Monday, November 2, 2020

Sleepy Griffin

 Here's just a quick sketch I did this morning. My African rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri krameri), Griffin, was falling asleep and I thought it was cute so I decided to sketch him:





Saturday, October 31, 2020

Inktober 2020

 With all the extra time at home I thought it was a good year to try participating in Inktober, where you create and share an ink drawing based on a list of prompts for each day during the month of October.

I successfully completed all the prompts, although there were a few days where I got behind and had to do multiple drawing to catch up, especially once we started raising a new dog. This was a great experience to force me to just push stuff out. Any artist goes through the mental games of not wanting to release something to the world unless they're extremely happy with it it, especially when there are so many better artists in one's social network.

 With this challenge I tried to embrace the idea that it doesn't matter if a single drawing didn't turn out great because there's a new one tomorrow. It was nice to get back to sketching and not obsessing over details and erasing and redrawing every line over and over again (which is easy to get stuck doing when working digitally). I tried my best to embrace the medium - smudges, imperfections, and all.

 I also didn't want to spend too much time on any individual drawing, and was forcing myself to commit to ideas. I didn't do any pencil under-drawings... so you can see all my mistakes on the page. For some drawings I thumbnailed a bit to plan compositions or character designs, and for a few drawings I screwed up at the end in a way that I couldn't let go and completely redrew them. There are plenty of issues I've noticed after the fact and if I was working digitally would more easily be able to refine things like cluttered compositions, messy silhouettes, or bad perspective, but I was trying to let go of all that and just enjoy the process of drawing. Some definitely turned out better than others. Also of note, there's no fancy techniques or tools here. Just a normal ballpoint pen on a sketchpad.

Anyway, I wanted to post them all in one spot for ease of access, so here you are. It was a good experience and I think I'll try to do it again next year. (Click any image to enlarge it)

Prompt 1: Fish



Prompt 2: Wisp



Prompt 3: Bulky

Prompt 4: Radio

Prompt 5: Blade

Prompt 6: Rodent

Prompt 7: Fancy

Prompt 8: Teeth

Prompt 9: Throw

Prompt 10: Hope

Prompt 11: Disgusting

Prompt 12: Slippery

Prompt 13: Dune

Prompt 14: Armor

Prompt 15: Outpost

Prompt 16: Rocket

Prompt 17: Storm

Prompt 18: Trap

Prompt 19: Dizzy

Prompt 20: Coral

Prompt 21: Sleep

Prompt 22: Chef

Prompt 23: Rip

Prompt 24: Dig

Prompt 25: Buddy

Prompt 26: Hide

Prompt 27: Music

Prompt 28: Float

Prompt 29: Shoes

Prompt 30: Ominous

Prompt 31: Crawl

Jack-O-Lanterns: IRL 2020

 Happy Halloween Everyone! That means it's time for a "Jack-O-Lanterns In Real Life" post! This year COVID didn't stop people from carving Jack-O-Lanterns - in fact, we had more people submit carvings of my designs than ever before this year!

First up my friend and Giraffe-Keeper Extraordinaire, Mike Bona decided to go with my rhino design from 2018:



I think he absolutely nailed it. Fantastic job! Here's the original for your convenience:


Then we had Nicole DiGiambattista's carving from a design from 2015:





Another incredible job! Here's the original design:


And last but not least, we have Bonnie Garcia's carving of a design from the first ever lineup from 2010:


Aaaaaand here's the original:




Thanks for playing everyone! It makes me happy to see more and more people put these doodles to good use every year! Happy Halloween everyone!!! Looking forward to what everyone comes up with next year!

For Previous Jack-O-Lanterns IRL, see:
2019
2012
2013
2015
2017 - (I forgot to post them that year but they are at the bottom of the 2018 design post) 

-Evan




Saturday, October 24, 2020

Jack-O-Lantern Designs: Moods of 2020

 Yep. I'm still doing these. Seems to be all that makes it onto this old blog these days. Here are this year's designs...I know they may not be as fun as years past, but neither has this year been, and with Halloween being about celebrating spooky things and leaning into our fears of the unknown, it felt appropriate. Enjoy.


