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

-Jesse

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

Veronica the Vicious

Feels good to have another character from the story fleshed out and rendered.  Veronica is one of Red’s old teammates and a main antagonist in the story.
She stands at the forefront of most of the opposition Red experiences at the academy and the two loathe each other deeply.

It’s nice to have a face to the description of the character and it’s already starting to pull ideas out of my head story wise.
Might have to continue moving forward with some of the other characters and see what happens.

– Jesse

“To create one’s own world takes courage.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

A Place to Call Home

Life surely is some sort of journey.
Many steps taken in one or different directions – over a lifetime – will take you somewhere. But is it the place you want to be?

I’ve found myself deliberately (and accidentally) in places, doing things that if I’d asked my younger self, I would have surely laughed at the question.

Regardless, here I am.
Luckily I’m still me, haven’t lost myself or my love of art.

-Jesse

“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.”
– Erol Ozan

Lucky Number Seven

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Seven years later, I find myself revisiting one of my first characters in the EFIL Universe.  June is back and better than ever in this pencil, ink, watercolor pencil and grey-scale Prismacolor drawing.

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I first came up with this character back in 2008 and it was pretty cool to look back at my older digital painting of June and see my progression over the years.

-Jesse

“All of us could take a lesson from the weather, it pays no attention to criticism.”  -Unknown

One

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About an hour spent on this speed painting.
I went with a different approach with my process, still starting off working small and zooming in as I go, but decided to start without a under sketch.  A bit rough.  :/

-Jesse

“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”  -Margaret Lee Runback

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In Search of Sir Sketch-A-Lot

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Managed to put some time aside for me, and put it to use scratching through layers of neglected rust.

Was watching some K-Pop videos yesterday and saw one by 4 Minutes where one of them was wearing this cool fur coat, and thought it’d make a good drawing.

-Jesse

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”  -Albert Einstein

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Great Way to Start Your Day

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One hour speed paint
Photoshop

Been awhile since I did any art, just to be doing art.  Everything has been for school or some commission.  It felt good just do do something I wanted to do, even if I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time on it.

I’m glad I did, because I see I’ve gotten rusty and I miss drawing everyday when I wake up.
It’s a great way to start your day.

-Jesse

“Tis’ better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.”  -Elizabeth Gilbert

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Older, yes. Wiser, maybe?

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Self-Portrait Assignment
Work in Progress

I took some time to really think about what I wanted to do with my self portrait.  I immediately crossed off the usual themes I normally use in my work (sci-fi, high-tech, space, and contrasting themes) and started thinking about myself, how I view myself, who I am and all that jazz.

I’m not sure when the idea of doing an older version of myself emerged out of all that (perhaps somewhere between all the seriousness and philosophical/introspective brainstorming), but it did and I started running with it.

My first couple of minutes after I found an image was spent arranging the image, fixing the canvas size, adding guidelines, etc.  But when I was ready to start laying out the foundation, I ended up with only a couple minutes before I had to go do something.  But this ended up to my advantage because I maximized those few minutes grabbing the most important lines, shapes, forms of my face.

I used the mouse and just clicked on a spot and then holding shift clicked on another location to connect the two points by a straight line.  I could’ve used the Line Tool, but this kept everything simple and allowed me to just click away.

When I came back to work on it a couple hours later I used the mouse a little bit longer, but then picked up my stylus and went to work.  The Canvas size is like 4500×2000 and I’m working at around 12.5% zoom, really focusing on form and shapes.

While working that small I started loosing details so I added a quick under painting on a new layer I placed underneath the sketch layers.

Establishing my value range.

I also duplicated my line work layer and placed the duplicate to multiply.

Also, started getting a weird Count Doku vibe.  🙁

That pea soup green was getting on my nerves, so I brushed in some color into the background and added some color to my clothes, not sure whether or not I want to keep the hoodie or go for another look.  :/

Filling in the colors a bit more, still not sure what I’m doing with the clothing yet, just going with the flow.

I also started working at 25% zoom now.

Where I stopped this morning.

