JLF

JLF, as in “Jedi Life Form.”

I’m continuing to mine old drawings for coloring practice/blog posts. This gem is a nerdy mash-up from about 9 years ago, and features a Melmacian Jedi. Melmacians being from Melmac. Melmac being the home planet of Gordon Shumway. Gordon Shumway being the full name of the alien known as ALF.

Listen, people, I don’t have any explanation for my behavior, past or present, so let’s just go with it, okay?

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I’ll be honest, when I drew this, it was pretty much for a cheap larf. As such, I didn’t do the requisite research, which would have revealed to me that Jedi Padawan only have one braid. Would two braids mean that this guy skipped a grade? Or was held back? Man, I don’t know.

Anyways, flash forward to the present… I colored this particular Melmacian with dark skin and sun-bleached fur so that he would look distinct from ALF. I mean come on folks, a Melmacian Jedi is one thing, but it’s just plain laughable to think that Gordon Shumway would become a Jedi. For starters, the Star Wars movies took place in the past, so we don’t even know if Jedi exist in the present. And second, it seems highly unlikely that Gordon would have the discipline to become a Jedi. I’m just saying.

Ahem. The background was cobbled together purely in Photoshop with some digital smoke and mirrors. You know–cheap parlor tricks. However, I think it more or less works, and adds some appropriate atmosphere.

In conclusion, all I can say is…

Ha! I kill me!

You see, because that was ALF’s catchphrase… I should just go now…

WAIT A MINUTE, this is MY blog! Why don’t YOU go!?

Wait, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it–I want you to stay and take a look around. Let’s be friends.

*transcript continues on for another 10 pages*

(This counts as post #1 for this week. Keeping steady at a deficit of 4 missed posts.)

Mummy Knows Best

Here’s yet another ~10 year old piece, brought to life with new colors:

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Man, there is… a lot going on with this drawing (good, bad, and ugly). I don’t know if I can talk about this coherently, so let’s just take an inventory of some of the weirdness here:

  • Cartoony proportions on the heroine are executed poorly, making her look like a big boobed midget. Maybe that’s not so bad? I’m undecided.
  • Blunderbuss with skull-and-crossbones relief sculpted on the stock. The execution isn’t great, but come on, that’s a decent idea, right?
  • Crop-cricle-esque patterns on the mummy’s sarcophagus, implying an extra-terrestial aspect to the mummy. Just a little bit of extra intrigue thrown in at no extra cost.
  • The mummy’s bandages are way too skinny. What the heck!

At the time that I drew this, I was pretty much maxing out my skills, so even though I can draw much better now, I’m glad I that I could bring some competent colors to the piece. The me of 10 years ago would be pleased, I think. I learned a lot while coloring this, and I’m in one of those creative phases where I feel like I might actually possibly know what I’m doing. Don’t worry folks–such phases are short-lived for any self-respecting artist.

(This counts as post #2 for this week, so I’m keeping steady at a deficit of 4 missed posts. I’m posting early because Comic-Con is later this week, but I’ll be on-track to continue catching up on my missed posts when I get back. I know no one cares about this except for me, but what can I say–if I don’t keep me honest and working, who will? See you on the other side, folks! *dives head first into Comic-Con*)

Test Patterns of Terror

Today I’ve got another ~10 year old piece, freshened up with new colors:

 
It feels good to color these old pieces. It’s great coloring practice, plus I’m taking care of unfinished business with more proficiency than I ever could have when I actually drew these pieces.

(This counts as post #1 for this week, so I’m keeping steady at a deficit of 4 missed posts.)

Multiple Incarnations

If you do something like give me a pair of cool-looking goggles from Restoration Hardware because I couldn’t find them myself, chances are I will write you a thank you note with a drawing on the envelope. And if the first syllable of your named rhymes with hell, that drawing will probably depict you as Hellboy (Hellvin), and me as Abe Sapien (Jabe Sapien?):

 
This is from several years ago, which you might have guessed from the date in the signature, and from the fact that I’m depicted without my passé-but-still-present mohawk. The background you see is actual envelope (with minor touch-ups), which I left in for flava. The computer colors are new, and were laid in just this past weekend.

A few years ago that same friend was coming up on a noteworthy birthday, and his wife (also a dear friend) asked me to design a mini-statue of him to commemorate the occasion. I whipped up a quick turnaround for her sculptor:

 
And here’s what the mini-statue looks like:

 
It’s a lot of fun to see your work translated into the 3rd dimension! My apologies, I don’t remember the sculptor’s name/URL–that info will be added here if I can find it.

(This post contains two pieces of artwork by me, so that brings the total count of missed posts down to 5!)

A neon gorilla…

Look at me, posting multiple times in one day, as if I were a productive person with any kind of creative output at all! See, told you there’d be more art coming!

 
This is a very old drawing, from just under 10 years ago. I don’t ink this way anymore, but I still like the drawing (maybe just because I still think gorillas are awesome), so I decided to use it for a coloring exercise.

