New art!

Hey guys!

It’s been a while. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been sick of reading lately so I haven’t really picked up any books that I want to talk about. I read a few graphic novels — the first two volumes of I Hate Fairyland, a humorous, cartoonishly violent story of a girl trapped in a magical world she’s desperate to escape; and the first volume of Jonesy, which is about a girl that has the power to make anyone fall in love with someone else and the inevitable antics that follow. I enjoyed them, but I probably won’t go into too much detail on talking about individual volumes of graphic novels. Maybe once a series is finished I’d talk about the series as a whole, though.

So even though I don’t have any books to talk about, I do have a few art-related things to share. I got a nice case of markers from my sister for Christmas, so I drew a character named Annie from Splatoon.

dscn1776

Annie’s got this really funky coral-like hair, complete with a snarky fish swimming in it. Between that and all of the colors in her design, I felt a strong urge to try drawing her and I thought she would be a good way to test out my new markers.

dscn1787

I also made a fairly big Bowser out of Perler beads. I’ve been watching a let’s play of Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story lately and… well, I’m not exactly sure what it was, but I was really impressed with Bowser’s sprite work. Like, so impressed I dropped everything to go make a Perler Bowser!

He wasn’t too bad. I had to substitute some bead colors here and there, but overall I’m really happy with how he came out! And if you’re curious about the let’s play, it’s being done on YouTube by lucahjin, so go look her up if you’re in the mood for some fun, silly commentary for a fun, silly game! πŸ™‚

And finally, I’ve been working on a huge cross-stitch project since New Year’s Eve. Last year I learned how to cross-stitch and I thought to myself, “Hey, this would be a cool alternative for doing pixel art for projects too big for Perler beads!” I also thought there were a lot of cozy, homey areas in video games that would make good cross-stitch projects. So I started my first in hopefully a series of cross-stitch projects, Pallet Town from Pokemon Red/Blue. I was going to wait a little while longer before revealing my progress, but since today is Pokemon’s 21st anniversary…

dscn1790

It may not seem impressive now, but I’ve put a lot of work into it! This is Oak’s lab, and I’m hoping to have this portion of Pallet Town finished within a few weeks! I debated whether or not to go with the classic black and white color palette of the Game Boy, or the color palette of the Super Game Boy. I eventually decidedΒ  to go with the Super Game Boy palette, mostly because I obtained a newfound appreciation for it when I played through Blue last year with my friend and completed the Pokedex for the first time.

I feel like the colors I’m using are blending in too much with each other, though. I feel like I picked up the right colors, and when I looked at the game itself and compared it to my sprite sheet it feels like I’m doing this right, but… I dunno. Maybe I need to get a little further to really tell. It’s just one part of the entire town, after all.

Well that’s all for now. As for books, I did start reading a really interesting one that plays a lot with structure and layout, so I think there’s a good chance I’ll make a post about it one I’m done! Until then, I hope everyone’s having a great week! πŸ™‚

New Perler bead art! (Pokemon, Splatoon, and Legend of Zelda)

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s been a while since my last post, and I was hoping to have one final book discussion before 2016 was over. I read through the ttyl series (or Internet Girls series, as it’s apparently been called) last month, but it took longer than I thought it would. I just finished the final book the other day and I’m hoping to have a post about it before the week is over.

However, I’ve also made some new Perler art in the past month that I wanted to share! The first three were made as Christmas gifts for friends, so let’s take a look!

dscn1768

The first one I made last month was the Pokemon Espeon, who was first introduced in Pokemon Gold/Silver. It was one of the new Eevee evolutions, and a counterpart to Umbreon, Eevee’s other new evolution. While Umbreon was one of the new dark types and represented the moon, Espeon here was a psychic type and represented the sun. The friend I made this for loves Espeon, so I looked through sprites of it from different games and chose one I thought she would like. This particular one is from Pokemon Diamond/Pearl, and I chose it because it looks like a meowing cat, which my friend is also a huge fan of.

dscn1771

The next Perler project I did was another Pokemon one. Here I made Vileplume and Oddish attached to each other. The friend I made this for loves Vileplume and used one in her party when we played through Pokemon Red/Blue together last year, so making this particular project held double the meaning for me. I made an Oddish with it because I had an idea to make a mommy and baby Pokemon together and wanted to see how it came out. I was originally going to have Oddish on top of Vileplume’s head, like it was riding on the petals, but I thought it wasn’t going to look good so I ended up putting Oddish slightly in front of Vileplume instead.

