Basics meaning…manual colouring and drawing in general. Not that traditional media is easy by any means, just that it’s more laboured and less…technical than digital art I guess. Well I hope you know what I mean. I haven’t done much digital stuff recently because a lot of my assignments have been hand rendered. It’s been a nice change actually, although it’s taken a lot more time and effort. I spent the last weekend colouring my last assignment and I am SO GLAD everything is now finished.
The above are just a few of my last assignments in first semester – the middle pic is the one which took me almost all weekend to do. ;-; We had to trace a design from a photographic reference and use five colours to create an analogous and triadic design and give it a sense of depth. Yes I used that pencil at the top to colour in that blue background for the design on the left – thank god this was the final thing I had to colour in! I hope I did them ok, colouring in took FOREVER because to get a nice finish you have to keep layering the colour until you get a nice even spread with no ugly white splotches from the paper showing through.
The last image is another assignment I had to do – it’s a t-shirt design for an environmental Aussie company. I suck at editing traditional media so it looks a bit over contrasty ;-; The turtle is a loggerhead turtle – I originally wanted to do heaps of pretty bubbles and coral but in keeping with the brief kept it simple and straight to the point lol. I suppose I would wear the design, I really like how the love heart on the turtle shell turned out. Drawing it took a while though because we had to make the drawing as accurate as possible, and the loggerhead turtle has quite distinctive features (exactly five scales on each side of the shell for example).
So anyway, more sketches and random crap below!
Everything tea related…more sketches I did in a class ages ago:
This watercolour is something I did AGES ago and just found recently so I thought I may as well share. It’s really bad. I personally dislike seeing thick line art in general so….this does not speak to me at all. I don’t even know why I did it all so black and..just..gross… But hey, I’m still learning to use watercolours properly so it can’t all be fine and dandy.
Really quick sketch I did one night- could’ve fixed a lot of stuff but…it was late and I just wanted to colour something. Done with copics and lined in sepia so I was mostly just testing out some new colours I got recently!
More copic experimentation. Done on tiny A7 watercolour paper and highlights with Uniball Signo Angelic white gel pen and a random silver pen I had lying round. I really like the middle concept the best, the planets on the right one turned out a bit shonky lol. The scale is just so godawful, but I suppose UFO’s could be bigger than the rocks floating around Saturn lol. Also the nebula on the left turned out reallllly bad, it looks more like a space spiderweb more than anything haha. Oh well. I’m in love with copics right now, I got a whole heap because they’re on sale right now at Craft Online and I figured I’d need them anyway for my business as well as school. Blending colours is just way too much fun. It’s amazing how expensive copic markers are here though – it seems to be easier to buy them individually overseas… ;-; Note to self – when I go to the US I am stocking up. They’re a pretty big investment but I think it’s worth it – I have so much more fun colouring in copics than I do with coloured pencils. I also discovered they work pretty well with the coloured stabilo liners as in the lines don’t bleed like the crappy Artline ones.
I still love my tablet though, it’s old but it’s still awesome and the fact that it’s stood up to my treatment on my desk the past year or so…well it’s survived and still doin’ pretty good. I am tempted to upgrade it but it’s still working and it’s not like I need one any time soon. So for now it’s a permanent fixture on my desktop amongst all the pens and paper and other junk.
Well that’s bout it. I’m enjoying learning to use different mediums overall, I mean each has its own pros and cons so I still have a lot to learn. I really want to do more with copics and coloured pencils though, it’s really relaxing and something different I guess. I’ll probably start work on another digital art thing soon though, I have just had so much work to do recently, and more to do over the holidays. Funny how things just kinda crop up at once and then I have those annoying periods where I have nothing much to do.
So it’s been a while since I’ve completed much art for the sake of art…so I’ve decided to post some things I’ve done for my last few assignments for the term.
For this assignment, we had to pick a music era and do a graphic illustration for a double page spread design for a magazine (below). I picked the disco era because it’s just so colourful and bold and I really wanted to use some bright neon colours and glowy lights. I won’t lie, it was challenging to get the balance right though…from initial concepts to the final design I had no idea how many ideas and elements I’d actually change It was a lot of work, definitely more than I expected to be honest.
I might post a couple of sketches I did before coming up with my final design- I initially wanted the shape behind the figures to be a shiny disco ball with lights exploding behind them. But after following an awesome tutorial and making a vector disco ball in Illustrator, it looked kinda weird with the other shapes. The feedback I got was I needed to make my design a bit more retro, hence the reason why the entire thing looks pretty ‘camp’, haha.