It’s interesting and a bit strange to be coloring myself from 10 years ago, because it feels like I’m coloring another person. A person I know very well, but another person nonetheless. I’m very aware that this art came from a place that still exists somewhere inside my head, but ten years of separation creates a very real level of detachment.

I have some more of these older pieces that I’ll be coloring. It’s a nice change of pace for me, and a good way to get out of my head and focus a bit more on the colors specifically.

(After this one, 7 missed posts to make up.)

Moldie Oldies: Teenage Mutant Ninja ‘Tubbies

This is the kinda junk that I thought was funny back in 1999. Okay, I still think it’s funny.

 
To be honest, I was, and still am, totally freaked out by the Teletubbies. Are they hairless cats? Why are they wearing footie pajamas? WHY IS THE SUN A BABY? The whole affair is terrifying. However, by mashing the Teletubbies up with the Ninja Turtles, I converted my fear into a super-dorky joke.

TAKE THAT, YOU TERRIFYING HAIRLESS CAT FOOTIE PAJAMA BABY-SUN-WORSHIPPING ABOMINATIONS.

Moldy Oldies: Dino-mite!

So, at the end of the 20th century, there was a line of Jurassic Park action figures subtitled, Chaos Effect. The line centered around genetically engineered dinosaur hybrids. So while other people in my peer group were contemplating college graduation and finding a job versus moving back in with their parents, I was half-assing my classes while sitting around drawing fan-art of a spin-off of a movie action figure line.**

._.

Here’s Ankyloranodon, an ankylosaur/pteranadon hybrid:

 
Jurassic Park: Chaos Effect was actually a pretty cool toyline. I bought several of the figures, and they’re boxed up somewhere in my end-of-Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-esque closet full of toys. I would not be opposed to artistically revisiting these creatures. BUT I AIN’T MAKIN’ NO PROMISES.

**For the record, I graduated in 4 years, with a decent GPA, and I never moved back in with my parents.

Moldy Oldies: On the Rodian again…

If I had posted this on Tuesday like I was supposed to… that would still be a terrible title. For those of you who kissed a girl before age 17, I will enlighten you as to the meaning of said title–The Rodians are an alien race in the Star Wars universe. And the most famous Rodian, of course, is Greedo:

 
As far as old pieces go, this isn’t the worst.

By the way… HAN SHOT FIRST. That is all.

Moldy Oldies: I accept your scorn…

When I post some old piece of art because I’m too busy to post something good, it probably feels like I’m punishing you, Dear Reader,. I apologize for these terrible artifacts that I inflict upon you from time to time, but please understand that the person who’s truly being punished is me.

My crimes: Poor planning resulting in a sub-standard post and drawing poorly “back in the day.” For the latter crime, there is no statute of limitations.

The sentence: My crude scrawlings from 13 years ago will be posted here, to be seen and derided until the internet falls into ruin.

 
This is some fan-art of Chichiri and Tasuki, two cool characters from a generally mediocre and melodramatic anime, Fushigi Yugi. Actually, all the characters in that series were cool, except for… oh you know, like, the MAIN four characters. But I digress.

I’m really not proud of this–the only thing I can say in my defense is that that this was drawn as an in-joke, because Fushigi Yugi was the one terrible anime series that we had to sit through at an otherwise excellently programmed anime club back in ye olde college dayes. Of course I can’t explain why I don’t have any fan art pertaining to the numerous good anime that we watched (Gundam Wing, Evangelion, YuYu Hakusho, Escaflowne, Macross plus, etcetera).

Woof.

Moldy Oldies: Digital De-evolution!

I didn’t have time for a new or good post today, so instead, I unproudly present a Moldy Oldy from the long forgotten year 1999.

I wish I could impress upon those of you who aren’t artists precisely how incredibly uncomfortable it is to look at one’s old drawings. The feeling approaches but falls short of actual physical pain. You look at the piece and immediately you remember where you were in life. Where you lived; who was making your life hell at the time; how badly you were dressed; how awkwardly you carried yourself; what toys were on your shelves; and what crude techniques passed for “drawing.” (On my own for the first time in a tiny studio apartment; some jerks who are no longer my friends; short-sleeved rayon 90′s button-up shirts; extremely awkwardly, IE slightly more awkward than the current day; Beast Wars and some Playmobil; techniques to be detailed below)

Other than being on my own for the first time and the toys, the last days of the 20th century were dark indeed. But at least there was Digimon:

 
You have to understand something–this was drawn in early ’99, before the Digimon anime came to the states. This was back when Digimon were “those things like Tamagotchi, except they fight and stuff.” And you’re saying, because you’re a confounded toddler, “WTF is a Tamagotchi?” To which I respond: GET OFF MY METAPHORICAL LAWN, YOU DAMN KIDS.

