Monday, November 19, 2012

Dejah View

This is another commission, but I kind of went over the top with it.  Unfortunately I forgot to export more in-progress pictures, so you'll have to do with the sketches.

Here's the final version.

This is the first rough, just getting basic shapes.  I used a photo ref for the base pose.

I was trying to figure out what to do with her front leg as the pose seems a little unnatural.  Though what I was trying to do was even more unnatural.  So I just went back to the photo.

Here I'm trying to clean up her eyes by redrawing from scratch, but they completely lost their character.

So I went back to the original eyes.  Gotta love layers!  And added the background.

The painting was done on about 20 layers.  For each element usually a flat color, then various lighting/shading layers on top.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

COMMISSION: Lauren and Tara

This was a commission for Aidenke's ( characters Lauren and Tara.

This is the final.

And a peek at the process.  Here's one of the first ideas.

This one was my favorite.  It's both erotic and playful.  But Aidenke wanted a side view.

So this is a pretty late stage sketch side view.  For some reason I've been having a lot of problems with profiles lately, so I changed the seated figure's face quite a lot.  The girl on top's face came really quickly though.

At first I started coloring using my standard chalk brushes, but it didn't seem to fit the picture and pencils.  The colors ended up looking really messy and too gritty.  So I threw them all out and started from scratch with a more comic-book coloring approach.  This seemed to work better.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Breakfast at Elvira's

Happy Halloween, folks!

This one came pretty quickly, but I ended up with a lot of face changes, partly because things just didn't look good.

This is the original idea, just trying to figure out what pose to use.  At this point the Breakfast at Tiffany's idea wasn't in place.  But the pose on the left reminded me of the Robert McGinnis poster so...

A second sketch of the basic pose after finding a puny poster reference.

And now a little better, with better proportions.  Proportions is probably my biggest challenge.

Here's the first color job.  I tried to keep it mostly flat like that poster.

I really didn't like her face, and the cat tail kind of interfered with the little dagger/cross thing.  So I ended up trying a bunch of different tail configurations, settling on this one for it's slightly silly sexy humorous element.  Also added the tagline.

Her nose and mouth just did not read well.  It seemed OK large, but when scaled, it kind of fell apart.  I believe this is the latest version on Facebook.

 I decided the skin coloring was too dark and making her look dirty, so I reduced the opacity of the layer.  Also made her nostrils flare more, which makes her look more like herself.

And this is a full res version.  Zoom it and you can see how the likeness is much better.  I suspect the problem is not so much with scaling but with my painting skills...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Please be mindful of beavers

Here's the latest bit of silliness.  This was a collaboration with LLToon.

He gave me this base pose and proportions:

This is the first outline based on that.  I knew I wanted a creature, but didn't quite know what yet, nor what it looked like.  At first, the default was a bunny, then a Stitch-like alien, mostly I wanted someone gleefully doing something.  The beaver came out on top for obvious reasons of bad taste.  At this point I think I only had the beaver holding on to something...not sure what.

And then of course, it dawned on me: bra straps are like reins!  Here's the final pencils.

And the first finished colors.  It took a while to get the wording right.  I knew I wanted some kind of pseudo public service message.  At first the sign said "Please don't bring your beaver clothes shopping."  and "Keep animals wild.  Please dont' feed them."  But that seemed too direct and at the same time nonsensical.  After trying a number of different approaches, this one seemed most appropriate.

I thought I was done, but as usual, the small size brought out some issues that I wasn't quite aware of.  I had to tweak the contrast a bit to make the shapes pop a little more.  Also the black text was disappearing into the gray background.

And one more color background variation:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Brisk Summers

I was looking for something to draw the other day and Mike DeBalfo suggested drawing one of his Squirrel Girls.

I couldn't resist.

After browsing through his characters on his DeviantArt site, Brisk Summers seemed to appeal to me most.

Mike is the master of underboob, so it seemed appropriate to figure out how to get that element in there.  Brisk is supposed to be the most athletic of the bunch, so put the two together, and you have a stretching exercise gone voyeur.

At first I wasn't sure if the tail and ears were "real" or were fake, so I kind of drew the ears fake (because that's how he draws them) and the tail semi-real.  This sketch came relatively quickly.

But the proportions were pretty bad: head was too big, torso too short, legs too skinny, and I had crazy problems with the eye.

So I spent some time in photoshop scaling pieces to they fit a little better.  And in my signature cheat: got rid of one eye.

I was pretty happy at this point.  I was feeling pretty good about the tushie, but the overall piece felt a little too static.

So when I went to do the color, I rotated her just a tad to make her lean more.  I also rotated her upper torso to the left more to give her back and overall form more of a curve.

It looks a little better now, but the figure seemed too small.  She definitely looked better large.  Though this might have partly a function of the big fat pencil I was using.  Chris Gutierrez suggested  a tighter crop, so I did that and leaned her even more.

I *thought* I was done, but after letting it sit a day, I found that the leggings were really bothering me.  I tried cropping it right at where her legs crossed but that didn't feel right.  So I leaned her some more, cleaned up the leggings so they didn't grab your attention so  much, curved out the tail a little, and gave her more padding at the top (to better match Mike's character).

Overall I'm pretty happy with it.  I think my favorite bit is the highlights on her tush.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


One more commission.  This one was quite a challenge.

The original sketch was relatively easy.  The girl came out nice right away.

Here's the cleaned up pencils.

This is pretty far along in the painting process.  I put in some lights inside the fortune teller booth, but they were drawing too much attention.  Plus the lighting behind her was drawing too much attention, and the overall lighting was wonky.

It also at this point that I figured out I had a major perspective problem with the booth.

Getting rid of the lights helped a lot.  And here the lighting's getting better.  And the perspective is better, still not quite perfect, but good enough.  I'm not used to doing this kind of painting in Painter -- it's much more hazardous, where with Photoshop I felt like I could easily and quickly make grand changes, with Painter, that control just wasn't there.

And here's the final.  

And for the sake of completeness, a version with a top as requested by the commissioner.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Marilyn Book Porn

I came across a really nice photo of Marilyn that I thought would make a good study.  At first, I was just gonna draw the figure and just rough out the face, not worrying about likeness.
But then I couldn't resist at least trying.  As usual, I had all kinds of proportion problems.  Big head, especially.

With the exception of the arm angle, the body was actually pretty easy.  But her likeness...oy.  That took a few hours.  Here are a few of the better heads.  This was a lot of tweaking, scaling, rotating, redrawing from scratch.

And the final lines.

One funny note here: the original reference photo was of a very young Marilyn, with more of a girlish face, but somehow I was not able to capture that and ended up with the more mature Marilyn, perhaps as I pushed it towards her canonical look.

And at first I wasn't gonna bother coloring, but then I thought what the hell, I've come this far.  And this came together surprisingly quickly.  Probably less than an hour.  It's amazing how much having solid lines helps.  Plus, I'm finally finding Painter brushes that I like.

Normally I'd then spend another 8 hrs trying to refine it, but in this case, I think that'd be a mistake.  The rough colors work well enough.  Better to leave it alone.