Beaver With Hockey Stick Drawing
drawing, illustration, sketches

(Very) Rough Sketch Sneak-Preview

Here is a bit of a secret look at the next project I am working on. These are a set of character sketches for some upcoming work.  I’m trying to find some characteristics that I like enough to put into my next composition. After spending so much time last piece on a composition I wasn’t crazy about, I’m going to be planning much more!

I can’t say too much about this now, but more to come soon!

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Elephant Lino Process
illustration, Printmaking

Dr. Elephant Eyepatch (Giveaway at Bottom)

Elephant Lino 6img026 copyDr. Elephant Eyepatch

Elephant Lino 4Elephant Lino 7WP_20131102_010 copyElephant Lino 3Elephant Lino 5Elephant Lino 2img027 copyWell! I made so many of these I’m going to give five away for free. The first five people to request one will have it mailed to them. Email me at vanvliet.dave@gmail.com, or comment below. Thanks for viewing!

**EDIT** Well, thats all 5, thanks to everyone who commented, posted, and sent me emails. These went fast, they were all gone in about 7 hours. I will try to do something like this again in the future. Thanks!

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illustration

The Problem with BIG

How do you make dinosaurs big?  Easy right?  Thats what I thought, turns out its not nearly as easy as I thought.  Todays topic: Forced perspective and making things BIG.

WP_20131027_009After working on my previous drawing of a dinosaur for the last couple of weeks (an hour or so every couple of evenings), I began to think that the composition could really use some work.  I found it to be un-engaging, borderline boring even.

I have enjoyed working with the contour lines, and it has been fun working with colour, but it’s time to work on some composition.

So, sitting down, I began to sketch out some thumbnail ideas.

img019 copyI decided it would be a good idea to try and create a dynamic composition where the dinosaur is being viewed from the bottom up, full of dramatic size and imposing frame.  The problem? Every time I tried to draw the dinosaur as BIG he came out as FAT.  Check these out.

I went back and for the between drawing, and looking at these reference images below. These artists did a good job of creating characters that look large, without being overweight. Some even look skinny!

Below is an drawing that I’m starting to feel ok with. The front claws are off, and he still looks a bit fat, but I’m happy with where it is headed. Some things I found helpful:

  • Placing one leg in the foreground, with exaggerated scale, helps to really emphasize the forced perspective.
  • The hanging hand, narrowing as it rises, helps to show how tall the dinosaur is.
  • Adding trees and birds aids in adding a sense of comparison and scale to the image.
  • Showing the underside of the clouds helps explain that the viewer is looking up rather that from the side.

img018 copyLet me know what you think. If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to make this guy look LARGE without looking fat, post them! I would love some help.

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Uncategorized

How to Draw a Shrew

So I tried a bit of an exercise I saw done by illustrator Will Terry in a video he put out on designing characters for children’s books, and you should try it too!  Will shows a neat trick that works well when drawing animals, no matter what the shape, size, or animal type.

He says that while drawing if you are able to pick out important characteristics of an animal, (a cat for example has whiskers, a tail, a set of round lips, pointy eats, etc) then you can draw those characteristics on any shape and your drawing will be recognizable as that animal.  If you press play below the video will jump to the relevant section.


After watching him, I decided to give it a shot on my own, but instead of using the characteristics of a cat, I would use those of a shrew.  I pulled up some images on google to get an idea of what I was looking for, and came of with these traits:

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 9.38.42 PM

I then sketched out a series of different head and body shapes on to a large piece of paper, and added the shrew characteristics afterwards.  Pretty fun!

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Please excuse the poor quality of the images below.  I captured the work-in-progress pictures on my cell phone, rather than scanning them in, so the colour is quite off.  

 

I found it really interesting that even shapes I was sure wouldn’t look like a shrew, did after all the characteristics were added.  (Although some maybe were a little shaky.)

WP_20131015_032 copyShrew b&wSo, a neat exercise to try on your own!  Choose an animal you find interesting, give it a shot and let me know how it goes.  If you actually try it out, send me a photo and I will upload them!

Oh also, I have some more dinosaur work to put up here in a little bit, maybe around this time next week, so stay tuned!

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illustration, photoshop

Dinosaur Work Continues!

Back to work!

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 6.14.48 PMI’ve been working the last few evenings on tightening up the ideas I had presented in a previous post. With the help of some home made espresso, I printed out a rough outline of my earlier dinosaur sketch and sat down to draw!

WP_20131005_003Something to drink of course.

WP_20131005_005Here is the printed outline filled with pencil lines.  I really am using these contour lines for two reasons.  The first is to add a bit of interest and diversity to the image, allowing for some variety in colour. The second, and possibly more important, is that it allows me to create the illusion of volume and depth.

Click to enlarge any of these images.  These show a bit of my process, and help illuminate a couple of decisions I have been making along the way.

Photoshop Screenshot

So here it is so far.  There are still some improvements to be made, and I’m not 100% happy with some of the contour stripes, but it is a good proof of concept.  Next stop, some environment and context.

Let me know if you like it, or if you have any suggestions.

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Uncategorized

Some Dinosaur Ideas

Over the last few evenings I’ve been playing around with this sketch of a dinosaur.  I swapped the large muscular legs and skinny arms of a T-rex around, creating a kind of chicken legged dinosaur who lifts.

Some of these images I am more partial to than other, I think I find the 5th, 6th, 9th, and 10th the most interesting.

img003Original sketch

img004Brush and ink on paper

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 1.27.02 PM

Paths in illustrator

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.50.44 PMMessing in illustrator

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.53.08 PMMessing in illustrator cont.

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.53.34 PMFlat image in illustrator w/o outlines

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.54.56 PMIllustrator + loose shading in photoshop

img002Sketch w/ more interior lines

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.49.05 PM adding some colors

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.48.43 PM Colours in photoshop w/o lines

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.45.20 PMLines + shading + textures

I haven’t settled on any one style yet.  Which one do you prefer?

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