of my father that I did for Week 8 was so far the most challenging and the best learning experience. So I'm going to try something portrait-like again, but not of a real person. The plan is to try making one of my humanoid characters look more believable. I chose Bit for this project.

True that her coloring is hardly something believable, but the point is making her face look real and breaking the boundaries of what could and couldn't exist color-wise. For this I found and saved some photos of Queen Latifah as a loose reference and will be using various photos and one of my 12-inch dolls as a pose reference. Unlike my last portrait, I intend for this one to be more than just a face. This is going to be challenging, but I want to learn.

My other current undertaking is the article on Andy Warhol that I believe I mentioned a couple of entries back. It's no assignment, just a topic I feel strongly about and need to get off my chest somehow. I just finished typing it up, and after it's been edited and gone through some beta-reads, I'll likely be posting it here. Researching and writing it revealed a lot to me about myself that I was surprised at. It's also an essay arguing against Warhol being a real artist, so here's hoping I'm not toasted alive for it by fellow artists.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Week 14: Completion

I'm honestly susprised that this was finished today. When I sat down at my desk this afternoon I had no interest in working on it at all. But here it is. The cups are empty because I couldn't be bothered to look up a liquid tutorial or learn to do something that complex for such a minor detail. If anyone finds a glaring flaw that I looked over I'll fix it, but unless that happens it's finished.

Music: Watched "Kung Fu Panda" while working

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Week 14: Progress 4 - Face It

Okay, so now we've got some faces besides the giant guinea pig looking back at us. Ketzal (brow fur) needs to have her nose widened a bit, but other than that she's finished. I'll admit to being nervous about adding the liquid in their cups because... I don't know how to draw it. I'm sure I'll figure it out though.

Music: Various. My player was working today!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 14: Progress 3: Good Enough To Eat

See? Told you I'd add the food. Or something resembling it anyway. I think the blue things are fruit, the rectangle things are meat and the cookie things are... cookies. Whatever. I made it up as I went.

Also, decided to let the green base for the grass be "visible" since everything is filled out now. I don't expect the rest to take me too long.

Music: None. My music player didn't want to work alongside Photoshop today.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 14: Progress 2 - Greenback

Actually, there's no money involved in this post. That was a failed attempt at wit.

Decided to make myself to a lot today, since the picture in general is going to require a lot. There's actually a base layer of green so the grass looks more grass-like, but when it's visible the blue sketch lines sorta disappear and it looks... odd, to say the least. I'm going to try and draw something resembling food on the dishes tomorrow. Let's see how that goes.

Music: was watching "Thumbelina" and it's almost all singing anyway

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Week 14: Progress 1 - Back to Complexity

After two weeks of quickly colored marker drawings with uninteresting poses and no backgrounds or perspective to speak of, it's time for something more interactive and complicated. It's also time for something fully original with characters that are completely my own (Star Wars Kenjo didn't count because I didn't create his species). This one's going to be a huge undertaking, so here's hoping I don't get bored with it half-way through like the last two.

I don't know how evident it is so far, but the characters are in a sort of garden. Some of the greens are tree branches that are going to be above them, some of them are just bushes that happen to be nearby. Flowers are currently a "maybe". The shapes on the ground are going to be dishes of food and drinking glasses. And yes, that is something like a giant guinea pig in the lower left corner. He's Kat's pet.

Also, just finished a BBC documentary on Andy Warhol because I wanted to write an artistic rant about him but also have more facts and some new perspective. I don't have any more respect for him now than I did before watching, but I'll save that for the rant. Might even post it here. But for now, I'm going to watch one on Frida Kahlo to make myself feel better about art again.

Music: None, was listening to the documentary the whole time.