Repeating One Song for Hours

It’s the end of the year and Spotify graciously created a playlist of my top 100 most played songs for 2017, conveniently called “top songs for 2017.” It’s my second such playlist (2016 was jammed full of good music, some new and plenty not so new) and let me tell you, this playlist is full of songs I remember putting on repeat and just letting them play endlessly.

Sometimes a song is so freaking good, so well made, speaks so clearly to my inner being that I simply have to listen to it… over and over and over. Constantly, without stop.

Here’s a couple:

  • “Let Go – Sir Sly Remix” by RAC, Kele, MNDR
  • “Warrior” by Steve James, Lights
  • “Strong – RAC Remix” by London Grammar, RAC
  • Stranger than Earth” by Purity Ring

In other news, I painted a picture of Dianne. 🙂
Journey before Destination


“Why fit in when you were born to stand out” – Dr. Seuess

Verena, Why So Angry?

Verena faces

The library came swooping in and saved me during my time without an internet connection.

Was able to find some great references for the face structure that I felt was right for Verena, not particularily sold on any hairstyle as of yet, but I feel I’m getting closer… Glasses or no glasses?  That is the question.


“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Dr. Seuss

Two of Four


Made some minor adjustments on the first page image, mostly her open eye.  One the second page I wrote a brief introduction and fixed her head (hair, face, and proportions).  Two more pages for Red, hopefully the other 50 something pages won’t take as long as these two did.  🙂


“The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life – mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical.”  –Julius Erving

The Never Ending Need for Revisions


So, I added the freckles I forgot (again) and increased the shadows to my splash image, also adding highlights to her hair.  Pretty happy with it, but I think I’m going to go back and edit her face a little, I really want her to look as young as she is suppose to be, maybe it’s the lines under her eyes or the dark ink outlines, but she seems older than 17 years old.  🙁

I thought I fixed the hair on the full body image on the right, but that doesn’t look right.

Also, been slacking on my character description.  I’m not really sure what I’m suppose to put in there, so I’m going to have to track down some concept art books and see what type of info is standard.

All and all this week started off a bit slower than I’d liked, but now that I’m over the hump (and finished with my videography project) I anticipate a momentum shift.


“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  -Maria Robinson

Red Winked


Added colors and shadows (40% grey  on a multiply layer).  I’m a big fan of the digital painting look, but there is something about the simplicity of cell shading that I really appreciate.  I’m still not as good at it as I’d like, but what is practice for if not to get comfortable doing something?

I’ll probably come back and clean up some of the shadows, and possibly add a second shadow layer to really push some of those darker areas back.

After that I’ll be throwing this one on the page layout and fixing the character introduction.  I’ve decided to go ahead and make 4 page spreads for all the main characters.  They’ll include a1/2 or 3/4 splash image (page one), a full body shot with a character introduction (page two), a full body turn around at the top of the page and several character facial expressions at the bottom of page three, and finally several (two or three) full body shots that’ll lend some weight to who the character is.  Show some personality, how they dress, or perhaps some hobbies, etc.


“Failure is just the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”  –Henry Ford

Page Layout (Work in Progress)


Where I’m at now.


Last week I had an idea to complete a character sheet for Red.  I’ve been wanting to do one for her in a while and haven’t been able to get around to it.  Last week I also had an assignment to add text to an image in my Computer Art class, so I thought I’d knock two birds with one stone.  🙂

This is my starting point.  I created some placeholder text and added some head shots/head turn-around I had of her to add a little interest and fill some page space.  Not really thinking design at this point, just looking to get started and adding the elements I want to incorporate.


I started to think a little larger and decided that I’d like to create a full two page spread, one page just seemed to random and to fragmented.  So, I extended my canvas in Photoshop (Note: usually if I was creating a page layout I’d be using InDesign, it’s specifically made for such projects and has features that make the whole process, but because I initially wanted to make this for my Computer Art class I used Photoshop because that’s the program we’re required to use) and added one of my larger images of Red.


This is where I really started thinking about design, I broke out my Magazines and started looking for inspiration on how they broke up the page elements like page numbers, headers, etc.

I saw this half-tone background in one of the tutorials and thought it’d be a good fit, so I threw that in there and then started working with the character introduction text to try to get some depth by separating all the elements some how.

At this point I also decided that the splash image I was using for the first page wasn’t working.  Conceptually, it felt too emo and seemed to be too emotionally different in tone than the full body image on the second page.  Looking at it from a design aspect her looking off to the left brought the attention away from the second page instead of towards it.  After looking at it for a while I knew it wasn’t working and decided to place a temporary filler image until I figured out what to do.


