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Topics - Czarine

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Art and Elfquest / EQ Fan Art paint chat is open!
« on: January 11, 2020, 01:39:16 PM »
To encourage people to draw more, I've opened a paint chat in AnonDraw:


It's a private paint chat room, which can be accessed only through the link above. :) Save it for easy access!

  • Stick to EQ related art, the same as in EQ Fan Art.
  • Do not mess others' drawings. Collabs are welcome, just make sure both/all parties agree on it!
  • Nudity & Violence = same level as in EQ.
  • There's no skill limit! Draw stick figures if you like. :)
  • If you don't feel like drawing anything, feel free to lurk around and watch others draw.

  • Claim your own drawing space by coloring in a background "cloud". That way you don't accidentally draw on other's drawings, and it's clear whose space belongs to whom. Sign your clouds, so people know it's you!
  • Change your nickname at the top left.
  • The chat on the right resets every time you leave the room and return. If you wish to leave more permanent comments on drawings when the artist is not online, leave it on a "cloud" next to the drawing, or someplace where it won't bother the artist. The artist can draw over comments freely.
  • The canvas is infinite, so everyone should have enough space to work with. There's some limit to the ink, but I'm not 100% sure how it works (it can handle my and Berit's scribble sessions just fine, so shouldn't be a problem).

  • There's no eraser, but ctrl+z works as undo.
  • There are no layers, but you can adjust the brush opacity where the colors are (next to zoom buttons).
  • Clicking an artist's nickname will take you to where they're drawing. If you click the eye icon next to it, you can make the screen follow where they're currently drawing on the board.
  • To hide the user interface click on the arrow on the top right corner.

  • B = Brush
  • V / P = Color picker
  • G = pan the canvas
  • M = flip the canvas (shows only on your canvas, doesn't affect other artists)

If you have any questions, I can try to answer them here. You can also announce here if you are about to draw there, so others can join. :)

Art and Elfquest / MistQuest devlog
« on: June 04, 2018, 01:55:54 PM »
I decided to put up a devlog for the EQ fanart RPG visual novel I mentioned I'd make. Berit said he'd help me with art and text, yay! This will also help me pull through the project. I'm using TyranoBuilder as the game engine, and I'm making the art mostly in Gimp.

First, some glossary:
  • branching = making the current storyline split into two or more alternative storylines. The player has to choose which one of the storyline "branches" to follow to progress the story. Branching enables the player to play the game again with a different story/point of view.
  • loop = A storyline branch that diverges from the main branch, and merges back into it later.
  • devlog = development log. A blog that records the development of a game, usually written by the game developer.
  • placeholder = a quickly made asset, that will be replaced later with a polished version. Used to enable testing the game as early as possible.
  • sprite = an image, usually a character. Can be animated.
  • Twine = a free text adventure game engine.
  • TyranoBuilder = a commercial visual novel game engine.
  • visual novel = a narrative-heavy game, that has a branching storyline, pictures and audio. Usually requires very little player interaction. Kinda like choose-your-own-adventure books, where there can be several endings to the story.

    TO-DO list:

  • arrange the story into branches in Twine
  • clean up branches in Twine
  • draw character sprite placeholders
  • list character expressions

  • draw character sprites
  • draw character expressions
  • edit background art
  • edit foreground art

  • draw/make user interface
  • draw/make main menu art
  • draw/make other menu art
  • credits

  • find ambient sounds
  • find/make foley sounds
  • find music?

Code character branches:
  • Laluna
  • Marut
  • Tomi
  • Rustle
  • Tidemist
  • Vaeri
  • Moondrop
  • Dusk

Art and Elfquest / Czarine's Art Progress
« on: December 11, 2017, 02:57:17 PM »
I promised Treefox that I'd put up a step by step of my "Brothers" picture, so here goes! The timings are estimates, because I did this over a few days, working a few hours at a time.

Finished picture here:

1. References

Time: 1-3h

I usually start by gathering reference images of the characters I want to draw. Since I don't own any copies of the comics, I have to use Google. I need to try and save some money for a Complete Quest edition!

After I've got enough references, I draw a quick sketch of the characters and their gear (optional), more like a note than a correct portrayal of the characters. Sometimes I skip the sketch if there's a good enough reference screenshot.

2. Sketch

Time: 2-3h

Then starts the actual drawing process in Gimp. I like to start with an A4 300dpi canvas with white background. I like to sketch very loosely, and plan the poses on the go. I use just a hard round basic brush, with pressure sensitivity on size. Oh right! I draw with a Wacom Intuos 4 graphics tablet.

Rather than erasing something I don't like, I just make a new layer and continue sketching. That's why some of my layers are incomplete and show only a part of a character.

During this phase, I use Gimp to cut, copy, stretch and scale parts of the sketch to get the proportions and placements how I want them. Unlike traditional drawing, it's easier to compose multiple variations of the scene this way.

Sometimes the characters' poses change quite a bit while I'm sketching. I first sketched the brothers sitting leisurely, but it felt kinda boring, so I decided to make them laugh. I imagined I'd draw One-Eye leaning forward in a fit of laughter, but since the pose was too parallel to Longbranch's, I decided to make One-Eye lean back instead. This way the scene became more open.

It might take around ten layers worth of versions before I settle on a composition I like.

I'm not too concerned when it comes to sketching a forest background. I usually leave it to the line art phase, so it really doesn't have a proper sketch. Drawing shrubbery and trees are easy when drawing background, because they forgive so much in perspective compared to buildings that cannot have irregular shapes. For now, gestures of the trees that the characters touch are enough.

