Sunday, February 11, 2018

Bionic Home

I've been visiting old digital sketches in my Bionicle files and tweaking them, then adding some color. This one is a Bionic home, a place that may be a manor for Matoran. Either it serves an inn, or a place of schooling for learning different art forms and sciences. It has a greenhouse, observatory tower, and large library. The Garage was crafted to look like a mask with mouth door and eye windows.

I did adjustments mostly for the background, mainly the trees, rocks, plants, and sky.

It's not often I do cloudy light settings, so this one was a first. It kind of just happened unintentionally, and I liked it. 
 
The black and white sketch was done a long time ago, I don't even remember the year. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Bala and Bota

Bala and Bota, two more old digital sketches tweaked, colored, and given an environment.

I had named Bala soon after sketching her so long ago. It was just some random name that kind of grew on me and just felt appropriate for her. 
Now Bota, the red guy, was a completely different sketch who needed part of his head and lower legs drawn in. He took a bit more work to make whole, unlike Bala who only needed half her feet drawn in.

Before and after view of the sketches (left). Top row is before, bottom is after.

The adjustments were easy enough, and then came coloring, followed by creating a background. 

Bala has a favorite mediation spot, a large rock within a pool of water leading out to a river, complete with a relaxing waterfall.
Bota is from the volcanic village which isn't far from there, you can even see the volcano in the background. He likes to talk with Bala sometimes, and knows she can commonly be found at the waterfall.

Making the background was fun, but also kind of hard. I struggled to decide what colors to use and how to make the lighting decent. It took me more time and thought than the background I had done previously for another old sketch Citrus Toa-To the Trail. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Citrus Toa- To the Trail

"Follow the trail."

The Citrus Toa needed a background after so many years of being a quickly colored sketch in my cluster of random Bionicle sketches.

I wasn't sure what the background should be for the drawing, and went on gut instinct, randomly slapping down lines and creating an environment that made me happy. I also had to add a bit more toe to my Toa's foot so he would look right in a scene. Quite a few of my sketches involve drawn figures with part of their feet or lower leg extending out of frame. That's fine sometimes, but other times it doesn't do justice for an illustration, hence me making tweaks to an old sketch.

Obviously this Toa is based off Lewa Phantoka, quite possibly just a different rendition of him on a day the adaptive armor adjusts itself for a new mission.
I call him the citrus Toa because I colored him with a lime and orange color scheme. No doubt during the time of coloring him, I was basing him off of what my Lewa figurine looked like with temporary orange arms. I had given him those arms while waiting a long time to replace his cracked green arm pieces. 

You can see the example of that on the left. Orange and green aren't terrible together as long as the shades are right.
The beach scene itself can stand alone, and makes me feel so relaxed that I could stare at it all day. I wasn't sure which version I preferred as a background, the one with outline (left) or without outline (right). Both are pleasing in some way, but I did keep the outlines in one version to see if my Toa figure would look natural with the backdrop.

The character was after all a cut and paste object who then had a scene built around him. I sketched out an environment first, then painted within the lines, adding color, lighting, and texture where needed. Parts of the scene were only half colored wherever you wouldn't be seeing it (anything hidden behind the foreground figure).

I did set my character on both versions of the background to test which one he looked best on. Outlined version seems to imply he's part of the environment, while the painted version makes him stand out more as a focal point.

All I know is that I want to go to the beach now. :P

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Trill-Desktop Com Inspection

Observing the machine.

This evening I was playing with more ambient glow photos, and for the first time ever it was Trill's turn to observe my new desktop computer.

Staring into the window of the machine is like inspecting a spaceship. 
Smile.

Trill was okay with getting a selfie before the machine, proof for showing friends back home that she was on a spaceship.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Nerd Soup- The Disposer



The disposer is a nick name I gave this spiky green guy lurking around the waters of a grave yard.

I felt like doing a bit of photo art with a picture I call Nerd Soup (left). This was from Aug. 1, 2017, a day I was cleaning a bunch of Bionicle parts.

The bowl full of murky water and pieces reminded me of a watery grave, and that tied in with the idea that something could live in those waters which is why there's so much death in it. 






I decided to create a creature for that idea, and called him Disposer. This creature is selected from a photo I took of a friend's Bionicle design a long time ago. He seemed like a fitting creature for the scene, so he got the role.

Editing involved selecting the image, erasing part of his legs, placing him onto the scene, using different kinds of gradients and brush textures, along with the technique of creating a copy layer, applying glowing edges, inverting it, and setting the blending mode to darken. This gave me that painted and partially outlined look.


I also played with different color stages over the image. The version above is the toxic green fog version.

Then there's the dimmed classic monster movie version (left), and also the sepia journal page version (right).

Friday, January 5, 2018

Misty Marine

I continue gravitating towards bright glowing things as scenery with mood lighting. Marine is back, and she's summoning the waters of Radha from the glowing well of wisdom. :P

Okay, yeah, whatever is going on in this scene there's nothing specific to it as far as a story goes. I just felt like doing more mood lighting pictures.

This scene took place on the bathroom vanity with its Chinese evergreen in a shiny pot, reflecting the glow of a Radha beauty defuser that puffed essential cinnamon oil.

With some basic editing like a black gradient, and level adjustments for sharpness and eye glow, I enhanced the mood of my scene.
I played further with my images by experimenting with similar techniques used for creating a watercolor over colored pencil effect on the Lewa and Pearl pictures

The left version is the mostly colored pencil effect. I wanted to get more of a brush stroke feel. Since this is a water themed image, I wanted it to look smooth and ripply. The way I did this was by making a copy of the colored pencil version, taking a textured brush in PSE, and applying that texture to the smudge tool set to 100% strength. The rest was just manual touch ups, dragging and dabbing my smudge brush over grainy areas of the image, resulting in a semi painted look (right).

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Elemental Palette

This evenings art experiment involved using my own selection of backgrounds taken from a photo I did of a watercolor palette. You can find out more about the base project on the post- Watercolor Palette Pictures.

Each color on the palette immediately reminded me of the elements, specifically in the shades of Bionicle. I didn't want to spend hours on something silly, so I used some short cuts by selecting images of the Toa Nuva, then turning them into stamp outlines using a filter in PSE.

I couldn't decide between letting the colors show through the stamp images or not, so I made the one above, then saved a version of them on solid white, as shown below.

The six main elements are fun, but I did have two blocks left from the photo, so I decided to play around and create Toa Mata singles of Tahu and Lewa.

I did the same stamped image on watercolor effect for these, and put the two buddies together on a page.

Lewa looked right as an outline, but he also looked pretty good as a paper pieced image. I think this would make a nice card.


During my selecting and stamp making, I kept each form for later use.

Each picture I used has been assembled on a stamp sheet for fun (left).

The outlines alone look pretty cool.