"Flights of Fancy"

Wacom Companion, Paint Tool Sai, Photoshop CC

After being sick and tired of being a typical worker bee in their respectable hives, this trio came together to build a plane and take to the skies and travel the world; helping people and having adventures.

They built the plane together, and they fly it just the same. They all have their roles and have become self-trained experts at what they do:

The big guy is the best pilot their side of the world has seen, with the ability to fly through and around anything!

The one in the back is the best navigator and tracker around, being able to find his way to anywhere, from anywhere.

The excited one at the top is the best dealing with all things communications. If you have a message you need communicated, he can do it. He also gets excited and often uses the air-horn to excitedly let all the townspeople know that they’ve arrived or are departing.

By living their lives traveling around the world, they’ve earned a reputation for themselves. But they’ve never felt like celebrities. They’ve always felt like just good returning friends.

There’s this elaborate story that developed in my head during the creation of this piece, and this is just a snippet.

This is a Valentines Day gift for Chris (who also helped me create this piece) and Jeff, some of my most favorite people in the world.

What better way to celebrate the good people in your lives than with something full of adventure and wonder? 

Close-up Detail Shots:

Art Process Recording

Using the Wacom Cintiq and primarily Paint Tool Sai, along with Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC, most of the process was actually screen-recorded. Here’s a video of the process. It’s 10+ hours of footage compressed into about 10 minutes:

Original Music Composition

A second part of this Valentine’s Day gift was created from the process itself. I was listening to Bread’s song, “Aubrey”. It’s a song I’ve always loved, but it felt very fitting for this entire story in my head. It’s very emotional, albeit a little melancholy, and its tone made me think of how much of the trio’s time was in the sky, once their nerves calmed down from their recent adventure, they’d get quiet and let their minds float among the clouds they were coasting through and just think about everything.

They’d think about life, they’d think about what makes them happy and scared, they’d look around them and think about how big the world is and how small they felt hovering above it… and they’d learn to just be okay and happy with everything. They’d learn to find solace in those clouds.

So I tried to take the same emotion that “Aubrey” has but translate it into a song that I imagine playing its initial slower part as they were saying their goodbyes, until the song picks up into an upbeat rhythem, and we see their plane swooping into view above the ocean waters until they’re up in the clouds, contently smiling about all the good they’ve done helping out all the people they did in their recent adventure.

The song is a bit hectic; it starts slow and becomes upbeat, then slow again and upbeat again, over and over. But it felt very fitting for their kind of life of constant adventures and wonders.

You can hear the song here:

It was a lot of fun to make. Chris dubbed the plane “Fancy” because that was the kind of flights this trio would go on. I instantly loved the idea! Then he designed the logo, and we put it all together. Thanks for your overall help, Chris. 

The result is this piece, visually and even on a technical level, is one of my most favorite pieces that we have ever done. Really proud of this one.

"Greyscale Sulley Portait"

Paint Tool Sai

Been continuing some heavy practice with the Wacom Companion and Paint Tool Sai, and it’s just endlessly fun to be able to bust these out sitting in bed or on the couch, with an impressive battery life (considering what the battery is all powering).

Been thinking about how much I actually really love Sulley, specifically from Monsters University. Something about him was just really fun and charming, so I decided to use him as a test subject. (As I hum and listened to “Glory” from the soundtrack on repeat)

This piece probably took a good 5 hours of total work, because the original version is really high-res… so more physical canvas to cover means a lot more time spent. If created at half the size, I really think it would be half the amount of time spent, because I wouldn’t have to zoom in as far to cover pixel areas in detail.

It’s a lot of fun. I think I wanna try recording one of these speedpaints sometime.

Windows 8 is still annoying.

"Wacom Companion - Photoshop Speed Test"

Photoshop CC

This is an unscientific speed test for the Wacom Companion using Photoshop CC with the following settings:

  • Wacom Companion on High Performance Mode
  • 5700px x 6300px Canvas Size
  • 72ppi
  • Hard Round Brush at 22px 

I start off slow and build up my speed throughout the test, starting with a slow speed that I might realistically want to paint something, up to a high speed that I’d most likely never paint just to push the hardware and software.

My Impressions: I’m impressed. There’s little latency in these tests (it’s on par with any Wacom Intuos) and when I use it to draw and paint in a realistic setting working on personal work, I notice no lag at all.

So to be honest, it’s been a dream to work with.

However, there WAS a little bit of setup; I’m running the latest drivers, OS, and photoshop. It was laggy at first, but it had fixed itself.

I may write about it in a more detailed review on the entire product though. I’d actually like to write a review with Chris Drummonds, for BOTH the Wacom Companion and Wacom Companion Hybrid.

Overall, I’m not kissing any ass when I say that I’m loving the hell out of it.

I’ve also tested Paint Tool Sai and Flash heavily on the Wacom Companion and it runs like a dream.

"Greyscale Jeff Portrait 01"

Paint Tool Sai

So I got a new Wacom Companion, and I’ve only lightly used Paint Tool SAI in the past but always hear good things about it.

Referenced from a photo from one of his SCA events. Jeff has been a real great friend, so much that it’s difficult to ever feel like you can properly express it. Doing artwork for people you care about always feels extra nice.

In order to kill two birds with one stone, I did some greyscale paintings, including this one here of my friend, Jeff.

Double Whammy.

Painting a human face is something I’ve done many times in the past, but capturing likeness is incredibly difficult for me, so I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out. I can’t say it’s anywhere near perfect, but there’s enough likeness in it, that I’m real happy with it.

Paint Tool Sai’s default paint brushes feel the way I’ve been trying to get Photoshop’s painty brushes to feel for years. It’s great.

