New Blog address! pencilsandstories.com

Hello all!

If you landed on this WordPress.com blog for the first time, then welcome! I have moved my blog from WordPress.com to my own hosted site on the official Pencils and Stories blog!

Please, change any bookmarks you might have to the new address since I will not be updating here anymore and will eventually shut this place down once I have changed all the links on my new blog.

If you subscribed to this blog your subscription should have moved with everything to pencilsandstories.com so you don`t have to subscribe again.🙂

To keep up with updates on my blog and other things I`m doing you can also follow me on social media:

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Here is the new link one more time: http://pencilsandstories.com

Thank you all for following along the journey, I hope the new site appeals to as much as it does to me.

Creative Prompts of April

15_02-Venture_Prompts_aprHello dear readers, I decided it would be best to split the creative prompts masterlist into seperate posts for months, so it`s easier to navigate. These here are the creative prompts I posted in April:

April 1st: Paint the post apocalyptic version of your street.
April 2nd: Design a character that is based on your favourite kind of tree.
April 3rd: Design a character that is not affected by gravity.

April 6th: Take your favourite flower, take your favourite art style. Design a version of the flower in that style.
April 7th: What if rain was made of something other than water, what could it be? Draw/paint it.
April 8th: Pick a culture you like and design a dragon based on the aesthetics of that culture.
April 9th: Design a birdhouse for a phoenix.
April 10th: What would a fairy do if they knew it was their last day in this world. Draw that scene.

April 13th: Draw yourself as your favourite game character.
April 14th: What would your street look like if it was the opposite of how it looks now?
April 15th: Design a costume for a meeting based on your favourite sport.
April 16th: What do you think of your own name? Design a character that reflects your name to you.
April 17th: What creature lives in thrown away water pipes?

April 20th: How would your back yard, balcony or view from your house look if it was a game environment?
April 21st: Why can’t puppies fly? Draw them like they can.
April 22nd: Design the costume of a dryad going to do cleaning work.
April 23rd: Redesign a fly as being a magical creature.
April 24th: Design a greenhouse for vampires that they can work in during daytime.

For all the months you can go to the masterlist.

As always, if you use any of these I`d love to see them! @ me on Twitter or let me know on Facebook and in your posts, tag it with #promptresult or #pencilsandstories

Have fun!

Creative Prompts of March

15_02-Venture_Prompts_maartHello dear readers, I decided it would be best to split the creative prompts masterlist into seperate posts for months, so it`s easier to navigate. These here are the creative prompts I posted in March:

March 2nd: If giraffes lived under water, what would they look like?
March 3rd: Draw/paint/photograph/sculpt the theme “obstacle”
March 4th: Design a workaholic viking character.
March 5th: What does a train station in the dark ages look like?
March 6th: Design the look of a couple of twin tailors who run a business together.

March 9th: Sketch or paint a scene with these words: “soup” “cable” “sign”
March 10th: Design a traffic light for Griffins
March 11th: Design the look of a world made of foam.
March 12th: The floor is lava in the place you were yesterday at 11 am. What does that look like?
March 13th: It’s carnaval in your story or favourite fandom. Draw it.

March 16th: What kind of creatures that hide themselves from us live in greenhouses?
March 17th: Greenhouses are fun. Here’s another prompt with this theme: design a greenhouse castle.
March 18th: Design a plant with the theme “patchwork.”
March 19th: Paint a still life and use the exact opposite colours on the colourwheel than what you see.
March 20th: Look at a photo of you as a baby, draw yourself in the clothes you are wearing there but make it work for you as a grown up.

March 23rd: Design a new mythological creature that doesn’t exists yet with the theme “stars.”
March 24th: Design a dress with the themes “chocolate milk” and “tomatos.”
March 25th: There’s a new superhero in town with the power of what you do for a living x10. Design him/her.
March 26th: Make a world of the thing you loved to do as a child.
March 27th: Design a little monster that lives in little baskets.

March 30th: Design a fence to make sure your pet werewolf doesn’t leave the yard.
March 31st: Design a puddle of something that is a gateway to another world.

For all the months you can go to the masterlist.

As always, if you use any of these I`d love to see them! @ me on Twitter or let me know on Facebook and in your posts, tag it with #promptresult or #pencilsandstories

Have fun!

Moving the blog and secret projects: hiatus

Yes, you read that right. I’ll be putting this blog on a little hiatus. For one and a half years I have blogged mostly regular. Still the amount of readers is so low that now is a better time to do this than later on. It doesn’t have much risk of losing too many readers.

I have several reasons for the pause. I will be moving this blog to wordpress.org for starters. I will renew the design and make it more clear in it’s communication and I’ll make the posts more easy to find. There’s also a project I’m involved in that I can’t tell you too much about yet but that will take up some of my time. And I’d rather work on the comic in the free time I do have.

