It’s alive… IT’S ALIVE…

November 19th, 2012

Hi there.

As you can see from the timestamps on this post and the previous post, I’ve neglected the site for awhile (*cough* a year and a half *cough*).


It’s not that I haven’t been doing things in there, nor is it that I don’t care about this blog (I totally still care about you, you’re the best blog ever… hush… have some chocolate… of course I think you’re still pretty…). Life happens. Sometimes we get sidetracked. It’s time to fix that, dust this off, and breathe some new life into it.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be catching up with posting art that has occurred in that time. Were it not for the impending Turkeypocalypse holiday, it could be done sooner than that.

So for those of you who may be coming here via the Exemplar Kickstarter, new art will be posted shortly. Possibly even sneak peeks at more Exemplar concept art before it goes live to the KS page.

(I know, crazy, right?)

Bot-A-Day 1

February 26th, 2011

This is the first of a new daily(ish) exercise I’m doing, tentatively called ‘Bot-A-Day’. I say “ish” because there may be days when I don’t post any, and there may be others where I post several. Style, type of ‘bot, and time spent will all vary, but overall the purpose of this is to make myself actually do at least one thing that’s an art exercise each day.

(Click for full size in my flickr stream.)

Lines, colors, light, and shadows in Artrage 3 Studio Pro. Textures (via custom brushes & a bit of filtering) and finishes in Photoshop CS4.

Yeah, I know, the image itself is listed as #2, but #1 is half-finished somewhere from when I initially planned on starting it a few weeks ago. Hopefully I’ll resume and finish that this coming week.

Waiting For Marley’s Ghost…

December 25th, 2010

It’s December 25th, 1:45am.

I’ve been sick for 2 and 1/2 weeks, courtesy of round 2 of The Flupocalypse. To say that it’s draining, and causes complete lack of motivation, is putting it mildly. The upshot is that, aside from trying to empty my lung (it’s got this lovely little tickle, with a cyclical cough/agitation/cough/agitation mix), I’m mostly on the mend. Still, out of not being certain if I was still contagious or not, I opted to stay sequestered, rather than risk exposing my grandfather and the wee ones to the potential bug.

Instead, I’m spending the holiday watching downloaded TV shows, interspersed with a bit of computer gaming, and maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll be productive with some art. Mostly just me, and the 2 cats who reside here.

Hopefully, I’ll be well before NYE.

By the way, having just finished Caprica, while I’m not pleased with The Mansquito Channel for cancelling it, I can at least say that they did attempt answer a number of questions in a brief forward-history montage at the end of the last episode. More than has been allowed for most cancelled shows. The DVDs are out now, but if you want to wait, SyFy will air the back 5 in 2011. Either way, they’re solid episodes.

Perhaps, tomorrow/today, I’ll get the drive to finish the initial brush tutorial post. I’m only 2 and 1/2 weeks overdue. ;)


Photoshop Brush Creation Pt. 1

December 5th, 2010

(This is intended to be an ongoing series of posts.)

Apparently it’s been a bit longer since I’ve posted than I thought. Time to remedy that, with something substantial.

Rather than posting a finished creation, I’m going to share some insight to my process this time around.

I don’t think that most people truly take advantage of (let alone explore) the powerful tool that is custom brush creation in Photoshop. Actually creating your own, from scratch, rather than scavenging online, hoping to run across a hidden gem in a brush pack uploaded to the internet. If you’ve used custom brushes to any extent at all, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about– we all go through that phase at some point. Like Alchemy, Harmony, and such, brushes are another tool to be used in the creation process. A good brush set can not only enable you to create detailed speedpaintings, but can set a solid starting foundation for full blown finished pieces.

These 2 are quick sketch images (maybe 30 seconds each) that I rendered up in Harmony, which I thought would make for interesting core components to pull Photoshop brushes from:

The following are brush tests, mostly utilizing a dual-brush technique. All images are substantially larger if you click on them.

