Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Frona The Toa of Black Ice

Frona photo poster
These pictures of my MOC, Frona, date back to around 2010/11. 

Frona was created as a character in 2009, but became more complex, like many of my characters, through time. 

The outfit she's wearing in these pictures was made in 2010. The material was given to me by a friend who was passionate in watching me dress my figurines with just a few fabric scraps and creative wrapping techniques. I had an old piece of icy material that Frona wore as an underskirt, then I was handed silky black and blue fabric scraps which then became an over skirt and Asian style wrap top.

Later I added jewelry embellishments to make her look fancy. I figure she wears these clothes when attending special events and such. Someday I may even use these pictures in a comic of some kind (my way of creating back story for anonymous imagery). 
 Jewelry elements used: the shoulder decor is a necklace that I wrapped around her waste, and the skirt weight and arm decor are clip on earrings.

History on Frona

Frona was invented during 2009 as a character I used in role play with an old friend who's code name is VulpesToa.

She was the first female Bionicle character I invented, and from that point onward I continued making girl characters for fun.

Frona developed over time; she started as a normal female ice Toa. But then I invented an ability called black ice. Black ice is the coldest ice there is, and Frona had little control over this power when she was depressed or angry. Black ice became known as a Makuta ability, and those who had it in their system, were prone to being evil.

Concept of black ice: The concept idea of black ice is that it's kind of like a virus or infection that occurs in certain ice Toa. It's like a shadow within them that plays with their emotions and makes them exceptionally strong, but very nasty when they use this power. And if I remember clearly, in one episode involving Frona, they discovered black ice was an infection, and tried to rid her body of it. They never fully succeeded; but in later history Frona learns to control it, and therefore is a very powerful ice Toa who has the power of both white ice and black ice; no longer effected emotionally by the two.

Early history- Frona started off as a teacher in a Ko Koro school. Later on she was used in an alternate dimension of Vulpes Toa's world, and fell in love with the still living Toa Matoro. 
       Eventually the series of Vulpes Toa's dimension came to an end; but Frona, as a character, lived on in other dimensions I invented. This is why she shows up in the Life of Lewa series at some point; the explanation to why she's in this universe too, is simple, we'll just say her character exists in multiple fan fiction dimensions. Her history is obviously going to be tweaked depending on which dimension we look at. 

In the Life of Lewa series Frona is a protector of the ice region, an opera singer in the crystal halls, and a great fighter who's friends with Natasha, a female ice Glatorian (her history will be given later). Frona's character is relatively short lived in many series, but she always stands as a main character in my collection.

Basic information: 

Age: Toa years unknown (in Human years probably about 32).

Elemental powers: White ice (regular ice power)/ black ice (infected shadow ice power).

Weapons: Two ice plasma blades and a laser beam blaster in her x-ray and aiming mask scope.

Height: 7' 1'' 

Color: Main color-white/ secondary color- light blue/ accent color- dark royal blue

Personality: Can be playful, takes her work seriously, is slightly more open in conversation than most ice Toa, logical and calculative, prone to emotional anger swings, and doesn't like large crowds

Likes: She enjoys the appearance and smell of blue winter roses, takes long walks in the snow for some time to herself, does ice skating now and then, likes dancing alone, and loves to read books. On the occasion she's open to teaching students what she knows, but prefers to handle people one by one, not in groups. 

Abilities: She's swift, and likes hand to hand combat; but also feels stealth and the element of surprise are good qualities to remember and apply to certain situations. She also can cause avalanche with her opera songs and high pitched notes.

Below is the collection of images from the panel posted, for better viewing.

Back side of outfit

Speech stance
No black overlay
 Without the black overlay, Frona's outfit becomes like a bathing suit. Sometimes she'll fight this way because it's easier to move when not wearing her overlay. The overlay is more to keep her warm when she's not fighting.
Looking into your eyes
 The two pictures of her sleeping have double concepts. 

