Orion Dyson-Smith
Orion Dyson-Smith
Nurse Anesthetist. Part-time Artist/Writer. Always up for PB&J. Always up for talking about story.
Orion Dyson-Smith
The working concept here is "Harvest", as in harvest time on a farm and also organ harvesting. Besides a peach orchard, the farm is home to several dozen rabbits. The farmer, in order to make more money, had allowed an enterprising yet twisted biochemistry student to perform experiments on the rabbits. One of his experiments starved the rabbits in order to find the biochemical markers of cannibalism. The rabbits suffered greatly until one broke out and discovered a holy revelation - a can opener. The rabbits gorge themselves on canned peaches and plot revenge - to harvest and sell their enemies' organs. I started with some shapes I found interesting and hope to keep it simple, elegant, and sinister.
Proko Monster Lab Assign 1 Rabbit page 1
Proko Monster Lab Assign 1 Rabbit page 2
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Orion Dyson-Smith
did another page, trying to keep the figures small.
Proko Monster Lab Assign 1 Rabbit Horror page 3 small
Reply
Orion Dyson-Smith
love hearing your thought process. thanks!
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Charlie Nicholson
I wanted to give this a go! In the roleplaying game I run, there's a creature that I wanted to spend some time designing because it's the crux of the whole campaign- a fractured temporal monster called the void beast. The first image is a character named Grubbus who is collecting the void beasts- but is secretly a flesh suit housing a void beast inside him! That was the jumping off point. So I have two sheets of exploring the idea of the void beast. And then a final bonus sheet with an idea of what the void beasts might look like when they are re-unified into one gargantuan final form.
void sheet 1
void sheet 2
void sheet 3
void sheet 4
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Orion Dyson-Smith
I really like Grubbus and also the final form and it took me a while to figure out why i like them better than the middle two pages of void beast. This is probably just a really personal take but the elongated grin and elongated eyes combo didnt seem as scary as the no-eyes (Grubbus left) or the final form (round eyes). I think its because the elongated eyes and mouth looked more like a Halloween mask than a real creature. It pushed the creature from a tangible fantasy setting into caricature. Consider how an anglerfish in real world is more creepy with the round blank eyes. I think the overall ideas are solid - insectoid, deep sea, tattered cloth, displacer beast versions, but that particular face seemed a little too cartoony. Admittedly if it was big and depicted with high contrast it might seem scarier :) On the middle two pages of void beasts I do like the way the hands are worked. They have a lot of creepy flexibility, narrative-wise - vines claws branches. One-off idea: A way to get away from "too close to displacer beast" would be to have this void beast walk upright, humanoid-style, still six arms and able to warp light to appear in different places - a very cool ability if this beast needed to get something done in a city or human settlement. Also it would be cool if the void beasts' appearance reflected their environment - is it another plane - one of darkness, or rather a swamp or city in the world? That's one reason I like Grubbus better - it has clothing so it's coming out of a dark alley in a city - more sinister to me. Cool to see your work!
Reply
Wiktor Budzinski
I think that ideation is one of my weak points, I usually end up drawing my first or second sketch, so I am glad this assignment forced me to work some more on it 🙂 I managed to finish only two pages for now, as I am rather slow with drawing. I will continue to work on it, but I am posting it now in case I will not have enough time in the next few days 😅 I will add some more sheets when I will finish them. Also, maybe someone will have some critique which will help me with my next pages 🤞 While working on these pages I have written a short blurb for the concept: Every year the harvest spirits gather under the full moon to celebrate a harvest festival. But what happens when the family of spirits discovers an old spell letting them possess all living things? Yep, you guessed it! It’s a full-blown pumpkin infestation! 🎃🎃🎃 Hope you like it!
8118EA23 76C9 4733 9AF1 8FF4E5DCE9F4
1DA20D13 30BE 4BD2 AC8D 009AEC523BCD
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Orion Dyson-Smith
the cow and pig are amazing and unexpected. My opinion - iterate off of these. The cow with the shovel -that's so creepy and narrative-wise would be a tough foe. i dont think you need the pumpkin at all in the cow image - the possession could be done by the vines only. Similarly, the pig having vines come out of its eyes - that's great! rotting pumpkin on the pigs back i think is optional. jackolanterns are already a trope anyway - maybe you don't need them. "farm animals" itself would be a familiar access point for the reader. I love the clear linework- it's a good influence for me.
Reply
Sonja Müller
As promised I did some more variations of the Army of Gobbling Apples. I wanted to post it as reply of my first post, but I am not able to find it. I also can't remember if I posted it under assignments or comments. Is there one place where we can see all the comments related to this course? Anyways sorry for double posting, I include the old ones, so everything is together. Also I will continue brainstorming about the Cute Eye Monster until the next lesson. Looking forward to the upcoming episode :D
cute eye monster
army of gobbling apples
apple3
apple4
apple5
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Orion Dyson-Smith
fun but creepy! "peeled skin as tentacle" and "worms as eyes" are some of the coolest ideas. "peeled skin as tentacle" doesnt necessarily have to be huge - several normal sized apples able to lash or wrap a human with their peels would be formidable. WHat if the "peeled skin" ones had to actually peel their own skin with an apple peeler? I also like the apples hiding under the basket and the ones who are going to coat the humans in liquid sugar as revenge! Kind of a related, they could be labeling jars for future use with the label "Humansauce." On the "silhouette apple army" exploration, I think the ones without eyes, just mouths are creepier. Other apples could have eyes and mouths but these are the dumber mindless pirhana cousins of the main apples. I like the idea of keeping the "army" in a basket at first to pile up then they pour out. I dont think you need any huge apples. Just a bunch of clever regular sized ones.
