Quite Possibly the Darkest Thing I’ve Ever Drawn

thumbnail_94c85aad-a778-45c9-95c8-f411abb1694eHave you ever had an idea, that at the time seemed great but later realise it wasn’t so great and might actually have been quite a bad idea? It’s safe to say we all have at least once in our lives. So, let me introduce you to my bad and rather morbid idea, Ninander (Glob, naming it really doesn’t help).

So, what possessed me to draw just a dark thing, you ask? Well, I was having trouble coming up with something to draw for the last Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood review and decided to draw the first thing that comes to mind, when I think of FMA: Brotherhood. Sadly, this was the little girl, Nina and her dog being blended together by her disturbed father, to make a human animal hybrid. At the time, this seemed like a great idea but after drawing it, I realised it might be a little too dark to include in the review (or even add colour to). It took a lot of time and effort to draw and I’m kind of proud of it, so I’m sharing it now in a separate post in case it isn’t used in the last review.

Although it isn’t coloured, I hope you’ve enjoyed one of my darker drawings
and as always, Thanks for reading.

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A Fish Named Finny (Part 2-Let’s Make Finny Look Fabulous)

20180721_201231At last, the second half of the requested simpler step by step post. I’ve had to give some serious thought, to how I was going to add colour to Finny. Between wanting to keep things simples and not overload peoples’ brains with information and fatigue (I fell asleep 3 times at my desk last week, it was embarrassing), it wasn’t easy. But I think I’ve found a solution that’s a good balance between keeping things simple and ending up with a beautiful fish. That solution being, colouring pencils.

Considering how easy it is to get your hands on a good set of colouring pencils and that they’re something most people will be familiar with and have used before, I figured they were the best way to do this post. Also compared to paint, they’re far less messy (just getting that out there, as an added bonus).

So, with that all explained let’s begin:

Step 1: Choose your colours and test your pencils

Sounds weird but it’ll save you a lot of bother later. The aim is to know what the colours look like on paper, before using them to your drawing. Personally, I like to cross the colours (as seen above) to see how they blend with each other.

Step 2: The hard part-The Scales
So not to overwhelm people, I’ve decided to demonstrate a more decorative, simple way of adding colour to the scales. Instead of a more realistic looking way, because that would most likely put a lot people off giving this little project a go themselves.

For the scales, we use a blend of 2-3 colours, which gives the scales a nice wee decorative look at the end.

thumbnail_20180724_160331First lay down one colour quite generously at the top of one scale.

thumbnail_20180724_160530Then lightly use another colour on the rest of the scale.

thumbnail_20180724_160826Go over the whole scale again with the first colour and second colour if necessary….

and hopefully you’ll end up with scales that looks something like this.

thumbnail_20180724_190318Tip: Going over scales with a white pencil can lighten areas and helps blend colours better.

Step 3: The Fins

thumbnail_20180804_150718(0)For this you pretty much use the same method as the scales, except you start at the base of the fin, you try to keep the colours light and use darker colours for the linework on the fin.
Tip: Using the white pencil is great for keeping the colour light. Also using more than one colour, for the linework will give a better effect.

Step 4: The Head

thumbnail_20180804_152955This is probably the easiest part. The aim is to give the bottom of the head a slight shadow by colouring it a little darker, than the rest of the head. This will make it look less 2D.

fin3Then concentrate on the little details on the head.

Step 5- Finishing Touches

complete 2Touch up the linework and sign your work.

If you’ve made it this far in this step by step, hopefully you now have a beautiful fish (if not, don’t worry. It’s probably down to me awful description skills and not your art skills).

Thanks for reading and hopefully this step by step post has inspired you to create a Finny of your very own.

A Fish Named Finny (Part 1)

Raise your hand if you think fish are kind of beautiful in their own shiny scaly way. If your hand is raised, you have awesome taste and have just found yourself a fellow fish enthusiast (Okay, you can put your hand down now). There’s just something about fish swimming around, glistening and shimmering as the sunlight hits their scales, that is rather beautiful. They’re like sparkly moving leaf creatures, that live in water and in a way, are hypnotic when watched (not to mention they taste really good, too). But enough about my weird fish fascination and back to this post.

