I treated myself to a treat last week...and it got in the mail the other day.
The art book Final Fantasy the art of Eorzea.


I say five stars
*****

I haven't played any of the console editions of the Final Fantasy in years. The quality of game-play and story has gone down drastically. Square Enix games spend years in development only to really refine their eye candy and story and game-play are abysmal. FFXV was so terrible that they had to take it off the market, fix everything and try to re-ship and re-brand it into a new game....To what is should of been. Kind of like how Windows 7 was what Windows Vista was supposed to be.

Even the last console game I played which was FFXII when a friend asked how it was its just basically a game about finding ancient artifacts such as swords or rocks rock rock sword. Fun to play but the two main characters didn't really needed to be in the game. I wished the game's true main characters were Fran and Baltier who should of been the real leading man of the story.



The real last installment I played and enjoyed was the DS handheld Four Heroes of Light. Very cute game with modern story writing elements.


It was hilarious that one can refuse the king's request to save the princess in the beginning of the game, and the story will still go on no matter what decision is made. And once you do meet the princess she's a bit of a brat and through the turn of some events she learns not to be so later in the game.






The "crown" system in Heroes of light gives the main characters different appearances, and abilities and fighting styles.
I like playing these types of games on a handheld now. I no longer have patience to sit in front of a tv and play RPG's on a console. On a handheld I can play anywhere even if I'm sitting on my desk taking a quick break.









Alas although the over all Final Fantasy series quality has gone down, the art and design it still beams of excellence and innovative breathtaking original designs. I saw some of these books in Japan town before and I was happy to see them available online. At the time I saw them they were not. I didn't think I'd have a chance to see them again. If it is available at your local book store, buy it from them to support the business...

While looking around for reference pictures..


All three of these games I mentioned also happened to say I liked are games Akihiko Yoshida designed. Varying each design, character and style for each game.




Tetsuya Nomura I used to like in FFVII then after poking around Yoshitaka Amano did most of the foundation and groundwork for most of the visual designs in the series. When I was a teenager I thought the spiky hair thing was cool but I prefer the more slick and smooth designs from the other artists when I got older. I appreciated what they did more.
 I like the middle-eastern elements Amano adds to his designs.


Final Fantasy the Art of Eorzea
Back on point. So the art book is a soft cover with a tough  plastic cover that does not slip easily.
303 pages! of art, sketches, concepts, and promotional work.







The print quality is a matte gloss and is fantastic,
On every page there is text both in Japanese and English. There is more art than just text. My sister used to poke fun at me because out of all the books I have I never really read them, just looked at the pictures...

One of these days I'll do a flip-through of the book like parka blogs.

I rate it ***** stars

Pros:

-The amount of art work in high quality printing is astounding.

-303 pages of art! Who can beat that? At a fairly reasonable price???? 303 pages!

-Content is designed neatly and uncluttered that optimizes the space of the page, even when multiple artworks and text is displayed. No detail looks overlooked in formatting and placement of each image. Kind of like a gallery picks the best spot for art work to be displayed.

-Never before seen artwork is plenty that is showcased in the book.

-The book is divided into 8 sections: Image Art, Characters, Enemies, Mounts & Minions, Housing, World, Sketches, Additional art.

-None of the selections seem particularly neglected in content.
Diagrams and notes are included with concept art

-Book is durable and pages won't tear easily. Printed on a high quality matte paper. Not too glossy where everything reflects back like the cover.



Cons:

-If you are not a huge collector or don't see value in a book dedicated to concept art then the price is a setback at $44.99

-Book jacket cover slips off easily,
(but that is with any book with a book sleeve, I bypass this by placing clear double-sided tape on each side, where it is un-noticeable place to keep it intact and in place.)

-Since I have worked in a print shop before, I have a bit of an extra eye when it comes to Quality Assurance in prints. Overall the prints came out slightly dark, probably because either:

-color profiles were not matched in the printing process and or 
preparation for the image to be printed.

-The combination of the ink used
and the paper material makes the print
darker. 


This disadvantage to this small detail to the printing, one cannot see minor detail on the designs because of this. I don't think a lot of people would notice.

 In a way if it could hypothetically be purposeful the colors being dark, then it might of been a sacrifice to maintain certain richness of color in darker pieces, Like if a character was wearing a dark coat or the graphite sketches. Or it could of been worse if everything was 
too light and unsaturated and this was the best balance that they could receive without messing everything up too drastically. Being a tad bit dark print is better than a lighter one where it is faded.


I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have, If you decide to purchase it. 



















