Best nine remind me I need to draw more.

2016 was my most art-heavy year, what with finishing Engines of Liberty 3 and then knocking out Kill The Beast.

Not that I put too much stock in Instagram likes, but it’s a mathematical fact that my content reaches more people when it is art.

I don’t know which 9 photos will make the list this year, but I expect one of them will be a meme. We’ll see.

Takeaway is: I should draw more. Been too busy this year (2018 has been a major slog, work being the chief reason.)

So expect more of that. In 2019 I will spend 10 minutes a day drawing, and I’ll post each day’s progress. That’s when I’m not actively illustrating a project.

Not that anybody cares because nobody reads this blog. Get back to work.

31 Days of Inktober

Well, I finally participated in Inktober, and did 31 original pieces. It was fun and I learned a lot about my skill level. Thank you for following on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram as I revealed new ones.

I will definitely do it next year, and will probably even follow the official prompt list.

For now, I am setting aside my drawing pad and taking up the keyboard to participate in NaNoWriMo. See you on the other side!

This Week’s Card Art

2018 Template 3

Finished another template last night (though I might tweak some of the colors later, still a new discipline for me.)

On this one, you & yours would be drawn into Santa’s snowmobile, outfoxing the Abominable Snowman at the North Pole. I might also add some trees in the background just because.

Down below you’ll find the last two templates I did.

I won’t be heavily advertising these until November, but feel free to place an order whenever. Prices start at $25, I draw you in, you print them up and send them out instead of paying a photographer this year. Yay!

 

2018 Template 22018 Template 1

First Christmas Card Templates Are Up!

Copyright 2018 by Graham Bradley

Yeah yeah, Christmas decorations in September…this isn’t that.

I’m trying to sell customized art to make a little extra cash this fall. The sooner I open up for business, the more overall moolah I can make. Plus it gives you time to think of what you want me to make for you.

This is cheaper than corralling your whole family front of a professional photographer, only to find out (once you have printed 100 cards) that your 6 year-old was secretly flipping the bird to the camera.

This last week I finished the first of the custom Christmas card art commissions for 2018, and I decided I need to change up my method. It took me about 8 nights of work to knock it out.

Instead, I figure I need to make templates so that I just need to draw people in them. The first two templates are featured above. Over the next few weeks I will add more. (And feel free to make suggestions in the comments!)

Template drawings will start at $25. Some of the more complex ones will be about $50, you’ll see what they look like as September rolls on.

This will allow me to fill orders faster and earn more overall money.

Which is kinda the point. 🙂

You can still commission something from scratch, but that option will start at $75. I’ll post an example of what that looks like once I have permission from the last client to share hers.

Feel free to message me at dreadpennies [at] g mail to get your order started. Or if you have questions, comment below!

Thanks.

Updated Pricing on Your Christmas Card Art

Hey there, Dreads.

A few months back I announced I was doing custom Christmas card art for 2018.

This is still the case, and I’ve made some updates to the pricing and the options available. I just finished a custom card for a client and it took a lot longer than I intended, and I’m concerned that if I start scheduling more of these, I won’t get them all done and they won’t match the quality to the price I’m charging.

SO. The fix is this: I’m designing some templates for basic cards with stock backgrounds and stuff, and the “custom” part will just  be how I draw your families. Certain cards will cost more because of their details or popularity or what have you.

Fully custom cards will cost more, and still have a general turnaround time of a week.

Details are pending, as soon as I get the first round of templates done. If you have any questions, comment below or email me at dreadpennies (at) g mail.

Talk to you soon!

***Updated*** Open to Commissions Again

Note: as of September 2018, the pricing and options for this offer have changed. You must email me at dreadpennies (at) gmail for details.

 

Hey gang, I’m taking commissions again. Gotta save up cheddar for some stuff, you know how it is.

For the last few years I have drawn Christmas and Halloween cards for my family in different styles (most recently with digital colors.)

Now I’m open to doing them for you! I started out doing colored pencils and water colors and am now equipped to do digital drawings that you can print off on your cards, or use online.

$25 per drawing. Dreadpennies [at] gmail is my address. Hit me up.

State of the Dread: So Ends January, 2018

RCEE7605[1]

Well, that’s 1/12th of the year down. My only 2018 resolution was to set monthly goals instead of yearly ones. Really I have enough tasks on my plate to focus on that I don’t have to worry about “resolutions,” I just have to get stuff done.

On the List Of One Million Things To Tackle is the image above. I’ve been meaning to do a better logo for DreadPennies, and I think I’m finally carving it out. The “Dreads” are going to be grumpy little robots that I draw every now and then. I’m trying to decide between a Buzzsaw Mohawk or Cable Dreadlocks and to be honest I think I’m just going to say “Screw it” and do both. The logo can be a Dread without any metallic hair, and I’ll draw Buzzsaw or Cables when I frigging feel like it.

