Taking a class where we have to design a character, robot, and glove controller for a mechanical battledome.  When I design, I refine every aspect into a “pitch statement” that helps inform all my decisions.  

First, I make a line to describe the whole story.  I make sure it has a relationship that can be related to viewers outside of the story world.  For example, How to Train Your Dragon is a “boy-and-dog” story despite the “dog” being a dragon.

A teenage girl and her father bridges their emotional gap through their family pet.

Though, in this case, the girl is a telepath; her father is an ex-military engineer; and he creates her pet by housing the brain of her dead dog in a battle robot.  When I design the individual parts of the story, I come up with another pitch for each part.

Perrin Maier is a teenage girl whose hot temper causes her to lose control of her telepathic powers.

I use this to inform the rest of her design:

  • I want her to be extremely expressive in her ‘normal’ state - to contrast when she loses control over her abilities and her expression goes blank.  This extends to wild, black hair that covers her face, defies physics, and never stops moving to symbolize the telepathic unrest in her psyche.
  • I want her to be pretty, but sunspots and bags under her eyes to visually depict the stress from her powers.  I opted for near-white skin to bring more visual focus to her hair and eyes.
  • I want her to wear something low-maintenance and tough but still feminine and young.  So I opted for a flapper dress contrasted with combat boots and a leather jacket.

Hope that helps explain my thinking process.  Expect more of this all week - I can’t fit everything into one photo-set!

Related posts: Character DesignController DesignRobot DesignBeauty Render.


Designing props for Mika's room.  

  • Mika is consciously concerned with the visual feel of her room, so she buys matching wood furniture.  The look uses lots of soft corners and panels carved to depict Vanglorian folk tales.
  • Most hard surfaces are softened with some kind of fabric covering.  Fabric edges are further softened with curling brocade or fringes.
  • Furniture is low to the ground to create an airier atmosphere that focuses on draping fabrics.

I used Ikea to help me figure out how big objects should be. Haha. It’s a California King, by the way.  Orthographic views are easy when you make a grid.

Related Posts: Floorplan, Furniture I, Furniture IILighting Tests, Lineart, Values, 1-Point Final, 2-Point Final, 3-Point Final


The sun rose over Rivek’s shoulder.  He sighed, “I need to leave for work.”

Willow twirled his tags between her fingers and muttered, “You’re going to fly away and put a knife in someone, aren’t you?”

"Wouldn’t dream of it." He whispered. “I’m smarter than that - it’ll be an arrow.”


For Rivek's birthday (I have an hour left…), I decided to do my first, original, entirely digital, painting.  From sketch to value to color, it’s probably also my best with a full, lit, setting. Looks like my classes have paid off. Twenty-five years and one Cintiq later, I’m no longer afraid of Photoshop.  :)


:D Every year, I try to post awesome and original art on my birthday. Here’s all the collected, colored, environment pieces that I’ve done.  It kind of speaks loads to all the artistic progress I’ve made this year.

Sorry for the text-spam, but quick summaries for each location, if you’re curious:

  • Willow in the school chapel.  Praying that she hasn’t made a mistake by leaving her home to marry a foreign prince.  The gods are the same in both countries.
  • Belsamel's dining hall. A wedding feast to honor his new, foreign bride.  His first wife is none too happy about this.  The staff has been clandestinely replaced with a band of Vanglorian robbers. Talk about awkward family dinners.
  • Sorian's castle interior.  A sky-lit laboratory where he conducts human experiments to research genetics.
  • Sorian's castle exterior.  Carved into a mountain and surrounded by a fjord, the fortress is nearly impenetrable. The royal family hangs prisoners’ bodies at the gate as a warning to lawmakers. Rivek has to make his shot now, before the military party is unreachable inside.
  • Willow plays in her father’s study.  Her older brother, Andell roots through the possessions, hoping to find something to alleviate the war debt he inherited, but Willow still doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation.
  • Willow's castle is modest compared to the stone and concrete structures of neighboring countries, but it feels more like a home when her friends and family return from battle.
  • Mika's room, coffee table.  Intrigued, Mika offers Rivek a glass of wine. Strangely enough, the Tyrisi assassin is asking to borrow money, not her usual services.
  • Mika's room, windows.  Mika waves good morning to her regular client, rescuing a handkerchief she’d dropped on the floor the night before.
  • Mika's room, bed.  Mika sits back in her bed on one of her few nights without a client. It is relaxing but uncomfortably lonely.

