Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jolin, Tellenta, and Mangala Solaris

So, this post is a combination of a new piece and discussion of two older ones that I forgot to post up although I did put them in the galleries.

The oldest one that I forgot to post about was Mangala Solaris.  He was inspired by my piece with the kids playing with the spaceships at the beach (the little girl in that one is actually me when I was itty bitty! haha).  I did a similar one for him, except with a boy playing with a firetail and a comet.  Getting to rainbow-color the text was fun, and helped add to the youthful theme.  I didn't want anything to serious in this one.

The other piece I forgot to post about was Tellenta's.  This one was supposed to be a cartoonish picture where the character realizes that mining ops are just as fun as o.o sov warfare.  I tried to blend the cartoon style with some other typically 'me' elements (e.g. feathered colorful sky).

Lastly we have the most recent sig I completed, which I will admit is something I considered not doing at all.  This was a piece for "The Babe Thread" on FHC, and being female myself, it felt odd doing a signature like this where girls are so objectified.  However, in the end it was a piece that I figured would challenge me on my rather abysmal figure drawing skills.  I had to go back to some of my basic art anatomy books to practice before I even got started.  In the end, I looked at it like an art lesson for myself.

I've got several updates in the commission status page, and I'm simply waiting to hear back from those people to know if I'm on the right track for them or not. If I don't hear back soon, I'll be moving on down the list.  Lots of pieces are mid-progress and my goal is to get them to the point where I can get some feedback... so... hopefully more links and updates soon!

Tootles! o/

Friday, August 26, 2011

The second of a non-eve series

At long last, I've finished the second request from Cue1* - this one is a signature following the same paintball theme of the first.  I've been playing around with different brushes for the background, and settled on a more cross-hatched style for the sky rather than the feather-blended that I normally favor.  I also had a lot of fun with his name, which I tried to make look a bit like splattered paint (since the theme is 'paintball' lol).  The bright red is to balance the heavy imagery on the right, and then I also pulled out some more greens in this image (underbrush and jackets) to complement the red.  Like the first image, I tried to keep the color palette very dark with high contrast.  Since the image is supposed to be on a grey background, I threw it up in grey here, although (like all of my images) the background is actually transparent and hence will merely pick up the grey of whatever forums it ends up on.

Onwards to the next!  I've actually got lots of pieces partially completed, but nothing to the point where I'm ready to put up links for everyone.  I know it's very slow-going here, but I am steadily working through it all while trying not to rush any one piece.

Tootles! o/ 'till next time.

Also - if anyone has feedback or suggestions as to how to re-edit these images to improve them, I'm all ears.  Fonts are something I struggle a lot with as well - I have the style I normally write in, and it's hard to remember to break out from what comes naturally.  Anyways, comments/suggestions/criticisms are all welcome =)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kishin Hattori's Sig: Thinking Outside the Box

It's easy to think of an EVE signature, and immediately run to whichever spaceship is your favorite, slap it on a background, and then shout that it's good to go.  However, sometimes I have the most fun when I can manage to get beyond the spaceship, and strip either the character or the corporation down to their bones.

To date, I think my most successful example of this is Kishin Hattori's signature.  Of course, being my friend, I know exactly how he views his EVE character, and am hence able to recreate something beyond a ship and flames and glory.

My inspiration was actually the Lil Wayne album cover "Rebirth":

The most obvious change that needs to take place is substituting Kishin's avatar for Lil Wayne.  However, there was a lot more to it than that.  I really needed to change the whole feel of the piece.  The album cover's golden scene portrays an almost lazy luxury, and Kishin is a much more down-to-earth kind of guy. He likes things that are traditional and classy - like antique leather rocking chairs and vinyl records (and his EVE character reflects the same attitude).

Therefore, the plush red carpet and gold needed to go.  I faded out the fabric color on the couch, and replaced the golden gilded edges with a warmer, worn wood.  A lot of the golds were replaced with grey, to give it an aged/weathered/weary look.  However, in the album cover, the gold was the unifying factor, so if I was going to split up the colors, I had to find other ways to bring it back together again.  Therefore, I threw gold and grey flecks into everything from the autocannon to Kishin's pants to the amp.  I also accentuated the red in the couch, and used that color to create a patterned link across the image (from the wire on the far left, to his name on the far right).  I replaced the guitar with Kishin's own favorite model, and then substituted Monster drinks for the wine bottle (it was either Monster energy drinks or Pepsi... but I thought the Monsters would be more mraaah!).  The wolf pelt I left as an ode to the minmatar assault frigate.  The guitar case needed to be shifted so the image would be more elongated than square.  Shadows needed to be adjusted with the addition of new objects.  And lastly, a giant auto-cannon was added to give a little reminder that he is in fact a pirate (and largely a frigate pirate at that).  And then, voila!

