Which was kind of hard. There was a couple of points where I wasn't too sure what I was going to do next. I knew I liked the color scheme, and I wanted to keep the expressions as unchanged as I could. But then I was also aware that something wasn't working with Yuri (the blue haired one.) So, I threw up a couple of layers and went back to work. I softened some edges, refined a bit of the background, and fiddled around a lot with the shine on the boots. So, is this the final version? For now. And this is a good thing, I couldn't bring myself to move on to another project until I was done with this.
The thing that makes me laugh here, is that I published the previous version to my Deviant Art account and got a very warm reception. The... politics of posting a more improved version right after a popular posting has me mystified. I'm not too sure what comes next. I tell you, that's half the reason I keep this blog going. I can be very frank about what I post, where I think there's a bit of ... decorum (?) to deviant art posting. Of course, this could be me making up rules that don't exist.
Also, I know that Piya can't access my Deviant art page from his work. So, maybe part of it's making life easy on him. /shrug.
Ok, I totally had too much fun doing this image. And look, it even has a background. One of the first sets of "Chicks with Guns" this is more or less an homage piece.
Sketched out first with a Bic blue ball point pen, the drawing was then scanned into the computer via Photo Shop and then finished in Painter. I can't say colored because everything that's not the two girls was done in the computer. And even then they were heavily retouched. I'm very happy with this. And am excited for whatever comes next.
So I'm doing my best to make good on my threat on posting more. Did this in my sketchbook, and I'm very pleased with it. Good reference ftw, let me tell you what. The color scheme is something I'm very happy about. The rifle came out well too. Those of you with some Mech Warrior pen and paper game experience will recognize the "Blazer". The rest of you can just enjoy a double barreled laser gun. Which, of course, is what a Blazer is.
Strange things afoot. I'm neck deep in ideas for different drawings. Mostly characters, mostly things I can't figure out how to market. But I'm moving forward with them anyway. I"m sure something is right around the corner. I'm just not sure what. I've been very happy with what Crayola's been doing for me, marker wise. At the same time I'm going to morn the loss of my Pantone Trias when they finally run out of ink. I don't have any easy solutions for ultra marker replacement. I assume that I'll have to bite the bullet and invest in a boat load of Copic markers. Of course, It's time to invest in a new computer as well. And with all this investing being thrown around. Why not dream big and get a girl friend too. I've started drawing on drafting film. Found some that I've had lying around. The trick to it, is to have very clean hands. The stuff's got an awesome tooth, but being plastic; the graphite doesn't absorb into the pulp. And, if you're not careful, it'll mix with the oils on your skin. Suddenly, you're oil painting. I've been surfing around. And I can't help but notice this Steam Punk movement. It's pretty thrilling to me. I'm going to have to jump on this band wagon. It seems to me, that it's very much like what I do already, just with goggles. I like goggles. So, from now on. I'm doing more goggles. Throw some gears in there, and I'll be part of this huge genera.
Blasted this out today. I'm quite pleased with it. I mean, it has a color scheme. It has a back ground. Sure they're things that could be refined. But I'm happy with it now. Things are going well on the homestead. It's dawning on me that the reason artists tend to live in big cities, is that it combats the isolation that's required to put a painting together. I mean, you can't do a serious drawing when your roommate is trying to show you the funniest thing he's ever seen on You tube. There are steps that artist need to keep their studio an "inner sanctum". You can't keep focus in an environment like that. Too much alone time and you start getting, lonely. Now, this is combated by having 700,000 people in close proximity. If you're, say, someplace where the closest 7 square miles net a full population of 3000 people. You might have a hard time connecting back up with humanity. To say nothing about temperatures in the low teens. It's like canning cabin fever. I should put an ad on Craig's list for a muse. They all seem to be elsewhere though. I'm willing to travel. It's staying that brings the complications. That being typed. I'm still working away. Just need a change, is all.
Ok, so I was working on something similar in Painter. I think I might have cracked. It's currently abandoned, until I get either uncracked or unsick of it. I then did something drastic.
I whipped out the Borden & Riley #234 Paris Bleed Proof Paper for Pens. This stuff is great. Anyway, much doodling-scratching- and Crayola marker action later. I bring you this. It's so real to me, pencil and pen on paper. Magic marker, even the Crayola's were so responsive. They were just "There", in a way that the tinting brush never was for me. It just makes me want to pull out a super large sheet of Strathmore Museum Board. It's so good, I gave it all Caps.
In other news, my Brother got his LDS Mission call today. He's going to Morristown, New Jersey. Here's me hoping that he has a good "Two year vacation." This is funny, just because I went to the New York, New York North Mission about 14 years ago. Time flies I guess.
I'm sick to death of all this winter. Here's a sketch. It's becoming very obvious to me that I can't live here in Idaho. I'm going to freeze to death, and the lack of sunlight is drilling into my very self. My blogging has, as you can see, suffered. I'm still working on art, I've not completely been swallowed up in this white pit of cold. I almost hit it off with a girl over the holidays. Perhaps I'm still stinging over that. More likely, it's a cruel combination of the short days, cold nights of an Idaho winter; and this recent repetition of the most loathed theme of my life.
I've also discovered, to my horror, that everyone in the town of Rexburg knows of a woman who would be perfect for me to date. While I'm up for any amount of fun that can be had; the stipulations, expectations, and lists of flaws that accompany these offers are more than a little sickening. I feel the culture is somewhat to blame. Young women with interests in long term relationships are sent off to a meat market, where they are sorted rapidly into The married, and The single. The problem comes, in the grain that falls through this battery of filters is far to fine for the gauge of my mesh. Or I through theirs.
This is where my brother tells me I've been listening to too much Denis Miller.
If I were to simplify, the issue is simple. I didn't date ugly girls when I was 20, why should I now that I'm 30? That's putting it bluntly, but the fact remains that I wanted to be able to paint my wife and not have it curdle the canvas. I suppose that it’s not a new desire that I alone possess. But it’s not one that I’m going to abandon just because I’m not 22 anymore. Here fortune favors me, because the first and second round of young divorcees are showing up. Many of them, it seems, are wiser and more discerning than they were in their relative youth. I can’t tell if this is a good thing or not.
So, to sum up. No one reads blogs anymore. I can't put a wall of text this size on face book, because of the character limit. And, those who would disagree with anything I said here won't read far enough down to get to the pointy parts.
Although... and this gives me hope. I'm still drawing smiles on the faces of the girls I sketch. I've had my good and bad, to be sure. But I do believe that there are better days ahead. I'm more amused by my catch 22 I've found myself in, than crushed by despair. The portfolio marches on, I'm doing a small amount of commercial artwork. I've taken more small steps than I've given myself credit for. And yes, winter is beginning to end here.
I hope you do appreciate these posts. I read back on this and it seems to me more like a rant than anything constructive. I value the opportunity to give you all a glimpse into the inner workings of my mind, however twisted. If you do take one thing home from this, please: Give the Blind dates a rest!