Friday, 24 June 2011

Commissions: Mini Characters

Recently I've been in a sort of an art-slump - it's not that I have nothing I want to draw, rather too much! I don't know what to do first: there's so many ideas bouncing around my head,  bashing into eachother, it makes it difficult to concentrate for extended periods...

These mini characters were done as special freebies - a different person chose each one- to kick-start my commissions. They helped to give me some focus:

The characters come from a variety of places, from left to right:
- Freddy of Nightmare on Elm Street fame
- The eponymous hero of Disney's Pinocchio
- Madoka from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
- Mr. Teatime from the Discworld novel, Hogfather (not the mini-series, where his glass eye is black).
- Riella, an original character created by a friend of mine, Leah Reddington.
- Ahiru (Duck) from Princess Tutu
- Finnbarge the talking boat, from a film by another friend of mine, Joe Loftus.
   Watch it here: To The Edge With Finnbarge

- A few of the characters' series were unfamiliar to me before this, and I had never drawn most of the ones I was familiar with, so it was a very interesting exercise!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Early Concept Artwork

So, I've been dreaming up ideas for my fourth year film - the big one, as they say.
I won't reveal too much yet (not least because so much is subject to change), but I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at some early concept artwork:

This was me trying to get the style of the setting down. It's a mock magazine cover, based on the covers of Vogue from the 1920's. 
I plan on making several of these for use in a background, where they'll be stuck onto a wall.

Here are some sketches of flapper girls - kind of rough colour tests. (Old-white features quite a bit in the colour palettes).
For these, I looked at lots of Hollywood starlets from the pre-colour era - (these girls were mainly inspired by Clara Bow and a young Angela Lansbury).

Hopefully I'll have some more early concepts to show soon.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Adventure Fantasy Fanart

I enjoy drawing fan art in my spare time, I use it to try out drawing well-known characters in different styles and such.

Here are some of my recent experiments, in which I tried to draw groups of characters who all look  different from one another:

Below is the main cast of Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time With Finn & Jake. It's one of my favourite shows to come out of Cartoon Network in the past while {others being The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and The Regular Show}. Adventure Time really captured my imagination, probably because I'm a fan of the fantasy adventure genre in general.   
Also, the character designs are awesome.

In the show, the characters are drawn with somewhat simplified faces, so here I tried drawing them in a slightly more detailed cartoon style, giving each distinct facial features:

Speaking of fantasy adventures, anyone who knows me knows that I love the Final Fantasy game series. (Though I must admit I never got into the games after X in a serious way)
There's just something about the earlier games in the series that appeal to me - probably because of the high wackiness content and period settings - they're more in the same vein as Adventure Time and D&D than the newer, more futuristic games. 

IX is one of my personal favourites for its somewhat Shakespearean setting and completely insane character designs. A lot of people didn't like it because it was more cartoony than its immediate predecessors, but I actually liked the cartooniness.

Below is my rendition of the Magus Sisters, a quirky miniboss squad from Final Fantasy IV.
For some reason they appear as giant bug ladies in Final Fantasy X, so I kind of mixed and matched elements of each incarnation together:

These both were loose pencil sketches that I scanned in and painted in Ye Olde Photoshoppe - I've been keeping a little of the sketchy quality in deliberately lately, I just like it better that way for some reason.

Real Vampires sketches

Here are some early concept sketches I did of Nosferatu and the older girls.  
Also, Claudia's Dracula-esque vampire. And some sort of crow-man-thing.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Real Vampires Backgrounds

Out of the backgrounds that I made for Real Vampires,  here are a few of my favourites that don't take elements from the original Nosferatu:

The alleyway and street corner where Nina's vampire hangs out:

The "spooky castle" where Claudia's vampire resides:

The graveyard: for the film, I used two different versions of this background - the one you see here, and another version that showed the graveyard from the opposite point of view (such as when Nosferatu jumps out from behind the tombstone).

The trees featured in each were taken from photographs I took one very foggy morning. I was on a different bus route to usual - I had hopped on what I dubbed a 'mystery bus', and got off at the morgue (because that's where my usual bus stop is, and the weird old building was easy to spot in the fog), and took some pictures of the old walls around it. I usually walk to the park to get my next bus, and I saw an opportunity to get some nice shots of Stephen's Green park in black & white - the bare trees and the thick fog over the lake created a kind of eerie beauty. It was like the set of a horror film, and what luck, because I had just started making my own!
I called it Kate's adventure in the fog, because I'm a bit excitable like that.

To Start as I Mean to Go On

My first blog post - where to start?

Since this is going to be primarily an art/animation blog, I think I'll start by posting a link to my latest short film, Real Vampires:

This was my third year personal project in IADT, and took roughly 12 weeks to complete. The characters were animated in Flash using the brush tool (no lines), with different sections of the character on different layers, in a similar fashion to ye olde cel animation.
The backgrounds were made in photoshop, using a mix of painting, my own photography, warping stock images, and layering textures. Many of the backgrounds incorporated elements from the scenery in Nosferatu (1922) ~ which is now, of course, in the public domain (which is why the titular character - also known as Count Orlok/Orlock - can appear in my film).
Everything was then composited using After Effects, one of my favourite programs - AE just gets me, ya know?

I'll be posting some of my favourite sketches and background designs here for viewing by the curious/foolish among you.

Fun Fact:
(Well, I think it's fun) 

The voices were provided by three of my friends and classmates ~ the older girls were voiced by Niall and Lee, who are in fact not women at all. Jess, who provides the voice of Claudia, was the only female cast member.
A big thank you to all three for some great performances!