She's either sleeping in a fancy room, is reenacting the Sleeping Beauty play at the crystal opera house, or is actually dead. When I made this image I had all of those ideas in mind. But to stay away from tragedy, we'll only say she's pretending. 
 I think the sleeping beauty idea fits well..... Now where is prince charming? :P

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bionicle Christmas Party-2011

Full Overhead View
Back in 2011 I set up a very large Bionicle Christmas party scene. It's unfortunate that some of the main photos came out blurred because I was doing this late at night, and my hands were tired.
No matter, I've settled with sharing what I can from the album, and have salvaged and adjusted what I can, feeling it's best to share them instead of leaving them in old files on my computer.

The only adjustments made to the images were small level tweaks, and the additional doorway backdrop, to hide my bed covers peeping through the doorway holes. I chose a nice snowy backdrop, to make the doorways appear to be open and leading out into the snow covered evening.

The full party group (shown from overhead in the above image), is a compilation of fan fiction characters associated with my fan fiction "Life of Lewa". This party scene is actually an entire concept scene for the Life of Lewa story; where friends and family alike gather to celebrate a Human tradition for the fun of it. The following images listed below go into more detail about who the characters are, and why they're at the party.
Right Corner guest
In the right corner, we have mostly friends. The Mahri, Gelu and Berix, along with the two water females, are all friends. This corner shot was the clearer shot I got, so not all is lost.
Left corner guests
In left corner we have family and friends. Lewa and his wife, Tahu and his wife, Pohatu and his sweetheart, and a peep at Moonbreeze (Lewa's daughter) talking with her boyfriend. The thing I love most about these image are the poses and life they contain.
Greetings From Familiar Faces
Overall these pictures of gathered friends and family from the Life of Lewa series are fun, even in their imperfection. They seem to tell a story, one of remembrance and unity; and in some ways a sense of duty and the fact that that Toa have a duty to care for their children now, 
not just their villagers.
Greeting Couples
Above, Lewa and his wife Venimbus greet friends. Lewa of course keeps in touch with the Nuva leader; how can he possibly forget Tahu, who married Gali at some point. The ladies are of course dressed nicely, decked in pretty fabrics and a few pieces of jewelry.

 The image above (right) is a small close up of Moonbreeze speaking with her sweet heart, Sobrono. Lewa of course keeps a close eye on the two, knowing Sobrono wishes he could touch Moonbreeze.

To the left is Pohatu and his wife, Poroka. The two talk and share a most odd but delicious drink
 of eggnog.

A Fun Party Angle
The fun party angle above is actually kind of interesting to me; the way it displays figures running after each other and captures them out of focus the closer they get to the camera, makes the picture feel more realistic. Also, the figures to the left are invited guests; those two lovely ladies are Princess Marine (a figure introduced in the very first chapter of Life of Lewa), and Kiina. Both are friends with Lewa and his family.
Are we Late?
The Mahri, at least three of the members from the Mahri team were invited to the party. They were a bit confused about what Christmas was, and wondered if they were running late for the celebration. I added them in simply because the scene needed some extra guests.

Berix was invited to the party (above left and right images). He decided to give his hand at portrait painting, and gained a "stroke" of luck when Gelu showed up and served as a model. (In personal silliness, I made Gelu serve as the model because I think his character is hansom).  
In the left image, Kazi chats with Gelu, and critiques Berix's painting skills, just to pull his leg. 

Left image is a clear middle shot of the party floor; and right image is the food table, 
just to show all its goodies. I even added a mini tree to the table for extra festive decor.
Running Children
In the image above, Harmose (Sobrono's little brother), is playing a game of tag with a jungle friend. The balance of these two was so fun to pull off. And no, these characters aren't Agori, they serve as children in this scene.
Paluthero Chugging Soda
Last images are close ups of Lewa's son Paluthero chugging down soda. And to the right in above image, Erozion, Paluthero's brother, is trying not to roll his eyes at his older brother's habits.
To me side view is funniest, but I also include front view for laughs.