Click to Enlarge


 And, as always, the same deal goes as every year: if anybody actually decides to attempt to carve any of these (like StephanieNicole, Josh, Megan, and ILaura, or Nikki did) please send me photos at evan.m.boucher@gmail.com and I'll post them up here. You are not limited to this year's contact sheet - I'm happy to see carvings of any designs from the last eleven years. You have until the end of the month. I will post all physical Jack-O-Lantern carvings together on Halloween.

Previous Designs can be found here:


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Jack-O-Lanterns: IRL 2019

Happy Halloween Everyone! That means it's time for a "Jack-O-Lanterns In Real Life" post! This year I only got one, and it was from Nikki Elder.

It's a design from last year's batch, and she chose the Allosaurus skull. I think it turned out great!


And here's the original for your convenience:



Thanks for playing, Nikki, and Happy Halloween everyone!!! Looking forward to what everyone comes up with next year!

For Previous Jack-O-Lanterns IRL, see:
2012
2013
2015
2017 - (I forgot to post them that year but they are at the bottom of the 2018 design post)

-Evan

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

10 Years of Pumpkin Designs

It's that time of year again! And not only that, but this year marks 10 whole years of pumpkin designs, which means I have something special in store for you. It's crazy to think about doing anything consistently for 10 years, and drafting up this year's designs have made me incredibly nostalgic, reflecting on all that has happened since the first incarnation all the way back in 2010.

 I'm honestly not sure how many people actually look at these every year, but I enjoy doing them, as it's a fun excuse to just do some stream-of-consciousness doodling. I'm never too precious with any individual jack-o-lantern, and it's a nice exercise in thumbnailing a lot of different designs relatively quickly.

And with that, let's begin with this year's designs:

(click to enlarge)


And since this is the 10 Year Anniversary, let me also post the very first contact sheet for comparison purposes. One thing I like about doing these every year, is I can see how much my design sense changes and (hopefully) improves over the years. Here's where I was at 10 years ago:

(click to enlarge)

While putting this post together, I was trying to think of something special to do for a decade of pumpkins, and I decided to clue you all in to my process, so that any of you could go ahead and start making your own. After all, what better way to celebrate than to let it free to be built upon and improved by others.

So first up, here is the background template for you to feel free to steal for a starting point, although it would be easy enough to make your own with any image of a pumpkin you might find:

As far as the actual drawing goes, it's pretty simple. I'm just drawing on an empty layer on top of the above template in Adobe Photoshop with a white brush. The layer has a number of layer effects on it that automatically creates the rest of the effect, like so:


This way I don't have to spend any time worrying about lighting and shading, and all I'm doing is doodling. It's important to note that each face doodle is on its own separate layer, so that the radial gradient overlay stays centered on the individual pumpkin and not spread across the entire contact sheet. If you're REALLY interested in the layer effect settings, in case you want to recreate this, they are as follows (caveat, I actually use a really old version of Photoshop, so settings might not be one to one with what you might have):







And with that, Happy First Decade of Pumpkin Designs! I hope some of you get the itch to start doing your own designs. And, as always, the same deal goes as every year: if anybody actually decides to attempt to carve any of these (like StephanieNicole, and Josh, Megan, and I, or Laura did) please send me pictures at evan.m.boucher@gmail.com and I'll post them up here! You are not limited to this year's contact sheet - I'm happy to see carvings of any designs from the last ten years. You have until the end of the month! I will post all physical Jack-O-Lantern carvings together on Halloween.

And this year, I'll also happily post any digital Jack-O-Lanterns I may get as a result of the little tutorial above.

Previous Designs can be found here:


I can't wait to see what you come up with! Happy Carving and Happy Halloweeeenn!!!!

-Evan