Updates!

Sorry I’ve been away for so long guys, but I bring good news! I have a facebook page dedicated to my most recent artwork:

Tales from a speck in the Universe

And I’m combining my efforts from this blog and my “Da Good Stuff” blog into one source of information, it’s a blog I call:

The Next Adventure

Thank you all for your support, and keep checking in at those sites, I have more good stuff coming soon!

 

 

Little Red Riding Hood

I’ll be continually updating this post.

Update Update– I spent awhile thinking about how everything was coming along, and how the pieces were coming out. I really felt like after all this scanner mess and the painting, all of it…I was letting other factors decide how my artwork was going to turn out. That’s pretty much the opposite of what I should be doing. So I decided to not let the size of a scanner determine the size of my artwork, or acrylic paint decide how muddled things were going to be, or even the original color choices I had for the background decided how boring and over saturated my pieces were going to turn out. So here is Little Red Riding Hood, on 11×17 comic book paper. I have decided to complete and upload the story in Ink, before I add color to it. I want to have about 10-12 pieces total, instead of the 50 bajillion my last remake was turning into. I also want my actions to speak louder than words and empty promises, which is why I waited until I had at least 4 done before I uploaded any. I have the 5th done, but I have to wait for the camera phone my friend has to become available in a little bit before I can upload it and show it to everyone. Here are the first four pieces-

OLD STUFF BELOW

———————

UPDATE- The biggest thing I’ve been focusing on with all these remakes, is quality. I want to be able to proudly show my artwork to anyone who asks about it, and in order to do that, I want to be sure I’m putting out the highest quality artwork as possible. My acrylic paintings, even before I scan them in, aren’t up to the level I want this story to be. So as you can see with Page 4 and 5, I’m doing this story in maker and black ink. Clean lines, vibrant colors, no smudges or shoddy color variation throughout like with those first paintings. Now I also understand 70+ people have been visiting this blog daily patiently and eagerly awaiting the next pieces as they come out, so I’m going to finish the story in marker, and once the other pages are up, I’m going to go back and redo the first 3 in marker. That way I keep providing fresh artwork for you guys to look at as soon as I can. Thanks again guys, couldn’t do it without your support!

————–

Do you want to hear a story? Now I know these type of things usually start out as “Once upon a time” and all that rubbish, but this isn’t your average fairytale and she isn’t your average little girl. Who am I talking about then? Ah yes, well let’s jump into it, I’m talking about Little Red Riding Hood! We all call her Little Red.

You see, Little Red Riding Hood was what she was called, because her Granny (a nice old lady if I do say so m’self) made that lovely red hood for her to keep the chill out o’ her bones. So when she pops off to the factory in the early mornin, and comes back late at night she can at least keep a proper bit o’ warmth in her.

Lil’ Red loved her dear Granny more than anything in the world, and wanted to be an inventor just like her when she grew up. So while the other kids were sleeping or playing in the little time they had to themselves, Red had her head buried in her Granny’s books.

” To be an inventor, you have to be willing to make mistakes, and be open enough to let your passion and curiosity work hand in hand.”

Granny taught her that, and Little Red wasted no time in making as many mistaken inventions as possible.

This story, and the bit o’ trouble little Red got herself into came about with the creation of her Ladybug hot water bottle jetpack. Yes you might need to read that name again. If I tried to explain how it worked, Little Red would have my sideburns for sure, and I’ve rather grown fond of them so you’ll just have to think of that by yourself.

Like all of her other projects, Little Red had been gathering scrap from all over town, but Granny had told her not to try any more of her inventions in town because it wasn’t safe for the other people. Poor old Granny meant well but that just made Little Red bounce off to the Steam woods to try out her little jetpack.

Ugh, what a place. I spend most of my time here and I can tell you, it’s not a bag of sweets and goodies, glory me it is not. The roofs of our factories are full of steam pipes and undesirables who have nowhere else to go. Not a place for a sweet little girl like our Red here, I can tell you that. Anyway, after the last shift whistle blew and all the workers started to head home, Little Red snuck off.

Little Red started up the jetpack and was off like a rocket! Success! At least, until the jetpack conked out. You see, the jetpack in it’s current status, could only work for limited amounts of time.

Thankfully, a pile of trash helped ease her fall from the sky. Her graceful descent didn’t go unnoticed though, which is where the trouble began.

It’s when he showed up.

Imagine her surprise at seeing a baby wolf! Now doubly imagine her surprise, when this wolf cub spoke to her.

