Behind The Scenes! The Paintings That Didn’t Make It!

2016 Artwork Never seen before paintings May 2016

Well, there was originally going to be a “proper” article posted here today. In fact, there were going to be two. However, I ended up ditching the first article (about political cartoons) because I felt that it was “too cynical”… only to replace it with an even more cynical article about how videogames were better in the 1990s.

So, as a last minute replacement (since I’m not in a cynical mood at the moment). I thought that I’d show off a few of the paintings that – for whatever reason – didn’t make it into any of the daily art posts that I’ve got lined up for the next few months. Some of these are “new” paintings and some are unused alternative versions of existing paintings.

"Purple Sky Pyramids" By C. A. Brown [This digitally-edited painting was made in about twenty minutes as one of two emergency filler paintings I made so that I could start a comic on a particular day. After I'd made it, I realised that I only needed to make one filler painting, so this one got dropped.]

“Purple Sky Pyramids” By C. A. Brown [This digitally-edited painting was made in about twenty minutes as one of two emergency filler paintings I made so that I could start a comic on a particular day. After I’d made it, I realised that I only needed to make one filler painting, so this one got dropped.]

"Upon The Quad (Edited Version)" By C. A. Brown [When I was making a painting that will be posted here later this month, I wasn't sure about the colour scheme, so I made this surreal digitally-edited alternate version. Compared to this version, the more "realistic" version looked better - so I went with that version instead.]

“Upon The Quad (Edited Version)” By C. A. Brown [When I was making a painting that will be posted here later this month, I wasn’t sure about the colour scheme, so I made this surreal digitally-edited alternate version. Compared to this version, the more “realistic” version looked better – so I went with that version instead.]

"Vintage Bebop" By C. A. Brown [This was the original version of the 'Virtual Bebop' Painting I posted a couple of days ago. Since this painting looked a bit too minimalist, I ended up digitally adding a 1980s-style sci-fi background to the final version, which was called 'Virtual Bebop']

“Vintage Bebop” By C. A. Brown [This was the original version of the ‘Virtual Bebop’ Painting I posted a couple of days ago. Since this painting looked a bit too minimalist, I ended up digitally adding a 1980s-style sci-fi background to the final version, which was called ‘Virtual Bebop’]

"Resort Coast" By C. A. Brown [This was a digitally-edited landscape painting I'd originally made for an art post later this year. However, it looked kind of "boring" and, when I thought of a better idea for a painting for that day, I ended up replacing it].

“Resort Coast” By C. A. Brown [This was a digitally-edited landscape painting I’d originally made for an art post later this year. However, it looked kind of “boring” and, when I thought of a better idea for a painting for that day, I ended up replacing it].

"Alien Pyramids" By C. A. Brown [This was an extremely rushed digitally-edited painting that I made on Christmas Day 2015. In the end, I waited a while and replaced it with something that I put more time and effort into]

“Alien Pyramids” By C. A. Brown [This was an extremely rushed digitally-edited painting that I made on Christmas Day 2015. In the end, I waited a while and replaced it with something that I put more time and effort into]

"Where The Ice May Fall (80s Version)" By C. A. Brown [This is an alternative version of a digitally-edited painting that I posted here a couple of days ago. In the end, I went for the version with an all-blue colour scheme, but - at the time-  I was curious what it would look like with an orange/blue colour scheme]

“Where The Ice May Fall (80s Version)” By C. A. Brown [This is an alternative version of a digitally-edited painting that I posted here a couple of days ago. In the end, I went for the version with an all-blue colour scheme, but – at the time- I was curious what it would look like with an orange/blue colour scheme]

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂 I’ll post a proper article here tomorrow 🙂

The Complete “Work In Progress” Line Art For My “Damania Redux” Webcomic Mini Series

2016 Artwork Damania redux lineart article sketch

As regular readers of this site probably know, I’ve been talking a lot about a webcomic mini-series that I posted earlier this month. Anyway, at the time of writing, I’ve just finished the series.

So, as a bonus, I thought that I’d provide the “work in progress” line art for each comic (including the comic that got left out of the series, in it’s original intended location in the series).

As you’ll probably be able to see, there were a few small dialogue and art changes between these unfinished versions and the comics that were originally posted here earlier this month. The line art also contains all of my original mistakes too since, well, every artist makes mistakes every now and then.

