Warm up sketch of the truck from the movie Monster Trucks.
Scott's new 311 art now available at the 311 store! Order by 12/15 for special pricing and to get it by Christmas! Both prints are 12x18. One features the classic poses from the original character done during 311 Day with a blue album homage and the second features "Applied Science" drum solo poses from the summer 2016 tour shirt! Prints are a limited edition of 311. Don't miss out on a chance to own them before they're gone!
Sketching up an adventure! Yay for Power Wheels! Always fun to get out and explore with a friend (and a happy dog leading the way!).
Trayner Bane, author of the Windhollows book series, had written an impressive draft of the backstory for his video game. Now he needed a character designer. Insert montage of months of fraught searching for the perfect person. In reality, Google turned up a search in 0.48502 seconds. He emailed me. I replied. We talked on the phone. And here we are.
Windhollows is destined to become a video game, but along the way has also evolved into a book series. Although the story is playful and fun, it deals with some emotional topics such as single parent families and bullying. Lightheartedness is provided by funny characters and their friendships. The story takes place in the Land of Windhollows, which is primarily inhabited by Beanians and Weanians. PU2 is a precious resource in the lands and one that is being silently amassed by Dr. Rip Stinker who amassed all of Billy's essence of PU2 at birth, forcing Billy to endure life as a Bare Pants. As Billy grows older, he learns that he has more in common with Dr. Rip Stinker that he thinks. Eventually he makes discoveries about the Lands, its inhabitants, and his strange link to Dr. Rip Stinker, to eventually become the reluctant hero.
I really enjoy character design and thinking about the personality of the character and depicting the outward appearance of personality is both challenging and fun. The process requires making tons of drawings and there’s always a thrill when the character starts to emerge from all that drawing.
So, here’s a sneak peek of the design process for some of the main cast of Windhollows!
The first thing I started with in designing these characters was their shape. Beanians and Weanians have distinctive shapes. Using some of the descriptive parameters in Trayner’s text I began to develop the two main types of BeWe inhabitants.
Working on the bean shape and the hot dog shape of each character and considering the placement of the eyes and mouth. I threw in a hipster Weanian for good measure.
Early sketches of Wendy, Teddy (Billy’s friends) Billy and Squeaks, Billy’s pet squeaker, who adores Teddy.
These characters have been a lot of fun to design. I will continue to show more design work and final designs as the series progresses.
Windhollows is available on Amazon print or Kindle.
Air of Vengeance (Windhollows, Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1973288265
Darkness Falls (Windhollows, Book 2) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1973288257
It’s no secret that I dig 311 and I’m always excited when I get the chance to work with them. I saw my first 311 show in September of 1993 and have been a fan ever since.
The first time I saw them do a drum solo with all members of the band participating was in the early 2000s at a show in New Orleans during the song Applied Science. I ran into Chad Sexton, 311’s drummer in the lobby of hotel where I was staying (turns out the band was staying there too) and I got the opportunity to ask him about the solo. Which being a drummer myself, was a highlight of that show for me. Chad said that back in high school in Omaha, he’d played in the drum corp and wanted to incorporate that sound/feel into the solo with the other guys playing too. It’s a fun idea and one that has become part of their live shows. I always look forward to it when I see them live.
Commemorating one of my favorite moments in their live show with some art seemed appropriate. So here is a little behind the scenes look at my new 311 Applied Science Tee available on the Summer 2016 Tour!
The first step is to create a folder and name it 311 and then create another folder in that folder and name it Reference. Then spend an alarming amount of time Googling and gathering images of amps, guitars, drums, stage, stage lights and the band and put them in the Reference folder.
The next step is to put on some music, draw, erase, look at reference, draw, erase, look at reference.
Here's look at some of those drawings:
If you look closely at the concept sketch there are a few items placed in it to commemorate 311's 25 years as a band.
• Checkered flag on Tim's amp for the racing sponsorship announcement
• Hive emblem on Chad's bass drum for the boxed set release
• Beer bottle on P-Nut's amp for the 311 Amber Ale release
Only the beer bottle made it into the final art.
With the sketch ready to go, I spend many, many hours drawing the vectors in Adobe Illustrator. Then send it off and it gets printed on shirts you hope people will enjoy wearing while listening to 311 or taking selfies and saying "look at this cool 311 tee!" or eating tacos. Or all three.
So there you go. A little behind the scenes on the making of the Applied Science Tee available on the 311 2016 Summer Unity Tour.
Until next time,
Photoshop brushes are a lot of fun and can add a natural feel to the art often lost when working digitally, especially in vector. There are so many options with Photoshop brushes its easy to get spooked. I try to pick just a few or even just one to work with to prevent getting carried away. Here is some behind the scenes on a recent brush experiment.
It’s that time of the year where vampires, ghouls, skeletons, pumpkins, bats start to lurk in my sketchbook. I chose a little bat to work with to try out some new Photoshop brushes.
I sketched all kinds of Halloween critters in my sketchbook, but I liked this little guy. He was a quick little sketch done with a ball point ink pen (which is what I draw with more often than not).
The sketch is placed in Adobe Illustrator. When placing the sketch I checked “Template” which will put it on its own layer, screen it back a bit, lock the layer and open a new layer for which to work. Ready to go. I like using Illustrator to build the shapes. You could do it in Photoshop, but I find it easier to do in Illustrator.
I should note that lately I haven’t taken the time to scan my sketches. I snap a photo of them with my iPhone. Dropbox syncs the photo with my “Camera Uploads” folder and I go place the photo from that folder to Illustrator. Much faster and it works even when I am away from the studio (and the scanner).
Now I’m ready to draw my shapes in Illustrator. Yep, the Ye Old Pen Tool. As I look at the sketch, there are some details that I think I will do in Photoshop. Such as the “fingers” on the wings, lines on the hat bill, etc. So I’m not going to build anything in Illustrator for those.
With my shapes drawn, I consider colors. I pictured the bat purple or dark blue with a pink nose when I started, so I know those will be in the palette. Now I fill in the shapes with colors. They don’t have to be exact, I can tweak or change them in Photoshop later.
Export those shapes to a PSD from Illustrator, and then crack open Photoshop. Grab a brush and start painting. This is the fun part and has the most traditional feel in the process. I highly recommend having a tablet like a Wacom Intuos or Cintiq to get the most out of the brushes. Trying to draw with a computer mouse is like trying to draw with a bar of soap. I’ve never liked it and got rid of my mouse years ago. If you are an artist who is going to use the computer, invest in a good tablet. You’ll love it.
That's really it. Have fun painting! Here is the finished character in Photoshop.
You can make your own Photoshop brushes, but these guys have some awesome Photoshop brushes. They are very inexpensive and cover a range of techniques like inking, gouache and watercolor. Try out some of these awesome brushes:
Kyle Webster Brushes
Dave Opie Brushes
Cale Atkinson Brushes
I recently had the opportunity to draw some of my favorite creatures–sharks–for another of my favorite creatures–kids! I was contacted by Jillian Morris, founder of Sharks4kids, a non-profit organization out of Florida that promotes shark education and ocean conservation to do a shark themed poster.Read More