Prosthetic – Painting + Tshirt

I like how this one turned out. I wanted the cyborg/robot to appear somewhat damaged and unsure of itself. I think that was captured with some of the erratic shading and effects. I wanted less explicit detail as well, so a lot of the parts are suggested. I kept the color pallet simple so it would look more like splashes of paint or brands then the actual color of the android.

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I put a lot of work in making the frame. I’m not very good at frames but I recognize how important they are for T-shirts. A lot of my work is too complicated to put on a shirt and the frame helps simplify it so it can be printed on different colors of shirts.

Capture

 

Cheers,

Blu

Sketches from my first sketchbook: Six years of progress #1

I took my first art/design course when I was a sophomore in high school (six years ago). I was interested in making art for video games and I was already learning C# and experimenting with tools like Autodesk maya and engines like UDK to make my own stuff.

That whole dream never really panned out (ended up in hard sciences) but I really went at the art. I was doing fifty hours a week, staying up all night to practice contour and learn to draw new things. It was one of my first real obsessive periods. I periodically get really into things which later eb and flow but most have stuck around (writing and drawing more than anything).

For the class we had to do daily sketches from life or our head based on a prompt. These are some of them. Bare in mind that while I was working hard, I was very much a beginner. It’s awesome to look back and compare this stuff to my current works and compositions. The style is actually pretty similar, still, in a lot of ways. It’s just more refined and cohesive now.

I’ll go in order of the pages and this was taped to the front page.

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I started out with bic pens and markers which s what this was in. Pretty sketchy shading but I was really proud of the contour. It took my a while and few tries at the time to nail down the general shape of a face let alone the gesture of a body.

This was probably the first time I tried to depict tattoos on skin, which is something I do on a regular basis now. I’ve gone so far as to design elaborate tattoos just so I could put them in a drawing later on:

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In this semi-photo-realistic digital portrait I spent the most time on the tattoos and hair. I’ve found that abstract designs (time here) work much better for accenting skin in the context of a drawing.

This style evolved further into turning the skin into it’s own canvas within a canvas:

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Here the skin is less skin and more of a symbolic mosaic kind of story. I don’t like to explain intent explicitly and won’t, but there is a specific reason things are where they are here.

To me it’s really cool to be able to trace stylistic elements I employ in my hyper-realism and composite art back to one of the first decent anime sketches I did a few months after I started drawing.

Singularity – Artwork

A composite wallpaper I made using adobe photo-shop and personal/free assets. Thanks to NASA for providing the awesome in-space photo I used in the top left transition.

2400×4200 pix

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– special thanks to KO for modeling and taking upwards of forty awkward shots of her legs for this piece, you’re the real hero –

The base of the piece was a photograph one of my best friends took of her legs, then I masked over it and repainted/replaced the skin to get more of a painted/graphic look which makes it easier to blend into a conceptual piece that already has a mixture of drawn objects next to photographs. The smoke, city, and blended transitions were all painted in to connect the extremely disparate elements of the piece. I wanted it to look like worlds or realities were about to crash together while there’s this tear or rift in reality just a few feet away from the model. The problem is she has to jump to reach the red door before everything comes crashing down.

The biggest challenge here was trying to highlight a focus, because everything is pretty hyper-detailed and distracting. That chaos is good and needed to represent worlds literally colliding, but it make it tricky to form a true compositional balance when the background is –for lack of a better word– is a cluster-duck.

Anyway, I think it turned out pretty cool for what it is and I learned a lot making it which is always the goal here.

 

Cheers!

-Blu

 

-Free stock credits (via unsplash)

https://unsplash.com/@istocode

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My portfolio (I do take commissions): https://arctic-ink.myportfolio.com/

My clothing designs: https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/ArcticInk/

Space Man – Artwork + Steps

I took steps this time!

I FINALLY REMEMBERED. I always forget, because there’s around eight pieces I don’t finish for everyone I do so the early steps often are done in a single file because it feels low risk still. The farther along I get the more backups I make so yeah.

This was about four hours in, a lot of plain splatter blocks from the under painting are still visible.

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Another thirty minutes or so, finished up the right arm and attached the NASA insignia. (This is modeled off of a NASA photograph). Also did a lot of work on the reflection base. Moved the blacks out a little to start placing the mid-tones of the background. I do this so I know where to fit the composites in while maintaining a compositional balance. It also gave me space to draw in the blurred bits of the ship and suit being torn off which I think ended up pretty cool.

