Digital pencil sketch of a sock.
Digital sketch from poster reference of Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor’s face.
Digital charcoal smudged drawing of an abstract 3d shape.
Digital pencil and paint sketch of the pen holder for my Wacom Intuos graphics tablet.
Digital painting of a snake’s head in a crystal ball.
An unfinished sketch of Deckard, Harrison Ford’s character in Blade Runner.
Nick Yu had a great webcomic called The Bad Boys of Computer Science. Right around the time that he stopped working on it, I made this fan strip.
More than anything, I think this was my way of doodling with colored pencils using my graphics tablet and Photo-Paint.
This is an early drawing I did after getting my tablet. I played with plenty of pencil scribbles but this was one of my first uses of color and paint.
The first sketch I’ve done in a long time, this one was created in Corel Photo-Paint with a Wacom tablet. For reference I borrowed my wife’s excellent book on spiders, and this may have been the coolest spider shown!
Corruption.avi (320×240, 1.1MB, MPEG4 video)
Corruption was essentially my effort at something like a fine art sculpture, but with 3DS Max instead of ceramics. Saved file versions and test renders from along the way make up this visual roadmap to how I achieved the final sculpture and image effects.
The bad is easily the texture on the circuit tracing shapes and the dark beveling that doesn’t look right.
The good is the fairly intense glow and light vs. dark values, plus the sort of shiny scratches among the dark areas. Almost as if old copper was being scratched to reveal fresh-bright redness underneath.
Update: see The Making of Corruption!
During my early sculpting days, when I sat in on a few of Valerie’s art classes, I developed an interest in making my own 3d digital sculpture pieces. This is perhaps my most literal attempt, the lighting and depth of field and little details were all intended to produce the effect of realism while still obviously describing an art piece sculpture.
Sometimes I’ll still find myself ready to draw but nowhere near my computer. Though at the time of posting this it’s more that I haven’t actually done any drawing in a long time, digital or otherwise. Speed of life I suppose. Back on topic, this is one example of a traditional pencil drawing I enjoyed doing. It was much more about the inspiration than the medium.
Drawing Delilah (no, not Running Delilah, though that may have been where I got the name) was fun. At this stage in my artistic development I was starting to do a few things right, like drawing from photo reference for a (meta)human figure, and drawing at a larger size (higher resolution) than the final version shown here.
As this was something like the second drawing I made with my Wacom tablet and Corel Photo-Paint, I fell into a trap that snares many new digital artists. The final presentation of the art is the same resolution as the original working copy. I drew it at 1:1 of the final size. Or put another way, I didn’t realize I could have been drawing at a very large size and then reducing it for the final presentation.
This is important for essentially the same reason that drawing instructors tell students to draw big (not that I ever spent time in art classes, to my detriment). It’s a way to let the small shakes and defects blend and get smoothed out as you resample the image down to presentation size.
The neat thing about trying out my then-new Wacom tablet in Corel Photo-Paint was that it made drawing both familiar and completely new at the same time. It wasn’t until some time after this sketch that I arrived at pencil settings I liked, yet the experimental settings used in this piece were fun.
Drawing on the tablet but looking at the results on screen took a little getting used to, but once I got over that I realized it offers one big advantage: I never had to worry about my drawing hand obscuring some part of what I was working on (let alone smudging it unintentionally).
It seems strange to me how an image made so simply can still captivate the eye, if briefly.
This image definitely falls under the category of “happy accidents”; some people think that term applied to digital art is akin to stating an oxymoron as everything in digital art is precise and controlled. In fact, that’s not always the case.
My favorite aspect of this piece must be the funky greenish texture of the walls, everwhere the circuit traces are not etched. It’s both blockish and nicely grungy and tarnished, like metal with some sort of fungus growing on it. If only I had come up with textures as inventive for the rest of the materials, this might have more appeal overall.
After Hallway, this is the second in what is essentially a series of mine in “corridors”. I guess I just enjoy the long perspective shots (or have compositional stutters).
The modeling has its problems, but what bugs me most is the lighting on this piece. The sky is pretty great, but the guillotine itself is rather poorly lit. Hindsight, I suppose.
I can still enjoy this piece as a 3d doodle. The simplicity and reasonable textures feel more forgivable than some of my overworked and under-designed 3d images. A part of me, seeing this again, wants to develop more simple, iconic 3d images and achieve better results on such a low level of complexity, before attempting more involved scenes again.
I remember this as one of the early drawings where I made use of reference. Drawing from a reference photo (probably a magazine) was a new thing for me at the time; it felt like it had to be cheating somehow. Nevertheless I had trouble getting proportions correct, and obviously the hair was a disaster. Then there was my inexplicable choice of presentation; it probably seemed like a good idea at the time to use some Photo-Paint effects.
I do feel that this piece works to show my skills progression, compared to others before and after it in my timeline.
I think that when I was composing this piece, I had some (vague, at least) idea of the composition I was seeking. That drove me to produce it.
The unfortunate part is that I had no idea what to use when filling in those compositional elements. Something dark in this lower corner of the image? An amorphous blob. Color? Er, yes! To bad they’re all over the place (in every sense of the word). Value? That means something in a visual design sense?
Ah, strangely it feels sort of good to MST3K my own work. Perhaps I’ve moved on from this level, though it might be hard to tell since I’ve also moved away from making 3d images, primarily due to time constraints. If I had the time, and could remember what Tom Servo’s profile looked like, I’d add an MST3K silhouette mouseover to this image.
For me this was a landmark piece in several ways. It marked the first time I combined a 3d rendered image with processing and effects in a 2d raster image application (in this case Corel Photo-Paint, probably version six or eight).
Ah, an early experiment in photo manipulation with Corel Photo-Paint. Making her face into the black-blue-green-red of an oil slick was fun, as my little way of getting one step closer (so it seemed at the time) to the superlative techno style of Rick Berry. Too bad the rest of the piece is so lackluster.
Rick Berry has long been one of my art idols, and his cover to Neuromancer, along with a few of his other works, were part of the inspiration for this image.