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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Procedural sketching with Harmony

Yesterday Tamar pointed me to Mr. Doob's excellent new procedural drawing tool, Harmony. It's incredibly simplistic, but it has some unique brushes that allow you to create amazing-looking sketches in a matter of minutes, particularly if you lean towards the abstract. I pulled out my tablet and got hooked on Harmony for a few hours, and thought I'd share some of the sketches I came up with:

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)















For what I was going for, the "web" and "shaded" brushes were my favorite. I hope Mr. Doob continues developing Harmony - I know I'd definitely buy a full-featured version of it with hi-res output.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Picnic

I squeezed in a bit of time for a new illustration amidst my European travels, and it happens to have a perfect theme for the US 4th of July weekend:


Click to enlarge!



This is available as a hi-res wallpaper. If you're interested in a print, drop me a line at prints@rob-sheridan.com.

Here is the original sketch, and here is the pre-colored outline. While I was working on this I thought I'd lost all my coloring due to a corrupt file and would have to redo hours of work, but Steve from Corel came to the rescue and was able to recover the corrupted Painter file. Huge thanks to him for helping me out there - I've now upgraded to Painter 11 to avoid any file corruption issues in the future. It was long overdue, anyway.

My next task is to finish work on Broken Robot Girls number two and three, so hopefully you'll be seeing those before too long.

I've also been taking a lot of photos while traveling, like this one (click to enlarge):



You can find a lot more in my tourist galleries and on my Flickr.


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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Scare Tactics

As many of you know, I've been pretty busy with my day job, so Sketchblog has yet again fallen to the wayside. However, during my travels I've been slowly forcing myself to do at least a little bit of drawing here and there to break up the monotony. I'm slowly chipping away at the post-production work on Broken Robot Girl #2 and #3, which Tamar and I shot a couple months ago, and last night I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finally finish an illustration I started last year at the same time I did Ice World (hence the snow):

(Please, click to enlarge - or better yet, get the wallpaper)



This makes a lovely Wallpaper, and is available as a limited edition print. Here is the original sketch.

In other news, the first Broken Robot Girl got a really surprising/exciting amount of coverage, including a page in Popular Photography (wow!) with an interview with Tamar included. LA Weekly also featured it, and asked me some questions. As soon as I have time to finish them, the next photos in the series will be posted here. Oh, and I believe this is the very first Sketchblog-inspired tattoo (based on Troublemaker). I'm immensely flattered.

Lord only knows when the next update will be (hopefully soon?), but please follow me on Twitter to stay in touch in the meantime.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ice World

So, it's been a while. I've spent the last seven months doing a rather excessive amount of traveling, working on a number of exciting projects with Nine Inch Nails, and generally just never getting a chance to sit down and draw - much to my dismay. But over the Christmas break I was up in Seattle during a big snowstorm, and like last year I was inspired by the snowy landscape. This time it was the atmosphere of the wintry Northwest and the layers of trees. So I started on this drawing, but didn't quite finish it up there, and found it quite a bit less inspiring to work on once I returned to the very un-wintry 86 degree weather in Los Angeles. I finally sat down and finished it up last night though, and I'm hoping it will be the first of many more Sketchblog entries in 2009. Drawing more is one of my New Year's resolutions, after all.

(click to enlarge)



Here's a detail and the original sketch.

I made a wallpaper version, which required some sliding around and cloning of elements so I wouldn't have to crop the image, but it worked out alright.

This proved a nice warm-up and I have a lot of ideas for new prints and sketches, so with any luck there will be some activity around here. Thanks to everyone who's been keeping an eye on this page while it's been dormant - I'm always amazed at how many emails and print orders I get even when I'm neglecting Sketchblog. Remember to subscribe to the RSS feed or the email list (use the form at the bottom of the right-hand column of this page) to get alerts when new things turn up here.

The holiday rush has sold out a couple more prints, and Leaving Town and Cereal Mascot Reunion are getting close to being gone. I'm also, after numerous requests, taking custom orders for prints of other Sketchblog images not specifically listed on the prints page - email prints (at) rob-sheridan.com if there's a specific image you're looking for a print of.