A while ago, I got a request asking me to do a more basic to step by step art post, showing each stage of my sketch. I’m happy to oblige, so let’s do this and create the best darn step by step of a fish WordPress has ever seen (Okay, that might be a little too enthusiastic). To keep this post to a reasonable size, I’ll split it into two parts (the first one drawing the fish and the second adding colour).  So, let’s begin!

Step 1: Lightly draw your basic shapes

20180720_221347In this case, a weird banana shape, with triangle shapes for the fins and a long skinny one for the tail. A weird squidgy circle shape for the head and a curving line starting from the head, down the back and towards the tail.
Tip: Hold the pencil further from the lead and keep your hand and wrist relaxed. You’ll achieve better curved lines that way.

Step 2: Make the lines you want to keep darker and draw in some details.

20180721_181646Give your fishy some lips, a nice moustache, some gills and use wavy lines when drawing the fins.  

Step 3: Go mad with the details

20180721_183923You pretty much have free rein on this. You can add as much or as little detail as you want. However, a few tips I would give you are, draw in the fish’s eyelids and pupil and add a few lines on the fins and tail to get that webbed look.

Step 4: Make your fish look Chargrilled

20180721_190448Yeah, draw some criss-cross lines on the fish’s body. Make its skin look nice and crispy.
Tip: Curve the lines with the bend in the body.

Step 5: Do the line work, while feeling immensely stressed and try not to cry if to mess up. 

20180721_201231Use a darker pencil to go over the outline of the fish and some of the details on the head.
On one side of each diamond shape, created on the body in the last step, draw a little curved shape to get a scaled appearance.

Step 6: Name your fish
Everything needs a name, so why not. I named mine Finny.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this more detailed art post. Thanks for reading and of course, feel free to use this post to draw a fish yourself.

In part two I will do a step by step on adding colour to your fish. I think I might make Finny yella (yellow) or orange.

Valley of White Birds

44e9925a-3968-44d2-8400-8afa01465f0cTime to get back to my roots and get stuck into a review. Truth be told, I haven’t done a review in quite a while (well, other than Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, but it’s awesome and incredibly easy to talk about). Like what happens to many bloggers from time to time, I kind of burnt out review wise and started focusing more on my art work. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, I feel like I’ve made some progress in bettering my art skills. Anyway, back to the task at hand, I thought I’d ease myself back into the swing of things, by reviewing a very beautiful short film called Valley of White Birds, from Wolf Smoke Studio.

Being just over 15mins long, Valley of White Birds begins with a young man walking through a forest alongside a stream. He is then joint by an old man and they both walk together along the forest path, as white paper-like birds fly around them. They soon reach a village, where suddenly the young man takes an awful disliking to the white paper birds and goes on a mad paper bird killing spree, turning a large number of the birds into Autumn coloured leaves. These actions must displease the forest spirits, because soon after the boss white bird shows up and appears to taunt the young man. The young man attempts to stealthily attack the boss bird but is distracted, by what was most likely a vision of his younger self. The vision quickly vanishes and the young man chases after the boss bird, whilst using his magic bean-shaped pebbles to tries to kill it. The boss bird leads the young man to a shrine, where the young man engages in a boss battle.

As you may have guessed from that description, this short film has no dialogue. In my opinion this doesn’t take away from the film and to be honest, the young man was fighting with a bird. Having him scream things at the bird, would have just been weird and destroyed the peaceful and intriguing feel the film creates. Story wise this film is pretty easy to follow and the creators have done an excellent job of leading you through the tale, with visuals alone.

