Creating a Science Fiction Blaster out of a Modern Pistol

 

This week I tried a new digital technique using Autodesk Sketchbook again (and a little Photoshop in the final finishing).  The plan was to take a photograph and then cut and paste parts of it onto itself to make a new image.  I wanted to make a new blaster which would be suitable for my favourite franchise, Star Wars.

So I began with a modern handgun…

I don’t know much about real guns, but apparently this is a “Desert Eagle”.  I chose it because it looked pretty sleek.

I cut various sections out, copied them, added them back, and then played around with them in terms of size and shading and position to altar the original image.

Here’s a video of part of the process…

 

And here is a gif animation of the process I followed…

 

Next I made some final touches in Photoshop.  I added a name engraved in the metal and some shadows. Then I widened the photograph to centre the image properly.

Here’s the original modern pistol…

 

And here’s the final Star Wars styled blaster.  I called it the QuantumShot MkIII

I think Han Solo might like it!

 

PS: This is the last post I did over the February half term.  I’m going to carry on with some art while isolated and unwell as it cheers me up and I find it really quite relaxing.  However I might do less in the way of traditional painting as I dropped a glass of dirty paintwater everywhere next to my bed when I tried to finish a painting I currently have on the go.

 

Lightning Strike – Digital

While working on these posts during February half term, I tried a new digital drawing application called Autodesk Sketchbook. At first I doodled around on it making a doodle drawing of a dream I had. After a little practice I began to get the hsng of it a little more.

I began with a quick little cartoon sketch of a dog who ended up having very big ears. So I called him Big Ears.

Here he is…

Next I wanted to have a go at doing a more tricky multi-layered digital image. Rather than having a clear picture in my mind I just started playing around with the software. Here are the layers in the order painted them. I began with a tree…

Then after a little finishing on the final image via photoshop – here is the completed painting…

The things I enjoy most about this kind of digital art are:

1. That it is so quick to do, and

2. That the textured brushes can make such beautiful effects!

PS: I also made a gif slideshow of the painting process for this image…

The Jelly Road

At the time of writing I am recovering from flu, and it’s half term! Why do I always get ill during school holidays?

Because my temperature has been high I have had some really vivid dreams. One of these was a dream about a family of small fish who lived in a jelly-fish-campervan and were travelling down the Jelly Fish Road, which was like route 66 but for fish. As I was noodling around with Autodesk SketchBook, a drawing app, I found myself starting to draw a scene from the dream.

Now, this drawing began as a doodle so I wasn’t thinking about my blog and didn’t make any process photos until I had finished the line art. However, being new to Autodesk SketchBook, at some point I must have accidentally switched on a video recording mode. So, although I have no process pictures of the beginning, I do have a short video of part of it…

Here’s the finished line art. I was trying to get it to look like one of those fun, detailed illustrations for children’s books, a bit like a Where’s Wally cartoon but not quite as manically busy…

Next I began to tone it…

There were some super textured brushes I used for some of the jellyfish campervan structure…

Eventually, after some ultra relaxing drawing, I completed the picture. So here is The Jelly Road

And here’s a close up…

It’s not exactly high art, but it was very relaxing and quite fun to do.

Anubis in Ink

This week, having been incredibly inspired by the wonderful art produced by the children at school, I had a go at drawing the ancient Egyptian god, Anubis. (We are studying the Ancient Egyptians in Year 3.)

I started with a basic sketch of the main shapes…

Then I improved my sketch, making it more detailed and trying out different shapes and patterns…

Once I had all of the main ideas in my head I drew over my pencil in ink and then removed all of the pencil with a putty eraser to make an outline drawing…

At this stage I decided to get rid of the eyebrow as it detracted from the traditional ancient Egyptian eye shape. My next job was to fill in all of the solid black areas. I like to do this for the whole drawing as solid black has a strong effect on the final balance of the picture, so if I do it all at once I can feel something of how it will turn out. Here’s the drawing with the solid black areas added…

You can see where I used different inks. The detail and outer edges of each area were done with my trusty Pigma Microns but I used my Pentel Brush Pen to fill in larger areas. You can’t see the difference by eye but the scanner picks it up. Finally I worked on the details and textures to create my finished drawing…

This was a lovey piece to draw. It was incredibly relaxing and fun!

An Ant – watercolour pencil

 

This week I did a bit of a challenge.  I painted an ant using a single watercolour pencil.  The idea of this kind of exercise is to try to use the full tonal range of one colour or shade.  I chose black because it’s traditional for ants and has the strongest tonal range.

