Sunday, March 27, 2016

Lewa's Capture-Brutaka's Game

"Lewa's Capture"

Woo! this scene....I've been putting this project off for a few years. This scene is from Brutaka's Game, a fan fiction written by Saronicle.

For a few years this particular scene of Lewa's capture has caught my attention, and I, like other fans, for some reason am captivated to see one of my favorite characters facing turmoil.

Despite the fact I've never read Brutaka's Game, viewing only clips of the story, grazing through the art pieces, and skimming through the podcasts, I've always wanted to see this particular scene in my own style.
I'm glad to say I finally stuck my foot out the door and got myself to ask Saronicle for permission to do so after a full year of hesitation.

Brutaka's Game: Lewa's Capture by Saronicle
Brutaka's Game: Lewa's Capture by Saronicle on DeviantArt
 You can find more details about this scene by clicking on the link provided. 
Above is the original version of this picture, dating back to 2010. On the left is the pilot named B.J., in the background is the character known as Mr. Petrik, and to the right is Ethan.
I based my version of the image off of this 2010 drawing, but later after making the line art, I realized that I switched up the character placement in my version, meaning the image doesn't technically coincide with the actual story chapter.
My fault for ignoring the written details while drawing, despite the fact I've read that part before....What can I say, I didn't feel like drawing Ethan's face for some reason, and preferred the back view of him, finding it more pleasing to see Ethan tugging Lewa from the front instead of the back, and B.J. tugging Lewa's neck from behind instead of pulling his head forward.
Basically, the foreground characters switched places in my version. Only way to make sense of it would be to say that during Lewa's struggle, Ethan circled around and the lasso slid to Lewa's front, while B.J. ducked away from Lewa's arm and tugged his neck from behind so Lewa would fall to the ground before getting tackled by more angry men, his doom to be tied up and threatened.
Brutaka's Game: Lewa's Capture by Saronicle
Brutaka's Game: Lewa's Capture by Saronicle on DeviantArt
I'll also make note that Saronicle created this newer version of the scene, but still I remained more captivated by the original layout from 2010. I like the trees in this one though, always enjoying atmosphere.
The atmosphere of my version is a bit different in the sense I made the camp ground less grassy and made it an earthy clearing with grass patches.....Not sure why I did that. Plus my trees are smaller.
 On the subject of art process, it was interesting to work on this. Line art seemed good, and I tried a bit harder to lay down colors  which displayed proper lighting, wanting to get it close to the original setting in hour. 
I find I'm still practicing in the realm of lighting and color, something about it seeming rather difficult. I asked myself if the lighting was good, and was surprised to find the painting looked better when the lines are gone. There would need to be many more tweaks and colors added to make the pure painted version look even better, but seeing the image without line showed me I didn't do too badly with color, and may one day improve upon the no outline version.
Currently I'd say the painting looks like you're staring at the scene with slightly bad eye sight.
I also was told Ethan's hair was brown, not blond. The detail I changed was his hair style, and felt like giving him a ponytail instead of a mullet. :P
About sketch process. I shared this page of pose concepts with Saronicle before proceeding to create line art. It was interesting to play around with poses of Lewa, but wanted an outside opinion of which I should I go with. Saronicle felt I should combine sketch 1 and 4 concerning Lewa's pose.
 At first I made line art of sketch 4, and while I let the idea sit, I decided to make an adjustment and pull Lewa's arm out so it resemble the original art piece of the scene better. After a few votes, the line art with his arm out was chosen.
Before this time I found it amusing to click back and forth between line art, noticing the adjustment of Lewa's pose was so slight that it appeared to be animated. It's probably only amusing to me, but I made a small video to show the two line art pieces put together, displaying Lewa tugging on the rope.
You can see both line art pieces this way.

Underground Poet

 Mar. 23, 2016

Here's a fun drawing made by Danny Red, this figure being an Onu female Matoran who represents me.

This idea came from a conversation I was having with Danny about writing and the fact I write but don't exactly consider myself a writer. He said that's what he calls an underground poet, and I mentioned that made me imagine myself as an Onu Matoran writing poetry.

He loved the idea so much that he had to draw it, and so here it is. I think he did a good job at resembling me as an Onu Matoran, especially in the mask which looks similar to my actual face. 