Wolf- ” It looks like you had a bit of a tumble there, sweet one. ”

Lil Red- ” How delightful! You can talk! Oh, I’m quite alright, I’m little Red, pleased to meet you! ”

Starting at 9pm, the unveling begins

In order to get as many of the extended pictures up as possible, I thought about it last night and decided to work on the text pages last- you guys are here for the Art after all, and I won’t be doing my job correctly if you can’t at least get a sense of what’s going on by looking at the pictures. Until those are done, I’ll just be writing out the text so you still know what’s going on via the blog, and sharing the pictures. I’ll be releasing them in groups because it was unrealistic of me to try and reproduce 13 8×10 expanded paintings in less than 48 hours while trying to move and work at the same time, but from 9pm you’ll be able to see what I was talking about with some of the crappy bite-sized versions, and how much better the big ones look. I’m confident you’ll agree it was a good idea to keep going with the big versions once you see them. I’ll keep rolling out the paintings throughout the night and tomorrow until they are all up, and the same goes with the text ones, which will probably be fully up by Sunday night since I have to work Saturday afternoon/night and help my sister move Sunday morning.  See you in a few hours!

Granny’s here (Updated!)

 

I’ll have to update my reasoning’s for the drawings later this afternoon, here are the images. I’m literally supposed to be at work right now, lol.

 

UPDATE- Here are the reasons and explanations of why I went through this evolution of the Granny design. I was working a double yesterday and didn’t have enough time between shifts to properly update. Here we go!

Granny is, in a nutshell, everything that Little Red wants to be when she grows up. An independent, strong-willed and creative inventor.  Alot of versions of this tale showcase Granny as being kindly but weak, and (spoilers lol) eventually getting eaten by the wolf. Well I wanted to go a different route, and show her as a role model for Little Red, someone who instills the proper values and gives her inspiration.  So right off the bat, my main inspiration in her character design was Rosie the Riveter, from the world war 2 posters.

I first wanted to get some drawing experience down with drawing grandmothers in general. I’ve done it before, but I wanted to refresh my memory so I looked through different photo books I have and fused that with my idea of a Rosie-inspired Granny. I wanted a bandanna but styled and colored differently. I also played around with the amount of wrinkles, as well as the hairstyles.

I really liked the bobs of hair, it helped make her character seem soft to me, but not weak. I didn’t go with a huge amount of wrinkles because I wanted to imply a sense of vibrancy in her, despite the hardships of the world around her. I kept her skinny because it’s a post-apocalyptic steampunk world, so there really aren’t alot of larger, heavy people except for the rich upper class.

Here I was playing around with the line style and how I wanted the finished paintings to look. I liked a little bit of sharpness to the lines, but I didn’t want to drown out the beauty of the colors or bore the eye by constantly having a huge amount of line work. So I decided to leave some gaps in between the lines and let the weight of the color do the talking.

For her tornado of color I just went silly mode.

And there you have Granny! Lots of tools to help her when she’s knee deep in machinery, glasses as well as goggles depending on what she’s looking at, and a Rosie-Inspired bandanna. I want her posture to say ” We Can Do It!” Which is the type of attitude she inspires in her Granddaughter.

 

Granny Spotlight in the morning

UPDATE—When I posted this from my relic of a phone, it turned off and after restarting it, it didn’t show this post. After  being frustrated with my artwork for two hours, I just left all my artwork and went to my friends house for the night to unwind and re-post all this news  later on tonight. Now I get here (without the artwork) and I see that it’s posted and I feel doubly dumb. 83 people have already visited the page and I don’t even have any of the Granny artwork on hand to post up. My internet at my house is still off, which is why I was posting the update from my phone so I’m going to go to Kinko’s and scan the artwork in the morning.  With all the stress of packing and moving this has been a trainwreck of an afternoon, even though the day started out well. I promise the work I upload tomorrow will be worth the wait. Sorry again!

 

The granny character spotlight will be coming a little later tonight, i just want to take a quick second and explain my decision on the storybook. I’ve been sitting here for the past two hours looking at these finished panels and they simply are too small.

Because of all the scanner problems back with the little red design process, i switched everything to a small size to fit any household scanner- the measurements are 7.5×11 exactly. Looking at these now I don’t understand why I thought it was a good idea to put the text and pictures on the same page. It saved me pages and makes it look like a storybook, but the art suffers. I literally gave myself a 5.5 inch area to work with on each page and the story just feels constricted when I look at the overall pictures.

