Alexis Posts Picture Things

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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » May 15th, 2014, 11:34 am

Wow, I'm sorry I didn't respond! I think I got a little shy about this whole topic. Let's take a deep breath and try it again!

For the past year, I've been working more on backgrounds. Trying to push myself a little bit more. I started off simple:

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I didn't show too much background in this one, focusing more on just plain showing off the carousel. It really drove home how even a simple design takes a lot of time to put together:

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And having had my fill of one-point perspective, I tried to do a fish-eye sort of thing for this Pokemon one. I've very proud of how it turned out, even without references:

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I also learned how to use the pen tool, just in time for my copy of Photoshop to stop working. XD Manga Studio 5's been working nicely for me; it feels like a comfortable blend of Paint Tool Sai, Photoshop, and older Manga Studios.

Sketching in that program is more comfortable, so I've found myself doing a lot more of it. I've been doing more regular pose studies, which is helping slowly but surely with my terrible anatomy. I've also been giving myself time to sketch and ignore anatomy, trying to loosen up and convey character better.

I'll only upload three from the past few months, because nobody wants to see a deluge of sketch work.

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I want to be able to capture personalities, while still having a technically competent drawing style. I took about a hundred sketch commissions alone last year, and I did my best to instill a sense of personality or humor in every single one of them. I think that the best images are ones that tell a story, even a simple one. As a person who draws comics, I know that I'm super biased toward stories, rather than pure aesthetics, expressing philosophies, or attempts to change the viewer.

Anyway, I'm totally babbling now. This has been a sampler from the stuff I've been up to in the past year, sans comics.
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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » July 19th, 2014, 10:54 am

Been trying to work on colors lately. With the trendiness of color palettes on tumblr, I'm starting to learn what looks good together. I'll post four images today, and I didn't use a preset color palette for any of these.

Two are relatively simple:

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Another has a bit more to it. I'm still trying to figure out how to balance cel shading and painting. I get too caught up on trying to make everything clean, so I wanted to see if I could make a rough background work. Also, I am making speech bubbles happen. I want everything to have dialogue, apparently.

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And this last one I did last night. Wrestleman fan art made to look like a prayer card. Long story, but I'm pretty damn proud of the skin colors for those arms, and the awkward contrast of doing something like this with Bully Demise.

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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » October 17th, 2014, 11:16 am

As a bit of a tie to last time, I've continued work on my painty-style backgrounds. I'm still having a lot of trouble telling where to keep things clean and where they can be messier. It basically boils down to needing more practice, I think, but crit's always welcome:

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Also, I got an impromptu chance to work on surreal moods. In one month, Evil Plan had a page with a character that warped perception, and Sire had someone listening to music. All three are pretty bland, now that I look back on them, but I did step outside my comfort zone for all three, and I'm proud of that. Warnings for pseudo-gore on the second Sire page, as someone gets their face peeled off. But it's okay, they have an extra one underneath. XD

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Note: Sire is usually in black and white, so the color panels are being used to show that the brunette is "in the music."

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And for fun, my new business card!

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Back:
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RESOLUTIONS:
For the next few months, I'm going to add more panels to my pages. Instead of 4-6, I'm going to shoot for 6-8. I think my pacing has gotten too slow, and my panel layouts are wasting space in a very ugly manner. I'm also going to keep up this good momentum I have with improving anatomy and adding more backgrounds per page. I've gotten too complacent with talking heads and blank backgrounds. That's terrible storytelling, and even worse, it's lazy. There's no magic trick to solve this. I just need to work harder.

See you all in a few months to see how well I stick with it.
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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alerane » October 21st, 2014, 10:53 am

That is an awesome business card XD
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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » October 23rd, 2014, 10:45 am

Alerane wrote:That is an awesome business card XD


Thank you very much! I'm midway through getting the lineart for a tentacle sleeve tattoo on my left arm. I needed to made a new card, and realized that I could use the tentacles as part of my rebranding. It's hard to remember people from convention to convention, especially if they wear very different outfits or cut their hair. But enough convention goers and customers commented on the tattoo that I realized it would be a useful identifier.
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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » December 19th, 2014, 11:32 am

Okay! December update. How have I done on my resolution to use my space more judiciously?

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For this last page, inks by me, coloring by Megan Johnston.

I also don't know how both comics synched up to have everyone getting doused with liquids at the same time. I think there was a year between writing one and the other. Impromptu study, I guess? Or maybe I'm just thinking too much about it.