The Wacom Companion performs amazingly well, and I can safely say I’m very pleased with it. It feels good to be able to wake up in bed, and pull the tablet into my lap and instantly start drawing with Sai, or Photoshop, or Flash, or whatever art program I feel like using. 

Windows 8 leaves something to be desired, but I suppose that’s a bullet I have to bite, because once I’m in drawing mode, the OS fades away (mostly).

"Almost Chival Portraits"

Adobe Flash

So randomly on a whim lastnight, I decided to do photo-overlayed vector portraits of two close friends of mine, Chris with his husband Jeff, and myself.

Sometimes you don’t need a reason to want to do something to make people you care about, smile.

I guess they’re suppose to look like faux-paintings while retaining their messy-vector look with strong popping colors… almost with an 80’s kinda feel.

Even as a photo-overlay, capturing likeliness is still pretty difficult.

Also doing this heightened my facial-hair-envy.

AuraWolf (character owned by him) with some of those pesky metroids who have seemed to find him…

ArtRage and Photoshop. 

Chris Drummonds and I made papertoys.

You can check em out at: http://tabsandslots.com/papertoys

This video is a silly little promotional ad. Yeah, that’s me. 

This is Roarmero

He’s a brute of a zombie bear, who had obviously survived a few attacks from survivors… who didn’t seem to survive. He’s spilling his cuts, and has a eyeball dangling from one eye-socket.

This is one of the two papertoys that Chris Drummonds and I have been working on together. It’s a pretty well and even collaboration, and we’re very proud and excited to share these with other people.

Photographed by Chris Drummonds

You can actually get your own paper pet zombie here: http://tabsandslots.com/papertoys/index.html

 

 

This is Salivini.

He’s a zombie dog, who’s been through a bit, and his battle scars show it; his dripping arm nub, and cracked open skull hasn’t stopped him yet from seeking brains to eat. 

This is one of the two papertoys that Chris Drummonds and I have been working on together. It’s a pretty well and even collaboration, and we’re very proud and excited to share these with other people.

You can actually get your own paper pet zombie here: http://tabsandslots.com/papertoys/index.html

 

Chris engineered and put together the bear zombie we’re also doing to add to the roster of our paper pet zombies. :)

Chris Drummonds engineered and constructed the papertoy design for the zombie dog. :) He did a great job. We wanted this to be simple enough for anybody to be able to fold. 

Here’s a sketch of a papertoy zombie dog that my close friend, Chris Drummonds and I, are working on. To be honest, he’s doing the bulk and harder work. ;3 Which I’m grateful for, cause it’s stuff I couldn’t do and not nearly as well as he.

I sketch, he engineers and constructs, and I color. 

We’re planning to create and spread the papertoy zombie love :) Here’s the sketch for the zombie dog. 

Digital paint test, using PaintTool Sai for the first time on anything substantial. Photo reference was used, and colors referenced from some art-deco piece.

I’m definitely anxious to see what else I can do with this program. It’s a lot of fun!

Lazy sunday timed sketches.
It’s been awhile since I’ve sketched or drawn with a real pencil, and with not much else to do, I decided to pull it out and brush up a little bit with some sketches. You can never sketch enough.
It really felt good and fun. I’m a real slow artist, so timed sketches are something I really should be doing more often.
With these, I try to do them as fast as I can, while making sure I don’t overload the pencil strokes or details; just trying to capture what I need with the pencil strokes I need.
I struggled the most with the third sketch. Kyle is just really hard for me to draw. But I did my best for a timed sketch. Lazy sunday timed sketches.
It’s been awhile since I’ve sketched or drawn with a real pencil, and with not much else to do, I decided to pull it out and brush up a little bit with some sketches. You can never sketch enough.
It really felt good and fun. I’m a real slow artist, so timed sketches are something I really should be doing more often.
With these, I try to do them as fast as I can, while making sure I don’t overload the pencil strokes or details; just trying to capture what I need with the pencil strokes I need.
I struggled the most with the third sketch. Kyle is just really hard for me to draw. But I did my best for a timed sketch. Lazy sunday timed sketches.
It’s been awhile since I’ve sketched or drawn with a real pencil, and with not much else to do, I decided to pull it out and brush up a little bit with some sketches. You can never sketch enough.
It really felt good and fun. I’m a real slow artist, so timed sketches are something I really should be doing more often.
With these, I try to do them as fast as I can, while making sure I don’t overload the pencil strokes or details; just trying to capture what I need with the pencil strokes I need.
I struggled the most with the third sketch. Kyle is just really hard for me to draw. But I did my best for a timed sketch.

Lazy sunday timed sketches.

It’s been awhile since I’ve sketched or drawn with a real pencil, and with not much else to do, I decided to pull it out and brush up a little bit with some sketches. You can never sketch enough.

It really felt good and fun. I’m a real slow artist, so timed sketches are something I really should be doing more often.

With these, I try to do them as fast as I can, while making sure I don’t overload the pencil strokes or details; just trying to capture what I need with the pencil strokes I need.

I struggled the most with the third sketch. Kyle is just really hard for me to draw. But I did my best for a timed sketch.

Pom-Pom is fuckin Boss.

The WORLD is full of MAGIC”

I came across a song and music video, called "Magic" by The Sound of Arrows, and I had to do a quick little fanart thing.

I’ve always loved really whimsical, world-of-possibilities, sense of discover and mystery and wonder, and innocent kids learning it all and… all that kinda stuff.

I knew my friend, Chris D. loves all that kinda stuff too as much as I do, and so hopefully others will too! :)