The Comic has Launched!

Posted May 10, 2011 by devinwsmith
Categories: Miscellaneous

Hi everyone,

You all know that this blog has been pretty quiet for quite some time. I wanted to hopefully pay that off by letting you know that my silence is broken with the launch of my comic, Xenon! After almost 5 years of mulling and revisions, the webcomic is now alive. Head over to www.xenoncomic.com to check it out and please let me know what you think. It updates every Friday! This will be the last post on the Art of Devin. Thanks for coming along with me on the journey and I hope you will continue with me at the new blog and webcomic!

Regards,

Devin

P.S. From now on, you can catch my blog posts there. Everything from this blog has been imported over there!

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Lots going on

Posted March 16, 2011 by devinwsmith
Categories: Miscellaneous

Hey everyone,

Sorry for the radio silence as of late. I promised an update on the contest last week and I apologize that I did not deliver on that. It appears that Xenon didn’t make the top 100, unfortunately, but it was a great opportunity and got the character a lot of exposure. Thank you to everyone who voted!

In other news, I got a new job as a senior web designer for a corporation headquartered here in Greenville, and this is my second week on the job. So far so good, it’s just so quiet here! Other than that, the position offers a lot of creative license and I am getting to contribute input to marketing efforts and present ideas a lot, so I am definitely happy about that!

With the comic: Right now I am working with the Brotherhood of Comic Artists leader to get our site ready for launch. You’ll be hearing news of an official launch date soon, hopefully. In the meantime I will be getting Xenon and the BOCA website ready for your viewing pleasure. Have a great week folks!

Character Design

Posted March 1, 2011 by devinwsmith
Categories: Artwork

So I decided to take the Advanced Stealth Automaton (a.k.a. Ninjabot!) concept and find a place for him in the Xenon narrative. I took this piece and updated it with color and a poster layout. Have a look and let me know what you think in the comments. Also, keep a look out for the results of the Stan Lee Foundation’s contest. Tomorrow is the big day that we find out the results of the competition!

Character Design

April Cometh

Posted February 22, 2011 by devinwsmith
Categories: Miscellaneous

Hi everyone,

A quick update on the contest: Xenon just might have finished in the top 100 and it’s thanks to awesome, supportive people like you! Thanks to everyone who voted. I will update you all on the results when they hit on March 3rd!

So April is right around the corner, and that means that the release of the comic is hanging out on that same corner, staying out of trouble of course. I digress. The Brotherhood of Comic Artists is committed to releasing our comics in April at www.brotherhoodofcomicartists.com and that means it is time to do some serious marketing. So check out the following spots:

www.artofdevin.com/xenon – Landing page for info and updates about the comic book. Potential future home of this blog.
www.brotherhoodofcomicartists.com – Future home of the Xenon comic book as well as several other new properties being released in April. Bookmark it!

Be sure to click the links at the landing page to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Going for the Gusto

Posted February 15, 2011 by devinwsmith
Categories: Artwork, Scripting/Writing

Hi folks,

Things have been quiet on the blog, but not quiet behind the scenes for sure. I spent a lot of time working on the story for this comic, and worked myself into a frustrated rut. I was so worried about making the literary work of the century that I forgot to have fun, and so I closed my laptop one night in frustration and decided I was done. Eventually, in conversation with the guys at work, I came up with an idea for another fun comic based on the people from my job, and it just all seemed to fall into place. WAY easier than the superhero comic. So I decided to move forward on that.

It seemed like that was the right thing to do, because while I was working on the new idea, I started having some great ideas for the superhero comic. Maybe all I need was a break? And then it happens: The Stan Lee Foundation and Todd McFarlane do an international contest to design a superhero. Once I saw that I had no choice but to pull my gun slinging superhero off of the shelf, give him a name and enter the ring. I call him Xenon.

Now I need your help! I am trying to win this thing, one way or another. Please go check out my submission and vote for me if you like the work. I need all of the help I can get to make it to the number 1 spot. Thank you for your support and enjoy an updated version of the cover art I submitted below!

New Equipment and New Software

Posted December 28, 2010 by devinwsmith
Categories: Artwork, Miscellaneous

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This Christmas brought a very unexpected but welcome change to my line-up of equipment. My wife’s parents gave us a new laptop for Christmas! It is a 17.3 HP laptop that practically has a normal keyboard, complete with a 10-key pad, which is a big plus to me. So far it has been a dream come true.

One of the greatest things about the laptop is the power it has under the hood. It has a Pentium Dual-core 2.3ghz processor in it, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB HDD. It is officially the most powerful machine in the house. That immediately makes me say “I can work on my artwork on this thing!” However, working on any of the artwork for the comic on this machine means that I had to figure out a free way to do so, as my Creative Suite license is for Mac OS, not Windows.

Enter the Gimp. The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free alternative to Photoshop. Now, factory GIMP going toe to toe with Photoshop, it definitely isn’t as good. However, there are some mods out there that cater specifically to the needs of illustrators and digital painters. One mod, called “Gimp for Painters”, which was created by a Japanese user, adds what is called the Mixbrush to the toolset. This allows you to mix colors on the canvas, something that Photoshop CS4 cannot do.

Next is Gimp Paint Studio (GPS). This addon by Ramón Miranda adds a lot of custom brushes and presets to Gimp that makes it easier to jump in and start sketching and painting. One thing I have noticed is that Gimp seems to be more lightweight, which makes it somewhat faster. Also, working at tabloid size (11×17) at 300dpi seems to run a LOT smoother than it does in Photoshop. Not only does it run more smoothly, but it also renders better zoomed out. You’ll notice than in Photoshop, you will tend to get a lot of aliasing when you zoom out to arbitrary percentages. Gimp does not do this. At least not Gimp for Painters.

I haven’t done any full-on digital paintings just yet, but I have done a couple of sketches. So far I am impressed with this laptop and surprisingly impressed with Gimp. I might just have a new illustration environment! Sketches are below.

All digital sketch done in GIMP for Painters with a 2H pencil brush

All digital sketch done in GIMP for Painters with a standard round brush

Gimp for Painters

Gimp Paint Studio (Download version 1.4 on the right side of the page)

Refinement

Posted December 21, 2010 by devinwsmith
Categories: Artwork

Creating this comic has been an amazing journey. I have realized that it takes time and work to hew a diamond out of the many rock-shaped ideas that can fill our minds.

This week, I’d like you to share your feedback on another character concept sketch. I am continuously trying to refine the costume design to some unknown point of satisfaction. There is somewhere I am trying to get the design to that I just have not reached, yet. That goes for the writing, as well. However, I must say that I LOVE the process. It has taught me that I was born to write and create stories.

With that, I’d like you to have a look at this sketch and let me know what you think. Either that or just enjoy it.

And before I forget: Have a Merry Christmas 🙂