20140418-115820.jpgAaaah look at the low quality photo. Anyway, I’m attempting to redesign one of my transformers characters to make him look like he actually transforms. Because monoformers are cool and all, but… You get my point.

20140418-115824.jpgBecause we decided Skiar doesn’t have nearly enough artwork for him (it’s insanely hard to find art for him), I am doing a challenge with my friend where we do seven pictures of Skiar. Theme one was a sketch, the next one is a situation, so brace yourself for backgrounds.

The Displaced Surgeon

After doing that Grimlock picture, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve got to draw all the Scavengers as a set. So Flywheels (who is dead), Crankcase, Spinister, Krok, Misfire, and Fulcrum, seeing as I finished Grimlock already. First up was Spinister of course, as he has a blue face. And I really like colouring unusual skin/metal tones (can the colour of a mechanical being’s face be referred to as their metal tone?) This shouldn’t be all that surprising though, seeing as I was enjoying colouring/shading characters like Diablete or Francoeur.

20140411-133751.jpgAs you can see, the first sketch was pretty rough. Though to be more accurate, this is actually the second sketch. The first one had Spinister almost facing forward, but with the layout idea I have for the set, this wouldn’t work, so I re-sketched the head two more times before sketching the rest of the body.

20140411-134037.jpg Here I refined/fixed certain areas and added more details to things like Spinister’s neck.

20140411-135216.jpgLines, flat colour, background!

20140411-135313.jpgTo get the highlighted areas of metal, I layered increasingly brighter shades of the colour, then used a smudge brush to sort of squish it inwards. The end result is marvellous, if I do say so myself.

A good day for smiling

20140411-130713.jpgTechnically, it’s always a good time to smile, because it’s a healthy thing, but that was the title that came to mind for this picture. Francoeur does smile a lot though. In relation to smiling – this is supremely late- Francoeur gave me reason to smile quite a bit in February (though it was more of a stunned ‘is this actually real or am I seeing things?’ sort of smiling at first).

Now, I’ve set up my WordPress so that when I publish a post, a link to said post is tweeted. On February 24th, I posted ‘A Monster in the Wrong Paris‘, a little just-for-fun drawing. Later, I got a notification that someone called @le_bibo had replied to the tweeted link.

20140411-130919.jpg Now, it’s always wonderful to know people like your work, but I was kind of curious about who this guy was. So I clicked on his profile. So he’s Bibo Bergeron? Okay- Wait.

20140411-131144.jpg Look at the banner. That seems incredibly familiar. And oh look, he says he’s made a movie about a giant singing flea. (At this point bells are loudly ringing between my ears.) So Google the guy. Stare at the page for a few minutes. Go grab Zoe from ZsCupofTea and shake her a little before actually showing her what has me all stunned. Promptly flounder for a couple of months, not drawing Francouer until April. Because I had to draw another Francoeur before I could bring it up. Simply editing the post is not enough, no. As you can see, I had to write a post about it, with appropriate pictures. I would have drawn my reactions but… Yeah. Ahem. Moving on!

So the director of A Monster in Paris thought a picture I did with Francoeur was cute. You can tell I’m still supremely happy about this.

Monument Valley

20140406-151115.jpg Available for $3.99 in the Canadian App Store, Monument Valley is a game you can finish in about an hour, but man… It’s gorgeous and extremely creative despite that. The first level is a tutorial level, naturally, so it’s short and easily solved. It’s the other nine levels that have some degree of complexity. The story unravels very vaguely as you play, but the basic gist of it is that the silent princess, Ida, is looking for forgiveness. Via the sages, you learn that Monument Valley was the pride of their civilization, until they stole something and ‘corrupted’ the sacred geometry (this is as I remember it, and as I interpreted it). One level even leads you down into a tomb, where Ida puts a flower down in front of one of the stone coffins.

My favourite level is level eight, The Box. There are four ways to open up the box to begin with (each having a different music box sound), with a switch in each to light the four towers. Once you light all four towers, some wheels appear for you to spin to open up the box.

20140407-210941.jpgAfter you hit all the switches inside the box, then the entire thing folds away and you reach the goal.

The game, while short, is definitely worth replaying (as sometimes you’ll forget how you solved the level the first time, and find immense satisfaction in solving it all over again) and the music is always a good fit for the level. It’s definitely worth owning (to wow your friends with, if nothing else).

Tip for first time players: Sometimes you have to change the perspective. Even if it seems impossible when you have the whole puzzle in mind, sometimes the way to getting to the next section of the puzzle is just a perspective trick.

The Lost King

While I have (still) not managed to read issue fifteen (and onwards) for More Than Meets the Eye, I really, really enjoyed the debut of the Scavengers and Grimlock joining the crew of the Weak Anthropic Principle. I love all the Dinobots, and while Swoop may be my favourite, who wouldn’t have a soft spot for a giant T Rex that proclaims himself to be king and either breathes fire or has a flaming sword? So his communication difficulties just made me feel for him. From famed and feared Autobot warrior, to this.

And while I may not have read past issue fifteen, there is still fan art and fanfiction, which I have delved into to read as much about the Scavengers as possible (usually with Fulcrum or Misfire driving the story), and I always find myself endlessly amused by the ones where Grimlock only listens to Fulcrum. The K-Classer and the Dinobot. A friendship made in the Well.

I would like to point out that this is my first time drawing Grimlock, and he was easy in the areas I thought he’d be difficult, and difficult in the areas I thought would be easy. Example one being his face mask. Because while it is glorious and I do adore it so very much, I revised certain parts of it a good number of times. At the bottom of the post is a progress video for this.

With the sketch, I was only very briefly glancing at comic panels with Grimlock in them (my favourite set being where Misfire tells him about a ‘sophisticated form of military parley’ while making the time out sign), hence the difference between the sketch and the lines I did later.

20140403-221434.jpgHere was where I started relying more heavily on my comic references, but it resulted in a greater level of accuracy, and I’m quite pleased with the results. The reason for all the grays was to have the areas for colours already marked out and their layers set to alpha lock so that I’d be able to just apply colour later.

20140403-221907.jpgI added the colours, and then I made a new layer and set it to overlay so that I could just apply some general highlights with two different airbrushes.

20140403-222312.jpgI used a few more overlay layers both for the highlights and shadows, which is something I haven’t tried with shadows before. I’m not entirely sure whether or not I like it more than using the multiply layer, but I’ll experiment a bit more with that in another picture, in all probability. The great thing about using the overlay layers was that I didn’t have to constantly switch colours like I would when shading on the same layer to build up to a bright spot. It also meant I used the smudge tool less.

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When I first discovered Bakugan, it was because I was gifted a mini Siege figurine (which I have sadly lost). Partly because of that, after my brother got into Bakugan, Siege remained my absolute favourite (even though there were quite a number of other interesting designs). So when Bakugan came up in a conversation with a friend and I was urged to sketch one, the choice was obvious.

20140402-082409.jpgOriginally, this was just a quick doodle of Meddon, but as you can see, I wound up wanting to add some shadows and highlights. It was a pretty fun exercise.

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20140402-082437.jpgI have seen the glory that is Wall-E. I will give my full thoughts once I have more than just a quick doodle that I did to amuse myself.

20140402-082442.jpg Here, I was experimenting a tiny bit with my comic idea which is tentatively titled ‘Project: Happy’. This would likely be an intro thing explaining the history of the Charley 2.0 line (very vaguely) and what led to their deactivation and replacement.

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20140402-123931.jpg This was just a spark of an idea I had for a picture with Roberto and Diablete, though Roberto’s full demon form is going to need a lot more tweaking.

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