Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mass Effect 2 x FFXIII (I can't help it Q_Q)

It's been a long time since I posted last, but oh well. I'm not a fan of people posting just to post an apology for how little they update.  I do have something new, though, that I'd like to share.

Ever since I found out that Liara (from Mass Effect 1 and 2) and Lightning (from Final Fantasy XIII) were voiced by the same actress, my mind wouldn't stop with the stupid-crazy crossovers.  I just kept imaging Liara saying, "Don't worry, Commander Shepard - I have this," and then summoning an Eidolon ('sup, Odin?).

Last inght I finally sat down and drew the damn thing out.  I spent 2.5 hours on it, and I'm not completely done (lol @ Liara's feet), but I like it so far.  I used a bit of ref (screenshots from the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC so I knew wtf Liara was wearing, and a photo of the FFXIII Odin action figure), but most of it was from mah head.

Okay, back to work!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Brief Update

It's been a while, but time flies when you're moving, hanging out with friends, and going to GenCon :D

Persona 3 Portable came out, and has been sucking up all of my available video game time. I'm going through as a female MC, which is such a frigging blast.  If you have a PSP, buy this game. If you already beat Persona 3 (or Persona 3 FES) for the PS2... buy this game anyway. Playing as a female adds another dimension to the game that I really appreciate.

I went to GenCon with my gaming group this year, and I have to say, I had a blast (despite catching Con Crud on Saturday).  Iron Player was amazing fun (as always), and answering the Player Call for Iron DM was... interesting (our table ended up with a DM who insisted on running us through 4th Ed D&D, despite the protests from us).  I picked up the Advanced Player's Guide for Pathfinder, which is 300+ pages of sheer awesome. I love how Paizo updates the base classes with new goodies even when they create brand new classes - it helps avoid the power gaps that ended up plaguing D&D 3.0/3.5.  It remains to be seen if they'll continue to keep that up as time goes on, but as of right now, I'd be cool with either playing a new class (Oracles are very sexy, IMO), or playing a core fighter (even without using the variant fighter stuff they added).  Also got some awesome new Steampunk-themed dice, some GameScience dice, and Steve Prescott's artbook "Aggregate," which is friggin' SWEET.

Speaking of artbooks, the one I ordered from finally arrived while I was at GenCon - it's "Shigenori Soejima Art Works 2004 - 2010".  He is the main art director and character designer for Persona 3 and Persona 4. I haven't had a chance to actually open the damn thing to look at it yet, but the cover image of Aigis is amazing.  I can't wait!

I am actually doing studies and art pieces here and there, believe it or not. I've just been too lazy to scan them. My apartment is hella hot (and WAY humid), and turning on the computer just adds to that problem.  I did post some links on Twitter - let me see if I can find them...

Zhou Xiang (my Oracle PC from my Sunday gaming group) - pencils:
Zhou Xiang - color tests: and
The image I used for my haircut poll:

Well, I'm at my mom's house doing laundry, so I should probably log off and finish that up so I can go home and clean before I go back to work tomorrow.  Later!

PS - Patachou's in Indy has the best omelets EVER.  Totally worth the price of admission - their daily omelets kept me filled up for a good 6 to 10 hours each day, depending on how busy I was after I ate breakfast there. And the cinnamon toast is to DIE FOR.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blowing the dust off for two shakes

Yeah, so much for updating on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.  Between apartment hunting, moving, setting everything up, and playing video games (why hello there Red Dead Redemption, Alpha Protocol [stay away from that buggy PoS!], Yakuza 3, etc etc etc), drawing in general has been pretty low on my totem pole.  I have been doing at least a few studies per week, though, which I hope to get scanned in this week.

Since I have nothing to show, I'll dive into some quick video game reviews:

Red Dead Redemption: LOVE IT. It's a gorgeous game with a decent story and memorable characters (some of them make me so MAD I wish I could just kill them on the spot).  I like the combat, and I'm even doing okay on Expert :D  If you don't want to buy it, you should at least rent it.  It makes me like Westerns, and I normally am not a fan of those (to say the least).

