Saturday, 28 March 2015

Been drawing

I spent the morning checking through all the files for the now long term project - Ninja Dinosaurs vs Pirate Robots. It looks like I have 33 pages drawn and inked and just 6 needing colouring. The plan is to try and finish the whole book over the Easter break and get it into the iBooks and Amazon stores. I needed a couple of sketches to add to the front pages so have been inking a page of stumpy versions of the characters.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Clever girl

I'm watching Jurassic Park, so really had to draw a dinosaur... And just for a change I thought I'd not draw a tyrannosaur, so here's a velociraptor, drawn on my iPad in auto desk sketchbook pro with a Wacom bamboo stylus.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2015 - first post - cable cobblers

I managed to get about 8 extra pages done over the holiday which is the meat of the work.
All that remains is erasing pencil lines, scanning, clean up, colouring, toning and compiling layers... then adding text etc....
I let the ink set over night before erasing the pencils, as the copic pens don't like having pencil erased, and tend to fade to grey when "rubbed" (The Micron pigment inks are far firmer).

This morning I thought I'd "just" scan the cleaned up artwork in but of course the scanner refused to talk to the macbook.
Could it be a driver issue?(it's nearly always a driver issue using old kit on new(ish) Mac OS X versions)
I installed a driver written in OCTOBER 2014, which is like cutting edge stuff for my kit.
Still didn't work.
Switch to my old macbook, slightly better but still no real use - just solid black scans.
So I tried another cable and Bob's your uncle the scanner started to work.

However the power cable decided it would only charge the macbook if I draped it in a particular (random) pattern... finally as the battery hit red it decided it'd maybe start charging.
All of which meant that instead of using my shiny Cintiq and Creative Cloud Photoshop to edit the images, I'm back in Photoshop elements with my old Bamboo tablet... which actually suits me better.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

New Pirates

Working on the ninja dinosaurs vs pirate robots iBook. Sketched another pirate robot ...

Anchor-Jaw Jones

In Design CC 2014

My target for the holiday period is to finish at least one of the children's books I have in development hell.
The biggest issue was that iBooks author is a bit rubbish for creating static layout books, and when it does work it insists on using templates with tables of contents, and chapters... great for academic works, not so good for picture books.

Luckily Adobe In Design has an export to a static layout epub3 format, which will work nicely on an iPad, and I'm hoping will upload into the iBooks store with ease (just as soon as it's back from it's holidays)
https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/how-to/ebook-fixed-layout.html

So I did a quick trial adding pictures to pages, and exporting and iBooks on my mac opened it just fine.
I stuck the ePub in Dropbox and opened it on my iPad, and again it worked just fine.



So now I need to examine which images are ok, and which need updating... Which turns out to be a fair bit if I'm critical... If I'm a little more relaxed I reckon there's about 5 pages of proper work, then lots of tweaking.

Procreate app

My Twitter stream has been full of procreate hoopla the last few days so I thought is have a bash at using it.

It's ok, the colour fill takes a bit ofbgetting used to and the edge detection is a bit random, but compared to the tools I remember trying in the early days of iOS it's not bad at all. 
Will it be useful in creating finished artwork? 
No.
Will it be useful for quick sketches...?
Maybe.
The biggest issues are still down to the problems inherent in finger painting, bold strokes are fine, but precision is tricky.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Following the Apocalypse

My dear comrade David Kernohan who writes the excellent Followers of the Apocalypse blog asked if I'd like to do a cover for a book he's aiming to release around the OpenEd14 event 
I was chuffed to be given the opportunity... and then put off actually doing it, again and again and again.
I knuckled down to it eventually in a fit of structured procrastination, and am actually quite happy with the result.
Lensflare-tastic