Friday, May 30, 2008

we're off to Wizard World Philly

yeppers, we're headin on out to Philly around 2am so we can get there just in time to eat some breakfast and then set up. no sleep for the wicked! =P SO, in light of my absence from home this weekend, i'm posting up three different images! yay!!
this is how far i've gotten with this commission. i wasn't able to finish it today because i was out all day running errands. i did, however, write the script for one of our custom comics we're workin on in a little over 2 hours. now granted its only 8 pages of comics, but its still tough for me. it was neat though cuz i was writing it at a starbucks while waiting for jerry to finish his 2-hour gig. i felt just a weeee bit like JK Rowling. (i know, i'm a dork.) heh heh heh


this is a commission i'm also working on at the moment. she's all finished gettin drawn, i'm about to color her once i finish coloring the one above. she is (obviously) a centaur but of the "kirin" breed. apparently, if u didn't know already, kirins are mythical creatures originating from china but are apparently one of the most powerful creatures in japanese cultures along with the phoenix and the dragon (i think). since it's a myth, it was extremely difficult to find reference images that were consistent. i read that it was thought to be a cross between a dragon and a deer. then i read that it may have been a giraffe that was mistaken for some magical creature. either way, i had to make it up somewhat. still, i used other people's rendition of a kirin and some pictures of deer. the ram horns on her head is something the client asked for and is not the kind of horns on a kirin's head. even the horns weren't consistent. some had one in the middle of the head like a unicorn, others had deer-like antlers. very weird. but kinda cool too!

this one is a collaborative effort between me and fellow crew member Flash on a logo for his and my husband's caricature company called Big Heads Little Bodies. i made the words, he drew the little kid. so yay! a logo!

well, i'm off to finish packing up and getting ready to get outta here. i have officially less than an hour to leave. wish us luck!!! we haven't been to philly in two years. =)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

that's what happens

so i finished the pencils of this piece yesterday. even changed the hand to make it look less wonky and gave him a meatier midsection. i'm all ready to color it and whatnot then i decide to check the email to make sure i got everything in the commission (which i do for every commission i do) and then BAM! the client had originally asked for him flying. D'OH! see, that's what happens when u don't check stuff before u start on commissions. gosh, i feel like such a goober.
ah well. if he doesn't like it, i'll just have to draw him another one cuz i'm a gosh darned professional! and i'll end up using this pose for someone else. guess it won't be that much of a loss. but have u ever had moments where u wanna just kick ur own ass? yep, i'm havin one of those moments.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

he-man and superman



i did these a few days ago on a whim. my hubby, the World's Greatest, drew these during one of the classes that he teaches as a warm up. either that or he was showing off to them. (eh, sometimes u gotta show the kids how it's done.) at any rate, he drew it with a brush pen with no preliminary sketches or pencils. not even non-repro blue. which, i think, is just amazing all by itself. but they turned out to be so cool that i was really blown away. which is funny cuz when he tries to impress me, he swears it doesn't ever work. i guess after 10 years of being together, it's tough to impress someone that was impressed with ur skills when u met. but then when he doesn't try, i'm like a fan-girl all over again. (gosh i'm nerdly.) i just think it's so fluid and emotive which is something that i really admire about those japanese brush paintings. i could never achieve that because i always need to be precise.
SO since i'm trying to get used to this paint-y look with my stuffs, i was inspired to color these almost like an Andy Warhol type look. used a chunky brush in photoshop, but a different one than usual. this one looks more like pastel chalk or something when u take the opacity and the flow down. then i just went crazy. didn't do any selections at all to create the shadows, just put pen to wacom and colored away. he already determined what was in the shadows cuz of the line weights. each of these must have taken like 30 mins to color. that's the fastest i've ever colored anything! and i feel like figuring out the backgrounds took more time than the actual figure. i really like the way they came out and hopefully we'll be able to use them as prints or at least cards someday. ^__^

Sunday, May 25, 2008

it's been a long time...shouldn't have left u...