Alpha Protocol: I WOULD HAVE loved it, except that it's buggy.  So buggy, in fact, that it froze my game in one particular spot about 15 to 20 hours in.  Couldn't get past the freezing at all, no matter what I did (I even set up a fan behind my Xbox 360 unit to keep it cooler).  RDR worked just fine, but Alpha Protocol came to a stuttering halt every time in those ruins in Rome.  It's a shame, too, because I actually liked it as a game.  The plot is decent, the characters are memorable, the combat is a less polished version of Mass Effect 2, with more of an RPG level up system, and the conversation system is a combo of Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age, but TIMED.

Yakuza 3: not very far into it, but Kaz is a great uncle :D

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Well, it's April

I know I've been slacking (at least in posting), but I've had a busy schedule lately.  And now I'm sick.  However, I'll be damned if I go without posting at least once a month.  I thought I'd post some drawings I've been working on in the past few weeks - I've probably used some sort of ref on pretty much everything (except the random faces in my moleskine).

So here goes (no particular order):

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Anatomy studies, and a landscape

This is all I have for the last week - I just can't seem to get my head in the game, so to speak.  Something's better than nothing, though.  All of these were done in 20 to 30 minutes, using ref.

In video game news, I've been playing a ton of Final Fantasy XIII, and I'm loving it so far.  Mass Effect 2 is probably my personal Game of the Year, but still - having a blast for the most part.  I'm seriously considering canceling my WoW account till Cataclysm, and now I have friends telling me to join them on Star Trek Online or Champions Online, haha.  I'm considering it, at least till Star Wars: The Old Republic and Final Fantasy XIV come out...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Holy crap there's art in this post??

First off - I'm severely disappointed in White Knight Chronicles :/  It doesn't sit well with me when I'm playing a game, and all of a sudden I beat the final boss, and I didn't even know it was the final boss.  I literally sat there, staring at the screen, controller in hand, saying, "... this isn't the end, is it?  Is it? What the hell, I think I just beat the game!  WTF?"

So anyway, I'm playing Assassin's Creed on the PS3.  I have to say, I like the game a lot, even with the repetitive missions.  There's no way in Hell I'm going after all of those hidden flags, though.  That's a definite time sink, and this is coming from someone who has played World of Warcraft since release (except for a 9 month break, but I digress).  I can't wait to open up Assassin's Creed II, but that will have to be delayed till I finish ACI (and then Final Fantasy XIII comes out, so... yeah).

I promised art in the post title, so here goes - all are studies from the past two weeks (two of them are from today, actually).

This was from a study demo from Analytical Figure Drawing SP08 that I did on 02/17 during my lunch break.


This was a shot at a quick environment, also done at work during a lunch break.  This was from a few days ago, I believe.


Hey, look!  It's my stapler, my Gunnar glasses box case, and a box of Kleenex, all sitting at my cube at work!


These are just anatomy studies I did today.  The torsos are from lunch today, and the lips and eyes and whatnot were done while watching Dave Rapoza's Monday Night Stream today (of course I missed it live, so I watched it after the fact on Livestream).


Okay, I'm going to finish watching the Monday Night Stream, and head off to bed.

Friday, February 26, 2010

White Knight Chronicles - where was the beta testing?

I took a break from doing anything art-related last night, and instead spent a bunch of time playing White Knight Chronicles: International Edition (by Level 5 and Sony).

The game definitely has its flaws with the plot line, which makes me yell at the TV screen every hour or so for a good five to ten minutes per plot hole/cliche/super-fast exposition.  However, I usually just give it the MST3K treatment and move on.  I can accept bad and/or cheesy plotlines if the game play is good.  The voice acting is... uneven, but not cringe-inducing. Also, I love the random comments that are made by everyone when I'm running around a town/dungeon/battle/whatever.

The technical glitches that I've run into, however, make me want to cut someone.

Being limited by range when it comes to my attacks, but the enemy being able to hit me no matter where they are on the map?  Aggravating, but at least I knew about that one ahead of time, so I planned accordingly.

Having to run around and wait a few minutes to target an NPC to talk to them?  Time consuming, but not game breaking... unless it's an NPC in a timed quest.  Then panic starts to set in, and anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour of work can be shot to hell.

Having to run around and enter/exit game menus to try and get an NPC to become visible, as there's nothing except a floating nameplate in the air?  Not cool, especially if it's an NPC for the above-mentioned timed quest.

