Thursday, May 25, 2017
Monday, March 13, 2017
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Friday, February 24, 2017
Friday, November 11, 2016
Book cover and chapter-head illustrations for "Toto's Story, My Amazing Adventures with Dorothy in Oz"
Based on L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, Toto tells us what really happened when he and Dorothy made that magical journey to Oz. Read all about the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, and the Wicked Witch of the West…through Toto’s eyes.
Or buy it on Amazon.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Monday, October 10, 2016
Sunday, October 9, 2016
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Monday, September 5, 2016
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
Thursday, May 19, 2016
These charming joeys are always up to some mischief.
See the spread with background at www.brainmonsters.com
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Monday, January 11, 2016
|Sweet Sugar-skull Girl|
Link to the interview.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
I have been working on an adult coloring book for a while now. I asked some friends to test color the ready pages. They all loved the variety and the little twist on the Surprisingly it takes at least a day to finish one page from pencil sketching to the ready coloring page. It is joyful and relaxing to create them too.
Friday, December 11, 2015
I have always been amazed by brave women as well as machines. Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic Ocean alone....I wanted to draw her first aero-plane the Canary too so I did a little research. Look at the vessel...I am fascinated and shocked because it looks somewhat simple as if you could DIY it at home. Would you try flying on it? :) I would probably chicken away.
|Amelia Earhart, aviation queen from the 1930s (personal project)|
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Sunday, July 5, 2015
What makes a cute character
2/1 HumansSome thoughts and practical advice on what you should keep in mind when designing cute characters. See the illustrations below.
Cuteness and Human Instincts
One might think what you find attractive or cuddly is very subjective, depends on personal taste.
However, cuteness in general mostly based on our instincts, our animal-self. We are wired in a way that we find baby or toddler proportions and expressions of shyness cute and adorable. We feel babies need to be cared, cuddled and saved. One key feature of surviving as species.
Some easily noticeable features of babies are:
- huge head, compared to the rest of the body I real life a baby's head is approximately a quarter of his height.
- relatively big eyes, small ears, small nose
- notice the place of the eyes nose and ears on the lower part of the face. (If you draw an imaginary horizontal line approximately in the middle of the head, that is where the eyes are sitting.)
- roundish face soft and roundish limbs and body
Reasons for ExaggerationIn character design, cartoony, realistic or 3Ddesign, these are the features we exaggerate even more to get the audience's "aaw".
One of the most popular proportions for cartoons is the half's rule. It means the head of the character is a half of the height. The body and legs share the rest. You can play a little bit with the body and legs, sharing the place evenly or making one or the other bigger. Juts for comparison, if we draw a realistically proportioned adult human, the head is somewhere between a fifth to an eight of the height.
Designers, illustrators, animators have a good reason to enlarge the head at an almost ridiculous scale.
While when I design a character almost always start with a light scribble of the whole body, looking for a pose that expresses the personality, human or humanized animal characters's face conveys too much information to neglect. Facial features and expressions have a priority when designing characters. Remember, how we "read" each other's faces when having a conversation. The smallest unconscious movement of the eyebrows or little tremor of the lips a shake of nostril can give away us. How the lack of this information when we do not see the others leads to misunderstandings in correspondence or sometimes even when on the phone.
Scientist say the mother's face is the first thing that a baby recognizes.
Expressing Age with Proportions
Here are some doodles to show humans with the half -half proportion. In spite of the fact the all the characters have the same size heads as the baby has on the left, he looks like a very young little fellow, a couple of weeks or months old only. From left to right, it is not difficult to tell the age of these little guys.
What makes the first character look so much younger and the others older?
One key factor is where the eyes, nose and mouth are situated. See the purple line halfway of the baby's head. The eyes are slightly under it. Also notice the curvy lines, short limbs and cute bean-shape roundish body.
Placing the eyes slightly higher on the face, the next little guy he looks older as he is wondering what his older brother doing with the measuring tape. Notice the measuring little fellow's eyes, they have higher position, face is less chubby and he has slimmer body. Next to them, the boy with the football looks about 9-12 years old. To demonstrate that it is possible to draw even adults, keeping the same proportion, I made a young man and woman too. Their heads are slimmer, though still same length, notice how their bodies are proportioned closer to an adult's.
Apple in My Eyes, Add a Little Spice
Another example can be the pretty redhead sitting on an anvil holding a welding equipment. She has large head, huge eyes, with big pupils, small nose and lips. Pupils, also play an important role in character design. They can change size from 1.5 mm to over 8 mm depending on the light or darkness around us and also according to the emotions we feel. They get smaller when we are afraid or angry and extend when we are excited, happy and when in love. Large pupils mean experiencing positive emotional stimuli, no wonder we find them attractive.
