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2016 Artwork Unpublished art bonanza article sketch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 🙂

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 🙂

One Geeky Way To Come Up With Ideas For Comics And/Or Stories (Plus A “Never Seen Before” Comic Page)

2016 Artwork geeky settings inspiration article sketch

Sometimes, you can be in the mood for making a comic (or even writing some fiction). Sometimes you can be in the mood for making awesome art, writing awesome dialogue and telling amazing stories. The only problem is… well… you don’t have a story to tell.

I had this problem the night before I wrote this article and I used a fairly simple – if somewhat geeky- technique to solve it. Although the resulting project never made it beyond page one, the fact that I was able to actually make this page was all due to one simple technique ( which I also used to get inspired to write “Acolyte!” too).

Before I explain the technique, here’s the “never seen before” page from my abandoned comic:

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "23:11 - Page 1" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “23:11 – Page 1” By C. A. Brown

So, how did I get inspired to make this comic page – and how can you get inspired too)?

The very first thing to do is to look at your favourite films, games, TV shows etc… and ask yourself what something else from the “world” of that film, show or game would look like. But, unless you just want to make fan fiction/ fan comics, then there are a few other things that you have to do in order to make your work significantly more original.

Most of the time, this first step won’t be too difficult for the simple reason that the best stories often hint at more of their setting than they actually show. So, if it’s something that you’re a fan of, then you’re probably going to be curious anyway.

However, once you’ve done this, you then need to take a step back and look at the thing you’re thinking about on a thematic level. For example, if you’re thinking about the “unseen” parts of the world of a fantasy movie like “Lord Of The Rings” (or the books it’s based on) – take a step back and ask yourself “what would some other parts of a fantasy world look like?

This step is important because not only does it force you to actually use your own imagination more- but it also allows you to be inspired by other things in the same genre too. The more things you are inspired by, the more original your comic or story will be.

For example, the comic page earlier started out by being inspired by the setting of “Blade Runner“. Although this movie takes place in a gigantic futuristic city, only a few streets, cityscapes and buildings are actually shown in the film – so, it naturally made me very curious.

Once I’d thought about “Blade Runner” a bit, I started thinking about a generic 1980s/90s style futuristic city instead before making my comic. Needless to say, it ended up being influenced by a few other things in the cyberpunk genre (eg: Warren Ellis’ “Transmetropolitan” comics) too.

Once you’ve got a good idea of the setting, then just ask yourself “What kind of people live here?” and “What do the people who live here do?“.

Since you’ll already be very curious about the setting that you’ve come up with, youir imagination will probably want to fill in the gaps – so it shouldn’t be too hard to find answers to this question.

Once you’ve got your answers, just start drawing or writing – it’s as simple as that.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Using Your Emotions To Get Motivated To Make Art (And A “Never Seen Before” Painting!)

2016 Artwork Motivation And Emotions Article sketch

I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, but I thought that I’d talk about a technique (perhaps the oldest trick in the book) for getting motivated again when you don’t have the enthusiasm to make art.

But, although this is an article about another way to get motivated to make art when you’re feeling unenthusiastic and uninspired, I’m going to have to start by talking about how I got out of a recent unenthusiastic time I had recently. I’ll give some more general advice near the end of this article.

Anyway, a while before I wrote this article – I was having a dismal and unenthusiastic day. After a lot of effort, I finally pushed myself to make an extremely minimalist and fairly low-quality limited palette (red, yellow, blue and black) painting.

Although this was one of the few paintings that I didn’t feel was good enough to include in my daily art posts, I’ll include it here to illustrate how uninspired and unenthusiastic I was feeling:

"Audience" By C. A. Brown (Never seen before!)

“Audience” By C. A. Brown (Never seen before!)

Although I’d actually made this painting, it didn’t really make me feel any better about myself as an artist. It’d taken a long time to make, it felt like an absolute chore to make and it didn’t really seem as impressive as it should have done. Not only that, I was still in a fairly dismal kind of mood.

It was then that I noticed that the next piece of art on my schedule was the artwork for April Fool’s day. Since I’d already written the very cynical satirical article I’d planned to write for the first of April, I suddenly realised that I could make a cynical piece of digital art that made the same point.

