Sunday, October 31, 2010

Microstock report for October 2010

It was an up month for microstock.  Shutterstock was slightly better this month than last, and we had quite nice improvements to the #2 and #3 agencies we upload to - Dreamstime and Istockphoto.

I still have two agencies that I signed up with over the summer that have yet to record more than one sale (Freshstock and Veer) I haven't added them to the list yet.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pretend Dinner

They're pretending to eat all sorts of ridiculously unhealthy food.

This is for a pitch that I'm working on.  This is one of the first finished images, which means that the character's look might change - and the color definitely will.

here's the revision the color is based on...I decided to get rid of the mom character for now:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Squaremania: Santa Panda and the reindeers

So this illustration is finally finished.  All the lines are self colored (and still vector quality) and I added reins...and that's what put the finishing touches on Santa Panda and the reindeers.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

IF: Slow Monster Race

I just finished a drawing where the frankenstein kid was racing a little dracula kid down a path (in my previous blog post) and I had a thought....a little frankenstein kid wouldn't be terribly coordinated to do a spot of running, much less race I thought about redrawing him a little more stiff and a little less runny...and then I thought, "What if there were a bunch of slow monsters running a race...?" - and that's where this illustration came from:
It's always quite funny in a horror movie when you have a slow moving monster chasing someone that's running...and that person looks back to see where the monster is, doesn't see anyone and then turns around and the monster is in front of them!  It's horrible writing...or just supernatural forces at work...

Anyway - what if you gathered all these monsters up and had them enter a race together?  Well, out of these three, I think the Frankenstein would be the most coordinated of the undead (especially since he has the freshest brain)...and would win easily...but since zombies have a knack for stumbling about and ending up at the right place at the wrong time, he could easily come in second without even trying.

Here's a quick color job done in Adobe Illustrator:

Monster kids on the run...

I did this illustration specifically with Illustration Friday in mind.  The topic this week is 'Racing'.  So I thought about having these little monster kids racing down a path.
 I did this rough drawing in Adobe Photoshop and then printed it out so I could revise it with my blue pencil.
I have the characters worked out and the background pretty much as I want I'll be taking this into Adobe Illustrator to clean-up.

This is a close-up of the Frankenstein kid - so far he's my favorite character to draw:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Squaremania - Santa Panda and his reindeer - try #5

I'm trying to put this up for Illustration friday, and for some reason the thumbnail isn't I keep here's to try #5, and sorry for all the blank thumbnails on that site...
This is the final illustration of little santa panda racing around the world to deliver presents on christmas eve.  It's still without the reins or straps (and possibly depends on how much detail I want to put into it) on the reindeer and santa's sled.  But all the characters and the background are finished.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chirstmas and Snow Background

This is the background that the reindeer will be going into:
I thought it turned out quite nicely...and each character and the background are each on their own layer in Photoshop, so that way I could use each one separately (like the above background) or together.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Squaremania - lil' square reindeer

This is the final version of the Squaremania reindeer. I figured that since I was finished with all of Santa's reindeer, that I would separate them into their own illustration.  But don't worry, soon enough they'll be shacked and harnessed into Santa's sleigh and race around the world to deliver presents...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Squaremania - lil' tiger at the zoo

This is the finished color for the Lil' Tiger at the Zoo.  The lines were created in Adobe illustrator, exported to Photoshop for color, and then I went back into Illustrator to self color the lines.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This is the illustrator cleanup (with a quick color rough) of a squaremania tiger at the zoo.

And this is the tiger by himself colored in photoshop:

Pull our finger...

When monsters get together, they can't help but to pick on those smaller and/or weaker than themselves. 

Go ahead, just give it a little tug...

Here's one thing - both of these guys are undead - one raised through the 'miracle' of science and lightning (or something like that) and the other who is dead, but still rises with the setting sun...but do you ever wonder what kind of smells these fellas are producing?  Such as - Frankenstein's monster is made up of rotting corpses that were brought back to life, shouldn't he still smell like rotting (or past tense, rotted) flesh?  And a vampire, who sleeps in a coffin (presumably the one he died in?) every night for eternity...shouldn't he be getting a little rank at some point? 

I think pulling their fingers is the least of one's worries...

Monday, October 18, 2010

kicked out

This is the cleanup of something I'm working on...

In this picture the little devil character is getting kicked out of the house:

Now, this isn't terribly scary just yet - but just wait for color!  No, but seriously, it's still not going to be very scary...but that's what makes horror movies even scarier, it's not that they have scary moments, but it's the moments that aren't scary that lead up to the scary moments.
 This is a quick color rough I did in Adobe Illustrator with the Live Paint tool.
And it does feel more like they're saying "pull our fingers" than sending him on his way...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Santa's Sleigh - clean lines, rough color

This is the clean up version of this...I took a quick pass at color in Adobe Illustrator:

this is the first pass at color.