Speaking of drawing, if you’ve seen my Instagram, I did a lot of these Colts/Avengers mashups during January, but I kind of ran out of steam on it. Still plenty of ideas for it, but it’s not a priority, there is other stuff I can draw that will help me practice speed and coloring. But here are some of the better ones:

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So far I’ve read like eight or ten books this month but only a few of them have been good. Notable entries are CALVIN by Martine Leavitt, and IRON GOLD by Pierce Brown (which I expected to like anyway.)

It’s been a few months since I did a TMRGB post, probably because it’s been a few months since I read a good Girly Book. I’ll get around to it soon. I’m trying to find new authors to read, most of the Girly Books I pick up are by friends of mine, so it’s a good idea to cast a wider net.

Also I haven’t really been working on a writing project because I’m trying to focus on studying for a test I have in three weeks. Job-related. Pain in the butt, but there’s a hefty pay raise tied to it. Priorities.

That said, I took a breather this weekend to outline a series I’ve had in my head for about 5 years now. Tons of fun, it’s equal parts superhero/G.I. Joe, but I’m trying to take a direction that’s different from DC or Marvel, only because we’re a bit saturated by both (and only one of them is any good right now.)

My next published book is called HOMEWORLD, about an alien invasion of Earth. It’ll be art-heavy, and reads like a series of deep Web blog posts. I’m excited about this one, it’s another idea I’ve had for years. Release date pending.

Last of all, you probably heard that my “Blast Crew goes to Mordor” story got rejected by my publisher of choice, which really sucks, but it’s under review with an agent right now and I expect I’ll hear back about it in another few months. Iron is in the fire.

Thanks for reading, you guys. Sound off in the comments.

Patreon Project: An Art Book of Fully-Dressed Fictional Femmes

Hi gang,

For a while I’ve wanted to do a Patreon, but had no idea what to pitch to you. I don’t run a webcomic, I do book reviews on YouTube maybe once a week, and my books don’t come out often enough to reward people for subscribing.

However, I think I’ve figured it out. After some conversations with my friends, I’m going to start doing regular artwork, with the intention of assembling a book to publish later on. It’s too early to say when or how on the book, but I want to start drawing the content pretty soon.

The theme is simple: well-developed female characters, in practical roles and with practical accessories.

This came to me when one of my friends mentioned that her teenage daughter had a hard time finding fantasy art or superhero art with female characters that weren’t flagrantly sexualized. I agree that this is a problem, but it’s one of those social powder kegs these days, the kind you can’t talk about without one side screaming “CHAUVINIST!” and the other screaming “FEMINIST!” and the whole thing goes up in smoke.

Well, I decided I don’t care about any of that. The simplest way for me to do anything about it is to just draw cool characters doing cool things in a respectable way. There isn’t enough of it out there, so I’m going to contribute.

Who will I draw? In order to avoid copyright infringement, I’m going to use my own characters, both from my published and unpublished works. That means the entire lineup of femmes fatales from the Engines of Liberty series, Danielle from KILL THE BEAST (pictured above), and the Amazons from THE HERO NEXT DOOR.

But wait, there’s more! I don’t think you guys realize the number of projects that I have brainstormed or world-built, but haven’t yet outlined. I have a ton of characters on deck. From mechanics to jockeys, steampunk machine operators, hellhounds, magicians, military leaders, farmers, rebels, gunslingers, warriors, alien invaders, small-town ghost hunters, fantasy folks of all colors and sizes, superheroines, starfighter pilots, and mech captains…and that’s just so far.

By my current count, I have a list of 52 of them to do, and some of them merit more than one drawing. Even if I did one per week (which I probably won’t…life just happens) it would take me all year to finish it.

THUS, here is my pitch: I’m going to start these drawings, and though I will post progress shots along the way, I will only list the final versions on the Patreon for the backers to access. That way you can get them as they become available, and don’t have to wait until 2019 for the publication.

The monthly subscriptions will be very cheap, too. I might have three levels of support, with the highest one coming in at $5 a month.

Whatever money I’m able to raise for it will go toward supplies and materials, and will help me render high-quality digital versions of these characters for the eventual book. I will figure out other perks along the way, based on what I can manage.

I’m excited to undertake this, and to put these characters out there. Hopefully you’ll want to be a part of it!

Feel free to weigh in via the comments box, or drop me an email: dreadpennies [at] gmail.

Thanks everyone!

Annotated Artwork for “Engines of Liberty: SUICIDE RUN.”

This is part two of a series. The rundown of the REBEL HEART illustrations can be found here. Should help you get an idea of how much I improved between books 1 and 2.

