Monday, August 26, 2013

The Scary Branches

Practicing putting my characters in actual settings.  Also trying to be more dynamic with lights and darks.
This doesn't completely work for me but I can't figure out why.
Here's a rough reworking of the picture.   It seems more alive.  Hoping my coloring, inking and shading won't drain the aliveness.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Jello Heart

In 1999 I started my VFX career working the graveyard shift at Centropolis FX.  I was one of three overnighters, but the daytime people hung around into the evening.   They were busy, but found time to play around.  A football-sized wad of Silly Putty could be bouncing nearby.  Someone in a Boba Fett mask might be tugging at it and yelling that it was "stuck."   Furbys babbled over the intercom.  An alarm clock that made chicken noises squawked loudly at 3:30 am from a locked room.
Then there was the pop-up prank.
Someone would remotely log into your machine and  run a command that caused an image to pop up, repeatedly, on your screen.   Usually it was something gruesome- as in is That's not marinara sauce and ravioli!  It's blood and-  -HOLY MOTHER OF GAWD!!!
One weekend I had a little fun.  Some revenge.
 I'd found a Jello mold shaped like an anatomical heart.  It came with instructions on how to make a remarkably realistic desert.  You prepared peach gelatin with condensed milk, let it set, hollowed out the "aorta" and painted the "veins" with food dye.  The result smelled fruity but looked liked it'd been snatched from the coroner.   Small patches of unmixed milk clung to the surface like fat globs.  I put it on a tray and dumped strawberry syrup "blood" around it.
That Sunday, I snuck  into work and put it in the fridge.  I figured people would think a Jello heart was funny.  Then they'd eat it.  Right?
I reported to work Monday night.
Not long after, my boss stuck his head into the office.  "That thing you guys left in the fridge..." he laughed.  "You guys are sick f_cks!"
I came forward as the sick f_ck behind the prank.  "Did you like it?" I asked.  "Did you have any?"
He looked at me funny.
Later that night I learned they thought it was real- that I'd gone to a butcher and stuck a bloody beef heart into the fridge, next to the leftover bagels and black bananas.   It was immediately thrown out (they made the new guy do it.)  Nobody seemed to believe it was "only" Jello.  Didn't they notice it smelled like peaches?  Or were they so horrified that they didn't get close enough to inspect it?
 I'm not sure what's more disturbing- their lack of faith in my artistic ability (I did make fake stuff look real for a living, right?), or their assumption that I'd bring a actual heart to work and stick it in the fridge...
Sure, I'm weird, but not that weird.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

More Slug and Goose Evolution

Here's an earlier version of a page spread from my wannabe picture book.  The text is removed, but you can guess they aren't getting along...
 I thought my blue goose creature was a hoot.   Everyone else said "That's a goose?  He looks like Woody Woodpecker."
Then came a more goosey goose.  And slime.  (Left it rough and uncolored because I learned you're expected to submit it that way*)
It's an improvement.  Still, when I showed it to an art director, she pointed out that my art could be more dynamic: too many pages were using the same staging.  And shouldn't there be some kind of background?
Here's a new version (the blank space at the bottom is where the words go.)   Each character is trying to trick the other, so I played that up.  Or tried too.  I'll probably rework this page- and the others- a lot more before I dare submit this anywhere.

*Technically, you submit a mock-up version of your book with rough art, plus a few separate samples of how the art would look when complete.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Uh Oh....

Practicing the "drawings that include the background" concept.
Originally the sky was much redder, but it was distracting.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Caricature Attempt: Myself

This took forever.  I think drawing yourself is tricky because your brain knows damn well what you look like, and will detect anything that's off.  The hair drove me crazy too!
And here's a  revised version.   Resemblance is a bit better, but now it's losing some of the cartoony expression.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Slug Evolution.

Here's the original drawing I made for a spread in my (wanna be picture) book.  
At full size, it looks flat.
  I scrapped the lines and added some stylized shading and texture:
 Then I added slime:
The image  was one  I showed in my portfolio review.* The person doing the critique noticed  that the yellow slug had a  similar color value as the background grass.
Desaturate the image, and he's stealth slug!
 I played with the values, double checking the corrections in black and white:
 Here's how it looks now.  More changes to come, I'm sure.

*At the SCBWI 2013 Summer Conference.