Each of these comics can be enlarged by clicking on them. Anyway, enjoy 🙂

"Damania Redux - Splatterpunk (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Splatterpunk (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Back In October (Lineart) [Deleted comic]" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Back In October (Lineart) [Deleted comic]” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Deduction (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Deduction (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Was Better In 1998 (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Was Better In 1998 (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Be Prepared (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Be Prepared (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Devalued (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Devalued (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Hidden Object Games (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Hidden Object Games (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Haven't They Got Anything Better To Do? (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Haven’t They Got Anything Better To Do? (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Intelligent Life (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Intelligent Life (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Overkill (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Overkill (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Cyberpunk (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Cyberpunk (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Punctuality (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Punctuality (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Damania Redux - Spectral Hand (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Spectral Hand (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂

NEVER SEEN BEFORE! Planning Sketches For “Damania Redux”

2016 Artwork Damania Redux comic plans replacement article sketch

Well, I’d originally written another article for today. It was going to be an extremely cynical opinion article about how the fear of causing controversy affects the webcomic-making process. It was going to be a bold article in support of free expression, which railed mercilessly against the chilling effect that modern social media can sometimes cause.

But, then I worried that it would be controversial and I pulled it before it even saw the light of day (the same fate might also befall an article, and possibly even a comic, that may or may not appear in the summer).

But, since I can’t exactly leave this page empty today, I thought that I’d share some of the “Never Seen Before” planning sketches for my “Damania Redux” webcomic mini series that was posted here earlier this month.

Although I think that there will probably be at least one more detailed article about webcomic planning that will probably appear here at some point in the future, I thought that I’d show off some of my plans from this mini series both as filler content and as a way to make up for pre-emptively self-censoring one of my articles.

You can click on each of these pictures to see a larger version:

This was my original plan for "Damania Redux- Splatterpunk". As you can see, the third panel was originally just supposed to be a boring picture of Derek reading a book.

This was my original plan for “Damania Redux- Splatterpunk”. As you can see, the third panel was originally just supposed to be a boring picture of Derek reading a book.

These were my original plans for "Damania Redux - Cyberpunk". There isn't a huge difference between the plan and the finished comic, other than the random character who says "Like, you can't say that!"

These were my original plans for “Damania Redux – Cyberpunk”. There isn’t a huge difference between the plan and the finished comic, other than the random character who says “Like, you can’t say that!”

I make these comics quite far in advance of when they're posted. As such, the first planned comic [which actually got made into a comic, but I left it out of the main series] was about the then-upcoming "Star Wars" film. But, since it would be posted online after the film came out, I decided to drop it. Plus, as the plans show "Damania Redux - Deduction" was originally going to include vampires. What? i was watching "Supernatural" at the time.

I make these comics quite far in advance of when they’re posted. As such, the first planned comic [which actually got made into a comic, but I left it out of the main series] was about the then-upcoming “Star Wars” film. But, since it would be posted online after the film came out, I decided to drop it. Plus, as the plans show “Damania Redux – Deduction” was originally going to include vampires. What? I was watching “Supernatural” at the time.

These are the original plans for "Damania Redux - Be Prepared" (which was originally going to be four panels long) and "Damania Redux - Devalued".

These are the original plans for “Damania Redux – Be Prepared” (which was originally going to be four panels long) and “Damania Redux – Devalued”.

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Sorry again for the self-censored article, but I hope that this was interesting 🙂

Can Artists And Writers Give Their Audiences A Look “Behind The Scenes”?

2015 can artis and writers show off Behind the scenes article sketch

Although this is an article about art and writing, I’m going to have to start by talking about my favourite movie for a while. Trust me there’s a reason for this and I’m not just rambling about the greatest masterpiece ever committed to celluloid just for the sake of it. Although I am tempted to do this…

I was checking my e-mail a few months ago when someone e-mailed me a link to this gallery of photos from behind the scenes at the studio that made the models for “Blade Runner” – I later found this gallery of on set photos of the cast too.

As regular readers of this site and anyone who has ever met me probably know, “Blade Runner” is my favourite movie of all time. It’s a timeless masterpiece that …. well, you can read my review of it here.

Anyway, when I was looking at the “behind the scenes” photos from “Blade Runner”, I suddenly thought – “Wow! I wish that I’d been there!“. I was insanely jealous of the ‘ordinary’ people who had got the chance to work on one of the greatest pieces of visual art ever made.

But, this also made me wonder about the whole subject of “behind the scenes” photos and features in general and, more importantly, whether artists and writers can give people a “behind the scenes” look at their own work. My answer to this question is “sort of”.

Films are collaborative projects that involve a lot of physical work – as such, there’s lots of stuff going on and lots of people doing different things. So, a look behind the scenes of a film project is inherently interesting for the simple reason that there’s a lot of stuff going on.

Art and writing tend to – thankfully- be far more solitary activities. Although this is absolutely great, it also means that any “behind the scenes” footage will just be of one person typing on a computer or painting/drawing something.