125fe3f1-8ce1-4182-80cd-518c6f024bb5In saying that however, trying to understand this film on a deeper level (what it means and is about) is another story. I can only guess that it might be based on an old folk tale or book or that the whole thing reflects the young man’s fear of getting old (based on black birds covering the boy, turning him into the old man, then turning him back to a boy when the shrine was destroyed) or his loss of innocence (base on the boy innocently following the boss bird and seemly worshiping it. Then things turning sour, when the boy gets to the shrine. Also, the young man seems more angered and untrusting of the boss bird, than the boy. As if he’s more aware of the boss bird’s intentions). It could also be a play on the stages of life (the bird representing life and each version of the young man representing the common mind sets at each stage in life) or a play on the balance between yin and yang (black and white were used a lot and very symbolically). It’s very hard to pin down exactly what this film is about and these are only examples of conclusions I could come to while watching Valley of White Birds.

One very notable aspect of Valley of White Birds, is how beautiful and visually stimulating it is. The backgrounds are just stunning, you can tell a lot of time and love went into making this film. Without getting all artsy, I’m aware of the techniques you’d need to use, to achieve the backgrounds on actual paper. But the fact this film was probably done digitally, has me completely flabbergasted and makes me love it even more. The amount of work it must have taken to achieve that look, would have been crazy. You can really tell the creators were giving it their all while making this film. Even just on face value the animation and backgrounds, completely suck you in and sets the tone very well. The colour palette and use of shape, is incredibly pleasing to the eye and bring the film to a whole other level. It’s just one hell of a beautiful short film.

Overall, Valley of White Birds may be a little difficult to work out but is definitely worth watching, if only for its beauty alone. It an incredibly cute and stunning film, that will draw you and capture your attention, for the full 15mins. I would highly recommend checking Valley of White Birds out for yourself and seeing what you can conclude from this film.

Rating: 4/5

If you’re interested in watching Valley of White Birds, I’ve left a link to the film here
and a link to Wolf Smoke Studio’s YouTube channel here.

Muddled (Mini)

Before anyone panics, I haven’t given up on Cold, Lost and Left with Sal. I’m still going to continue to make it. It’s just that I’m working on a few projects at the minute, that take priority over that comic strip. So, I can’t bring it to you guys, as quickly (without the strip losing quality, of course).

Nevertheless, I still needed something just as fun to fill its slot, until I have the next chapter finished. Therefore, I bring to you Muddled. A mini comic strip that is a comical yet darker (only at times), take on the “little people inside your head” concept, used in such things as The Numskulls, Meet Dave, Herman’s Head and Inside Out.

What I mean by this is, that the characters in this strip will each represent an emotion/frame of mind. However, as I want it to be more realistic and set in the mind of an adult, there will be a lot more characters and it’ll be slightly more complex (still plan on making it fun, though).

Hope you enjoy and before I forget, this Comic Strip reads left to right.

thumbnail_349b3923-a5d5-40cf-8b72-e6ed4e3183e6thumbnail_9040cf3e-5e58-41a7-8c53-46c32e1060e9A little heads up, due to this heatwave and lack of rain the mountains around where I live keep catching fire (one is alight as I write this post and one was on fire last night. It’s pretty much looks like the apocalypse is happening here right now). So, if my blog goes quiet, it’s because I’ve been made relocate or I’ve been cremated.
I’m surrounded by mountains on every side, so being made relocate is very likely. Apologies in advance, if I miss any of your posts because of this.

Flowery Doodle Tree

There was still quite a bit of Gouache paint to be used up, so I thought I might as well paint some more of my flower doodles. It would be a crying shame to let good paint go to waste or to let it explode all over the cupboards, again.

thumbnail_20180629_080347This time I went with the flowery doodle tree, that I probably drew after drinking too much coffee (I draw the weirdest things, when on a caffeine buzz). Just a little warning, I was in a bit of a mood when painting the background so it turned out a little strange. But not to worry, nearly everyone here is in a bit of a mood because of this second heatwave we’re experiencing.
We usually don’t get really hot weather like this here, so most aren’t use to the heat and can’t handle it that well. To be frank at this point, most of us are feeling completely bucked, rather grumpy and cursing global warming (also not to mention, a little sunburnt).

thumbnail_20180629_080432As you can see, I was so moody that I wasn’t even going to entertain, staying in the lines. Mainly because unlike water colours, Gouache paint is surprisingly forgiving. So, it really doesn’t matter that much, if you go over the lines. You can always just paint over it and blend it in.
As for the colour choice. Moody me apparently likes to be dramatic with colour.

thumbnail_20180629_163611So here we have it, the finished piece. Thankfully, after being left to dry for a few days, the background lightened up a bit and doesn’t look as morbid now.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the creation of the Flowery Doodle Tree. Thanks for reading.