Having the controls lock up in the middle of a boss battle, where your only option is to hit the Triangle button to send a text to an online friend (if available and in-game), or R1 to defend?  Kind of game breaking for me. I couldn't even hit Select to try and change who I was controlling.  The only way to do anything was to RESET the game, and reload from my latest save.

Talking to an NPC and having their conversation text stop in the middle of a sentence (I made up an example to avoid spoilers: "Oh, hello, strange adventu")?  And they repeat that every single time you talk to them? I sure hope they don't have anything important to tell me, or I'm screwed.

Don't get me wrong - I like the combat a lot, when it's working (it reminds me of Final Fantasy XII, which I loved), the huge maps are gorgeous (and did I mention huge?), the character models are nice (if cartoony, and a little dated looking), and like I said - the plot doesn't bug me all that much (gives me fodder for mockage, if nothing else). 

Some of the glitches, though, make me want to just put the game down and never come back. Seeing as how I pre-ordered White Knight Chronicles, I'm pretty disappointed.  This game has been out for a while in Japan - why couldn't they tighten up the controls and the NPC appearance/disappearance issues, at least, before releasing it here?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First impressions of Sketchbook Pro 2010

I've been kicking around the idea of trying Sketchbook Pro 2010 for a while.  I even downloaded the trial for my Macbook, which I almost never use (except to play WoW at a friend's house every once in a while).  I was trying to use it on the Macbook, but with the small screen (13.3" or whatever vs my 19" desktop monitor) and my small Intuos3 tablet (lolwat), it felt clumsy to me.

Also, I didn't bother to read anything about how to use it.

In the end, I defaulted to CS3 on both machines.

Fast forward to now - I have a new tablet, dual monitors, and I'm still learning/re-learning how to use digital media again.  I'm looking for a program that I can sketch in, without having to mess with the brush settings in Photoshop (I'm sure it's not that hard, but I'm impatient, dammit!).  So I'm reading up, and lo, Sketchbook Pro 2010 crosses my path again!

It's roughly $100 USD, though, and I'm trying to tighten ye old money pouch again.  I figured I'd download the 15 day trial and see if it I like it enough - if so, I'd buy it when I get my next paycheck.


Yeah, after messing with it for an hour, I'm ready to put the money down right now.

I didn't sketch anything freehand in it yet, just did a rough "ink" on a study I did at lunch today (I grabbed some dude's picture off the internet in between manual editing).  Here's the progression from scan to "finished product":




It's not the best thing EVER, but it was a lot easier to work in Sketchbook Pro 2010 than in Photoshop.  It runs light, it's easy to use (I had no problem setting up the straight edge tool!), I love the little tool lagoon... Yeah.

I'll try to use it for various things besides just "inking," just to make sure I still want to buy it at the end of the trial period, but so far I'm sold.

Monday, February 22, 2010

argh pt 2



Here's take 2 for my Commander Shepard pic from a few days ago.  This was done after I spent over a half hour wondering why my new Wacom wasn't working properly (turns out it was because I had two installed on here.  Whoops).  I was finally able to work on this after uninstalling the old drivers, restarting, installed "critical updates," installed the new drivers, and restarted.  YES.

My digital ink skills are still rusty, so I just did ye olde "Multiply Layer!" method, with a bit of overlay.  Really, I just wanted to try out my new tablet.  I think I"ll try to push this a bit further, but we'll see.  I'd probably be better off making a nice clean pencil sketch and going from there, or starting with forms and values.

Right, so I guess it's time for bed?  It is 11:30pm right now, and my contacts are buggin' me something fierce.

Friday, February 12, 2010


So I slept on it, and I think I'll try printing out the pencils for Shepard on paper, clean them up/ink them, and rescan.  It's really bugging me... I'm half tempted to do the corrective stuff at work (I have GIMP on my machine here), and use my liners to ink it during lunch.


Thursday, February 11, 2010


Ok, so next time I do something I want to color, I should probably draw it out on white paper, and make sure my lines are crisp and clean.

Clearly, I drew this in my moleskine, all sloppy like, and digitally inked it in like a half hour.  Garbage in, garbage out, right?

Lines are too thick, but I haven't done this in a while.  So next I throw down some color:

At this point I realize that the color makes Shepard's outfit look like Asuka Langley's plug suit (or wtfever it's called).  Doh!  Hopefully I can change it up a bit later on.