 Set Details:

The way I made this Christmas scene was by placing a cardboard base on my bed and covered it with suede fabric. Then I surrounded my party floor with a cardboard prop which has door holes and windows. To make it more festive, and less unsightly, I draped a gold curtain over the main wall, to add a Christmas party feel to the room.

Props: I took a cardboard box and used it as a table, then draped a scrap piece of fabric over it as a table cloth. I then filled the table with Barbie and dollhouse food, and completed the scenery by adding a small tree as a center piece.
From there I added a large tree as a main decoration, then filled the room with my chosen characters, and posed them as desired.
For figures holding objects, I used sticky tack to keep it in their hand. Paluthero holding a soda can was pulled off with this method.

Just like that I got my pictures. And now to tell a story with them (for another time).

Friday, December 6, 2013

Proportionate Pearllight Suits

Pearllight form 1
Last month I decided to work on drawing Pearllight over my fashion forms to find out how my character would look when drawn over exact proportions. 
I found that she looked kind of funny when drawn accurately. In fact, in my eyes the cuteness level ended up rising more than expected, and her character seems to appear even more innocent than I thought she would.
Pearllight form 2
 I actually prefer form 2 over form1. Could have something to do with the pose; but in either respect, I like the way they turned out. 
The part that was hard to figure out was fitting the shoes. In some ways the height aspect of my character isn't quite accurate enough in these pictures. Her platform shoes are suppose to be seven inches thick, and her feet are somewhere on the inside high above the base. But, I couldn't figure out how that would look over my forms, so I drew them more like an actual shoe; not some high tech, spring loaded platform boot.

Above and below are the pencil drawings and inked images. Pencil versions (left), inked versions (right). Both pictures were drawn on marker paper, inked; and then colored with Prismacolor markers, and jell pen.
Jell pen was used for the gold sections of the suit, and a few silver spots; the rest was marker.

I'll admit it; it seems I've been in a big Pearllight craze lately. And I took this all a step further by designing my characters under suits. Since those are more of a fashion statement and not so much a robot thing, I've blogged about them on my art site here (pending). Feel free to check it out and see what Pearllight wears under her suit. ^.~

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bad Breath, Dizrahk

Bad Breath, Dizrahk
 This comic has been in my mind for some time. How it came about; it was a small day dream that I had when briefly interacting with Dizrahk, a DA buddy of mine; see his page here on DA (Disturbulator). 

I've had several day dreams of what would happen if his character and my character were to bump into each other, and the outcomes tend to be rather comedic. One of the first ones I ever had is where his character says hi to Pearllight, and his breath wafts in her face as a cloud of stink. Her innocent reaction is to then awkwardly offer a tick tack; a subtle, "sweet" way of saying his breath stinks. 
Granted, Dizrahk is a civilized Rahkshi, but a Rahkshi none the less, hence he may have stinky breath on the occasion, which can be rather repulsive.
 My guess on what Disturbulator's character would be like towards Pearllight's gesture is slightly irritated, but all at once neutral in feeling.

Judging by this first comic, and other day dreams I've had; I think our characters are quite interesting when interacting with each other; especially since my character is me, and Disturbulator is Dizrahk.

How I Made the Comic

Above are the two stages before color of the comic panel. I started my project with a 2 HB mechanical pencil on a 9x12 sheet of medium weight drawing paper; final sketch results (right).
The next step was to scan the sketches and outline them digitally; final results (left). I switched between a size four and a size five brush to outline most of the piece;a few spots here and there were done with a size 3 brush, specifically where I needed more control in smaller sections.

Last step was coloring and text. I selected areas for easier coloring, tweaked it, used dodge and burn for some shading and lighting, and painted a few highlights on Dizrahk.
One of my favorite parts was adding in the green cloud of bad breath that surrounds Pearllight's head. Just added so much more life to the picture.
I'll also add a fun extra, notice the tick tacks are blue green; Pearllight goes so far as to carry matching candy to go with her suit. ^.^
 Once the character coloring was done; I chose two colors that seemed good for a background, and matched the characters, then I used the gradient option and got a nice color combo.

