100 Days of SPREY – 45-49

It seems like I look away for a moment and a couple of days pass in the meantime.

But this time I need a timeline.

So there was quite some emotional turmoil over the past days, maybe the whole of January. It is not my month, and I still get a ton of work done. It just doesn‘t feel good and sometimes that is how growth happens. Nobody said it has to feel good.

23th of January, Saturday: I‘m making a short synthwave music clip with Rich „listening“ to the concrete, with minimal animation, flickering lights. This is my first video in Open Shot ever. And I also create a Youtube account to share the meme with friends.

24th of January, Sunday: To my own surprise I finish the first part of chapter 2. Usually I‘m just numb when something gets finally done, but this time I guess I must have felt some sort of metaphoric birth pains over the past days. And after I realized it is over I am very lost what to do now, so I decide to take a couple of days or probably all of the week off to sort myself, catch up with some other things and relax. I let the readers vote what flashback chapter we get next.

25th of January, Monday: I am surprised that the readers chose the tale of the death of Rich‘s father over how Rich fell in love with Willard. I had prepared for the latter. To my own surprise I write and finish the script for Father‘s Death the same day. The surprises do not end, I am making a little trailer for it on a whim, experimenting with title cards and setting the mood for what is to come.

Apparently making videos is a part of the toolkit now.

26 of January, Tuesday: I am still so emotionally overwhelmed by my own script and all the details that I now know about Willard, Rich and the world around them, that I shut off and focus on gamedev, namely a machine props concept art gig and work on „Your Land“.

The script is based on a shortened version of a standalone comic I wrote last year, how and why Rich left school at 10 years of age to become a freelancer. That script made me cry and why shouldn‘t the condensed version with a different angle not make me cry, too? I love Street Prey even more now, the more I know about my characters and their story. But apparently you can have too strong emotions that make you break down. I got into listening to Gunship at the same time which did not help, because their music is dripping in emotion. If love in all it‘s raw power and nuances was audible, it would be Gunship I‘m sure. I‘m exhausted,but inspired to improve Street Prey in the future, to translate and convey more of what I feel. I want it to be more like the synthwave music my comic is inspired by.

I get the machine gig done and start negotiating about some follow up work. I really love machines, I learned. But when I dedicate my time to design and tweak them, I‘m usually too tired to make sense in my comic the same day. Comic work needs vastly different creative muscles. So it was a really good call and great luxury to be able to do the machines in peace. I feel like I can explode and design anything now if I put in enough time to research. And I learned how to draw in isometric perspective which should come in handy for the rest of my life.

I also got a ton done for „Your Land“. Really can‘t complain how things are going, except for I‘m still very tired.

27 of January, Wednesday: Revenge of the workaholism. I crashed today after not being able to sleep at night. I respect that I have to pay some price for what I‘m doing, so I guess I am taking the few wake hours I have today off for good. The problem is, I‘m immediately bored and uneasy, yet too unfocussed to do meaningful work or reading. Or I‘m not done waking up yet. I‘m starting to suspect that some people have a hard time falling asleep and waking up and that is just a sleep type. But when they are fully awake and well, beware!

Today I also decided that I will not take part in the watercolor challenge I found. I am physically repulsed by the topic and it‘s humor and more than slightly amused about it. Yes, if forced I can do anything, but apparently I do not love everything as much as SPREY or prop concept art gigs. And that is okay. I‘m grateful for the reminder and also grateful that I might have a bit more of an idea who I am and who I am not now.

Throwing the cats out of the Styx formula, that means, my three Ms are Men, Machines and Monsters. With one of these or the combo of them I can never go wrong. Let‘s see what the future holds!

I feel the remnant of a need to justify why I take a week off and do not just continue uploading SPREY. Why should I? I have proven that I can work on it daily already, I don‘t even need daily blogs to document that anymore. In sum, I do a lot of work on the side, too, more than in the beginning of my intense blogging phase last year. Right now I‘m learning how important rest is as well. I bet this week here is helping a lot with that. I‘m exploring new land and doing my best to be grateful, even on the confused days. I want to give you an even better comic experience and thinking about what I can do for that. That might be worth a separate blog entry in the next days.

See you next time!

100 Days of SPREY – 30

Today I had even less energy than yesterday and felt physically bad most of the day, but still did my daily work, my daily comic panel and managed to do some extra thumbnail work on the comic, laying out a bit cleaner what is about to come. Thumbnails are priceless. You get to see a preview and can edit and improve it! It just indeed costs some extra energy and commitment to do this step properly. I cannot share the thumbnails here to not spoil any readers of Street Prey. And hopefully I find into a healthy balance again within the next days.

Today’s screengrab for the color study is from “Silent Night Deadly Night” (1984) again. I will return to color studies every day until it clicks. That could take a while, but I’m stubborn.