So, this is just a reminder that EVE doesn't necessarily have to mean picking out a spaceship.  The more I know of you and of your character and how you want to represent yourself (or your corporation), the more layers I can add to try to create a rendition that truly encompasses the person behind the spaceship, if so desired. =)

Dwergi and Darkopteron

 The latest two renderings have been near completion for quite some time.  Dwergi wanted an astarte burning away in flames with a nebula background.  We went through multiple color revisions, and I had a bit of trouble making the fire distinguishable from the nebula without it being too in-your-face.  However, I think we've finally gotten there, although I'm actually still waiting for the final confirmation from him.
Darkopteron wanted a thrasher running out of a battle with a wrecked or exploding dramiel in an asteroid belt (or on a planet - I voted for the asteroid belt).  The dramiel has his buddies warping in just off the edge of the planet, but alas... they are too late... =P  He wanted the background to be sinister, so I voted for a blood-like red.  For text, he wanted "Pod Liberation Authority" - which made me laugh. I liked it.  The tricky part with this one was balancing the colors.  The explosion of the dramiel is very powerful both in color and in shape. It could easily overwhelm the image.  To balance it, I tried to pull the reds across the background, and then mimicked the yellow of the explosion in the text on the lower right, connecting the two with the thrasher's engine flames.
Both of these images can be found in the grey gallery.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The first of a non-eve series

I'm finally back from my road trip up the east coast (South Carolina all the way to New York City), and it was a blast!  Coming home, I set to finishing up my first non-eve related commission - a rendering based off a photograph of an air-soft game.  It was a very time consuming piece, but at last, here is the result:

This is the first of 4 images commissioned by Cue1* - both eve and non-eve related.  Onward to rendering #2!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pre vs. Post Tablet

So... I've been looking a lot at the pieces I completed using a mouse (pre-Tablet), and the pieces I've designed after I got my lovely-wonderful-amazing-fantabulistic Wacom Tablet (<3 my Tablet!).  I knew that the pieces post-Tablet were much better (because it's frankly a lot easier to draw with a pen than with a mouse, simple as), but I didn't know to what extent.  Curious, I decided to try to redraw a pre-Tablet banner I did for Kishin with my Wacom Tablet.  I managed to surprise even myself.

This is the best I could do pre-Tablet.  At the time, I was really happy with it.

This is what I was able to achieve with the Tablet:

I find the difference shocking.  It's amazing how much difference a simple tool can make.

Sigs: Larkonis, Sofia, & DAN13L

Well, I'm slowly working my way down the line of commissions, and I'm loving how unique everyone's requests are.  Some of the concepts people have pulled together are above and beyond anything I could have come up with, and turning the words and ideas into images has been an absolute blast.

Larkonis wanted a minmatar and corruption theme for his sig.  I was struggling with this for awhile and how to translate what he wanted into a piece.  In the end, I owe the actual signature concept design to Kishin Hattori.  I told him what Larkonis was looking for and he was pretty much like BAM, this is how you need to approach it. Yey teamwork! =)  Normally I like to avoid the rectangular look for sigs, but with his character looking through a massive window out onto the decks of a minmatar space station, the rectangular aspect couldn't be avoided (I actually had to fly over 20 jumps to get pictures of this bugger... apparently my eve home is nowhere near minmatar borders)... and then on top of that my program malfunctioned twice and I lost the image and had to redraw the entire thing (FML)... needless to say, I was happy when this draft was finally complete, lol.

Sofia wanted a simpler sig with just her char and a chimera, and she wanted the two divided by a partition.

DAN13L wanted a Redeemer jumping into an asteroid belt onto a surprised Vindi.  It took us a bit to piece this concept together, but we got there in the end =)

I'm ready to start batch 3!  This upcoming round of images will be my last, however, for about a 2 week span as I'll be taking a road-trip up to New York City with Kishin! =D It should be super fun, and it'll be nice to recharge the artsy batteries.  Then, when we get back from our epic little roadtrip, I'll get back to work on batch 4 =)

Larkonis's sig is located in the white and black background galleries.
Sofia's sig is located in the grey gallery.
DAN13L's sig is also in the grey gallery.