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 Sketch Blog «
Drifting on the Sea of Nihilism

Life Studies #1 & #2

Posted by Joseph on August 1, 2012 []
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Filler: Cpt. Howell and Sam

Posted by Joseph on May 5, 2011 []
Sketch Blog

Do you know what this comic needs? An antagonist! Here’s Cpt. Howell and Sam (Master Potter not shown) expect these three to turn up shortly!

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Filler: Ivan Character Sheet

Posted by Joseph on April 28, 2011 []
Sketch Blog

I’ll be moving back to South Dakota over this week so I’m pre-posting comics for the next two weeks and hoping that they will all go live at the appropriate times. Thursdays will be filler-art days for the next two weeks due to the move as well.

This week’s filler is a character sheet where I was trying out different expressions for Ivan while trying to see how accurately I could redraw the shape of his head. I’m still not satisfied with the character of Ivan both as a character as well as his overall design. He might suffer a fate common to Mark Twain’s unloved characters and fall down a well.

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Robot Sheep

Posted by Joseph on April 14, 2011 []
Sketch Blog

Six months ago I had this brilliant idea about how we would someday succeed at breeding a domestic animal that actually has no central nervous system — literally a mass of protein that exists only to consume energy and grow into delicious steaks. This creatures, would be completely indiscernible from cows, or current meat factories. Except these cows would be robots, and most feared amongst our domestic robot livestock would be the robot sheep. God help us if they should ever turn upon their masters!

Whatever this epic robot-sheep vs. man story was, all that I can recall is that robot sheep are cool.

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Don Character Sheet

Posted by Joseph on March 31, 2011 []
Sketch Blog

The process of working on the comic continues and today I present my draft sheet for the character of Don.

I tried on this sheet to experiment a little with his design. For one, out of all the character’s Don was the most complete out-of-the-box. He is based on a statue of Don Quixote that my drawing professor at Augustana had us draw. Indeed, many of these characters are based on weird statues he had us draw. Thus, when it came time to draw his character sheet, I decided to experiment. I colored in his mustache, removed the bandeliers and tried for a more realistic shape to his breastplate. In the end, I think I liked him just the way he was.

A second bit of experimentation comes in the inking. Previously, I inked with brushes, but I decided that I ought to be more discerning with them. For example, Tamar Curry’s Lumia’s Kingdom (whose artwork I admire) tutorials show him inking with dip pens. I love dip pens for my scenery look, but kept to brushes for characters and organics even though I find brushes much more difficult to use. On this sheet, I went with dip pens throughout, and the result? The lines look less confident on the larger images and far too uniform. Yet, in Ivan’s character sheet (coming up next!) I discovered that the brushes really do work — I just need to double or triple the size of my character drawings. Pens work well for the fine details of the backgrounds and smaller depictions of the characters (less than 1″ tall heads), but once I get into having 2″ – 3″ tall heads, the brushes look much more graceful and overall 9″ tall characters seem to be easier overall to draw.

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Gnome Sheet

Posted by Joseph on February 23, 2011 []
Sketch Blog

If you actually read my blog entries you might begin to notice a very nice pattern to them. It begins “I promise to start updating!” Soon after making such a promise, I look at the comics to come and realize that they suck. I drag my feet on releasing them. I dabble with just starting over. I draw some character sketches. I “practice” my inking. So very many excuses, and fortunately, so very few readers to complain!

My excuse this time? I am working on the script and the background. When I began to write up the background, I found myself really getting into it. Suddenly characters had purpose, the world had a map, and the plot flowed out. However, I noticed some problems. First, much of what I wanted to do with the characters ran contradictory to what the comic already established. If I continued posting the present line of comics unedited, I would only push myself further from my plans.

Instead, you get more filler art and this week’s entry is the Gnome.

Who is the Gnome? Well he is a gnome of course! In appearance, he is a short, angry little earth spirit who was quite fed up with the big people of the world bumbling into his affairs. Already, the comic establishes that his manners are rather lacking and he is fond of arguing.

The Gnome was the first character whose design came together. I started with a big circle for the nose, then the rim of the hat above, then drew tuffs of hair sticking out from beneath, forming a circle around his face. The Gnome’s body extends out from the edges of the beard to make a barrel shape. His cloths are rather traditional. Whenever I imagine Gnomes or Dwarves in their casual wear it’s always in the form of big boots, baggy trousers, and a tunic of some sort. In the case of this dwarf his tunic is a kosovorotka, a traditional Russian shirt known for its skewed collar. Out of everyone, the Dwarf has been at the End of the World the longest, and so his clothing is ragged and patched from many years of use.

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