Saturday, 19 September 2009

Art Post: Pixie Pirate

Here's a quick marker drawing of Aena from Green Corner as a pirate, for Talk Like a Pirate Day. Hope you enjoy it.

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Friday, 18 September 2009

Art Post: Pop Idol (part two)

Here's the fully shaded colour of Aena for the pop idol piece:


I have since added shading to the flower arrangement on the bow, they won't be quite so flat in the final. I have also been working on the background behind the scenes, but I'm going to wait a while before I share that. I may make some changes to the background closer to Hallowe'en, but I'm finding the image to be extremely bright, colourful, and cheerful in my working file.

It makes me wonder how I'm going to top it for the winter holiday special!

In case you missed it: part one is here and includes the pencil, digital line work, and flat colour.

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Friday, 11 September 2009

Art Post: Pop Idol (part one)

Here's some progress from a piece I've been working on recently. I've been trying to come up with an idea of what Aena's Hallowe'en costume should be this year. A 1980's inspired pop idol sounded like a fun experiment. I was thinking a little about Jem and the Holograms when I was drawing this, and I think the positive energy is great for Aena.

I know it's a bit early to be thinking of Hallowe'en, but I had some time over the long weekend to get a head start on this. That should make it easier to get this done well ahead of time and go back to working on new pages.

I hope you like these progress images. I still have a fair bit to do for the background, so feel free to make comments or suggestions.

Click the images to enlarge them.

Here's my pencil drawing:


The black and white, vector line art:

And the flat colour:


Also, if you have any questions about techniques I'm using for this piece, please feel free to ask. I hope you enjoyed this look at another drawing in progress.

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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Tutorial: Creating a Vector Fireball

This tutorial requires the use of two tools in Illustrator:
  • the flare tool (located under the rectangle and ellipse tools)

  • the spiral tool (located under the line segment tool)


The end result of the tutorial will be to create a fireball that can be used as an effect in vector artwork. Below is an example of how this technique can be incorporated into a figure drawing. The image is from page 12 of Green Corner.

Colour values are listed in CMYK in percentages (in the format of #/#/#/#). This tutorial is mostly a list of the settings I used for this effect. The tools are pretty simple to use and only need modifications to suit this purpose.

The Flare:

Here is what a flare looks like in outline mode:


Compared to regular view, against a background:



  1. The full size of this flare is 3.0084 inches. The bottom most part of the flare has a pale yellow stroke (5/20/50/0) of 3.171 pt. Opacity: 10% screen. Feather: 0.03 inches.
  2. Moving up a level, this part of the flare is a circle with a radial gradient for a fill. Opacity: 15% overlay. Feather: 0.1 inches. Th gradient is composed of two swatches: a rich black (0/100/100/100) at 0% and 100%, plus a brownish red (29/80/90/25) placed at 73% on the gradient slider. The midpoint remains at the default position of 50%.
  3. Another radial gradient, this one with opacity at 50% overlay. Feather: 0.1 inches. Colours and placements on the gradient bar are as follows: white at 15% (with the next midpoint diamond at 40%), a dark rose (27/69/50/28) located at 45% on the slider (next midpoint at 40%), rich black (0/100/100/100) at 85% on the slider (next midpoint at 70%), orange red (14/80/90/0) located at 90% (next midpoint at 25%), and rich black (0/100/100/100) at 100% on the slider.
  4. Moving up a level, to a slightly smaller circle filled with a gradient. Opacity: 100% difference. Feather: 0.1 inches. Gradient stops are white at 15%, midpoint at 35%, and black at 100%.

For the entire flare group, opacity is set to 100% lighten.


The spirals:

The brush style used for these is "dry brush 10" from the "Artistic_Paintbrush" brush library. The feather effects are more noticeable with these thick strokes, and help to soften the edges to seem more like flames and less like flat ink.

  1. The bottom most spiral is a group, with chunks missing from the original spiral. Opacity: 40% hard light. Feather: 0.05 inches. Stroke is 0.75 pt and coloured orange (0/80/100/0).
  2. The second spiral is intact. Opacity: 60% multiply. Feather: 0.1 inches. Stroke: 1 pt, maroon (0/91/100/51).
  3. The third spiral appears intact, but has been cut into four pieces for a more pleasing line quality. Opacity: 80% multiply. Feather: 0.1 inches. Stroke: 1 pt, warm yellow (10/40/100/0).
  4. Again, this spiral appears to be intact, but is actually cut into four segments. Opacity: 100% multiply. Feather: 0.07 inches. Stroke: 0.656 pt, light brown (25/45/70/5).

  5. A smaller spiral that appears to be intact, this time in three segments. Opacity: 40% hard light. Feather: 0.04 inches. Stroke: 0.374 pt, warm yellow (10/40/100/0).

The following image is what the fireball looks like assembled, on a background. Transparency modes, opacity, stroke thickness for the spirals, and colours will need adjusting depending on the background being used. It's important to create some contrast between the fire ball and the surroundings, or the effect won't be as strong. Also, don't forget that when placed in a scene, the fire ball is a light source and will affect the placement of shadows and highlights on the surroundings.



I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to let me know if you liked this and/or have any questions in the comments.

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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Green Corner: Page 25

Page twenty five of Green Corner has been published! (see preview below of one of the panels)

There are more panels than usual on this page, which helps push the story along a bit faster. It's closer to the outdoor scenes now.


Please visit the Green Corner website to see the update.

The TWC incentive is black and white line art for an upcoming special. I'll probably be using it for the Hallowe'en special, but I had the chance to get a head start on it over the weekend. If you liked Jem and the Holograms and/or 1980's style, you'll probably like this one.


And a little note on the Green Corner story:
You may have noticed that Zalanda's purse seemed to disappear. I hope the way Suko's books appeared on this page give you a hint of what actually happened. The purse is with Zalanda all the time, but she's more subtle in her magick and hid it without calling attention to what she was doing. She prefers people notice her, not her magick. A lot of the females tend to be subtle with magick of this sort. Males tend to prefer quicker options, and "snap spells" are common among the guys in town (unless they're trying to show off!).

As for how that might affect security in the bookshop, the security system can detect even magickally hidden items. It also prevents fire magick.


Hope you enjoy the new page! There are also new progress images, the pencil for page 25, and new icons.

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Hi! My name is Emily.

Welcome to my art blog. I am an independent graphic designer and illustrator from the Toronto area. I create print and web solutions for a variety of businesses and individuals with a personal touch and conscientious approach.

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