Still, felt like posting... showing some back-asswards progress.  I'm also working on a luchadora for the Chicagoland Street Fighter/King of Fighters RPG I'm playing in, but it's in the rough stages.

And now it's time for some more cream cheese frosting, and then to bed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Influx of study doodles, Dragon Age fanart doodles, and Mass Effect 2 fanart doodles

I'm doing real good on this daily or almost-daily drawing and updating thing (not).  Anyway, here are a few sketches I did in my new moleskine... as the title says, it's mostly doodles (and mostly Mass Effect related, at that).

(oh wait, this one has my half-orc and our party's half-elf rogue from my D&D/Pathfinder campaign; the right-hand side is more Mass Effect stuff)

That's pretty much it for now... I'm making this post while waiting in the LFG queue for World of Warcraft.  I wanted to get some coloring in, but my head is killing me :/

Monday, January 25, 2010

The wonders of, or "Wow, you're a geek..!"

Okay, this has nothing to do with art, and everything with me being a geek.

There's a site called Omegle, where you chat with a random stranger, until one of you ends the conversation.

This is one such conversation I had with a gentleman via Omegle.  I tried using the shortest, and yet technically complete D&D adventure (per Monte Cook), and it just snowballed into this...


You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
Stranger: im a guy btw
You: Hello, new player!
You: You are in a 10ft by 10ft room.
Stranger: oh, game time?
You: You see an orc with a pie.
Stranger: oh shit i want that pie
Stranger: apple?
You: The orc is looking at you warily.
You: Yes, it appears to be an apple pie.
Stranger: warily? ima gonna charge him
You: Ok, roll initiative!
Stranger: that pie is mine
Stranger: ROLL!
You: /roll
Stranger: /roll?
You: The orc has rolled a 13 out of 20.
You: You have a chance to beat him!
Stranger: ok, dam
Stranger: what if i upgrade my stuff
Stranger: i can roll to 30 now
Stranger: /roll
Stranger: i ole 22
Stranger: rol*
You: Ok, you go first!
Stranger: i win
You: Ok, roll to hit
Stranger: pie is mine!
You: It looks like his armor class isn't very good
Stranger: dam, i thought the pie was mine?
You: You can probably take him
You: No, you just rolled to see who went first
Stranger: god damit .... well
Stranger: i use my fuckin bow and arrow
Stranger: HEAD SHOT!
You: You successfully head-shotted the orc!
Stranger: thats a 5% chance btw
Stranger: oh yeah bitchs
You: The pie drops to the ground.
Stranger: i pick it up!
You: You pick it up. The pie seems to have a bit of red on it.
You: It's also covered with whipped cream.
Stranger: i dont care, gonna eat it
Stranger: oh yeah, red, whipped cream, sounds like my weekend
You: You eat the pie.
You: It tastes delicious!
Stranger: oh yeah, 10+ all states!
Stranger: know ima gonna /roll to see if i can get moe pie
You: Somewhere, there is a bakery making more delicious pies.
Stranger: oh god yes! pie is good
Stranger: oh wait
Stranger: are we using pie as a metaphor for women?
Stranger: if not, thats cool
Stranger: mmmm pie
You: Either or. Orcs are knows for devouring humans, as well as apples.
You: Do you wish to exit the room and search for any bakeries that employ other orcs?
Stranger: oh yeah, so i want it EVEN if its not a pie, but a chic
Stranger: with whipped cream
Stranger: oh yes
Stranger: i ount my flying zoo-bat
Stranger: mount*
You: Ok, you exit the 10ft x 10ft room, and mount your flying zoo-bat!
You: Roll me a perception check!
Stranger: NO, I MOUNT IT in THE 10FT BY 10FT ROOM
You: !!
Stranger: o god, not again
You: Ok, you mount the zoo-bat in the 10ft by 10ft room.
Stranger: rolling?! i want too mount my zoo-bat NOW
Stranger: oh yeah, now ima gonna ride that zoo-bat to the bakery
You: No, rolling perception was to see if you could track down orc-run bakeries.
Stranger: /roll perception check
Stranger: 9/30
Stranger: dam
You: Hmm.
You: Ok, you don't see anything. However, your zoo-bat rolled a 22/30.
Stranger: oh yes! i love it when my zoo-bat wins at this!
Stranger: he smells the pie
You: Your zoo-bat starts flying to the outskirts of the town, following a trail of apple and/or women pie!
Stranger: oh yes whipped cream here i come
Stranger: he dives!
Stranger: *gasp*
Stranger: i jump off him and land on the roof of a house
Stranger: fall thro
Stranger: and BAM there pie
Stranger: but theres also 10 orcs
Stranger: all with there weapons out
You: One of them is an elite War Orc!
Stranger: i use WHIRLWIND!
Stranger: it has a 10% chance to stun
You: Level 80 warrior, empowered with apple pie, stuns 8 out of the 10 normal orcs!
Stranger: oh yeah!
You: The war orc is still conscious and moving!
Stranger: wait, 80? what is this shit
Stranger: im like lvl - mr T
Stranger: Mr T schools ALL bitchs
You: You examine the War Orc, and realize that he too is a level Mr T.
Stranger: oh god
Stranger: well, im a CHARGIN MY LAZER!
You: Laser is charging
You: Laser is charging
You: Laser is charging
Stranger: triple finish!
Stranger: its super effective
You: The laser blast dispiates harmlessly after the War Orc's "I don't have time for this jibberjabber" shield!
Stranger: oh god!
You: War Orc is now charin his lazer!!11
Stranger: Mr T quote means i die
Stranger: welll, ROUND HOUSE KICK PLZ>!?!?!?!!!
Stranger: face shot
You: His lazer fails, as he misspelled "chargin"!
Stranger: oh yeah
Stranger: =)
You: You successfully round house kick him! The power of Chuck Norris compels you!
Stranger: oh yeah, it creates a new big bang
Stranger: but then the war ork wins
Stranger: cause we all know that chuck norris is weak
Stranger: war ork eats pie/ women
Stranger: and then explodes
Stranger: cause that pie/ women had a bomb on its chest
You: The War Orc goes "Om nom nom," and devours the women and pies.
You: And he explodes!
Stranger: those implants werent real?!
You: Mr T pities the fool orc who makes it to his level~!
Stranger: they were a bomb
Stranger: oooooohhhhhh yeeeaaaaaahhhh
Stranger: dam, know i own the bakery
Stranger: that bakery is my bitch
You: The bakery was destroyed in the new big bang, unfortunately.
Stranger: oh
You: However, you see 100k gold laying in the spot of the former bakery
Stranger: well, oh
Stranger: oh YEAH!
You: Would you like to rebuild the bakery and make more delicious pies? Y/N?
Stranger: coll-aid wins
Stranger: N
Stranger: ima gonna get me some hoes
Stranger: and build a playboy house
Stranger: happily ever after
You: The end! I hope you enjoyed this adventure, and remember - Cleanse spells are good for removing disease after sleeping with a ho!
You: Hookers and blow for the win!