I really don’t want to recreate the foliage in my backyard, but I’m not sure what to do with this background.  Between that and the clothing I need to come up with something.  Most of those pink and purple colors will probably be pushed back once I start getting working in the details and probably at 50% zoom as I’ll be closer to putting in the textures.  But I want a better idea of what I’m going to do with the clothes and background before I start doing details.

-Jesse

It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.”  -André Gide

Simplicity Takes the Lead

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Moving from grey scale to color was a challenge for sure, but a great opportunity to learn and grow as an artist.  I recently checked out a bunch of great and useful books from the library; Drawing and Painting the Portrait, by John Devane and a collection of Impressionist paintings and a collection of Michelangelo’s work.  Great stuff to take inspiration from.

At first I was abscessing about her curls and about the details on each and every one of them, so I was surprised at how much I liked the simple version of it instead.  Kind of feels like a good balance between my comic book style and the painterly method I’ve been working on.

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Works in progress I submitted along with the finished image above.  I think I ended up changing Selene’s face three or four times throughout the two weeks and it figures the one I kept was a simple and straight forward angle, with little details.

-Jesse

Moral of the story.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  -Leonardo da Vinci

Last Time, On Dragon Ball Z!!!

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Will Jesse finish rendering Selene in black and white and then have enough time to switch it over to color?  Can he Finish converting it to color in time to add a background, or should he just focus on adding a maquette like base?  Find out next time…

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Where I left off the other day.

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Not sure what manner of dissatisfaction or anger took my, but I decided that the face wasn’t working, although it was probably the neck/base of the head that was bothering me (tilt of the head?).  The rendering was fine, but I need to stop fussing about erasing in this case painting over something that has so much time spent on it.

Fear.  Doing it’s best to hold me back, but I push forward.

Started working on the boots at this point.  I told myself I wasn’t going to touch her face until the rest of her body and clothes were fully rendered.

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Overall everything is getting to that point where the body seems have their appropriate volume, I could probably go a touch darker with the highlights on the coat/dress and in a couple places on the purse and boots as well.  But mainly the fur and head/hair are what’s left to do now.

I’ll probably move her head back as if feels like she’s intently leaning in for some reason, when it seems she should be leaning back into her her walk.  We’ll see.

-Jesse

“Why are trying so hard to fit in, when you’re born to stand out.”  -Oliver James

A Series of Small Things

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Still plenty work to do, but I’m happy with where I find myself a week away from the turn in date.

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This was where we left off a couple days ago.  Selene still has her mean face on and she refuses to make eye contact with the viewer.

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Adding some value, pushing back the darks and bringing out the mid-tones.  It was here that I began to realize that I was doing a great deal of work, but hadn’t really introduced any highlights yet.  It’s why I like this method of using a 50% grey background, you can pick up on the fact your drawings are turning out flat and push those values.

Selene is looking happy with a small smile pulling at the corners of her mouth and she’s also looking confident as she’s making direct eye contact with the viewer.

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Adding the highlights helped begin pulling the forms out, but there’s still plenty of work to do.  Most areas still look really firm and rigid and her face looks like steel.

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A long break and then a study of what I had done so far enabled me to see some glaring issues with Selene’s face.  So for now, I left the clothes alone and focused in on her face.

I began pushing back her hairline and flattening the side of face where the cheek is.  I also pushed her eyes in so they weren’t floating on the surface as much as they were.

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Still with most of my attention on her face, I began smoothing out the skin and also giving her complexion an overall lighter tone.

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I managed to lighten up all her skin, but I’ll have to push it further into the lighter tones.  She’s suppose to have pale skin and long light golden hair.  There’s still some small proportions in the face I’ll have to balance out and I’ll probably tighten up the face a bit by her cheek bones.

The boots, bag, and fur around her neck will all be dark black and I’m leaning towards a midnight blue for her coat/dress.  With her moon shaped earrings a shiny silver.

-Jesse

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”  -Vincent van Gogh

Prototype, Progression

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-Jesse

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”  -Albert Einstein ‏