...without a dope - well, u know. ^__^



so, it has been brought to my attention by one of the three people that read this blog (including myself) that my daily blog hasn't changed in over a week! tsk tsk and i swear, its not like i haven't done anything hence the quietness. quite on the contrary, that's why i haven't really had the time to post new blogs. plus the fact that i've been sick for like a week now. however, since i'm all better and ready to get crackin again, it's time for something new to stay positive!

this is a scan of the pencils. i didn't ink this one cuz i figured the painterly style i was going to use would work better if the lines weren't so defined. i didn't want to put too much detail to leave it open for any digital manipulations i may do to it. specifically, the surfboard and her bathing suit.

this is the flat colors i did. this is how everything pretty much starts out. makes parts of her easy to select too. i also added the little designs on her surboard. the black and pink squares are there for the checkered flag effect. then i just put her name on it cuz i think if she was going to have a surfboard, she'd probably put her name on it. that's just me tho. =P

this is the finished piece. he trees are a brush. the funky cloud thingy is similar (if not the same) brush that i used on the whole piece, just bigger. then the implied horizon line is really just a gradient applied to the entire background. i experimented a lot with the layer styles. i find that choosing "Hard Light" or "Vivid Light" really changes a lot and makes for unexpectedly cool effects. give it a whirl!

i've had this drawing in my head for a little while and decided to draw it as simply as i could to create the background digitally. but i was having the toughest time deciding who it was going to be. i initially wanted it to be Trixie in the spirit of the new Speed Racer movie, but then i wasn't feelin it as i drew. so i nearly gave up on it and threw it away. i just wanted to throw up on it after erasing the hand and arms over and over again. but then we went to see the movie and i was just blown away!
[short digression]
i kept waiting for it to suck because i've heard from more than one source that it was really bad. (tho i never take the newspaper's criticism seriously because they hate EVERYthing except for extremely deep or abstract films like "the Pianist" or "the girl with the pearl earring" or that one that's real trippy where they were singing and dancing at the bowling alley. which is fine and all if i was looking to watch something deep or abstract. but i'm just looking for something entertaining.) i kept thinking "ok, maybe this is the point where this is going to take a turn for the worse." or "alright, maybe it gets boring from here on out." but it never came for me! the movie was a whole lot of fun to watch and look at. it was really a family film. there was no sex or cursing or bloody violence in the cartoon-turned-movie. they did their darndest to be as crazy with the visual effects and by golly its just downright entertaining. i mean, i know i haven't seen an entire episode of Speed Racer but knowing what i do know about it, i couldn't find any fault. i mean here's a kid whose entire life is about racing trying to fight injustice on the tracks with his family supporting him and his girlfriend literally being ride or die. what more can u ask for?! he even did the Speed Racer pose at some point which was quite cool.
[end digression]
so after thoroughly enjoying the Speed Racer movie, i went back to turning her into Trixie again and it worked out really well. and i tried hard not to make her overly married to the character. the only thing is that she's got the Mach5 emblem on her neck which can be easily erased for other purposes of this image. u can't even read her name on her surfboard that much either. anyways, i'll probably never make anything this cool ever again. so sad. =P oh well, ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

5 am and i'm still awake

Turbo-Ski and Red Kite


Virs Impavida

so i just updated my commissions log and i didn't realize i still have a TON of commissions to do. which is far better than no commissions at all. =P but, seeing as how it's 5am, i do wanna make this short and sweet. so above are the two commissions i've finished. tried using my new psuedo-painterly style. the one with the two chicks in it (Turbo-Ski and Red Kite), i went straight for the fat chunky brush and went to town. but i realized that it really takes too long to do that for the commissions. considering i have a ton, i can't spend that much time on one or else folks will never get their commissions in 2008. so for the second one, Virs Impavida, i merged my previous style with the painterly one. i selected areas for the shadows so i wouldn't spend too much time figuring out where the shadows go, then i went over spots with the brush to give more depth. it worked out pretty well, i think. so yay! two down, tons to go! ;P