I shifted the blog interface, and quickened the loan speeds and made archived posts easier to navigate by title.
Sorry I didn't realize how the main site was so slow! I'd joke about it but didn't realize it was ridiculously bandwidth crunching. It interrupted netflix when I viewed it and checked it from the viewer's perspective!
Yikes!
But all is well.

There is one more thing I need to tweak so it'll be pretty obvious soon what it is
so I won't even mention.

Enjoy the new design.

Sorry my website is still down. If you have attempted to see it.
:'( It's taking longer to revise and update everything than I expected. There is a glitch that is a uber pain that conflicts all my hard work that U've done.
80% done
For sure before the end of this month...which isn't long and shouldn't take as long.
So I'll let you know when repairs are completed.
See you soon.
I just need to fix that one thing that is epicly bothering me from showing anyone anything.

See you soon!







1,000 hits
1,000 views
Yay! I made it this week!
 Wohoo!
Celebrate
Thank you very much dear viewer.

I expected this blog when I first started to die off like most of my online presences the characters have died off my multiple story lines. I'm glad everything is still alive kicking and I hope to bring more Musings and Quips from an Artist's perspective!!! Even if you are not an artist or am one I hope to bring a light read, entertainment or tips.

I'm happy that in some ways I've started to communicate better in speech and text and to express a lot of feelings publicly. Although I still find myself hyperventilating at conventions and large scale workshops and trying to find a suitable place to hide when invited to large dinner party I'll stand in the corner with my hat on trying to hide my face.

Besides that I hope to improve. Hope you'll be there along more of the way. Thank you so much for your support and hope to celebrate more milestones.




This week has been a double milestone post. 1,000 hits and views and this is post number #40!
So I'll recap the top 5 favorite posts among readers! Hit the link on the title to access the full post.


A word from Dr. Horrible and his sing-along blog from the movie with the same title.
The movie is one of my favorites about an aspiring small time villain who desires to be in the Evil League of Evil. He sings his criminal exploits on his blog posts. Unfortunately I'm not singing anytime soon. Thank goodness. I'm terribly awesomely terrible. Babies will cry, Dogs will cry out, the undead will stir and the kraken will be released, and a meteor shower will rain fire from the sky. So no. No singing.


One of my personal favorite post that did not make the top 5 list and gets honorable mention but still made the top 10 list is Counter Productive Sipag. Which actually is a wordplay of Counter Productive Hardworking. Sipag in Tagalog means hardworking.

Honorable mention #2 that did not make the top Naw thing is Forseen Tranquility showcases how far I have come. Theses were sketches I when I was 12 and drew in composition notebooks. Back then when I first desired to do what I didn't know was a Concept Artist was.

Top 5

5) Audiophile & Art Dump +
Most recent art dump. With a morbid amount of tracks and art to cover my loss of losing my music player. I still haven't found a suitable replacement yet that carries all my music.


4) Make Time for Yourself
One of my favorite posts to write. Relax make time for yourself. Its hard to relax and take a break. You deserve a break if you work all the time. And if you slack off all the time work harder. Don't lose hope in progress.

This is your day

3)Introductions
First post, and a little something about my intentions and hopes for this blog. I had no idea way back then what I wanted to do. Interesting how I mentioned the word Musings in there!





2) Sweet Solid State
SSS!
I got another hardrive in my empty second hardrive slot. The results were astounding. It felt like I had another computer. I've had the same computer for 5 years. I just keep changing and upgrading the parts.

Style ranking as in Devil May Cry 3

D--Dope!
C--Crazy!
B---Blast!
A--Alright!
S--Sweet!
SS-SShowtime
SSS--SSStylish!

I love this game its fast paced and makes your fingers sore! , It's an adrenaline rush when you rack up points and see the style meter up. Gunslinging, sword fighting with a variety of weapons. Although the game play is fun and one of my friends gets all mad when I say this one isn't exactly my favorite. He says that total blasphemy.

The music is dope and one of the best of the themes in videogames. I know all the words to the the themes. Its one of the only games that I will sing along and sway back and forth.


It still sets him off is  the fact when I said Dante isn't the sexy male character in video games that the ladies go wow! Well, some of them. For me Not me I wasn't impressed.  Dante needs to put his shirt back on in DMC3.

The designs in DMC3  are dull compared to the first one. Monster designs are relatively the same rehashed with different colors..
 And above all Dante needs to put his shirt back on. I'm used to playing him as an old man with a shirt.

Another fond memory of playing this game my senior year of high school.
One time I was playing this game late at night and I was keeping my friend Asge company on the phone to keep her mind off things since her Grandmother just died. And we were talking and all of sudden there was a woohoo! And she asked what that was and I said....and described the action taking place.
The tower dive is one of the most awesome scenes. It pushed the PS2 graphics to the max.

