Out with the Old and in with the New

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Out with the Old and in with the New

I had a look at my current art portfolio and noticed some illustrations were getting a bit stale, meaning I knew I could improve on a few. For some of them I got rid completely and for one I decided to just do again because I knew I could do better 😀

The image I am referring to is this one of ‘Bird Kid’.

It’s been a few years since I did this piece and looking at it now the errors have become slightly more obvious to me. I had a look at the proportions and posture and revised them so that they looked more appealing to the eye and less flat.

I had another go at it and here is how it turned out.


I have improved the posture and proportions so he has a bit more depth. I have made the face more expressive so that he comes across as sneaky and mischievous. I did new hand gestures and I updated his costume a bit. I spent a little more time on the headphones so that they don’t look they have been added in as an afterthought. I made the lines thinner this time and they are much smoother, mainly down to the plugin I use in Photoshop but also because I have had more practice now.  I am happy with how it turned out  and who knows, maybe I will do another revision in a few years time! Huzzah!

Bird man is off to fight crime now. See YA!

Meet the Doodlets…and some Twitch Stuff

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Meet the Doodlets…and some Twitch Stuff

Oh hello. We are finally getting some really nice weather here in the UK so a perfect opportunity to stay inside and write this blog post!

I mentioned in my last post that I was thinking about starting a Twitch art stream so that I can improve my art work while chatting to people, and to help me stay motivated to draw. For those who don’t know, Twitch is a streaming site which was originally designed for gamers who want to stream their gaming to viewers using screen capture software. These days it is used for a lot more than just games and people also use it to record their creative projects such as drawing, painting, sculpting etc. and much more!

I am pretty new to Twitch so have been nosing about and checking out other art streams and game streams to see what features they include to help them interact with their community and make it appeal to viewers.

The main software people use to stream is OBS which links with your Twitch account and records what is ever on your screen but there is a lot more things it can do like have your webcam in the corner, display latest followers or donations and have an attractive overlay that goes over the top to contain all these features. It’s probably better if  I just show you my overlay that I made in Photoshop.

Obviously this overlay isn’t featuring any content but the purple areas will be replaced with Photoshop where I will be illustrating characters or whatever that people can watch live. The bottom left will have my webcam pointing at my face and above it will show an overview of the drawing area so people can see what I am drawing more easily when I am zoomed in working on the finer details. Then you have the social links at the bottom, including what I am listening to on Spotify at the time and at the top shows latest followers etc. Top left has some past portfolio work so people can just see what I have worked on in the past.

There are a good number of creative streamers on Twitch so I have no idea if people would actually show up to the party but hey worth a try to see what happens! I think it would be fun to chat with people who have an interest in art!

Apart from the on-screen features there is also a description section underneath showing streaming schedule, social media links, donation links, about me etc. It’s nuts to think some people stream full-time for a living and make good money off it. That’s not my intention however, I just want to get my art out there but making money doing it? Well who wouldn’t want that really!

In this description section you can have nice little title images so I came up with some simple little characters that would go alongside them just to make the page more attractive and appealing. I am calling them ‘The Doodlets ‘..ya know because of doodling. Let me introduce you to them.

 

Ghas

This guy is called Ghas. He is pretty strange. Some people think that he is farting in this image. Well … they are right. He is. It’s pretty vulgar but he does suffer from a lot of built up wind and releases it frequently, but to be fair, it works in his favour because he can use it to fly AND it doesn’t smell because Doodlets farts don’t smell. FACT. Out of all of the Doodlets he is probably the angriest one but he is not that bad really, mostly just a bit impatient and irritable but I mean who wouldn’t be with all that excessive wind?

 

Flumps

This is Flumps. She is just great in every way. She is always happy and smiling and just wants to help others in any way she can. It’s flippin’ adorable. Doodlets can’t speak they just grunt and Flumps has these high pitched squeaks she lets out, especially when she is excited. The only thing she likes more than receiving gifts is giving gifts. She’s a big hugger too. If you ever want to feel better just hang around Flumps and you’re all good. Ghas is still learning to be a hugger.

 

Slicky

Maan Slicky is one cooool dude. He can make anything look cool. I mean, look at him. That tash with those sun glasses, and look at that hair. He keeps his comb in his top hat but rarely needs it because his hair has this amazing ability to keep its shape even after being under a hat for a long period of time. He has a large collection of scarves but they are all the same colour. He is constantly suggesting new costume ideas to the other Doodlets but generally they like to stay unclothed. He is actually responsible for Flump’s bear costume and she loves it! I want to be this guy!

