The Complete “Work In Progress” Line Art For My “Cyberpunk Places” Art Series :)

2016 Artwork Cyberpunk Places lineart article sketch

As regular readers of this site will probably know, I recently finished posting a series of 1980s-style cyberpunk paintings of real locations. Anyway, when I was making these paintings, I made sure to make a scan of the line art for each picture before I started painting.

So, I thought that I’d show you what all of these paintings looked like before any paint was added to them. But, if you missed the series, here are links to all seven paintings (all seven of which are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence):

Cyberpunkwharf” by C. A. Brown
Aberystwyth – Cyberpunk Coast” By C. A. Brown
Cyberpunk 2001 (Milton Keynes)” By C. A. Brown
Cyberpunk Berlin” By C. A. Brown
The Sandown Wastelands” By C. A. Brown
Portsdown Hill Cyberpunk” By C. A. Brown
Cyberpunk Chichester” By C. A. Brown

Anyway, here’s the line art for these seven paintings. Enjoy 🙂

"Cyberpunkwharf (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Cyberpunkwharf (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Aberystwyth - Cyberpunk Coast ( Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Aberystwyth – Cyberpunk Coast ( Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Cyberpunk 2001 (Milton Keynes) (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Cyberpunk 2001 (Milton Keynes) (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Cyberpunk Berlin (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Cyberpunk Berlin (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"The Sandown Wastelands (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“The Sandown Wastelands (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Portsdown Hill Cyberpunk (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Portsdown Hill Cyberpunk (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Cyberpunk Chichester (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Cyberpunk Chichester (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂

Line Art Bonanza! NEVER SEEN BEFORE Art :)

2016 Artwork Line art replacement post

Well, I’d originally written an opinion article for today, but I worried that it was “too political” or “too cynical”. Plus, given the lead times on these articles, the controversy that I’d written about is well and truly old news by now.

So, I decided to post a gallery of NEVER SEEN BEFORE “work in progress” line art – both past and future (well, mostly future – many of the full versions of the paintings featured here won’t appear here until 2017) – instead. Enjoy 🙂

You can click on each picture to see a larger version, if they’re too small here.

"City Of Towers (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“City Of Towers (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"1990s Soiree Awesomeness (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“1990s Soiree Awesomeness (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Fire And Rain (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Fire And Rain (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"1990s Sci-fi Noir Awesomeness" By C. A. Brown

“1990s Sci-fi Noir Awesomeness” By C. A. Brown

"Village (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Village (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Fan Art - Ghost Dance - Celebrate [1986] (III) (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Fan Art – Ghost Dance – Celebrate [1986] (III) (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

"Random 1980s Office (Line Art)" By C. A. Brown

“Random 1980s Office (Line Art)” By C. A. Brown

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Stay tuned for a proper article tomorrow (as well as the usual art post tonight) 🙂

Five NEVER SEEN BEFORE Paintings And/Or Cartoons :)

2016 Artwork Unpublished art bonanza article sketch

As regular readers of this site know, I tend to write these articles quite far in advance of publication. As such, I’d originally planned to post an article about the “making of” a political cartoon I’d made – but not posted– a few months before the EU Referendum (I eventually ended up posting this last-minute webcomic mini series just before the referendum instead).

But, the day before this article was scheduled to be published, I worried that it might be “too political” or that it would come across as strangely irrelevant, given that the referendum has long since happened.

So, instead, here’s a gallery of some exclusive “never seen before” artwork (at least I think it’s never seen before, I’m not quite sure if the “Garden Corner” painting has turned up in another one of these last-minute posts. I don’t think it has, but I can’t be certain).

Anyway, enjoy 🙂

This is a digitally-edited painting called "Abstraction Corridor" that I salvaged from a failed painting I'd planned to schedule for next year. Luckily, I had to move some scheduled paintings around and saw an opportunity to remove this painting from the "official" line up of scheduled paintings.

This is a digitally-edited painting called “Abstraction Corridor” that I salvaged from a failed painting I’d planned to schedule for next year. Luckily, I had to move some scheduled/drafted paintings around and saw an opportunity to remove this painting from the “official” line up of scheduled paintings.

This is a panel from an abandoned gamebook-style horror comic project that I'd planned to make for Halloween (to run concurrently with the zombie comic that should appear then). But, the project failed quickly for a number of reasons. Still, I quite like the first two panels.