I really like how the amplifier bit at the bottom turned out – I actually learnt a lot of new techniques in Illustrator doing this assignment. Not to mention colour coordination… I drew the base shapes in Illustrator but I used some cel shading techniques in SAI and Photoshop just because it was so much easier. So I suppose the graphic is kind of a faux vector. I did use some soft shading for the guy’s pants though, they’re supposed to be pearlescent but I don’t really think I got the texture right.
I added in some light bokeh in the background for effect and a bit more texture…I really like how they contrast against the circles. But yeah. That’s basically what I did for one of my final assignments of the term. This spread printed with slightly different colours though – I’m not an expert at printing so it might just be the printers ink or something. Buutt I actually prefer looking at this on screen anyway. >D> And that blue-ey purple-y background. I LOVE that colour.
Another one of my final assignments was doing a one minute stop motion animation. I haven’t had much experience doing animating in general, so this was really my first time doing a major stop motion project (I think I did a short one at school but it probably wasn’t any good). And it was NIGHTMARISH. I’m glad I did my project by myself though, because I could do my own thing and photo everything in my own time (yeah mostly everything was done at stupid hours of the morning under artificial light lol). I tried getting it all done as quick as possible, and that’s probably one of my downfalls because I had to reshoot my video halfway through just because I didn’t take enough photos.
You can get away with stop motion videos at 15 frames per second by my original shoot was at ~8 frames per second. It was horrible. My final version is at ~13-15 fps so while it’s ok in some parts, it’s still horrible in other parts. I really didn’t want to reshoot any more though, you seriously have no idea how many times I had to reshoot everything. And sitting there, clicking taking photos, moving the penguin another millimeter and accidentally swiping cutouts off the page… never. again. And because I used paper for my animation, I had to keep cutting shit and drawing and cutting etc. – my room’s still a mess as a result.
I have so much more respect for actually good stop motion videos as a result.
This will always be my favourite stop motion:
Compare that to my crappy animation:
Yes that penguin is Meep – the mascot of my business website. Speaking of which, the website is going along pretty well, Cam wrote a plugin for it, so now all I have to do is update the portfolio and do a few more header images. And possibly fix up some CSS…because I always seem to spot something I need to fix. I plan on launching it within a few weeks, once I have time to organise everything during my break (I get five weeks off apparently after next week)! So I’m pretty excited.
YAY I finally get time to upload and blog about this!! I’ve been working on an assignment all day (a freakin one minute stop motion project….GAHHHHHHH I’m so bad at videos I’ll probably have to redo it because my frame rate SUCKS ) and my battery ran out of power, so while I wait for it to charge I thought I may as well put this up. My room looks like a bomb went off atm, it’s actually really annoying me and I can’t wait to vacuum this place up.
But anyway, this is a painting I’ve been working on for the past week or so, it’s an homage inspired by one of my favourite authors, Jules Verne, and his book The Mysterious Island. If you haven’t already read it, I definitely recommend it if you like adventure/steampunk. It is very bloke-y (yeah not a girl in sight in its entirety ) and totally convenient and unrealistic but I love how romanticised science is in the book and it is really amazing to me that Verne was talking about electric guns and communication lines all the way back in 1874. He was way ahead of his time.
This is a scene I wanted to depict right at the start of the book, when the company are escaping from Richmond in a balloon and get caught up in a huge storm across the ocean. They’re about to fall right out of the sky into the stormy water when they sight the island on which they spend the next four years of their life on! I drew this quite large so this is really a hugely scaled down version…and yes that is FIVE people in that basket. With a dog.
Drawing the balloon was actually quite fun, I used a ref though and that made it a lot easier to draw. Actually, I think I spent the most time drawing the ocean – drawing a stormy sea that goes out into the distance is a lot harder than it looks. I went over the ocean so many times because I couldn’t quite get the texture right. I used some custom rough brushes in Photoshop and it helped a bit too but not too sure if I’m still very happy with the ‘stormyness’ of the sea.
As I said at the start of the year, I’m aiming to work on drawing things I’m not that good at yet, so this painting was quite challenging for me as I usually suck when it comes to painting depth and figures and motion. Overall though I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, considering I did use a lot of elements in this illustration which I don’t usually use. I also used a lot of cool colours in this too and that was hard in itself – I usually use really warm colours and finishing this I now just really want to draw something sunny and happy!!
I also used smart filters to finish this in Photoshop – may do a tutorial later on actually because the technique is really easy and awesome and I can’t believe I’m only now figuring out now how to use them because the capabilities are amazing. I used a rain brush from here, although I hand drew most of the rain…just needed to get a few smaller lines in the background. Also used textures from here – love this site!