The thing I enjoy most is adding mini sound affects with words, and painting in expression. Note, I drew little lines in spots where a sound effect is, and directed the lines to follow movement. I added one line indicating where Pearllight's nose is, and wrote in red, *sniff*. And with the Tic Tac I drew a line indicating the way the container opens and put, *click*.
One thing I also like to do to express emotion if you can't actually see the character's face, is to draw an emoticon bubble to show what their reaction is underneath a mask or in their minds (which in this case the image of a sick face is what's mentally going on in Pearllight's head).

Enjoy, and be sure to check out Disturbulator's page! ^.~

Saturday, November 23, 2013

2009 Pearllight Cuts the Turkey

Cut the Turkey
 Back in 2009, I tried setting up my first ever Bionicle Thanks Giving scene.
Unfortunately, these images were ruined by shaky hands and low shutter rate, and therefore never made it to the sharing list on websites I commonly post to.

Regardless of this fact though, I feel now is the time to bring out old photographs regardless of quality, since the theme and intention is more important than the quality at times..at least by my standards. Granted, it's a disappointment that these images, and many others came out poorly back in the day, because I didn't have stable hands and a tripod.

What's going on in the pictures? You may wonder. Lets just say Pearllight invited Pohatu and Tahu over for dinner, to introduce them to a simple Human tradition called Thanks Giving. 
Everything seemed dandy in the kitchen, until it was time to cut the turkey. Pearllight didn't use a normal knife because she couldn't find one sharp enough; so she decided to cut the meat with her plasma sword, which caramelizes the meat at every slice. 
Tahu and Pohatu flipped out though when she lifted her sword into the air; their fear, that she would cut through the table, and possibly snag them. This is why they sank in their seats and leaned back uneasily, trying not to say anything, but clearly feeling uncomfortable.

  How I made the scene

I took Barbie and dollhouse supplies, along with collected decorations that serve well for Barbie (cupboard and stove), and placed them together in an open back pantry. 
Then I placed a sheet of cardboard in the back to cover up the whole, and make a wall.
After that I posed my characters into the desired positions and captured the scene
 with the click of a button.

Final close up above. Yes, it's blurry like the other images, but was my attempt to show the body language of each figure more clearly. It still makes me laugh even though it's wavering in appearance.

I may include these pictures elsewhere in my scrap files and side line posts; my intent is to also someday remake images like these; using my gained experience and tripod for clear, enjoyable images, that don't make you feel so...dizzy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pearllight Nouveau- Posters and Trading Cards

Pearllight Nouveau- Poster 1
 I've been at work making one big art package consisting of two Nouveau themed posters, a set of printable trading cards, and an overall color improvement of these old Pearllight model images.

These Nouveau pictures were taken quite awhile ago, and I decided it was time to make them something more. With a couple screen saver images, and a few snazzy tweaks in Photoshop Elements; I completed two Nouveau themed posters for my six image set. 
It only seemed natural to make a two poster set, each containing a trio setting; and I must say I'm very happy with how these turned out. The celestial theme and color scheme are a great combo that say it all for Pearllight's character.

The general poster style is of course inspired and based off Alphonse Mucha's work; specifically his panel styles for the posters of the seasons. His work has flowing clothes and women; I figure, why not make ones in my own style of fluffy skirts and robots XD.

Pearllight Nouveau- Poster 2
 First and second panels were set in such a way that they're balanced, as I like to do with all my posters. First poster only has the images that don't contain pink. I placed the calmest image in the middle, and balanced the left and right side with sword poses. Also note, I place the swords images in such  a way that they point your attention around the page (which in this case, Pearllight's sword is pointing at the title from the left side in first panel of poster 1.) 