Oh, and if you haven't seen them yet, I put up some new travel photos from Peru and Panama on my tourist page a little while back, and also some fun macro photos of one of my favorite old childhood games over at my Flickr.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Miscellany

One of these days I'm going to have some new art to post here, I really am. As soon as I get a million other things done. In the meantime, here are some miscellaneous things:

1. The Downtown Art Walk last week was a lot of fun once again. This time I walked around a bit more and spent some time perusing some of the galleries, and I realized just how absurdly out of place my illustrations are amidst most of the other work. Of course, that actually makes it more fun. After seeing dozens of oil paintings of horses or art school caliber "abstract installations" of painted bicycle parts hanging from ceilings, no one's expecting to see cereal mascots and dead children, so the reactions are often priceless. Anyway, Jennie posted some pics from the Possum Saloon show here.

2. Last month I helped Tamar with a Reebok ad she was shooting for Metro.pop magazine. She was inspired by my Robot Block Party image and felt the aesthetic would fit perfectly with the, er, colorful shoes. The end result is the second page spread in this month's issue, and it looks really great, especially considering how hideous those shoes are. Click the thumbnail below to see the full sized image over on Tamar's site:



3. Since I've been playing with Facebook a bit recently, I broke down and made a Facebook page. Aside from being a lot easier to update than my in-need-of-renovation portfolio, it will quell the anxiety of those who keep asking me why I don't have a Facebook page. Please add me if you use Facebook, my newborn page is sad and lonely at the moment.

4. I felt guilty making another post without any artwork, so I did this little one-minute doodle:



I like drawing things without thinking much about them, then trying to piece together all the subconscious influences that went into them. In this one I'm reminded of the wonderful Isz from Sam Keith's The Maxx, which I used to love once upon a time. There's also some Piranha Plant in there, and some of the creatures from the great first Oddworld game on Playstation, and some Ankylosaurus from this old dinosaur book that I had when I was a kid, pre-Jurassic Park when bipedal dinosaurs were still depicted standing upright with their tails dragging on the ground. Ah, those were the days.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

We Could Build A Better Robot, If We Only Had Arms

(click to enlarge)



Here's the original sketch, and the outline, and the pre-Photoshop coloring.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crabwalk

SketchBlog returns! I can't believe it's been over a month since the last post. As some of you know, I've been extremely busy with other projects, but I finally had time for some drawing tonight, and I think I'll be posting on a regular basis again now. So here's a new wallpaper for you:

(click to enlarge)


Right-click to save:
Wallpaper for standard (4x3) monitors
Wallpaper for widescreen (16x9) monitors

Oh, and if you hadn't noticed, there's now a pack of iPhone wallpapers on the wallpaper page (they're sized for the iPhone, but they'll work in other phones).

I'll post new artwork soon! In the meantime, if you're bored, you can enjoy some pictures I took of cheap/awesome alien tourist attractions during a recent stop in Roswell, New Mexico - click the photo for the full gallery:

American Alien 2


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Friday, February 15, 2008

With Apologies To Cesar Romero

I've been pretty busy lately, but I've been slowly chipping away at a couple different illustrations, which should be showing up here soon. In the meantime though, my friend Ollie once again asked me to draw something for her band, The Oohlas (I did this image for them last year), for a poster/flier for their upcoming LA show with Stellastarr*. And since Ollie encourages me to be as weird as I want, I just couldn't turn her down.

(click to enlarge)



The genesis of this image was a series of text messages which went something like this:

Me: Any particular theme I should run with?
Ollie: Idunno dude, just go crazy, but maybe something Ronettesish.
Me: Ronettesish? Is that defined as "related to or involving the 1960's trio The Ronettes?"
Ollie: Yes. I'm really into them lately.
Me: Okay. So, hypothetically, if aliens with paper Ronettes masks were feeding a sea monkey, which celebrity or historical figure's head would the sea monkey have?
Ollie: Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger.
Me: How about a two-headed sea monkey, with both heads? The two jokers. Sea monkeys have built-in joker hats, it was almost meant to be.
Ollie: Perfect! This is going to be amazing.
Me: I feel kind of guilty for excluding Cesar Romero, but at least now I can call the image "With Apologies To Cesar Romero." It has a great ring to it.
Ollie: You're insane.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Leaving Town

Usually when I draw something I have a very specific idea in mind from the beginning. Sometimes, though, I just start doodling and see what happens, and that's where, many hours later, this came from.

