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March-April Review

Olk so it’s now been just about a month since I put brush to small canvas,  I think the first one was actually started on the 13th but 10.. 10 is a nice round number so that’s how i’ll track it.

Short version, 7 paintings ‘done’, tons of fun, learned a lot, only abandoned one without any hope of redemption (#3).

Big Takeaways:

  • I have GOT to find a better way to take photos of paintings, these colors are all sorts of messed up.
  • I’m working with a very limited palette and I’m STILL overwhelmed by color choices, I attempted to mitigate that bit with #7 with mixed results.
  • Making my own greens (I’m not using any tube greens at all, everything is mixed) is so much fun!
  • I’m skipping too many steps to get to the rendering,  I need better defined blocking and resist the details until its set.
  • Finding the shadow shapes looks easy until you’re staring at a nose trying to make up your mind where it begins.


The colors on this REALLY aren’t right

This started off as a value study and it went all sorts of wrong, and then everything made it worse.. But I must admit I’m pretty happy with how a lot of the little primrose buds came out.

Limiting my Palette even more (black, white, alyzerin crimson, prussian blue and burnt umber), to try and just be able to focus on getting the proper soft/hard edges in the shoulder and neck,  which I must admit I’m quite happy with.   The wet clothes had a really neat transition from where they stick to the body and crinkle up, and I’ll be the first to admit that it was less than successful in that regard.

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Never a dull moment in cyberspace….

F$$@^&*^@ING hacker.

Well.. nothing that a clean wipe / re-install can’t fix.   

On the upside.. got a bunch of trash cleaned out and old plugins removed and the site itself loads a good bit faster.

Still painting.  Feeling more comfortable with the oils ever time…and I must admit I’m beginning to really like the smell of linseed oil.

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More Make-a-thing days end of m1

OK so i lost a few days to kids, illness and a mini-vacation to PAX South (which was awesome!)

But none the less, scribbles were made, but i’m having a hard time ‘finishing’ even these things. So I’ve been making myself to more and more thumbnails to just start being able to see the composition before starting on the actual drawing. And i feel that it’s been improving my sense of wholeness of each thing, if that makes any sense.   That and watching The Hair lessons on the Magic Box there was a total ‘ah-ha’ moment, where talking about visual rest and the need to NOT render something felt like it clicked. ( see the goblin girl’s hair below)


But finally I’ve watched a bunch of other artist talks and one struck me as particularly poignant,  essentailly you should be able to describe your painting in 5 values.  Which I did below and a couple of them are fairly successful.  Now I used the full range and the same 5 values across the board instead of selecting high key / low key values specific to each thumbnail which was probably a mistake, but I’m actually pretty happy with the graphic result.


Other misc thing a days, that were more of a mental check out rather than focused on actually learning something.



Ok Failing to grasp cloud structure was kinda fun.sketch-17 sketch-18 sketch-19 sketch-19b

Other than the overworked face and broken neck structure.. this was actually much nicer looking 45 min earlier. sketch-21

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Sheep benchmark

Time for a little progress update, eh?

Ok so some more sheep have been done but it’s time to assess the situation and get a firm grasp of where exactly I stand.   But first a picture of the prototype tuckbox that the game will be shipping with (some assembly  required)


Why Include something as silly as a tuckbox, when it will surely impact the bottom line One might ask.  Well the answer is simple,  with the last couple playtests it’s become obvious that the system of green tokens to track the value of the current place is massively cumbersome.  So I decided to put in a little track sheet that you can just put a couple counters on to track the value of the current place as it is eaten.  And the price difference between a 4×4 board and a board big enough to have a tuckbox to be cut out is negligible. So the tuck box is almost free.

But anyway… back to the current state of the game development process.    So it turns out that 85% of the time it’s taking is art.  That’s right.  It’s taking much much longer to draw silly sheep than it is to creating the game and the cards and exporting them and uploading them and writing / editing the rules etc. etc.

Crazy eh?

As of RIGHT NOW, I have Drawn and Painted 60 of 125 sheep.  Of those 50 have been placed into their final art location in the inDesign files that are the decks.

I have 65 sheep left to Draw, ink, and paint.   A happy estimate would be that if I totally buckle down I can probably do a sheep every 2 hours, maybe a bit more.  So let’s call it 90 min.  So that’s just a hair short of 100hrs of ART work left to do.  Not too terribly bad.

Other than that I probably have 6 hours of editing and tweaking on the cards’ text to make sure they’re clear and are easier to understand.

Then toss in the other little things like re-writing the rules and finalizing the web and packaging art, realistically it’s probably closer to 120 hrs of work.

That’s some really long weekends in my immediate future if I’m to hit my goal of having it launched by my birthday.

Time to buckle up, it’s gonna be one helluva ride to see if I can do this.

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unscheduled diversion & waves of light

So Progress on the main project has been really slow this week.   That’s not to say a bunch of stuff didn’t get done.. It’s just not tangible stuff.   I got the high scores put in and it seems to be working fine, and then I just ran into a mental brick wall of ‘now what?’.  So I just let things stew in the noggin while I did other things.

  So what other things did I keep myself occupied with one might ask?

Well, such things as going ocd in trying to lean guitar.. step 1. hurt fingers daily until you can press a string for more than 10 seconds without pain.  well.. im still working on that one. 

More interestingly I dusted off my lightwave 9.6 and started digging in to finally trying to learn the damn thing.  Sloooowly making progress.  I have managed to make a cube and some ovals and give them a texture.  The whole layout side of things is making a bit more sense as well with the lights and timeline etc etc.  Anyway the results of this is:  


And in the meanwhile, I’ve been jotting down whatever ideas that have popped into my head as things to add to the game and I’ve now got a pretty handy idea of what i need to do next.

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Been learning flash..

Been playing around learning some flash bits n pieces..and Holy moly!  it’s starting to make sense. Gradually…

But man.. is flash slow performance wise.  Anyway here’s today’s little excercise.  It’s not entirely properly OOP since I didn’t extend the base MovieClip class and just slapped the functions into the various instances.. But New classes are the next thing I’m tackling.. and then passing and fetching javascript data back and forth for flajaxy goodness.