Digital · Illustration

They just can’t help themselves

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“Me so conflicted. Me not even *want* cookies but me can’t stop.”

Lifted from my Instagram page

Making-of video link

While I love the “export video” feature built into ProCreate, the crashing bugginess of the app almost makes it unusable for me. I don’t know if its because I’m using an older iPad, but a few years ago, this was new, and the app still crashed, so who knows. Anyway, a crash is how I explain the sudden appearance of vacant-eyed Santa Clause about 20 seconds into the video.

Digital · Illustration

Kicking off the 2018 doodles

Any type of artist will run into those always-fun creative blocks. I can’t say how many times I’ve just sat in front of a blank piece of paper, knowing that I *want* to draw, but just wondering *what* to should draw. While I may not know how to draw what I want, there are literally no rules, and that can be paralyzing. We can draw WHATEVER WE WANT, and yet, we sit there playing with the corners of the sketchbook page waiting for some kind of inspiration to strike.

To that end, I’ve joined up with a few daily drawing challenges on Instagram. Challenge is kind of a misleading word, since they aren’t contests, but it is a challenge in the sense that it pushes you to make time to do something every day. In October, the drawing challenges are all centered around Halloween, of course, so you have Inktober, which is awesome, and Drawtober, and Folktober, etc, etc. Draw Dinovember is a thing, too. I like the list based on Tim Burton movies called Decemburton, which is hosted by Mark Melton. Them, at different times throughout the year an “Art It Up With Friends” challenge pops up.

Some of the lists are better than others, but what I really enjoy is combining a couple of the keywords from concurrent lists to see what I can come up with. Not all of the resulting doodles are winners, of course, but I’ve found this little exercise to be a great way to get the creative side of my brain to wake up. Sure, you can draw a coffin, but if the second keyword is “polar bear,” what are you going to do? The juices start flowing.

Anyway, I’m going to start posting the results of the more fun challenges on here, and kicking off 2018 is the January Blues Drawing Challenge hosted by Angela Gooliaff in Vancouver. Designed to kick artists out of the January funk, these keywords are all upbeat, and just for kicks, she included an emotion that can help the creative process.

This image below wasn’t my first attempt, but since my iPad decided to start working again in December, I wanted to use the ProCreate app to work in color, so I’m relearning that.

Anyway, here’s what I ended up with:

And, just because I can, I exported the video out of ProCreate to really highlight all the dumb mistakes I made. Like even though I knew what the background was going to be, I didn’t bother drawing it until the end, then having to fix the little guy so he fit into the scene. You know, the no-brainers.

Scared Blueberry from aaron_T on Vimeo.

Anyway, I encourage people all the time to get into these Instagram challenges if they say “I like to draw, I just never know what to draw!”, so if that sounds like you, just poke around Instagram and it won’t take long to find more keyword lists than you know what to do with!


Dinosaur Hunting

DinosaurInTheWoods_large A while back, I saw a cool illustration of a Tyrannosaur following a truck (probably one of the Ford Explorers from Jurassic Park) through a dense forest. Unfortunately, I forgot where I saw the image and haven’t been able to find it online. This weekend, I decided to make my own.

Drawing in the crash-tastic ProCreate for iPad application, I sketched it out as best I could remember, then colorized it. The original I saw was predominantly red, I believe, and while I liked the urgency that created in the image, I went with the early morning cooler tones of the purples and blues…this could be the part of the scene where the occupants of the car don’t realize they’re being hunted yet, although I’m sure that will come soon enough.

Even though I lightened the image up in Photoshop prior to posting, it’s still way too dark. The top of the image contains fronds and vines hanging from the trees, and the bottom third has plants and reflections caused by the illumination of the trucks headlights. Sadly, on the iPad, it really has a nice balance of light and dark.

The “making of” video:


Another portrait attempt

After catching up with a friend I haven’t seen since high school, I thought it might be an interesting challenge to draw someone from memory. Having only taken one picture that turned out dark that evening I didn’t have a lot to go on other than memory, so it was definitely difficult. In the end I can’t say that I am thrilled with it, but it is what it is. I guess that’s the point of practicing, right?




The behind the scenes video

This is the part of the post where I usually show the video of the sped-up animation process, but the ProCreate app managed to crash multiple times during the process. Although it didn’t lose my drawing, it did lose the first half of the illustration, which in this one, was the most interesting. So no video on this one.