This is a panel from an abandoned gamebook-style horror comic project that I’d planned to make for Halloween (to run concurrently with the zombie comic that should appear then). But, the project failed quickly for a number of reasons. Still, I quite like the first two panels.

This was a painting called "Garden Corner" which was originally going to be the first painting to appear here next year. It didn't really seem cool enough to start the New Year with, so I replaced it with something else.

This was a painting called “Garden Corner” which was originally going to be the first painting to appear here next year. It didn’t really seem cool enough to start the New Year with, so I replaced it with something else.

This is a painting called "Dark Knight" which ended up being removed from my art schedule for next year. At the time, I didn't really think that it was good enough but, looking at it again, it actually seems ok.

This is a painting called “Dark Knight” which ended up being removed from my art schedule for next year. At the time, I didn’t really think that it was good enough but, looking at it again, it actually seems ok.

This is a sci-fi painting called "Above The City" which was also supposed to appear next year, but I ended up removing it from the schedule since it didn't really turn out as well as I'd hoped.

This is a sci-fi painting called “Above The City” which was also supposed to appear next year, but I ended up removing it from the art schedule since it didn’t really turn out as well as I’d hoped.

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Stay tuned for a proper article tomorrow 🙂

Three Very Basic Ways To Salvage A Failed Painting With Digital Editing

2016 Artwork Salvaging failed paintings digitally

If you’re an artist, then you’ll know that failure happens sometimes.

But, as long as you’ve got a digital camera and/or a scanner, and an image editing program (if you don’t have one, you can download a freeware open source image editing program called “GIMP” here), then you can at least have a better digital copy of your failed painting if you’re prepared to edit it.

Just remember that, if you’re planning to sell your art, then the digital image of it that you post online should be an accurate representation of the original painting or drawing. But, if you’re not selling it, then feel free to edit away to your heart’s content.

Although I use a combination of an ancient 1990s version of Paint Shop Pro, GIMP 2.6 and/or MS Paint 5.1 for my image editing, most image editing programs share a few basic features.

So, it doesn’t really matter which programs you use. I’ll try to write these instructions as generally as possible, so that they’ll be useful regardless of which image editing program you use.

I should probably also point out that the three tips in this article are extremely basic. So, if you already know a little bit about image editing, then you probably won’t learn anything new here.

1) Your picture looks too faded: One problem with scanned or digitally photographed paintings or drawings is that they often look slightly faded.

An easy way to remedy this in pretty much any image editing program is to look for an option (it’s probably in the “colours” menu) labelled “Brightness/ Contrast”. Once you’ve found it, all you have to do is to lower the brightness level slightly and raise the contrast level until your picture looks right.

Personally, I usually tend to use a fairly low brightness level and a fairly high contrast level, because it gives my art a “vivid” look – but just experiment until your picture looks right.

Once you’ve done this, then just cut the image to the proper size (eg: if there’s other stuff in the background of your digital photo etc..) using the cropping tool in your program ( In GIMP 2.6, the icon for this tool looks a bit like a scalpel. In other programs, it often looks like a square made from two overlapping “L” shapes).

2) You’ve messed up the colour scheme: If you’ve messed up the colour scheme in part of or all of your painting, then all is not lost. In fact, there are several things that you can do to create a better digital copy of your artwork:

– Hue/Saturation: Select the parts of your picture that are the wrong colour (or don’t select anything, if you have problems with the whole image), then look for this option in your image editing program (it’ll probably be in the “colours” menu).

Once you’ve found it, just move the “hue” slider until the selected area is the right colour. This will probably require a bit of trial and error, but you can change the colour of pretty much anything (except for solid black and white areas) using this.

– RGB values: Another way to change the colour of a selected area of your artwork is to look for the “RGB” options in the colour menu of your image editing program. This allows you to alter the amount of red, green and blue in the selected area. This is less precise than altering the hue levels, but it can be useful if you need to add colour to a solid white area of your artwork.

– The Nuclear Option: If your problem can’t be solved with either of these two things, then you can remove all colour from your picture by either looking for a “greyscale”/”desaturate” option in the colour menu of your editing program, or by opening the “Hue/ Saturation” menu and reducing the saturation to zero.

Once you’ve done this, then you can mess around with the RGB options (or look for a “colourise” option) to give your artwork a tint if you want to.