I was like um well I doubled jumped, made a magic circle shot a few enemies made another magic circle and propelled myself and swung around a stripper pole and while doing that exclaimed Woohoo! and spring launched propelled myself away.
Classic.
Fun game.
 Good times.

Another note the new Dmc made from Ninja Theory is fantastic and fun to play even though Dante doesn't have white hair. Creative level design. Marvelous concept art.

I think Ninja Theory's game Heavenly sword is way better in gameglay and story than DMC4 which were released for the PS3.


1) Color Studies
Studies. Studies. Studies.
Color studies. This was a fun assignment I did at the Academy of Art University the history of American Illustration class.

I always avoided doing studies I thought they were overrated. But I highly recommend if you have the right intention. To follow the artist stroke by stroke. And feel what they went through like an actor. If you are just copying just to copying then it will look dull and not have a presence or impact in the re-created piece.

These color studies were images we have seen in the class from prominent American Illustrators. All the images from the study were from ones I liked. The absolute #1 favorite is from Howard Pyle who I had to stop myself from making it a complete Howard Pyle study session!




When I drew this at the time I knew the person I had a crush didn't feel the same way as I had. My feelings were one-sided. So I felt the emotion of the piece. I played the part in being the man crying and the mermaid dying. Two lovers toward apart. It was a glorified pity party in a sublimating way. It wasn't a magic marker for improving conditions. Alas its still a lovely image regardless.




Also I googled this post and also spelled it wrong and I was the #1 popup.
XD















"When you draw nervously you end up with a nervous drawing, so drawing strongly produces lines filled with vitality"- Nightow Yasuhiro 

With every line and stroke of every drawing every picture I try to make it come alive. I had a break-through this week. After a few encouraging words, In some ways I never realized in some aspects I limited myself from certain subjects. So I concentrated focused and the results were not terrible.
 Holding your charcoal can do a lot for your drawing and prevent carpal tunnel!

I avoided clothed figure drawing for the longest time. Just because I never was particularly successful in my attempts. I could barely draw the figure live and to add cloth and clothes was frustrating. In recent years I've been attending figure drawing sessions consecutively for almost for about four years now. On a good week I can attend three 3 hour sessions or normally I average 2 to 1 a week. 
 These were done with references. Nothing wrong with references.

If I hadn't learned anything or improved in all that time or sessions that would of been a disappointment. 




Year Two mark drawing with compressed charcoal


One tool when the majority of people start out is that they tend to not like the medium of compressed charcoal. I admit I wasn't a fan of it, but after practicing it for awhile, one can do a lot with it. Usually compressed charcoal is dark, permanent, and a bit messy. But after gaining some control of the medium, i actually prefer it over charcoal pencil now.

So what I did this week I focused and I tried to make a drawing that flowed well with a figure with clothes on. Sometimes drawing a figure with clothes it will look like the main focus was drawing the figure and clothing was an afterthought. 


Some tools of figure drawing.
Compressed charcoal block


This bad boy is a pain to sharpen but its actually quite fun to draw with. The block is what it looks like when you first get it from the package. 







I burn through certain favorite pencils from time to time. I use a a pencil lengthener or extender to utilize it the max. I'm surprised not many people do not know of this tool. I had to bug the local art store to carry them. 


For kicks these were from my first live figure drawing class. We all start from somewhere. It was a 6 hour class I had to learn endurance!







~


I remember I had just finished my first year at the local college and I entered into their Annual Spring Art Show. One of the many pieces I entered was a still life of a white ball with primary color cloth around it. The exercise was to prove your ability to see color in the ball besides white.

It doesn't sound much or that visually appealing. But what I noticed is that it stood out and had a life of its own. At that time I was going through some frustrating time as someone I had admired actually was trying to extort me, it troubled me deeply. Somehow I find the story amusing and somewhat comical now, but it was serious subject then.

So during that time I was painting the primary color cloth still life. I painted all my frustrations, anger, and my earnest willingness and hope of future improvement in this piece. I hoped to shine regardless through all my then hardships.

It paid off.
The art show was held in two rooms. And my piece spoke the loudest of them all.  But as soon as you entered the room one would look at my image first and the intensity of it was overbearing. This wasn't an ego trip. People I knew would come up to me and tell me how my artwork would draw attention and be the first one demanded to be seen.

Also one habit I picked up from somewhere if it is a collective art show. One kind of stands near enough to their work within earshot to hear what others say about their piece. And it was unanimous what the majority of people thought about it.

So subsequently as with anything people were jealous of me and saw fit the next year I wasn't invited to the show. Even though it was my last year there. Oh well. Haters gonna hate. I'll shine regardless.