Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

Posts tagged ‘Tuesday art day’

Tuesday Art Day: Kumineko and the Dragon

postersketch08

This is probably art you’ll want to click through to view if you want to see the whole thing in any detail. This is the conclusion of an EPIC odyssey of painting done for Kumineko on Twitter of all of his Warcraft characters. This took me ages to do and to finish. I’ve actually come to realize that huge commissions of this type are not the best thing for me. I tend to get bogged down in the details and lose focus. It could be something I choose to work on in the future, but for right now I think it’s good to know your limits!

CharacterPosterbyVidyala-Jan-31-2013

Here it is printed out and hung up. As you can see, it wasn’t a small piece either, having been intended to be poster-sized. TA DA. (Sorry, but that’s how I feel when I look at this photograph, haha). I’m glad it printed really well and I am proud of it, I just now know how much work such an image entails!

Tuesday Art Day: Elaina

worgen_large

Soo, long time no see, huh? This was an avatar I did over the holidays. It was a gift commission for a Secret Santa exchange. I think it’s the first time I’ve done any lady worgen avatars, so it was fun. It’s for @GGElaina on Twitter and was commissioned by @_anea.

As far as Warcraft goes, I’ll admit to you that I’m in a bit of an odd place. I’m still enjoying the game and raiding with my guildies, though I don’t find I have as much to write about in the blog these days (obviously). The time was I could barely get posts out fast enough. Of course I’ve never been a mage theorycrafter of much note but I usually had something to say. Going casual as a guild has meant some mental readjustments that way. It really meant taking a step back in many regards – there were some days I didn’t do dailies. I don’t use the maximum stat food, preferring to use feasts that the guild makes. As far as I know, that hasn’t hurt our raiding progression, but even our raiding progression isn’t a top priority as such.

We made further schedule readjustments, going from one night (three hours) to two nights again but shortening the raid to a mere two hours each night. It allows for a later start and an earlier end, which is honestly a relief. It makes my days feel less punctuated by World of Warcraft and more like “this is a fun hobby.” If I’m being honest with myself, there was a good chunk of time when WoW was less a hobby than a second job.

At this time last year I wasn’t sure I’d still be playing WoW; Voss and I wanted to stop raiding as much as we had and we were fully aware that Business Time might close up shop as a result. I’m really glad that it didn’t, though, and this reduced schedule and more relaxed approach has suited us very well. There’ve been times when WoW felt like the only thing that was going right. The danger in that, though, is that if you put too much stock in a video game you react disproportionately to probably minor things. At other times I would despair if our progression wasn’t “fast enough,” feeling that it was a reflection on me and that I was letting the guild down by not leading them better. So these days I try to have a healthy balance. WoW is a game I love to play and I’ve made great friends through it. I spend time doing From Draenor With Love each week and that’s more “WoW-related” time, and otherwise I have cut way down.

I didn’t exactly make any new year’s resolutions but if I had to choose one word for this year (as Alas described) it would be purpose. I’m trying to recognize my purpose in many areas of life and not to lose sight of it, and also to have some perspective about goals that may take some time to achieve. Having no control over things makes this more a necessity than a choice! Anyway, I spent about three days over the holidays working on this:

studio

This is my studio space, which is where I do non-digital art. As you can see from the first photo, it’s been pretty difficult to get in there and do anything for the past…oh, I don’t want to say exactly how long. But you can see to the right of the photo that portfolios and drawings are piled foot-deep there. Notice how on the right-hand photo those are mostly gone? I filled five garbage bags with old drawings and other detritus. The space is ready and waiting for me and it feels good. I won’t go into too much personal detail except that the past year has been punctuated, it seems, by illness or medical concerns, doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds and bloodwork. It’s tiring and it’s really interfered with my ability to work. The only thing I managed to be consistent about was From Draenor and my raid schedule, which I’m proud of but it’s not really enough. I also can’t remember the last time I did any art just for myself that wasn’t Warcraft related. I love the Warcraft universe but I also don’t want all my creative endeavors to depend on someone else’s intellectual property. It’s something to think about, anyway.

Don’t write me off your feedreaders just yet, I promise to write here as topics strike. I’m just a bit preoccupied at the moment. I’m starting up a personal blog at another url so that I can write about personal stuff without feeling like I am bombarding an audience who really wants to talk about World of Warcraft. That blog’s not up yet, but I will share the url when it’s ready if anyone is interested. It will likely be a catch-all for my other interests: art, food and cooking/baking, games (other than Warcraft), and also health stuff. I’d be happy to see some familiar faces reading there but I won’t be offended if you don’t. I’ve lost touch with some Warcraft folks over the years especially once they leave the game and it’s sad but expected. Sometimes our friendships can survive the loss of a shared universe and sometimes they can’t. I’m always happy when they do, though!

