The artistic self development adventure of Amit Dutta aka Monkeybread who, having chucked all caution to the wind, quit his job and only source of income for 3 months, embarks on a daring adventure full of travails, teachings and tantrums while striving towards the ultimate prize: becoming an Awesome Artist.

The Quest: To become an artist
The Deadline: 89 Days-ish
The Risk: Returns to job penniless and soul-destroyed with suckiness intact. Should be a laugh

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

100Days: Day 003- 006

Days 003 - 006 of the 100 Days Project

So what have I found from completing almost a week of doing a digital ink sketch a day. Well I was behind after only two days but after that first hiccup and even with a pressing client E3 deadline I have managed to catch up and keep up with doing one of these a day.
The trick I have found is, as with anything, in the starting. I use those spare moments during the day where I could just be staring out the window in a sleep deprived, slack-jawed drooling state to instead pootle away and find an idea amidst the chaos. Once the idea is found, it's actually not that hard for me to want to realise the image and see how it stacks up.

So after a week down. Only 94 days to go!  I'm loving the free design that comes out of the purely and totally random nature that I have of generating these.

My tablet has a record feature on it for the sketching app, but it isn't in an easily exportable format so once I figure that out, hopefully I'll be able to show the completely anarchic nature of the process. This is the creative process unbridled...and I'm lovin it!




Saturday, 8 June 2013

100 Days : Day 002

Day 002. Already one day behind. Lol

Friday, 7 June 2013

Hundred Day Project: Day 001

The hundred day project officially started today (and boy did it creep up on me quickly) Despite some initial technical issues with their website they are all sorted and now there is no excuse to not get going. What will follow will be a hundred consecutive days of sketches. I've been wanting to practice my digital inking so this is what I'm going to do...for a hundred days in a row....if I can. 

Having done quite a few monthly daily sketch things I know how hard it actually can be to be that consistent, so the hundred days will be really pushing it. I'm gonna take up the challenge and do my best...and probably come up with a lot less than that for much of the time, which brings us to the lowly offerings for Day 001.
Sigh. Well at least I intend on getting better....look forward to that.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

CGMA week 3

I have been taking the CGMA - Environment Design 1 course taught by
the awesome James Paick.
So far it has been awesome fun and with each week I am pretty sure I have been
improving both my skills and my workflow.

The general format of the class is a lecture and demo released each Wednesday.
At the end of the demo we are given the assignment for the week and are given
a week to submit. For this week (week 3 of 8) we were asked to submit one full
blown grayscale environment concept using the prompt, "Scale, Space". That was it. 
After the previous two weeks of just
practicing our fundamentals (value, lighting, perspective) in thumbnail form
it was good to test out the next level up in detailing.

I decided to do some development thumbnails beforehand:

I liked both A and B as did a others when asked for feedback but I eventually decided to go with B. As a side note, I also saw a new composition in A with a serendipitous sidewards look at it. I thought it was a more interesting viewpoint using the same composition and I'd be keen to develop it when I get some free time.

A couple of stages of development and one good crit check later set me straight as I had
started to go astray with the complexity of shapes as well as diverging quite
a bit from the original values. I also had to try a couple of different things
for the foreground that just didn't end up working. So after a couple of hours of banging away I scrapped them and went back to the original thumb and reworked up from there. It came together much quicker after that.

The "final" submitted value sketch. It ain't perfect and I was far from happy with it. James suggested lightening up the background values even though it is in space to get the ship to pop (agreed) and really paying attention to internal perspective angles within the ship (agreed)

The process really reinforced to me the fact that in art you have to be willing to dump hours of work and backtrack if it just isn't working out. It's quite easy to get stuck in the rut of doing something and as creatives artists can often be quite stubborn and we think it is ruthless to just keep bashing on with things in the hope it will come right. But sometimes being ruthless is more about being flexible and open to accepting when you're not getting anywhere. Doing this and breaking out of the rut is a hard but necessary thing to get comfortable both art and life.