I've finished the front part, and have the entire background (minus the foreground) and all the characters except for Rudolf.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Santa's Sleigh - rough drawing

Little Santa Panda's Transportation:

This is where the reindeer I was drawing are going.  I still need to check into how many reindeer there actually were (all the ones from the song, plus Rudolph)...without looking, I'm going to guess 8.  But other than that I just need to clean this drawing up in Adobe Illustrator and start painting!
I took the three reindeer that I drew and exported them from Illustrator to Photoshop...and placed them where I thought they should go and then printed it out...and added the sleigh with little Panda Santa and the neighborhood background.  I then took the scan and changed it's layer to multiply and on a layer underneath I did a quick coloring job, just to get a rough idea of what it would look like.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How deer!

These are the starting point for my next illustration.  I thought of it through Illustration Friday's Transportation topic this in Santa's sled being pulled by reindeer.  So I spent the weekend drawing reindeer and thumbnailing how the little panda santa was going to look with them.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Classic Monster Kids...

So I've been working on a project involving some of the older 'heebeejeebee' kids that I drew a couple of years ago.  Back then I was just trying to draw a character that was more vinyl toy than well rounded character, so it's been slow going giving these guys personality and a well rounded style.  Don't get me wrong, it's going well, but it's just taking longer to get a character down (that will be used over and over again) than it is to get a single drawing down.

I had a very rough background that didn't come through in the scan...but it's fine.  I'll be cleaning them up in Adobe Illustrator, and I'll add it again at that point.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

squaremania - tiger cleanup

Right as I'm posting this, I suddenly feel like I should do a tiger drawing where it's showing a little more aggression...maybe they third one will do that...and won't be so cutesy.

Anyway - this is really just the cleanup version of this drawing - I did a quick color comp, just to see what it would look like...and I'll be doing revisions before any actual painting takes place (in photoshop).

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

miniature tigers

Square tigers:

These are rough drawings that I'm going to clean up in Adobe Illustrator, revise, and then paint in Photoshop.

I got it into my head to do squaremania tigers because my wife and I just saw one of our favorite bands, Miniature Tigers, play at the Henry Fonda this last weekend.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Christmas Panda

This is the finished Christmas Panda.

I like it so much it's going right up on the website!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Christmas Panda unfinished

This is the first pass of color for the Panda.  the little squares on the side are my color palette that I put together in Adobe Illustrator before I started painting.

So far I've just dropped in the color everywhere and have only finished the santa hat and the panda's eyes.

September 2010 Microstock report

This is the microstock report for the month of September of 2010.

It's been a nice source of extra cash each month...last year around this time we were really trying to develop the microstock illustration portfolios on the different sites, but most recently (almost all year) other illustration projects have taken our focus and interest.  That means that the portfolios, which were growing by tens of uploads a month (on average) have shrunk to just a couple, and only if there's time, and only if the uploads are really easy to draw, clean up and color in Adobe Illustrator.

Even without much care Shutterstock continues to rise above $100 each month.  That's important as $100 is the payout minimum for a month.  We haven't had an EL in a couple of months, but we continue to get regular downloads per day (between 2 and 25) and 8 ODs ($2.26 downloads).  I've been focusing on putting my illustrations for Squaremania on products, but I was able to adapt some of those templates to upload to the stock sites (the pencils and cards, and this weekend I'm going to upload the backpack templates).

Istockphoto is a big second on the list.  While we don't get a payout every month, it is fairly consistent.  But unlike Shutterstock, the illustrations that are downloaded are at a slower rate, but each one sells for more (which almost makes up for it, but not quite because of the small portfolio size).

Dreamstime was really slow this month.  There was a huge run of downloads at the end of the month (within the last week) to raise the total to $17, but it was rather a disappointment considering it's the third largest microstock company.

Vectorstock has turned into a very consistent earner.  While the downloads are only about 1-5 a day, there always seems to be something selling on the site.  And slowly, but surely we're heading towards our next raise (a couple of months ago we finally crossed $100 total for the site, and while it took a year, it meant that the downloads are now worth 30 cents as apposed to 25 cents.)

I've decided to start including the various other sites that I've either recently signed up for (Veer and Stockfresh) and an older one (Thinkstock).  Thinkstock gives a big lump sum randomly during the month (on Aug 26th it was $3.25 for 13 downloads) and this month it was $8.25 for 33 downloads.  Stockfresh has yet to yield any monies, but the site is from the creators of Stockxpert, so I expect it to happen soon enough.  And Veer got me to sign up earlier this summer with promises to pay for any files they accepted (the offer is now over), and since then we have had one sale for $7.00.

The other sites are kind of disappointing and make it hard to want to spend the time to upload new images...but I'm going to keep chugging along, because you never know what image people might come across and want to download lots of.
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