I hope you all had a great holiday and so far a good new year. I hope I’ll have more to share with you soon.

p.s. Due to the departure of a few good Business Time friends, we’re currently looking to recruit a ranged DPS, preferably a hunter or warlock. Hunter is the highest priority because right now we have ZERO and all that mail agility gear just rots. So if you are a hunter or an exceptional ranged DPS of any kind and you’re interested in a home for “semi-retired hardcore raiders,” check us out. Our thing is we still have minimum play standards to avoid frustrations that can sometimes accompany very casual raiding, but if you’re looking to push much hardmode progression we’re a bit over that. We just like to be casually awesome, kill some internet Mogu and have a few laughs. We raid two nights a week as mentioned, two of either Monday, Wed, or Thursday from 6:30-8:30 PST. Each week we look at signups and determine the days, so some weeks it’s M/Thurs and other weeks M/Wed and on a rare week Wed/Thurs (we try to avoid that).

Tuesday Art Day: Arbalest and Sophye

First: I know it isn’t Tuesday, but I couldn’t finish this yesterday and I didn’t want to rush it.

I am really excited to share this particular art day project because I’ve had to keep it under my hat since September! This was a special commission from Kirby (who was referred to me on Twitter). He wanted two figurines for the top of his friends’ wedding cake. I can’t remember who suggested me because they had seen the figurines I have done before. (See: Shaedre, Millya). For many reasons this was a much more complicated project than those – they had to be wearing specific clothing, and they also had to stand on their own!

I wish I’d taken more in-progress photos; I do have the preliminary sketch that I did though. I was surprised that the final figures ended up looking similarly to this sketch. I really presented it as a rough just to get some idea of proportions.

This was the image that I had in my head and that I sent to Kirby before I started working on it. I wanted everything to be ready to go before I actually began work because once you start working with clay (even the type that doesn’t dry out) it tends to be an all-consuming project taking over an entire desk and house. In this photo you can see a bit of my working area; note the thin scraps of clay and how they retain their shape without “sticking” to each other. Also you can see the box of 60 travel wipes – I used ALL of them. Travel wipes are amazing for working with clay. You can use them to clean your hands in-between colours, and also to wipe down the work area. I read this tip randomly on a clay website and it was invaluable.

Sophye, before baking!

Unlike my previous figures, these ones had to be able to stand on their own and were a fair bit bigger. Because of that, I knew they would need an armature inside. Arbalest (the groom) has a wire armature wrapped in aluminum foil that makes the shape of his legs, torso, arms, head, and horns. Sophye (the bride) was a little different. Because I knew her dress was basically cone shaped, I simply rolled and shaped a piece of aluminum foil into a cone. The reason this is done is because it makes the final figures lighter, stronger, and ensures that the clay bakes evenly. It also keeps the price manageable, because otherwise you’d have a solid block of clay.

I used a different type of clay, Staedtler Fimo instead of the Sculpey III I had used for my previous projects. I was really happy with the Fimo and will be using it again. I found that it held detail much better than the Sculpey. The feel of it is a bit more plastic-ey, but it was perfect for rolling out sheets of clay and retaining its shape. The black in particular gave me trouble, for some reason it felt softer than the other clays and tended to almost feel like it was melting in my hands. I think the only available Fimo black may have been Fimo “Soft” and I’m not sure I would use it again for a larger project such as the groom’s tux/body.

Here you can see the detail of the bride’s dress pretty well including the folds I was able to make in the “fabric.” I don’t think that would have been possible with Sculpey at all, as I found it much stickier.

For this project I also invested in a dedicated clay “pasta” machine to roll out sheets of clay. It was a huge lifesaver and I don’t regret it at all! Especially the bride’s dress required uniform amounts of clay and the Fimo was perfect at holding a “fold” as I was working with it. What I did was figure out the approximate length of “fabric” needed to wrap around the dress. I’d roll out the clay, use my blade to slice it straight and then just built from the bottom up. After the bottom of the dress was done I worked on the torso (I did the head separately, it also has a ball of aluminum foil inside) and later added the details like the roses.

Overall, the bride was much easier to sculpt than the groom. His stature and the Tauren legs made him much trickier. When I finished the majority of his body (his head was also sculpted separately) he couldn’t really stand on his own, even with the wire skeleton in his legs. I changed the configuration of his tail so that it provided an extra support. This “tripod” arrangement keeps him upright! The tail is also built around a thick piece of wire and is probably a little thicker than an actual Tauren tail would be, simply of necessity.

I couldn’t resist taking a few fun photos of the two of them once they were finished.

The bride had a slight mishap in baking unfortunately, her bouquet slipped right out of her hands. Fortunately I was hovering over the oven anxiously and I caught it in time to pull the bouquet off of her and bake it next to her instead. Super glue works really well with polymer clays and I knew I could attach it after the fact. The bouquet may have needed some internal structure itself to lighten it up, I’m not sure, but lesson learned!

