Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cover Art - 'A Lovely Singing Voice' - Provisional finals

A busy day - but I managed to get the cover art to a provisional final state :

Not too bad. I'll have to see what Rish thinks though.

He suggested a version which only had the fish and the eyes of the girl coloured - so here's how that looks :

I don't know about this one. Desaturating the hair left it looking pretty weird. Again - we'll see what Rish thinks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cover Art - 'A Lovely Singing Voice' - Even more fish

Now that the 100 drawing challenge is done - I can get back to finishing off this cover art :

Another four fish in there now. A fifth started on the left there. I'm pleased with the blue on in the lower right corner !

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Balls of Steel 100 Drawing Challenge : index and reflection

Here's the index of the themes of the challenge, with links to all the individual drawings :

1. Introduction
2. Love
3. Light
4. Dark
5. Seeking Solace
6. Break Away
7. Heaven
8. Innocence
9. Drive
10. Breathe Again
11. Memory
12. Insanity
13. Misfortune
14. Smile 
15. Silence
16. Questioning
17. Blood
18. Rainbow
19. Gray
20. Fortitude
21. Vacation
22. Nature

23. Cat
24. No Time
25. Trouble Lurking
26. Tears
27. Foreign
28. Sorrow
29. Happiness
30. Under the Rain
31. Flowers
32. Night
33. Expectations
34. Stars
35. Hold My Hand
36. Precious Treasure
37. Eyes
38. Abandoned
39. Dreams
40. Rated
41. Teamwork
42. Standing Still
43. Dying
44. Two Roads
45. Illusion
46. Family
47. Creation
48. Childhood
49. Stripes
50. Breaking the Rules
51. Sport
52. Deep in Thought
53. Keeping a Secret
54. Tower
55. Waiting
56. Danger Ahead
57. Sacrifice
58. Kick in the Head
59. No Way Out
60. Rejection
61. Fairy Tale
62. Magic
63. Do Not Disturb
64. Multitasking
65. Horror

66. Traps 
67. Playing the Melody
68. Hero 

69. Annoyance
70. 67%
71. Obsession 

72. Mischief Managed
73. I Can’t
74. Are You Challenging Me?
75. Mirror
76. Broken Pieces

77. Test
78. Drink
79. Starvation
80. Words

81. Pen and Paper
82. Can You Hear Me?
83. Heal
84. Out Cold
85. Spiral
86. Seeing Red 

87. Food
88. Pain
89. Through the Fire
90. Triangle

91. Drowning
92. All That I Have
93. Give Up
94. Last Hope
95. Advertisement

96. In the Storm
97. Safety First
98. Puzzle
99. Solitude
100. Relaxation

Kinda funny to see how early on there was very little editing / modifying / refining - and more and more crept in as I go on. Explains why this took about five months more than I meant it to !

Here's a graph of the broad genre base of the drawings ( if you're interested in that kind of thing ) : 

So - I did it. Yay ! 

In searching on line to see what other people had done on this challenge, I discovered that many people who started it seemed to do between 5 - 20 drawings before stopping. So I'm happy that I managed to go the full way through. 

Do I think I got better by doing the challenge ? 

Yes ? A bit ? I'm still learning. I did learn a bit about photoshop, and I think I'm getting better at using it. I did do a number of drawings that I really liked. I did a few that are pretty damn bad ( number 20 - I'm looking at you in particular ! ). 

I think the top ten are, in chronological order, are 4, 42, 55, 61, 62, 64, 67, 75, 89, 100

If you've been following me on this challenge - thanks for sticking with me. If you've left a comment or given me a like on Facebook, or told me you liked something I'd done when I was talking to you in person - thanks especially. I got discouraged along the way when things didn't end up looking very good, or I couldn't think of anything to draw, and there were times I felt like packing it in. All the encouragement and positive feedback really helped. Thanks very much ! 

Right - I've got to finish that cover art for Rish now !