I began, as usual, with a basic sketch…

 

Then I worked on getting a detailed outline which was fairly accurate to my reference…

 

Then I began painting with my single black watercolour pencil.  I used a water brush to activate the pencil I laid down.  Here’s how it looked when I was a little way into it…

 

After some very pleasurable concentration I finally got it finished.  Here is the finished piece…

 

I have to give some credit for this to my cat, Leia.  She helped me rely less on looking at reference since, in her eyes, the reference photo was more of a cat toy which she felt the need to own…

🙂

 

 

 

Jean-Luc

 

This week’s art is a pencil sketch of the wonderful Patrick Stewart in his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation Starship, Enterprise.  (Oooo, I just got goosebumps from using that full title!)  I didn’t intend this drawing to go onto the web – it was just something I was doing while watching a few episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation in preparation for the new series Picard which has just come out.  After playing around with a couple of sketches I pulled up this rather dashing portrait photo from the web (All rights to Paramount / Viacom)…

 

 

…and made a proper sketch of it.  Apologies about the lack of process photos – I just got really involved with the drawing.

There is an odd intimacy which comes with painting anything.  Usually I really like it – especially with animals and plants.  It seems to strengthen my bond with other living things.  But when I do a portrait of a person I find I’m quite mixed about this “close” feeling.  Although I know, and very much value, Patrick Stewart’s excellent work, I don’t know him, the real person behind the actor, and so the intimacy feels odd and out of place.

Anyway, here’s to a smashing new series from a superb actor, Picard

 

 

 

It was done with graphite HB and B mechanical pencils on watercolour paper.  (Looking back it would have been better on Bristol Board but I used what was to hand.)  I do love drawing more mature faces – the beauty of the person seems to come through more.

Detailed drawing – step by step

This week I made a detailed drawing of a Dragonfly. Here’s my step by step process of doing this…

1. First I draw the basic shapes very lightly. Here I’m just looking at the bigger shapes of things. (I have a tendency to jump ahead and include some more detail in this but I try to stop myself from doing that because I need the basic big angles and connections to be right.) So here I was looking at the size of the body compared to the wings, the angle the body was on and the angles of the wings. When I do this basic layout I try not to think about a 3D object in 3D space at all, rather I think about the shapes and relative sizes in 2D only. So, in a way, I never draw an animal or whatever my subject happens to be, I just drew a group of basic shapes. Doing this I don’t have to push my mind through the shape transitions needed for forshortening, I just deal with flat shapes.

(I forgot to photo this stage when I’d finished it, so this is taken just after I’d started to put in a little more detail on the abdomen and wing joints but before I went over all of my lines more accurately.)

The pencils I used for this are two mechanical pencils (I can’t find my Graphgear at the moment.) and a mechanical pencil sharpener to keep things tight.)

2. Once I’ve got my basic shapes looking right, the next stage is to look more carefully at the line directions and angles and redraw all of my outline with greater accuracy and add some more obvious details like the wing joints and abdominal sections.

As I go I use three types of eraser – a thicker pencil eraser, tiny detail pencil eraser and putty…

3. Next I add more of the major details to the wings and refine my linework even more. I quite enjoy this stage as I can see really accurate lines coming out clearly for the first time.

4. Then I went to work on the detail. I began with the wings which have gorgeous patterns in them…

Then finally I added my shading to the body…

My final step was to add a shadow which was a bit tricky because my reference was a cut out digital image and didn’t have one.

Here’s the final drawing…

A tribute to the Hollow Knight

Ok, I admit it, I’m a massive gamer. It helps enormously to manage my pain and keeps my mind very active. I recently bought a Nintendo Switch Lite which is a handheld games machine by Nintendo (who have a superb reputation in this area). That way, I can play wherever I am. One of the games I’ve recently got is called Hollow Knight by Team Cherry. The game is set in a fictional land of bugs. It’s beautiful. The artwork in the game just blows my mind away. Here are some examples..

They use a simple cartoon style for the foreground objects and then a digital watercolour / gouche style painting effect for the backgrounds. It’s a lot like Studio Ghibli.

So I decided to paint a tribute to them in traditional media. This post details my first try at this. It’s quite difficult to make a traditional painting look like a digital design since all of the tools of the trade are different.

I began with a basic watercolour wash on which I pencilled in my basic drawing…

As usual I used several pictures as reference and combined different parts of them. Then I added my lineart…

And then finally I painted the foreground. I used watercolour for almost all of it with some white gouache mixed in in places and used on it’s own for highlights.

Little Acorns

 

This is a small pencil sketch of some oak leaves and their little acorns.  It was done with Fabre-Castell watercolour pencils and a small watercolour brush.  I wanted to see how small I could go and still put in some textural detail in the acorn cups.  The actual drawing is two and a half inches across.

Here’s a slightly enlarged photo of the drawing…