I might post some art when I finish it in between, but for now I won’t have the goal of posting here every week. I will keep updating the creative prompt posts and keep posting new prompts on Twitter and my Facebook art page. You can follow me there if you want. 

I don’t know when the new blog will launch but in the meantime: keep on creating!

Creative prompts of February

15_02-Venture_Prompts_febHello dear readers, I decided it would be best to split the creative prompts masterlist into seperate posts for months, so it`s easier to navigate. These here are the creative prompts I posted in February:

February 2nd: Make a drawing/painting with these words: “jungle” “hairspray” “chair.”
February 3rd: Take a kind of flower and make a house/building/hut etc based on it.
February 4th: Take a map from somewhere you’ve never been before, study it, then draw how you think it looks. (just for fun: look at streetview afterwards how it actually looks)
February 5th: Draw/paint/etc. “distinction.”
February 6th: If Cupid had something other than bow and arrow, what could it be?

February 9th: Design something based on “set of four” Whatever it is, show that it`s part of a set.
February 10th: what would your pet, or an animal you saw at the zoo, or online look like as a human?
February11th: Design a house, street or landscape based on your favourite brand.
February 12th: Design a prison for ghosts.
February 13th: Design a whole new form of transportation (doesn`t have to be actually possible).

February 16th: Design the flag for a country of stone giants.
February 17th: Paint or draw a city environment that would be ideal for frogs.
February 18th: Draw or paint a scene with the theme “liquid”.
February 19th: Draw the most interesting lightbulb that means “I just got a brilliant idea.”
February 20th: What does a tea monster look like?

February 23th: Design some houses based on the shapes of sushi.
February 24th: A rubber duck goes to a party. How does it dress itself?
February 25th: Design a dragon’s cocktail drink in a fitting glass.
February 26th: Make a drawing/painting in which something reflects in the water in an unisual way.
February 27th: Make a train interior for a train that exists in the prehistory.

The post for January can be found here.
For all the months you can eventually go to the masterlist.

As always, if you use any of these I`d love to see them! @ me on Twitter or let me know on Facebook and in your posts, tag it with #promptresult or #pencilsandstories

Have a great week!

Creative prompts of January

15_02-Venture_Prompts_janHere are the creative prompts posted on social media in January. For the other months you can go to the Creative Prompts Masterlist.

January 5th: Create a character based on your favourite song.
January 6th: Design a city hall, restaurant or business building…for garden gnomes.
January 7th: Take a letter from the alphabet and turn it into a character.
January 8th: Design a flower that you’d find in an enchanted desert after it has rained.
January 9th: Draw a rendition of something that resembles the word “daft.”

January 12th: Draw or paint something that is “glowing.”
January 13th: Do you have a philosophy? Make a character based on it.
January 14th: Design a musical instrument that doesn’t exist yet.
January 15th: Think of your favourite character. Now either draw their brother or sister or their evil or good twin.
January 16th: Look at an interesting object in your surroundings, then draw the opposite of that.

January 19th: Think of an old trade (something that’s not done anymore or by a very small group people) and design a person (with appropriate costume) from now or the future still doing that trade.
January 20th: Make a creature that would reside in or next to a pond.
January 21st: Design a ticket to a costumed ball for Yeti’s.
January 22nd: Draw/paint/etc. something with the theme “Returning”
January 23rd: If the sun was a character or a building, what would it look like?

January 26th: Take an abbreviation, make up a new thing with the letters and draw/paint/sculpt that.
January 27th: Draw/paint an animal and make it as fluffy as you can.
January 28th: Make/design a fashion item out of the word “thick”.
January 29th: What does a “digital eye” look like?
January 30th: Make a character out of a traffic sign.

As always, if you use any of these I`d love to see them! @ me on Twitter or let me know on Facebook and in your posts, tag it with #promptresult or #pencilsandstories

Have fun with these!

Life drawing – WW2 theme

I did some life drawing last saturday. The Facebookgroup Schetssessie 2.0 hosts life drawing sessions every month based on a certain theme. This month it was the Second World War. There were two men who gather all kinds of army related things from that period. They also do reenactments of WW2 to preserve this information about history. One of them was dressed in full German uniform, the other in the American uniform. Up to all the details and materials the soldiers were carrying. They gave us a  peek into the life of a soldier during that time and let us draw the uniforms and everything.

Then they did some poses for us:15-02 Life drawing soldiersAfter this a professional model came in and for an hour and a half she did some poses for us, using some of the  materials the other models brought with them. Some poses were short, others longer.

Just a heads up for those of you at work, these images feature a nude model.

