Install Theme

Hello folks! I’ve been recording myself drawing in my sketchbook for a while and now I’m going to begin streaming myself working in my sketchbook on an experimental basis. Come join me!

ORIGINAL MUSIC by BLK MKT

Very early WIP version of a stage theme I’m writing for my game project.

Princess Sophia is a character I designed for a game one of my students wanted to make. She didn't know what kind of game she wanted to make but wanted the character to have a gun. I had to compromise Moleskene sketchbooks feel nice to sketch in but they're awful at taking Copic markers. Here's a night time palette for Sophia. I need to draw a character a whole lot before I learn them well enough to make decisions on the fly. I need to draw them even more when I haven't finished designing them yet! I usually ink without a pencil sketch, so trying to work from a sketch is a little weird for me sometimes. Most of my sketchbook pages are haphazard collections of characters crammed into small spaces.

School has started, but I’m still plugging away at various commissions and other artwork in my sketchbook. Lately I’ve been going to my local library to get work done. Doing so has given me the chance to work in a daily regiment of croquis sketching with the Croquis Cafe on youtube. It’s a nice change of pace from my usual environment. It’s nice to be around lots of people working on things!

Here are a few pages from my sketchbook, mostly featuring my character Princess Sophia, a character I designed for one of my students at work a while back. Beyond that, I’ve been working on my upcoming KORG M01d video tutorial set with a few dry runs and lots of footage. I’m trying to make sure the tutorials are clear, but also trying to make sure I answer the most common questions about the app from the top. Keep an eye out for it!

No matter what kind of sprite I'm commissioned to make, my first priority is structure. All sprites of this style are scaled against a standard unit size. Sprites taller than the 6 units mark incur an extra complexity charge.

Periwinkle Vastebottom
Commissioned Work, 2014
Large size Pixel art created with Manga Studio 5
25 Colors used

Soft Shaded Sprite Commission for eviljelly.
Character belongs to eviljelly.
Want one of your own? Commissions are now OPEN! Here are my prices.

BIT CASCADE (V.M01D)
??? Stage
Project Synesthesia Stage Song.
Original FL Studio/ KORG M01 Composition

Last night’s stream was a test of my capture kit equipped 3DS - I transcribed and corrected this song live as folks watched and discussed KORG M01d with me. Now that I have this equipment, I will need to rerecord old songs, since the capture kit allows me to export music at a higher, more consistent standard of quality.

I’m working on some video tutorials for KORG m01d; the first of which will be a walkthrough of the app’s interface and basic functions. Subsequent videos will detail various techniques I’ve picked up over my time with the M01 and M01d. KORG M01d is a solid DAW that more people should pick up, but the interface can be intimidating and recording from the 3DS can be an ordeal. With my tutorial videos, anyone will be able to pick up their 3DS and learn to use the app, as well as how to record audio from the 3DS and other tips, tools and tricks!

One tool I use every time I record is this loop length calculator. It only works for songs written in 4/4, but it’s nice to have around when it’s time to edit the audio files for posting!

ORIGINAL MUSIC by BLK MKT

Making good progress on this turnaround. When working on pixel commissions, I draw a structural test to get familiar with a character's design. After I am satisfied with a structural drawing, I draw some poses and start pixelling when I get approval and money to do so. I emphasize structure no matter what the character looks like because precision is key at the pixel scale.

Today’s stream was a success! I think I’m in good enough condition to resume my regular stream times. 

During the stream, I resumed work on my pixel art commissions and worked on a turnaround of one of my OCs, Cliff to practice animating in Sketchbook pro. 

Would you like a pixel piece of your character, or some other piece from me?Here are my prices!

Apologies for my slowed rate of posting lately. My health has been poor. I ended up at the hospital for severe asthma attacks once on the 23rd (after my birthday stream) and again on the 11th. I am currently recovering at home, but I am safe. I will be resuming commission work as soon as possible and launching my first KORG M01d video tutorials soon after! Look forward to it.

See you folks next time!

Today is pen-bee's birthday! I sent her a few toad themed sketchbooks with lots of inked drawings of her favorite character, Toad. The experience making these books was quite a bit of fun. It's unfortunate that moleskine sketchbooks can not tolerate Copic Markers at all, so I couldn't color any of these sketches.