I like it both in color and form, and sometime may draw a version of it in my own style with some minor adjustments such as widening the hips and lengthening the hair piece on the head. Other than that, I like how he portrayed me as an Onu Matoran poet, a fitting character trait considering I'm labeled as the family historian in my household.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Void- Pearllight's perception


Void is kind of an odd mix of realism and cartoon combined; this is what happens when you draw over a photo. Void is a way to express my current emotional state, while all at once serving as a mood indicator for the content of this post. (The main reason I made the image is to give the post interest).

What does one do when one is trapped in a void, a prison with no door yet open to a beginning, where you can speak, but no one listens, those you love in shackles same as you. 
It's been what feels like an eternity since you last touched the hand of someone you called friend. Those you cared for either found a door out of the void you're stuck in, or prison bars blocked off their path of return. You've scraped your fingers against the floor, trying to grasp hold of someones shadow, not ready to say goodbye and realizing too late that their shadow implies they've left you behind, and were never there. 
You find ways to speak to others through certain prison walls, and at times even find yourself muttering to your own reflection on the floor, but still your life has not begun, and the tiles of familiarity have cracked, aged, and turned to dust.
Action is not being taken, and you must rely on those in the void with you to make a move, helpless on your own, worried and waiting that turns to longing for freedom. Will you ever be free? Will you ever find love beyond the void which you're trapped? Or is the way out a walk to the next prison cell? 
That was a poetic way of expressing the image of "Void", the words and symbolism holding hidden meaning that expresses certain personal matters in the life of Pearllight.

The concept of the void dimension has been developing in my mind more ever since I made the Sass Juice comic pages. I felt a certain silliness, yet wondered what exactly my character felt, and a few ideas came to mind as to how it would be to get trapped in one of these void dimensions.

Pearllight's Perception
Onto the main subject of this post. I think it's about time I stated my new thoughts towards the Bionicle fandom, coming to realize a few things which have helped me move along in my art, while subsequently bringing me to final conclusions of why I've held onto the fandom for as long as I have.

I've told the story of how I came to like Bionicle, and now nine years later I've come to a full realization as to why I've held onto the series for nearly a decade.

All these years from the time I became a fan to now, I've been dreaming, scheming, creating, and sharing the boundless ideas and possibilities that have run through my mind all because of Bionicle.

When I was younger, I found that becoming a fan led to me meeting people who were also fans, hence leading to friendship based upon a like interest (Bionicle being the only interest I had in common with the majority of people I befriended).
From the first time I became a fan and through the next five years, I embraced this interest, and in my extroversion sought to meet friends this way. I created art and shared it all these years because I enjoyed the ideas, but also because I wanted to share with others and find like minds to interact with.

Eventually I lost all the friends I had in real life, and as time went on I came to realize the only thing that had kept me connected with them is something as simple as a fantasy created by another. I turned to the screen and shared online hoping to find new friends who shared the same interests and loved to think outside the box. But at last, after trying for the past three years, my hopes of meeting new friends online has failed, and I've come to accept the fact that it will remain this way for most of my life, turning me back towards other art forms I enjoy and helping me realize that all these years I've been sharing to the wrong crowd of people.

It's only recently that I've come to see newer Bionicle fans have seemed to become progressively more closed minded and rude, losing sight of creativity and being too focused on the rules of canon which restrict the possibilities of being creative, and daring to think outside the box. This has turned me away from certain online communities, and I've become fed up with the attitudes of what seems like an overgrowth of weeds choking out those of us who never gave a crap about canon rules and concepts that didn't let imagination bloom and spread.

After taking some time away from Bionicle groups of certain sites, I sat down to make other things and stopped caring to interact with the majority of newer fans, realizing I seek for older fans who create and think outside the box. It's during this time I started making the Bionicle mini book, which gave me such a sense of relaxation that I finally realized what it is I truly liked about Bionicle.

I came to realize that as an artist, I seem to value the story in a different way from the majority of fans on communities like Google +, also understanding that any Bionicle art piece I make will only be fully understood and appreciated by me and me alone (which is how it is for any kind of art, the artist knowing the true meaning behind what they made, others seeing it differently depending on personality type).
So what is it I like about Bionicle? As I worked on my project and got the sense of relaxation, I realized I like Bionicle as an art style. Even if it didn't have a story line, the sheer designs and concepts is what kick started my passion for it.
I like the combo of robotic beings melded in with a fantasy setting on a beautiful island full of colorful creatures that shine in the light and wield the elements, each thing color coded and culturally interesting for a false reality. I nod in appreciation to the original artists who helped make Bionicle and introduced something intriguing enough to inspire a wave of fans for the next decade.