Saturday, May 10, 2008

inky fingers



here are some images i've just finished inking. in case u haven't noticed yet, the Superman was not drawn by me. it was drawn by my husband - my World's Greatest. =) (he likes it when people call him that. ~__^) he asked me to ink it for him. it was really tough to ink his art because there's way more things happening on there than my usual chick pinups. i try to minimize the amount of muscle definition but he's all about it. which really works for his style. so i've only really started to use nibs to ink my stuff. i'm comfortable with them but certainly no pro. like i've said many times, i've continuously managed to forget that sometimes the ink isn't dry yet and the Blueline comic paper he uses is so smooth that it takes longer for the ink to dry than my bristol. so unfortunately, i've managed to goob up some ink here and there. fortunately however, it's nothing a little digital manipulation can't fix. (~__~) i feel really bad about it. but again, i'm only just getting used to nibs and ink gets on everything. i tried to cover up most of the goobs by turning them into stuff. but there's one big glob in the middle of one of the building's windows that will just have to be digitally erased. i know, i suck. but i'll hopefully get better with practice. tho i'm not sure if he'll trust me with any other art to ink thanx to this. (TT___TT)
not to mention everytime i use a french curve to ink curvy stuff, sometimes the ink gets under the tool and just spreads all by itself. man, that gets REALLY frustrating. it doesn't even do it each time so i'm not entirely sure what i'm doing wrong. inking buildings are a pain all by themselves but when u add that u have to use a triangle to ink in one direction throughout the picture, then wait for the ink to dry, then go back and ink in another direction is just such a treat. though, when it's all done, it does look pretty neat. guess no pain no gain.
the other two are the ones from before. they're now ready to be colored so hopefully that turns out pretty good. i've still got plenty to work on. i wish i did these things faster. *sigh* alas, my indecisiveness won't allow it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

iron man day!

first of all, let me say that i did not draw this. my husband did. and i thought he did such a flippin super job with it that i opted to use his depiction of Iron Man instead of an official movie image.
that movie was so surprisingly good that everyone should really take the time to see it. i think it was better than any of the X-Men movies. it was really good from beginning to end. i don't care much for Robert Downey Jr. under normal circumstances, but he was so good as Tony Stark that he's been bumped back up to my (long) list of actors i don't mind watching in movies. i think he's going to be in a comedy with Ben Stiller soon and i am really looking forward to it. i am actually still somewhat in disbelief at how much i enjoyed the movie. and if u haven't seen it yet but plan to, stay and watch after the credits! =)
next film - SPEED RACER!!!


here's another couple of finished pencils of commissions i'm working on. these are both of Tammy, that lady i drew before who was sitting on a fence naked. he requested i draw two more but was so thoughtful that he let me forgo drawing the buckteeth if they were givin me problems. really made things a bit easier though i did try to subtly put it in there with the one she's laying down on.
if i haven't said it before, hands and feet are so darned hard to draw. but i do think i'm doing a bit better on them. they're coming a weee bit more naturally now than before. even cloth isn't so daunting of a task to draw these days. gasp! could it be that i am getting better!??!

NAH! =P

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

stronger

i've decided that when i'm stumped for an appropriate title for the day's blog, i'm just going to put the title of whatever song i happen to be listening to at the time i write it. unfortunately, i have a tendency to listen to the same set of songs over and over again. oh well, i'll make it work. =) today's song - Stronger by Kanye West. me likey!

so i thought i'd share my epiphany from yesterday. i realized that it's not so much that i'm dorky or arrogant for thinking it's cool that people look for me at cons or have my prints up on their walls. it's that i'm excited to know that people take me seriously as an artist and takes Identity Comics seriously as a studio with talented people. now i don't feel so bad about being so boosted. =P


this is another commission i just finished pencilling. this will also need to be inked and colored. she's another City of Heroes character named Virs Impavida. (no clue what it means. sorry.) i used a picture of Kristin Kreuk for reference on the pose. that Dutch/Chinese mix really makes a gorgeous person. too bad they turned her into a harlot on Smallville. (well, that may be a bit strong. she just sleeps around.) at any rate, i'm really having a hard time with these fishnets. i'm not sure if i'm just thinking about them too hard or if i do have reason to worry. i guess i don't wear fishnets so i'm not all too familiar with it. but i am getting better at the chain links tho! yay! i'll post inks and colors hopefully sooner rather than later. =/


Sunday, May 4, 2008

the results show



well, here's a couple of pictures from Free Comic Book Day which Identity Comics spent at ComicsMD in Accokeek, MD. this would be the first year anyone has ever commissioned us at the event. all the drawing would be from jerry doing caricatures. last year we gave free head sketches to anyone that bought something from the table and i was swamped. (plus someone asked me to draw them a Darth Vader and i found out that he's my kryptonite. is it not evident in my prints what my strongsuit is??) so to avoid that, we decided to charge $10 for a pencil commission but i wouldn't really push it on people. oddly enough, a couple folks just asked for it! purdy neat.
BUT this is also the first year that it was really very dead up there. we're usually stationed on the 2nd floor along with the kids playing cards and whatnot. in previous years, it's been a consistent influx of people but this year it's as if nobody really came to FCBD. its like everyone's feeling the tightening grip of Uncle Sam and it has filtered down to affect even a day where "Free" is baked right in. those that did manage to get up there did, for the majority, buy something from us. even the kids that were playing (and by kids, i only really mean those younger than me). usually, they just ignore us and do their thing. which they did for the most part. but they managed to pry themselves away from their frivolities to check out the table and a couple of them actually bought a print or two. can't ask for much more than that! =)