After arranging and re-arranging elements for quite some time I ended up with this layout.  I ended up axing the multiple head shots, it just didn’t feel appropriate for this introduction spread.  This is more like the, “hey check out this character, her name is… here’s a little information about her…” and then they would turn the page and then probably see a front, back, and three quarters shot, and then maybe a head turn-around or some facial expressions.

So, I stuck with something a little simpler.  It was also at this stage that my teacher told me that this wasn’t going to work for my assignment and I started working on Science Blows Me Away…  🙁


So, the image I’ve been working on has been for this splash page and this is where I’m at with it right now.  Still some work to do on both the character and the design.  I also have to change the hairstyle on the full body image to the current style of the splash image.


“Your dreams won’t work unless you do.”  -Unknown

Portrait in Progress


I’m working on a character sheet for Arissa Redding using the last image I made with her wearing her uniform.  I was going to use the portrait image of her pouting as part of it, but it seemed a bit too emo and clashed with the smiling persona of the uniform image.  So, I set off to start a portrait style image, but this time with Red being a little more bright and silly… and border line cute.  So, I asked my friend Google to search in a place I knew was crawling with cute Asian poses, K-Pop.

images layered-bob-hairstyles-876x1024

After finding the image I wanted for reference, I began searching for some solid hair style reference.  I think I’ve had five or six different hair style variations since I started really attacking this Blue Moon storyline and now I am convinced I’ve found a winner.


This “bob” hair style was suggested by one of my friends on facebook and I’m glad I had asked for feedback when I posted that image.  It actually goes back to one of my first concept images of Red (back when her body type was still based off of a top super model lol).  That seems like ages ago, but it’s only been a couple months.  Time flies…


Where I’m at now.  You’ll recognize the uniform from my previous Arissa concept, I’m really digging it, I might make some small adjustments, but it’s pretty much how I want it at the moment.

Hopefully will have the finished product and then the character sheet by Monday.


“Hate is not the first enemy of love. Fear is. It destroys your ability to trust.”  -Unknown

Red – Academy Uniform

ThreeQuart_v6 ThreeQuart_v0

Starting off with reference as usual.  It’s difficult to find anatomical reference for people (especially women) that don’t conform to societies ideal proportions.

Red’s been an athlete for a the last couple years of her life, but for the last year she’s been in a funk after the passing of her father.  I wanted to show some weight gain, but still retain some of her body shape from her previous athletic participation.  Concentrating the weight gain in her mid-section and thighs.


Uniforms are tricky.  As the story takes place 150 years in the future I wanted something that looked futuristic, but still held some grounds in reality.  With these reference images, I chose a mix of old and new; keeping the look more academy then utility as she is still in school and not in combat.


Lighting was pretty similar to the original in the anatomical reference.


Ended up keeping her hair closer to my first couple character designs.  Still haven’t decided whether I’ll use this burnt orange hair color or the maroon I’ve used in the past.

The hair style still needs some refinement, but I feel I’m getting closer to what I originally imagined.


“Person who chases two rabbits catches neither.”  -Confucius

Pouting in Progress


One of these days I’m going to come up with a consistent look for Arissa “Red” Redding, but it is not this day.  What is happening today is arm capes, that’s a thing now.  🙂

I like how it’s turning out so far, haven’t drawn her in a while and I always enjoy exploring who she is as a character.


  • “Never forget the difficult moments, for these will be the reason why you will enjoy your happiness most.”  -Prasad Narulkar

Sci Fi Madhatter


My first time using the software program Alchemy (free to download  I heard about it in 2009 and was curious, but never really took the time to give it a fair try.  Since then I’ve seen people use it with fairly good results and it’s probably my aversion to change more than anything that stopped me all this time from giving it a go.  But for whatever reason I downloaded it and gave it a whirl.

It’s a bit difficult to control at first.  It gives you several different options and control settings, but of the most part it’s randomly putting down shapes in the general area you’re brushing in, which can give you some pretty cool and interesting results.  Really great for the first exploratory stages of concept art.


I took my favorite six Alchemy sketches and took them in Photoshop and started drawing on top of them.  Bringing a bit more control and emphasizing the parts of the sketches I liked.


Narrowed down my favorite three and spent a little more time on them in Photoshop.

Wasn’t able to finish up this Character of the Week challenge (again), but  I did get to discovery Alchemy and I can really see me using it in the future to help with the initial creative process.  #LearningExperience  🙂


“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”  -William Feather

El Finito


Every time I complete one of these Character of the Week challenges (or even when I just attempt them), I end up learning a great deal of things that will aid me in the next time I decided to draw.  Whether it’s how to render a shiny surface, or if I just re-learn a process to ensure it takes less time the next time I do it.  It’s a learning process, as long as I’m still learning I’m fine.


“The first and great commandment is: don’t let them scare you.”  -Elmer Davis