Tag Archives: drawing

Art Challenge – Day #6-10

30 Day Art Challenge

Day #6-10

Welcome back everyone to the better late than never post! All the art more or less got done, I am simply horrible at documenting my work. So let’s get on with this shall we? Here are another five installments of the art challenge:

Day #6 – Microscopic

Day six was a weird day for me. This part of the challenge just so happened to fall during the worst days of a flu which wrecked everyone in my household.

So, high on cold medicine, I scoured the internet for microscopic organisms. I ended up combining three or four types of organisms into one psychedelic freak of nature that probably should not exist. I think what I am trying to say is don’t do drugs kids.

*Watercolor and gouache 

Day #7 – Anatomy

On day 7 I think I was coming off of the drugs, but I was in a dark place. We all know this point of being sick where the symptoms begin to fade but we are still not well enough to actually be productive. My face felt like it was on fire from blowing my nose, and I couldn’t breathe to save my life.

Sadly, I took out my frustration at being confined to my couch on this poor teddy bear. I wanted to know what made him tick, and what made him so damn happy and cute all the time. I am probably one of the few people on this planet that finds the idea of a teddy skeleton adorable.

*Gouache 

Day #8 – Fungi

Day eight I painted the fungi zombies from the video game The Last of Us so I could tie this challenge in with my fungi study article. The Last of Us article ended up being pushed back anyway, which contributed to both of these posts being unforgivably late.

For those of you not familiar with the game, the zombie hoards in this universe are created by a parasitic fungi. There are different stages of infection ranging from the early stage “runner” (bottom), and the deadly “clicker” (top). I wanted a brighter color palette so they ended up looking a little psychedelic. Don’t do drugs kids.

*Watercolor and gouache

Day #9 – Hate

I struggled with day 9 well past the deadline where I was supposed to have finished this piece. I thought I would maybe tie it into the “love” day’s sculpture, but I felt I just could not translate hate properly. Finally I settled on another painting, this time of a cute little voodoo doll that resembles Lilo’s doll from Lilo and Stitch.

In the end this piece really came together in the end. It is actually one of my favourites so far in the challenge.

*Gouache

Day #10 – Comic

Day 10 was another one that really gave me a tough time, which is not what I expected. When I cobbled the list together I expected that I would do a tiny three panel comic of some sort, but for some reason nothing came to mind.

Then it occurred to me that it has been years since I have done a traditional India Ink comic book style illustration. This is another multi-day project that put me farther behind, but it was worth the effort!

Say hello to one of my favourite comic book protagonists, Cassie Hack from Hack/Slash, dressed as my favourite villain Freddy Krueger. I’m a huge fan of pin-ups and pretty burlesque girls, and Cassie is no stranger to seductive posing.

Next Time

Thanks for joining me again. Come visit next time for days #11-15 … hopefully in a timely manner, but at this point I make no guarantees.

The List - LINK
Days #1-5 - LINK

Cheers,

Starchip13

The Science of Cute and Creepy

Happy February first everyone! I will be participating in blogging 201 this month, so let’s get started shall we? This challenge is “what is my angle?” so I decided to take the theme a little bit literal.

The question of the day is: what makes something cute vs. creepy. The short answer is that it is all in the angles.

Cute Curves Vs. Harsh Angles

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Using Fungus Fairies as an Example…

Let us take a look at the ultimate example of cuteness: babies. What makes infants so darn cute? The secret is in the circles. From their big round eyes to their stumpy little legs, babies and infants are made up almost entirely of circles and curves. Subconsciously in our minds, particularly in women, we associate soft lines with babies. This means that any product or design that has proportions similar to an infant is perceived as “cute”. A lot of cartoons, particularly chibis, use these proportions.

Another instance of the use of curves is when it is meant to reference the female form. The curve of the breasts and hips are used as inspiration for products ranging from cars to cell phones. Anything meant to be “sexy” is typically slim in design with few sharp angles.

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Changing lines ages the little fungus friend…

On the other end of the spectrum characters who are meant to be evil or creepy are designed with rougher edges in mind. Good examples of this principal are seen in pretty much every Tim Burton movie where he uses strange proportions, pointy faces and spindly limbs to purposely make his characters creepy. You’ll also notice that villainous characters are either unusually thin or have overemphasized masculine traits.