But it's going well! I'm kind of shocked that I've stuck with it. The composition of the pages is looking better, and I feel like each update is more satisfying. My poses won't win any awards any time soon, but they're much less static. Good progress.
My backgrounds are suffering for it, though. With so much going on in each page, I get fatigued and oversimplify backgrounds. Also, I try to maintain a rule of having at least one background per page, but I think I'm at a skill level where that isn't enough. The next part of Sire and next Chapter of Evil Plan have newish locations, so I should push myself for three or more backgrounds per page. I need to get out of the mindset that drawing them is a chose. Backgrounds have their own style and personality. They should be fun, too.

I have been playing a little more again, though. Letting loose and messing about:

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I've also done a handful of sketch comics that I can't easily copy here, since I broke them up into image sets for tumblr. I think they're good for me. It's satisfying to toss an idea out of my brain, and have it done.

So resolutions for the next couple months: more backgrounds. And I will like it, dammit. I admit, I'm a little scared to heap more than that on my plate: I have a lot to get done, and I'd like to get faster at drawing. So I guess that's my second goal for the next few months: focus. I need to cut back on time wasting habits when I sit down to work. That's the real timesink.

See you all in a few months with triumph, failure, or something in-between.
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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » March 13th, 2015, 11:14 am

March Update. So, how have the backgrounds been going?

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Evil Plan pages colored by Megan Johnston.

Not too badly. The sudden addition of Comiket to my workload has made things a little strained, and I'm struggling to keep up backgrounds in my current updates. I'm going to have to crank out the next few updates to make sure we have plenty before I leave the country, and that's frustrating. But I've been getting in the right mindset with these backgrounds, and if I can keep at it, I know I can make them a regular thing. I'm falling back on wasting space in Sire, though. Gotta buckle down on that after I get back.


Also, Comiket is a thing! I'm going to have an art book there, and I'm nearly done with it. It's a bit of a grab bag, but I view that as a good thing. This is giving me an excuse to try out different shading styles and techniques and to work on composition. This is a Danganronpa fan book, so spoiler warnings for 1 and 2:

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The cover. Super happy with this. I fought about adding a pixelly-texture to the color, but liked the texture of the paint too much to mess with it. And I got to do what I do best, which is give a sense of personality to everyone. My pose work still isn't good, but it's more emotive here. I wanted the cover to be spoiler-free, but I got to sneak in the joke of Junko throwing "pink paint" over the rainbow. I also put a lot of thought into the resulting paint splatter for each character, but I don't expect anyone at all to think about that. It's just nice to do those things for yourself while drawing :3


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Kind of a failed experiment in super vivid and dark colors. I wanted to use the light from the window as the light source, but since the interior and central character are in dark colors, it was a terrible idea. Perhaps if I'd gone a more minimalistic route, or used starker lighting, it would've looked better. I am happy with the duo in the foreground, however.


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Fukawa's a writer, and I liked the light texture of the notebook paper, as opposed to plain apple-esque whiteness. It's admittedly still pretty similar, though. Writing that text in the back gave my hand a cramp and my heart a whole lot of ache. It's rough on you, stewing in negativity like that! Don't do it if at all possible!


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Bad anatomy. Just plain no good. happy with the colors and the texture in the bg.


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Been a while since I've done chibis. Two of these are mostly from December, so I'm cheating, I guess. But I've done a bunch of chibis for this art book, so I wanted some kind of representation for them. No shading, just gradients, and I like that. Gives the color in the lineart a chance to shine.


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And a WIP for what I'll be finishing tonight, a big ol piece with Junko and Hinata. Maybe a WIP doesn't belong in a showcase? I dunno about that. But I do know how happy I am with this one so far. That hand is wonky, I won't deny. But I'm in crunch time, so I just gotta keep moving. And I feel like I'm not overdoing the shading. (The program is Clip Studio Paint EX. Which is pretty much the same thing as Manga Studio 5 EX. It's very widely used in Japan, and Comiket gave me an upgrade for attending. Very nice of them. ^_^)

These are not at all all of the pieces in the art book. I've got a couple that I like more, but I'm going to try to not post everything that I made online. We'll see how that goes.


Resolutions for the next three months? NO NEW PROJECTS. NO EXTRA WORK. I am going to finally freaking get my buffers done for Sire and Evil Plan. I want a month's worth of buffer on each of them by the time I check back in. And I am not going to let my art quality slip while I do it.
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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » July 26th, 2015, 9:45 pm

July update! So, how are things going?

