And so ends the month of April (not really but the 30th is on Sunday!). Another month of trying to figure out what I’m trying to do and how to do it. I believe I actually have a slight handle on coloring, at the time of writing this, and Have a pretty damn good start on the comic on working on, or so I’ve been told anyway. I’ve also come up with a nice “list” of things I could do although I still need to figure out what I can do on stream. Stream is all about being entertaining or thought provoking for the viewer and I feel like I don’t actually have that yet. I can easily start streaming anytime I want, it’s literally just 4 buttons, but I feel like I need more skill, and better uuuuh… “entertainment,” I guess.
Annnd being a “Mega Post” I have compiled every post created in the past month here for simple viewing. Right after today’s Gallery.
April 3rd, 2017
Alright. I think I have what I want as far as sketch level is concerned. Now I just need to get some examples!
I’m also not going to post these ‘M W F’ posts as featured posts because they aren’t all that special usually. I won’t go back and fix the previous ones, but know this for future posts. I’ve also come up with a new, much more interesting format for the next “Month of XXXX” post so that it shows every post I’ve made in that month, rather than just show a gallery. I’ve updated the Month of March post so you can see what I mean, if curious.
I’ve also noticed that I seem to use the same pose for character drawings, so I’m going to try and not do that.
April 5th, 2017
More examples of a $5 sketch, although as I do more and more examples, I get the feeling that I actually put in too much work for some to be $5. Pricing is going to be a constant WIP. Whatever, for now I just need examples. I hope to have 5 portrait sketches and 5 full body character sketches as examples. After that, I’ll work on 5 line art portraits and 5 line art full body characters.
I think I like doing this kind of really basic shading / coloring. I’ve been using one color and then changing the opacity in certain parts.
Edit: Forgot featured image.
April 7th, 2017
Trying out the auto-poster thing on the website! If the wording in this post is a bit odd, that’s because I’m also trying out updating the post as the day goes by.
Oddly enough, I have an easier time drawing full body characters, rather than just a portrait shot of a character’s face.
I can draw a sketch of a portrait or full body shot of a character in roughly an hour, coloring included. I think I might actually start things off at $10 for either type of sketch drawing, color type is optional, such as blue, red, yellow, etc.. Although, I have to be careful as colors look drastically different on the iPad screen versus my computer screens. Even between the two screens I use look really different color-wise!
Next week I’ll show examples of inked artwork. I might just cheat a bit and go off of the sketches I’ve shown today. I’ve got a new awesome brush to work with now, it’s not nearly as pixelated as the previous one, and also is so much easier to use for reference layering. When I say reference layering, I talking about a particular tool you can use in Procreate. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s a pretty nifty tool, it let’s you interact with a layer without actually touching it, it’s hard to explain so I’ll just use pictures.
I actually got a little side-tracked on the Zarya portrait in two ways. One, I used a really thick brush and used really thick lines. It still came out alright, but still, it’s a bit different from the other sketches. The other way I was side-tracked was that the cleaner looking portrait with pink hair is not actually inked. Honestly not sure why I chose to draw it like that. Now I just need to figure out a way to present the sketches for commissioning info. I will also work on figuring out a better way to make featured images.
April 10th, 2017
I have come to the decision to make a webcomic. How far it will go, and how many other stories will be made, I have no idea right now. I cannot see that far into the future after all. What is clear to me however is that I currently do not actually know what to do next. Since the start of April, it has become a struggle to come up with characters to draw, and not everyone will actually care to the point of asking me to draw something for them. I’m simply “not good enough” for that kind of thing, and I need to actually work on something people may be interested in. So, what is it that people are interested in? Well, people like a story, or something new, or something they know will be waiting for them when they open a page or something along those lines. I’m no economist or some magical stock-market wizard to know exactly what people want to consume for themselves, but I do know people like to read comics. They are simple, easy to read, and usually get the point across quickly.
There are many comics on the web for free viewing and many people enjoy reading them. I have actually tried in the past to make a comic or two, but I didn’t have the basic understanding of how to even draw a character in an appealing way. Well, I have that knowledge now, or so I’d like to think. Doing a comic also let’s me work on other things, like making a concise effort to draw a character in a specific way or drawing them in scenery, which is something I’ve been neglecting for a long time now.
