The Art of Process

I’ve been meaning to do this (actually, THIS BLOG) but I never got around to it. I’m an amateur digital artist and I’ve done quite a few drawings that I’ve shared on my deviantART page. But I haven’t really shown a detailed way of HOW I draw. So this post will mostly be documentation of how I go through a drawing.

So for the purpose of this post, I’ll use a drawing I did some months ago which I’m actually quite proud of, considering I’ve only been drawing for roughly 2 years with no prior experience or training whatsoever. It’s a drawing of the character Cordelia from Fire Emblem: Awakening. So, this is fan art.

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Step 1: Obviously, the sketch. It’s actually pretty neat for a rough sketch, but that’s only because I’m a perfectionist!

cordelia progress 2

Step 2: Lineart. I draw best using lineart, I think. On the plus side, while drawing lineart, I can afford to make more mistakes during the rough sketch process (see the previous step), because I can then fix whatever needs to be fixed during this step. I actually placed the character’s leg in front of the wings.

cordelia progress 3

Step 3: Block colours and s beginning of shading. Self-explanatory, really. I block in flat colours into the drawing and began adding the first few shades here and there. The drawing obviously is FAR from finished, but I think you agree with me that it’s starting to take on life from this stage onward.

cordelia progress 4

Step 4: Final shading and background. Ugh, those clouds create WAY too much contrast against the deeply saturated colour of the sky in the background. In the next step, I add in highlights, and extra shading in certain parts to make the background blend a little better.

cordelia progress 5

Step 5: Highlights, special effects, airbrushing. The drawing is almost finished.

cordelia progress 6

Step 6: Effects and final touches. The drawing is finally finished! I know, it’s not the best drawing out there, but it’s one of MY best drawings to date.

So, there you have it. Maybe this post will help other aspiring and beginning artists out there who are interested in creating digital art in the way I do. I still have much to improve on, but I HAVE improved on subsequent drawings. You can always check out my deviantART. And by ‘can’ I really mean you MUST. Do it.

Cordelia does not belong to me (obviously), as this is a piece of fan art. Program I used: Paint Tool SAI.

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Fertilized Chicken Eggs

I’ve recently succumbed to a strange paranoia that only started after living on my own and having to cook for myself.

Fertilized chicken eggs.

Absolutely ridiculous, I know. Eggs bought at the supermarket come from hens who are never allowed within mating proximity of a rooster. Still, for some strange reason, I have now started to check the yolk of every egg I crack to look for signs of fertilization. It’s annoying and is a VERY strange kind of paranoia I have never experienced.

Apparently I’ve become an expert at trying to know whether an egg has been fertilized or not. A technique I initially used was candling. It’s basically shining a light through the shell and trying to find veins or signs of a developing heart. Ugh. But I wasn’t satisfied there, because even if the cells even divided a few times, I would not feel good about eating that egg.

So there’s no use but to actually crack open the egg.

And here comes another weird paranoia thing. I’m frightened by the fact that every time I crack open an egg, a half-developed chicken embryo will flop down onto my hot frying pan and start screaming to its death. I’m a bit squeamish, I hate touching anything alive that’s slimy, slithery, slippery. I’m deathly afraid of touching fish, let alone reptiles or insects. Don’t get me started on worms. But yes, back to the chicken embryo. I’m still afraid that it will happen someday and that by strange circumstances and fate and the alignment of the planets, I will SOMEHOW purchase a carton of eggs containing an egg that had been fertilized. SOMEHOW I manage to get that egg. Hasn’t happened, but I’m still strangely worried that it will, and that’s annoying.

So, what does this mean for me? Is it my subconscious telling me that I should stop eating eggs? I mean, I was FINE eating eggs before all this happened. Maybe I should go vegan. Wait, nah … that would be a LOT of work. And I don’t think I have the appropriate mentality right now to even attempt a vegan diet. Maybe some other time.

I guess it’s a subconscious way of me expressing the fact that I hate to be directly involved in the death of a higher-ordered living organism. Technically, it’s not really MY fault that the egg was fertilized, but still. To know that that egg could have possibly hatched into a cute little yellow chick is … pretty unsettling.

So, there you have it. My strange paranoia about eating a fertilized chicken egg. Here’s a wonderful site that explains a few things about fertilized and unfertilized chicken eggs: click! I’ve become an expert thanks to that site! Sort of.

Now, will I forever have this phobia? Probably not. I figure it’ll SIMMER DOWN a little bit over time. As they say, we should always try to face our fears instead of running away from them, so I’m going to go cook a bunch of eggs now. Bon apetit! (Yes, I deliberately spelled that wrong. Ape Tit is funny.)

