Monday, September 17, 2018

FanArt_pgtp.PsychOutPsyduck


Oh man, only 49 days until it's time to #PokemonGoToThePolls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, so here is Ula'ula OG Alola Dex #049, Psyduck!


You know, the hardest part seems to be deciphering these increasingly complex Pokedex numbering systems, though on the bright side, it means plenty of pokes to choose from to feature.


Psyduck is of course an old favorite, and I distinctly remember it being news when people spotted a Psyduck plushie on Caroline Rhea's desk on her old talkshow--she said she loved the little guy, but called him "Psychoduck," so it was bittersweet.


I always liked how Psyduck, or at least Misty's Psyduck, could get super serious and unlock his true potential, despite ordinarily being dopey. It felt like a lesson in not underestimating people, believing in yourself, and all that.


This piece was a fun challenge, again for its more experimental construction, as we continue striving to keep the illustration simple but effective.


Unlike last time, where we went completely lineless, this one was lines on the thankfully simple Pokemon's design, and then completely winged background, including the extremely enjoyable watery depths, with all their murk and particles floating around.


The concept was loosely based on vague memories of one of my favorite Pokemon TCG illustrations, by my favorite PTCG artist, Mitsuhiro Arita, of Expedition Feraligatr, which I didn't think to look up until just now!


I've always wanted to attempt that submerged look, but the tough part was getting the expression right while still connoting forward motion, as all our pokes are going to the polls, after all. I settled on a somewhat confused, but assertive chap nevertheless drifting forward.


But what's so confusing? Just make sure both to register if you haven't already and elect to be a voter on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Not normal,

Reuxben

Monday, September 10, 2018

FanArt_pgtp.SrsMankeyBzns


No more than 56 days until it's time to #PokemonGoToThePolls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, so here is National Dex #056, Mankey!


I was excited to go with Mankey over Johto #56, Wooper, cuz this would partly be inspired by the episode when a mankey stole Ash's official hat.


This was also an exciting one because I kinda drew linelessly after getting the rough sketch down, I just carved the shapes in with colors.


I don't know if I'd call it advisable, but it was a nice change of pace, and a worthwhile experiment.


The background was also pretty free-form, and I more boldy worked with layering a bit, including independently blurring the farthest BG elements.


The numbering for this piece was a little risky: I knew I could always figure out how to work in the number later, so I just focused completely on drawing the piece first, and left the number utterly out of mind.


And like clockwork, as soon as I finished the main imagery, within seconds my subconscious delivered: falling bananas in the shape of "56."


But you know what isn't bananas? Making sure both to register if you haven't already and elect to be a voter on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Not normal,

Reuxben

Monday, September 3, 2018

FanArt_pgtp.NoPumpkaboo


Just 63 days until it's time to #PokemonGoToThePolls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, so here is Kalos Dex #063, Pumpkaboo!


Again, this one feels just a little more complex than what I'd like these to be at.


The thing is it always feels like I'm pulling too many punches on these, though.


In any case, I enjoyed drawing this guy, he has such a neat little design.


My earlier sketch featured some Tim Burton-y swirls in the background, but we ended up going with a spooky little cornfield.


I wanted to make sure there was a lot of action in this piece cuz of how round the character design is, which makes high-action a little less expected.


I also abandoned an early sketch where the Poke felt just a little too static, but which was sorta vaguely inspired by Algenpfleger's Saproling token.


And speaking of which, don't be sketchy or a sap--register if you haven't already and elect to be a voter on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.


Not normal,

Reuxben

Monday, August 27, 2018

FanArt_pgtp.DoneMessedUp


Only 70 days until it's time to #PokemonGoToThePolls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, so here is OG Hoenn Dex #070, Aron!


This piece is probably just a notch above where we want to be in terms of depth for these pieces, just need to get faster.


I'm not sure how we're going to get through October...maybe some kind of MTGinktober/Pokemon crossover? There's some precedent...


Anyway, this was an enjoyable one, because this guy's kind of a surprisingly weird design.


I hadn't ever really contemplated Aron's design before, as I'd just written them off as cute little metal mutts, but they're actually considerably more interesting than that, a lot of unusual, nuanced shape decisions.


I was also excited to draw this because I could reference A-A-ron. Enough people may have done messed up in the 2016 election, but that's no reason not to correct a large portion of the problem come the midterms on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.


And speaking of which, register if you haven't already and elect to be a voter on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Not normal,

Reuxben

Monday, August 20, 2018

FanArt_pgtp.LeonPonyta


Only 77 days until it's time to #PokemonGoToThePolls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, so here is National Dex #077, Ponyta!


I probably went a little overboard with this one, forgot to keep it minimal.


It's important to keep these more simplistic because I won't be able to maintain more developed illustrations in October, since I'll be MTGinktobering it up by then, which will occupy five Mondays before the midterm elections on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.


