Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jump & Push

Avi is sick today, and I'm really worried about her. I made a couple half-hearted doodles of her with a thermometer in her mouth and an ice pack on her head, but it didn't fit with the whole series. These drawings are about Avi as she really is, not as a character doing or experiencing human things. I decided instead to celebrate her liveliness with an illustration of her favorite game: "JUMP & PUSH."

The game consists of Avi leaping through the air, growling ferociously, while Josh gently deflects her away from his body. This is great fun. She jumps; Josh pushes. Happy growly joyousness ensues. Occassionally, because Avi has bad agility and paw-eye coordination, she will flop back to the ground on her side or her back, at which point the game is over. She doesn't hurt herself, but we the hunams get all concerned and pick her up and pet her and snuggle her...chances are she'd much rather play some more Jump & Push!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Avi of the Pillows

During all hours except when we humans are sleeping in it, the bed is Avi's domain. She rolls her little white body into the puffy comforter and disappears among the white and red floral print. She has a funny way of wiggling her tail, kindof like a rattlesnake, whenever one us humans walks in - it's the moment right before her leap of joy, kindof like a cat flicking its tail before it pounces.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mud Puppy

Inspired by a very muddy Saturday at the dog park. Luckily, Avi is of an economic coat - she is self-cleaning. I'm not sure the exact science behind this, but between the dog park fence and the car, the mud and dirt magically disappears. It's quite convenient!

But then there are other days when there's just THAT much mud...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Murderer of Marigolds

I did not include any copy on this picture - do you guys think it needs it? I was thinking "I'm in your pots...eating your flowers." or some such. Keath, you're good at LolSpeak, what should it say?

I have a little seed of an idea to, after awhile, compile all of these little LolPup drawings into a little book - maybe publish it on - and make it available here on the ole blog. I see a lot of sketchbloggers doing this and it alway seems pretty cool, so what do you all think?

As for the drawing, does anybody else have trouble with their dogs digging out the flower pots? For the longest time, the three flower pots and Avi coexisted in peace, but I think she got bored one day and dug half the dirt out of one of them. A great mystery remains as to how she managed to transport the large pile of dirt from the pot to the other side of the patio with no trace of scratch marks or trails of dirt. I may never figure that one out. I theorized that something was perhaps living in the pot, but then realized that the only thing living in the pot was a single stubby marigold, which I now believe Avi made it her business to destroy with great relish. She has since abandoned the pot.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Culprit...

How is it that a little dog can take up so much bed? How exactly does she manage to steal the covers and push me to the edge of the mattress? She weighs 30 lbs!

I know I'm probably breaking some kind of rule by make drawings of my dog and using LolCat language, but it's funny! It just seems appropriate for her :-).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Torrential Downpour!

I think if I'd had more time for this warm-up sketch, I would have made it look like a paper cutout. As it is, this expresses the true emotions and reactions of my little dog whilst it rains upon her.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Head Sketch

Of what else but a horse? Painter sketch, pretty much over worked. I didn't use reference or anything for this, just sortof scribbled it out of my head. I love how things look in the desert after a rainstorm when a little light hits something just right and it glows - but I think my painting skill from memory doesn't quite reflect that yet! Blah, values al over the place...

Friday, February 06, 2009

Photoshop Brush Tutorial #1 - Making Your Own "Real Media" Brushes in PS

Photoshop comes with a whole mess of brushes that can be tweaked here and there to create rather nice "real media" effects that look and act like real paint on real paper. We all know this, but somehow making those brushes work is a huge mystery. I have only recently begun to delve into the world of Photoshop brushmaking, after being inspired by JP Balmet's unbelievably realistic PS "oil" paintings. I bothered him to give me some tips, and here's what I've just started to come up with. I know this is a vexing part of PS for many people, so I've decided to do something useful with my blog and post a tutorial! SO! For your consideration:

Making Great Brushes in PS With Whats Already There!

(This tutorial is written for Adobe Photoshop CS2 for Windows, and uses a Wacom tablet.)

Step 1 - Open a new file, sized 200 x 200 pixels, 300 dpi. Then simply speckle some dots in a row, neither evenly spaced nor uniform in size. They should look something like this:

To save the brush set, select Edit > Define Brush Preset.
Name the brush (you will be re-saving it later, so name is not all that important)

Your paintbrush tool will now show the large brush in outline, and the new brush preset can be found at the bottom of your brush list.

Step 2 - In your brush settings (the small icon in the toolbar, next to the tab settings, and the icon with the magnifying glass), highlight "Brush Tip Shape," and spin the rotation tool. The settings are shown in the screenshot at left - you can copy these or spin it yourself. Also, I have the "Spacing" turned all the way down, but you can space the brush as you like.

(At this point, do not be alarmed if your brush does not look like the one shown in the screenshot - it will!)

Step 3 - Shape Dynamics. With your Wacom, your "Size Jitter" should be set to "Pen Pressure," but select that from the drop down menu if it is not. More importantly, select "Direction" from the "Angle Jitter" menu. This will cause the brush to react like a real flat brush.

Step 4 - Select the "Texture" menu. You will need to load some new textures into the thumbnail dropdown menu. To do this, click the tiny arrow next to the texture thumbnail, and select the other tiny arrow on the right side of the box. This will drop down another menu to select "Load Patterns." From the load screen, select "Artist Surfaces."

(If your "Patterns" folder does not appear, you can find it here: C:/ > Program Files > Adobe > Adobe Photoshop > Presets > Patterns)

You will now have a nice selection of fabric textures to choose from. Find one to your liking - canvas, linen, denim, etc. Depending on the size of your canvas, you will need to adjust the "Scale" slider to repeat the texture at a size you like.

Under "Mode" select "Darken." You may also like "Hard Mix," but play with the other options to find what you like.

Step 5 - Select "Dual Brush" from the menu, and find the rough square brush shown (this comes standard with PS). You may use any brush you like to get the desired effects, but this one works pretty well. Play with the diameter if you like, but you want the brush to look natural.

Step 6 - Select "Other Dynamics." Under "Opacity Jitter" and "Flow Jitter" select "Pen Pressure." This is very important for controlling the pigment of the brush and making it look and act realistically. You can leave one of these settings on "off" depending on your preference.

Save your new brush by clicking the small arrow to the right of "Brushes" tab at the top of your brush settings. Select "New Brush Preset" and name your brush (something good this time!). All your settings will be saved and your new brush will show up at the bottom of the brush menu.

Now play around with your settings until you get something awesome - experimentation is the best way to learn how to make awesome brushes, and develop a brush set all your own!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Black Beauty

I often paint Black Beauty - he's just a horse that keeps coming back to either inspire or haunt me. I felt compelled to push around some paint-pixels in Corel this weekend and made something narrative out of it instead of just a sketch. It's dismal, but so was the book! However, I'm liking the implication of horse rather than the anatomical study...