mewstein’s Sunday Afternoon Sketchbook

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Updated on 30/11/19 - An off-topic Pokemon Shield Brain Dump

mewstein

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
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The human face is a canvas shaped by the eternal struggle between our innermost thoughts and our experience of reality. Through it we explore the world around us, and its mirriad of expressions can be used to communicate a thought that would otherwise take a thousand words to conceptualise...

Purple prose asside, it's also a buggar to draw, therefore one of my goals this year is to set asside an hour or so every sunday and focus on drawing the human Gesicht. The purpose of this thread is to document my progress, and maybe share a few of the abominations I drew as a nipper along the way (see exhibit A):


The 00's were a WEIRD time, man...

And some of the pictures of a particular significance, such as the Karl Marx I left one of my former employers to discover:


I'll stick to mainly traditional pen-and-paper methods with the only digital manipulation being a little colour correction here and there.
 
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mewstein

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
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To start things off, here's a batch from last week:



And from yesterday:


Someday I'd like to create a comic drawn almost purely freehand, only turning to the computer to assemble the pages. But given the time constraints and other comitments, that's not going to happen any time soon. Plus no-one reads black and white anymore, do they..?
 
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Bug

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As far as B&W is concerned, people do! Best example from our forum, atleast, is Acceptance by Lynslayer. And professionally? You either carve your niche, or you'd have a colorist anyways.

Best of luck with the faces. Realism is... Real hard.
 

mewstein

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@Bug Agreed, realism isn't the easiest style to master, and that's what makes it so satifying when you get it right - espeically if you can go non-digital. I fully intend to become a street caricaturist if the programming work dries up! Thanks for reccomending that comic, it's been useful to see how the panels and backgrounds are drawn.

Here's the last batch for August:



Yet more proof that I suck at drawing women - it's always the shading that seems to be the shading that seems to trip me up. However I'm quite happy with how the chap in the hat on the bottom row turned out.



Today's self-indulgent ramble topic is the influence of a show which, like most good things in life, was brutally cut short and lost in the annals of late-night televsion programming: Metalocalypse. It lasted 4 seasons 2006-2013, before being cancelled - although that didn't stop Yours Truly making an attempt at Season 5...



The semi-realistic style of this show (and the pitch black sense of humour) really vibed with me. Characters were drawn in a raw, unflattering style, in stark contrast to the Anime and Manga which influenced much of the online community at the time.



I certainly wouldn't recommend Metalocalypse to everyone, but at the time it made sense to me in an increasingly turbulent world.
 

mewstein

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For some of my recent sketches I've tried drawing Far-Eastern faces, given the distinctly oriental theme of Kantonian Tales as I plan on giving all the gym leaders a feudal-Japanese makeover when they make their appearances in the run.



The lady in the hat is a great example of how NOT to do shading :(

I skipped last week's installment due to the unpleasant business of Buying Clothes And Shit Ready For Winter taking most of my weekend, but I'll hopefully redeem myself with a slightly extended Blast From The Past:



£2.50 for a felt tip pen? Outrageous!
... I’ll take 30.


The focus of today’s foray into the pile of mankey sketchbooks will be some of the colouring tools and techniques I've encountered. These days I’m truly spoiled by having every conceivable shade at my fingertips thanks to the magic of paint.net (open source or gtfo, Adobe...) but only really got into digital cartooning roughly 6 years ago.


I sealed my parents’ opinion that I was Still Too Young To Be Trusted With Hard Cash by spending all my 12th birthday money on some VERY expensive Coptic markers. I proceeded to scribble away reasonably productively until the pens were left in a car during a family trip to Italy and melted in the heat. It took more than some Gelato and a crafty swig of the local Limonello to recover from that traumatic experience, I can tell you...(at least the pens were made with water-based ink rather than something more huffable).





I don't think my science teacher at the time was flattered by his caricature...

Of course even with 30+ pens at your disposal there’s still only a finite array of colours to chose from and I don’t know if all the younger digital artists out there really appreciate how easy technology has made our hobby. Having grown up with permenrntly ink-stained fingers, it still fills me with awe at just what is possible to create today (although I could never get on well with drawing on a tablet with a stylus).



Behold my mastery of abusing the Brightness & Contrast tool!

But this blog isn't about showcasing how skillfully I can twiddle the colour wheel on photoshop. Any seven-year-old with access to Daddy's PC can do that (as long as they could accurately guess the password to Daddy's Adobe Creative Cloud). No, this blog is about going back to basics and bashing out art armed only with a pen, some paper - and an ipad full of stock imagery.

It's no longer the Middle Ages, you know...
 

RubyClaw

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Great job as always. I believe my favorites at the top left one, top right one, and bottom middle one (though the bottom left one has a special place in my heart :) ).
 

mewstein

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Q: What do all these faces have in common?

A: None are of an ethnic minority They're all drawn in the three-quarters facing position.

From Botticelli to Bart Simpson it’s easy to see why this pattern has persisted and has become the default in modern graphics. The three-quarters facing position elongates the chin, presents the nose at a pleasing angle (something to do with The Golden Ratio, apparently) and is less confrontational than having the subject staring directly at you.



