Vertebra – Photo-manipulation

A straight photo-manipulation my friend and I made using a mix of personal and free assets. It was a fun day trip driving out to Des Moines to gather a plethora of photos, and this is what we came up with. I think it could have gone a lot worse considering our relative inexperience with photography.

Putting it together was also difficult, as we had something like three hundred pictures to comb through. Anyway, I had fun putting it together!

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copr Blu-art 2018

Cancer – Painting

Phew. Been working on this one for a few months. A put out a smaller version a while back, then realized it had more potential. So I added, a lot. And made it huge. I’m proud of it. There’s a lot of little details that are easy to miss, especially when it’s shrunk down like this. (If you can find the negative space crab, I’ll be impressed.

I still need to clean up a few things (especially the lips and the transition to the waterfall). But I think it’s on track to be one of my most complex pieces.

 

94×73 inch digital painting

Cancer

copr Blu-art and Arktic-ink 2018, all rights reserved.

Wallpaper cut:

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Cynic 34

Writing and creating artwork is pretty much the best thing ever. It comes to me whenever I need, and goes when I don’t. I love that. The hard part for me is sharing the products. It’s nerve-wracking putting a piece of yourself on display to be ridiculed or loved or even ignored. No, it feels much better to keep such things private, to hide them away from the toxic fangs of judgment and just enjoy them. That’s what I do most of the time, why most of my work never leaves this blog. It feels safer here than places like deviant art or even design by human.

Is it weird that I only find enjoyment in the act of creating? Even when it’s positive feedback or constructive…I don’t know. I don’t want these things to feel high stakes, I want them to be a medium for expression and emotion and a release. Maybe some of it comes from school, where I’m judged constantly during exams, quizzes, and projects. Maybe the arts an escape from that, and by sharing or submitting I end up falling into that same examination. I don’t like that feeling. I just wanna make pretty stuff and feel something.

I think that’s why I take so many hiatuses from blogging or posting anything at all. My art is just better when I don’t think about what other people will think about it. You know?

Anyway, happy hump day.

-Blu

Challenge: Abstract portrait using stacks of paper as a canvas

This turned out pretty clean all things considered. I used a stock photo of stacked papers as a base then drew the face (mostly splatter style, the nose was hard and took the most time), then accented the areas with other composites (the street is from Iowa City where I study). Tried a meatier style for the eye which is meant to be the focus with all the composites shooting out of it.

Here’s the stock photographers page who provided the canvas for free: Photo by Brandi Redd on Unsplash

17×30 inch at 200dpi

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copr Blu-art 2018, Arctic-Ink 2018

It’s pretty similar to the challenge I did here: https://bluebeard-art.com/2018/03/30/challenge-drawing-a-dragon-eye-using-a-leaf-as-a-canvas/

Except it’s mostly drawn where the dragon eye was frankensteined together with about twenty images and I really only shaded in the rocks and eye with the sketch in the pupil. That one was easier because it was all blending and less brushwork.

Here’s the original image (sourced above)

brandi-redd-122054-unsplash (1)

 

Cheers!

-Blu

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.

Astro-Soldier1st

 

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/

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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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Poster Challenge: Fighting for nothing

Full composite poster using free assets from a limited pool and color pallet (a color and it’s opposite alongside black and white). I chose red and green so I could dip into ochre and pale whites for the skin and hair:

Alec4

I like how it turned out. It’s a little rushed but I’ll clean it up at some point XD.

I blended down an elephants face on the arm to make that scaling and leathery effect. The stuff coming out from behind his is a mixture of recolored clouds and underwater bubbles. I used text function to make the command prompt look on his face and hands. I did a lot of dynamic lighting to make the base image blend better. I recolored the eyes (because that’s fun for me) to a grey-green and used paint to suggest face-paint.

 

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.

Digital Painting/Composite reflection.

Sorry to anyone who clicked the first link that went out last night, I blundered and misc-clicked last Saturday instead of this morning 😦

Why can you even backdate things anyway? Feel free to enlighten me. 

Anyway:

I like to do these kind of reflections before I start working on a different major piece or project. It helps me kind of compartmentalize what worked, what didn’t, and what flat out failed. Furthermore, it’s an important step in working to understand what I’ve made; not always an easy thing to do. I mean that literally, I look at this and probably see something really different than what everybody else does, it’s like looking at yourself in the mirror. Hard to judge.

First the good: I wanted to be realistic with this, and I accomplished that. If you look a little to the side, you can’t really tell it’s a drawing, and I’m really proud of that. My mom actually thought this was a photograph when she saw it (on her phone admittedly). And that just made me feel good. And then bad…in some ways. I had a bit of anxiety that people wouldn’t realize it was a drawing, even though it doesn’t really matter because it turned out scary, and that was what I wanted to do. A lot of this anxiety stems from the time investment, too. I worked over thirty hours on this and that’s around the point I start becoming protective of the art. I love it like I love my books and anything I’ve poured my heart and soul into creating. It was hard and obviously it didn’t turn out perfect, but it also feels like a part of me, and that’s why I even make art in the first place.

The mediocre: It may have turned out a little creepier than I intended. Yep, all over the board here, but hear me out. I think that the holes went a bit too far, made her just a tad to zombie-esque. Zombie wasn’t really the goal and the holes were meant to be complimentary to the cracked smile (Chelsea grin concept). The hair is meant to be dreads done up in a pony-tail but the limited details are confusing. Part of this is because Black hair is very easy to draw, it’s black, it gives you a great place to dump all the shadow balance (which means more HIGHLIGHTS <3).

Too bad it looks like multicolored sticks sticking out of a bush. Luckily it is very much not the focus of the drawing so it’s not a huge deal.

The bad: There isn’t really. The lighting balance between shadows and highlights is exactly how I planned and sketched it out to be, highlight heavy with weighty blocks of shadow to pull you into her eyes, which I spent a good three hours on texturing. The personal goal was to surround the pretty eyes with a bunch of chaos and discord and broken things, but have the viewer not really care because: Those are pretty eyes.

 

At least that was the goal and thought process. Whether or not it was successful is up to you 🙂

Bluv

Challenges moving forward: BLONDE HAIR. It’s evil. It is. So incredibly difficult to detail and balance (where do the shadows go?!)

The hair itself has to have shadows, mids and highlights. There’s a reason I don’t draw blonde hair. I want to stop being afraid of it, though, because I have a character that has blonde ends to her hair, and I want to draw her. So I will, and I will probably fail the hair a few times before I get it right.

PS: In the past I’ve gone kind of in depth on technique. I’ve found that most people don’t really care, but if you do, just ask in the comments and I’ll write out the entire process from start to finish and can even provide the layers and psd if you’d like to study how it was put together and layered to create various effects and smooth shading.

Cheers!

Lilith ❤