In fact, I actually did this with one of my failed paintings from late April (in addition to using a “blur” effect too) after I messed up the colours in it fairly significantly. This is what the final picture looked like:

"Let The Rain Fall" By C. A. Brown

“Let The Rain Fall” By C. A. Brown

3) Correcting small mistakes (in a less noticeable way): I usually tend to do this in a fairly basic program like MS Paint, but you can do this in any image editing program.

The main thing to remember when correcting small mistakes is that the exact colours in your painting are different from the basic stock colours that are available in the menu of your image editing program.

If you use the stock colours (or try to create a similar colour using a custom colour menu), then your corrections will stand out from a mile away.

So, before you correct small mistakes, look for a colour selection tool first.

In MS Paint 5.1 this is called the “Pick Color” tool and the icon for it looks like a pipette/ dropper. In GIMP 2.6, it’s called the “Colour Picker Tool” and the icon also looks like a pipette/ dropper. Virtually all image editing programs contain this tool, so you should be able to find it.

So, what does this tool do? Well, once you’ve selected it, just click on any part of your painting and the brush/ airbrush/ pencil colour will change to the exact colour of the area that you’ve just clicked on. This means that you can seamlessly alter a part of your painting using the exact colours that are in this part of your painting.

Yes, your corrections will still be noticeable if people know what to look for, but they won’t be extremely obvious at first glance.

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Anyway. I hope that this was useful 🙂

The Complete “Work In Progress” Line Art For My Cyberpunk Art Series From March

2016 Artwork cyberpunk lineart article sketch

Woo hoo! Although it will have probably been posted here back in March, I finally finished the cyberpunk art series that I’ve been talking a lot about in these articles for the past week or so.

Anyway, I thought that I’d show you the “work in progress” line art for each of the paintings in this series – so you can see what mistakes I made, what I changed etc….

But, first, if you haven’t seen the finished paintings yet, then I’ll provide direct links to each of them here.

– “Tower Nine
– “And Outlaws They Were
– “Balcony Moments
– “Abandoned Sector
– “Screen Glow
– “Strange Case
– “Cityship Bridge
– “City Noise
– “Archive Files
– “Blue Light Lab
– “Losing Perspective

Anyway, here’s the line art – enjoy 🙂

"Tower Nine (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Tower Nine (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"And Outlaws They Were (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“And Outlaws They Were (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Balcony Moments (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Balcony Moments (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Abandoned Sector (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Abandoned Sector (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Screen Glow (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Screen Glow (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Strange Case (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Strange Case (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Cityship Bridge (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Cityship Bridge (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"City Noise (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“City Noise (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Archive Files (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Archive Files (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Blue Light Lab (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Blue Light Lab (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Losing Perspective (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Losing Perspective (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

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Anyway, stay tuned for the next “Blackwell” review tomorrow 🙂

When NOT To Include A Background In Your Artwork- A Ramble

2016 Artwork when shouldn't you add backgrounds article sketch

Although this is an article about compositions and backgrounds in art, I’m going to have to start by talking about my recent cyberpunk art series (again) for a while because it provides an example of what I’ll be talking about.

Anyway, here’s a cyberpunk painting that I made the night before writing this article:

"Blue Light Lab" By C. A. Brown

“Blue Light Lab” By C. A. Brown

And here’s another painting from the series. You can probably see the obvious difference:

"Strange Case" By C. A. Brown

“Strange Case” By C. A. Brown

Yes, there’s no background! Whilst virtually all of the paintings in the series have large detailed cityscapes and/or rooms in the background, this one painting doesn’t.

Why was that? Well, it was to do with the fact that adding a background would have completely ruined the painting. If you don’t believe me, then just take a look at the original line art for the painting and you’ll see a couple of my failed attempts at adding a background.

"Blue Light Lab (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Blue Light Lab (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

Because my original idea for the painting was to have the entire picture lit by a glowing blue orb, I quickly realised that this would probably only illuminate things close to the light source. Although I later added orange light to the painting too (to compliment and contrast with the blue light), I realised that the low light levels in the picture would be great for emphasising just one part of the painting.

As such, I had to leave the background out – since it would have distracted from the more interesting parts of the picture and it would have also ruined the gloomy atmosphere of the painting too.

But, when shouldn’t you include backgrounds in your art?

