100 Days – 19

A new phase of the battle begins!

Tackling the environmental problem on many fronts!

So I‘m working through Scott Robertson‘s „How to draw“ as my core activity for the next weeks. But whenever I‘m shy of a subject, it‘s something from Corvus.

Here‘s an example page, how the earliest exercises in Robertson‘s book look and what I might draw for many pages to come. That‘s not the most spectacular visuals, so I‘ll not share every single one of those unless I‘ve made some big progress. View precision training like that as daily medicine and while these lines are very wonky…I have actually even done worse in the past. And I‘ll keep training and improving.

Then I had the brilliant idea to check the internet for floor map tutorials (I need those!) and remembered that I have „A Pattern Language“ by Christopher Alexander et al. This book about architectural problem solving caused Will Wright to invent The Sims, so it can‘t be a bad thing to read it. I‘ll be working through both, too.

The core takeaway is, that drawing a lot is good and necessary, but that you constantly have to expand your knowledge how things work, too…otherwise you stagnate. I stagnated quite some time despite drawing „a lot“, just not the right things.

Hopefully I‘ll still produce enough visual fallout for you to enjoy here.

I thought about a smaller task to start out with and decided to make Grimm‘s parcel in the kitchen garden, with a focus on Killie‘s shack. While I thought about a cute little greenhouse first, I tried out and fell in love with the idea of an improvised tent of black cloth. That is more mysterious in my opinion and also a great way to stress how out of place Grimm‘s experiment is. The parcel‘s clearly aren‘t meant for that – plus IF there are greenhouses, nobody likes Grimm enough to give him one.

Research is such an important part of art and writing. It just seems so meek because it‘s often invisible.

Other than that, two landscape studies with recoloring. Never did something like this before and it was a lot of fun. I‘m really really taking this serious. Environments need to become an easily accessible part of my toolkit.

See you tomorrow!

100 Days – 17

Failing Upwards

What a day!

Warming up with an environment…oh, nevermind.

My warm-up was wrestling with a simple room. First, I wrestled with the geometry itself to get a ground plane of the right shape, then I made a 2D floor plan and created the actual furniture out of that.

The process works!

I will admit I completely butchered both the reference and the perspective. The measurements didn‘t always go right, but at least they exist in my process now and I‘ll do my best to get mileage. It‘s still most important to know that it worked so far.

Failing at Blender

The next thing I wanted to try was to do the same, but with an underlying 3D model. I opened up Blender and found myself to be quite…rusty. But eager. I brutally failed to recreate the room, even forgot some shortkeys. But do you know what? That didn‘t discourage me a bit, quite the contrary. I immediately had ideas how to fix this, wondered how much time I would have to set aside to refresh my Blender skills, to look into making specific architecture pieces and what standardized props I would like to have to use them in various projects, such as simple tables and chairs. I know a lot, I just have to put the time in to make it executable. At least drawing into my model ruin felt amazing. I can see the potential.

I view my Blender tinkerings as long-term investment useful for many fields. I just have to be careful that it doesn‘t derail current projects or that 3D models do not become a crutch instead of a tool. It‘s almost like an adventure in itself – to prevent that risk I would have to master geometry and perspective, take another test so to speak. Art skills are so interconnected…influence one and lift up all the others, while still being limited by your worst. And it isn‘t always clear what the worst is, so it‘s worth to take shots at them all regularly.

But the big question is… how do I do all of that? What are the right priorities? For now I‘ll just stay with my goal of making this scene, of introducing some of the most important characters of the comic to you in an entertaining way.

Having a migraine…and it actually was helping

I had a migraine attack and then went away from the computer for a while – which didn‘t stop me from designing. I actually made good progress there, made some important decisions with a pencil.

The advent of Killie the Necromantic Killerplant

And then…Killie. Technically this plant is a prop and I would not introduce it if it wasn‘t important for the comic. I just had fun with this piece. And no, Killie probably will not be carried around like that, Killie is not very friendly and quite toxic in touch, also quite a nature that seeks solitude. Sometimes you better not take yourself too serious and just have fun.

I guess I had my typical first confused day when I switch fields, tomorrow the actual environment part should become better again. I‘ll be aiming for designing my academy as best as I can.

See you tomorrow!