So yeah that’s really all I have to say…I hope you like it and I also hope it gets some people interested in Verne’s works in general because he was a literary genius and relating to his ideas and scifi adventures today is pretty inspiring! :0
And now back to my assignment I go….*groan*
Endnote: I drew a lot of this piece to classical music ( ) and feel like this just goes way too well with my drawing:
I always used to get kinda confused about using stylesheet/directory tags, mainly because I’m the kind of person who needs things to be explained in layman’s terms. And when you search for template tags in Google it’s kinda…overwhelming. There are so many different ways of using tags in WordPress, I have to admit I’m pretty terrible when it comes to fully understanding the different ones and when/where to use them. I am in no way a WordPress expert or professional coder but I feel like I’ve achieved something by finally figuring out how to use these in my theme, so hopefully this might be helpful to some people too! I know…it’s pretty noob-ish of me after so long using WordPress but I got somewhere in the end.
So if you’ve used WordPress before, you’d know each theme directory sits a few folders in in wp-content:
When referencing things such as images or fonts in your theme, it’s obviously pretty annoying to type out the full URL, especially when it’s not easily memorable and/or long to type. So WordPress has some handy tags you can use to make life easier!
Reference media in template pages
<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>
So if I wanted to use an image in my template that’s in the same directory in a folder called ‘images’, I’d write something like:
<img src="<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/images/header.jpg" />
Note this tag only works based on your currently active theme.
Reference the theme’s stylesheet
The following tag just retrieves the main stylesheet url of the active theme (usually style.css):
<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>
So to link the theme’s css, just put the following in the header:
<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>" type="text/css" media="screen" />
If you’re using multiple stylesheets, you can simply upload them to the main theme folder and use the first PHP tag to reference them:
<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/style2.css" type="text/css" media="screen" />
Reference media in your theme’s stylesheet
Media such as fonts and images only need to be referenced as local files, assuming the theme’s related media is located in the same theme folder.
So if I wanted to use a background image from my theme folder, I’d just write the following in style.css:
background: url(images/bg.jpg) repeat;
And that’s pretty much the basic tags you really need to start making WordPress themes. There are of course others, well actually loads, but unless you’re making child themes or doing other funky stuff I think as long as the tags do the job everything will be fine.
WOO NEW BLOG!! I’ve been working for what seems like ages today – I finally have a little breather to do some things I want to do!!! This week is actually the second week of my break. However I did not foresee the amount of actual work projects I’d be doing this week. The good news is I’ve finished most of my college work so that’s all good…although I’m planning on doing a bit more tomorrow. Good thing it’s break time at the moment though otherwise I’d be swamped. I actually really wanted to finish Lonesome Road in Fallout:NV sometime this week but looks like that’s not really happening lol. Too many things getting in the way…which I suppose is a good thing but also means I get to have a less relaxing break.
So anyway I finished off this painting last week- I really wanted to paint that in the zone moment you get when you’re working on something with full concentration. I did take aggees drawing the clouds…well actually everything in this generally took a while. I was working on this in between doing college work so it was kinda hard to fully concentrate on this for long periods of time IRONICALLY. I went through so many different final versions of this because of the glare at the top. I don’t know if it’s my monitor or just my crappy editing skills in general but there was this ugly white contrasty patch which kept showing up and annoying me in the saved file. So I had to keep going over and over and over it until I finally got it to look somewhat decent.
I’m working on another painting at the moment but to be honest I don’t really know where it’s going. It started out as an exercise drawing a beach but I kinda wanted to turn it into something…more. Been trying to work on it for days now but it hasn’t really gone anywhere. Hopefully I’ll find some inspiration soon.
Actually I might try work on it right now. Because I’m staring at it right now and it is really annoying me
On one last note I want to add a few more tutorials and stuff here. I dunno, something which might actually help people and make this site a bit more interesting, lol. Not that I don’t think my blog is already amazingly captivating already, hah. But if there is something you would like to see from me let me know.
Ooh I also ordered business cards for myself! I really should have gotten some AGES ago but never got around to it because I can procrastinate a lot. But I decided since I’m getting more work in I might as well order a few. I ordered two sets – some mini cards for this blog with some illustrations at the back and a set of 50 good ones for my business website, Meep Media. To be honest I haven’t really advertised Meep anywhere or told many people so this is the probably the first you’ll hear about it! But I will be working on it a lot more in future.
I love this website and all, and I was actually just thinking of using this website for professional work too, but I feel like this is more like my personal space to rant and share my creative journey. So Meep will really just be my business page/design portfolio. I’m pretty rusty when it comes to designing websites though so that’s another thing on the growing list of things for me to do!
On ANOTHER sidenote, I finally was able to get responsive videos on this site!! Thanks to the Responsive Video Light plugin. Done in less than five minutes. Another reason why I friggin love WordPress.