There's quite a bit of detail in it, so please, click to enlarge:



This is available as a print.

Detail

Initial sketch

Oh, and here are a couple pretty cool robots that came out while I was sketching.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Watching You Watching Me

The other day I was walking to the grocery store around the corner from my apartment, and I noticed that one of the trees was watching me. I've walked past this tree probably two hundred times, and somehow I never noticed that it had all these creepy eyes all over it. It's a pretty fantastic tree:




It even has a creepy face.

Anyway, the tree inspired me, so I decided to draw it, with lots of outlines so I could really put my new Cintiq tablet to the test. The large, expensive Cintiqs are gorgeous (like an Apple Cinema Display that you can draw on), but the advantage of the smaller one is that you can put it in your lap and relax and draw on it like a sketchbook, turning it and tilting it as desired. So I drew a lot of lines, here and there over the past few days, and I ended up with this:

(click to enlarge)


By the time I was done with all those lines I didn't particularly feel like coloring the thing in, and I kind of liked it black and white anyway. But it does sort of feel like a page from a coloring book, so I thought maybe someone else might want to color it in. If you happen to feel like coloring, here is a large version you can play with - and do please email me the results, or post them in the comments.

When I was a little kid the local grocery store used to have occasional coloring contests on their brown paper grocery bags. A picture of a turkey at Thanksgiving, or pumpkins at Halloween, that sort of thing. It always annoyed me because with brown as a base color, none of my brilliant Crayolas came out the way they were intended. But I did it anyway, and one time I won five dollars, and it was immensely exciting. This will sort of be like that, except you'll have a nice white base color, and no one is going to win five dollars.

P.S. In case you don't know, a nice way to color a flat image like this is to set it as a multiply layer in Photoshop and then do the color on a layer underneath it.

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Friday, January 4, 2008

New Toys, Monsters

Among other things, I got a really nice set of Letraset markers for Christmas from Tam, a noble effort to get me off of my computer occasionally and maybe draw things on real paper. Go figure, my first instinct was to make some textures with the markers and scan them into the computer.

Then I got myself a Christmas present, the drool-worthy Cintiq pen tablet with LCD display. If you're serious about digital art or photography, you need a Wacom pen tablet - you just can't get any kind of results using a mouse. My lovely Intuos3 served me well for quite a while, but I'd always been eyeing the deluxe Cintiq line, which adds an LCD display into the tablet, so you actually draw directly onto your image! With the new 12wx making Cintiq tablets more portable and affordable, I finally had an excuse to dive in. To break in my new toy, I did a quick sketch today, drawing the outlines on my tablet and then coloring them in with some texture I made with the Letraset markers:

(click to enlarge)



This was a spiritual successor to a little doodle I did on the airplane the other day with the markers:

(click to enlarge)



I'm looking forward to spending some serious quality time with my new toys - the results, of course, will be showing up here.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Troublemaker

(click to enlarge)


I really need to get a better grasp on the concept of a "sketch." This was way more complicated than it probably looks. Yeah, my Saturday nights go OFF.

Original sketch here.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Big Business

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Girl in Peril

I started this blog to motivate myself to draw more. It's been a favorite hobby of mine since as long as I can remember, but in recent years I've let it go, often going years at a time without drawing anything. One of my problems is that once I start something, I have a hard time keeping it simple. I make it complex and detailed and laborious, and it never gets finished. So today I decided to start a new little disciplinary exercise: I'm going to draw at least one picture every day. Even if sometimes it only takes five minutes, or it's just a stick person, something has to go up every day. It'll force me to learn to create things more simply and quickly, and putting them up on a blog like this makes it more real, and encourages me to stick with it. Plus people can harass me via the comments if I slip up.

To get things started, I decided to finish a little drawing that had been sitting around since the last time I told myself I was going to draw more. At the time I had a sudden urge to make something, but didn't have any ideas. I asked the always-helpful Tamar, who said, "draw a picture of me." I told her no, I did not want to draw a picture of her. She then said, "draw a picture of me getting eaten by a monster." Okay, I told her, I could handle that. But as usual, I never finished it - so when today when I was reminded of the cool '70's-flavored design work of Scott Hansen, his simple shapes and color palettes made me think of that drawing, and inspired me to dig it up and finish it. So here it is, dedicated to Tam for the original inspiration - click to enlarge, obviously:

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