Simple Symmetry Vs. Just off Center 

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This guy looks like a proper gentleman

There is a basic formula for the proportions we find attractive in another human being. A symmetrical face is usually a sign of favorable genes and good health. While few faces are truly symmetrical, characters or creatures that are meant to be “good” will often have perfectly symmetrical designs.

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This guy will probably eat your face

Traditionally a face with glaringly obvious asymmetry is a sign of injury or disease. Back in the other corner with our friend Mister Burton, his designs are rarely symmetrical. Putting the nose slightly off center or making the eyes two different sizes can vastly change the look of a character. High levels of asymmetry can invoke feelings of fear or distrust, even if there is no actual danger.

Warm and Welcoming Vs. Green and Ghastly

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This guy is colour coded to be a hero

This one is pretty obvious. Warm colours are associated with light and flowers and all those good things. Heroic characters will usually be associated with a warm primary colours (go Gryffindor!).

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According to Disney this guy is probably a villain

Dark and cool colours, particularly green (Slytherin), are associated with villainous characters. Green has a dual association with plant life or with sickness. Disney has abused the heck out of the colour green to represent their villains. Black, the western colour of mourning, is also paired with villains.

The Uncanny Valley

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Wall-E doesn’t look very human but is super adorable

Sometimes animated characters and non-human objects are given a few human characteristics. This is done mainly for the purposes of animated movies to give characters expressions and to tell a story. A staple of this principal is giving robots big expressive eyes and eyebrows. A good example of this is Brave Little Toaster or Wall-E.

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Put human eyes in a metal skull and you have a murder machine

The uncanny valley is when an animated character or non-human object is given enough human characteristics to no longer be “cute” but is not accurate enough to be considered “realistic”. The result is something rather unsettling. This can be used intentionally like in Terminator when poor Arnold’s face is slowly being peeled away to reveal a machine, but the eyes remain more or less intact. Or it can be completely unintentional like when animation intended to look realistic ends up looking like a melted Barbie Doll.

Now these rules are obviously not the be-all-end-all character design traits in every story. There are plenty of stories that intentionally break these rules, either to better serve the story, or to raise tension. It is fun to play around with proportions and see what kind of personality a character can adopt.

Starchip13

Bones and Beasties

What makes a monster?

The best monsters were made from the inside out; from bones to muscles. Even impossible creatures should have a basis in reality. Otherwise it becomes so unbelievable it is no longer frightening.

In short: bones and flesh make a monster.

For the same reason that every artist benefits from life drawing classes, anatomy classes are an invaluable tool. Learning how bones and muscles fit together under the skin creates an understanding of proportion and realistic movement.

Here are a couple places I reference when I need some inspiration:

 

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The Resurrectionist Cover Art

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Doctor Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth. 

 

Strangely, this was in my amazon recommendation list. I cannot imagine why. I never knew it before I read this, but I needed a 1870’s style medical textbook. This is monster design at its best.

Ever wondered what the most well known mythical creatures through history look like under the skin? The Resurrectionist is here to answer all your questions about everything from dragons to mermaids. This book is beautifully illustrated and a heck of a fun read. Delve into the work of Doctor Spencer Black, son of a grave robber, as he travels the globe with carnivals gathering research for The Extinct Animalia.

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Mermaid Anatomy – The Resurrectionist

Body Worlds – Gunther Von Hagens 

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Body Worlds Display by Gunther Von Hagens

As educational as it is macabre, Body Worlds gives you an inside look at everything you could possibly want to know about the body.

These displays look like models, but make no mistake these are real human bodies. German doctor Gunther Von Hagens developed a process called plastination, which is the process of infusing tissue with plastic. The bodies are perfectly preserved, cut into cross sections, and dynamically posed.

I had the opportunity to see one of these shows while I was a student, and it is still, hands down, the best opportunity to study anatomy and muscle movement.

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Gunther Von Hagens at Body Worlds Exhibition

As a side note: I highly recommend looking up videos of this man on Youtube. Particularly for the clip of him crashing a plastic head on a toy car to demonstrate brain damage. It is actually funnier than it sounds.

Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/starchip13/

Last but not least, pinterest has been a valuable tool for me when I find I need to compile references and tutorials. I use my pinterest account for everything from doll making to skeletal references.

If any of my readers share similar interests I invite you to follow me (or one of my boards) on pinterest. Let’s share the pictures that inspire us.

Starchip13