Bizarrely. The book business has been bad, and the store where I worked had to let go some of its workers, including me. I was planning to quit early next year, so this wasn't horrible, just a little ahead of schedule. So I had to skip the "focus on comics" plan and focus on commissions and conventions, instead.

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Metal Gear Solid is a cute series with happy stuff, right? ;_; I went with more of a Peace Walker cast, because while it may be one of the lesser known titles, it might be my favorite in the franchise.

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God I've been playing a lot of Splatoon.

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Arkham Knight was pretty good. Too much tank. But this scene was absolutely the best part.

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Pretty much the best commission I've had in forever. Supergreatfriend's Buly Demise chasing the cake from ILLBLEED. Since I'm an SGF fan too, I was able to fill in the shelves with references to his other LPs.


But that doesn't mean that I haven't progressed with comics. FAR FROM IT. I've ditched the toning on Sire, opting for a weathered, old-book style look:

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Reader response has been 100% positive, and just as importantly, I like it so much better. It fits the tone of the comic better. It also allows me do do sketchy-style backgrounds, instead of trying to create precise backgrounds that end up looking crappy anyway.

Evil Plan's also looking better: my poses are still stiff, but they're starting to loosen up a bit. And more backgrounds. Yesssssss.

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Color by Megan Johnston.


I did do some gesture work and pose practice, too. I thought I'd be able to do it every day now that drawing is my job, but the combination of commissions and con season kept me busy. I am seeing a bit of art evolution occurring; my style's becoming a little more Western? You're incredibly limited in expressions when you're studying most anime faces, rather than real ones, and I'm feeling like my faces are quite so globby. Greg Capullo's pencils have been seriously seducing me lately, so maybe I'll do a study soon? We'll see what happens.

Goal for the next three months: BUILD THAT BUFFER. Clean up morphE's sprites. Also make enough money to keep eating. Commissions are open and highly appriciated if anyone's interested: http://alexis-royce.tumblr.com/commissions
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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » August 13th, 2015, 12:22 am

Mini art dump, just for fun:

Eddie "The Riddler" Nygma freaking out:
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And two character busts for PCs in my latest tabletop campaign:

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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » February 1st, 2017, 5:58 pm

Been a while! I'm happy to say that professional arting has been going pretty well for me! A combination of patreon and conventions keeps food on the table and heat in the vents. Who could ask for anything more? :D Let's toss some jpegs in here. Last year, I started learning how to use watercolors.

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I'm also not hating my posework as much anymore. I'm sure I'll hate these someday, but for now, it's less janky.

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Also been pretty happy with how my comics have been:

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And for fun, I'm doing a casual project of redrawing frames from Hot Fuzz. Learning how to frame a scene and compiling that visual library.
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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » May 15th, 2017, 9:08 am

Man, I got a fair bit of digital practice in this past month! Did you know that practicing hard shading on the face with different angles of light is really, really good for you?

I took a bunch of Persona 5 style shadow self commissions:
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Did a little bit of development for a one-shot comic:
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And last night did a tiny little triptych. I wanted to have a better commission sign for my convention tables, so I plotted out a three-panel illustration. I left the first as pencil roughs on the Bristol Board. I inked and colored the second with watercolors, on watercolor paper. And I took the roughs from the third and inked and colored them digitally. I was darn pleased with the results:
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I was able to apply a lot of what I learned from the shadow study. And I'm happy to see that my posework is coming along! It's still nothing fancy, but hey, progress is progress!
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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby zrusere » May 24th, 2017, 6:05 pm

I really like your art style.
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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » July 13th, 2017, 7:43 pm

zrusere wrote:I really like your art style.

Thank you very much!
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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » October 18th, 2017, 12:02 pm

Ahhhh, Inktober's been so fun! And for plot reasons, Sire's switched over to a traditionally inked style for the rest of the chapter. I'm seven pages ahead of public updates, so though I've been doing ink pages all month, it's only now that I can post any of them! So, Inktober sketchdump and one page below!

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Re: Alexis Posts Picture Things

Postby Alexis_Royce » December 2nd, 2017, 12:07 pm

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I made a visual novel! I wanted to do a NaNoRenO for November, but it got a little out of hand and some friends pitched in assistance. 'May I Take Your Order' is a short visual novel about a half hour long with five endings, supernatural elements, and a little bit of blood. You play as a waiter serving a strange couple with...strange tastes.

The whole thing's done and available for free over here: https://alexisroyce.itch.io/may-i-take-your-order

There's also a content warning document in the game file, so if you're worried about the level of violence and don't mind spoilers, it's all laid out there.

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