Sketch-a-Day: Recap of 5 Female Faces

This last week saw the beginning of my first “goal” or targeted subject for Sketch-a-Day, 29 Female Faces in Pencil. I like, like so many others, struggle with capturing a face onto paper so I am doing just female faces first so that I can “get good” at sketching faces, over 29 of them I should see some improvement. I would hope.

The end of this week marks the 5th entry in this goal, the 8th write up of a Sketch-a-Day and the 6th entry of Shout Outs! It also means I am now up to 55 published blog posts (44 of which were posted between 5/21 and now, and a decent number are just image only posts for Sketch-a-Day).

If you didn’t catch the last Roundup post, let me go over how it works. Each Sunday I go over my artwork for Sketch-a-Day that was posted during the week. At first we have a gallery of all the images then we have a listing of tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) versions of each post and their most mention worthy shout outs. Then today we have shout outs afterwards…

This week we started the female faces in pencil thing, and we had some good shout outs. Such as some art books (spectrum, viction:ary), some cool free rpgs (Final Girl, Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf, Lasers and Feelings) and then a listing of some of my favorite RPGMaker games (freeeee! vidya germs!).

  1. Tuesday, 28th; I drew the side-view girl that I made have a really long long neck! Shout Outs: my father’s long, long legs a online storybook that is very very creepy, the awesome tumblr that is Dungeons and Drawings (I just ordered two of their illustrated books so I will probably review them once they arrive) and then we had Sword and Backpack a short ttrpg made to be pasted into a moleskine notebook.
  2. Wednesday, 29th; the shotgun freckle girl drawing. At the end of the blog post is a 10 second video of a six minute storm that was quite impressive, really big hail on that one. Shouts Outs: Spectrum is a series of publications essentially a future dream of mine is to be in one of those big coffee table books, viction:ary publishes some showcase books on graphic and product design as well as different types of artwork (even some font showcase books) and finally we have Scout Books which are small pocket sized kraft notebooks (32 pages usually) and you can order them blank or have a bunch custom printed. Scout Books also have some great blog posts with cool uses for small page format publishing. A cool avenue for publishing certain materials.
  3. Thursday, 30th; the funny face girl drawing. The first one with scary teeth! Shout Outs: Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf a minirpg based on the hilarious musical video of the same name. Final Girl a horror movie rpg that takes direct and constant inspiration from slasher movies where the main characters are picked off one at a time until one last girl (usually a girl, lets be honest) is standing. Lasers and Feelings, a one page scifi rpg that is super duper popular and comes from John Harper! Then we have 3 podcasts: the No Sleep Podcast (horror stories from reddit!), Alice isn’t Dead (dang DANG DANNNNNG!) and finally Limetown (literally the most delta green 7 part story ever about a disappearance of somewhere about 300+ people).
  4. Friday, 1st; The front on face! With those eyebrows! Looks like a good one! Improveeemeeentttt! Shout Outs: this was all about free video games specifically RPGMaker games! Ib is about a girl who gets trapped in a world of insane and distorted artwork, Schuld is just conceptually terrifying… Yume Nikki is a trippy game, Middens has the strangest art and visuals… It Moves is a game I have yet to finish, also kinda scary, and finally we have Stray Cat Crossing (the only one of these games that isn’t free, but it is like, $3)!
  5. Saturday, 2nd; the latest image has not the greatest teeth, but better than the last one with teeth visible. Instead of shout outs, I am doing a giveaway for two video games. Just comment on that blog post and you can win a copy of either Stray Cat Crossing or Don’t Starve Anywhere. Chances are pretty good you will win… since no one has commented yet…

Shout Outs

I have been sick. But, I can say that the video game SOMA is the literallyyyyyy shhhhhh!ttt…

Sketch-a-Day: First Recap is Week 5, what?

Okay, before you say anything, yes I am starting weekly recaps of all the Sketch-a-Day posts for each week.

So what is a weekly recap? It is where I show off all the Sketch-a-Days for the week in a blog post and talk about each piece and my progress in what is my current goal (and my forever goal of improving my ability to draw, paint, graphic-ize). For this first recap, it will be a little weird since I didn’t have a goal or specific/set subject matter. That will be changing as of this week, more about that tomorrow when the first Sketch-a-Day for this week is posted.