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About three hours of filling in the blanks, decided on the darker background for both sides. The right side is meant to have a ship, but I realized I probably couldn’t draw it right or composite anything in with that much light. Also it wasn’t all that compositionally balanced. Astro-Soldier

 

About five hours, added composite 1 (links to free image are at bottom) Astro-Soldier3

 

Like thirty minutes, just did some reflection work and added more blood splatter detail. Darkened scaffolding. Got rid of the mouthpiece because it wasn’t cooperating with the glass composite (links at bottom). Astro-Soldier6

 

Couldn’t decide between red and purple so I duplicated the layer and used both lol. Astro-Soldier10

 

Another few hours of little details. I think the blood might be too bright with the anti gravity. Spent a lot of time on it but it’s meh. Astro-Soldiercopr

copr Blu-Art 2018, copr Arctic-Ink 2018

 

A space-man who met an unfortunate end doing what he loved. Rest in peace Space-man.

Overall this was really fun. Working with the texture brushes to get the space suit done was really challenging and engaging. I left the hands out because I wanted some of the under painting to survive and because I can’t draw gloves (I’ve been working on clothes really hard but like hands did, gloves seem to allude me). I did try a few times but I was like, this looks cooler without the gloves anyway. I also wanted the most in focus part to be the helmet, so everything else was left pretty stylistic while I hyper rendered the helmet with composite work.

 

Free stock:

Photo by Wenniel Lun on Unsplash    (coloration of helmet glass)
Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash    (Blurred out background and stars)
Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash    (Used for emissive light bokeh)

 

PS: This design is available through Design by Humans here: https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/t-shirt/men/space-man/900404/

 

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My Portfolio: https://arctic-ink.myportfolio.com/

My Deviant Art: https://arctic-ink.deviantart.com/

My Design by Humans shop: https://www.designbyhumans.com/shop/ArcticInk/

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How I draw eyes (at x25 zoom!)

Eyes are usually my favorite or one of my favorite parts of doing a drawing. I’ve spent a good deal of time lately wondering how to work them into my more realistic drawings. Realistic eyes are actually rather simple compared to not realistic eyes. I started out doing realistic eyes, which are darker and not all that interesting but decided if something was going to be unrealistic, the eyes were good candidates. So I had fun with it and tried a new technique:

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I basically just treated it like there was a floodlight shining in and the cornea was lit up. It ended up looking graphic and decent enough to keep.

 

Moving forward I decided to go for well-lit but also more realistic. So I made the texture in it’s own PSD at a higher resolution. The only issue is that it ended up looking more realistic than the other bits (way too realistic, it’s actually a little creepy zoomed in like this). In the context of this drawing, where the eyes are a focus, that’s fine, but it’s not something I can apply to everything so I decided to blend the realism a little more:

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Being able to start with the eye in the beginning really helped this one. It’s much less imposed on the eye ball. I did play it a little safe and the eye isn’t actually very detailed this time, but I think it fits this drawing nicely:

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This one I think turned out the best. I used a higher res file to make the eye then superimposed it. Here, it feels less out of place. The shading and makeup are a little blurry, but they aren’t blow out. So the lighting at least sort of matches the overlit and hyper rendered eye:

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For technique here, you kinda have to play it by the ey…ear. Uh…basically just make concentric circles of a similar shades of whatever color you want it to be. I always make the middle brightest and get darker as I go out. These are pixel drawings, so if you have vector software, it’d be easier to pull off. That said I’m so used to shading pixels that it doesn’t really bother me. The light source on these eyes don’t match the light source of the drawing, and I think the drawings are actually better for it. I’ve kinda been learning over the past few weeks that realism isn’t always better.

My DORM!

My room is kinda like my creative space. It usually matches how I’m feeling. So it’s been super organized and neat this semester since I’ve been in such a great head space. The colors of the room change with the LED light strip behind the over-sized monitor. The tapestry covers my window, which both looks cool and keeps the light levels pretty low (This was taken at 4:30 PM).

I replaced the obnoxiously bright fluorescent with some mercury vapor black-lights. I have a thing against really bright light when it isn’t from the sun. Either way, setting the LED strips to white light creates ideal lighting for drawing. It dims the white of the paper a little so I can visualize what it’ll look like when I add the real highlights. You also get a really accurate perception of the tonal balance with no glare.

🙂

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I’d send the other wall, but the artwork and decals are a little over the top for this blog. (I’m a fan of a few hardcore bands and their art isn’t as PG-13 as mine 😉

PS: Bonus points if you can find the three Illuminati triangles and the two spots I’ve vandalized the wall. (I’m close friends with the RA so I’m sure she’ll be cool with some white-out :P)

PSS: Mom if you’re looking at these it definitely does not say fuck college. I’d never write something like that on my wall! *Looks back in forth guiltily.

