#100HappyDays β€” Day 9 β€” Sketching

#100HappyDays β€” Day 9 β€” Sketch of Casey Palmer
Seriously, it’s a Black guy. In fact, I model him off of myself! But it’s not like I carry a dark brown marker wherever I go, so.

So if you’ve known me for a bit, it’s been a good long while since I’ve drawn myΒ Fish ‘n’ Chimps webcomic β€” about 8 years now. It’s important to me, though β€” so important that it keeps appearing on my annual lists of 100 things to do. There’s a blog post series I’m working on, and to make itΒ really unique, I decided to draw a “cartoon Casey” to punctuate the points I’m making β€” this is a rough version of what he’d look like that I drew while in a teleconference today.

This is the year. The year that I start re-training my artistic side and having something to show for it!

#100HappyDays β€” Day 9 β€” Starbucks β€” TAZO Chai Tea Latte with Ria
“What?! Lattes make you fat?!?!”

I also went out for a latte with my friend Ria, who I hadn’t seen inΒ forever, so hey β€” that was pretty good, too πŸ™‚

#100HappyDays Day 9/100 β€” WRAP IT UP!!!

–case p.

Sketchdump 03-08-2010

Sketchdump-03-08-2010

So this is what you're getting for today – a sketchdump πŸ™‚ Lots of logo, site and graphing work going on over here – I'll make sure to share whenever anything gets DONE. I was going to do a quick one related to the Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim to Win contest, but after reading David McCandless' blog Information is Beautiful, I've been rethinking my approach to infographics. You'll still see something, but it'll probably be far more imaginative than what I'd originally envisioned πŸ™‚

Anyway, hope you enjoy another little glimpse into my world. The PHP. It calls my name!

–case p.

0009: Here Comes a New Challenger!!! (How Doomz Creates Characters.)

Hey all,

Here’s another Saturday, and another sketch session that’ll be missed due to me and my absenteeism πŸ˜‰ (But really, it’s due to a conflicting schedule. Alas, this is ME we’re talkingΒ  about here – I’m always doing something.)

Now that I’ve actually managed to find a few hours before I’m obliged to do anything (except, of course, getting keys cut, tying up the boxes in the back for recycling and mailing off a package), I’m looking to get a decent blog post put together.

So yes, character creation – how the heck do I do it?

Oftentimes, I’ll come up with ideas for my comic, Fish & Chimps (which I really do hope to start re-releasing sometime soon) where I haven’t figured out what characters will be used, or even if they exist as of yet. Without spoiling too much of my story or thinking, let’s observe one character I’ve come up with recently – it’s one that’s still in the works, so if anyone has anything to say on it, feel free.

There’s a situation later on into FNC where I need Yeti-like creatures in order to better develop a key character. I wanted them to look extremely powerful and somewhat aggressive, but also like they could be their own race with their own culture, etc. I didn’t want them to just seem like your basic enemy threat, something that’s only around to be defeated by the protagonist. So, since this is based on a Himalayas-like mountain range, what do I know?

  • Need to have bodies that help shield them from the elements
  • Need to have bodies that look like they could haul massive loads
  • Need to appear as if they’re slightly more “primitive”, in that they haven’t been touched that much by the technology and “progress” of the world
  • Need to be mostly white to help blend them in with their surroundings

So this is a good start – parameters that I can work with to define what kind of character I’m creating. Now that I know what kind of character I want to create, I need to figure out what kind of factors from the rest of my comic will affect how they’re going to be created. I ended up taking these into consideration:

  • As the type of characters in my webcomic are Planet of the Apes-esque, I should try to keep that in consideration for this new character
  • I don’t want to have any one-dimensional characters in my comic – I want everyone to be the type of character that people could see themselves caring about, no matter if it’s only a little bit
  • Even though I like detail, I don’t want the character to be so overly detailed that I won’t want to draw them repeatedly – I need to keep in mind that I’ll probably be drawing a TRIBE of this character at a time

So, keeping all of this in mind, I went to work. I think this exercise was likely the epitome of the statement you see on all those infomercials for self-help products – results may vary.

I figured that the most powerful primate that I’d thought of using in my series so far was a gorilla, so I decided to base the Yeti design around that. Taking a look at G, my gorilla character, I decided to start basing the Yetis around him.

The first sketch was a rough one – with rough being the operative word:

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White Gorilla: First attempt

As you can see, this is what I like to call trΓ¨s horrible. It was a rough to more or less figure out the look I was going for with this new set of characters. Though, it wasn’t a complete failure. What I figured out from this exercise was:

  • This race would need to have a lot of fur/hair on their bodies to survive cold, mountainous conditions
  • I wanted them to have strong-looking jaws to show that they could rip through a variety of foods, since they’d likely have to hunt some tough creatures for foods
  • I didn’t quite know what I’d do to show that they have to deal with a lot of snowblindness from the sun always reflecting off of the expanses of white around them, so I settled for black surrounding the eyes – what I felt that this could show is that the rings could help absorb the excess light so they could still see in those conditions (yes, I have an explanation for everything!)