But before a head off to melt a little more on this heat. I’d like to announce that I created an Instagram account for this blog a wee while ago, so if you like to see more of what I get up to, you can follow me over on Instagram.

cropped-thumbnail_85e9e794-0e59-4276-ad93-d33c3b7a4d6010.jpg

Just look for the little vampire!

Doodle Flower to Beautiful Flower

thumbnail_20180613_204601As surprising as it may seem, when I’m not doodling dinosaurs and stick people for my own amusement, I doodle flowers. After discovering that half of my tubes of Gouache paint exploded inside the cupboard (it was like paint grenade went off in there), because of the recent heatwave. I decided to go through my book of doodles and use up the remaining paint, before I have to clean up anymore sticky rainbow coloured messes.

thumbnail_20180613_204210There’s quite a lot of flower doodles in my book, but this is the one I chose. It’s a pretty simple drawing of circles and spikes, but I thought I could turn it into something nice. I used a really light pencil, so I lined it with paint to make it easier for you guys to see.

thumbnail_20180613_204415People never really talk about how long it takes them to complete a painting. Maybe there’s some sort of strange taboo or fear of painting envy surrounding it, but I can’t see the harm in it. So, this the doodle after the first painting session. It probably doesn’t look it, but this is about 2 hours of painting. I have no idea whether that’s fast or really slow, but I’ve seen people spend even longer than that in a session.

thumbnail_20180614_141806It only took me 2 painting sessions to turn the doodle into a pretty painting. The second session did take a little longer, because of the details on the petals. However overall, that’s still a pretty short length of time spent completing a painting (my acrylic paintings usually take days to complete). The feeling of satisfaction you get after finishing and looking at the end product, so completely worth the time and effort put into the painting.

Gouache paint is really pigmented and fun to experiment with, but considering its price, its smell (it kind of smells funky) and the fact it doesn’t hold up in heat, I don’t think I would get it again.

Thanks for reading and hope you liked the flower.

The Drawing Style Challenge

I’ve seen this challenge done so many times and always wanted to try it for myself. But as usual, I didn’t have the confidence to give it a go. To tell the truth, I thought I wouldn’t be able to draw in different styles and would make a mess of the challenge. However, I’m trying a new approach, called self-belief and I’m now at least, giving the things I think I’m too rubbish to do, a go. So, without further delay I give to you, my attempt at the Drawing Style Challenge.

thumbnail_20180530_225246For anyone wondering what this challenge is about, it’s where you choose a selection of cartoon or animation styles and attempt to draw yourself in each style. I have chosen 6 styles and have used Gouache paint for the coloured drawing (because I need more practice with them). I’ve decided to be really creative with this challenge, so I hope you enjoy.

Tim Burton (Nel-Ward Scissorhands)

thumbnail_20180530_225515Edward Scissorhands is my favourite Tim Burton character, so for this style I went with drawing myself like Edward Scissorhands. While still including some of the trademarks of Tim Burton’s style. Hence, Nel-Ward Scissorhands was born.

Pokémon (Not quite right Charmander)

thumbnail_20180530_230037Why draw yourself as a human, when you can be an extremely cute fire-breathing pocket monster. I drew myself as a not quite right Charmander, because if I was a Pokémon I wouldn’t want to fight other Pokémon, to an inch of their life. I’d rather befriend the other Pokémon (hence why I drew the flower). I’d essentially be Olaf from frozen, in Charmander form.

thumbnail_20180530_225413Also, Charmander is my favourite starter Pokémon.