And then the conversation ended, I joined Facebook, and we went on Omegle and regaled people with War Orc, courtesy of Nick Markey.

The end!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Small update

First things first: I worked on my Elissa Cousland sketch a little bit this week... centered her body some, and refined the armor a bit.

Then we have some concept exploration fail, done with Copic Cool Grey markers on copier paper:

... which lead to the fail sketch below:

There ARE some things I like about it... I just wish I didn't have such a heavy hand.  No matter how hard or lightly I press, my lead smears ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL over the place like WHAT.  Maybe I need new lead?  Anyway, I'm going to see if I can clean it up/refine it in Photoshop, with my small-arsed Wacom Intuos 3.

Hopefully the WoW raid will be starting up soon, so I'll cut this short.  Later!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


As promised... a lot of studies from the last few weeks of 2009 and the first week or so of 2010.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy Belated New Year's and whatnot!

Yeah, I'm totally late to the party, but still - I hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve!  I know I did, even if I don't remember certain parts of it :3

I have a bunch of studies I need to scan and post, but I have been slacking off to play World of Warcrack and more Dragon Age: Origins.  I hope to get them scanned, cleaned up, and posted by this Sunday... and then I hope to maybe start working on an actual piece, instead of just a bunch of studies.  We'll see what I get done!

I also have oil paints calling out to me, but I want to make sure I know how to dispose of them properly before I start mucking around with them.