I forget the names of these two Digimon, and it’s late, so I’m too lazy to look it up. Also: I don’t recall what kind of reference material I had to go off of (the internet was pretty shaky back then, y’all), so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of my renderings. Please don’t interpret this as a callous attitude towards Digimon–I actually love Digimon, particularly season 2 and 3 of the cartoon (AKA Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Tamers). I’m just too tired to dig up my Digimon book right now. Yeah, I have a book, SO WHAT?

Anywaaays… my crude artistic process back in the day was as follows:

    1) Pencil terrible artwork.
    2) Ink said artwork with a weird mish-mash of unprofessional pens. (Steps 1 and 2 haven’t changed)
    3) Make clean photocopies of the lineart. (This is back when photocopy machines made awesome crisp copies, with BLACK blacks. Go ahead, try and photocopy something with a lot of black areas. The copy machines at Kinko’s absolutely suck nowadays. Also, back in ’99, there were plenty of 24 hour copy shops around, so I could go get my photocopies whenever I finished my drawing, even if it was 2am. I’m getting off track here. Moving on…)
    4) Color a photocopy with a combination of colored pencils and markers, praying that I don’t screw up so bad that I have to start on one of the back-up copies. (This was back when the idea of running Photoshop on my personal computer seemed like a distant pipe-dream)
    5) There you go, you drew a thing. (Incidentally, the image you are looking at is a scan of a color photocopy of the original colors, which, as I’ve discussed, were done over a black and white photocopy. No, this is not a joke–the original colors were given away)

Dark days… dark days.

(I’ll be back on Friday with another leftover commission, and hopefully on Monday with something new and at least slightly better. HOWEVER–I did find a whole cache of terrible late 20th century drawings. So I just might lean on the Moldy Oldies again in the future. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.)

MACHO WEEK!!! (Part 2 of 3, The Moldy Oldie Edition)

MACHO WEEK continues, with a piece of vintage nerdery from my archives, drawn and colored in 1999. TWELVE years ago.

Let’s think about this people. That was before 9-11, before the dot-com bust, before the (still ongoing) energy crisis, before I owned a car or a DVD player. I was fresh out of college, just starting out full time at the day-job after interning there for 2 years (same day-job that I have today, by the way), and living in a tiny studio apartment that paradoxically had a huge walk-in closet (which I filled up with comic books and action figures–mostly Beast Wars at the time).

So… I confess, this was drawn to impress a geeky girl who I was talking to at the time. Believe it or not, the subjects in the illustration were our common points of interest–and there’s the Macho One himself, front and center! Oh, and I’m in the picture too, inbetween Optimus Prime in Pikachu, because apparently I have a raging ego. For what it’s worth, I think the girl was in fact impressed by this. However, things didn’t work out for a number of complicated reasons which I will not bore you with. You know how it goes.

click above for larger view

Man, just look at this thing. It was one of the first things I ever colored in Photoshop, and I thought I was pretty hot stuff, using the Dodge/Burn tool to render the shading. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

And yet, here we are, twelve years later. My drawing is a little better, and my coloring is much better. And I still pretty much won’t shut up about Macho Man, Transformers, Batman, Pokemon, Miyazaki movies, and Bruce Lee.

Tune in on Friday for the final installment of MACHO WEEK!!!

Moldy Oldies: MEOW!

Still not 100% set-up on the new computer–bear with me folks. This piece isn’t terribly old, but it isn’t terribly recent either:

Drawn for a friend who was obsessed with her neighbor’s cat.

Moldy Oldies: Porsche + BONUS

Drawn for an animation pitch circa 2003:

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This is the last character in the series, and here’s a group shot of all the characters together:

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I’m back to posting fresh blog sketches starting next Tuesday! Yes, it is a holiday miracle.

Moldy Oldies: Tow

Drawn for an animation pitch circa 2003:

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This design is my favorite out of the batch. I think I just managed to fit a little extra individuality into him. One more Moldy Oldie this Friday, and then it’s back to fresh blog sketches. Try to contain your excitement!

Moldy Oldies: Enzo

Woops… this post was actually prepared and ready to go, but I think I hit “save as draft” instead of “publish.” Culpa mea, again.

Drawn for an animation pitch circa 2003:

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I had a good long weekend… basically after I gorged on Thanksgiving dinner, I left my folks’ place, barricaded myself in my apartment, and did nothing but draw, watch Robotech (marathon style), and eat pumpkin pie. I’ve gotten a lot of blog pieces drawn, but I know I’ll slow down in the coloring phase. However, my plan to post Moldy Oldies, in order to get ahead behind the scenes, appears to be working.

Holy smokes–it’s December! When did that happen? @_@

Moldy Oldies: Mini

Um… wow, Friday is almost over, and I totally zoned on posting a blog. Culpa mea, dear reader. I blame pumpkin pie overdose.

Here’s another illustration drawn for an animation pitch circa 2003:

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Today’s drawing was the first in a series–this batch of drawings was a big turning point for me in terms of drawing, coloring, and generally being able to finish pieces. Okay, back to the pumpkin pie!