#twitsketch is live!

#Twitsketch is my new twitter project where Doodle artists get a topic everyday and post it on twitter. I decided to get a dedicted domain and registered www.twitsketch.com and .co.uk earlier today. The site is very much in its infancy but it is at least live and working to the best of my knowledge this evening. Artists are posting and images are being shared. Let me have any feedback that you may have about Twitsketch or the new site.

Do you doodle all the time? Do you aimlessly sketch when in meetings? Do you deface napkins in your local cafe? Well now you can focus all your latent talent with Twitcketch!

Follow the simple steps opposite and join the Twitsketchers by following @southerngfx and getting the daily sketch topic. As you come across time in your day when your scribble hand gets twitchy then draw that theme, snap a photo of it with your phone and upload it to Twitpic and share with all the other daily doodlers.

And if the topic doesn't ring your bell then upload your scribbles anyway. D
on't waste good art just because it's on a scrap of paper.

Remember, follow @southerngfx and search for #twitsketch.

Sketching Gallery updated Sunday pm

I've added about 6 scans of my recent pencil work to the Sketching gallery tonight.

I'm a Pig not a human

I have decided I am actually a pig not a human.Well, maybe not an actual porcine but a really messy human with Pig like traits. I just posted on twitter that I was embarassed with my studio (see below). I spend all my time juggling work commitments, 3D modleing, sculpting, keeping fit, family time (crap..was making Wife a cup of tea...back now!..realtime interlude there) and at the end oif the week my stuido is just busted. Like a house after a 24hr party that has just been raided and then burgled. Not good. I am going to reflect on this and get some order into my life....err..maybe....after a bit more modeling...

Three weeks in the Twittersphere

On the 22nd February I wrote the following;

I've spent a long time avoiding following the crowd on social networking sites. I was a Powow user in the early 1990's. I tried AIM and I moved on to Messenger as my main IM solution. I have avoided Facebook and MySpace like the plague. Why? Because I see them as a huge waste of my time and resource and like AIM and MSN Messenger I know I will waste time using them.

So, with all that said, I find that today I have joined Twitter. Having recently heard Steven Fry speaking at an Apple shop via a Podcast I took his advice and began to follow him on Twitter. I already feel like I've been wasting my day wrting things like `I'm cooking Pancakes now` or `I'm watching Sharkwater and loving it`

I'll give it a day or so and see how things workout. If I find I am still following peoples boring daily routines then I'll be asking for my money back!

Having now had over three weeks living in the Twittersphere I have a mixed bag of feelings about it. Currently I am following 27 people and I’m being followed by 28 people. I love the fact that I can follow celebrities like Stephen Fry who do lead an exciting and varied life. I like watching what authors are doing and where they are up to in their latest projects. It is great to be able to interact with an author as you are reading his or her works giving them instant feedback. I suppose there was always the facility to email them but Twitter has more immediacy I feel. The downside is the amount of time I have ended up wasting posting useless snippets of information about my daily trials and tribulations. I have been posting from 6.00am and have found myself writing about taking Josh to school, about my gym and diet habits and about what projects I am working on. Would I stop people in the street and tell them? No. Would I post my buinsess on a notice board in Tesco? No. So why do I feel that doing it in Twitter is any different. I suppose one difference is that I do need to promote my work sometimes to get more commissions and this is a great way to get more people to talk about my art. My recent Silo videos are getting good feedback and they always bring me more work so that would have to be seen as a positive. I have had a few artists and bloggers mention me in their blogs or twitters and that has generated more followers and drawn more traffic to my site. Again, a positive. I have a real problem with a syndrome I call `forum burnout`. If I hang around a forum for too long I find myself getting frustrated with the constant negativity and bickering and I walk away. It has happened to me on ZBrush Central, CGtalk, Spinquad and even my own forum at Subd.com. I have had to stop using certain IM clients for the same reasons. I assume I will end up feeling the same way about Twitter soon but for now the plusses are outweighing the minuses. Let’s see what develops in the coming weeks.

My new modeling sessions have started at Nevercenters users forum. I wanted to do them for a number of reasons. Firstly I like the Nevercenter team and I want to help them promote Silo. Secondly, I like to help people and especially new and up-coming artists. Training gives me as much pleasure as modeling or drawing so these videos fit well with that ethos. I would like to see more people joining in but I suppose that will come. I have a cool Toon image being created by Teyon Alexander this week.

The missing Ross Kemp image

Strange! This is the repeat of a post I made a few days ago. I'm repeating it as the post has vanished! I didn't delete it and I don't think it has been stolen but the little bugger has just plain vanished. It was a simple little speed painting of Ross Kemp.

A trip down memory lane

For some reason this morning I came across a link to a load of old work that still exists on my website. The work goes back to 1992 as far as I can see. I thought I'd share some of the stuff I was doing with a pen, pencil, 386 PC or an Amiga 1200.

