Back To Basics 1: Hands

practicing hands

Part of a new anatomy study routine I have now via the iPad Pro + Apple Pencil and Procreate.

Dispatched Technician


30-minute Fan art: Alien + The Walking Dead


Another Copic Marker Use

It’s a long story, but the short version is Alysha schooled me on using a highlighter to generate roughs before inking it. It didn’t take long for me to swap the highlighter for a Copic Sketch marker (N2 Neutral Gray No. 2).  Meaning now I can produce roughs faster, as pencil ultimately requires erasing, and it’s a blast building on the grays for a more refined look.

Here’s an quick example of how to play in the same manner. Just start by laying down however many lines as you like.


The above represents a “whatever” approach. Meaning you don’t have to necessarily produce a discernible image as much as simply laying down enough information to help guide. So if it makes sense to you it’s all good.


Next, just capture/trace the lines you feel are most fitting. While I normally use a Sharpie (for speed) the above was done with a brush pen. Again, use whatever feels right.


Here’s how to take it further digitally. The above scan (grayscale @ 300 dpi) was opened in PS, Levels chosen, White Point within Levels selected, and one tap given to a gray strokes.ud_130407d

Here’s the results of altering the white point. The gray or highlighter strokes vanish -depending on the intensity of gray selected of course.ud_130407e

And here’s how I played with it in PS after applying my “Prepping Lineart Action.” Honestly, there’s literally so many directions available at this point…it really depends on your project’s needs or personal preference. For example, taking the above just alil’ further…


…this the same file as the above with two minor tweaks. Note the action mentioned above provided a “Lineart” layer. By default that Layer is unlock. Well, with “Lock Transparent Pixels” selected the “Lineart” layer was filled with a weathered brown tone. Because of the “Lock Transparent Pixels” option only the lines were affected. Next, an “Adjustment Layer” was Masked to the Layer holding the colors and…well…blam.




Lastly, here’s what it’s like layering the grays (N2, N4, N6) prior to adding alil’ Sharpie work. All that to say…this process is too much fun IMO.


Cloud Project: First Lighting & Electronic Test

Maybe I’ve mentioned this already …not sure, but I’ve been working on a method to make my clouds available for purchase. While it may have been enough to simply have them hang from the ceiling I got this wild idea to have them illuminate too. Like storm clouds. Pulsing randomly from within. Well, I’ll spare you an outline of all the steps leading to this moment. Jus’ trust it’s involved. As in making a lot of inquiries, material testing, and refining constructions methods. Okay, so, maybe here’s just one mention.

The above shows test samples from exploring how various sprays might add a sheen to the clouds plus offer some form of protection.

So fast-forward to the present where a conversation with a co-worker, Lukasz (aka “Wu”), lead to a lighting solution. One involving a micro-processor, quarter-size board, two 5mm LED lights, 4.5v power source, on/off switch, and a custom script allowing the lights to pulse randomly.

The above is a very, very early proof where Wu tested the LED limitations, power sources, and the processor ability to deliver the “lightening script.” Well, it wasn’t long after this that Wu had a prototype on a board, featuring now three LED’s, a switch, and three AAA batteries…

…and the processor nestled between hot glued components. We understand the hot glue and electronical tape is “…totally ghetto” as Wu put it. However this version is already out-of -date in contrast to what’s next. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. So the above shows the prototype before I wrapped the wires. Once that was complete I placed the entire assembly within an existing cloud…

…by essentially cutting it open and carefully inserting the components. It’s kinda hard to see but the black shape, within the cotton of the right, is the on/off switch. So once everything settled into place, and opening closed, the surface was sprayed…

…thereby completing the new look. -From a prototyping standpoint that is. The real test though, before activating the lights, was whether the cloud, being much heavier now, would hang safely. Would the hook hold? Would the string hold? Luckily the answer to all these were “yes.” As you can see here.

-Now it was time to test the lighting hardware! And the only way to communicate how well that went would be to watch this 1-minute video.

That aside, we have a number of improvements to make before these are available for purchase. Specifically…

  • New string material to accomodate the weight of the electronics
  • Switching from 3 AAA batteries to a single 9V
  • Introducing a new, lighter-weight material for the “core” of the clouds
  • Explore methods to easing battery changing
  • Remove the on/off switch in favor of proximity sensor -which will allow users to wave their hands near the cloud to turn one on/off.
  • Improve lightening script by introducing ramping
  • Test alternate cotton colors (e.g. “pink”)

This list amounts to only a few items left to tackle. Regardless, the process has been a complete blast and I’m really looking forward to the next prototype. So stay tuned.

“30 Day Drawing Challenge”

I recently participated in a “30 Day Drawing Challenge” that was very enjoyable. However, I noticed there weren’t many deviations available from the one I followed. So, naturally, that meant it was time to create one. Which actually got reeeeally involved for a bit. But anyhow…*clearing throat*…here’s where the efforts landed.

Understandably, the above image is low-res so print-friendly options include:

» Download this “30 Day Drawing Challenge” (hi-res .jpg / 1MB)
» Visit the HTML version.


© 2016 Umami Design Studio

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