Sunday, September 29, 2013

Another special birthday commission

Another client loved the idea of painting something unique for a person that’s just impossible to buy for. How can one get any more original and out of the box than to commission an artist? The birthday message and all names have been blurred for privacy concerns.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ask "Stretch"! - September

Happy September everybody! Here in the western hemisphere we are just getting started into autumn, even though it still feels like summer. It's time for another session of "Ask Stretch"! Let's have a look at some questions that you, the audience, have sent in:

1. What is your process for drawing out a 5 point character design turnaround? Do you start out with the front view, then back view, then three quarter view, etc…?

Answer: For those whom may be wondering; a 5 point character design turnaround is a critical piece in designing for animation. You could call it a map showing the animation team on any given production how your character looks from all angles so they can animate properly. The "5 Point" is talking about the different poses one sees the character in: front, 3/4 front, profile, 3/4 back and back. I always start my turnarounds at the front position which shows a lot of detail and has little to no perspective to worry about. It's a good planning pose to start from. When I have a finished front pose, then I move on to designing the 3/4 front, profile, 3/4 back and back. The character, when you're done, should be proportionately correct from all angles and the details read seamlessly from pose to pose. If anything is off, the animation will look wrong and time will be lost while fixing the problem. It is crucial to use a ruler to draw horizontal reference lines, be precise and take your time. 

2. I notice sometimes you start out the character design process with the head design first. If so, how do you approach designing the character body or does the body just fall into place? 

Answer:  Actually, it's rare for me to begin a character concept any way else other than starting with the head. Sometimes I can see the whole character in my mind clearly and other times I need to work the character out piece by piece and try different approaches before I find "the one". When it comes to the body, I like to begin with the torso; defining the shape of the ribcage and the pelvis. After that, I'll design the arms, legs, tails and whatever else is left. The body design often needs some tweaks and experimentation in order to find the most appealing look. I'll try different shapes and shift masses around. Sometimes the body does fall right into place and other times it takes a few attempts before the final concept is found. There have been cases of a concept going through over 20 design attempts before the right one finally comes.

And that's all for this edition of "Ask Stretch". Got a question about the creative process, the industry or just being an artist in general? Shoot me a message! Until then, see you all next month : ) 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Song of Undine

Trying a new color approach with a more painterly look. She's my version of an Undine, or water spirit from Greek mythology, that's hanging out singing away in the ocean.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Alien female head design

Aliens are tons of fun to design since they can look like anything. There isn't any real "this is how it is" baggage. The imagination gets severely limited when we accept that things can only look or function a certain way. Progress can't be made without wonder and experiment. All of our inventions, great and small, come from this line of thinking: "What if....?"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Savior of the seed

Sometime in the distant future, our food will be so advanced that we won't grow food from seeds anymore. Instead the trend is all about "holo-food" that comes complete with texture and scents of different foods. It pleases the tongue and the mind enough to bypass the stomach feeling full. The humans of this time are always eating claiming they can't get enough.....because....well, they aren't. They're just "filling up" on holo-food and drink rather than the real stuff. Water is a taboo word almost lost to the times. Everyday, the humans get a daily shot of vitamins and minerals crafted in labs. Underneath the humans' feet, the mouse population scurries about looking for real food in the form of seeds that could be raised to produce food. Maybe that's what our young girl mouse is doing in this picture. Perhaps, one day, the fate of humanity will actually ride on her and her kind's shoulders to save humanity from its own food technology....


I'm a firm believer in art bringing smiles and inspiration for a better tomorrow. I found this post by accident on Facebook and felt that I must share it. Enjoy and share : )

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fireball made in less than 30 seconds

Animating in general is a labor of love and that labor increases in the 3D realm. (depending on whom you talk to that is.) This was made in Autodesk Maya using the 3D FX brush and several fire "brushes" found in what's called the "Visor". The visor is a keeper of 3D brushes that Maya comes with and has brushes for lightning, fire, clouds, trees and flowers to name a few. There's A LOT more than those contained in the visor. I used 3 different flame brushes and then looped their animation of 50 frames per cycle. It's actually a lot simpler than it sounds and yields interesting results!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Sabre, the wolf

Wolves are my favorite animal and I've drawn "Sabre" before but I like to revisit old favorite designs and design them once more with new skills/experience I've picked up. It's lots of fun and I'll keep doing it until the design reaches maturity, so-to-speak.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Connect with me!

Enjoy what goes on here at Howling-Wolf-Art? Here are a few links to stay in the know:

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My Mobian self - Cherry

I came to the realization that I've never drawn in the style that Sega uses for the Sonic games. Sat down and drew my own little OC to fit in that universe. Of course, I don't own the rights to Sonic, his games or other characters. I just drew in a hybrid of my style and the one used on Sonic.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Special birthday gift that was commissioned

One of my current clients was on the hunt for truly unique gifts to give her family and friends. She contracted me to create this piece for an upcoming friend's birthday. For privacy's sake, the name and message on this "birthday card" have been blurred out. If you or someone you know would enjoy an acrylic painting that they can't get anywhere else, contact me for a quote : )

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Secret of Mana series - Popoie

The last of the main characters and third party member of the team. Popoie is a 13 year old sprite with a somewhat mischievous attitude standing as tall as maybe up to Randi's waist. Randi encounters him in one of the early villages the player comes across. He joins your quest to find his homeland and his memory.While Primm gets the support magic, Popoie becomes master of all offensive magic spells. (Again, I don't own anything to do with Secret of Mana,  just drew the characters for fun)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Secret of Mana series - Primm or Purim

Primm, or Purim, is another of the main characters in the game Secret of Mana. She's a feisty, stubborn fighter that's determined to save her love, Dyluck, from the bad guys. She's the eldest member of the group and gets to handle all support magic spells learned in the game.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Secret of Mana series - Randi

Randi is one of the main characters from a game I played as a kid called "Secret of Mana". This game came out in the early 90s and was an RPG that was tons of fun to play. While sitting on jury duty, I sketched him out using my own style. Brings back great memories : ) (Of course, I don't own the copyright to the concept of Randi or any characters from Secret of Mana. I just drew it)