Sunday, December 14, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #100 Relaxation

I have JUST finished the last of my 'Balls of Steel' drawing challenge drawings. Here it is :

That is a muton soldier from the 'XCOM:Enemy Unknown' video game. A damn good video game too, may I add. In the game, when you raid the alien base, you'll first find the 'alien entertainment' devices. They project a light display, and it seems to be the only from of alien entertainment / relaxation that exist. This muton is enjoying one such device.

It turned out alright, I think.

And that's it ! Hard to believe I finally made it. I'll do a reflection / index in the next post. Right now - I'm going to watch telly for a bit !

Saturday, December 13, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #95 Advertisement - done

Okay - it's done :

I could have spent more time on this - but I'm okay with how this one is.

Turned out okay in the end.

Those two ladies are the 'Other' versions of Miss Forcible and Miss Spink, the circus performer / actors from the Nail Gaiman book 'Coraline' - one of my all time favourite stories. If you haven't read the book - you REALLY should.

Friday, December 12, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #95 Advertisement - trapeze artist outlines

I managed to finish the first pass of the outlines of the trapeze artists tonight :

The proportions aren't quite right - but I don't think I can be bothered fixing them up at this stage !

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #95 Advertisement - background elements and scrolls

Very very busy. I had made some progress but then somehow managed to quit out of the file without saving. Many many swear words and profane oaths uttered !

I''ve mostly caught up to where I had got to tonight :

Changed the diamonds to be pink rather than red, so they stand out more from the curtains.

Friday, December 05, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #95 Advertisement - work in progress

Okay - I'm not back to number 95. I did want to do this in Illustrator - but in the end it was easier to start with Photoshop instead.

It's not done quite yet, but here's the starting sketch :

I've been putting some of the shapes on this evening :

I'm not sure the current colours will stay the same, but it's good to finally get on to this one properly !

Thursday, December 04, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #99 Solitude

Very busy evening with the kids and domestic business and such, so no time to colour this one :

This is supposed to be Howard Moon, one of the main characters from 'The Mighty Boosh'. Specifically it's Howard Moon from 'The Nightmare of Milky Joe' episode in season 2. That's Milky Joe in Howard's hand. Milky Joe was a coconut headed puppet Howard made after he was shipwrecked on an island, mostly to get at his friend Vince Noir, who he'd had a falling out with.

If you've not seen The Mighty Boosh - you should give it a try. Particularly if you like weird, surreal comedy. It is very strange at times.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #98 Puzzle

The end is in sight !

Things have been very busy at work recently - and a lot of my time has been taken up with end of year reports. Sigh. Still - they're finished now !

It didn't take me long to work out what I was going to draw for the theme word 'puzzle' :

This is a Cenobite, one of the monsters from the 'Hellraiser' films. Not one of the ones from the actual films, mind you - more an original one. The Cenobites are contained ( from what I remember anyway - it's been a few years since I saw the films ) within a puzzle box called the Lament Configuration.

The drawing turned out okay in the end. I messed up the body dimensions somewhat - and her legs are much too short. Other than that - I'm reasonably happy with how this one went.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #97 Safety First

Another theme that had me stumped for a little :

Then I thought of safety hats ( as you do ), and then I couldn't get the idea of 'Hard Hat Mack', a video game from the early 80's, out of my mind. I used to play it on the Apple computers at school, and I eventually got it for my own Commodore 64. A fun little game - though it didn't have a great deal of levels.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #96 Into the Storm

Okay - I'm skipping one just for the moment. It's planned out, but I'd like to try and do that one in illustrator. I'll be back for number 95.

'Into the Storm' had me stumped for a good long time. Finally, I hit upon this :

That is supposed to be Falkor, the luck-dragon, from 'The Never-Ending Story'. My one is more the book Falkor, rather than the film Falkor. Falkor in the book was ( from my memory anyway ) vaguely dog-like, otherwise pretty much all dragon. I never liked the Falkor from the film - I always thought he looked pretty dumb.

Anyway - I'm sure there's a part in the book ( which got edited out of the movie ) where Falkor gets into trouble with some storm giants. Or - if I'm imagining that - Falkor is here flying ahead of the Nothing storm - searching for Atreyu.