All fine reasons to draw your muse at this angle if you want to create an aesthetically sound bit of art, but humans have a three dimensional head (cartoon anvil trauma aside) and for this weekend’s art session I attempted to draw it from a variety of angles. It was pretty obvious I need more practise at this, so will most likely focus on this for a few weeks…







As a grotty gothy teenager, one of my (numerous) obsessions was the self-annointed God Of F---, Marilyn Manson. I even got a VIP pass to meet him when he played at a festival in Arizona - although sadly the photo has evaporated into the mists of time. The guy fascinated me, and I loved how multi-layered his songs were. Listening to Antichrist Superstar and picking out all the hidden meanings was like an Easter Egg hunt, and I followed suit by sneaking various famous faces into the background of some panels of Bad Apples.


I could self-indulgently prattle my way through several more blocks of html, but let’s just cut straight to my shitty drawings instead.


For the purpose of fairness, that’s Charlie from Busted on the end. My sister and I did not share a taste in music...

I’ll leave you with a couple of tunes that delighted me and disgusted my parents in equal measures in the late 2000’s. See if you can identify the famous quote in number two.

 
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mewstein

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
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***Dear readers, if any of you are a digital artist who has experience in taking commissions and would be willing to offer advice on how/what/where to start, please drop me a message or a comment - I’d really appreciate some guidance on the subject.***

After falling down the Manson-shaped nostalgia hole last week I went on to look up some of my favourite digital artists from that era - most notably Bullsik and Daekazu, who have very impressive DeviantArt galleries. Despite evangelising about traditional pen 'n' paper methods recently, I couldn't resist heading to Paint.net and having a go at some digital painting myself.


Digital painting is something I've never done seriously, preferring the two-tone cell shaded effect for my comics - working with layers makes this so easy to do, and it's a satisfying process that can transform a drawing. Paint.net lacks a layer-agnostic smudge tool so I'll probably end up bowing to Adobe and learning all the tools and techniques if I'm going to get serious about this. Learning a new technique requires time and investment but hey, it's no longer the time of year when you'd want to spend your Sunday afternoons with your sketchbook under a tree.


I also did the usual facial drawing exercises and even busted out some pencils to make a change from the random felt tip pens that've my weapons of choice recently.






On the next stage of this journey I’ll be tackling pencils, lighting efforts and getting a feel for whether I’m at the stage where I can offer commissions (or if there is even a market for my stuff). Happy Rosh Hashanah.



As a cat person this is how I envision of the Seventh Circle of Hell.

In the days when mobile phones were little more than aneurysm-inducing bricks, you had little choice but to take in the world around you as you walked to the shops rather than diving into your PinterSnaptaGram feed*. If you spotted something unusual on the way like a littleold lady walking a 12-strong pack of Pekenises (or a Pekenise walking a 12-strong pack of little old ladies) you generally gawked for a few seconds, then hurried on home to watch Sabrina (or The Fresh Prince Of Bell Air if you were really cool) and forgot the old lady rather than sharing the experience to your legions of followers on Twitter.

Alternatively if you were really REALLY cool you cloistered yourself with a mug of soup and drew the old lady and her horde of hounds in your trusty sketchbook, safe in the knowledge your artistic efforts would never be seen by anyone else...

Until Future You decides to unearth them and post them on an obscure forum 12 years later.


*Damn it, stalking exes on Facebook is time well-spent.
 

mewstein

Conqueror of the Violet Gym
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Time to hijack my own blog for an off-topic ramble

My initial thought on Pokemon Shield:

Any cynicism I'd been fostering since being left cold by Sun/Moon evaporated within the first ten minutes of gameplay. Aesthetically Sw/Sh have a much more natural, knocked-back pallet which is very fitting - all the moreso given the games were released right on the cusp of the Northern Hemisphere's Winter Solstice. The lighting effects really mirror the harsh, crisp sunlight you get on a clear day at this time of year, as well as fog similar to the episode with the mysterious beast in the forest also being a common occurrence (I'm playing semi-blind so only know it as the critter featured on the game's packaging...)

As a Brit (no, really? You mean I've never mentioned it before?) I found the game's attempt at incorporating my country's dialect into the dialog precious, and it really made me smile. Little details like the furniture in my house and the hay bales in the fields added to a sense of familiarity, and the wild Pokemon (foxes, sheep,squirrels, blue tits - yes, that's what Rookidee is, not a reference to our chilly climate) are all common sights in rural England, and their designs are full of character (particularly Nickit!). I think the sprites look much better than the previews and trailers indicated, even Grookey has grown on me, and the encounter with the box-art legendary felt full of menace - then again, I was playing at 10pm last night in the dark.

I was lucky enough to recieve a female Scorbunny off the bat, so already it feels like I'm off to an auspicious start. The option to dodge the on-boarding / tutorials have been a blessing, and I liked the design of the protag character enough to actually customise his outfit, something I never normally bother to do. The visible overworld Pokemon make grinding much quicker once you figure out that Wooloo is an exp whale.

All in all, this may be the novelty factor speaking but the game has already dethroned Black and White as my favourite (Official) Pokemon Release. Now to indulge in doing what London Commuters will be doing a lot of over the next months: waiting for a non-existant train.



Disclaimer - I'm not Nuzlocking Shield - I'm using revives this time around.
 

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