Creating my Own Universe

I’ve been thinking about creating cover art and (hopefully) book covers for some time. The big thing with this is how to go about it, I couldn’t work it out and I’m quite a creative person.

That was until I read this from Christoper Doll: Drawing a spaceship a day

Now, while I’m not drawing a spaceship a day I have been having a go at some sketching and using some of the sketches on Christoper’s website as inspiration.

 

After dusting out the old cobwebs and having a look at what other artists have done I’ve drawn some of my own, drawing on their inspiration. This means I’ve taken some of the design DNA and added a twist of my own to make it mine.

 

So while this is all well and good how does an artist take sketches like these and create digital art out of them?

The answer is fairly simple, import or open the picture into a graphical drawing software package. In this case I used Inkscape and after scanning the drawing I opened it in my drawing package and drew the lines in a drawing layer above the picture.

Space_Frigate

 

Space_Frigate1

Once the line drawing was complete using the drawing tools I could fill in some colours and shading and also have a go with some textures.

Space_Frigate3Space_Frigate5Space_Frigate_GIMP1


 

Once I had got this far I needed to use something else to take it further as I didn’t think it looked terribly realistic. So the next step was to use a photo editing program to help me. I can’t afford Photoshop, so the open source world has a really great tool called GIMP (Graphical Image Manipulation Program) Adding a texture to the design gave a it that bit more depth. Personally I think it’s could still be better – I’ve lost some of the shading effect that I had brought in – but you know even Rome wasn’t built in a day.

 

Space_Frigate_GIMP2


 

This design was intended to be cover art from my short story The Enemy within the Rings so this needed an appropriate backdrop. After learning how to create a starfield and a planet (this literally took about 30 minutes) I created this:

Battle of the Rings

I’m really pleased with how this turned out – it’s not perfect but for now it’ll do and I can take what I learned to create even better artwork. I think I’ll be creating a few more of these works and using them here on the blog


(have a look at my blog page header) and updating the look of some of my stories.

I might start taking this up to create logos and art for others.

What do you guys think?

Simon ☺️

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94 thoughts on “Creating my Own Universe

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  1. Oh, how cool! I tried dabbling in digital drawing earlier this year, but I’ve let it slide a bit these last few months… Other projects (that I find easier 😆) hijacked my time! Seeing your results though, I could be lured back into it – I’d definitely be interested in reading more posts about your artistic endeavours!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve had a few requests from people to write some posts on their use. They all take getting used to and perseverance.
        Google is a great help if using the the ones I use

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    1. Thanks Casey, I appreciate that. I can’t lie, the spaceship took ages as I was in the unknown. But the starscape took about 5 minutes and the planet about 20.
      I was using quiet and lunchtimes at work to do this. 10 minutes here and there. At home I would have no chance. ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, I used to have free time at work…we decided it would be best to homeschool this year (and it HAS been a really great decision for our situation) so…I look for time in the middle of the night! 🙂 One of these days I will spend more time with art! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know what you mean, I have one child at home not at school so looking after him is hard work. At least I get out to work. But the kids give you no time for yourself and also keep trashing my laptop’s. So working on writing and art at home is not easy.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Being ‘good’ is a very subjective term. Just in the same way writing is expression at in all its forms is an expression of one’s self. Sure in your minds eye you have an idea of how you want it to turn out. But don’t get hung up over it. ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the pointer, I’ve already found Blender and installed it, I’ve struggled to get to grips with it I have to say but I didn’t know I could import 2D Inkworks into it.

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      1. Your welcome. Importing svg is actually quite easy. They can be edited as nurbs then, and faces can be textured with your prepared pixel designs. There are already lovely 2d animation realized with it on YouTube, but you might like to see some BlenderGuru tutorials first, to get additional grip.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This looks great! I enjoyed walking through your process in your post. Where will you be trying to publish your short story? I’m working on compiling a list of good sites for fiction work and essays and I’d love to get your take on great places to try.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Angela, thanks for coming by and showing interest and commenting. At the moment the only place where my work is published is here in this site, if you like I can show you where. I hope my work could make the grade for the list in your site, either way I have a few people I know what fully deserve to have they’re work showcased. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’re in fact finding mode right now, my writing group and I. I know there are lots of places where writing is published, like literary magazines OTV and many others. But I don’t know much about that world yet. Maybe when I have a good list going I’ll post what I know!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Do it! The best time to start is now!

    There are so many people who’d love to hire someone so talented and passionate to create their logos, prints, and other designs.

    Start sharing your designs on Instagram, and create an Instagram page specifically for them. Advertise your services, and have a contact email on there. It might take some time to build up, but if you keep posting your designs regularly, you will start to see the fruits of your labor take hold.

    You were given this talent for a reason… 😉

    Big love, Xx,
    Antasha

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think it is totally inspiring the way you wanted to do something and found a way to teach yourself how to do it. You are very good at what you are doing, and it tells me that you are making my mom’s statement, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” very true. Reblogged on Google.com.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can so relate to what you are saying. I am intelligent, but at the same time, I have difficulty learning from others unless I can visually watch it step by step, and even if I do, most of the time I will do it slightly differently, as I envision it. I am an artist, among other things, and when I have taken art classes, I can absolutely never do exactly what the teacher is doing. It bores me, and I might have paid attention and see what she is doing, but at the same time, I want to interpret it in my own way. I may use the same technique, but I will tweak it until it is my own. And you found something you could relate to in order to do it, and that is wonderful to be able to trust your own instincts and your own sense of how things work. Most folks are afraid to do that. This is how we really come to understand something, be it a process, or a thing, or whatever else it is we are striving to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lorraine, thanks for coming over and looking up my little corner of the internet. Are you an arty creative type as well?
      It’s good to know that my guest post was well recieved. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. love your sketches and was great seeing how you built it into a digital image. I have never managed to get myself into digital art, I did recently get a new graphics tablet and am eventually going to do something similar (scan in sketches and turn them into something more digital).

    I never realised how well GIMP worked re textures, I’ve never had to use it for that. I guess I might play around with it more 🙂 Great article.

    Like

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