New $3 Reward (from my Patreon page)

 

 

I’ll Bite Baaack!

Here it is finally, the finished version of Termanicz.  To get a downloadable copy, join my Patreon page.  Here is what I wrote:

“Yay, finally done.  This is the first half of the Termanicz project with the robot disguised as the aliens it was modeled after.  Hopefully I will find time in the future (lol) to come up with the other half that has the robot fighting in the devastated city.”

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New $1 Reward Added – Dragon Dreams: Currents of the World Chapter 6 (from my Patreon page)

I have added another chapter from the Dragon Dreams saga to my Patreon page .   We are nearing the end of the Currents of the World section of the story and I wanted to let you know about my method of assigning chapters.  If you have been following, instead of starting the chapter numbers over again for each subsection of the over all arc, I decided to just continue numbering as if they were all one story.  Yes, this convention could cause confusion but I think it is unique and different, which if you have spent any time at this blog, I most assuredly am.  Believe me, this will become evidently apparent in the final part of the series, Embers in the Sky.   Here is the discription from my page:

 

“This week’s reward is the sixth chapter of the Dragon Dreams saga.  Jason and the crew of The Pillar of the Sky have survived the attack of ancient powerful sand creatures but not without some changes in perspective for all involved.  Jason is pleasantly surprised by his new close relationship to Saimath, his fellow wizard.  Also, the crew, which may have once dismissed him even with the prophecy, now revere and befriend him, believing their prospects to be much better.  Unfortunately, they are given little time to enjoy these changes as the Blue Dragon reappears, dragging a massive sandstorm to obliterate any traces of The Pillar of the Sky.  Will they survive?  Can Jason manage another miracle?  Subscribe to my Patreon page to find out.”

Eight Layer Painting Recipe (from my Patreon page)

 

I have been painting digitally for well over a year now and I have to say that I don’t know how I did it before.  Yes, I still have a long way to go but with each painting I gain in strength and skill.  The aspect I enjoy most is the ability to change plans on the fly, which is a benefit in painting by layer.  My current project consists of eight different layers that build the image from back to front.

Initially I started with just three layers, one for the drawing of the alien, one for the painting I planned to do, and one for the background.  At this time I had no idea what I would do for the background but began painting the alien anyway, trying different background colors to better highlight the image.  I turned the drawing on and off as I needed to check placement of features.  When I got fairly far along with the creature design, I began playing with images for the background just painting over it when I did not like the progress.  I was able to do this without worrying about damaging the alien image.  Of course, this meant that the alien would look disconnected from the background.  However, I figured that I could touch up the creature image to fit it with the background.

Experimenting with making a drawing for the background, I was able to scan in and piece together the background buildings I wanted and added two more layers (city drawing and city painting).  The city was very basic and meant to be seen at a distance.  Again, I used the drawing layer whenever I wanted to compare the painting to my original idea.  Working with the city painting layer, I knew I wanted some haze in the background to help push the city back a bit.  What I ended up doing was painting the background layer black (my initial thought was that the city was underground but I decided to just go with in darkness) and placed another layer between it and the city painting.  By doing it this way, I could paint on thin washes of dark colors and experiment with how they changed the image without having to fix the other painted layers if I changed my mind.  In addition, as I tried ideas on other layers, I could go back to any number of layers and work to make them fit together, so much flexibility.

After getting further with the buildings and haze layer, I decided I wanted to add light glow to the lighted buildings and lighted highways.  I made a new layer over the city adding washes of light colors that matched the lighting of the buildings, letting the other layers to be seen through a filter of glowing color.  Of course this effect is achieved best with dark layers behind.  Remember, I still had not completely built the full image.  Working on the city, I had filled the top half of the image but with large gaps that allowed the black background to show through.

Finally making a decision on the area immediately behind the alien, I created another layer above the glow layer but still behind the alien painting layer.  On this layer I painted grass until I partially covered the city background.  See how easy it is to build a digital painting without completely designing the image.  Yes, you can make changes with physical methods; however, it is not as easy and sometimes you try things that cannot be undone.  With the layers I can add or remove ideas without damaging other elements.  In addition, I can even play with where layers sit with respect to the overall painting.  Compare the above image to other updates and you will see that I have shifted the alien from the center to the left of the image.  If this had been a physical painting, I would have been stuck with my first choice or have had to start over from scratch.  That would have probably been the end of the painting for me because I usually cannot muster the enthusiasm to start over.

All in all, I am enjoying painting in Gimp for the same reasons that I like using a word processor.  I can change and adjust ideas without having to start all over, which frees me up to experiment with composition and tone more than with physical media.  I find that this suits my creative methods.  I always started with one element and built outward from that, making decisions as I went.  Unfortunately, with physical media, the results were nowhere as good as you see now.

Kickstarter Project Improvements

Quiet Strength Kickstarter Project

I have made major improvements to the look and reward structure of my Kickstarter project.  Please stop by and take a look, I really could use your support.