Saturday, January 26, 2013


Some more FireAlpaca practice. Since a HD remake of Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was announced recently, I thought this would be appropriate. While I had sort of played Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask (my first Zelda games) before, I don't think my love of this franchise was really cemented until Wind Waker came around. Of the Zelda games I have played*, it may not be my absolute top favorite now, but it's still one of my favorites overall (behind Majora's Mask and Skyward Sword). Tetra's also a pretty a cool character, and maybe because I didn't know much about the Zelda universe when I first played Wind Waker, it made the revelation of her true identity far more surprising to me.

*Yes, I realize it's probably unforgivable I haven't actually played the older games yet.

This was also a pretty fun piece to work on, overall. I mostly drew her from memory, but then had to check an official illustration or two to get certain details a little closer to the original. Something I'm learning is to not commit too early to my roughs. My first pass inking and coloring came out really sloppy and details just didn't look right, so I started a new layer to tighten my "pencils" layer and then re-inked it. The final result is overall much stronger because of that.

The first pencils and inks didn't seems all that bad to me to be honest, but once I started coloring and taking away the underdrawing, I started seeing problems with it. There's something off about her face and it's just not all that specific in some areas. After getting a few helpful words from the homie Jaime Hernandez, I went back into it and fixed up the pencils and inking to something far more satisfactory.

Overall, it's a better drawing that feels more like the character, and I'm happy with it.


Oh right, and I've joined the rest of the 21st century and started a tumblr blog... there's not much on there yet, and I imagine that and this blog will share some contents (though this one will have more writing/process stuff), but I'll see what I can do to separate the two further to keep people interested (sketch weeks? Comics? Let me know... the two of that are reading this).

Monday, January 21, 2013

Playing with Fire...

Er, FireAlpaca, that is... heh, heh...

About last week the homie Jaime Hernandez told me about a freeware drawing and painting program called FireAlpaca and I've been practicing with it the last few days. I'm a total newbie when it comes to drawing/painting digitally and FireAlpaca seems like a fine introduction for me. I got my tablet only about a month ago and I've had some trouble adjusting, but with a little practice I'm getting better.

A while back I had found a great reference via the Muddy Colors blog that I had been wanting to use for a long time, but instead it sat in my pictures folder almost forgotten. After fiddling around with FireAlpaca for a couple days, I found the image again and decided I was going to do something with it. My original intention was to paint it, but I ended up with a slightly different, but overall more satisfying result that more closely matches what I'm trying to aim for in my drawing. How'd I do?

Original reference and "penciled" layer. Photo by Greg Manchess.

Final "inked" result.

I had quite a bit of fun trying to work this out. It took me several tries to ink the linework to a point I was genuinely happy with it (not really too different from inking normally for me, sadly). But once I got that, I ended up trying to do block shading using a much darker color. The darker color was really flattening out the image, so I messed with the layer settings, and I really liked how "overlay" gave the color a lighter shade and tone that actually worked better with the drawing. I think the more graphic look I ended up with would clash a little too much with the original "painterly" look I wanted to go for, so I abandoned some initial painting I started before I did the shading. As I said already, I'm quite satisfied with this result.

All in all, I'm really liking FireAlpaca so far, and for a newbie like me, it's perfect to get me started.