If you’ve followed my work in the past you know how stressed i get around deadlines and how I get nervous about my work looking crappy. Today is no exception except I literally have a table in front of me showing all the time and effort i put into this project and I know I want to end it on a good note. So I’ve decided to use 48 hours to transfer my works to full pages, this time 8×11. The difference is the text and imagery will be on separate pages, so my art can actually breathe. I hate not making another deadline but looking back at 2Dudes, I hate putting out bad quality work even more. So Thursday at 9pm, I can upload examples of these itty bitty pages and the full, expansive storybook as it should be seen. Thanks for the continued support.

Character Spotlight- The Big Bad Wolf

Sorry for the late delays, I haven’t had internet at my place for the past few days and I’ve had to wait until I’ve been at my friends house to upload these pictures. His daughter’s first birthday was earlier today so now that things have settled down I can take some time and show you guys what I have for the Big Bad Wolf! So in my story,  I have a Lil Wolf and a Big Bad Wolf, here are their final versions-

I don’t know when you might have last read the actual Little Red Riding Hood story, but the wolf character is a sneaky little bastard.  I wanted to capture that, but like the rest of this story, I wanted to add a little twist to this. So I thought it would be cool to have two wolves, in a symbiotic relationship of sorts. I wanted to have one wolf lead the prey in, and have the Big Bad Wolf actually be unable to quickly/easily hunt, but have enough power to take down whatever prey that came within his reach. So to start off with getting used to drawing wolves, I started by looking at some of Preston Blair’s version of wolves, he’s a great animator that’s written a few books.

After that I started looking at some actual references of baby wolves and adult wolves. Google Images is amazing-

From there, I had a good idea of how I wanted my Baby Wolf to look, but I wanted to put a steampunk twist on him-

I did the face grill as a little homage to the Jason mask, and I took off some of the detail off the tail to clear up the overall design of the character.  I thought about how the Baby Wolf would use his cunning to lure the prey, but then I thought about how he would actually get down and “eat” his prey? Then I thought about garbage disposals and meat grinders, and came up with a cool way for him to eat-

With the Big Bad Wolf, it was alot harder to think of the best overall design, but once I had it in my head it kind of flowed out like water. So I wanted to make him slow and lumbering, but I didn’t want him completely immobile. As I was driving around, I saw Dump Trucks and thought that would look cool, if I merged a wolf with a giant dump truck. Then I also thought about throwing tank treads in. Didn’t work so well-

I didn’t like it, felt too boring and not enough steampunk.  I thought it would be cool to have the Big Bad Wolf dragging himself along, like he was so old and decrepit, he was literally falling apart. His back legs have rusted through, which is why he needs Lil’ Wolf to bring the prey to him.

I still wasn’t happy, I wanted to keep aspects of a tank, but still have him clawing his way towards his prey. Which is how I ended up with-

The detail was easy to add afterwards, and I was able to keep a tank chassis as well as have the back haunches be the tank wheels. Construction Digger Claws form his front paws.

After all the crazyiness of this week, with me moving and getting ready for the party today and work, I’ve decided to release the book on this tuesday, March 27th at 9pm. That way I can go to Kinko’s and literally get my book created into an actual book, as well as release it on the internet in the same day.  I’ve gotten such awesome feedback from people seeing the other character spotlight that I want to build up more anticipation through this spotlight and the Granny spotlight as well, so that Tuesday night people will be itching to see this thing fully fleshed out. I can’t wait,  like I’ve been telling my friends, I spent more time researching the different aspects of this entire story and it’s characters, than I’ve spent on entire time on other projects- by that I mean concept art, research, actual work, everything. It’s been such a wonderful experience, this is the project where I’ve really been able to re-connect and reaffirm why I fell in love with creating art in the first place.

Character Spotlight — Little Red Riding Hood

Alright after some running around dealing with Kinkos, thumbdrives and .pdf files, I finally have everything in one spot now.

This is my Steampunk version of Little Red Riding Hood:

To understand how I got there, I’ll take you on a brief look at the evolution of Lil’ Red.  When I was first messing around with the idea of a Steampunk Little Red Riding Hood, I did alot of visual research. ALOT of research. I was definitely seeing enough goggles, corsets and top-hats to last a lifetime. I wanted to go with something that had Steampunk overtones, but wasn’t just a cookie-cutter boring version that’s been done over and over before. Here are some of my earliest sketches of what I had in mind for Lil’ Red-

As you can see, I was tossing around the idea of having a ninja-like Riding Hood, with the goggles and scarf covering most of her face. I decided against that because I wouldn’t have been able to show as much emotion as I wanted to in the different scenes and it would have (to me) felt bland and a cop-out character design-wise. I definitely loved the idea of a hot-water bottle jetpack though, and the ladybug v2.0 you see up there is the jetpack design I decided to go with, even though I messed around with a few other options, just to see how they would look. I also messed around with twin fans on a metal hood for Red Riding, in the last picture there. It ended up being too bulky for my liking, and plus I wanted to go with a younger version of Red Riding Hood.