These particular sprites came from Pokemon Silver. An interesting thing about the entire Oddish family in the earlier games is that although their artwork depicts them as having grayish-blue body tones, some of their sprites depict them as all black. These sprites did something interesting and kept hints of the blue in the otherwise black bodies, and I thought they looked really stylized and pretty badass. I knew my friend would appreciate something like that, so I chose these sprites to go with.

dscn1772

My next project is the squid mascot from Splatoon, a team-based game for Wii U. I finally purchased one last year, my first new video game console in eight years. One of the games I’ve really enjoyed is Splatoon. You’re paired up with other players to form teams of four, and your goal is to cover the most ground with a paint-like ink. You play as Inklings, characters that look mostly human with the exception of their hair, which are squid tentacles formed to look like hairstyles. However, you can turn into a squid at anytime, which is mostly used to travel quickly through ink you’ve splattered on the ground.

One of my friends and I have been playing Splatoon online together once every week or so lately, and I thought he would appreciate a Perler piece from that game. Since it’s an HD console game, however, there are no sprites to use, so I took an image of the mascot squid and put a grid over it like I’ve done a few times before. I think it came out rather nice, although I think the spots on the bottom came out a little too blocky.

dscn1773

Finally, I made some smaller Perler art for myself. These are some characters from The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the Game Boy. Link’s Awakening is a game I haven’t played through entirely since I was a kid, despite being a big Zelda fan. There was no real reason why, either; for the past few years especially, I’ve always said I should replay it soon but for whatever reason I never did. Three or four years ago, I started a new file but stopped halfway through, again, for no real reason.

So about a week before Christmas, I was getting nostalgic for some of the games I got for Christmas in 2002. That was probably the best Christmas for me for a number of reasons, but gift-wise, I got very lucky and got three Game Boy Advance games and four Gamecube games. I wanted to play one of those Game Boy Advance games again, and I chose the port of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, originally for the Super Nintendo. Now, I’ve played through this game many, many times since then, and although I always enjoy revisiting it, it’s unfortunately one of those games that I’ve played to death and feel like I just go through the motions while playing. I beat it in a few days, but I was still feeling nostalgic and still in the mood for a 2-D Zelda game. So I finally decided that this was the perfect time to finally revisit Link’s Awakening after so many years.

I could go on about my recent experience playing Link’s Awakening, but that’s probably better saved for its own separate post. The short version is, I loved it! It was so charming for a Zelda game, and since I haven’t played it fully since I was a kid and only had vague memories from then and a few let’s plays I’ve watched, it felt new. Anyway, I really wanted to make some Perler characters from this game, so I made a bunch of either my favorites or from characters I thought looked interesting. I think my favorite part of making these was that I had found this slightly off-white, almost ivory colored bag of Perler beads that I usually reserve for shades of gray, but here it’s perfect for how white appears on the Game Boy, making these Perler pieces feel extra retro. πŸ™‚

Well that’s all for now! Stay tuned for my Let’s Talk Books on the ttyl series, and possibly even a Link’s Awakening post shortly after that! Thanks everyone for reading, I hope you’re having a great week, and I definitely hope you’re going to have a great year! πŸ™‚

Late InkTober Drawings!

Hey everyone! While writing the Dracula post last week, I forgot to make a post showing the rest of the drawings I did for InkTober.

I cheated a little with some of these final drawings. InkTober is supposed to use, well, ink. And while I did use ink for all of these drawings, I started using colored pencils for some of the last few (I got frustrated doing so many drawings in only black and white).

Part of the reason I wasn’t using color in the first place is that I don’t really have any colored markers. I have a few in varying shades of gray, and a few colored India Ink markers, but I was never happy with how they came out. I would have bought some, but good markers are pretty expensive and now wasn’t exactly the best time to drop money on something I probably won’t use too often. πŸ˜›

However, one of my friends lent me a few copic markers to try out, and I used those for my final two drawings. I was thrilled with how they turned out! They were very thick, consistent, and left no streaks. I really want to invest in them some time!