At the bottom of this post, you will find the usual Sketch-a-Day stuff, so scroll all the way down if you just want that. If you want the recap… keep reading.

The Artwork and post roundup

This week I didn’t post all of the Sketch-a-Days I did. One, it was pretty weak and two, it was a little too embarrassing for even me. So what did I post this week?

  1. Thursday, first post (made Wednesday evening technically, just posted it really late); I started trying out Photoshop for painting this week and this was the first thing that turned out close to what I thought it would. A bridge and a dark waste-city highway behind it. There wasn’t any text in the blog post, so no need to go there for reading.
  2. Thursday’s second post; still playing with Photoshop, the fun of trying out software for a new purpose for the first real time. I snagged a photo of a punk girl off of google images and tried to paint it in Photoshop. I think it was one of the better people I have ever done in any medium, I am kind of proud of that face. That blog post also didn’t have any text. Literally just a sentence.
  3. Thursday’s third post (late afternoon?); continuing in Photoshop and feeling more confident because of what I consider a major improvement in the face department. I took a bunch of pictures of my own face, then painted myself in shop. It took a while to figure out how I wanted the background for it, I think it turned out “okay”. I can see some things I like and some things that are scary. This post has information on what I like about different programs that I use and on subject matter goal weeks for Sketch-a-Day and what are some themes or “things” that I want to improve in.
  4. Friday late at night; I posted a previous day’s Sketch-a-Day which I hadn’t posted online yet. If you are familiar with my post about the Unhinged Stairway and Perplexing Staircases, then you can see that I was trying to replicate or expand on the idea (not in the gallery above since it is older). I also expanded on the lore behind that setting thing and reiterated what I had previously mentioned as well. This post was mainly about expanding on the idea of the staircases and giving off some brabble about the location in the setting, it is also the first Sketch-a-Day to have shout outs and some songs listed that I listened to. In the shout outs, I linked to a game for the emergency gaming folder, chipmunks music on slowmo and to a blog post by a rpg design colleague. Worth a look.
  5. Saturdays art and info, this mornings writing; Early this morning I posted a colored pencil sketch I did. I think this is probably one of the better character faces I have ever done. A robo-artiste girl. First time using colored pencils since like, 9th ish grade? I mean, I have used them since then… but not multiple colors or even as color across the entirety of something. I gave an update on the various writing/rpg projects I am working on, the shout outs had a link to an amazing AP podcast, a Kickstarter of OSR Mutants from the guys who brought you the Character Funnel, a Netflix recommendation for RIVER and finally another free game (Cthulhu Dark home made zine edition) for the emergency gaming folder.

A quick critique

While I did do a quick critique on bullet posts 3, 4 and 5 (off the list above). I would like to look at what I did in Photoshop and what I think of each in order. So, the first three in the gallery on this post.

1. Photoshop Bridge and Towers

The first image of the bridge on the waste-city highway is a little hard to compare to the characters, but lets look at what I did to make it. I downloaded a ton of brushes from Deviantart to play with for starters. And then I played with them, I didn’t have a real vision in mind except that it was going to be dark and wild and tower-ee.

You can see that I was using a lot of different brushes and techniques because I was experimenting with photoshop. Lack of control along the edges of the towers is visible, if the towers overall in the front could have looked more along the line of the tower on the far right of the image, it would have improved it a lot in my eyes. As well, using this same amount of detail but gradually using less and focusing on sharper shapes one each tower further and further back would have drawn them all together and painted the sky better. It would have made it more interesting than it is. On the plus side, I do like the far right front tower. Another point to be just brought up, I was trying to make a black sky so that the towers had a very big contrast against it, but I still wanted brief clouds. These clouds had the right intentions, but when I put them in it was after redoing the sky about 6 times. Final point, the ground in the front, I should have used a smaller brush and made it a little more detailed or had minor details across a smoother ground.

