Set two for Space Rhino games: Mountains and rivers.
Environmental concepts done for a startup mmo title being developed by Space Rhino Games. They requested some loose speedpaints of various environments found across their world. These were done last year in October and I can finally share them with you all =D!
An old sketch I came across while looking through my sketchbooks. . I always liked how his eyes turned out and have been meaning to finish up for ages now. This might be one I will take to color, given the time. Would love to try some different coloring approaches on him!
1: Lucid Dream: ‘A dream born into reality. Wake wide eyed dreamer and see your hopes come alive.’ sketch from late last night.
2. I forgot to post this here I guess. Some exploratory logo doodles for the beautiful Laura Garabedian!
2nd batch of twitter commissions done for some amazing folks who let me go wild with my imagination. Thank you all for the opportunity to let the pencil take me where it pleased and just create with unabridged inspiration. I had such fun with all of these and ended up getting carried away, as usual <:.
I have been taking the commissions over twitter not to keep anyone left out of the loop but just to stretch my wings, so to speak, and keep things low key. If these continue, I will be rotating where I offer them just to give everyone a chance. PS: For everyone that has expressed interest or enthusiasm for the pieces I have done so far…thank you so so so much! This has been a wholly positive experience and exactly what I needed!
I haven’t really done private sketch commissions in a long time. There were several reasons but mostly because of bad experiences (not so much the customer side. With few exceptions, the kind people that asked for art were nothing short of a delight). But I dug myself into a hole trying to fit my square peg into a circle hole. I never knew what commissioners expected of me, especially at conventions but moreover, I discovered I don’t thrive under the intense social pressure of the con scene. I draw best when burrowed into my corner where my subconscious can awaken and wander where it pleases. In the interim I have been working primarily in commercial art circles and the irony is I never really had problems creating commercial illustrations, even under intense pressure (deadlines, creative constraints etc). The positive aspect of all this is it has helped me discover myself artistically and come full circle to a place where I may feel comfortable offering custom work again.
The top two were commission slots offered via twitter. I had an immensely good time working on these and I really can’t thank the two kind folks enough for their support and the opportunity to draw some pretty flowy things (and nautilus 8B) <:. The bottom sketches were a ‘silly sketch break’ with little gift sketches for the commissioners and a dear friend, Mab.
Sometimes you feel like drawing something completely different. So have some slightly durp attempts at other things. These were warmups to loosen up C:.
Page of cats started as something else and then became all cats.
Some very good friends from Washington state came down for a visit this past week. These sketches were all done the night before they left. Their flight was at crazy o’clock in the morning so I decided not to sleep and just doodle whatever happened. These did on top of a bunch of others that I haven’t scanned or were taken by my friends to spare me having to scan them =D. A bunch of style play here, which was a fun deviation from my norm, particularly Moxy there ;D! We had such an unbelievably amazing time that all the zaniness and fantastic adventures set my creative mind into overdrive!
Thank ya for looking guys <:.
Assorted things from the last week. Been in a logo doodling fix and decided to take one to finish. I’ve been itching to paint them in this way, was refreshing to try and the end result was fun. The labradorite inlay doesn’t really read as clearly as I’d have liked with the veins being as thin as they are but the splash of blue is nice anyhow! Thank you vantid for being my guinea pig!
The second photo is a set of sketches conceptualizing logos for the talented Deyvarah’s story Astral Dawn. Not knowing too much of the world, these are really very vague explorations of the premise she explained. I was thrilled she liked some of them!
oh and random snarl face in the corner because why not? I don’t waste paper so when there’s room on the page, things happen.
So I thought I had deleted the origins of this piece but whilst tidying up my files I found it after all, discreetly named something along the lines of “painta.psd”. I thought I would share the very humble origins of one of my paintings just for fun. It was started on a day I was just not feeling agreeable with painting and decided to try anyway. The painting got stuck and I closed the file and went away to do something else. (I often save failed speedpaints just so later when I’m stuck on ideas I can flip through the files and recall what sparked the original idea and see if something new bites.)
Later on, while finishing Aeturno, I came across some neat pictures of nebulae and decided to open the file and try again with fresh eyes. Sometimes it helps to paint over the bones of an old idea, the seed of hope germinates into something when watered with fresh perspectives. Sometimes nothing comes of it but speedpaints for me are exercises in restraint of expectations and especially in loosening my rigid process.
So there you have it. Go forth and paint some things and fail at painting some other things. You never can tell what will come of it..and sometimes the point is not the end result but the process of trying new ideas on for size.
Just some concepts for a possible thing. I’ve wanted to paint some sabercats again for eons and particularly something that implies the passage of time, ie fossilized ammonites and tree roots etc juxtaposed against a then living but now extinct species. That combination tickles my fancy for some reason.
A few folks asked what brushes I use for fur. For the detail level work I usually just use standard Photoshop brushes (chalk or round hard edged brush) and paint in the fur a strand at a time. but to help lay out general fur direction and a foundation on which to build fur detail I made a custom brush that works great for this purpose. I don’t like smooth/clean fur brushes because I feel even as a base they flow unnaturally and are too artificial so I added a dual brush to ‘rough it up a bit’.
You can download the brush here: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/27992944/Balaa_Fur_brush.abr & https://dl.dropbox.com/u/27992944/balaa_fur_brush_cs5.abr for those having issues using in CS5 and below. I regularly change various settings of this brush as I work to avoid it looking homogenized (altering mainly the dual brush spacing/size/shape dynamics). Feel free to use it as you please!
I may put together a brush pack reflecting the brushes I currently use most which is about 5-7 brushes!
I think I don’t truly have a strong association with that name anymore but then in a way I never had. It started as many nicknames start, a placeholder just so I could join an art site…and then they just kind of stick. I suppose if anything it is at least a lot easier to remember/say than my real name so it works out!
I have always pronounced it Bah-la though I don’t know at all if that is the correct pronunciation (not that it matters for this purpose anyway).
And wow, thank you for following my work for so long! I’ve been enjoying your work for many years as well so I am flattered! It has been awesome seeing you exploring the new directions you have been of late, please keep up the beautiful work C:.
I am not sure how quickly you work but it varies greatly for me project to project. Quite often though I will put in extremely long work days when I am hyper-focused on a painting (sometimes 10-16 hours if the idea is flowing!). Also most paintings have a prolonged ‘ugly stages’ that I think most artists can identify with. Sometimes it’s because what you imagined in your head doesn’t quite translate on ‘paper’, but sometimes you just have to keep picking at it and letting your subconscious mold it until it starts getting less ugly. Well that is the case for me anyway. Also for me some ideas start with a very clear direction visually, ie I know from the first second what I want the painting to do, which often makes the process a lot more fast. Some paintings, however, are more nebulous and start with a feeling and only a suggestion of what the final piece will actually turn into. Those are often the most frustrating and rewarding because the final product is a complete surprise even to yourself.
Hi! I was born on the Baltic seaboard in Estonia, though both my biological parents are Russian. We immigrated to the US when I was about 7 but I still remember a fair amount of the language (though not as much as my grandmother believes I should know). Apparently, I have a fairly strong accent when I speak Russian ;]. I practice when I can when I visit my mom, but alas not often enough. Ironically enough I understand the language far better than I speak it (something about how the brain processes language differently when it is spoken versus comprehended.). You may feel free to speak at me in Russian, would be good practice for me ^^!