I couldn't be bothered doing much more than a quick colour fill on the outline here, and a 'difference cloud' render for the background. It worked out well enough !

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #94 Last Hope

Okay - another of the 100 drawing challenge works -

I don't know - I'm not thrilled with this one. R2D2 was really hard to draw, and didn't really come out too well. Still - it's done !

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Cover Art - 'The 10th Album' - Finished

And it's done ! A day late - but the podcast guys didn't seem to be knocking down the door to get this from me - so I think I'm okay :

Added a drop shadow to the text, put in another child outline, added a texture to the background colour. I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.

Back to the Balls of Steel challenge !

Friday, November 07, 2014

Cover Art - 'The 10th Album' - more crosses

I think I was supposed to have this finished today. Oops. But I might actually have an extra day up my sleeve, seeing as it's American time we're talking about !

Still - there's not much left to do. Check it out :

I quite like how this has turned out. Nice and simple, but the composition isn't bad. I think I'll try and add some subtle textures here and there, but it's not far off being done.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Cover Art - 'The 10th Album'

I know what you're thinking.

He's given up on the Balls of Steel challenge !

Nope - I'm still going on that. I have the next one drawn ( but not scanned or tidied ), the one after planned ( I want to try illustrator for that one perhaps ), and I'm working on the one after that ( essentially drawn now, just penning the lines properly ).

I have other things to get done though.

Like this cover art ! I know it needs to be done in November, and I've been kinda slack in getting it started. I'm making decent progress now though :

I have to add in five crosses on the bottom half, then try and get some more interesting texture on the silhouettes, and then add the text. I'm keeping this one pretty simple. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cover Art - The Thirteen Nights of Halloween

I was asked to do some alternate cover art for the Dunesteef's 'Thirteen Nights of Halloween'. I think I took a little too long to complete it - but I DID get it done !

Not the greatest - but there are some bits I like. It's pretty much just a collage of photo elements I stitched together.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #93 Give Up

The challenge has been off the boil for the last few weeks, thanks to all the other art stuff I've got on - but I have been slowly picking away at it.

I'll admit though - this one REALLY stumped me for a long time. I just couldn't think of anything to link into the phrase 'Give Up'.

But then I thought of this :

I'm not especially thrilled with it - but it's done at least 1

Seven to go !

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Cover Art - 'A Lovely Singing Voice' - More fish

Got another couple of fish completed :

Learned how to do a three colour gradient shift fill with that top fish - which sounds far harder and more impressive than it actually is.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Cover Art - 'A Lovely Singing Voice' - Fish development

Been working on the tropical fish. The girl is supposed to be looking through a fish tank - not that you would have been able to know that up to this point ... though maybe the rocks gave a small clue :

The bottom one is mostly ( if not totally ) done. The orange / white one has just been started. I'm hoping that they don't make the image look too busy - but I guess the beauty of photoshop is that I can just turn the fish 'off', and rearrange their positions to mt heart's content !

Monday, October 06, 2014

Cover Art - 'A Lovely Singing Voice' - T-shirt, hair, face development

Had some time to work on the covert art a little this evening:

I'm still not overly thrilled at this stage. It's slowly coming together though.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Cover Art - 'A Lovely Singing Voice' - face development

Had some time to develop the face today :

I don't know that she looks particularly young at the moment - but she does look a good deal more sinister.

It's a start.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cover Art - 'A Lovely Singing Voice'

I was listening to an episode of the Dunesteef's offshoot podcast today, and one of the hosts mentioned that he was needing cover art for his story 'A Lovely Singing Voice', and gave a brief description of what the image was that he was after - one of the principal characters looking through an aquarium.

'I could do that' I thought to myself.

When I got home ( I was at a park with the boys at the time ), I did a REALLY quick sketch, and sent it off to see what the general thought was on it. I didn't know if he wanted / needed me to do anything for him ( and I did feel a little weird about offering with no invitation ), but I thought that even if he didn't, it might be a good drawing exercise for me.

