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Ricky Controversy 2011-11-03 14:02

Ricky Controversy Will Kill Your Eyeballs (Art and Design)
Those of you who know me are aware that visual art is not my forte. I am a writer, professionally, and my primary creative hobby is music. Heck, I have more ability in web design than visual art or graphic design. So what's this all about?

Well, many years ago--long before I determined that I should be a writer--I wrote and drew every day, usually for four to five hours at a stretch, trying to flesh out my (admittedly underdeveloped) concepts for video games. Now, I wasn't very disciplined about the drawing, especially not in comparison to the writing. I read constantly, and challenged myself all the time with hard material, and even straight-up dictionary browsing. Yet, I impatiently just tried to make whatever I wanted to appear on the paper appear fully formed without studying anatomy, perspective, lighting...any of those things.

Writing pushed art aside for me because I grew into a much stronger writer than an artist. But now, I find myself in a position where I'm doing very nearly all of my own promotional work, and I've had to dabble in some basic graphic design lately. I've enjoyed it, a lot. I've remembered the thrill of getting something visually represented just so that happened, albeit rarely, when I drew frequently. So I've decided to pick up these things I set aside now thirteen years ago and commit to the following things:

Every day I am physically able to, from now on, I will produce...

At least 1 full sketchbook page's worth of drawings.
At least 1 graphic design, be it a data visualization, photo-manipulation, background, etc.
At least 1 painting, digital or otherwise--but most likely digital.

The results will be posted on the day of their completion, as soon as all three are ready, and a 'day' shall be counted as one period of continued consciousness, since I have a habit of staying up well into the night.

Let me stress that I should be counted as a complete novice in all of these endeavors. My hope is that, over the next few years, I shall gain a modicum of skill through constant practice, but for the time being, do not expect anything too impressive. I would rather receive pointed, constructive criticism, and suggestions for reference material than generic compliments or assurances.

I will upload the first day's work tonight. In the meantime, so we don't start this off the wrong way without any content...

Here's an image I made for Moczo's wonderful Fate/Stay Night fanfiction, Chaos Theory. This illustrates about where I'm at with graphic design.

Tong 2011-11-03 15:01

That's great, I'm eager to see how your designing style is like.

Good writers are particurlarly bad at this but develop hilarious, yet good, drawing styles!

Ricky Controversy 2011-11-03 23:05

--Day 1: November 3rd, 2011--

First up, the drawings.

This was the only process I had any concrete direction for today: I knew I wanted to start with some basic human anatomy. However, I'm not really clear on what books I should be looking for to get the best references.

Second, my design for the day.

What started as a texture experiment eventually led me to...well...glow worms.

Lastly, a digital painting.

I had absolutely no sense of direction on this, so while I called this a 'value study' (even though it's fairly evident I did a hack job at values), it was really more a test to see what I can do both right-handed (I'm a lefty) and with a mouse (I'm going to order a cheap, simple Wacom tablet.)

Ricky Controversy 2011-11-05 02:05

--Day 2: November 4th, 2011--

Spent all day on other things...which is fine, except that I didn't make time for my challenge until it was already 12:30. And damn, did it make focusing hard. Lesson learned? Don't wait so damn late to do this!

My sketching was relatively aimless tonight. I want to develop some kind of plan-of-attack for this stuff.

I feel better about the graphic design today. It's not as sophisticated as I'd have liked, but when consciousness is slipping from my grasp so quickly, I can't be that picky.

I should chop my balls off for this, but I was most tired when doing this, and it was basically 'force yourself to put something out to keep yourself in the spirit of the challenge.'

So yeah. I suck, and I shouldn't do this stuff so late.

Ricky Controversy 2011-11-05 20:48

--Day 3: November 5th, 2011--

Since I have a simple Wacom tablet on the way (early Christmas gift from my family), I've opted to stick to sketching and graphic design until it arrives in a couple days, then I can actually do something resembling digital painting.

My sketches today comprised some basic perspective study stuff. Nothing earth-shattering, but I feel like I made a tiny bit of sense of things today. I know it will be a while before my improvement is notable, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

My graphic design today was just a simple exercise in messing with layered lighting effects, and also trying to make large bodies of text fit more naturally in otherwise 'negative' space.