Since it’d just involve taking some things from old digital photos of mine and messing around in MS Paint, it seemed lazy enough for my extremely limited levels of enthusiasm too.

So, I made it:

 "Yearning Of The Cosmos For The Zeitgeist Of Postmodern Thought " and "Gossamer Memories Of Paperback Perdition" By C. A. Brown

“Yearning Of The Cosmos For The Zeitgeist Of Postmodern Thought ” and “Gossamer Memories Of Paperback Perdition” By C. A. Brown

Suddenly, to my surprise, I felt slightly better. A cynical grin crossed my face. I started chuckling evilly to myself. But, most of all, I felt better about being an artist. I felt like making art meant something again.

This was all because I made something that expressed a particular emotion (cynicism) that I feel a lot but, for some reason, hardly ever seem to express in my art.

Because I was in a fairly dismal mood, I was feeling more cynical than usual and, because of this, trying to make anything other than cynical art just felt kind of “empty”/ “pointless” as a result.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say here is that if you’re having problems working up the motivation to practice making art, then it might be worth looking at which emotions you really want to express. It doesn’t matter whether they’re “positive” or “negative” emotions – the important thing is to work out what emotion it is.

Then find a way to make a piece of art – any piece of art- that plays into that emotion. It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or not, the important thing is to make a piece of art that feels meaningful to you in that moment in time.

Even if it’s a terrible piece of art, then it will remind you why you got into making art in the first place and, with any luck, this will make you feel more enthusiastic and motivated to make better pieces of art.

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Anyway, I hope this was useful 🙂

One Annoying Downside Of Having A Large Webcomic Buffer ( Plus An Exclusive “Never Seen Before” Comic :) )

2016 Artwork comic buffer downsides article sketch

One of the most well-known pieces of advice you’ll hear about making webcomics is to have a “buffer” of several pre-made webcomic updates prepared before you start posting anything online.

There are lots of good reasons for this, since a buffer can help to ensure that you never miss an update and it can also buy you some time when you have writer’s block too.

If you’re posting anything regularly on the internet, it’s always a good idea to have a buffer and to increase it whenever possible. In fact, the article buffer and art buffer for this site have now grown to at least several months in length.

However, there are downsides to using a large buffer for your webcomic and I noticed one of these when I was making another short re-boot of one of my old webcomic series that was posted here earlier this month. At the time of writing, I’m still working on this series and I have no clue how long it will end up being. [EDIT: I’ve just changed the link to avoid accidental spoilers, since my comics always end up on DeviantART significantly earlier than here due to scheduling reasons]

Anyway, the major downside of having a large buffer is that you can’t be topical. If you want to satirise or talk about current things, then you can’t really do this if your comic isn’t going to be posted until several weeks or months after you’ve made it.

I became aware of this when I came up for a brilliant comic idea back in October/November (when I made these comics and wrote this article).

At the time, the upcoming “Star Wars” movie was receiving a lot of hype in the media and, having suffered the disappointing experience of seeing “The Phantom Menace” at the cinema, I was sceptical about this new film. So, I decided to make a topical parody comic about it for my webcomic:

"Damania Redux - Back In October (Never Seen Before!)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Back In October (Never Seen Before!)” By C. A. Brown

But, after I’d made it, I realised that I probably wouldn’t be posting it until early this month. Even after I tried adding a date to it (eg: the “Back In October” thing), it still seemed like it’d be massively out of date by the time that it went online. So, in the end, I decided not to post it online. In fact, the first time it has appeared online is in this article.

Of course, there are some fairly obvious ways of getting around this problem – like avoiding topical subjects and using slightly more “timeless” jokes in your comic – like in these two comics (about 1990s computers and zombies):

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

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

"Damania Redux - Be Prepared" By C. A. Brown

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

But, even so, having a large webcomic buffer limits the types of humour that you can use in your comics and it also means that you’re several weeks or months behind everyone else.

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Sorry for the ridiculously short and basic article, but I hope it was interesting 🙂

Some Rambling Thoughts On Art Series And Consistency (Plus An Exclusive “Never Seen Before” Painting!)

