Monday, May 21, 2007

Tapejara (Old Being)

I hadn't done any serious computer art in quite some time (and only once did I do something that wasn't for an assignment). For some reason I've forgotten now, I really wanted to draw a pterosaur. I decided on Tapejara, a weird reptile with a big crest. After three evenings of work, I threw in the towel and declared this exercise finished.

Now, being such a digital art newbie, I didn't have any techniques to use, so I just started in. I prefer digital art that doesn't look like it was obviously done digitally. First, I did the preliminary sketch with my tablet, then blocked in areas of color in Photoshop. The majority of the details were done with the size 3 hard-edged brush, set at various degrees of opacity, and lots of tiny scribbly lines. At the end, I put an almost transparent layer of grayish-green over everything to try to bring it together, like I might do with a wash of watercolor to try to tie different areas together.

The hard thing with reconstructions is that you never know if all your hard work is resulting a totally inaccurate creature! I did do some research of course, but not exhaustive research, and all the reconstructions I found of Tapejara looked pretty different. I based its coloring on cassowaries, the king vulture, the casqued lizard, and a cute bird called the crested coua. Many, but not all, resources said that pterosaurs most likely were furry. Next time I do computer art, I'd like to try something with not so many different textures.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Cuteness, defined

The majority of my sketches fall into three categories. In this post, I show some examples of the first thing: overtly cute animals. I went through various sketchbooks and found these images as examples. Looking at them all together, it seems like to me, cute involves something with a big head, most likely with its mouth open, and maybe an arm raised or a hand on its chin. Big eyes are not a necessity, but they do help. Fuzzy is good, as are small legs and feet.

Clockwise from the top, I've drawn a tarantula (who says mammals are the only cute animals?), a confused bilby, a puppy, a kitten with bat wings for ears, a goose, and a kangaroo.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Color Sketches (kind of)

Here are some things taken from my daily sketches. For this first one, I used a red pen. Anyone want to guess what breed of dog it is? I like the cat, it's not my usual style but it has a certain charm. She has a bell on her collar but it looks kind of like a skull, which makes it even cooler!

The little purple goat was a quick sketch, also not really in my usual drawing style. For some reason, I can't stop looking at it. Ah, what a narcissist I am! I think I just like its expression. Why do I like my scribbly things more than the "real" art?

Friday, May 11, 2007

You got me a Taco Hat!

While flipping through a book, I saw a sketch of a character in cowboy gear. I thought the ten-gallon hat looked more like a taco. And so, in the spirit of Homer Simpson's Nacho Hat, I give you the Taco Hat! Watercolor sketch (as if you couldn't tell.)

More things from the sketchbook to come soon.