None of these took more than a handful of seconds. No erasing/tweaking/etc. Just a brush stroke or 3 per piece, give or take. Don’t let that make you think that the images are taking the piss– while these starter images can be rendered out quickly, the brush creation for a good brush in itself can take the better part of an hour, with the more complex brushes being the results of tens of hours of work. For each of these, there were probably a dozen or more that I didn’t care for– while that may sound like a lot, keep in mind that’s probably still no more than a minute or two of time invested in each image. These aren’t intended to be finished images. Rather, as stated above, they’re intended as starter images. How I make use of them entirely depends on what I see in them, what I might need them for, etc.

Some people ask whether I share my brushes… that’s a complicated question. Generally, if I do, it’s only with a small handful of people. I’m that there are some people who know how to pull the base brushes out of the core images at the top, and am aware of that before posting this– just keep in mind, most of the dual-brushes are combined with other brushes which are not imaged at the top. However, I’m going to do a tutorial on making brushes from scratch on Tuesday… and I’m going to make whatever brushes I make for that available to the public (don’t ask me what they’ll be, I won’t know that until Tuesday rolls around *grin*).

Hope you enjoy, and that you’ve found the post worthwhile in some capacity.


Shanghai Vampocalyse Interior Art

November 17th, 2010

Interior art that I did for Savage Mojo’s apocalyptic “Shanghai Vampocalpse” RPG setting. No clue if it was used, but I was pretty happy with it at the time. It’s a hybrid mix of illustration, photo-compositing, texturing, and custom brush usage. I’ve been sitting on this one since April.

(Click for full larger size)

ArtRage 3 Studio Pro, Photoshop CS4, and Manga Studio 4 EX.

I hope you enjoy it.

Twitter Icon Art Giveaway

November 16th, 2010

Update: For those not wanting to register to leave a comment, I’m working on a workaround for that. Send me a message on Twitter, and I’ll put placeholder entries in for you Dagbar has fixed it so that you don’t have to.
If you’re reading this in a timely manner, then you’ve found the link to this entry via Twitter. What do you get for coming here and participating? The chance at a free piece of custom icon art from me, to be done later today. That’s right, FREE ART, baby! I’m gearing up to take something live, and you get a chance to directly participate in the sample development part of it.

Want an example? This is the “My Little Cthulhu” demo piece I did as an example for my $5 Icon Art commission option, once it’s live (yes, that commission link is there on the right, no, you shouldn’t click it just yet, no matter how tempting it may be):

Other things that may be done include character headshots (for all of you RPG and MMO players out there), or other similar items.

Here’s what you need to do to participate:

1) Comment here, with your Twitter handle somewhere in the comment. Yes, this is a Twitter-specific give away, and you must have a Twitter account to participate in this round. Also, all initial comments need to be approved, so if you don’t see yours, it’s there, I just haven’t had a chance to approve it yet.

2) If you RT the Tweet I made that sent you here (be sure that you’re retweeting me, otherwise I may not see it), I’ll give you another slot in the pool for the drawing (for clarity, only one per participant with this drawing, so anyone with two entries can only be selected once).

3) Comments (and RTs) must be made before 1pm CST for them to count.

Participation in this means that you agree up front to the terms of use, if you win. (Basically, you agree to only use the art for personal use, not for anything commercial or for profit, etc.)

Bare minimum, if participation is 3 or less, then I’ll do one per person. Once we get into the double-digits, I’ll start adding more. In other words, the more participation I get, the more I will give away.

Winners will be announced via Twitter and the website sometime before 7pm today, and will be contacted for input for their icon art, as well as given the basic terms/conditions for use of the art.

And the winners are:

Dagbar, Czarjames, and Hulign

Congratulations! I will contact you shortly about your icons.

Long time, no post. Here, have some art.

November 12th, 2010

Yeah, I’ve been off the radar for a bit. Thought I should actually post something, as I’m getting poked a bit for not doing so *grin*.

Click for full size.

