Load of Animals

It’s a nice change working on animal because they offer up so much variety in shape and character. I’ve found that I’m more prone to seeking out basic shapes and exaggerating proportions, whereas with human characters I’m always a little more cautious.

Since starting the daily characters I feel I’m able to get my eye in much quicker, though I still think I’m looking for something that I can’t quite see yet. What that something is I don’t quite know; a new process; an evolution of style, maybe? I think I just have to keep going and hopefully whatever it is I’m looking for will appear through repetition, like training any skill.

Cheers

Matt

More Characters

The amount of time it can take to draw these characters can really vary. The cat, for instance, was a quick 30 minute exercise that started out more proportionally realistic, but was stretched and simplified over a couple of sketches. The lines were kept intentionally loose and sketchy because of the speed of the drawing, and the same can be said of the colour application.

The lumberjack was a bastard. I originally intended to only spend about an hour on him, but I just couldn’t seem to get the look right, so I ended up doing multiple versions (different poses, face, beard, clothing, etc…) which took about four hours in the end. I still don’t really like the design which makes it worse, but I realised I wasn’t loose enough with the initial sketches and I think that stumped me.

The old hag was a fun character to work on. I took inspiration from an photo of a young girl backpacking. I sketched her out and then just exaggerated the shapes, added an octopus, a weird cat-like creature, and aged her up about a thousand years, and voila!

Cheers

Matt

Daily sketch update

These dailies are flowing out of me a bit quicker now, and think the speed and looseness shows up in the line-work. I quite like how rough the lines look though I might have a look and see if I can discover some new digital brushes to play around with. I quite like the Roman legionary out of these three characters, he looks like he’s been through hell and back, especially with that thousand yard stare. Honesty, imagine having to go into battle wearing some tin-foil and a skirt! No thanks!

Cheers

Matt

Daily Character Studies pt 2.

I feel like there’s a nice progression here in terms of colour use, line work and texture (images read left to right). It’s taken a few days to get my eye in and develop a style that I’m happy with, but I think things are starting to click. The work flow is speeding up and the shapes are getting pushed and simplified more and more. I think simplifying shapes and creating a strong silhouette for the character is going to be a focus going forward!

Cheers

Matt

Character Studies

I’m trying to get into the habit of doing a character study everyday if I can. Typically I’ll have a look on Pinterest and find a candid photo of someone and work from that, so it’s a little similar to sketching in a coffee shop or doing life drawing. The study on the left is a little bit too real for my taste and lacks interesting shape, line and gesture. I was a little looser with the guy on the right exaggerating the proportions and pose which lends a lot more character.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of posts recently, I’ll be better.

Cheers

Matt

Life’s a Beach

UK lockdown feels a bit like this. There’s an awful lot of just waiting around while you’re stranded on a desert island. You have a means of getting off the island, but there’s nowhere to go when you do, so you just come back. You can meet up with another person which helps keep you sane, but all you talk about is how great it’ll be when you’re finally rescued. And so you wait. And wait. And wait some more. And just like that a year has passed since the first lockdown began. Hopefully there’s a ship going to appear any day now… hopefully.

Making a House a Home

Some basic house designs here for my visual development portfolio. The images are in order (top to bottom) of how the work flow tends to happen in visdev, starting with multiple thumbnail sketches, refining an idea, and then fleshing it out. I’ll do a more refined colour version of this tomorrow.

Cheers

Matt

Thank You Carson Wentz

I couldn’t not say something. As of yesterday this man was traded away to Indianapolis from an organisation that failed him. He was, in my opinion, our greatest asset, and due to mismanagement and poor decision making the Eagles betrayed and alienated the best quarterback we’ve had in years. Carson Wentz was a foundational piece of the Philadelphia Eagles and had we built the team appropriately around him we would have been contenders, not only in the East, but around the entire league. Alas, not everyone thinks the same as me (though I strongly believe most of the Philly fans do). Wentz wasn’t perfect by any means – this last season there was a visible decline in his play – but these issues were, and have always been, mechanical and easy to correct with good coaching. It didn’t help that we had significant injuries on the offensive line (leading to a record number of sacks given up) and a perennially weak receiving corps, the former a constant problem with the Eagles and the latter due to poor drafting. I could go on about the drafting of Jalen Hurts, the poor coaching, lack of a run game, uninspired play calling, playing with practice squad players, roster mismanagement, the list goes on.

I’m glad Carson got out. He deserves to do well and I believe he will do great things in Indy. I do not have high hopes for the Eagles future while Howie Roseman remains our GM, however I do look forward to seeing what Nick Siriani can bring to the table with his youth and the young coaches he has brought in around him.

All the best Carson. I’ll still wear your jersey with pride.

Fly Eagles Fly

An Incredibly Time Consuming Background

Annoyingly most of this background will be cropped out when I add the animation, but it felt stupid not to illustrate the whole room. However, I may end up reusing the scene for a wider shot later down the line.

The original design was literally going to be a bed, a chair, and some stacked boxes. I drew this idea out and it looked horrendously garbage, not to mention lazily designed, so I went back to the drawing board. This is the main living area inside the tree that we see the mouse character run into, which is why the room is curved. Also, look at all those books! The chair closest has a hole in the back for the mouse’s tail to fit through. I didn’t want to overdo it in terms of reverse engineering everything for a mouse, mostly because I’m not that smart, but also because I wanted to keep things recognisable. In terms of adding the animation, the character will enter frame from the right, pause uncertainly, and then move towards the lit area in the middle (there’s going to another scene before this one which I’m working on now).

Cheers

Matt