Generally speaking, if you want to emphasise something you’ve drawn or painted- then the easiest way to do that is not to include a background. Likewise, if you have a limited amount of time to work on a piece of art, then the background can often be the first thing to go in order to save time.

In situations where a background would be expected, an easy way to get around this is to – if possible – use a solid colour background, rather than just leaving the background blank (personally, I like to paint it black – but you can use any colour that compliments the rest of your picture). This gives the impression of a background, without actually including a detailed background.

As for learning when it’s right to include backgrounds and when it isn’t, the only real way to learn this is through trial and error. Of course, since every drawing or painting is different, you can only learn a few general guidelines rather than a specific “one size fits all” rule.

But, this isn’t as bad as it sounds – if you’re more of a traditional artist, then just experiment with backgrounds in your preliminary pencil sketches (they can be easily erased). If you also work digitally, then backgrounds can always be added or erased later (although it’s obviously much easier to erase a background – I mean, you can do this in MS Paint – than it is to add one digitally).

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

The Complete “Work In Progress” Line Art For My Retro Cyberpunk Art Series :)

2016 Artwork Cyberpunk lineart post sketch

Earlier this month and back in late December, I posted a series of retro cyberpunk-themed paintings here. Anyway, when I was making all of these paintings – I also scanned them when they were unfinished (initially, I did this for one or two “art preview” posts for last autumn and then I decided to do it for the whole series for some reason).

So, since I was kind of tired when I made today’s post, I thought that I’d show of all of my old “work in progress” lineart from this series. Enjoy 🙂

"These Awesome Relics (Edited Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“These Awesome Relics (Edited Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Roboforensics (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Roboforensics (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"The Abandoned Centre (Lineart)"  By C. A. Brown

“The Abandoned Centre (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"And The Duellists Fought (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“And The Duellists Fought (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Market Row (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Market Row (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Running From Time (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Running From Time (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Escalator 17 (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Escalator 17 (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Junkers (Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Junkers (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Now THIS Is A Computer (Lineart)!" By C. A. Brown

“Now THIS Is A Computer! (Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

"Skeletal Terror Over District 76 ( Lineart)" By C. A. Brown

“Skeletal Terror Over District 76 ( Lineart)” By C. A. Brown

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂 Hopefully, I’ll write a proper article or review for tomorrow 🙂

Never Seen Before! Three Unfinished Paintings From My Sketchbooks!

2015 Artwork sketchbooks July sketch

Well, I was in a slight rush when it came to making today’s article. So, instead of a proper article or review, I thought that I’d show you three unfinished paintings from my sketchbook.

I’d originally planned to post four unfinished paintings here, but the last one was an unfinished satirical cartoon (about the Jeremy Clarkson fiasco in March) and I was worried that it might be too controversial.

One or two of these pictures originally only existed as pencil sketches, but for the sake of clarity, I’ve traced over my original pencil lines with ink (and increased the contrast levels fairly heavily).

I made all of these failed paintings back in March when I was feeling very uninspired. Most of these pictures started out fairly well, but I ran out of ideas and/or enthusiasm shortly after I started them (and long before I could add any paint).

Anyway, without any further ado, here they are:

Although I quite like how this picture started out, my mind unfortunately went completely blank when it came to thinking of an idea for the background.

Although I quite like how this picture started out, my mind unfortunately went completely blank when it came to thinking of an idea for the background.

This was originally going to be a gothic/cyberpunk painting, but I was in an extremely unenthusiastic mood at the time and ended up abandoning it a few minutes after I began sketching.

This was originally going to be a gothic/cyberpunk painting, but I was in an extremely unenthusiastic mood at the time and ended up abandoning it a few minutes after I began sketching.

As you can see, this was going to be a really cool heavy metal-themed painting. I can't remember why I abandoned it at the time, but - in retrospect- I'm kind of annoyed that I did.

As you can see, this was going to be a really cool heavy metal-themed painting. I can’t remember why I abandoned it at the time, but – in retrospect- I’m kind of annoyed that I did.

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂 Hopefully, I’ll write a proper article or review for tomorrow.

A Ramble About Optical Illusion Drawings

Ha! You must be joking!

Ha! You must be joking!

Well, since I can’t seem to think of an idea for a proper article for today, I thought that I’d ramble about a really cool art-related thing that I saw online a few months ago. I am, of course, talking about anamorphic “3D” optical illusion drawing videos on Youtube (like this one).