It has been my goal for a long time to make a living off of my artwork in some form, be it character commissions or stories or whatever. I never actually knew what I specifically what wanted to do within artwork itself however. You might say “well, who’s an artist you admire, see what they do.” well, I could give you a long list of artists I follow at that point, but they all do completely different types of work. Some do character commissions, some do paintings, some do designs, some work in studios of certain types, I can’t just pick one and say “this is it.” But, I do know I want something. It feels rewarding to create and have people enjoy it.
So, with that in mind, I plan to organize my thoughts and come up with some sort of “script” for this story I have. Not sure how long the story will run, or when I’ll be posting pages, or what the story might turn out like, or this and that and that and this.
I also plan to stream again. Streaming helps me focus on the task at hand, rather than get distracted and go onto Reddit or something. At the moment I can’t actually stream anything comic related, as I’m still trying to “build the background” so to speak, but I’ll still draw characters and such. For this week I’ll be making even more sketch examples, and doing some line art. Not terribly to do line art, but that’s how it goes sometimes. You can follow my stream at twitch.tv/blokfort though I’m not sure when exactly I’ll start again, heh. Ideally, I’d be streaming at 1pm CST to 8pm CST
I’m also going to try posting on Tumblr and Twitter (at blokfort.tumblr.com and twitter.com/blokfort ) with two posts. One auto post that WordPress does with a brief excerpt summary of that day, and another post with all the artwork that’s was shown. That way if you just want to see the artwork, that will be an option.
(I just barely finished the re-inking of the leprechaun mage girl in time, WHEW)
April 12th, 2017
Mostly been working on the “Commissions Info” page which will be uploaded in about a minute. You should go check that out!
I’ve finally hit a good foundation with my artwork. I actually feel pretty happy with how things look and feel. Coloring is still an issue, and some of the line art could be improved in certain spots, but overall I give myself a 7/10 rating. going from ‘sketchy’ sketch, to a cleaner sketch, to line art, to flat color is a pretty easy process for me to do now. All I have to do now is find things to draw! It’s just that easy! Right?
Comic Update: I’m still working on putting bits and pieces together, but I decided to NOT make a script, because I have no idea how to do that. I’m just going to jump right into making thumbnails and comic pages and try to make the story elements react in logical ways. I have a wonderful world set up, I just need characters and such to torture and harm… I mean, to write about, heh.
April 17th, 2017
I have a few pages worth of thumbnails now for the comic, which I am Calling “Old as Ice.” I didn’t actually realize it had some play on words until a little while after, but originally it was to emphasize certain plot points in the story that I have so far. Ideally I’d be updating the comic every Monday, Wednesday, Friday (at 12:00 am EST), but first I need to plan out how each page will look like and how the story will flow. I’m not quite sure how I’d like overall story to look like form a book standpoint, will it have chapters, will it have volumes, I have no idea right now and it’s not really my concern a the moment. Although, for a first “goal” I’d like to get at least 20 pages or so completed before I release them to the world. If I were to write the entire story out in one paragraph or less, then it would sound like this
“A middle-aged leader of a group of archeologists travel an icy globe in search of a lost rune civilization. As time goes by with bits and pieces of relics discovered, and with certain rival factions arising, conflicts will appear and settle for various reasons. Since the nature of the story is search and discovery (or destroy), non-materialistic valuables such as information can decide everything”
I’ve never written a story before so writing this out for myself has actually helped immensely for trying to figure out what happens next. Course, there’s still a lot of “well, let’s just make them do this.” just to move the story along, but hey it works. Right?
Artwise, I’ve started watching these videos from a guy named Kienan Lafferty on youtube with some really nice in-depth analysis for what he does when he is “arting.” So far he’s got more than 300 videos all covering different specific things like, how to fiddle with line widths, or why you shouldn’t draw like this, or avoiding tangents, or figureing out colors from using the background, and so on. I have tried looking up “hau 2 cuhler” videos before, but most of the time they have just been bland, not specific, too specific (in terms of using tools), or just bad. It probably doesn’t help that most of those people are using photoshop, whereas I’m using ProCreate on the iPad.
So finding this goldmine of art information is prity gud.
And here’s this weekends gallery. I tried redrawing Regillix Marrowdawn (a previous character someone request me draw before) with the new inking brush and I was once again confirming to myself that I had a wonderful inking brush. “It just works” is really the best way I can put it.
