Thursday, January 2, 2014

Harley Quinn

Here's a little sketch of Harley Quinn (from Batman: The Animated Series, and later just Batman in general, in case you don't follow that sort of thing).  I'm still figuring out how this Surface Pro and Manga Studio combo work, but i friggin' LOVE it. I did exchange my first Surface Pro, though.  The pen started getting really laggy and would constantly stop responding, then just "jump" ahead and push a hard, dark line across my pictures.  That was crazy frustrating, and I tried everything I could think of to resolve it (uninstalls, re-installs, updating and rolling back drivers, wiping the whole thing and starting over, etc) and I couldn't get it working properly again.  Luckily I was still in the Best Buy return/exchange period, and they promptly took care of that for me (plus, the Surface Pro was on a post-holiday sale when I did the return, so I managed to get about 80 bucks back. Not too shabby, indeed.)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santa Thing is Comin To Town

My first real attempt at drawing and painting with the Surface.  I think it turned out pretty good.  I'm getting a hang of the tools, and I still absolutely love this thing (and this Thing). I wish I could add the full sized version on here, because the detail is great.  I think it would blow up the site's layout if I did.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New tablet; New sketch !

I just finally picked up a Microsoft Surface Pro (the original, not the 2) tablet PC, and here is a (very) quick sketch I did while watching A Very Sunny Christmas special (Always Sunny in Philadelphia).  It is loosely based on Charlie, but I wasn't going for accuracy.  I just wanted a little inspiration for something to draw, in order to start playing around with the brush and paint tools in the program that I just bought for it, Manga Studio 5 (which is incredible, so far).  So this is really more of a learning exercise than a proper "sketch" but I thought it turned out OK for what it is.  I didn't have a whole lot of time to spend with it, and I am super slow with both the new hardware and software, but it is worlds beyond drawing on my iPhone or Nexus 7.  This little PC/tablet is pretty much the perfect little drawing tool (/toy), and something I have always dreamed of.

Hopefully, I will get some free time soon to spend exploring the software and new interfaces, and get some more sketches to post.  I am so excited! (it's a little ridiculous how happy this little thing has made me so far.)

A few things about the Surface - It doesn't really work very well as a straight-forward tablet.  I didn't have the keyboard for the first day or two, and man was it frustrating.  After picking up the keyboard cover ("touch" cover, really, but I am still batting around maybe trading up for the "type" one), it was night and day.  As a tiny laptop, with some touch capabilities, it seems to work great.  Windows 8 (a tiny bit less-so, 8.1, which I upgraded to after a few days) is really a bit schizophrenic.  The best way I could describe it is that it tries really hard to make you interact with it like a tablet, but then still presents everything like a PC would, stuck with vestiges of the "Windows" paradigms, but if you try and use it like older Windows versions, it's incredibly frustrating because everything is hidden behind layers of tiles, or swipe menus, or somewhere you can't find (although, getting into the habit of "searching" for everything helps alleviate the frustration some).  It's sort of stuck on the way to being a tablet PC, but as a (very) small laptop, it's great.  (And did I mention how much I love the drawing interface??)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cersei Lannister or Baratheon or whatever (Game of Thrones)

Cersei, to continue on my Lannister thing, I guess.  I'm really pretty happy with this one (although there are a bunch of little things that are bugging the hell out of me now that I am looking at it, which I am going to have to go fix).

This is the first of these that I actually sort worked like I used to, in the real media days, where I roughed out a pencil, then (on a new layer, instead of just over-top of the pencils, which I would later erase) I "inked" the picture, and removed (really, hid) the pencils.  It gives it more of a "clean" look, opposed to the others where I just use the eraser to whittle-down the roughs to something resembling a solid line.  I still have to do that somewhat here, since there is no "brush" really, without pressure sensitivity (oh god, how I want pressure sensitivity - Oh, and palm detection - ugh! it is so frustrating to have your picture suddenly zoom in the middle of a stroke, or random crazy lines appearing all over the place, or ending up at the Home screen, crashing your program and nearly loosing all that work. I say again, ugh!  But, I know the tablet does as well as it can.  I guess.  Sigh.  I really, really want a Surface Pro.  Or one of those big Wacom screen things.  I was thinking about those (used, of course), but the portability of the Surface really trumps it.  I am in need of a Laptop replacement soon anyway, so...

Jamie Lannister (Game of Thrones)

I think the detail in this deserves an "original size" post.  (I down-graded the last few to just "extra large" since they blow up the page when they are posted at the full file size, even though the detail is nice.  They look really keen on the Nexus screen.

Anyway here's Jamie from season 3, which as soon as as I saw it, I wanted to draw it.  I actually started this, and then abandoned it, after not really being able to wrangle it (the horse particularly) into something resembling what I wanted, or thought looked ok.  So I did the (relatively quick) Tywin one instead.  I can back to this one and finally got it looking somewhat decent.  Scribbled a quick background (with added fog to cover most of the blemishes), and it actually turned into something pretty decent.  Dark, but not terrible.

I really played a lot with Sketchbook's different brushes and different colors (which, if I haven't said it enough, I never do.  I haven't painted in well over a decade. Shit, I think a decade-and-a-half. That's depressing. Aside from the occasional dry-erase doodle, I never work with color.  I hardly ever even draw anymore. Which is the point of this whole thing. But, I digress.)  I really missed having a decent art interface (the program is, I think, pretty close to as good as it could be, but the tablet just isn't designed for doing art. The Surface Pro, on the other hand, sorta is.).