Second poster has the images containing pink, and one that serves best as a center piece. I chose the middle image in second poster to be the focus, because her blades are pointed up and are kept inside the circle, a central point. I then balanced out both sides with the images containing pink.
Pearllight Nouvea Trading Cards
My main goal has always been to make these posters into trading cards. To me, having personal trading cards of your own character is a great way to connect with others, and start a mini personal character trading card club, where each person can have cards of their personal MOC's, and trade with others to collect images of others MOC characters and have a collection of alternate characters and ideas. 

Most of all, having personal trading cards is a fun way to keep track of you art pieces as a mini collection; and for me is a form of security, knowing these art pieces will never go out of print, unlike company sold products.

The above image sheet has been rendered to be larger than a standard sheet of paper, so that when printed, will be higher quality, even if the pixels are reduced. I used the same celestial backdrop as I did in the posters, just selected a smaller section of it to make my trading card backgrounds.

 On a final note, the above images are all my Pearllight Nouvea images. Each one has been adjusted in color, and stand out more than they ever have before. Seeing that I shared the originals on Flickr, see here Pearllight Nouveau Posters and didn't feel like making another upload; I'm sharing the improved versions here on the blog, and leaving the original versions for you to view on my Flickr. The originals are very bright, and rather milky... a bit like looking at a picture in a dream. That was the theme I was going for at the time, but later decided they needed to be clearer and more vibrant, so I tweaked them and got the final images above.

Hope you enjoy looking at these old images; and one last thing is that these are picture of Pearllight's old build. I haven't yet cleaned up the pictures of her new structure yet; that project is for the upcoming future, till then, enjoy the posters. ^.~

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Desert Jelly" Berix's delivery

"Desert Jelly"
 This old digital art piece was done a long long time back; for whatever reason I made it, I'm not sure, but felt it needed an extra pop. 

 The original image, (see bottom of this post) was made as a gag. You may not be able to tell, but the character in this image is suppose to be Berix, holding a jar of jelly. Why he's holding a jar of jelly and standing in the middle of the desert is beyond me.

I remember I made this piece when sharing my art online for the first time....and if I'm remembering clearly, made this picture to share on some LEGO group. Didn't get much feed back, but it was my first time sharing something art related on a website with other Bionicle fans.

The original "story" behind this scene was sort of a snippet of Berix stopping in his tracks with a jar of jelly that may or may not have been stolen. I made the art piece while the Bionicle series was still unraveling, and therefore didn't know whether or not Berix was a thief.
Seeing that he ended up not being a thief, I thought of a funnier scenario as to why he was caught in the middle of the desert with a jar of food.

Berix happened to get a hold of a foreign jar of cranberry sauce which Pearllight gave to him. His intention, to rush across the desert with hopes of making it in time for the Thanks Giving dinner Mata Nui was holding in a small home somewhere in Tesera. (Connection image and aftermath here Bionicle Thanks Giving ) Berix heard that cranberry sauce was some kind of "special" Human food which made bird meat and stuffing taste magical. :P So he asked Pearllight for a jar he wished to give to Mata Nui as a gift of appreciation and thanks. 

With that little story, we get our final "Desert Jelly" picture. You may wonder if Berix makes it in time, the answer is yes, but he's hiding under the table so you can't see him (when in reality he was never included in the photo. XD)

Improved sky version

Here's what I did to improve and make "Desert Jelly"

I started with my original image, cut away the existing background, then used two different colored gradients to get a sunset sky. 
First I made a purple colored gradient and leveled it with my horizon, then added a pale yellow gradient over the purple, and adjusted transparency, 
so the under color Gradient would show through. This resulted with the left image above. I left the main clouds and made sure the sky color matched them; (gradients for sunset images are a new discovery for me, and they're great!)

Once I got my sunset sky, I felt the image needed extra; it seemed to be lacking life. So I went in and played with some texture brushes to add extra clouds to the background. This helped to add more depth to the image, and gave it that extra flair I was going for. 