Pokemon!

Pokemon! What better time to do a review of Pokemon X and Y, the newest games in the franchise, and the future of Pokemon in general?

I practically grew up with Pokemon. I still remember playing the very first Blue and Red versions on a family friend’s borrowed Gameboy Colour. Those were the days! I feel old. But when you’ve grown up with something like that, and played nearly every single game in every generation of subsequent Pokemon games, you can’t help being a little nostalgic when they reintroduce old stuff in new games.

And that’s what Game Freak did. Pokemon X and Y contain huge fanservice. Oh, and did you know you can SIT ON BENCHES. For years and years, your character in the game was limited in how much he/she could interact with the environment, but now you can just totally CHILL on an instrument of ass elevation. Like seriously.

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(Source: Me)

Not only are the graphics profound and a HUGE transformation for the series, the new region has a bunch of OLD POKEMON. And by a bunch I mean pretty much half of all existing Pokemon packed into a single region. I’ve already finished the Elite Four and I’m still slaving the hours away trying to even FIND all the Pokemon available, let alone CATCH them.

The game also introduces a plethora of new features. One I like is Pokemon-Amie. It’s like Nintendogs, except with Pokemon. Thanks to the new 3D graphics, you can PET and TOUCH your Pokemon, like real creatures. It may not seem like a game-changing feature, but to me personally, it gives Pokemon a whole new dimension. No longer are they just static pixel sprites on the screen with weird ass bit-like sounds as cries. They are now truly interactive creatures with emotions! Yeah, if you literally rub them the wrong way, they can get mad at you. That amount of realism is fantastic! In subsequent games, I expect Gamefreak to improve on this.

There are so much more FANTASTIC stuff in this game that it would be an immense injustice to stop here, but I can’t write anymore because my fingers will fall off soon. Plus this post is stretching a bit. I do want to say this though; if you’re a fan or new to the series, consider getting Pokemon X and/or Y. This game is a fantastic entry point for those new to Pokemon and a massive smorgasbord of fanservice for Gen-wunner players.

Do it. But it. Play it. Sell your soul to Game Freak.

University Life

Well, it happens to quite a lot of people.

You grow up.

Oh, I won’t pretend that I wasn’t extremely excited to finally leave home and be a part of the outside world. I still am, to some extent. After I graduated high school with a relatively high score compared to my classmates, I was thrilled to find out UBC had accepted me! (They already did months before I graduated, in fact) So I spent my first holiday without school in absolute delight, thinking about university life and preparing for my next journey in academics.

Fast forward to my second year and I’ve got Louis Vuitton bags. Underneath my eyes. Procrastination: it never leaves you. My God.

Now, I shouldn’t be complaining. I’ve got a nice little studio apartment that I’ve rented, my parents have promised to support me financially throughout my entire undergraduate degree and I have more than quite possibly a good two-thirds of the world’s population. I have no right to complain.

So this is not a complaint. This is more of a REFLECTION.

I love UBC, don’t get me wrong. I love university life. To be able to go to class (or skip them), to have something to study, to know that you have the opportunity to further yourself and to not worry about the basic things in life … it’s wonderful. But that doesn’t mean it does not come with it’s own hardships.

I can say quite truthfully that I should be handling my academic problems better. After the lowest marks I’ve ever received for my most recent round of midterms, it sparked an urge inside me to reflect on what I’m actually doing. What’s the purpose of me being in a first class world university when I can’t even figure out how to find local minimums and maximums and saddlepoints on level curve diagrams in Calculus?!

Long story short, I’ve already moved passed that point where you wonder whether your efforts are worth it. OF COURSE they are worth it. Well, they better damn be. I KNOW that what I’m doing will be all worth it and my struggles will shape me into a better person, yada-yada. But even if I KNOW that, it doesn’t mean I’m completely free of other struggles. Like procrastination.

I guess it’s more of a failing on my part. I’d better get back to work. I get distracted far too easily. Yes! That’s the thing. Distractions. Too many distractions. It’s BECAUSE I have many things to be thankful for that I am constantly being distracted by the things I enjoy: the Internet, video games, bananas, etc.

So from this reflection, I think it’s important to have the ability to temporarily turn away from these distractions. Imagine that you don’t HAVE these things at all and that your hard work will reward you with them! Sounds simple, but it’s not. I think it’s obvious. But hey, I’m getting there.

I wonder how I’m going to catch more zzz’s though.