Just a touch over 2 hrs. ArtRage and Photoshop, with initial pencils for character done in Sketchbook. Background is all personal custom PS brushes, touched up slightly with light/shadow.

I’m testing out some new technique theories, as well as the concept of a “microscene” for a type of art commission. So, while I could have put more time in it, I really didn’t want to invest more than a couple hours, as a high detail piece wasn’t the intention.

Not in a horribly textual mood at the moment, so I’ll leave it brief rather than letting your eyes bleed from the ramble. ;)

Quick Update

September 8th, 2010

Back from Dragon*Con (why the hell is there an asterisk in there?). I promised some new acquaintances there that I’d post more here soon. So, expect to see something worthwhile posted tomorrow. Now it’s time for me to catch up on a bit of sleep.


June 9th, 2010

(I may rename this, depending on whether I’ve got the hybrid naming off or not.)

2.5ish hour speedpainting, a mix of ArtRage 3 and Photoshop CS4:

Working with the same methods that I used with the 2 previous pieces, trying to flesh them out a bit. While it took a bit more time than I initially planned on investing, I learned some new things, so it was worthwhile.

One of the other differences between Photoshop CS4 and ArtRage 3 Studio Pro is the blend mode layer options. While there are some that are the same, and others that are simply named differently, at the same point there are at least a couple in ArtRage that are unique to that program, at least when compared to Photoshop. When exported to .PSD file, those layers are reinterpreted to the closest approximation in Photoshop.

Also, whereas previously, I generally did my edge clean up erasing via a soild, hard eraser tool, I had an idea to try something different iwth this one– I used a very fine, soft/blurred edge eraser tool. This helps soften the outside of an image, so it’s not quite so stark, especially if you’re wanting to integrate it into a larger piece or such. In turn, it also helps tackle digital pixelation a bit better– the selection tools, whether magic wand (which is in both), or layer content selection (only in ArtRage), almost always leave a hard, jaggy, pixelated edge. So using the fine, blurred eraser allows for one to really clean that up, while still keeping concise detail.

I’m shifting gears this morning, doing a trial stab at coloring another Savage Mojo artist’s pencil work. The trade off to coloring scanned pencils is that one often has to contend with trying to clean things up a bit. There are ways of doing this, but much of it depends on what methodology one wants to take, and what one’s comfortable with. It’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll see me posting my observations on that process here at a later point.

And to the 6 of you that actually might have read this, have a good morning. ;)


June 7th, 2010

2hr speedpainting, mostly ArtRage 3 Studio Pro w/a little Photoshop CS4 for cleanup.

Took a bit longer than intended, but much of that was playing around with a more refined method of the process that I used for “Francesca Gorgonatrix“. Working on getting a bit more comfortable with it.

With these, I’m using ArtRage’s pencil tool for the linework, at least for the moment, as I don’t want the lines to get so overt that the colors are muted. I may change that, but I’m not sure yet. Currently, I’m trying to re-build the settings that I had previously in ArtRage’s ink tool, as I accidentally reset it without thinking, and without saving it as a custom brush. Oops. Chalk another one up to learning experience.

Colors started off with the paint roller tool, eventually to be rounded out with various layer blend modes and opacities, many of which used selective erasing to make things “pop” more. It’s rather like sculpting, and/or painting models, really, in that you take that mindset, and apply it to a 2D environment.

I then added filtration into the mix via Photoshop, doing the same with a handful of filtered layers as I did with the initial coloring layers. This also helped bring the linework closer to an inked look. While some may prefer the linework to look more concise, I actually like the slightly rough look for this. Still, there were certain parts that I tackled with the smudge tool, to clean it up a bit.

Finally, I went back into ArtRage, and did a couple minor details for touch-up. One thing I really like about ArtRage, that Photoshop surprisingly doesn’t have, is the ability to “select layer contents”. This allows for the complete selection of layer contents, without the inaccuracies that can often come with the magic wand tool (which ArtRage has as well).

Time to round this entry out, and work up a few pared down x-posts of it for other places.