This is what I call a “color tornado”. As you can see, the ladybug jetpack design is different, and she’s also sporting a leather helmet along with the goggles and traditional hood. I also loved the idea of giving her long red hair as well, the animator in me thought it would look awesome to have that ponytail trail behind her as a secondary animation, even though it’s just a storybook and wasn’t going to have any animated parts. I call it a color tornado because I wanted to show a line of motion throughout the page, regardless of which direction or where, and have the images scattered throughout the page only sparsely colored. I wanted the color and motion of the character to work in harmony and lead your eyes around the page. I hadn’t found a steampunk/ Victorian type font that I liked yet when I was doing this, and only wanted to have some cool letters to be sprinkled on the page.

For my story, Little Red is an inventor like her Grandmother. She wants to be just like her when she grows up and because of that, is always tinkering with machinery or reading one of “Granny’s” books when she has free time. To illustrate this, I wanted to give her a sensible outfit that she could actually work on stuff in without getting her clothes ripped or dirty. Classic Steampunk colors are Brass and the color Brown, so I went with those colors for her main outfit. I made the broach that holds her hood on blue, to bring out the brightness in her eyes. Like myself, her head is enormous (I still have the habit of having my characters share my big-head pain) so I gave her an extra long/large hoodie to accommodate it.

I used the leather airmen helmets from World War 2 as as reference and basis for Little Red Riding Hood’s helmet. I know that with a jet pack it wouldn’t really protect her at all but I thought it was a cool addition and helped with the Steampunk feel. I added freckles for the cute factor and gave her a utility belt to hold the imaginary tools she would use when working on the different machines. I don’t really know why I added the bars to the sides of her boots, I just thought it looked cool.

That will do it for this edition of the Character Spotlight, next up is the Big Bad Wolf! Stay tuned, I’ll have that for you all Thursday afternoon. Thanks for all the support, I wouldn’t be able to do it without you guys and I can’t wait to show you the fully completed Steampunk Red Riding Hood!

Tuesday Afternoon- Little Red Riding Hood Character Spotlight

The first Character Spotlight will focus on our heroine, Little Red Riding Hood! Tune in Tuesday afternoon after 5pm EST~

What Is Steampunk?

To build up anticipation for the release of my Steampunk Red Riding Hood next week, I will be doing character spotlights, going over the designs of my different characters, how and why I chose to mold them into what they became, and the setting and tone of the overall story.  I’ll be spreading the spotlights out over every few days, but before I dug into those, I wanted to share my opinion on what Steampunk is. So-

What is Steampunk?

The easiest and simplest definition, is that Steampunk is Victorian Science Fiction. The time period that it’s based off of is the Victorian Era of the  19th Century. It started out as science fiction for the time period, and ever since has evolved into so much more. Jules Verne and HG Wells are commonly credited with being major influences in the evolution of the literary genre. There is alot of debate about what is, and what isn’t Steampunk, but after I had done some research,  I found that there were a few common factors that consistently pop up in Steampunk designs, artwork, clothing and literature.

 

Characteristics of Steampunk

Steam power required alot of moving parts in order to operate efficiently, such as gears, pistons and flywheels. It’s no surprise then that these different machine parts are incorporated into a large portion of Art and Design that people classify as Steampunk. This is also why earth tones (brown, tan, etc)  and brass are  major components. On the Victorian side,  top hats, corsets, frilly dresses, monocles and lots of buttons and straps complete the design aesthetic. There is no set list on what has to be present to call a work Steampunk, which has given creators the freedom to full explore their imagination.

 

Some Examples of Steampunk

Lastly, here are some literary examples of the Steampunk Genre-

” The Anubis Gates” by Timp Powers

“The Difference Engine” by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling

“Soulless” by Gail Carriger

” Leviathan” by Scott Westerfield

And here’s a quick trailer of a Steampunk documentary-

Vintage Tomorrows

Conplete Humpty Dumpty Story- Inked and Colored!

I used Black Marker to do the outlines, colored markers to add depth and watercolors as the main color base.

 

I was surprised that such thin pieces of paper were able to hold the watercolor paint. Thicker paper will probably produce a richer, fuller color range.