Sketchbook Sunday #19 – Coffee violin

I decided to experiment with coffee as a painting medium. It resulted in this little piece of a girl playing the violin. For those interested, there are a few tips about painting with coffee in this tutorial I stumbled upon on Deviantart. I didn’t have any instant coffee on hand so I used a small amount of water and a lot of coffee grounds which I let sit in a French press for a while. Nevertheless, I couldn’t get the color as dark as I wanted, so I had to boost the saturation and contrast quite a lot after scanning it. It’s actually kind of sad, because this version looks a lot better than the original, which appears faded and dull in comparison. I also fixed a few other mistakes in “post-production”. That being said, my critical eyes can spot a lot of things which could have been drawn better (her left elbow, for example… yikes!)

I had to use reference for the pose and violin, and I found a lot of useful images by searching for “violin” and “woman” on iStockphoto.com. However, I changed the pose, hairstyle and clothing as I went along, so the reference was used just to get the basic idea for the kind of drawing I wanted. I used Sakura Micron pens for the black outline, and a smooth and almost glossy kind of paper called Fabriano Tecnico 240g/m². I’m sure I could’ve gotten better results If I had used watercolor paper…

Sketchbook Sunday #18 – Caffeinated pixels

Hey, I drew some pixels again! This is fan art of the webcomic Caffeinated Toothpaste, which I happen to read almost every day. Caffeinated Toothpaste is drawn by the skilled artist and cartoonist Josh Bauman, an american currently living in Berlin. He usually makes one comic strip every single day about his life and daily experiences. An impressive feat indeed! Just to be clear, it’s easy to get hooked on a webcomic which updates that consistently. And with me being me, it’s a given that I’ll like anything that is autobiographical and have coffee-themed strips.

The image above is actually a 200% resized version of the 320×320 pixels wider original. Other than this little fan art project, I haven’t been drawing much this week. There’s so many things I want to do, but I have to decide which ones I want to give priority. I’d like to do more pixel art, but at the same time I want to get better at using watercolors and color markers. I also want to draw more comics, and I’ve been getting better at jotting down ideas and short scripts.. In any case, there’ll be more stuff coming in the future!

Sketchbook Sunday #16 – Moving pixels

Would you look at that, I managed to animate the pixel art portrait I made a couple of weeks ago! Doesn’t that coffee look good now?

This wasn’t actually what I was going to post today, but it’s kind of late now to start taking pictures and writing about my current “project”. In short, I’ve been trying to sketch a character design to be used in a very short comic story which I may or may not be making in the two weeks to come. The reason behind the “may or may not” is that the deadline is April 1st, and it remains to be seen if I can make something decent or not. I will try my best to publish updates and sketches along the road. Until next time, enjoy your coffee!

Sketchbook Sunday #14 – Pixelated

The title is a lie; this creation has been nowhere near any of my sketchbooks, it’s all digitally rendered. Although it’s possible to do, I think that making pure pixel art in a sketchbook would be very tedious.

I’ve been checking out Ryan Andrews’ blog after he tweeted that he was making some Star Wars pixel art. Check out this one of Obi Wan Kenobi! It inspired me to try my hand at drawing pixel art. I figured I would try to make a self portrait (I’m the one to the far left), but I ended up drawing both myself and two of my best friends. I’m very happy that the portraits turned out so well. I also have to mention that it was really fun to try something new!

If you’re interested, the font I used to write “Coffee Break” is called Visitor, which is available at dafont.com. The image above is an upsized version that is 300% bigger than the original, meaning that each “pixel” actually is 3×3 pixels. By the way, I’m thinking that it wouldn’t be too hard to animate this kind of characters. I will just have to find out if I can do it or not…