29 September, 2018

Colouring Book: Fantomorphia - Purple Pumpkin

I worked on several things during the month and one of them was this pumpkin. I'd seen SO many variations in orange I  knew I didn't want to do that, but deciding on a colour scheme required some research. I'd finally settled on the pumpkin and then I went to look at the colours of the vines and realised in nature they don't tend to turn the autumn colours I'd been expecting. But then I thought, the pumpkin is already purple, just do whatever, so I continued with the bright leaves and a more dead-ish brown for the vines. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, especially since it's all just Copic instead of adding detail with pencil afterwards.

18 September, 2018

Colouring Book: Rhapsody in the Forest - Halloween Gambit

After a tiny bit of experimenting I realised how amazing my Inktense pencils worked with the Tombow blender pen (which I learned how to refill) I finally decided to work on this page. I skipped it last year because I honestly figured "hey, one day I'll figure out how to make it nice" and I did! This is the wash that I did with just basic Inktense blended out. I'd previously done a shot like this and side by side it's neat to see how much the details really change a picture from flat colouring to shading/shadows/detail.

Here's the finished piece. I used Luminance for the details and attempted to mimic my cat Gambit's fur. I underestimated how sad it'd be to have a reference photo of her up on my desktop as I coloured this, looking into those eyes constantly now she's gone, but I'm glad this came out so well. The Luminance just work amazing in these books too, of course they do, so that was great. I'm so happy with how this came out and how easy it was to do that I'll be sure to focus on these two books more in the future. Just gotta find that niche of what works best in what book.

17 September, 2018

Art Bag #52: Way Too Many Stamps & Thangs

Yet another round of stamp purchases while I am flooded with ideas on little scenes to make with them and my Copics. I have *definitely* gone overboard, no doubt about it, but it's so fun to get things in the mail too!

14 September, 2018

Colouring Book: Grimms Nightmares - Terrorized Tangled

While I'm not really a fan of Amazon's CreateSpace paper they use for cheap printing, preferring my own super-smooth printer paper for coloured pencils and/or Copic paper, I have to admit that if you learn how to do it colouring with Copics on it is not terrible. Sure, they bleed outside the lines, but if you pay attention to it and work *with* the bleeding it's quite fast. Such was the case with this one. I'd bought a few "I guess this is all they have" type books last year around Halloween time and I'm still operating with the idea of hoping to finish a piece in every book I own. I won't make it by the end of 2018, but seeing as it's Halloween time I wanted to try to finish a page in as many Halloween books as I could. This one was fun and quick as I coloured her to look like Disney's rapunzel and did simple *fake* cell shading. I kinda want to learn that actual technique now.

Colouring Book: Beauty of Horror - Snake Charmer

While I love this book one thing I do not love about it is all the intricate frames. Yes, I'm sure they took a long time for Alan Robert to draw but I just don't want to colour them sooooo... I paint them out!

One important thing to remember is there's a stage in colouring, somewhere near the beginning or around the middle, where the project looks ugly. Sometimes SUPER ugly like this. It's just a wash of flat Tombow Dual Brush pen colouring. I'm not a fan of flat colouring and the reason....

Is that detailed colouring is so much more fun to look at! I went with brighter and fun colours so she'd appear more childlike and yet, of course, still a zombie. Yeah, don't apply too much logic. Fun and quick to colour was the point. And I used some grey Distress Oxide and a stencil to give all that black paint some character. Took two seconds and I really like how it came out. Win/Win

13 September, 2018

Colouring Book: Everyday Horror - Bloodbath

I'd started this page a long while ago, last year I think, working on that tiled background but... yeah, didn't want to finish it or ran out of Halloween time. I need to stop limiting myself by season, and yet... Most of this is Inktense pencils and the rest is Copics because I wanted it to go fast.

12 September, 2018

Colouring Book: The Witcher - Geralt vs the Noonwraith

Really loving the contrast between the flat wash photos and then the details I try to remember to take one with every page I colour. Basing in the lights and then adding the dark to light is fun, even with Copics. The only difference is at this point I'd tried a different sky, didn't like it, and painted over it by now. It would have looked fine if this book were made with Copic paper, the transition would have functioned better, but for this book it just didn't satisfy me and Geralt's fighting a *noon*wraith anyway, so a bright sky was a better choice than the dawn sky I'd tried.

And here's the finished shot. I'm really happy with how the grass came out, especially considering how much time I spent on getting the texture of it. I worked with several in-game reference photos for both the wraith and Geralt's armour because I don't actually wear armour when I play. He's invulnerable, so I just put him in a plain shirt and trousers. But since this is the base armour the book has many illustrations with him dressed this way.

10 September, 2018

Studio Monday: Swatching is Hell

This one is stupid long, but not nearly as long as friggin' swatching all your supplies if you've been crafting 10+ years. And I'm not even done yet. I'm checking things off, trying to make myself feel better with indications of progress, but honestly I *hate* doing swatches.

If you've been around the 9 years I've been colouring with Copics you might have seen this little journal before. I used to have it stuffed full of just colour combos, or the *illusion* that I'd make colour combos, but I realised that it's always been clunky and unused. Not to mention ugly. So what I did was I pulled this small 3 ring binder out, mixed media-d it like crazy, and finally found the motivation to fill out colour charts of all my colouring supplies on their appropriate paper they work best on. That way I have an easy reference of how the product *really* performs.

One of the reasons I'd stopped keeping track of colour combos was how boring it was to actually implement them. I'd have to either stop what I was doing to colour this little face/body/clothing/whatever image in the middle of a project or delay cleaning up to make sure I got the colour combo down, *or* waste time taking a photo of the markers and then never going back to it. All around, screw that. So I printed some graph paper lines onto Copic XPress It paper and now there's boxes. Takes a minute or two to get it down nicely. Plus I can fit a lot more information into one page.

I bought the Hex charts from Sandy Allnock for the supplies I have and I kinda of made up the rest from various google searches. But for the Copics, Luminance, and Polychromos I printed out two, one 8.5x11, one small for the journal, so it was *double* the work. I hate the monotony of swatching, and took the time to edit Witcher 3 videos for my Gamer Aeryn channel to keep me from going insane. 

Of course once the charts are *done* they're very useful. Not only do they look pretty, but they're good references when your brain says "I need this kinda colour that's like... I dunno" and you can look through the book and find which supply you might need. Easier to compare them all without opening every single case for the chart in there and then having to return them to the right case again and... yeah it'd be a mess. This is faster and nicer.

I decided that one binder will just be the colouring supplies, like pencils and markers, that way I can keep it more narrow and include colour combinations. I then thought "what if I did a catalogue of *every* supply, so I know what all I have without hunting around" and I dunno where THAT insanity came from, but yeah, that'd be a different binder. Just all the Tim Holtz things alone is daunting, let alone the paint, india ink, crayons... yeah, I'm going to do it, but I'm not going to push myself on it too much. 

I got stuck into this for a few days and realised I had nearly no time to colour Mike's present so I stopped and then kinda dip in and out of swatching because, yeah, I hate it so much.