these were the two commissions i drew. the second one with the wings is the chick's character that she asked me to illustrate for her.
i hope this trend of disappointing turn-outs don't continue to the Wizard World conventions we're planning on attending in a couple of months. its really scary - it's like we're on the cuspis of another great depression only worse because we own much more things now than we did back then. o_O

Saturday, May 3, 2008

free comic book day


didn't get anything drawn today. i was out all day at my husband's aunt's funeral. then in the evening, i got things ready for tomorrow's free comic book day signing at ComicsMD in Accokeek, MD. we've been doing it every year for like 4 years now. jerry draws free caricatures at the request of the very nice show owner. plus we just like doing it for all the people that come. they're very grateful. we've always sold stuff there but last year we had a real breakthrough and made more money there than we ever did before. since we've figured out the formula for reaching out to the masses with fanart, we've done so much better. hopefully that continues on tomorrow. so, as i get my 4 hours of sleep before getting up to go to the shop, i'll post this pic cuz they're so durned cute. and, again, i didn't draw anything. =P

Friday, May 2, 2008

rusty nail

sorry, couldn't think of a better title. it happened to be the song that came on just as i was about to type. so instead of sitting here pondering on a more appropriate or clever title for today, i took the easy way out. =p


this is a commission i am working on that's part of my "half-off prices." in this month alone, i received about 7 commissions because of the half-off sale. makes one wonder if one just isn't good enough at the price one puts itself. perhaps one is only worth half as much as one thought they did. =/ i try not to think about those things and just be glad folks did sign up. they really helped me out of a VERY tight financial bind.
at any rate, this is the pencils for a "Turbo-Ski and Red Kite" commission. they're someone's City of Heroes/Villains characters. unfortunately i don't know which. i'm assuming Heroes tho. ^__^; i seem to be somewhat popular among MMORPG folks. it's quite neat! i am really liking how this one is turning out. didn't even take me too long to come up with the poses and stuff. i really like how Red Kite (the lady with short hair) looks. her face looks much better than i thought it would. could it be that i'm getting better at this?!!? nah. =P
usually i have to look at reference images for poses. helps makes the figures look more realistic. i'm an avid supporter of references. if i had a model around to pose for me whenever i want, i wouldn't need references. but unfortunately, i don't have any chick friends around to pose at my leisure. but i digress. my point is that i didn't even have to really look at any reference for this image and i'm quite satisfied. i looked at an image for Turbo-Ski (the chick with pigtails) but pretty much changed it because the picture had the arms in front. and that's an ice blade she's holding behind her back to cut herself out.

and, may i just say, ski boots are really cool lookin. i'm really gonna have to start drawin characters with boots like that.

hopefully the guy likes it so far so i can proceed to inking and coloring it. guess that'll have to wait. =)



Thursday, May 1, 2008

not much difference

well, i just realized i haven't drawn anything new today. been taking care of more administrative stuff than artwork. really sucks too. i mean its absolutely necessary to do admin stuff when trying to go into business for urself but there's very little to show for it (other than the fact that they did get done). poo. it's like working in an HR office.


so, in lieu of having any art done, i have figured out why the colors were all wonky when i tried to upload the Conscience image i finished a couple nights ago. (turns out i had the resolution up a little too high.) so i'm puttin it up now. yay!

also, here are pictures of some of the commissions i drew at the con this weekend. see! that makes up for it, right?! =P
here is a Rogue pencil commission i drew in this guy's sketchbook. he wanted it sexy and, what can i say, that's all i know how to do! ;)


this is someone's character i drew in their sketchbook. the picture i took is really bad tho. oops.


this is one of the two Ryu's i drew for these really nice folks. i was sweatin bullets trying to draw a guy - let alone twice! unfortunately, i liked the other one that i didn't get to take a picture of. *sigh*