July 30, 2009

Further Progression

Okay, it's been a while since my last post. Thought I should touch base. Right off the bat I want to say that the lack of new art over the past 2 weeks is not due to my not drawing. If anyone is here looking for tips on how to get better/get into the "biz" the first thing I would say to them is DO NOT STOP DRAWING.... It's possible I would include some expletives in there if I were saying it in person, but you get the idea. This is a mistake that I made many many years ago, in my late teens/early twenties, and it's set my life back a great deal.

Now, as I said, it's not that I'm not drawing, but what I've been working on for the last few weeks has been work conceived of by Jordan, and I don't want to be posting anything without his permission (which I may get very soon, I must admit I haven't asked yet). As such, what you get to see today is a little bit of the work I've done on my rendition of the Fantastic Four since my last post.

This is the piece after I took some time to lay down flats. Flatting is a process used by digital artists to aid them in their ability to manipulate their work. It's something I picked up from the tutorials at They've got some great stuff there, I highly recommend the vids. Anyways, flatting can essentially be boiled down to laying in flat colors for each part of the piece, anything that is supposed to be the same color gets flatted with one base tone. Now DART (Digital Art Tutorials) recommends not using the color that you are planning to use in the final piece. Instead it's suggested that you use a variety of de-saturated colors. Honestly I don't really understand the reasoning behind this. The purpose of flats is to allow the artist to go into a work with the color wand and select an area based on its color (heads up, if you're flatting with the colors that you intend to use on the final piece, copy your layer and keep it separate and safe, otherwise all the time you spent flatting will be wasted). This allows you a few different options in terms of editing (such as changing colors after you've worked into the piece, or adding effects that are contained to certain areas, etc). Alright, that's it for the "teaching", now to what I've accomplished.

Testing a couple color variations while flatting.

Once I have a layer with my flats, I make a new layer on top and go in working on highlights and shadows. This process can be relatively fast, or it can take a long ass time, it all depends on the lvl of detail you're looking to achieve. Note that I broke my rule early on, my flats have a rendered skull in the background. Technically this was a whoops on my part, but I'm not overly concerned by it as I'm looking to give the skull a very different flavor. Hopefully it can handle looking more painterly while the rest of the image is clean.

Starting to add shadows and highlights. Right now I'm keeping the lighting very soft, with little color variation. Later on I may feel the need to change that, but I want to get a handle on the design side of things first, then I can try to kick it up a notch.

And that's it for me kiddies. I'm off to bed, but I'll be back next week!

July 21, 2009

Progressions of a Pantheon

Working on the redesign project that the boys and I have going, and I thought I would take a stab at the Fantastic Four. I'm a huge fan of the elements (as you folks will soon be made aware, I'm sure) and the chance to re-imagine a team based on them was too tempting to pass up (that, and everything else that I thought of had either recently been done, and done well, or proved to be a challenge I wasn't actually interested in taking on).

So here they are...

Still working on a catchy team name, as well as character names. Currently I've got:

Sky Father, Lord of Storms
Gaea, the Earth Mother
Siren (tentative), Temptress of the Seas
Savant (?), controller of the creative and destructive aspects of fire
And then there's the Reaper, King of the Underworld... cuz really, the most interesting aspect of the FF is Doom, so I needed to work him in somehow.

Anyways, the idea here is to let you guys follow along as I work away at this piece. Next time around I'll start the process at the rough sketch stage, but I didn't think to do this until I had things inked and ready for the final scan so no dice with this one.

I'm tempted to do something out of the norm with this piece (which is usually a bad plan when it's a piece you like, but hey why not, right?) so I may try my hand at painting it with acrylics now that it's safely scanned. If I go through with it I'll post images from both versions (I'll still be doing a digital coloring job, just to be safe) so that you can compare.

And that's it for today, later.

July 14, 2009

Missouri Smith

Missouri Smith started out as a character for a roleplaying game run in the Vampire: The Masquerade setting from Whitewolf. The idea of the game was to have characters without any powers (which was then changed to, slight, nominal powers) set against mighty creatures of the night. Over the course of a few sessions we would all die, one by one, and in the end the last survivor would be the "winner". Missouri, sadly, was the first to perish, but he was damn good fun right up to the moment he was brutally torn to shreds...

Anyways, Sho, Jordan and I set up our little group over the summer and began working away on projects (this is before those interlopers Dan and Phil showed up!). Our first was this:

Project 1:
Stage One
Write a character description that is the result of a mixture of multiple genres.
This description can be as detailed or as vague as you choose, but be aware of how that effects your artist.
- Lots of detail leaves little for your artist to add
- Little detail leaves too much for your artist to come up with alone
Feel free to reference other works in your description. IE, “Set in a futuristic world like the Terminator series, this character is a mix of cybernetic and bionic technologies”
Stage Two
Come up with a few drawings based off of the descriptions you have received. These drawings can be done in any medium/style/manner you choose, but keep in mind how the style interacts with the mood of the piece.
Don’t forget to do this for your own character description too.
Stage Three
Crit will be Thursday May 14th at 9:00 am. We will look at the differences and similarities between each character and the relationship between the works and their original descriptions.

