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d388 Drawing Miscellany

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Well, I dunno how much more I’m going to post given that J seemingly isn’t anymore, but here’s one more for the road.

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Published by D, on April 30th, 2014 at 11:48 am. Filled under: d_paints,d_sketchNo Comments

d384 c140113

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I’ve tried to write this post a couple times now, and it just hasn’t happened. This time I actually have something to write about!

This painting, which doesn’t have a convenient name since it’s original content, is part of a continued effort to better integrate figure and non-figure and the many layers of background to foreground, all of which has been a perpetual problem with no clear solution. This painting is also somewhat of a return to my roots in that even though the figures are in the foreground, the focus in effort is really on the non-figures in the background, and I think that is a first for a painting with both in it.

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Published by D, on February 13th, 2014 at 12:39 am. Filled under: d_paintsNo Comments

d383 Lenovo ThinkVision LT1423p

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Last year there were three products that I wanted or wanted to try, and they were all delayed and more expensive than advertised. The first was the Helix. The second, which I have not mentioned, but may write about in the future, is an update to the Corsair K60 with clicky keys and backlighting. The third, which has been delayed by far the longest, is the one I’m talking about today, the Lenovo ThinkVision LT1423p.

I’ve been complaining for a while now that there are basically no good convertible tablets out there anymore, and as of now I’m going to stick with that. Everything comes in a gimmicky form factor with the wrong digitizer in an overweight or underpowered package (I’m not really one to care about compute power, but I don’t want an Atom in my secondary notebook). As such I’ve been looking to go back to using a “conventional” tablet with an awesome ultraportable, but with a tablet more like a Cintiq than an Intuos. I was very close to shelling out and buying a Cintiq, but then, maybe early last year, I heard about the LT1423p.

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Published by D, on January 8th, 2014 at 12:51 am. Filled under: d_others,d_paints Tags: , No Comments

d382 Photoshoops

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I’d been only thinking about it for a long time, but the day finally came when I decided to start using Photoshop, and that was that.

I’m using the “free” CS2, which may be 10 years old, but it’s still newer than both OC1.1 and PSP7 by another three. As my stance continues to be “software only gets worse”, I’m not going to go so far as to say the former is “better” yet, but it certainly has more features both of the latter combined. For the most part, the transition was relatively painless, much like the “transition” to pen – most of the graphic editing features in CS1 work the same way that they did in PSP7; they are just organized differently. I even learned about PSP features that I didn’t know existed (like layer blending modes).

The biggest change for me is switching from the OC brush engine to the PS brush engine. The OC brush engine actually has a couple sliders you can tweak, but the stock brush is pretty good at everything, so in my drive to Keep It Simple(, Stupid), I had for many years only used two brush settings: the stock one and something to do fills. I don’t think I can just use the stock brush settings in PS, but so far I’ve been able to get decent results by only changing brushes and manipulating opacity and leaving everything else alone.

So far I’ve done four paintings in CS2, and two have been pretty good and two have been pretty mediocre. Apparently I still don’t really have this painting thing down, as I can still sink a ton of time into a painting and have it turn out mediocre. Which sucks.

This is one of the two better ones. It’s Shinku from Rozen Maiden. The third season aired last season, and I was somewhat disappointed because while the relatively popular first two seasons were about the dolls, the producers inexplicably decided to make the third season about Jun.

This is the other of the two better ones. It’s Colette from Tales of Symphonia. This painting is actually somewhat of a remake of the same from 2005. I think the 2005 was made in PS as well, albeit 7 instead of CS2.

My continued efforts to find a solution to the cursor accuracy problem was a strong driver for trying a different graphics suite. PS does seem to eliminate the green delta, but the continued existence of the blue delta still makes drawing harder than I think it should be. All four of the paintings I did were digitally inked, but the linearts were still kind of rough, and I still definitely can’t comfortably draw from scratch on a tablet yet. More on this subject in a later post though!

The styles of Shinku and Colette reflect what I now consider my two major “branches” of coloring, something closer to paint and something closer to cell-shade, respectively. Much like how I kit-bashed several models together to make papercraft Titanic, I kit-bashed multiple tutorials to make these paintings. I really like Shinku’s background, which was done in PS from scratch, but I think Colette’s figure turned out better. Colette also has some places where I tried to color the lineart, which is something I’ve wanted to try for a while, but is apparently more difficult to do well than I had imagined.

If there’s anything I’ve learned (or relearned) in this process, it’s that everything still comes down to having a fantastic lineart, in which case the coloring doesn’t need to be spectacular. As such I’m going back to just drawing for a bit after this.

Published by D, on December 10th, 2013 at 2:09 am. Filled under: d_paints Tags: No Comments

d381 Tales of Xillia Paintings 2013

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Well, as it goes: another month, another post…

I haven’t been quite as prolific with paintings in 2013 as I was in 2012, but I’ve been turning out a good number and variety nonetheless. I say time and time again that my constant struggle is one to simplify tooling and process, to make the finished product with as few tools and as few steps as possible. For the past couple years this has been a theme in my life outside of drawing as well as I’ve continuously tried to get rid of junk that I don’t need.

Anyway, this quest has led me to keep revisiting tried methods of painting, which is how this first one is done.

Pure pencil linearts have been done time and time again with varying degrees of success. Even this particular flavor of pure pencil lineart – more or less a sketch with little to no touchup – has been done enough for various Tales group paintings that you can see the evolution (The years are 2006, 2007, 2012, and 2013 respectively)! Overall I think I definitely did better on this than on the Graces 2012 painting with the same process, but it’s one of those cases where I can’t quite put my finger on why.

One of the reasons I want to simplify drawing process – other than for the sake of simplifying – is that I want to be able to draw detailed backgrounds without having to draw them twice. This means that I don’t want to have to draw it in pencil and then go over in ink, nor do I want to draw it in pencil and go over it again in digital ink. Going all pencil is one direction I could go, but with pencil I have that whole smearing problem, and increasingly more relevant is my increasingly passionate hatred of eraser crumbs.

Going all digital is a little more interesting because even after many false starts (almost as many as pen), I am still convinced that it is ultimately the way forward. That being said, I am increasingly convinced that the false starts are from beginning to hit the limits of my tooling, and that goes for things other than cursor accuracy now. My latest gripes are not being able to zoom out more than a certain amount in OpenCanvas and how the program renders everything without anti-aliasing at any zoom level other than full size. The former obviously makes it very difficult for me to look at a drawing in it’s entirety, which is especially important if I’m going to draw stuff digitally from scratch, and the latter makes it very difficult for me to visualize actual line quality when zoomed.

Of course, the accuracy problem is still more annoying especially for drawing, which is part of the reason I keep trying to let paint do the work. This next painting follows the same theory, but I am also trying to do some better background work as per my last post. Initially I intended to digital ink the figures and remove the background lineart, but I didn’t.

I thought the lighting here would be difficult to do, but I just did it like element by element, little by little, and I think it turned out pretty well. I did a tiny bit of erasing/touchup on the single-weight pencil sketch, but I didn’t do any color adjustments on the paint – for the most part I think I’m becoming decent at getting the colors that I want the first time around.

Published by D, on October 29th, 2013 at 9:38 pm. Filled under: d_paintsNo Comments

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