Adventure Time (Princess Blue)

thumbnail_20180530_230403As a style, I find Adventure Time very cute, creative and funny at times. I decided to keep in trend with the shows endless number of princesses and turned myself into Princess Blue. Also, humans in this show seem pretty plops, compared to the other characters. So, I wasn’t drawing myself as one of them.

South Park

thumbnail_20180530_231145I had a little trouble creating skin tone with the Gouache paint and couldn’t achieve that weird tone of most of the South Park characters. So, I ended up just settling with the usual paint combination, I’d use with watercolours. Other, then that little disaster I think I done an okay job of this style.

The Walking Dead Comic

thumbnail_20180530_232156Since the previous attempts went so well, I decided to challenge myself a little bit more. The Walking Dead Comic has some really cool art work and is something I really like. However, as I’ve learnt it’s a very hard style to draw in and all I’m going to say about this attempt is, I love how that sword handle turned out. Best darn sword handle, I’ve ever drawn.

We Bare Bears (Sun Bear)

thumbnail_20180530_233059Art style wise, I really like how We Bare Bear is drawn. For this style, I drew myself as a Sun Bear, because again why be human when you can be a cute bear. Also, I’ve recently learnt that sun bears are a rather short bears and are only around 5ft tall. I am also only around 5ft tall, so I can relate to the sun bear’s shortness.

 

This has been the most fun art challenges, I’ve taken part in so far and because of that, I’ve decided to make a part 2. I want to make sure this is still fun for you guys, too. So, I’m going to let you guys decide which styles I draw in part 2. All you have to do is let me know in the comments below, which cartoon, comic, manga, anime or animation style (or styles), you’d like to see me attempt next.
Thank you in advance to anyone taking part. I appreciate all your suggestions, very much.

As always, hope you’ve enjoyed this post and Thanks for reading.

Cold, Lost and Left with Sal (Comic Strip Chapter 5)

In chapter 4, I made a bit of a silly mistake in one of the speech bubbles. Apologies for that. It was one those times my dyslexia accidentally shone through and I mixed up the words “becomes” and “belongs”.
I know, I know. How the fudge does one mix up those two words, they’re nothing alike? Well, it’s because somewhere in my brain the wires crossed and under the pressure of being asked to produce the spelling of the word “belongs”, my brain farted. Now dazed by the power of the brain fart, my brain frantically searched through the archive of words beginning with “be”. Fatigued it desperately reached for the word it recognised as “belongs” (it wasn’t. It was really “becomes”) and threw this word to the eyes and hand writing the dialogue. All happening in a matter of milliseconds, the eyes and the hand went unaware of the brain’s silly error.

The most embarrassing thing about this is, I proof read everything at least 3-4 times to avoid stupid mistakes like this and I still managed to not spot it. It literally took some kind-hearted soul to point it out, for me to realise this mistake.
Long story short, I’ve fixed the silly mistake now and I apologies again, if this impacted your enjoyment of Chapter 4 in any way.

Hope you enjoy Chapter 5.

Chapter 5: The Knock of The Beast

This Comic Strip reads left to right.

thumbnail_05f44ba0-d1f0-4773-a95c-58777f8c9d23thumbnail_26c1a5f2-a0e5-4055-9202-a647d2f4faa9thumbnail_fba85b8f-2e1d-4521-83d6-e5f4b28d4fcethumbnail_8a4a0e2b-a198-4c9f-9b75-f68d1ac4d31fthumbnail_aea4a726-a496-409f-8365-5441cf4c9584thumbnail_5a0f8598-7f00-421c-a234-2dcb5036a132thumbnail_56760290-6e7d-4a22-81c4-01f768c4da25So, we’ve made it to the end of Chapter 5. Thanks for sticking with my little Comic Strip and if I make anymore silly mistakes, please don’t be afraid to let me know in the comments. I would very much appreciate it.

Hope you have enjoyed Chapter 5 and as always, Thanks for reading.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4