 

sh1

This is when I started inking (I did it to the RH artwork long after the fact.) It helped everything stand out in a starker contrast, which was good, but the weakspots were still obvious. Kalfu’s dreadlocks, for example. I don’t think outlining each one was the right move. The lighting on the folds of his cloak wasn’t perfect, and neither were his boots (a weakness of mine.)

sh2

Another piece where I didn’t immediately grasp the right use of the ink, namely with the smoke and dust surrounding Kalfu. Godfrey’s robes are too straight and lack detail as well.

 

sh3

Boots, mostly. Also I focused too much on the individual folds and wrinkles in Calvin’s coat, instead of shading it on a large scale.

sh4

Perspective was tricky here. There eyes aren’t all aimed right. I still think I made the right call with the folks in the background, though. I didn’t want their details to overwhelm the foreground.

sh5

Pretty pleased with this one, just shading and stuff.

sh6

Changing the reference model for Amelia made drawing her a lot easier. Still, I should have shaded the front of her shirt a little more, but I was still using graphite to shade this stuff.

sh7

I think the shape of the boots could have better complimented her legs from the knees down. Skirt shading was relegated to the edges, instead of working into the folds.

sh8

I picked the right places to shade on the gryphon mimic, but not the right range of value. The wings are too dark and the neck and landing gear are too light. They would all be the same color, for camo. Also, graphite was less effective for rendering the complexions of the black characters, in this picture, Adam and Hank. (I switched to charcoal for book 3.)

sh9

Could have taken more time on the shading and the folds of their coats. With the shading I didn’t focus enough on the angle of the light.

sh10

Too dark in the back and bright up front. I might have re-done this one, too.

sh11

Boot laces are my only complaint.

sh12

Shading, light angles, the usual.

sh13

Shading on his robes, especially near the hem.

sh14ash14b

I re-did this one, the original version was really, really terrible. I’m immensely pleased with this.

sh15ash15b

Light angle, shading, and I would detail the rocks and ground more, instead of using broad strokes to fill them in. Not enough going on in the sky, either.

sh16

Body proportions are off. Upper chest too broad, arms too small.

sh17

Shading for the base of the chair, and Hamilton’s clothes. I would probably detail Hamilton’s face better, too.

sh18

I wouldn’t render all of the text digitally, just some of it. It was important that a lot of it look handwritten, but some of it could have been done in a program.

sh19

Shading on the boots, put a shadow under him. And I would re do his face. It doesn’t look like Hank.

sh20

Shading on their coveralls.

sh21

Shading, and the angle of Avery’s face (right.)

sh22

Shading, boots too big, and Lyla’s poise seems awkward next to Edsel’s.

sh23

Face too dark, among other usual stuff.

sh24

This was when I started to realize I needed models for poses.

sh25

I would crisp up the details on the tail feathers.

sh26

Detail the trees better in the background, they detract from the details I like in the foreground.

sh27

The shading is way off, the position of his legs is super weird, and he doesn’t look like J. Scott Savage, as he should.

sh28

Again, posing, this time for the arms. I needed a model. Also his mouth is weird.

sh29

Pretty pleased with Edith.

sh30

Right hand position, too much face shade.

sh31

I wouldn’t have used the ink for the tattoos, it makes them too stark, they should blend better with the color of Thierry’s flesh.

sh32

Sufficient for the purpose it served.

sh33

Yeah, I would re-do this entirely.

sh34

Pleased.

sh35

Not enough detail on the ground, and I shaded the three recruiters as if they were closer to the screen, i.e., I should have used broader strokes to give the “suggestion” that they were there.

sh36

Leg armor, robes from the waist down, and the scales on the reptiles. All need improvement.

sh37

Same as before with Kalfu: gotta figure out how to detail smoke and dust better.

sh38

I would have changed the angle of Yahola’s prosthetic.

sh39

Blah. Godfrey looks like a bad Super Mario cartoon. I could have done a much better pose with a model (which I now have, forgot to mention that.)

sh40

Hard to draw this in the dark. Too much to list, but it mostly boils down to light values, textures, and angles.

sh41

Proud of this one.

sh42

The post of her boots coupled with the messiness of her hair makes her look a little too “come hither” and that’s not in keeping with her character. So I’d change that, mostly.

sh43

Not how this one looked in my head, but I wasn’t drawing it big enough. I would re-do it now.

sh45

Calvin’s face looks weird but he did just get in a huge fight. I’d focus more on correcting his arm angle.

sh46

Mostly Godfrey’s face, and the map behind him. I’d probably put more debris on the floor and so forth.

 

So that’s it. I got better at some things but was still weak in others. Next week I’ll post the PATRIOT’S GAME art and you’ll see a lot of things that got better once I changed materials.