Original image
During the making time of my original "Desert Jelly" image; I remember starting with the torso first of my figure, and tried drawing Berix from memory. His head came out a bit small, but none the less I did what I could at the time. 
 I'll also note that I made the clouds a sunset color, but used shades which would match the jelly in Berix's hand. Come to think of it, the clouds themselves have tones that remind me of Thanks Giving food, a funny coincidence I guess. ^.^

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bionicle Art- Autumn Slide Show

I made this simple video to show my small collection of Autumn based Bionicle art pieces so far. Figured this would be a great way to show it all in one place, quickly and simply.

Though I feel the video could be better than this, I 'm limited to the programs provided (Windows Movie maker 6.0 and Windows Live Movie Maker.) None the less, it was still kind of fun to make, and I'm happy to share it with you. Enjoy! ^.~
Also, if you're interested for the craftier side of things, you may like to drop by Pearllight Studio where I posted another recent video about glue. :D

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"I'll Always Love You" LoL illustration

"I'll Always Love You"
 This illustration is an inspiration from the "Life of Lewa" series, a fan fiction I'm currently working on. In the image, Lewa (left) is receiving affection from his wife, Venimbus (right).

The picture is a random scene of affection, which hasn't yet been given a place in the story, but I'll likely find a spot to add it, since I feel every picture made should have a nook that connects onto a unique story, even if it's small. Once I do find a place for it, you'll no doubt be seeing these once random art pieces added to a meaningful story chapter in the future.

The title "I'll Always Love You" is meant to go both ways. Lewa is thinking it, and so is Venimbus; therefore the title is short, sweet, and to the point; a quality I value as part of the affectionate message this illustration is meant to portray.

 The background of this illustration (left) was made by a friend of mine; using acrylic paint and watercolor pencil. You can see her original version before I tweaked its color here Figmentrose- Jungle Background. After seeing the drawing of the two sweethearts, she was instantly inspired, and so taken by the piece that she wanted to see it on a background. This led to her making one for me to use, leaving  the editing and Photoshopping in my hands. I simply copied the image from her DA, tweaked its color to make it pop, then applied the figures, and signed our DA names so all would know the illustration was a two person project.

 Here's how "I'll Always Love You" started, and how I made it step by step. 

Tooth paste advertisement

 The drawing of Lewa and Venimbus was a four step process. 

   One day I picked up this tooth paste advertisement (right). I was in a very odd mood, and had been facing a strange emotional tug for affection. There was something about this advertisement that instantly sparked an idea, and fed that emotional feeling.
First outline on tracing paper

I saw past the two people in the picture, and dreamed of Lewa and his wife Venimbus. This urged an idea I couldn't resists, and I decided to try something fun. I used the advertisement as a guide, and placed a sheet of tracing paper over top of it; then kept the sheets together on a clip board, took out my Lewa and Venimbus figurines for reference, and started tracing their forms over the advertisement.

Drawing over human forms was slightly different since I had to avoid the nose aspect of the heads.

By the end, this resulted with the base pencil image (left). I would have done a full scale tracing, but the paper sheet wasn't long enough to fit the full advertisement.

I made a tracing paper image first, so it would be easier to see while I traced over the image a second time.

 I took my traced image, then placed a sheet of bleed proof marker paper over top. The marker sheet ended up being a tad smaller than than the tracing paper, so
I had to cut off a few of the lower details.
Final image on bleed proof paper, colored with Prismacolor marker
 I then clipped the sheets together and placed them over a tracing board with a light underneath, and drew out the figures with pen. 
     Once I was finished, I started coloring the image with Prismacolor markers, and a few cheap markers for the gray, since the Prismacolor sets didn't have that color. 
      In the end, the results were satisfying, and the characters both portrayed the emotion I yearned for. After that point, I shared it and was given a backdrop, leading to the final illustration at the top of this post. ^.^