2016 Artwork art series and consistency sketch

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m busy working on my “awesome stuff” art series at the time of writing. This is series of paintings where I try to cram as many things that I consider to be “awesome” into each painting. Or, more accurately, to allude to everything that I consider to be “awesome”.

Since I tend to be further ahead with these articles than I am with my art, this series will probably have been posted on here in it’s entirety well before this article goes out (although I’m still not certain how long the series will be).

Anyway, I had a rather usual and – almost unprecedented – experience when I was working on this art series. If you were reading this site back in February, you might have noticed that I mentioned that I’d actually left a painting out of the series. This was the digitally-edited painting that was posted online on that day:

"Survival Horror Awesomeness" By C. A. Brown

“Survival Horror Awesomeness” By C. A. Brown

And here’s the “never seen before” painting that was originally supposed to be posted instead:

"Heavy Metal Awesomeness " By C.A. Brown (After Derek Riggs)

“Heavy Metal Awesomeness ” By C.A. Brown (After Derek Riggs)

There were several reasons why this painting ended up being dropped from my art series. The main reason was that I wasn’t really in the right mood when I painted it (eg: not a particularly “awesome” mood) and this affected the quality of the painting.

Plus, although this series alludes to a lot of things, I was worried that the lack of other details in the background would turn this painting from an imaginative and original pastiche into something that was slightly too similar to Derek Riggs’ awesome cover art for this old Iron Maiden video.

But, most of all, it was because it didn’t really fit in with the style of the rest of the series. Most of the time, I don’t usually worry about this kind of thing – but the contrast between my minimalist “heavy metal” painting and the rather “crowded” paintings in the rest of the series just seemed too big to ignore. Just compare it to this small selection of other paintings from the series and you’ll see what I mean:

"All Kinds Of Awesome" By C. A. Brown

“All Kinds Of Awesome” By C. A. Brown

"Scarily Awesome" By C. A. Brown

“Scarily Awesome” By C. A. Brown

Artistic inspiration can be a strange and fickle thing. If you’re in the middle of an art series and you have a great idea for a painting or drawing, but find that it doesn’t fit into your series then this can be quite a dilemma. But, what do you do?

Well, as I’ve demonstrated here, it’s usually a good idea to actually make the painting or drawing in question (if it’s possible to do this). If you get a great idea or a moment of inspiration, then you probably shouldn’t waste it.

But, in many cases, it’s usually best to leave this painting or drawing out of your art series if it clashes with everything else that’s already there. If it’s a great painting or a great drawing, then you can always release it as a stand-alone picture after you’ve finished your series.

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Sorry for such a rambling and basic article, but I hope it was interesting 🙂

NEVER SEEN BEFORE! More Sketches, Lineart And Doodles From My Sketchbooks!

2015 Artwork sketchbooks December sketch

Well, I was running slightly behind schedule with today’s article so, instead, I thought that I’d show you a few more random sketches, doodles and lineart from my sketchbooks.

Sorry about this, hopefully I’ll write a proper article or review for tomorrow (possibly a review, since I’m planning to review, or at least write a “first impressions” article about this “Doom” WAD soon).

Anyway, enjoy 🙂

This is the "never seen before" line art for a still life painting that I posted here a couple of weeks ago.

This is the “never seen before” line art for a still life painting that I posted here a couple of weeks ago.

This is a rather elaborate doodle that I made whilst watching Youtube videos.

This is a rather elaborate doodle that I made whilst watching Youtube videos.

This was a random vintage fashion-themed drawing that I drew in my sketchbook a few months ago.

This was a random vintage fashion-themed drawing that I drew in my sketchbook a few months ago.

This is a random doodle that I made whilst I was planning yesterday's article.

This is a random doodle that I made whilst I was planning yesterday’s article.

These were the plans for page four of the comic that I posted here shortly before Halloween. And, yes, my French grammar is atrocious! This page also contains a title graphic for an article I was writing at the time too.

These were the plans for page four of the comic that I posted here shortly before Halloween. And, yes, my French grammar is atrocious! This page also contains a title graphic for an article I was writing at the time too.

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting 🙂