Now I just HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO COLOR GOD DAMN IT. I’m just really not sure how to tackle this! At the moment, I just throw in the colors that match the outfit. That doesn’t really get me anywhere though.
I’m also redoing Lulu, after getting some feedback from other people.
April 19th, 2017
Not much to say, other than coloring woes.
After getting some feedback on the Lulu drawing, I went back and redrew pretty much the whole thing. I haven’t worked on anymore comic tumbnails since I actually had a project that a few people were looking forward to seeing completed.though, I’ve hit that point again where I feel like inking the piece is a tremendous waste of time, as it feels like I don’t actually learn anything from doing that. I think I want to be able to just jump right into coloring, but every time I try, the colors always seem like the wrong choice. Maybe the material I’m working with is just too difficult for me right now? Should I try grey-scale first? Maybe I need to take a class or two for this stuff, heh.
Still watching those Kienan Lafferty videos though.
I’ll try uploading artwork as I clear certain “milestones” on it to twitter, tumblr, etc., as a way to get used to posting things regularly too. Except Facebook. Facebook is a nightmare for pictures.
April 21st, 2017
Trying to get more into coloring by playing around with values and grey-scales. Trying to learn colors reminds me of how I felt when I first seriously got into art stuff. It’s not a fun feeling. The feeling of “I know how I want this to look, but I have no idea how to do that.” It’s a kind of depressing and dark feeling, and partly frustrating as well. Do one thing and think it’s ok so far, do another thing and lose your mind because nothing works. Might have to watch some Bob Ross videos, haha.
I’ve also come up with some pretty neat ideas for the Old as Ice comic as well. It pretty much means I have to redraw the thumbnail comic pages I have now, but that’s OK. It’s all just part of the process.
I’ve also come up with a decent “work plan” so that I can actually get things done. Monday through Saturday I’ll be streaming on twith.tv/blokfort. Some parts of it won’t come into play until a bit later, but IDEALLY, it’ll be like this:
Mondays: Character Day. I’ll be drawing on stream Characters / Fusion Characters / Personal Projects / Commissions. Off stream I’ll be planning for fusion characters. (yes, I’ll be doing fusion characters again.)
Tuesdays: Comic Drawing Day. Using a thumbnail page as reference, I’ll draw / ink/ color a page of a comic I’m working on at the time. Off stream I’ll be planning on the story for the comic (or comics). If I have completed the comic page, I’ll be posting it at 12:00am CST on the website. (10:00pm PST, 1:00am EST)
Wednesdays: Character Day.
Thursdays: Comic Day.
Fridays: Character day. I actually have this thought that I’d start a fusion drawing on this day once I had a satisfactory amount of detail all set, but I’m not quite sure how practical that is.
Saturdays: Comic Day.
Sundays: Break day! Unless I have something I really need to get done, I will allow myself 1 day of sanity.
Seems kind of crazy, but that’s the amount I work I need to do right now.
I also had this though of doing a side comic, featuring 3 characters. I call them Patience, Impatience, and Organize. I’d explain it, but there’s already quite a lot of text in this post.
The “?” was just kinda pretty. That’s all.
April 26th, 2017
I’m starting to think I need to do another “bootcamp” thing for coloring. The first bootcamp was mostly getting used to Procreate, and drawing in general. Drawing figures and shapes is a lot easier thanks to that. Color might be the same kind of thing. I’ve been mostly drawing more figures and practicing with expressions only because it’s something I know I can work on easily, and show it to people without feeling too guilty about it. But being able to pick the right colors for the right thing is not something I have any real experience in. Sure I might have done some possibly interesting things in the past, but i was just kind of “winging it”. I want to be able to put in real thought to it, KNOW what I’m doing with the color, the same way I know how to draw the shapes. The problem with doing another bootcamp thing though, is that I don’t actually get a lot of things finished. Mostly just little scribbles here and there that look horrible.
We’ll see. I hope I don’t do that, to be honest.
I did manage to create the look and feel of the main character pretty much perfectly (yeah maybe not perfect, but you know what I mean) of the story / comic I’m working on. I’ll be using Luvex, the fusion character I did a while back as the character. I felt like the personality I had given her, and her unique weapon were a pretty good fit to the story. And shame on me, I never reposted the work I did on the newer Lulu piece. I tried various coloring methods, but in the end I just didn’t really want to deal with it anymore and wanted to move on. Sad, I know. I do promise to come back and try to color her a bit better in the future.