Paint-ober 2021

During October, I tried a self-prompt monthly challenge that I decided to call “Paint-ober!” I checked to see if this was an official or unofficial prompt anywhere, and didn’t find much for it. I’m sure it’s been participated in before, but it doesn’t seem to be very popular. I’ve never been interested in completing a monthly prompt like this before, but “paintober” sounded like a fun one to me!

Below are the artworks I did over this month, arranged in chronological order:

ZBrush Sculpts & Sculpt+Paintings

I really enjoy using ZBrush as a kind of digital maquette – it was fun to explore the possibilities for Vaknaa’s design this way. Particularly with her head crest feathers.

The above painting is painted over a rough sculpture of her.

This is another sculpt+paint of Vaknaa.

The rest are sculpt+paintings of Aurelle. The hair is very inspired by Entei Ryu’s work as mentioned in the previous Blender post! Her work is elegantly gorgeous and greatly inspires me.

One more sculpt+paint of the same model. Below is the unpainted model on its own.

Guild Wars 2 ZBrush Sculpts

I ended up doing a few sculpts this past spring/summer, enough to split the ZBrush sculpts into two posts! In this one I’ll post a few of the GW2-related posts.


Guild Wars 2 Charr Guardian Sculpt+Paint

Guild Wars 2 Charr Guardian sculpt+paint.

 

 

 

 

Sculpt for the above sculpt+paint! Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.


Guild Wars 2 Trahearne sculpt+paint

 

And the above is how the sculpt itself looks!


Trahearne Portrait Sculpt+Paint

 


Malyck Sculpt+Paint

An earlier, wide version.

This version is slightly more refined, though I would still consider this a sketch or study exploration.

Here is how the sculpt looks on its own!

Blender Sculpts

Earlier this year, I had a hankering to try and learn 3D sculpting. ZBrush is the go-to program for this, but because I wasn’t sure the laptop I was using could handle it, I became interested to try Blender first.

I was also interested in checking out Blender’s sculpting tools, because I had heard they’ve been making real strides as of late. I had heard that their developers were becoming closer and closer to rivaling ZBrush. I also stumbled across the amazing Entei Ryu’s “sculpt+paint” artworks around this time, which are her gorgeous ZBrush works that she paints over in a 2d program. She’s largely what inspired to finally try exploring 3d sculpting this year!

I’ll post a few of my first Blender sculpts below, and follow-up with another post chronicling my forays into ZBrush next!

These are in roughly reverse chronological order, which means they become subsequently more silly the further down you scroll:

Corveil | Blender Sculpt+Paint

First, we have a sculpt+paint of Corveil. It was sculpted using Blender’s sculpting tools, rendered out, and then the still rendered frame was painted over in Photoshop.

Here is a Blender sculpt+paint of Aurelle, one of the characters from a personal project!

Above is the Blender sculpt itself! Click the smaller image to see a larger version.

Aurelle | Blender Sculpt+Paint

Next is a sculpt+paint of Aurelle.

Lion Head | Blender Sculpt

This was one of the earlier sculpts I tried. I was mainly familiarizing myself with the sculpting tools and brush in the program.

Here is the sculpt and sculpt+paint of one of my “Duskbirds,” formally referred to as “Skullbirds.”

And here is a bonus render of a silly Elsium, glowing from within.

GW2 Roadrunner Mount Painting! | Plus thoughts about cynicism in current entertainment media

My sylvari warrior from Guild Wars 2! Crop from the full painting.

I was inspired to paint after seeing the new mount option in Guild Wars 2! It’s a “roadrunner mount,” but I was very excited because it reminded me of a mount idea I had a while back:

Mount idea based off a “greater prairie chicken” from a while back!

This mount idea is based off a greater prairie chicken, which is one of my favorite chickens! They are beautiful creatures.

I tried to recreate my mount idea in-game using the dye system, and though I did not really succeed, I am happy with my turkey mount, haha:

My sylvari warrior with his turkey mount!

This screenshot is heavily edited, as I’m currently on a laptop with integrated graphics. GW2 runs surprisingly well on it, but I wasn’t able to find an area that lit the character models well enough for us to see them. I’ll post the original screenshot below!

Original screenshot! It’s fun to compare the two.

Anyway, here is what I ended up sketching!

It’s a bit of a chimeric melding of my greater prairie chicken mount idea, the GW2 roadrunner skin, and the greater prairie chicken itself. The painting manages to look nothing like either my sketch or the in-game mount, haha, but it was really fun to paint tonight.

Here’s how the rest of the painting looks.

And now for the thoughts about cynicism in today’s media entertainment!

Thoughts about cynicism in today’s modern shows

While painting the above tonight, my mind started to idly wander about general thoughts regarding media entertainment. We finished the season finale of The Boys earlier tonight, and I’m sure this what prompted tonight’s meandering thoughts.

The primary thought is this: I can’t get into shows that revel in celebrating the worst in humanity.

There is a certain cynicism that pervades many of today’s most popular entertainment media. I think this is why many modern shows haven’t clicked with me, and the ones I do enjoy seem to be fighting for a widespread audience (with Cobra Kai being a welcome exception). My two other recent favorites, Person of Interest and Dark Matter, were both cancelled after only 3 or 4 seasons!

Let’s take Cobra Kai as an example. Cobra Kai introduces itself in a very deliberate way, which in the current media climate of “dark and gritty, humanity is irredeemably evil,” you think will go in a predictable way.

The show then shatters this expectation. Instead of taking the predictable route of a villainous, irredeemable main character – as he is introduced – the show instead invites us to ponder the idea of bettering ourselves and, in doing so, bettering the world.

It allows us to ponder this in a way media like Westworld, Game of Thrones, Black Mirror, The Boys, or The Witcher instead seem to choke out this desire in its audience – the desire to believe there is good in humanity, and that people are redeemable and can become better versions of their past selves.

These shows seem to desire bludgeoning their audience with a sledgehammer under the premise that humanity has little to no positive qualities, and that humans are overwhelmingly irredeemably flawed creatures.

Maybe I’m an overly optimistic Star Trek fan, but as long as we aren’t naive about it, I don’t see any negatives to aspiring to be our best selves.