2. Warmup Punk Girl

For a warmup and an attempt at a person that I found on Google Images. I think these are the main takeaways: the face looks pretty good compared to earlier faces I have done. The hair could have been placed better on the head, you know, to point in a similar direction to the face. The shirt should have been worked on a little bit, either I shouldn’t have added the black outlines and left it in a color block form or I should have gone and made the cloth have highlights and shadows and look like actual cloth. On a plus side, I think the arms are very very close to being proportionally correct.

3. Photoshop, dark Self Portrait

Okay, last of the Photoshop stuff for this week. And what can I say? I did a pretty good job on this self portrait, not as good as I wanted to do. But pretty good in comparison to previous attempts at self-portraits. What I like: the cheek facing the viewer has the texture I wish I had across the entirety of it. It is literally the kind of texture I was going for based off of DeviantArt inspiration. The hair is a little too tall or high when compared to the original picture I had taken, the check farthest away is too far “out” and is just a white line. Come on.

I like the eyes on this, they actually look like they should be with each other. Instead of two different types of crazy eyes. Finally, the forehead is pretty much a neanderthals forehead. Not what was in the picture, Having the eyebrow on the away eye jut out that much was a mistake which I should have caught. A lesson as to why zooming out often to see what your progress looks like is a good idea.

5. Colored Pencil Robo-Artiste-Gurl

I have mentioned it before, colored pencils are new to me. Just like just about everything else that I am doing here. What was good? Well, I like the color of the hair, I like the blue face and the darkness that is the edge of the one cheek. The face overall looks pretty good for a characters face, I am not usually good at looking straight at a face but it came out pretty good, all things considered. Next time I will probably try a different angle or perspective and attempt to show more animation or movement in her body language. Again, too soon to say much about the colored pencils, I know that I didn’t do any blending or layering of colors (except in the hair) to produce highlights or mixed colors. I will probably return to this character in the future, she’s got robo art punk.

Shout Outs

oh man, a couple things that deserve a look at. A game with cards, a netflix series that I have watched that is getting a second series and a YouTube channel about video game stuff that every game designer (tabletop even) should watch.

  • The Quiet Year is another game worthy of going into the emergency game folder. If you are unfamiliar with it, “it is a map game”. All you need is a printout of the rules and a standard deck of playing cards. Each of the cards is related to a single week during the “quiet year”. I am a bad person at product pitches, but it is only $8 in PDF (10 pages of rules, 5 pages of resources and 3 screen formats).
  • OH jee willickers! Marco Polo is getting a second season on Netflix and it will be coming out on July 1st. So, I am pumped! The first season was stellar and told an excellent story, it seems like everything that I decide to watch that is a netflix original is stellar (maybe because I choose great subjects to take a chance on? hmmm…). Either way, go watch this trailer and let me know if the first season didn’t look as awesome as I thought it was when I watched it. Then, go binge watch it like I did.
  • Do you play video games on Steam? Do you ever see those news feed links for games that have Rock. Paper. Shotgun as their source? Well, that guy has a Patreon and puts out episodes of Game Maker’s Toolkit (on YouTube). A well-researched analyzation of video games such as Darkest Dungeon, Doom, and Uncharted. I specifically think the Morality in Mechanics episode (ft. Darkest Dungeon) is something anyone who is into even tabletop game design with horror or sanity games, the flow of thoughts and their developments broken down based on what is visible is… pretty damn impressive.
  • OH! And here is a book set which inspired me to try out Photoshop for digital painting. 3dtotal publishing posts tons of digital art books and learning materials, but what interested me first was a gift from my father. Prime: The Definitive Digital Art Collection is a set of five full color amazing quality softcovers that are just page after page of artwork, each has credits for the artist and what software or tools were used. There is a book for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Scenes, Cartoons and Characters. I should flip through it some time and post it on youtube, but until I do so check this video out.

Now some music from today…

  • “Men’s Needs” – The Cribs (2007)
  • “Above All” – HOME (2014) (I was turned onto this by the most recent Role-Playing Public Radio podcast episode; it is available on Bandcamp)
  • “SING, SING, SING” – Benny Goodman (1959?)
  • All the pretty girls” – Kaleo (2014)