 

Skits

Skits is…different. He is extremely hyper and most of the time just confused. You don’t really want to leave Skits with any tasks that require responsibility because it won’t end well. You may recognise him from the overlay graphic I designed above. He goes well with the colour scheme. His favourite thing is going fast and he is very squishy so it’s almost impossible for him to get hurt which is nice!

 

Bryan

Bryan is gender neutral. They are extremely shy and bashful, but slowly coming out of their shell. One of the reasons Bryan is so shy is probably because they are covered in spikes and this isolates them slightly (I think Bryan is related to cacti). Flumps is actually working on a method that help her hug Barry without getting hurt by their spikes so Slicky may have to upgrade her bear suit. I think this would help Barry a lot. Despite Barry’s bashfulness they are actually the strongest in the group so if they find themselves in a fight (which they try to avoid) then Barry is the one to deal with the situation. Falling on the enemy normaly resolves the situation.

Well that’s the Doodlets. I am sure there will be more in the future so get subscribed! On the next post I will be talking about recreating versions of past art to make them look bettereererr with a visual example. Cheerio!

 

Time to make some changes…

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Time to make some changes…

You may have noticed that I have made some adjustments to the DrawnSean website. It was a bit out of date and looking a bit… well amateurish and in need of some improvements.

I asked some successful artists for some advice and they pointed a few things out to me regarding my website and my art.

Sometimes I forget how important it is to get advice from others and to take that advice as fuel to improve rather than receive in a negative way. When you work on something for a long period of time it’s crucial to get some fresh eyes that something, whatever you may be working on, whether it’s a piece of art or a website. Now I look back at some of my work and think ‘Wow. That’s really rubbish’, or at least compared to what I am doing now. I acknowledge I am by no means the best artist in the world but if you want to be good at something you have to keep on practicing and just keep going.

This leads me onto my next point. My art. When I look at some of my images I genuinely think they are pretty good and worthy of my portfolio and worthy of a good children’s book, however, I know that I thought a similar thing when I put together a portfolio website 10 years ago. I have understood that it’s good to be positive about your own work yet realistic, and that’s where the critique of others really help, especially from those who are better than you. Don’t take it harshly but instead embrace it and let that information help you to improve moving forward.

One of the illustrators I mentioned works in a similar style to mine. Bright, cartoony illustrations aimed at children. He was indeed better than me but I felt like his skill level wasn’t a million miles away from mine and reaching it was deffinitely achievable. Anyway, I was speaking to him over email after getting in touch through Instaflam and he made some really good points. Those kind of points that you never really think are points at all until somebody makes a point ..of those points. Points. What I am trying to say is other people’s advice really wakes you up in terms of direction and where to improve. I think I can be stubborn sometimes when taking critique but I am learning more and more to take it in a much more positive light.

So, what are those points that he made, or rather, what was his critique? I will talk about my art first. The main thing he mentioned was to try and make my images less 2D looking and by that I think he means work on perspective and gesture (this is referring to organic shaped characters) to make them look more visually appealing, like the image is giving you the ingredients to create this fully animated scene in your brain . I completely agree with that point that he made and that’s something I will really keep in mind from now on. It’s just all about practice, practice, practice and everyone knows it but knowing it is something far far away from actually doing it. I have been drawing all my life (well until I could hold a drawing impliment). I am 31 now so that’s quite a long time. So if I have been drawing for 31 years, why isn’t my work astounding? It’s because I haven’t been practising enough in those 31 years. I don’t want to be too harsh on myself but drawing every day is going to get you a lot further than drawing once a week. At the moment I am drawing about once a week, sometimes less and this is something that really needs to change. Staying motivated is tough, or for me it is any way, which is why I am trying out different ways to stay motivated, which I shall go into more detail in a wee bit but basically I need to draw more and I love doing it so what’s stopping me from doing it moooaaar.

For the website, I was just going to update  the logo on the banner above and changed the background. They were looking a bit poo. Instead I gave the website a complete overhaul and made it cleaner looking with a fresh paint job. I have now started blogging on my actual wordpress site rather than on my tumbler and using a widget to show my tumblr stuff on my blog page which makes my old intergrated Tumblr blog is gone, which is a shame but the change will allow this blog to be more discoverable through Google search engine. You can check out my past blog entries here on my Tumblr. The gallery on my front page is now neater and more organized and I got rid of a few illustrations that don’t really strengthen my portfolio.

Over the next few weeks after I move I am going to be throwing some tutorial videos on my Youtube channel and starting an art Twitch stream so watch out for that. This will help me stay motivated and draw more. I also want to be more active on my blog and not just post an image every now and then. I want to develop my story not just through images but also words, which is why you are reading this large post.

Well that’s all for now. Speak soon, if anybody is actually reading this!