Here's what I came up with:

-Missouri Smith-
He grew up watching the Indiana Jones movies over and over and over. He’s tried to model his life after his hero, but things haven’t gone quite as they were supposed to. He’s got the look, fedora, whip, six shooter, it’s all there. He’s done the research, kept up on current archaeological finds, and mythic artifacts. Unfortunately he’s having a hard time getting the girls, or the cash. Missouri Drives around in a beat up station wagon, complete with a tape deck that is constantly blaring Raiders of the Lost Ark, and a poster of Indy taped to the roof (on the inside). The back of the station wagon is loaded down with books, tomes, notes, maps; think Indy’s office compressed into the back of a station wagon. He’s had a few close calls, near successes, but so far he just hasn’t got the big win. On the plus side, he’s lucky as hell when it counts. In a jam he becomes a driver capable of out manoeuvring the best of Hollywood’s stunt drivers. When the chips are down he can shoot with an aim that could clip the wings off a fly. He’s honourable, exuberant and filled with energy. He’s also got a bit of a psychic flare, though that hasn’t kicked in enough to really grab his attention yet. His most important “power” is the ability to see things for what they could be. He can improvise on the spot better than any cub scout.
His first real adventure is just around the corner. It’s going to be a horror story with some pretty gruesome scenes, so keep things pretty gritty. On the other hand, there is going to be some comedy in the story (I mean really, Missouri Smith?) so do what you can to ensure that Missouri has an expressive face.

Which turned into:

I'm still making tweaks to it, but I plan to print this one out as the beginning of a series of Missouri Smith pin-ups. Watch the site over the coming months to see what else I dream up for Missouri.

Titled "Damn gun", I think this one speaks for itself.

Hopefully Sho and Jordan will post their versions of Missouri soon (and if they do, I will make sure to come back and link them here (Sho) and here (Jordan).


Just noticed that Sho and Jordan have posted their versions of Trigg, so I thought I should get in gear and join them. Jordan developed Trigg for our first summer project. The project entailed each of us coming up with a written description of a character and then passing those descriptions around. Once everyone had a copy of all three descriptions (at the time our summer studio group consisted of only Jordan, Sho and I) we set to work designing our version of each character.

Here's my take on Trigg

Jordan has his description of Trigg here, and you can see Shos take on the character here.

Now that we all have Trigg up, I figure we'll try to get all of the first project designs up, which means next on my list of images to post is Missouri Smith! (don't worry, I'll include the description as well)

July 9, 2009

Alright, I mentioned at the end of my last post that I would try to get some sketches up from our time at the show and sale. Earlier in the year Sho and Phil came up with "Abominations", a list of animals that had been blended together. Things got a little boring at the show, so we whipped out the list and started sketching. It's funny to see what you come up with when you don't have any reference to help you on your way (no wifi at the show = no looking up what a bees head looks like...). Oh, and by the way, these are all straight scans, no cleaning anything up, so forgive me if there are wonky bits.

Without further ado, I give you:

The Bee-ver and the Hamsturtle

-Sho has a hard time getting his signature visible on his works, so I was going out of my way to sign every sketch I did (and challenging him to do the same).

The Pantha

The Moosalu and the Pork-upine

and finally, the velocirabbit.

These were a ton of fun to play around with but it turns out there's a lot of problems related to turning it into a full fledged project. Too much pissing around makes for a lot of wasted time, and I've got a ton of other projects to work on, so I think this will be the only Abominations work you see from me.

Once I got burned out on the Abominations list I turned to my current default drawing.

My buddy has a little guy named Jesse who loves all things Hulk, so I've been trying to get a bunch of drawing done with him in mind.

Then Sho got drawing, and went back to his old, bitter Hulk, and I felt the overwhelming need to do up a mockery of his style. Hopefully he took it all in good fun, I love the guys work, so I don't think this'll hurt too much, but I just couldn't resist.

That's it for today, I need to get back to making work instead of posting it here!

July 4, 2009


Alright here goes,

I'm David Joyce, this is my blog. Over the coming months I intend to fill this blog with examples of my artwork along with posts/discussions on art related topics/events and some info on me and my life. I'm currently a student at the Alberta College of Art and Design heading into my fourth and final year. My main focus is in comics and sequential art, but since that's not something they offer as a degree at ACAD, I'm working towards a degree in Media Arts and Digital Technologies.

A few of us grand students from ACAD have been working together over the summers. This year it's Sho Uehara, Jordan Natyshen, Dan Markin, Phil Chen and myself coming up with projects to try to keep us busy. Since everyone else in our little group comes from the design side of the school I find myself to be at a bit of a disadvantage from time to time, but over all we're producing some pretty great work.

A student (Tasha Barrie) from ACAD kindly put together a show and sale at the Crescent Heights community center this weekend. We got word of it a while ago and our group decided to put together some projects with the hopes of making a few sales. Things didn't go all that well for me (I didn't sell anything) but the others made a couple bucks, and we all received several compliments on our work. All in all I think it was a worthwhile outing and I'm glad we made it. We all learned a ton, and have several ideas on how to make things better the next time out.

Here are some pics of the illustrations that I was trying to sell:

I also had some paintings, but I think they ended up priced out of the range of the ppl coming in to see the show.

That's it for now, I'll try to get back here soon though, as I'd like to post some of the sketches that came about while we were all trying to kill time sitting at our table.

July 1, 2009

First Post

Just getting into the whole blog thing, so it's going to be a while before I get everything set up the way I want it. Over the coming weeks I'll do my best to customize the look of the page (and get some real content uploaded) but until then you'll have to make do with this lonely post. I'll make a proper introduction soon, once I get a handle on what it is I'm doing here...