InkTober was very fun. I try using my creativity to make different things as often as I can, but this was the first time since college that I actually worked on something every single day for a month straight. Even when I didn’t feel like it (and trust me, there were a lot of days I wasn’t feeling it), I powered through. There was something really great about starting and finishing something every day, too. I’ve got a bad habit of spending too long on certain things, trying to make them perfect, or even giving up on them if I convince myself there’s no way I could make them look good in the first place. Forcing myself to start and finish something within one day made me more comfortable with myself. Even if something didn’t turn out well (and I definitely think some of these didn’t turn out well), I had plenty more that I was proud of. It became easier for me to understand that if something I was working on wasn’t working out, that’s all right. Because there will always be something next time.

Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone’s having a great week! πŸ™‚

New S-P-O-O-P-Y Perler art and InkTober drawings!

Happy Halloween everyone!!

I feel like a broken record by this point, but once again… I don’t have as many Halloween Perler projects to share this week as I wanted to. In fact, it’s one again. :/ It took a lot longer than I anticipated, and it was sort of complicated too. But it’s better than nothing, right? So here it is, the last Halloween Perler project until next year — Death, from Super Castlevania IV!

dscn1690

I’ve never actually played any Castlevania games before, so I can’t tell you much about Death here. It’s the Grim Reaper, and… well, I hear he’s super hard in the first game. I’ve seen some let’s plays of a few different Castlevania games though, and I know from those that they’re full of spooky monsters that are perfect for Halloween. I browsed some sprite sheets and went with Death because I just thought it looked cool.

Super Castlevania IV, like the Donkey Kong Country games, is one of those SNES titles with more complicated graphics. A lot of different colors, more realistic looking sprites — that sort of thing. I’ll admit, I was hesitant to even do Death. Honestly, I just wanted to make Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar from Pokemon and call it there. But I forgot that there aren’t many shades of purple for Perler beads, and I knew I was going to need more than was available, so I went here instead.

Which was stupid, because I ran into the exact same problem here except with blues. 😦

Yeah, I run into this problem a lot. And I’m still surprised, since there are actually a lot of blue shaded Perlers out there. But I never find any blueish purples or blueish grays, and those are the ones I always need. In this case, I had to improvise about half the colors, so it doesn’t look exactly like the sprite. I still think it came out all right, but it’s definitely one of my pieces I need to step back from to actually appreciate the details.

I’ve also got some more InkTober drawings. I didn’t hit 31, but since I started halfway through the month and still did at least one a day, I’m happy with where I’m at. I’m actually going to keep going with the InkTober challenge even though it’s over, so expect to see more in November. But here’s the next batch:

Anyway, Happy Halloween everyone! Dracula‘s about three quarters done, so hopefully I’ll have a review of it next week! πŸ™‚

New S-P-O-O-P-Y Perler art and InkTober drawings!

Hello, everyone! I have a couple more Halloween-themed Perler projects to share today. Unfortunately, I still didn’t do as many as I would have liked (mostly due to working on InkTober drawings at the last minute), but I really like how the two I made came out so I guess that kind of makes up for it!

dscn1675

I feel like the people familiar with these Perler posts might have expected something Pokemon-related for Halloween, and those people are right. I was originally going to make the original three ghost Pokemon, Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar but at the last minute decided on something else. Looking through sprite sheets, I chose to go with a different ghost Pokemon that I always thought was pretty cool but honestly forget exists half the time — Misdreavous, first introduced in Pokemon Gold/Silver for the GameBoy Color. Since I was making something from that generation, I also thought Murkrow, one of the first dark types introduced in the series, would be a good Halloween-themed project.

Misdreavous ended up having some cool, contrasting colors and I really like how she came out. I was also pretty excited to finally use a shade of pink for something this involved and actually have enough beads for it! The sprite used from the GameBoy games is actually more like a blueish-purple — one of the many shades of blue that I never seem to have or find. But in later games, she gets a tone more similar to the shade I actually used, so everything worked out well.

Murkrow’s pretty cool, too. Crows are classic Halloween birds, and this one looks like it’sΒ  even got a little witch hat, too. πŸ™‚ Both are cool Pokemon, but I wish they were a littleΒ  stronger — as one of the few new ghost types and one of the first dark types respectively, it’s too bad they’re not as strong as they deserve to be. At least they got evolutions eventually.