And as it goes, I ask questions that make the setting more life like. Most people lose sight of the subtleties from what I've noticed. I'm the one to wonder what kind of food dishes each region makes, do they have spices, do they make soups? How would I make clothes if I were in their world, what would that look like, what kind of fruit do they have, would there be a way to make soap? These are the odd questions I ask myself, and this is why I make art expressing the ideas for my amusement (note I said for my amusement....I make art for my amusement. If others are amused by it and feel inspired, I say good for them. It's those who feel a need to say something is canon or not that turns me off....cause I totally don't know what canon says *cough* sarcasm.) It's true, I do my research to see what the original artists wrote into the story, but I don't abide by their rules, never have, never will.

I dream of Bionicle and have since an early age because I want an adventure, I want to learn new things, meet new people, find new friends. I turn to fantasy and dreaming because I can't experience it in real life.
Kind of a nutty thing to admit, but I couldn't have made it more obvious....that's actually the honest main reason I became a fan.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sass Juice- part 2

This is a continuation of the previous Sass Juice comic post. After posting the first panel to my Deviant Art I had a side idea come to mind of Whakara snatching the tea pot and stating with thrill, "Stand back, I've got sass juice!"

I mentioned I was tempted to draw this concept, and got the green light from Atlasavion who's all for the idea, loving the cuteness of the first comic and obviously in agreement to see her character behave so oddly.

Extra dialogue came to mind during the art process, and a few more expressive panels were applied to this scene, including the oh so suave looking face of Whakara on the first panel to the right (an accident that turned out great).

Pearllight can only be thankful the tea isn't caffeinated, feeling awkward from Whakara's sudden display of passion towards tea he believes to be magical. In truth, Whakara doesn't know that the tea he's holding has no magical powers to make one sassy, but it's boosting his confidence into believing he can be, hence why Pearl doesn't say anything.

Look at him, no longer holding up his pinkie, but chugging down the drink like a typical dude. I'm completely amused by a scene of a big old Toa drinking from a pretty little tea pot.
About the art process. I set down my base sketches to figure out pose. Since I was working on this late at night, I was having trouble deciding on which pose seemed to work better, and tackled the second one to the right first. 

I was trying to pick the pose that expressed the most excitement, but then found my first sketch was more in favor with the scene. More about that further down...
So I drew my line art over the second sketch, feeling it expressed a sense of triumph, and made Whakara grin at the sky as he shakes the teapot about. It was pretty basic, and it took me a few tries to get the right expression on his face. During one of those tries my hand did what it wanted, and out came suave Whakara (right). Instantly the tone of dialogue in my mind changed from excited and crazy, to smooth and charming, his expression giving me the giggles, suave enough to make certain Bionicle fan girls squee (at least it sort of did for me). :P

I was stuck with a sudden question of what I should do. I couldn't part with suave Whakara, but that expression didn't make the first bit of dialogue sound right, and I started hearing other words go through my mind. I knew I needed to keep the first expression so the words sounded right, so I found a way to include his suave face by making an extra panel that carried the scene and made it more amusing (happy accident).

I cropped Whakara's suave face, and extra dialogue came to mind, making me laugh all the more, resulting in the final outline (left) of the first base sketch.

I then was having trouble deciding if the pose did the words justice, and so I decided to outline the original sketch to see which I liked more (resulting in the right image above).
After looking at these two outlines for a bit, I was given feedback that the one on the right was better in the sense of Whakara seeming to value the tea more, and behaving in a more sassy manner as he walks off with Pearllight's tea, disregarding her as she watches awkwardly from a distance.

I don't plan to let the first outline go to waste, I'm making plans on where I can use that particular pose of Whakara, and am considering a side joke of him holding up that tea pot like a weapon towards another OC character of Atlasavion named Sorza, a character from the same universe as Whakara. The future title for that concept art piece may be "Too Late For Tea".

Side trivia. I knew that if the first outline would have been voted as better, I would have used the second outline in a picture of it's own where Whakara is speaking to the teapot, stating, "We're gonna be best friends."

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sass Juice

 It's been awhile since I've made something goofy, and this idea has been on my mind for months.