 

Cheers!

Blu

 

 

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Portfolio: https://blu-art.myportfolio.com/

Back to Monochrome (Character Art)

Going back to my roots a little bit. I’ve felt like I’ve been relying on color a little too much to fix contour and compositional issues, so I wanted to practice some pure black and white. I messed up the nose pretty bad, but I’m happy with the hand and how the jackets texture turned out!

Been writing a lot and loving it. Need to focus more on Organic chem 2, but I’m sure I’ll strike a better balance.

8×10

cover art4

 

Cheers,

Blue

Heavy Paper Review 1: Watercolor Blick Studio

I’m a paper snob. A necessary trait for someone who has a heavy hand and utilizes wet mediums (Watercolors/Heavy Metal mixes/Gouaches/India Inks). As such, I like to test out various paper stocks to see which can best handle heavy mediums while still being smooth enough to support extensive line-work without forcing a texture.

Over the past two weeks I’ve worked with Blick’s in-store studio watercolor 9×12 paper.

Cost: I got it on sale for six dollars, which is very low for a whole 15 sheets of 9×12.

Specs: 9×12 inch (confirmed with ruler, +- .05 inches depending on the serration), 140ib. weight, with a smooth finish. Acid-free and Cold-press! Both good things. Made in the USA, if you care about that. The 140 pounds is standard for watercolor, but nothing special. I usually like it a higher around 160-180, but that’s just so I don’t have to worry about killing the tooth.

Texture: The texture is extremely smooth, which is what drew me in at first. Smoothness is often a double edged sword, though, as it can often correlate with a weaker tooth, which means I have to be subtle with the watercolors (God-forbid I take my time, right?)

Ink performance: This is a beautiful stock for archival and fountain inks. It can take a good amount of pen punishment without showing indents or pressure lines. I had no issues getting a good range of value either, which means the absorbance isn’t too high (some papers spread ink when you put it down too thick).

Pencil performance: It falters in the higher b pencil range, probably because its pretty thick. Texture lines will show up if you aren’t careful, but the texture is very ordered, so used correctly, this could be a bonus. hb to 6h works perfectly well as long as you sharpen enough. My 4h really liked this paper, it started to scratch above 6, though.

Watercolor performance: This is the part most of you will want to pay attention to, considering its marketed as a watercolor studio level paper. I was a little let down by how quickly the tooth came up in the mid to shadow range of my drawing. I’ve almost never wrecked the tooth with a moderately saturated tone (the middle color of a particular watercolor). Putting down deeper colors was a big struggle and I had to do it dry as the paper didn’t hold well against the paints. It was noticeably worse against my higher quality watercolors, especially ones with metals, despite being acid-free. The glaze from my series 4 amethyst barely shined despite using a bunch of it almost entirely dry.

Metal Performance: As with most smooth Cold-pressed paper, Metals and glue bind well and sink into the tooth if you’re delicate. Very good paper for leafing and adhesives. Here is a link to a piece in which I used extensive adhesives and leafing with this paper: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/11/30/sagittarius-art-in-progress/

Oil performance: I only used a white oil in the drawing, but it reacted very well with the paper and watercolor and I was able to achieve the low opacity effect I was attempting without any issues.

Conclusion: This is a great stock for light-range watercolors, pen drawings, light use of oils. It suffers quite a bit with wet gouaches and mid-deep tone watercolors as well as heavy metal paints and mixed media projects. Overall, it’s still an excellent stock for the price. In store it was going for eight normally, but online it is listed for a mere 5.72, and I got it for 6 with a membership card.

Rating for price: 7.4/10

Rating overall: 5.6/10

 

Here is the mixed media painting that I did on the paper. I did quite a bit to repair the damage to the right of her head, but it still showed up in the final project despite two layers of dry oil over it. For these reasons I would not use it for an intensive mixed-media painting, but it performs extremely well for subtler projects, just go easy on the water and saturation and you’ll be fine : )Food2

Artwork: Pisces

The second piece of my Zodiac project. After Leo (found here:https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/11/29/artwork-zodiac-series-1/) I really wanted to clean up the line-work and composition. This almost ended up looking a little too clean for the style, I think. This is probably the first time where I’ve had a reverse fore-ground, where the background is so noisy that it draws attention to the undetailed focus of the painting, which is a weird but kinda cool effect. Sorry about my shadow on the bottom of the picture, I have a very dark room and the light is currently out, so I had to use the window!

Concept: Pisces are all about finding that one person who makes them feel whole, there yin or yang, so to speak. To a true Pisces, life may not seem worth living until they find that person or thing that drives them. You know what they say, life was built for two.

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