And as I mentioned at the end of last week’s post, I decided (pretty late) to participate in InkTober, where I’ll make one ink drawing a day for the month of October. Since I started a couple of weeks in, I’m trying to make at least one for each of the remaining days. I don’t know if I’ll catch up and complete each prompt by Halloween, but I’m still trying to get as many done as I can. Who knows, I may continue the challenge even after October ends!

But here’s what I’ve done so far:

I’m definitely not happy with how some of them came out, but there are a few in here I really enjoy and may even continue working on digitally at some point. You can tell I eventually got tired of just using ink and started including some pencil shading, too. πŸ™‚ It’s been a lot of fun drawing again, and this is helping me focus on doing creative things even when I don’t feel like it. Which, to be honest, I try doing anyway. But something about things like this and National Poetry Month and NaNoWriMo help make it seem doable, somehow.

Dracula‘s coming along, slowly but surely. Unfortunately, it’s just as slow moving as I remember though. Not bad, just… slow. I’m still going to try having a review for it next week, but the way it’s looking I may not be done by Halloween, so you might have to settle for more spoopy crafts instead!

Anyway, thanks for reading! Hope you’re having a great week! πŸ™‚

New S-P-O-O-P-Y Perler art! — Muffet (Undertale)

Hey everyone! I was planning on having more stuff made for this week’s post. I was originally going to do more smaller projects, but at the last minute decided I wanted to go back and do something Undertale-related. I was originally going to do Muffet, the spider that runs the bake sale, for one of my spoopy Perler projects anyway, so here she is a little earlier than planned!

dscn1647

Muffet’s one of my favorite bosses in the game, and one of the most fun. I love how she’s using four of her arms to hold teacups and teapots; I always love when multi-armed characters do a bunch of things with their hands simultaneously (the boiler man fromΒ Spirited Away immediately comes to mind). Her eyes also wink both in unison and from left to right during the battle with her, so I gave her a couple of winking eyes to make the project a little more interesting.

I had some issues ironing her together. I had a feeling this was going to be too big to iron without problems, so I did the head, legs, and body (with arms attached) separately. I should have done the arms separately too, however; a decent number of beads didn’t fuse right away and it took a little more effort to get everything connected. Some beads also tilted somehow while I was ironing, leading to some awkward bead clusters that I decided to cut out and replace. I think I did a good job saving it, though; I’ve been through worse scenarios where entire sections had to be redone. Overall it’s pretty nice, but the arms are a little flimsy because they’re so thin, and the head definitely feels top heavy.

I feel a little bad for two short posts in a row, especially coming off from posts every other week or two, so I’m gonna share one more picture today:

dscn1645

I’m very late to the game, but I decided to participate in InkTober this year. If you didn’t know, the goal of InkTober is to make one ink drawing per day for the month of October. I started yesterday, and ideally I’d like to make one every day for the rest of the month, but I might try for more than one to try catching up. The first prompt was supposed to be speed themed, so I drew Sonic. I’m going to try doing these drawings a little more from memory and by copying as little from a source material as possible, although this particular pose still ended up being very similar to one of the official art pieces from the Genesis days.

Anyway, thanks for reading everyone! I hope you’re having a great week! πŸ™‚

New S-P-O-O-P-Y Perler bead art! — Boos (Yoshi’s Island)

Hey everyone! It’s October, and you know what that means! It’s time again for spoopy Halloween crafts! I have a lot of ideas for what I’d like to work on this month, but to start I made some new Perler bead art of the little and big Boos from Yoshi’s Island on SNES.

dscn1640

I think most people that play games know Boos from the Mario series. But for those that don’t, they’re cute ghosts that are very shy. When you face them, they cover their faces and stop in their tracks. But when you turn around, they chase after you. I’m really happy with how these came out. They’re more detailed than the ones found in previous Mario games, including the Boos I made last year from Super Mario World.

Unfortunately, that’s all I got today. Normally I would have waited until I had more done, but I wanted something to post this week since I’ve been spacing reviews out a little longer than usual lately. It’s been taking me longer to read books, so unfortunately I don’t have as much to talk about. I’m reading Dracula right now for Halloween, so hopefully there will be a Let’s Talk Books about that before the month is over. But in the meantime, October will probably have more craft-focused posts.

Anyway, hope everyone’s having a great week! πŸ™‚