I was happily working on the look of the aquarium stones :

When I got an email back - he liked the general idea and seemed pretty happy for me to knock something out for him. So that's cool. He did want the girl looking more sinister and for it to be bigger - which shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Updates as I progress !

Saturday, September 27, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #92 All That I Have

Finally got this done. Yet again - I was GOING to only post the sketch, but I can't seem to help myself and had to get colour, shading and highlights in as well :

It's supposed to be one of the Junk Ladies from the movie Labyrinth. It turned out okay I think. The dress and apron could have used more work.

Eight to go !

Saturday, September 20, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #91 Drowned

Super busy with all sorts of stuff at work - so these last few are really dragging out.

I present this week's offering :

This is supposed to be Cthulu - the monstrous god-creature from the writing of H. P. Lovecraft. He lies in his death-sleep in the drowned city of R'lyeh, waiting till the stars align and his reign of terror can take over the planet. So, there's the drowned link.

It didn't really turn out as well as I thought it might be. The legs are pretty wonky, but the reaching hands arn't too bad I guess.

Nine to go.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #89 Through the Fire

Yet again - somewhat later than I would have liked, but here's the one I 'skipped' slightly :

This is Daenerys Targaryen, from the 'Game of Thrones' / Song of Ice and Fire stories, having gone 'through the fire' and having her newly hatched dragons with her. I tried to make the Daenerys layers look burned or sooty / grimy - but I couldn't really get it to work. This looks fine, and I'm reasonably pleased with the way it turned out.

Friday, September 12, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #90 Triangle

Yes - I know that I've skipped number 89. I'm still working on that one, but this one is finished so I thought that I'd post it now :

The all-seeing eye of the Illuminati. Didn't turn out too bad at all.

Hard to believe that I'm almost down to the last 10 !

Thursday, September 04, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #88 Pain

So I wasn't going to colour this one, but I couldn't seem to stop myself. I'm glad I did now - it ended up looking pretty good :

This is a Pain Elemental - from the video game 'Doom 2'. They were pretty nasty enemies, from what I remember. They would spit out these flaming skull demons at you, and I'm pretty sure that when you finally killed one they would explode, releasing a number more of the flaming skull demons.

Pretty happy with the way this one turned out.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #87 Food

Quickly threw this one together :

The Cheese-Spider, from 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2'.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #86 Seeing Red

Just a quick one this time :

Sauron, seeing 'in red' over Middle-Earth, from the top of his fortress - Barad-Dur.

A little out of the box perhaps.

Friday, August 29, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #85 Spiral

Yet again, this took far longer than I would have liked - but I think it was worth it this time :

This is one of the Black Spiral Dancers - the corrupted werewolf clan from the 'Werewolf : The Apocalypse' role-playing game. They're particularly dangerous enemies.

It hasn't been often I've said this in the Balls of Steel challenge, but I'm REALLY pleased with the way this one turned out. I like how the clashing colour looks on the green fur, and the green flames on the bane-glaives look pretty damn good, and I think I got the slight glow on the eyes working well.

So yes - I like this one a lot.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #84 Out Cold

Yet again - took longer than I would have liked to finish this one :

Perhaps a little more literal on the 'cold' word - but what the hell. Of course, this is Mr. Freeze - the Batman villain. I rather like Mr. Freeze. There's a tragic aspect to him. And that Mr. Freeze boss fight in the Arkham City video game ? Man - that was FANTASTIC. That Mr. Freeze was terrifying !

Sunday, August 10, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #83 Heal

Just finished this now :

This is supposed to be a Guardian of Kings from the 'Hearthstone' video game. When you summon it, it heals you. So there's the link.

I guess it turned out okay. I could have spent more time on the shading, but it's time to move on.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #82 Can You Hear Me ?

Finally finished #82 -

Not super happy with this. I had trouble thinking of something for the starter, and never really got into this one.

It's done now, at least !