Friday, 17 May 2013

100 days of doodles

I work an almost full time job (4 days a week), I commute 2.5 hours a day, I am working on a 20-something page comic book including the writing, scripting, drawing, inking and colouring,  I am also doing environment concept art for a video game and am signed up to an online environment course that runs for 8 weeks. Oh and I'm supposed to be renovating my house for sale in 3 months.   Last week I got  an average of 5 hours sleep each night...including the weekends. I know how unhealthy that is for me, but there just isn't enough time in the world.

So of course if that wasn't enough, this week I decided to take part in the 100 days project the motto of which is this: One thing. Every day. x100.  You can read more about it here:

I'm probably nuts, and it remains to be seen how I will pull off the juggling act but recently I've been doing quite a few daily sketches in a sort of "comic inking" style on my Galaxy Note 10.1 and I figure I can do it.  Incidentally this puppy has built-in wacom technology which means that it basically functions as a souped up digital sketchbook. It's awesome and it's so much better to actually be able to draw digitally on screen rather than off to the side like on a regular wacom.

I will post the link to my project page once I get started on June 7th but until then here are the last few days worth of sketches. By the end of the project, I should hopefully have about a 100 more of them!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

89 Years to Awesome

Well after a long break away I've decided to resurrect this blog. My 89 days did not go as planned and maintaining a blog was one of the first things that I had to dump along the way. Apologies to anyone following for being so rubbish. I intend on resuming posting at least once a week to keep it manageable.

Despite my lack of posting the last 3 months have been a useful insight into how I work best (and worst) as well as in helping me figure out a better direction in terms of how I focus my time.  Basically I overdid the intense study. From now, the focus will be more on personal projects, really interesting game or freelance project work as well as constantly and consistently building folio ready pieces as I go. The study will happen, just as and when I need to apply something specifically. 

I am now back to my 4 day a week job as a cubicle commando so the time to do this in has suddenly become very limited. Hopefully at some distant hazy point in the future, preferably before I am 89, these steps will help me finally make the transition to doing the art thing full time.  Perhaps I can re-purpose the blog title to be somewhat along these lines. 89 Years to Awesome sounds about right. 

So let's get started. Here is a work in progress for April for the Gnomon monthly contest "Death Knight". The month is already over, and I have been ridiculously busy, but hopefully I can finish this within the next few days and still be amongst the judged.

I also started an online course at CGMA in Environment Design, taught by James Paick. It is fun so far.
Here are some value thumbs from the first week's assignment: 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Day whatever

A long break

I've had to take two weeks off from painting due to a medical issue that came up unexpectedly, that I alluded to in my last post. I now basically have a 4x3x2.5cm hole in my back. It's a real hole. I could keep my spare change in it, or hide the one ring from Sauron in it. Luckily for you I won't be posting an image of it here. We should be thankful for small blessings. So I don't really know what day it is, and I'm a little scared of counting because it might depress onto some work instead.

So about three or four days ago I managed to paint something again for the first time in ages with only minor discomfort. It was hard to get back on the horse...very hard, so I lept onto a donkey instead and this will be my ride for a while.

I decided to get stuck into a competition. A good chance to do a more finished illustration than I would normally do and get the opportunity to not win again; those are always fun.

So the theme was for the new video game reboot of Tomb Raider. This is Lara Croft's beginning story of how she survived against terrible odds to become the heroine etc blah that we all know.  So here are my development steps.

initial development sketches. I gathered more feedback that I would normally from other people on which choices to make. It was interesting, but not sure it made my life any easier.

The composition I ended up using, was a bit of a mashup of the various options.

A work in progress. Just starting to colour up and render...obvious issues remain
The final entry submitted tonight. I actually hate the end result. This is surprising because I normally find good in most things I do. I also realised that rendering detail is drudgery. The fun bits for me are clearly in the initial to mid stages of the image making. That's not surprising at all.