Having no life drawing experience it was interesting to me to notice the difference in quality between the five minute poses and the ten minute ones. I think in these five minute poses I was focusing too much on speed instead of economy of lines and shapes. I tried to find a simple gesture in each but failed to look at things like gravity, proportions and anatomy:

15-02 Life drawing_5 minThis is not a bad thing, it’s good to get to know your weak spots. Rushing things is a recurring one for me.🙂

There also were some 10 minute poses. I really liked this time span. It was enough to take it to a kind of finish without rushing, but still short enough to feel the time ticking away so you know to not go into too much detail.2015 02 Lifedrawing_10min.It was kind of a long trip to Breda but I think it was worth it and I had a great time. Drawing with live models who change poses really fast is a whole different challenge than drawing from photos. Highly recommended. I also met with some other artists as well.

If you like to see more examples of life drawing, these artists frequently posts their drawings from live models. I love how expressive and beautiful they are.

Thanks for visiting and, as always, take a look at last week`s creative prompts to see if there`s something that sparks a new idea for a drawing, painting, sculpture, photo or whatever you like to make.🙂 See you next week!

Shapes and colour: birdsketches

This week I experimented with shape and how different shapes give a different feel to a design. I tried to repeat the shapes within the design too. I used the theme “birds.” I hope you like them:

2015 02 birdsketchesI also found a few markers that I thought were a nice colour palette together. So I experimented with colour too and how they could enhance the design. They were very limiting so it was a challenge. I tried to use them all in most bird designs. I also practised my inking again. Still a lot of work to do in that area.

As with the last few weeks, I added the latest creative prompts to the master list.

Crafting a story – part 13: lettering

Lately I’ve been making thumbnails for various scenes for the Recollection City prologue.
I have been doing tests for page layouts too to get a sense of the overall style of the comic pages. Now it’s time to look into the style of the text that goes into the word balloons. This is called “lettering.”

2015 02 fonts

Comic lettering generally follows certain rules and conventions. (Unless you deliberately want something different, but why reinvent the wheel, right?) Blambot has some great information on that.
You can use different fonts for things like onomatopoeias for example. Some people use different fonts for different characters or races. I’d advise people to use it sparingly and carefully though, it can get confusing really fast, or it’s so creative it becomes hard to read.

There are plenty of good comic fonts out there. Some free, and some not. To let a comic be completely created by yourself from start to finish, you can also letter your comic by hand. Doing this for every word balloon slows you down of course but it’ll give you the hand lettered feel of old comics. This is the most elaborate way to letter your comic.

For me this is way too time consuming. So, another thing you can do is make a font based on your own handwriting. Making a professional font with the right characteristics of a good design is time consuming and it requires expensive software and specific knowledge and experience to arrive at something good.

There are some websites out there though, which will help you make a very simple font of your own handwriting. For example: MyScriptFont, YourFonts and Fontifier.
I haven`t used them all, but so far I like really Myscript. I have seen people use the others with great results too though.

If you don’t like your own handwriting you could use that of someone else`s to still have a more hand lettered feel. Jason Brubaker released his own hand created fonts on Gumroad this week. He used it for Remind and made a really pretty one for his newest comic Sithrah.

I’m still debating if I want to use my own handwritten font, or a font from Comicraft I have that I really like, it’s clean and legible. I’ll experiment some more.

Question: do you make comics and how do you approach lettering?

In other news: do you want some inspiration for your new drawing or painting? Here is the link to the Creative Prompts masterlist. I added last week`s prompts.

On composition in comics

What’s typical for comics (and some other narrative art forms) is that you’ll be drawing the same characters, props and locations over and over again. For a lengthy scene in the same place it can be tricky to come up with nice, new compositions for each panel.

This is why I spend a few hours this week thumbnailing different compositions for certain scenes. Thumbnailing is, like I’ve mentioned before, a quick and simple way of trying out new composition ideas.

2015/02/img_1293.jpg

These are for a scene of dialogue on a balcony. Some of them may not make much sense to you sorry about that, I`m a messy sketcher. I kept the thumbnails small to keep the focus on bigger shapes and lines in the composition instead of going into detail. The black ink lines also helps me focus on the breaking up of the picture plane more instead of focusing on lines.

You’ll also notice that each thumbnail communicates a different idea and feeling through it`s composition.

I learned a lot again from this exercise, it even helped me refine the story and have more control on what exactly it is I want to say with a scene.
And I now have a few compositions lying around to draw from.

I’m now thumbnailing compositions for city scapes, since I’m not very experienced in drawing a lot if architecture. It’s given me some interesting new ideas for comic panels so far.

As before, I also added last week’s creative prompts to the master list. Go have a look to see if there’s some new ideas for you there. Maybe you can even use them in a comic.