See you next blogpost!

100 Days of SPREY – 27, 28

Yesterday was a pretty unremarkable day and I fell asleep early. Despite or maybe because of sleeping for long I woke up tired today and carried that through the whole day, causing some delays. I still got my daily work done and got a surprising reward. I am constructively confused today. Shoutout to my artist friends Deerbard and Zyalin who reminded me today that if you do studies you better have a clear goal in mind. Also with art in general. Thank you very much, from time to time we all need to be reminded of that!

I feel that up until now I tried to include anything and everything in my color studies, which made me slow and exhausted. Today, in this study of a movie still from Silent Night Deadly Night (1984) I just left my black lines in and was not half as tired. I also do not feel I missed out on something as my main concern with the piece was catching those muted movie colors as well as getting the man‘s expression right. In the movie‘s context it‘s all about his reaction to the revelation that it‘s christmas soon, the holiday he hates and fears most. I was later told my values are off. They seem to be off a lot of the time. But it seems like my study was not about the values at all. I clinged to the shapes I identified as those I could show through solid blacks and built up my piece from there. And the rest was an afterthought. I am not saying this is good or bad, it is just an observation.

I am also constructively confused why my orc studies look so good on the other hand. I was not concerned with getting anything right there, just sketchbook fun and fun exploration, sometimes deviating quite widely from the reference pictures.

Lastly, will you look at the changes our boy Felipe went through in the comic! After making the panel today it struck me that something must have happened in my art. I also remember very well how anxious I was with each panel. I was afraid one bad stroke and the characters would be ruined. Not that this isn‘t true, but nowadays I shrug and make as many versions as I need to get to an acceptable result. I think it‘s a difference of about two months we are looking at with the older Felipe. Me from two months ago would probably have wished to draw like today, but couldn‘t yet. I just have to watch my contrasts, I think my panels are getting really dim lately. But isn‘t it always like this? You fix a thing in your art fundamentals and suddenly something else is your worst and is keeping you down? I‘ll keep going, observing and taking notes. And I‘ll also watch my goals.

See you next blogpost!

100 Days of SPREY – 26

First of all – it worked!! With the tweaks to my process that I was experimenting about the last days I managed to draw 3 panels instead of one in the same time I usually need for one! There might have been some luck involved, too, but I will keep pushing and keep those panels coming in the „simpler“ style. I decided „dead black“, 100% pure black, is my friend as a beginner and will be using and abusing it until I myself become tired of it and become hungry for more nuance. For Street Prey it‘s absolute fine though, it really fits the tone.

Above: example panel with the modified style

Other than that I have been very disciplined. I streamed like a champ working on new designs for Your Land. I hope to make more progress soon. Apparently designing four humanoid races at once and making sure they don‘t look alike in Minecraftlike graphics is quite complex and requires some time and effort. But I‘m on to it.

I also did my daily drawing exercises. Apparently I got the ratios wrong, though. Several hair studies a day are absolutely no problem while making only one color study but making it with brain and a lot of observation was enough so that I needed a break. It might have also been because of the unfamiliar territory with this master study. Anyways, 5+ hair studies a day and at least one well done color study (well done in the learning process, not necessarily in the result) should be fine, too. I must keep enough energy to draw my daily dose of Street Prey after that!

And time for a little autobiographical note. I ordered a wool „loot box“ that is cheap but does not let you pick the colors yourself and got literally none of the colors I was hoping to get or would have needed the most for my current crochet project. But that will not stop me from finding a use later.

And just because I had two good days in the beginning of the week, I will not let my guard down. I have an ambitious program this week and I want to get through the best I can. I almost expect the overall energy level to drop towards the weekend, but maybe making enough breaks will help me to avoid any extremes.

See you next blogpost!

100 Days of SPREY – 25

The week has started just fine and we are 1/4th through the 100 days of SPREY again! I can‘t believe it is only 25 counted days as so incredibly much has happened, so many developments took place, new thoughts and ideas were thought, shared and worked on. Well, and hopefully more is coming.

I set a couple of goals for the week yesterday and I am off to a strong start. One hair study became 5, 3 color studies are done, The daily panel took me roughly 2,5 hours but I had more control over the outcome by tweaking the process. Also Rich‘s hair looks a bit more like hair already. Also I guess I condensed something I would have drawn out as 3 panels into this one, testing whether this would be a good idea. So far, the readers seemed to like that there is more to discover then first meets the eye.

Also, I finished an illustration today that I wanted to have done in december already. An arttrade piece for my friend Fera Feles from Instagram with her character Viola Blackwood. This is out of my comfort zone and I guess you can really see I made the lines more than one month ago – as I would make at least the eyes different now. But tested the solid blacks on the piece today and loved them.

I want to draw so badly again, will continue tomorrow.

Above: tinkering around with Willard.