Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School Philippines

Dr. Sketchy's Anti -Art School has been around in Manila for about a year an a half now (at least about as long as the Urban Sketchers).  I'd been meaning to join their events but I'd been putting it off due to general laziness and a lack of interest in the burlesque/goth themes that usually permeate their events.  Nothing wrong with that of course, it's just not my visual cup of tea.  The one time they had a different theme, "Arabian Nights", it completely slipped my radar.  Being Halloween themed, this month's event was still kind of gothy, but since it fit the spirit of the season and my brother in law asked me to accompany him I went along.  It was a great visual workout for me, and I learned some key things about myself.  When sketching a single figure I'm happiest with a time limit of around 15 minutes.  In fact it was one of my 15 minute sketches (above, right) that caught the eye of our model and scored me an "art monkey" T-shirt.

5 minutes is a little too loose for me, although that's probably because I was using my brush pen directly, and was nervous about making mistakes.  With a pencil I'm sure I would have been much more comfortable with this time limit.  I'm not even showing my 30 minute sketch here because I think it's the worst of the bunch.  I was overthinking and overanalyzing each stroke, and the sketch ended up looking really stiff.

I'll definitely be checking out Dr. Sketchy's again soon, though I do hope that they expand their collection of themes.  For example, I'd love to see a 70s scifi theme (miniskirts and bubble helmets), maybe pulp fantasy along the lines of Conan the Barbarian.  Straight up fantasy like Game of Thrones would be great too, but the outfits would be a little difficult.  Maybe more modern themes like "Breaking Bad" (men in hazmat suits) or near future stuff like the characters in "Mirror's Edge".  In fact I'd go so far as to say that one of Dr. Sketchy's models/organizers, Jowein, would be perfect as Faith.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sneak Peek

Can't really talk about this yet, but wanted to show you a little thing I've been working on every now and then.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hong Kong Vintage Travel Ad

Yesterday I fell into the rabbit hole of looking up vintage travel advertisements.  I hit upon the idea of collecting these for our condo as a way to decorate and also to remember the places that Aissa and I have been over the last five years together.  Some of these old ads really called out to me for their grace and simplicity, and since I had a bunch of sketches from our recent trip to Hong Kong I decided to make one to commemorate our trip.

I loved this advertisement for NYK steamship lines, which used an Oriental (in this case either Japanese or Chinese) fan to frame the steamship.  I used a similar framing device but instead put my sketch of the Tian Tan Buddha in the fan as the centerpiece.  I also added some copy that I think sounds like 1930s advertising talk.  To make sure it sounded legit I spoke it out loud in my fake English accent.  I like how this came together and I'm hoping to do a series of travel ads based on the places we've already visited.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Monster Stock Art & Minis II

Inkwell Ideas' Monster Stock Art & Minis II is now on Kickstarter.  I produced this image of  Xill for the collection, and if it gets funded I'll be making some more.  If you'd like some affordable miniatures for you D&D play sessions, do send them some cash!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hong Kong Sketches

Tian Tan Buddha

Aissa and I came back from Hong Kong yesterday, and while I was there I had the opportunity to make a few sketches.  I have to say I didn't really think very highly of Hong Kong before, but after a few days there I think it's a pretty cool place, and I've added it to my list of "places I wouldn't mind living for a while."  Above is the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau island.  We'd arrived maybe 30 minutes before closing time so I actually didn't even get to go around the Buddha's pagoda.  I just picked a spot and started sketching until closing time.  A couple of German tourists noticed and asked if they could take a picture, which was nice.  More sketches below.

Amateur performer playing Zheng on Avenue of the Stars

Man eating breakfast with his dogs

A Bridge in Hong Kong Park

Old Tram/Tourist info Center

Couple on Subway

Sampan Display in HK Museum of History

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Xill Borderlands style

This isn't finished, and this isn't what the final artwork will look like.  I've actually been contracted to make a colored and B/W version of the Xill, along with an accompanying background.  While playing around with the layers I thought it looked cool when the line art was superimposed over the colored version, making it look like something out of Borderlands.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Xill sketches

A few months ago I posted about the work I did for Inkwell Ideas' Monster Stand Ins (available now on RPGNow).  Looks like the project's done well enough for them that they now have another, similar project in the works.  They've contracted me for another monster, this time I'm working on the monster race called the Xill.  This is the description from Paizo:

Xills are the scourge of the Ethereal Plane, conquering everything in their paths with only one purpose: to perpetuate their race at the expense of others. All xills are female and capable of fertilizing their own eggs, but require living hosts to incubate these eggs, which they inject into paralyzed victims by means of a grotesque ovipositor normally kept retracted behind their mandibles. Evil and alien, the plane-shifting xills possess impressive intelligence and a totalitarian, militaristic culture all their own. Though they see most other life forms as incubators, they particularly prize phase spiders for this purpose.
Sketching out the Xill took a long longer than I thought it would, and I sketched stuff like insect heads as well as predator heads and tried to merge those into a really disgusting looking monster.  Inkwell's Joe Weztel chose sketch number 1 from the sketches above, and so you'll see me developing that image in the days to come.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I,Zombie Promotional Art

I talked a few weeks ago about entering the ebook cover business and doing the cover art for "To Save The Realm".  That thread garnered a lot of interest from aspiring authors, including one particular author named Hugh Howey.  Now I must admit I had no idea who Hugh was before this, but after doing a bit of research it turns out he's kind of a big deal in the self publishing world.  His scifi series "Wool" did tremendously well and was picked up by Ridley Scott and 20th century Fox. That doesn't mean it'll get made into a movie but is still pretty awesome.  Hugh saw some of my previous work and was apparently impressed enough to throw some of Ridley Scott's cash my way to make some artwork for his new book, "I,Zombie".  The book's actually already been released and has a proper cover, but he said he wanted some promotional art, and just wanted me to do whatever the hell I wanted basically.  Hard to argue with that, so I sad yes and thank you.

Without spoiling too much, the book's about what life is like as a zombie, about the human mind being aware inside a body it can no longer control. It draws many disturbing connections between the actions of the zombies and our everyday actions as regular human beings.  As such, it may not be to the taste of people looking for a rough and tumble zombie book, but I personally found it an intriguing (I originally used the word enjoyable, but there are sections that really cannot be described as enjoyable to read through because of the subject matter) enough to read through in about a week.