Sunday morning SpeedPainting

Needed to stretch my tablet hand a tlkittle today and sketched Ross Kemp for some reason. I'm trying to work on improving skin tones this week.

Weekly Silo Modeling sessions

Tonight sees the launch of Weekly Silo Modeling sessions at the Nevercenter Forum.

Here's the opening post.......

After some thought and discussion with other Silo users and forum members we’ve decided to get weekly modeling sessions going again. The sessions will be aimed at getting modelers to practice their skills and learn from other modelers in a safe environment. We will provide a reference image/material and occasionally just an open topic. Providing a single reference image is a great way to build your skills as you can compare your own work with that of other contributors and hopefully get to look at other modelers wire frame images. We will run the sessions for a couple of months and see what the response is like.

I would like to keep the sessions informal and with limited rules. There will be no restrictions on how the model is created just as long Silo is used in the process somewhere.

Some guidelines would be:

1. Taking the modeling further in other applications is acceptable.
2. Texturing and UV’ing is encouraged if time allows especially if the processes are explained for the less experienced members.
3. If you take part in the session please post as many WIPs as possible and post discussions about your methods and techniques.
4. If you need advice or critique please feel free to ask.
5. Using models created here in your portfolio/website/show reel is acceptable. All images used will be used with the artists permission to do so. Please try and give credit where needed.
6. Please share your techniques where possible.
7. There is no time limit or judging process at this stage. We will post a new session every weekend.
8. Adapt/evolve/change the model as you need. Do not feel that you have to stick to the reference 100% unless that weeks challenge specifies it.

This week we are starting with a 2D creature concept that was created for a COW or `Creature of the Week` at Conceptart.org. It is a basic bipedal bat-type creature with some complicated modeling needed around the wing flap area. Newer modelers may want to just tackle the basic body shape or even just the head. If more experienced modelers take part we can perhaps explore the process of creating skins flaps and folds.

COW #135 `Two headed undead`

COW #135 `Two headed Undead creature`

I started off with the Undead turtles idea but it wasn't working for me at all. i decided to go with the Knuckle dragger. All I have to do now is come up with a convincing background story that would allow an undead ape to have two heads in the first place.

The Fail Whale homage

I got around to finishing my little Twitter Fail Whale tonight. Not a useful use of my time but a nice little homage to Yiying Lu the artist behind the Fail Whale. Amazingly, considering the profile given to this Cetacean-inspired 404 image Yiying was not paid directly for the image - she originally posted the image to iStockPhoto.com where the Twitter dudes aquired it.

My tribute, modeled in Silo and finished in ZBrush.

Fail Whale model

I'm not sure what overtook me this evening as straight after my tea I sat down and modeled the Fail Whale from Twitter. I saw that someone had made a physical model of it the other day and it's been stuck in my head since then. I quick nailed it freehand in Silo. I'll add the rope and birds later. Complete waste of an hour but it needed doing.

The weekend scans

I've been catching up on my scanning as already mentioned this week. I find that very often I have a good run of sketching and bang out a whole load of ideas covering a variety of subjects. It's great practice and keeps the eye keen. I often end up with a lot of un-used or poor quality images but out of that pile I get one or two gems that I can move forward to the next stage. This is a sample of the scans from this weekend including the latest ideas for the COW from the previous Blog post.

The easiest way to view them all is going to the Sketching Gallery

This weeks COW

I need some inspiration for this weeks `Creature of the week`. Suggestions welcomed! I keep sketching Undead Turtles which isn't going to cut it I'm afraid.

The COW thread in question

New Silo interface

I have been a big fan of customizing my SILO interface for years and I thought it was about time I created a new one for 2009. I usually like to work with a bare interface to keep the screen clear and uncluttered but with large screen resolutions (1900+) it doesn't seem to be so much of a problem these days. I customized my own set of buttons and icons in photoshop using the color scheme from this website. As the images can be saved as .png is is possible to use lots of transparency in the design. I put in a few SILO logos for good measure.

I put my most used tools on the first button page and made it appear top left of the screen. I used the standard SILO arrangement for the bottom buttons but used my own art work. Any button that has an on/off state highlights with an orange bar. The second button page (shown here on the left) contains the create and display buttons. To switch from page 1 to page 2 I simply hit the SILO logo and it switches.

Bottom left of the screen is a persistant page that has the main editors and options panels. I find having them is helpful at certain stages in my modeling, usually toward the end of a session. I will finish the design off this week and post a zip with the the .pngs and .sip files for anyone wanting to try it.

New creature pencil sketches

I've finally had a few minutes to scan and upload some recent sketches. I'm hoping to join in with some COW's (Creature of the week) soon at ConceptArt.org but until I get the time these quick sketches keep me going.

The Dog/Bear
Terror Bird - now sculpted in Silo/ZBrush
Sad Old Wooffer