Bascially, these are the kinds of drawings which appear to be actual 3D objects when viewed from a particular angle. They’re like those famous pieces of “3D” pavement art that get sent around in chain e-mails occasionally.

But, of course, anamorphic 3D drawings often tend to do this kind of thing on a much smaller scale. So, after seeing a few videos of people making this kind of art, I started to wonder “how do they do this?

Thanks to having about three years of regular art practice, I was in a slightly better position to work out how it was done than I might have been a few years ago. After all, even the most basic types of “realistic” drawings and paintings require you to be able to draw things that look like three-dimensional objects. Like this:

"Random Still Life" By C. A. Brown

“Random Still Life” By C. A. Brown

But, even though I could figure out the basic principles of how these kinds of optical illusion drawings work, my own attempts at even just copying the ones I saw on Youtube ended in miserable failure. And I think that I know why.

I still don’t understand enough about perspective and lighting.

You see, one of the things about making optical illusion drawings is that the perspective and the lighting have to be absolutely perfect. They have to be absolutely identical to what a 3D object might look like when viewed at a particular angle. They have to be close enough to the real thing to fool your brain into thinking that you’re actually looking at the real thing.

In other words, you have to know exactly where the light will fall on different parts of the object that you’re drawing. In addition to this, you not only have to know what something looks like from a particular angle (which is something that most artists can work out just by looking at it carefully), but you also have to know how to represent this view from a totally different angle too.

In other words, you need to be able to draw a bird’s eye view of the side view of something, so that it’ll look realistic when the paper is held at a particular angle. If this sounds confusing, that is because it is.

Ultimately, this kind of thing is still years ahead of my current artistic abilities. But, at the very least, I now know why artists make these kinds of drawings – not only do they look really cool, but they are also the ultimate way to show off your artistic knowledge and talents. And, as types of showing off go, I can’t think of one that’s cooler than this.

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂

Yes! Here’s Even More Random Stuff From My Sketchbooks!

2015 Artwork sketchbooks April sketch 1

Well, I’d originally planned to write a proper article for today. But, about halfway through writing it, I realised that it wasn’t really going anywhere and I couldn’t think of what to write next. Eventually, I abandoned it out of sheer frustration. So, here’s yet more random stuff from my sketchbooks instead. Enjoy 🙂

A while after I wrote yesterday's article, I was watching a review of an old adventure game called "King's Quest V" on Youtube. And, well, I felt like drawing a medieval wizard...

A while after I wrote yesterday’s article, I was watching a review of an old adventure game called “King’s Quest V” on Youtube. And, well, I felt like drawing a medieval wizard…

These were a couple of unusually detailed doodles I made in my sketchbook whilst trying to think of ideas for blog articles back in January.

These were a couple of unusually detailed doodles I made in my sketchbook whilst trying to think of ideas for blog articles back in January.

I made this sketch of a Minbari fighting pike whilst watching "Babylon 5" a couple of months ago. In case my writing is illegible, the text reads "Minbari fighting pike - WAY cooler than a lightsaber!".

I made this sketch of a Minbari fighting pike whilst watching “Babylon 5” a couple of months ago. In case my writing is illegible, the text reads “Minbari fighting pike – WAY cooler than a lightsaber!”.

These were a couple of random monsters I drew when I was trying to think of an idea for a horror comic. The top monster was originally going to be in a comic called "It Came From The Recycling Bin!", but I decided to make a sci-fi comic (called "Conspiracy 1983") instead....

These were a couple of random monsters I drew when I was trying to think of an idea for a horror comic. The top monster was originally going to be in a comic called “It Came From The Recycling Bin!”, but I decided to make a sci-fi comic (called “Conspiracy 1983”) instead….

This was an abandoned attempt at making a comic-based article for this blog. Seriously, it's been AGES since I last made one of these!

This was an abandoned attempt at making a comic-based article for this blog. Seriously, it’s been AGES since I last made one of these!

This was a failed first attempt at re-making a drawing/painting called "The Important Question" that I re-make every year. Expect to see the final version of it on here on the 17th of this month.

This was a failed first attempt at re-making a drawing/painting called “The Important Question” that I re-make every year. Expect to see the final version of it on here on the 17th of this month.

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Hopefully, I’ll think of a good idea for a proper article for tomorrow, but I hope that you enjoyed this quick look inside my sketchbooks 🙂