After both sculptures were baked, I spent some time glazing parts of them (and attaching/reattaching other parts). Having learned from the bride, I baked the boutonniere separately and attached it with glue after. I glazed Arbalest’s hooves, the lapel of his jacket, his nose ring, the leaves of all the flowers, and Sophye’s hair attachments. I toyed with the idea of glazing their eyes but ultimately decided against it in case it made them look creepy. I might experiment with this when I make another figurine for myself, but it’s not something I wanted to mess with considering I was under time constraints and didn’t want to mess these guys up.

Arbalest and Sophye

I’m not sure that either of these photos shows all the little details like the tiny white buttons on Arbalest’s shirt (I poked four holes in each of them!) but I guess it gives some idea. You can click to view any of these larger.

Here you can see how his tail holds him up, and also his bow tie, because bow ties are cool…

Finally, I have one photo from the wedding itself graciously taken for me by Kirby. It turns out that they were a bit big for the cake so as Kirby put it, they went plainstriding. I’m not sure if they were a surprise for the bride and groom (I think so, though) but it looks like they had flowers already planned for the top anyway so it’s okay. I think even if I’d made them half the size they still would’ve been pretty big for the top so this worked out!

I learned quite a bit from this, including how much work such figures would be (I hadn’t paid attention when I made them for myself). Sculpting each figure took about ten hours for a total of twenty, post production stuff was probably five between the two of them. Or, if you prefer, nearly two complete seasons of Buffy and a bit of extra where I wasn’t watching anything at all.

Thanks to Kirby for the opportunity to make these! It sounds as if the “real” Arbalest and Sophye liked them and I had a blast making them. If you have any questions about something I forgot to mention, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments.

Tuesday Art Day: Kumineko

An avatar done as an inclusion to a larger commission I’ve been working on for a friend for wayy too long. I was able to get this to him because this stuff is fast, unlike big commissions. I’m more or less always able to sneak a few avatar commissions in alongside larger ones, because they can be done in bits and pieces when I need a break from focusing on something larger. He wanted a cute rendition of his feral druid!

Tuesday Art Day: Kinnavieve and Shianti

This is a pair of avatars I did for the inestimable Ratters of Needs More Rage fame. It is Ratters’ character Kinnavieve (who I’m sure you all know) and his wife Julie’s character, Shianti. He asked me to make them so that they could go together and would be looking at each other, like so. Accordingly I did the background in one long piece and then pasted it behind them. They do also exist as separate avatars, though.

I was happy with them! More importantly, I think that Ratters and his wife were happy with them as well. Ratters just recently hung up his (Warcraft) blogging hat, you should go and read his last few posts. Bring tissues though.

Tuesday Art Day: Matty

These were done for Matty over at Sugar & Blood – she wanted two portraits! Here’s the first one, an avatar.

Matty! If you are a reader of her blog you may spot something I added after we’d discussed the image.

The second one was a watercolour, and I was trying something a little different with it – I tweeted progress pics at fairly regular intervals.

Just getting started! (I’d laid the first wash the night before and then let it dry). You can also see my lightbox, tracing paper, etc.

Starting on the background and the lighter areas. You can be a little bit sloppy with washes if they fall where shadows are going to be, but when it comes to colours like yellow you have to be pretty careful not to muddy them up.

You can see that I realized the handle of the right axe had been wrong – well, technically it’s the pommel that was wrong. I had to try to cover it up, you can still see it a bit here but I think in the final painting it was covered pretty well. I’ve also added a wash to her gloves, most of which will be covered after. With watercolour you really need to think in sequential layers – so I’m always asking myself “What will this need to look like after, and what needs to get done first?”

And that’s it! This was an actual scan of the painting, rather than a photo taken on my phone like the others.

So those are two of the commissions I’ve recently finished! Matty also has them on her blog both here and here. I think she was happy with them, and that’s the most important thing for me! My commission dance card is pretty full at the moment, but please remember if you want to be added to the list, do e-mail me; it’s puggingpally AT gmail DOT com! It’s the easiest way for me to make sure you don’t get lost in the comments.  You can see my commission entry for more info.

Tuesday Art Day: Avatars

First off, thanks to everyone who contacted or linked to me regarding the previous commissions post. If you have contacted me and not heard back (and there are a few people I haven’t gotten to yet because I got a bit inundated and this week is shaping up to be a doozy) thank you for your patience. I’ve added a commission status page; so if your name is on the list I have received your inquiry/info and you will hear back from me soon! I’ll update the list as I progress.

That stuff aside, this IS a Tuesday Art day post and so here is some art.

This is the first avatar I did (in this batch, of course, I have done them before). It was commissioned by Itanya for her other guild leader (I’m not jealous, I swear), an orc resto shaman named Ghaar.

And here is a second avatar I managed to do last week before the weekend, for LeGameJunkie. This one was fun because it wasn’t a WoW character, rather she wanted herself (from photos) reinterpreted as an elf.

It really wasn’t too hard to do, she had a face well-suited to being an elf (and the bright red hair that she had in the picture didn’t hurt, either!)

So there are some avatars for you, now if you’ll excuse me I have From Draenor With Love to finish and then many e-mails and more art to do (huzzah!)

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,355 other followers