The redhead's face is somewhat Disney type cute and innocent. To make the girl a little bit more special, spice her up, I decided to tattoo her. Not wanting to use the most popular cliches (rose, heart, skull) I went for a motif from an older sketch of mine. So she got flowers and an octopus wriggling on her arms.
A Handy List to Summarize
Here is a handy list about what you need remember to create a cute human character:
Do not forget to start with the pose and the general shape of the whole character, then you can work on the details.
- big head, big eyes, (big pupil)- small nose, ears and mouth
- roundish shapes, the younger the character the more roundish it is in general
- avoid pointy or sharp shapes
- to express age watch the proportions on the face (high forehead, keep eyes under or around horizontal midline)
- watch proportions of the body
- find something to spice it up (tattoos, clothing, props, weapon, jewelry, something unexpected or funny, something that adds extra flavor to your character's personality
There are certainly many other versions of lovable characters, what I showed you in this short intro is just a few examples of them. In the next part, I am going to bring examples to show cute animals or other creatures.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment or ask questions.
Saturday, June 6, 2015
British WWI pilot, Smart and charming veteran,
Work in Progress
How to Start to Design Characters Mini TutorialIn this short article I will describe my procedure to design (human) fantasy or game characters. See the illustration below the article.
Step 1. How to start and what to look at the referencesI almost always start the job with researching and collecting references. Looking at them helps to feel the atmosphere of the era and you will see clearly the hairstyle and clothing or other props that can add to the character. In this case the blue line drawing on the left is the first sketch based on a real British fighter's vintage photo. He is wearing a pullover with a unbuttoned jumpsuit. His carefully trimmed mustache is very stylish. I made his face more characteristic, slightly based on another, contemporary pilot's features. Although I liked his natural and confident look he was not what I was looking for. I was drawing him because I thought his study would help me to create the fictional pilot for the game. To get that look some exaggerations needed.
Step 2. Exaggerating, checking, refining and... sometimes let it go
Admitting (after a satisfying first sketch or study) that your second approach is a failure is not easy. The smallest, light brown sketch (only lines, no blocking) shows an abandoned version where I was going to the wrong direction. I drew it over the first sketch, but now our hero is wearing a uniform. Unfortunately his posture is not specific enough, his facial features are way too general and his body type is average. It is a good example for a bad design. :) He is so uninteresting and somehow rigid the best we can do is just let it go and start all over.
It is always good to make thumbnails with loose sleekly straight and curvy lines. Draw the spine, a kind of simplified skeleton of the guy. To get the character anatomically correct I use my other references sometimes 2-6 photos to get the right posture. Family members or friends have to pose when there is no other way to get it right. There is no detailed rendering that can fix the wrong or uninteresting posture.
Step 3. How to refine or modify your character
The aim was to provide not an artistic or lifelike, but a rather game-fitting guy I started to play with the proportions. Simplifying the lines I was looking to find his posture keeping in mind it should suggest confidence with some hint of easygoing attitude but somewhat arrogance too. He knows he is good looking and after dozens of fights, shooting others and being almost killed he sees the world with different eyes. He does not give a damn about what Mr X thinks of him. On the other hand, he is not cynical, but rather smart and charming with some dry humor sense. I broadened his shoulders and slimmed his waist. Not only he got and almost sculpted hairstyle, but his jawline got more square like and his chin came forward. I love rendering and get carried away easily by coloring or refining details, so I worked only with values as you see it in the brownish blocked image in the middle.
Step 4. Further refining, checking and experimenting
It is always a good idea to swap the canvas horizontally or in case you are not working digitally using a mirror. It helps to see your drawing with fresh eyes and mistakes will pop up. Working digitally you have the opportunity to check the values when you look at your design in gray scale. The colored close up shows more rendering. In fact I have made 4-6 more versions of the character however, I did not find them acceptable yet. I am going to continue to simplify him.
Thank you for reading. If you have any questions just drop me a comment.
Friday, June 5, 2015
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Monday, March 23, 2015
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
Hormone based body types
It was one of the delightful jobs when I got almost absolutely freehand how I depict the 3 man and 4
women hormone based body types They needed to be modern looking, and can be used as grey scale
illustrations as well. After experimenting with different looks I decided against any shadings and
collected a tons of references. As different types gain weight in different ways I did a little research
and used the material that the client provided too.