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #81 Pen and Paper

Only a quick clean-up and colour tonight :

Would have liked to change the wings a bit, otherwise - it's alright.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #80 Words

With term started again it's harder to get these completed regularly. I have the outlines of this one done before now though, I just hadn't had time to finish it off in photoshop. I really wanted to get some basic colour in on this one.

Not too bad. It would probably benefit from some shading - though no time to do that at the moment !

I had forgotten to do the feet, so I had to rush them through - they're not the best. I'm not thrilled with the face, but overall I'm reasonably pleased with this one.

I have the outlines completed on the next one too - I'll try and get it up ASAP.

Friday, July 18, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #79 Starvation

Managed to get another quick drawing done today :

Wilson, from the video game 'Don't Starve'.  A cool, if VERY unforgiving survival game.

Didn't mess around with the original too much - tidied up some of the lines and quickly dumped in some colour. No shading.

BoS Drawing Challenge - #78 Drink

I wasn't going to colour this one - but I couldn't stop myself in the end :

I was tempted to draw Father Jack Hackett from 'Father Ted' for this one - but in the end went for the 'Giant's Drink' from the novel 'Ender's Game'. I'm mostly fairly happy with this one, though the legs / feet aren't great.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #77 Test

Another insomnia fueled one here - at least in the areas of cleaning the line work and colouring :

Reverend Mother Gaius Mohiam before she performs the 'humanity test' on Paul Atreides - from 'Dune', as if you didn't know. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #76 Broken Shards

My youngest was very ill today. Running quite a temperature, and not his usual active self. So while I was sitting with him, I was able to quickly knock this out :

This is supposed to be Aragorn inspecting the broken shards of the sword Narsil. Not too bad. A bit cartoony - but then most of my stuff tends to be !

I have learned, thanks to YouTiube, how to better scan line work into Photoshop - isolating the lines and extracting them from the paper background. Very easy to do really - wish I had known it sooner ! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #75 Mirror

Got the idea for this one pretty quickly, which isn't too surprising I guess :

I would have liked the background to be a little more detailed, but I wanted to get it up on the blog. I also tried to add a ripple effect to the mirror - but I couldn't get it to work. Ah well. Overall - not bad.

Friday, July 04, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #74 Are You Challenging Me ?

A bit of a different direction from my usual fare - a Biblical base !

David and Goliath. Enough said.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #73 I Can't

Got the idea for this one fairly quickly. Didn't spend too much time refining it - just wanted to get it done ! :

About time for a 'Princess Bride' one !

Thursday, June 19, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #72 Mischief Managed

Ugh - the last couple of weeks have been difficult. I've barely had time to do anything. I finally managed to get the outlines done on 72 today, and I've only been picking away at it during lunchtimes. Still - it's done :

I did originally want to do a background to this one - Loki being in front of the containment thing on board the hover-ship thing from 'The Avengers' - with Thor stuck inside. But it's taken me so long to just get this far - I just wanted to post this and get started on the next one. Meh - not great, but finished is something !

Monday, June 09, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #71 - Obsession

Got clobbered by insomnia again today - been up since 2am. *groan*

But - again - there was a silver lining. Did a good deal of the colouring on #71 :

This is supposed to be Shrike and Hester from the 'Mortal Engines' books. I did this at the Shakkespeare nationals mostly, and didn't have a internet link to check up on how they both looked. Shrike did indeed look different, and I think Hester was supposed to be more disfigured. But - it's done.

It's okay I guess.

On to #72.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #70 - 67%

Sheesh - been well too busy the last couple of weeks. Don't want to go into it right now, as I'm going to hit the sack very soon.

But here we are in the 70's now ! A tricky theme this one, but in the end I came up with this :

Only a very minor touch up to the central figure, and a REAL quick sketch of the shield and the blaster shots. No time to to it properly, thought it was best just to get this one published.

Right - sleep.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

BoS Drawing Challenge - #69 Annoyance

These things are taking longer and longer ! -

Not hugely happy with this one - the waving hand is pretty mangled. I could have done more with the shading, but I figured this was good enough.