This was a neat illustration challenge because I've always heard horses are tough to draw, but this didn't feel too intense, though I did almost forget to include the armpit flames! But as far as horsey stuff goes, it's just drawing.


I enjoyed getting loose with the motion blur, too, but trying not to go overboard, all the same.


All right, register if you haven't already and elect to be a voter on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Not normal,

Reuxben

Friday, August 17, 2018

FanArt_BootCamp


It's Ellen Brock, Novel Editor and Booxamillion, her ghostly, drill-sergeanty cohort!


I love to listen to podcasts, interviews, and other spoken-word style audio while I draw, and I've particularly enjoyed marathoning Ellen Brock's "Novel Bootcamp" series, where she gives all kinds of excellent tips on writing, which is great for novel writers, of course, but also comics writers--and creative writers of any sort, for that matter. I happened to be working on a comic story at the time I discovered her channel, so her advice (Boot Camp and beyond) was fantastic for making sure the story we're cooking up wasn't falling into any pitfalls, cliches, or other snags.


One thing that sets her vastly apart, though, is that unlike a ton of other "tips and tricks" style YouTube advisors, she actually has a polished, non-gimmicky presentation style. Some presenters, even super big ones, still have those tell-tale signs of someone "reading cue cards," often because they kind of overact while trying to sound like they're speaking naturally or off the top of their head and giving improvised advice. But ironically, their overzealous, overly familiar styles way too often make it quite evident they're indeed reading from a script. Ellen Brock, though, speaks with the preparedness, pacing, and poise of a teacher, so I'm never taken out of her presentation by that "bad acting" octopus that entangles so many others on YouTube. The ease of her speech makes running her videos back-to-back-to-back a snap, rather than an exercise in having to trudge through a less enjoyable speaker's talks for their nuggets of wisdom.


Anyway, on to more about this illustration. Though I usually just listen to her videos in the background, when I actually watched them I noticed she didn't really have any custom graphics, so as a sort of design challenge--and because I wanted to salute her "Novel Boot Camp" series--I thought it'd be neat to draw her as an actual boot camp instructor! Super clever, I know! So I figured she could display whatever topic she wanted on the little screen, like an actual boot camp mission briefing. The comic I was writing at the time was science fiction, hence the dummy text.


I also wanted to include a playful mascot, so I included the little ghost guy from the hilarious "Ghost Reader" shirt she sports sometimes. For her own shirt, I went with another cool design she wears, but that also feels somewhat "military" or physical-challenge-y, namely that sweet "Varsity Reading" shirt! To toughen them up, I gave them both some sporty eye black and EB some camo pants.


Easter Eggs: I kinda made up the medals and stuff, but I included a Purple Heart, since I know there's an actual medal with that name and it kind of added a little cuteness to our spooky little ghost pal. His hat features books instead of stars, as does EB's helmet. The books were colored as a nod to the original Pokemon generation's version colors, so RGBY, just because I've been thinking about Pokemon a lot lately. I loved researching the different, actual military training materials, like the sandbag barrier with the brick and wire topper, and what I finally learned are called "Czech hedgehogs" (those X-shaped metal structures). Including the legal pad was kind of an inside joke with myself because I hate writing on those things! And the giant typewriter felt like a nice, symbolic inclusion--though, I guess some people still use them!


Fun Facts: This illustration was a combo of cel-shading and painting, but here's where the illustration all started out from, with just some rough, desert-y paints. I originally wanted to really go to town with almost all yellows, but one gradient map later, a more traditional, blue sky felt like the best way to go. And speaking of best ways to go, you'd best go way over to Ellen Brock's channel and learn a thing or two, or at least brush up on just about every topic under the scorching desert sun.

Not normal,

Reuxben

Monday, August 13, 2018

FanArt_pgtp.Doduo


Only 84 days until it's time to #PokemonGoToThePolls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, so here is National Dex #084, Doduo!


To build awareness for the midterm elections on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, I'll be drawing a pokemon-themed drawing every Monday until then starring a pokemon with a Pokedex number equal to how many days until Tuesday, November 6, 2018.


These will be a little more minimalist since I'll have to power through MTGinktober simultaneously, so I'll probably have to bank a couple quicker ones to run during October, too.


All right, register if you haven't already and elect to be a voter on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Not normal,

Reuxben

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Fun_Spacelond


A futuristic, fantastical rock formation for today.


I wanted to paint something using purple and yellow plus yellow and green, two two-color color combos I love.


These imaginary landscapes usually come together from just slashing down colors and rotating the random shapes until something chaotically emerges.


I also used this opportunity to test out some new Dave Greco Brushes I got recently, and these are a serious joy to use.


The yellow sky with a moon was also an exciting experiment that seems to lend that sci-fi-y vibe with ease, meanwhile the purple rocks could just as easily suggest a more fantasy feel as well.

Not normal,

Reuxben