3. Line Art

Time: ~2h

After sketching comes the line art phase. For this, I give the image an outline (if necessary), and save it as a transparent .png. Then I open it in MyPaint. You could just finish the image in Gimp, but I like the brushes and drawing environment in MyPaint, so I like to do the line-art and coloring process there. Besides, it's completely free!

Since MyPaint has an infinite canvas, you can't tell where the original image borders are. That's where the previously made outline comes in handy, especially if making something for the calendar. But since this doesn't have any strict measures, it doesn't matter.

I pick a brush that's to my liking (I think this time it was a "deevad/2B pencil", which has a very pencil-like look), adjust the line and start drawing with the characters.

Most of the time I start drawing the characters from their head, but sometimes I might start from their torso, too. It really depends on which part of the character seems to be "central" to their positioning in the image as a whole. The same goes with faces, so I often start drawing the facial features from the character's nose. It makes grasping the proportions of the character and the scene easier, because the rest of the character kind of "extends" or "fans out" of that spot. With traditional art it also helps preventing the character's head or feet getting cut off the paper during sketching!

Sometimes, if the image has a lot of overlapping characters or objects that have details, I draw their line arts on separate layers. That way I don't need to worry about erasing some lines off a character I've already finished outlining. In this case, the characters weren't overlapping, and the image itself was quite simple, so I drew everything on one layer.

After I've drawn the characters, I draw the background. This is often a very relaxed part of the process, since I can draw details on the go and without much precision. The only thing I try to focus on is how the lines in the image guide the viewers eyes. In this case, the trees and bushes try to guide the viewer's eyes back to the characters. The weakest spot is on the lower left side of the picture, because there's nothing to bounce the focus back to the center, but the multiple parallel lines formed by the horizontal trees should balance it out.

Sometimes at this stage of the process I take the line art to Gimp, if there's still some cut/paste/scale work to do with bad character proportions. I try to avoid this, because the line quality gets worse when it's stretched, but I'd rather have a bit blurry lines with good proportions than bad proportions with crisp lines. If something's really off, I might fix it even when I've already added colors too! O_o

4. Colors

Time: 1-2h

Then it's time for my (in)famous sloppy coloringTM! MyPaint has a nice, light brown (or warm grey?) background to start with, so I kept it. I wanted to give this image a dreamy feeling, so I didn't put any flat colors in. Instead, I picked a "deevad/watercolor glazing" brush, and loosely applied a layer of low-saturation green to form shadows and a yellowish green for midtones.

The watercolor glazing brush is great for this, because its pressure sensitivity affects the size and lightness of the brush, meaning that you can go over darker areas with a lighter pressure to blend the light and dark color together, sometimes even adding lighter color over a darker one. I like this brush, because it mimics watercolors but gives you better control over the outcome.

My coloring process goes mostly like this when I'm not using flats as midtones:
  • Shadows
  • Midtones
  • Highlights
  • Deeper shadows
  • Stronger highlights

Usually I color everything in grayscale before adding colors (hues) on an overlay layer, but since this was going to be almost monochromatic, I skipped that. I used the watercolor brush to get variation to the color values. When coloring, I don't use many layers, unless I'm uncertain if a color will work well on the image.

I'm not very good at picking colors. I often end up with over saturated rainbow-puke drawings, so working with monochrome is easier for me. I decided to stick with greens, yellows and blues, because they all can be mixed with each other pretty much in any way without looking bad. I made the darkest greens and yellows quite warm, but added highlights in a cold, blueish hue to give the image an eerie feel. To enhance that, I blended the edges of the image to fade to the canvas color.

The watercolor glazing brush can do wonders with just one color and some changes in the brush size.
5. Adjustments

Time: ~20 min

After this, I saved the image as .png and moved back to Gimp. There I adjusted the levels, contrast and saturation to my liking. This time I lightened the image quite a bit, and added lighter color to the edges to give a kind of vignette to the image. Lastly, I cropped the image a bit.

That's it! I hope I didn't forget anything. :D

Art and Elfquest / Character references?
« on: February 22, 2016, 10:36:21 AM »
Whenever I'm drawing for the calendar or for fun, the most of my time is spent on finding proper reference images of the elves. I like to draw characters that aren't that popular, but they don't have much reference material online. Even the popular ones are hard to find! The wikis and such usually only have a portrait, and sometimes not even that. I like to draw full bodies, so I need to see the whole character, not just his/her face. Most of the time I end up getting lost at elfquest.com's digital comics section, since I don't own any copies of the comics. And to find the character you're looking for, if you don't know in which issue he/she appears... it's a pain!

So, where do you guys get your references for the elves?
And, is there a place where references could be dumped/added?

It's a kind of waste, if I spend a lot of time finding references for a certain piece of art, and after that the material just keeps collecting dust in my folders when it could be useful to somebody.  :-\

The Other Art Gallery / Czarine's other stuff
« on: February 12, 2013, 04:42:33 PM »
Berit likes to draw on many kinds of stuff with many kinds of media, and he said it's hard to find gray cardboard for highlighters, which tend to be too bright on any white paper. Berit's problem was about not having enough gray cardboard to draw on, when I realized I have way too many empty cereal boxes lying around. I have no idea if they are suitable for highlighters, but I wanted to try and bind a sketchbook out of them. Here are the test results! I might bind a bigger one later when I have more time.

If you want to know about japanese binding, see here: http://youtu.be/j-r6c_trSxY

Hehe, I think I'll give the book to Berit as a valentine's day gift.  ;D

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