So happy birthday to me! Yay! (I’m so old…)


Adding values to my Mika drawings - I felt light and translucent fabric are the biggest players in capturing the correct feel of the room.

Related Posts: FloorplanFurniture IFurniture IILighting TestsLineartValues1-Point Final2-Point Final3-Point Final

Other Environment Value Drawings: IIIIIIIV


So, we’ve met the character and her remote controller. Finally, the robot.

When Perrin renders her dog paralyzed in a psychic storm, her father transfers its brain to a weaponized, mechanical body.

As a result:

  • I wanted the robot to have an innate connection with the user.  The owner-pet relationship naturally capitalizes on the character’s psychic powers.
  • I wanted the robot to be a guardian, helping emotionally substitute for the character’s missing parent.  Therefore, I opted for a dog which is already associated with loyalty and protection.  The large, black dog can also be considered an ill omen.
  • I wanted the robot to be recognizable as a dog, so its mechanics are based off on dog anatomy.  It behaves and moves like a dog in daily routine, but can become bipedal for combat.  

I like to think that it still wants its belly rubbed and still tries to eat off the table when Perrin and her dad have dinner.

Related posts: Character DesignController DesignRobot DesignBeauty Render.


Self-indulgent Fantasy Samurai AU for my original characters, Bohrin and Rivek:

Bohrin is a newly-appointed captain of Sorian's army, tasked with keeping rebel forces down in recently-conquered Eastern lands.  However, he finds Rivek, one of the native leaders, to be a fascinating, honorable person, and the two form a tenuous friendship. When Rivek's uprising fails, Sorian orders the resistance executed, and Bohrin - although incredibly reluctant - insists on being his friend's attendant.

Kind of like The Last Samurai, I guess. But sadder and gayer.  This happened because peachymints.  This is all yours.  This is all your fault.

DeviantART Link: http://fav.me/d7ocfmk


For my perspective class, I’m designing a character’s room and drawing it from three angles.  As always, I start off with a ‘thesis’ to give my design some direction.

Mika Indigar is a criminal underworld courtesan who runs the most prestigious brothel in the country.

This is the room that functions both as the character’s private quarters and where she entertains guests. Therefore:

  • The bed is the main focus of the room’s design and takes up the most space.  Decorative fabrics hung from the ceiling create implied lines towards the bed.
  • The space should be relaxing.  Avoid sharp corners on all objects.  Make seated surfaces plush and cover walls and floors with fabrics.
  • The space must feel romantic.  Rely on warm light sources like sunlight and candlelight.  Enhance this with warm purples, pinks, and reds in the decor.
  • The space is also serves as Mika’s regular living quarters and office where she oversees the rest of the house.  Add other objects such as wardrobe and desk, but maintain consistent visual theme.

This is the general floorplan for Mika’s room.

Related Posts: FloorplanFurniture IFurniture IILighting TestsLineartValues1-Point Final2-Point Final3-Point Final

I started a new sketchbook.  It normally takes between four to six months.  As a tradition, I always open up with a sketch of my oldest original character, Rivek.  It’s a good way to keep track of my personal growth and life events.  This one wasn’t done on a plane like they usually are, but at dinner (bibimbap!) with peachymints and quillery after CTN Expo (follow them. they’re cool people).

Previous iterations: I II III IV

Going to on vacation, so I’ll only have my phone updates for the next few weeks. I have some work in the queue, though!