Saturday, November 26, 2011

A boy and his puppy

This is another illustration that I did for Dreamstime.  I had an idea to draw a kid with big round eyes getting a puppy on Christmas so I drew this on my wacom tablet using Adobe Photoshop:

What's great about using Photoshop is that you can easily lighten and darken the lines and work on separate layers to quickly and easily draw and edit.  What isn't so great is using a wacom tablet to do it.  But it still gets the job done - because it's just a sketch that I transported to Adobe Illustrator (in stock image sites like Dreamstime, they always like photographs and vector drawings...vary rarely will a raster illustration do as well).

I might have made the eyes too big and round...but he looks happy (if slightly alien).  Anyhow - I wanted to do a very subtle background, so all of that color (not the ornaments) is a gradient mesh with a few lines for the fireplace.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Squaremania: Panda has an Epiphany

Here's the final illustration:
I think it turned out quite alright!

Squaremania: Happy Panda

I printed out the rough drawing and revised it with a red pencil:
After scanning it back into the computer I completed the revisions in Adobe Illustrator and then transferred the lines into Photoshop to color.  So far I'm done with the Panda, and now I have to work on the background:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Feeling Great, Feeling Happy...with a kite!

This illustration is for the Dreamstime contest.  This month's topic is "Feeling Great, Feeling Happy."

This is the rough I did in Adobe Photoshop:
I took that into Illustrator to clean it up and color it:
I, personally, never got into kite flying as a kid.  I had a couple of kites, but  each and every time I took them out a tree came out of nowhere and swallowed them whole.  I felt like Charlie Brown...all I needed to find was a jerk girl to pull a football away when I tried to kick it.

Anyway - kites don't agree with me, but these two kids seem to be getting a kick out of it.

Here's a variation:

Happy Panda Rough Drawing

This is the baby panda surrounded by sunlight.

The ears will be a little smaller in the final version.

Friday, November 04, 2011

This is Halloween, 2011

Last year we got a group together to do a Mario Brothers theme.  This year we visited the Tim Burton exhibit at the LACMA.  It inspired us to make our own costumes using the Nightmare Before Christmas as our theme this year.

My wife and two friends were Lock, Shock, and Barrel - the three little kids who kidnap 'sandy claws'.  I wanted to be something a bit harder and went with the Mayor.  Every year at Nickelodeon Animation Studio (where we work) they do a costume contest.  So while we were waiting for our turn, a girl dressed as Sally joined us and we all went together. 

We won for 'best entertainment characters'.

There's also a pumpkin carving contest that we entered:

My wife stayed with the theme and carved a Jack Skellington head and painted it white.  It also won!

I changed my plan at the last minute and went with an Angry Birds theme:
the red bird is an orange and the little blue bird is a lime.
 Angry Birds in their natural habitat.

This was part of the process of painting the Mayor head - I did a layer and then hung it to dry while I worked on my pumpkin.  I cut out the pieces for the eye, the nose and the mouth (which is where I saw out of).   The other cone (the white one) was the bottom part of the hat.  The material I used was a light weight black foam, so I had to do an undercoat before painting it gray.

And here are a few pictures of the making of the pumpkins:
The pear was too difficult to work with, so I ended up not being able to do a yellow bird.
precision cutting for Jack Skellington's eyes

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Lil' Kid

Here are a couple of drawings I did in Adobe Illustrator:

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Nightmare before Christmas Girl

Tim Burton's artwork was on display up until last month in Los Angeles.  There were drawings from his childhood, random sketchbooks and each of his movies.  One of his most prominent motifs are stripes.

I've had Nightmare before Christmas in my head for the last month.  It's not just that it was the season for it - but my wife, a couple of friends, and I made Nightmare before Christmas costumes for our company costume contest (our group won for best entertainment characters).  I still have to post the pictures of the costumes, but in the meantime I've had this illustration of a girl in cute hats and I wanted to do a Jack Skellington version:

I thought the girl looked a little too cute with that hat, so I thought I'd see about pushing it a little if she was stitched together like Sally (from the movie).
That's probably a little too stitchy though, so this is my final version:

cute and scary - and I thought I could make it a little more Tim Burtony and goth by giving her a desaturated skirt and matching striped scarf.

Little girl with bear hat

I have a couple of variations on the little girl in an animal hat.  This is the little girl in a bear hat:

Microstock report for October 2011

This is our microstock report for October 2011.  We uploaded a couple of new images, but they were for Halloween and I wasn't able to finish them until the end of the there wasn't enough time for them to get accepted and be available for people to download...

The thing is, if you're going to make pictures for a particular day, you should probably have them up and ready to go at least a month before.  And it might be better if you have it 2 months before that holiday.  My illustrations weren't available until the week before Halloween, so we only got a couple of downloads and now everyone is focused on thanksgiving (and the big one) or Christmas.

Here's the October breakdown:
Shutterstock is the only site that seems to keep delivering month after month.  Since we started doing microstock in February of 2009, we have only had one month where we didn't make the $100 minimum to get paid (If you make less than a hundred dollars, it just rolls over to the next month and so on until you do reach a hundred).

I might try to put some Christmas images up in the next couple of weeks, so we'll see if that helps spark more interest in the rest of the portfolio across the different microstock sites....

123rf and Vectorstock are both doing fairly well too.  Those are two smaller sites that seem to stay very consistent each month.  We had our best month ever on 123rf this month...and Vectorstock seems to hit around $15 each month.  Both totals are kind of on the small side, but it's nice to check every couple of days because they always have sales.
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