So, great. I have something to work with. Let’s try again:

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Second attempt: Starting to get a better idea of form

This was starting to get closer to what I was going for – looked a lot better drawn, stronger and put together than the first attempt. However, if you clicked on the link of G I posted above, you might agree with me when I say that this just appeared like G with white fur to me. Obviously this is due to using my “gorilla” body style as a base. I need to figure out what I can do to make the White Gorilla a little different. Back to the drawing board – literally:

Media_httpolastudiodyvcomdoomzfiles200909whitegorillaportrait3jpg_seyanuddbtxgcba

Third attempt: Really starting to figure out how big and powerful these things will be.

This is where I felt it really started to come together. This version involved a lot of pencil layering and redefining to capture a few things:

  • The density of the fur
  • How freaking massive these things will be
  • The degree of their musculature

I thought I’d really hit the nail on the head here and asked a couple of co-workers if it reminded them of a Yeti-like being. They said yes, BUT the posture was way too humanoid.

facepalm Let’s try this one more time:

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Attempt cuatro: This is where I’m at for now.

In the end, I ended up with a more primal version of what I’d come up with on my third attempt, and that’s okay with me for the time being. As I get more comfortable with the character, I’d likely draw group scenes with males, females and children to get a better idea of what they look like, how they interact, their size relative to others, etc.

So I hope that gave a little bit of insight into how I go about creating characters for use in FNC, and now I’ll open up the floor to questions and comments.

Have a great day, one and all!

–case p.

0005: www.getyourdamnwebsiteup.com

About to grab a pizza with double pepperoni! Yeaaaah boyeeee!

Today after running a number of errands I didn’t necessarily want to do (but were good to get out of the way, nonetheless), I started working on what will be my website. I was chatting with mi hermano de otro padre German earlier about the fact that what was stopping me from getting my website done before now is the fact that I didn’t have a clear vision for what I was trying to accomplish. So instead of taking that approach, I figure I’ll just start throwing in all the things I think are relevant and just go from there. Other than having some issues finding the embed codes for individual sites I use (right now, I’m looking at you, Flickr!) it was going pretty smoothly, but as usual, I got sidetracked. From writing that first line until now, about four hours have passed. I don’t even think y’all are getting a sketch today, but you shall soon. I’ll explain why.

Today I:

  • swapped my hard drives around so that I created one 1.25 TB drive in one enclosure and had access to all of my stuff at the same time
  • combined all of my random text files all over the place into one MASSIVE mind map
  • found lots of old ideas for my website
  • found lot of sketches that I should really combine into a sketchdump

So you see? I’m not up to nothing. Promise πŸ˜‰

–case p.

0004: Dear World, I’m Tired of Ballin’

World, I’m tired of:

  • Too many birthdays to celebrate
  • Too many going-away parties
  • Too many expectations of chipping in for overly extravagant situations
  • Too much costing too much too much of the time

Yes, I work a job that pays pretty well. But I work hard – I work DAMN hard. And things just keep coming up. My weekends are full of events all over the map that require my time, effort and dollars… and I think I’ve reached my limit. Art – oftentimes it costs nothing. The resources I use are my imagination and the tools I choose to use to create. The return I get from what I invest is more often than not guaranteed to be what I expected. I just can’t live a life that isn’t reflective of who I am anymore. I can feel it chipping away at my sanity, and I think I’m having no more of it.

But back to what this blog’s really about with that rant out of the way. Why do I draw? Funny story: last night I was in the Yorkville area of town with the girlfriend and some of her crew, and as the night progressed (literally, as we were at Remy’s for 6-7 hours) I busted out the pencil, some paper, and while the red wine was knocked back, the sketches went a-flyin. Our waitress, Celeste, was very complimentary, but what was surprising was that some hot chick (though not as hot as the girlfriend, obviously) randomly made her way out of the crowd and suddenly appeared to my right:

Her: “Are you a designer?!”
Tipsy Casey: “Kinda sorta – I tend to draw tons of different things!”

We talked a little about how she has numerous friends who’re designers and whatnot, and hopefully she’d see my work on the cover of Vogue in the future or something.

Yes. Vogue. Let me clarify.

So when I busted out the drawings, what had been on top of the stack this time were photos of runway models and their crazy outfits. So I began sketching away as I do with anything else. Now, let’s translate this into a mathematical equation:

Yorkville hangout (i.e. Place where people want to act richer than they actually are) + drawing pictures that make you look like a stylist (looks like Cosmo magazine has a purpose after all!) + copious amounts of alcohol (which, of course, is instrumental in many equations in life) = girls coming to talk to you. Learn from me, men. I will show you things in life which you have never imagined. πŸ˜‰

So right now I’m at Marben Restaurant on Wellington just at the post-meal bill-waiting. The food was alright – your standard small portions, costly place-type fare – but the dessert was pretty interesting; “home-made” sorbet in the following flavours:

  • Strawberry Mint
  • Lime Basil
  • Blueberry Cinammon
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The Sorbets served with Marben’s prix fixe menu…

Blueberry Cinnamon was whatev (for I don’t like blueberries and rarely eat anything cinnamon), to me the strawberry mint tasted like… strawberry sorbet… but the lime basil – SO GOOD. They took two of my favourite flavours and combined it into something EPIC. It makes me want to learn how to make my own sorbet so I can make MORE.

Anyway, we got back home in one piece and I’m in dire need of rest, so I’ll close this chapter shortly, I suppose. I’m thinking perhaps next blog I should just upload a ton of sketches and no words? Would y’all like that? Are you tired of my verbose nature?

Holla at a brotha.

Until then, I remain…

–case p.