Happy birthday pen-bee!

Soft Shaded Roxy sprite at actual size. The same sprite, enlarged to show detail. Initial sketch that lead to the full sprite.

Roxie
Commissioned Work, 2014
Pixel art created with Manga Studio 5
12 Colors used

Soft Shaded Sprite Commission for domoblog
Character belongs to domoblog
Want one of your own? Commissions are now OPEN! Here are my prices.

I begin with a quick sketch of the client's character to be sprited to get an idea of the character's anatomy and important details -- I will exaggerate details as I see fit, so a model is necessary. After the character model is approved, I sketch my basic idea for the pose I will sprite the character striking. This is a throwaway drawing to use as a starting point. All my commissioned sprites are on a similar scale, so I use the head size to figure out how tall to begin drawing the sprite. The sketch is still sloppy at this point and focuses on establishing arcs These sprites are done with a more sculptural touch than a other drawings I do. I purposely ignore the palette of the character and focus on simply building out shapes and keeping areas separate.

Here is a breakdown of my pixel commission process, using the sprite I am working on for domoblog's commission, Roxie! The final sprite will use the character's correct palette, but here is a glimpse of how I tend to work on bigger sprites like this one. I don't worry about keeping the palette right at first, so I like to pick colors to represent color boundaries so I can make sure each area reads.

I am constantly sculpting sprites to eke out any illusion of curvature I can use to make the final product look solid. It’s important to omit details that don’t read while working so you can plan around possible tangents and other readability issues that can come up as you add complexity to your piece. 

Would you like a pixel piece of your character, or some other piece from me? Here are my prices!

Thanks for coming to today’s test stream, folks! I had to cut the stream short because of an asthma attack. I’ll be streaming a few more times this week, my health permitting. Trying to get as many commissions and drawings done as I can before my birthday on the 23rd! Want one? Here’s my prices!

BATTLE BOULEVARD
February 21, 2008
Oekaki drawn in MS Paint
MS Paint Vista Default Palette

The oversized features of characters in Street Fighter 4 were jarring when the first still frames were introduced, but the exaggeration helped keep everything easy to track in practice. This was one of my more ambitious MS Paint projects, requiring at least five or so files to finish. These MS Paintings taught me quite a bit about palette management.

(Source: blkmkt.net)

I’ve been sick for a while, so I was unable to finish this pixel prototype in time for father’s day. The last thing I was working on was a prototype of Anthem’s dad, Cliff, the previous man to bear the title “Anthem” and protect machines and cyborgs from the wizard menace. I’m still working on fixing up Cliff’s silhouette and nail down the design for his mechanical parts. Anthem’s dad is one of his closest friends in the whole world.

KINGDOM HEARTS EX ALPHA THREE THIRD STRIKE FINAL MIX PLUS: TURBO
February 27, 2007
Oekaki drawn in Paint.NET
Paint.NET Default Palette

I never liked the main character of Kingdom Hearts as a teenager. I didn’t have anything against Sora, but I thought things would be more interesting if say, Barrett were Mr. Kingdom Hearts instead of him. Looking back, I still think that’s true. E3 isn’t over yet, so maybe I can still hope… 

(Source: blkmkt.net)

I have been assembling Anthem's sprites by muscle group, deciding what groups to exaggerate and which ones to omit as I work. I will adjust the rotation pivot point after making the symmetrical bits. I build the Spriter armatures in Photoshop using a script from the Spriter Forums. The black dots are rotation points that bones connect to. I use these to prototype new animations to hand draw later.

I’ve been sick for a few days, but still getting work done on sprites. I like to work on pixel art the same way I work on any other illustration. Many of the sprites I am building are initial studies that will be used to build the actual sprites I’ll be using in my game project
The purpose of the studies is to hone my anatomy skills as well as to develop a consistent anti-aliasing and shading style for this project. A quick turnaround helps me tweak the design of my sprites if they don’t quite work correctly in the first few iterations. I have an easier time solving small anti-aliasing and other rendering problems if I’ve already addressed them before. I begin humanoid sprites I will be animating as nudes, using things like belly buttons as landmarks.