Category Archives: Export – Sketching

For exports to my new sketching site

Creating the Titan

One of the reasons I started creating my own cover art for my own stories is becasue up until now I’ve taken a lot of other art from off the internet. This often has the result of really annoying people. It also means I’m not using what’s really in my head. Because of this and becasue I’m re-writing my Titan Mystery Story I thought that it’s own cover art was really needed.

Those of you who saw my first cover art post Creating my own Universe saw that I have discovered a neat little way to go from pencil to computer graphics. The reason for this – I cannot doodle and create from scratch from a computer. At least not yet.

So I started with a crappy sketch.

2017-10-19_7182.jpg

 

Then scanned this and brought it in, messed about and changed some more to create a sketch that was what I wanted after changing my mind more than a few times.

Titan2.png

Starfield_titan.png

Filled in colours, textures, rendering etc etc to come up with this. What this depicts is a close view of the side of the hull, I wanted to try and give an impression of immensity. I’m not sure I’ve got it totally right, but I’m fairly pleased with the result. From this I’ve been able to create some cover art to replace pictures on here and have something for Wattpad.

I’m fairly pleased with the result I have to say and I’m starting to get the hang of it all, it’s just remembering it and give it a few more tries I might actually be pretty good. Who knows?

Simon:-)

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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 ☺️