Ricky Controversy 2011-11-07 01:32

--Day 4: November 6th, 2011--

For the first time in a while, I had a day to myself entirely uninterrupted by other people, work obligations or illness in which to focus solely on creative endeavors. I devoted most of my time to the one that happens to be my job, but I took some pleasure in my practice stuff, primitive as it is today.

Today's sketches.

Click to see the animation properly in today's graphic design.

My tablet should arrive either tomorrow or Tuesday. Exciting!

Ricky Controversy 2011-11-07 23:31

--Day 5: November 7th, 2011--

Today brought about an attempt to apply my modeling of the skull. While the relative positioning of things has improved over my earlier unreferenced drawings, nothing about this is yet at the rather low level of my referenced drawings. However, now I can see with relative ease where things broke down and how I need to practice to improve.

I confess that I'm actually fairly happy with this. While my graphic designs are more free-form experiments than my study-oriented sketches, I do feel like I'm learning things little by little.

Ricky Controversy 2011-11-09 12:16

--Day 6: November 8th, 2011--

Posting late because of a late night, but I did in fact do this stuff yesterday.

Behold the power of skulls.

Proper use of gradient overlays is still something I'm experimenting with. Obviously in this case, the text rendered a smoother fade a bit impractical, as it would have ended with less legible text further down. Unfortunately, I still need to experiment with text coloration.

Ricky Controversy 2011-11-10 18:16

--Day 7: November 10th, 2011--

I was hoping it'd take longer than this for me to fall behind for the first time...but such is the way of things. Yesterday was primarily spent trying to troubleshoot some RAM management problems on my computer, which I managed to fix...around 3 A.M. last night, and today I was quite preoccupied with my work. I started trying to learn my newly arrived Wacom's certainly a novel experience for me, operating a computer this way, but I'm excited to learn. All I have to offer today is the resultant first skull sketch.

I promise I'll be back on a regular schedule starting tomorrow night.

Ricky Controversy 2011-11-12 02:33

--Day 8: November 11th, 2011--

Due to extenuating circumstances, today was another one of those days I could only get one piece done. That being said, I am very happy with the piece. It was a fun little project and concept. Behold, a fake poster!

Ricky Controversy 2011-11-18 01:44

--Day 9: November 17th, 2011--

14 hours of work a day is tiring. Especially when a lot of it goes nowhere. So today, all I have for you after nearly a week's absence is this.

Planet Caravaggio.

Ricky Controversy 2011-11-19 16:03

--Day 10: November 19th, 2011--

My first high-resolution print is now available for purchase. The poem is, of course, my own work.

Ricky Controversy 2012-05-03 16:56

Wow, I fell off that horse with embarassing ease. Let's see if I can't sustain a more regular input now. I've recently made the following three fairly simple pieces to get back in the groove.

Ilyasviel von Einzbern (Photomanipulation)

Certain Discrepancies II
(Abstract Wallpaper)

Certain Discrepancies III (Abstract Wallpaper)

Ak3mi 2012-05-03 17:12

Planet Caravaggio is a really amazing piece of work, not saying the rest of your work isn't amazing, but that piece really stands out to me. Keep up the work :)

NoemiChan 2012-05-03 18:27

Photomanipulation is already a talent, too bad some early links seems to be in error so I couldn't see them. But keep doing it!!!

Ricky Controversy 2012-05-03 21:06

@Ak3mi & GenjiChan: Thank you so much for your kind words! I hope you continue to enjoy my work and watch me evolve. Meanwhile ...

Vicarious Perspective I (Abstract Wallpaper)

Charybdisian Lamentation I (Abstract Wallpaper) (Photomanipulation, Dark Fantasy Wallpaper)

Ricky Controversy 2012-05-05 00:53

My first actual digital painting; one made using my tablet and some awareness of brush settings. A very simple value study using two spheres.

Spheres I

Ricky Controversy 2012-05-05 20:51

New digital painting today. Yay!

Spheres II

Sphere and Cone I

Ricky Controversy 2012-05-06 23:33

Caster!Alter. A little bit of fanart for Moczo's "Chaos Theory" fic.

Ricky Controversy 2012-05-10 21:04


Settlers of Catan "Movie Poster".

Touhou Rei'iden: Highly Responsive to Prayer "Movie Poster".


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