Monday, November 24, 2008


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About this wallpaper
Roughly 90% Illustrator CS3 and 10% Photoshop CS3.

This is another Facts of Life wallpaper, but I did so poorly on making Blair look like Blair, and because the characters never dress in western wear, it really could be anyone. ;)

I came across some photos of Lisa Whelchel wearing a cowboy hat that made me go, 'ah, ha!' So this is a kind of what-if.

After I got my idea, I lightly sketched out the composition I wanted: Blair sitting on a fence or something and Jo standing behind her. My figure construction skills are seriously atrophied so I had a friend of mine pose for both figures, took photos of her, and used those as reference to get the perspective and everything right.

In Photoshop, I did the main sketch based on the photos I took, then had to do some head hunting for Jo and Blair's faces. Jo's was fine but it was hard finding an image of Blair with her head at the correct angle. The one I ended up using was of her feigning a pouty expression. No matter HOW hard I tried, I could NOT get my drawing to look like Blair without the pouty expression! I think Jo looks fine but... GRR. Now I know why comic artists who have to draw characters from live-action TV or film don't bother. ;)

Anyhoo - I took the sketch (which was nothing finished - literally just a quick 5 minute sketch) into Illustrator and dreweverything there, line work first. I was originally going to have something like forced-perspective telephone wires overhead but went with clouds instead.

I did this over the course of three days. The initial composition set-up took awhile, and tweaking the blonde's face probably took longer than anything else. While it still doesn't quite look like who I was going for, I am pleased with the overall results. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Facts of Life Jo wallpaper

Finally! A Jo wallpaper! Based on a screencap from xxsaosinxx (Thanks!)

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About This Wallpaper
Illustrator CS3, Intuos Wacom tablet, about 4 hours.
I'd had this idea for a Jo wallpaper for awhile, to theme it around her Blair-given "Mr Goodwrench" nickname-insult, in blues with mechanical stuffs happening. After the direction the previous Blair wall went in, I did this one in the same style (which, now that there IS a style, saved a LOT of time!). Stuck with the limited palette and masculine lines. Googled the Goodwrench logo and re-drew it in Illustrator (Live Trace did a lousy job) and found a nice motorcycle engine blueprint to Live Trace to vector and stick in the background. (I was originally going to use some of my Johnstone Supply catalogue illustrations instead since I feel like Live Trace is cheating but I really didn't feel like tracing my own engine. But they were more electrical oriented, not mechanical, so there you go).

I like this one a lot better than the Blair wall - I think it succeeds in its comparative simplicity - but then, as we know, Blair is superficially much more complex than Jo so I think it works. ;)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Brilliant Blair: Facts of Life wallpaper

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About this wallpaper
This is the character Blair from the popular 1980s TV sitcom The Facts of Life", which I was very fond of as a kid.
Done in Adobe Illustrator CS3.
I lost count of the hours after the 50th time trying to work on it. Ugh. This is probably the 4th version of this wallpaper and I had started it the day after the last one I posted!

This thing was a pain in the butt. The theme was to be centered around Blair's quintessential "brilliant"; the original idea was to have a gigantic "BRILLIANT" in the background with Blair looking like she feels brilliant, with Jo glaring at her off to the side. ;) I did the whole thing with detailed shading and everything but Jo came out hiddeous. Also, I couldn't get the "BRILLIANT" worked in the way I wanted. I imported everything into Photoshop and tried stuff there to no avail. I ended up ditching everything and started from scratch in Illustrator, drawing it like you see now and then messing around with random shapes and fills, ditching Jo outright.

And yes, that's the VISA credit card logo, from the 80s. Whee. ;)

Here's what it used to look like:

No, I will not be working this into a wall any time soon so do not ask.
I swear I have a Jo one coming up next. Maybe I'll do it in the same style and they'll be a pair. :D

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

StarWars: Dark Leia

I don't generally do requests because I end up being really flaky about getting the piece done. But every once in awhile an idea really strikes my fancy and it not only jumps ahead in the "To Do" queue, it actually gets done!

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It is based on an alternate universe for Star Wars, a "what if" deal: what if Leia led the Empire or something (I think this is based on Star Wars: Infinities - look at me, I don't know what I am drawing!). ;) I had the composition in mind well before I started. This is my first figure construction I have done from scratch in years - ugh, I should of hired my friend Ash or Hemisphere for it! Anyhoo, I made up my own costume based on the comic version and some other artist's version. Sketched in Photoshop CS3, drew everything/colored in Illustrator CS3, brought it all back into Photoshop to do shading and add textures. The stars and clouds are all my own textures. Took about 9 hours or so.