Whilst there are plenty of videos of people painting and drawing things on Youtube, the interesting part of these videos is seeing what techniques the artist uses and what the final picture looks like. These videos have none of the chaotic fascination that “behind the scenes” footage of a film set often does.

But, although you can’t really show off literal “behind the scenes” footage of your art and writing, this doesn’t mean that you can’t fascinate your audience by giving them a glimpse “behind the scenes”. You just have to do it in a slightly different way.

In fact, you have a lot more options for showing your audience “behind the scenes” stuff than film-makers often do.

You can show people sketches from your sketchbook, you can show people failed paintings and you can write about what inspired your latest story. You could even give your audience a sneak peek at a “work in progress” comic page that you’ve been working on.

Likewise, one “behind the scenes” thing that I sometimes do with my own art is to show off the original lineart for some of my more detailed paintings. I don’t do this quite as often as I used to, but if I remember to scan one of my paintings after I’ve done the basic drawing, then I’ll post it on here. Like this:

"Bathroom Plants (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Bathroom Plants (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Bathroom Plants" By C. A. Brown

“Bathroom Plants” By C. A. Brown

So, yes, artists and writers can give their audiences a look “behind the scenes”, but they have to do it in a slightly different way than film-makers do.

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂

Improving A Black And White Drawing (Plus Exclusive Art!)

Translation: I'll be dissecting one of my (better) failed drawings.

Translation: I’ll be dissecting one of my (better) failed drawings.

A few months ago, I made a black & white drawing which – despite the improvements I made to it – didn’t seem quite good enough to post in one of my daily art posts on here. I don’t know why I thought this, but I did.

Still, rather than letting this drawing go to waste, I thought that I’d give you a detailed description of how I tried to improve this picture- in case it helps you to learn how to draw using just two colours.

At the very least, I hope that this article is an interesting “behind the scenes” look at how I make my drawings.

Anyway, here’s the original version of my untitled drawing:

"Untitled Punk Drawing 18/1/15 (original version)" By C. A. Brown

“Untitled Punk Drawing (original version)” By C. A. Brown

When I’d finished this drawing, something didn’t quite look right. It looked ok, but it didn’t really look that great. So, I abandoned it for a few hours and then I returned to it and made a few subtle improvements. Here’s the improved version of the drawing:

"Untitled Punk Drawing (improved version)" By C. A. Brown

“Untitled Punk Drawing (improved version)” By C. A. Brown

In case the changes aren’t that noticeable, here’s an altered version of the original (un-improved) drawing with all of the major changes highlighted and numbered. I’ll provide a list of what I actually did below the picture, in case it’s useful to you.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] I've highlighted and numbered the changes in colour. Hopefully this is still readable if you're colourblind. But, if not, then I apologise.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] I’ve highlighted and numbered the changes in colour. Hopefully this is still readable if you’re colourblind. But, if not, then I apologise.

…And, here’s what I did in each area of the picture in order to improve it:

1) To break up the large white area in the background, I added a cross-hatched floor to the bottom of the picture. I also added a few curved black lines to the bottom of the white area in the background, in order to make it look more like a curtain or a backdrop.

2) Both the lead singer’s and the guitarist’s trousers were shaded too lightly in the original picture. This meant that their trousers kind of blended into the background slightly and didn’t really stand out. So, I darkened both of their trousers using both black paint and additional scribbling.

3) The cymbal stands in the original drawing were scribbled fairly lightly and they kind of blended into the white background behind them. So, I darkened them quite significantly, so that they stood out and were more noticeable.

4) Since I’d decided to make the background look like a curtain, I added thin curved lines to it in order to give it a more curtain-like texture.

5) I’d forgotten to shade the singer’s microphone properly. This also meant that part of the un-shaded microphone blended into the singer’s neck slightly. So, I added some light shading to it, to differentiate it from everything surrounding it.

6) I added a thin curved line to the singer’s thumb, in order to make it look slightly more realistic. I’m surprised that I haven’t used this technique in any of my other drawings yet.

7) The white scratchboard on the guitar was the same colour as the guitarist’s arm and this meant that his arm wasn’t immediately recognisable at a glance. So, I added a dot pattern to the guitar in order to make the guitarist’s arm stand out against it.

8) The guitarist’s hair and the lead singer’s hair were both the same colour. This wouldn’t have been a problem, except that their heads were right next to each other and it made it difficult to tell them apart at a glance. So, I added a lot more shading to the guitarist’s hair, so that there was more contrast between the two musicians.

I also made a few other smaller changes that probably aren’t worth mentioning here.

But, if you take anything away from this article, it should be that – when you’re drawing in black and white – you should make sure that any two areas of your picture that are next to each other are shaded differently from each other.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