This idea bloomed shortly after I saw the picture Vakama, Toa of Sass  by Atlasavion 
Her OC, Toa Whakara, has become a very intriguing character from my own personal viewpoint, and this little joke of a sassy Vakama has spread quite a bit, started by some lone comment which led to a crazy idea that's left many with the giggles.

I felt for Whakara, this is when I dreamed of  Atlasavion's character falling into a void dimension where my OC, Pearllight, is having tea and taking a break. What kind of tea? An herbal tea that I actually do drink, the two herb names my fuel of inspiration for this comic. Sassafras instantly made me think of sassy Vakama and the pitiful Whakara, which led to the idea of Whakara being introduced to a drink with the word sass in it.

At last, Whakara believes he may have found a drink that can level the playing field against the sass of Vakama, and swipes the drink from Pearllight, who can only wonder what dimension Whakara fell from, and since when was Vakama sassy? She's use to the odd scenarios of dimensional travel seeing she does it herself, and recognized Whakara's mask, figuring he took a wrong turn, willing to have tea time with a stranger anyway. 

 A bit more on the art, I've included the messy sketch base because it was so relaxing to slap down the concepts for this comic. You can see what lies under the details and colors when I first start a drawing.
As I added detail to the first panel, I just kept laughing at how Whakara came out, starting to love his character even more as I drew him.

I'll admit it, I love the design of Whakara. Something about him that holds a lot of interesting, mysterious traits, like the fact his shoulder plating is missing on his right arm, bringing the question of how did that happen, and who tore it off? But overall I just like his character, and had fun drawing him next to mine.

When it came to getting down the details, I used two references, images from Atlasavion, and also a peek at Be Reasonable Whakara by Saronicle. I found Saronicle added details to Whakara's character that made him even more interesting in some ways, having an almost Egyptian feel to his plating, the color scheme of his character gearing towards that style. Seeing this was the first time I've ever drawn him, I combined a few details I liked from Saronicle's work, and added them to the base details of his original design of Atlasavion's work.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bionicle Mini Book

 A fun combination of two interests, Bionicle and book making. This mini album is a great place to hold MOC pictures or art pertaining to the theme.
 I've had this pre-made mini album in my paper pile for awhile, always planning to use it for something like this, just had to decide what to put in the picture window. 

I went through several ideas, one was to add the Mata Nui robot form in the middle of some light rays, or possibly put the three virtues symbol in the window, but in the end I decided the Ignika was a good choice.

During the process of making this book, I came to realize the main reason I've held onto Bionicle as a fandom for so long is because I like the artistic aspects of it, everything from the designs, colors, symbols, and themes.
 The back side of the book is plain, I kept it simple and liked it. I'll note the Ignika design was fun to make into an embellishment; I'll explain at the end of this post how I did it.
 The book needed charms, thankfully I had this planned too, and got to use some pre-made paper charms with metal frames I've been meaning to try out. 

I added the charms and chain using some black jump rings.
 The three virtues symbol and Tahu's fire symbol were embossed onto the charms using silver and sparkly red emboss powder.
 On one side of the rectangle charm I wrote in white jell pen (LEGO Bionicle) in Matoran lettering, on the other I embossed the word Bionicle in my own text style.
 I liked adding two sides to my charms.

On the other side of the element symbol charm is Lewa's symbol, embossed in green. I chose Tahu's and Lewa's symbols because I had the powder colors for them, plus I like Lewa, and Tahu is the poster character for Bionicle. 

On the other side of the charm with the three virtues symbol, I listed the three virtues since that makes sense. Again I wrote it in my own style and outlined it with a white glaze pen.
 Onto the details. The mini album is a DCWV mini album with picture window, which means I didn't have to assemble the book, it's complete with blank white pages.

The more enjoyable experiment was embossing the designs of my charms and main picture. I did an experiment to see if you could emboss using a ZIG glue pen, turns out you can. I drew over the designs and lettering of my charms and main image using the glue pen, then poured on my powder. Because the tip of the pen is relatively small, I was able to pull off tinier details, no longer needing to use a liquid emboss adhesive and paint brush to emboss a drawing or object. 

I will make one note though, the melting process may not be entirely smooth like it would with actual emboss adhesives, but I find the texture to be charming anyway. 

To finish off my charms and window image, I used glaze and glues. I sealed my window image with Liquitex gloss varnish. and for my charms I used Mod Podge dimensional magic.