Reply
Ted Kalamov
Hey everyone, here’s my ideation sheet. The character/creature is a mix between Legume(s) and 1920’s Gangster, called The Mean Bean. Any feedback would be appreciated!
B517073D F296 4E4B AE5D AB626074C4B6
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Orion Dyson-Smith
Cool! I like the setting and variety of character you're getting. The lentils-dudes are more creepy (like monstrous-creepy) because they don't have faces and maybe because they could smother or engulf their enemy. The vertical peas in a pod in a suit is brilliant and is a good example of the overall tone - humorous but dark. The man and woman gangsters attached to each other is nice too. Mob in a can is another humorous but dark element - it could start off as absurd (Mob gets delivered to an alley and can is opened by a different Mean Bean) then to slapstick (Mob seems inept, has trouble shuffling around) then scary (Can tips over and Mob pours out, filling alleyway). Who could their enemies be - carrots? I like the idea of bullets being made from whoever their dead enemies are, little carrot chunks, for example.
Reply
Nate
Asked for help
Here are several pages of a variation on the Harvest Man Theme - The Blighted Ones - Spud people who are infected by a terrible sickness or combatting it. Apologies for the sloppy handwriting!
spud blight 3
spud blight 1
spud blight 2
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Orion Dyson-Smith
I love how you drilled in on a single type (potato) and have a different angle (this disease is happening to them). The shape variety is awesome. I agree with Ted, the fey or fairy ones are creepy - I especially like the darker charcoal like handling of the fey blighted potato on the far right in the middle image. On the left image near the top where you have the Blighted one with the cartoony face and it says "No" - I laughed out loud. Just having that face on the potato was so funny that I thought you could still use it - like its a stick-on (Mr Potato Head style) that the Blighted one would tear off - some of the Blighted ones have eye holes like peg holes. One thing that's missing is scale - I don't know for sure if these are potato-sized or human sized. Great stuff!
Reply
Graciela Hinojosa
This was great! The subject was kinda tricky to me because the, let's say, popular harvest elements, is something I only have seen in movies and games. That season is different in my country, and the word "harvest" evokes something different than pumpkins, scarecrows and cold weather; is more like sweet bread, hard work, family reunions, oranges, tangerines, and the Día de Muertos (the Day of the Dead). So I tried my best to mix and match what I've seen in pop culture and what I've experience.
Part 1  ideation
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Orion Dyson-Smith
Love the variety - how each one is pulling in some different element from the town or environment. One of my favorite things about these is the deceptive elements - the weeping maiden with a beast lurking under her, holy to horror, the sack of fruit with arms, and of course no one suspects the orange! The "dual" nature of these particular ones has an automatic narrative element - I can easily see how they would create a twist or increase tension in a story. And if these monsters were the protagonists, but they're having to use their deceptive ability, that's even more interesting. Just a little thought experiment, (no need to respond) if these were the heroes of the story, what kind of creature would be a suitable villain?
Reply
afewbadgers
I’d first like to say I’m a huge fan of your work! I started out with the idea of a rotting food/garbage sort of creature and eventually found myself really liking the idea of chunks of earth being carried around by roots. While I did my initial “note” drawings small I found myself getting carried away with the idea! This has been a really fun creative exercise, and I can see where this concept stage of your workflow can help lead ultimately to a better idea through the process of elimination, or “kit-bashing” in a sense. I’m looking forward to future lessons!
D7FE6B3B C9D8 45A1 A4F7 0495B30A0E10
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Orion Dyson-Smith
nice! I like the huge scale - the windmill is a nice touch to show this. Could one of them be wearing houses as shoes? hahaha. I like how there could be Earth Spawns that look different based on the plants or structures on their "heads". In the upper left, the tall grasses with the birds or bugs circling the grasses - this is a cool touch and bases the monster even more in the real world - they're like carrying around an ecosystem. Could there be a lake or pond one - he's like the sumo of the group. The vine as whip is good and also them picking up found tools. Cool stuff!
Reply
Tim Dosé
I have two kids and have been juggling all the stuff you mention for years. Here's something I wrote on Facebook for a friend of mine a few months ago. She has a baby and asked if I had any tips on how work drawing and painting around her family and other commitments. Maybe it will be helpful to you as well. ----------------------------------------------------------------- My biggest advice is to set your goals really, really, really small to begin. Like, way smaller than you think is reasonable. Also, you can take advantage of a psychological thing where the hardest part is usually starting something. You can combine these in really effective ways. When Charlie was little he was a really tough baby, and there was very little time or sleep. My goal then was to open up my sketchbook and make one line every day. That's it! Most days I would think "well shit, I've got my sketchbook open already, I might as well draw a little more". But some days I said "nope—my goal is 1 line and I did it, now I'm going to take a nap!". (and of course, some days I would just be too tired to even make that one line). Eventually I was doing that consistently enough to raise the goal to just a face or a hand or something. But if I found myself skipping too much I'd lower the goal back down. On a related note, I'd recommend killing whatever notion you have of how much time is "worth it" for art. I used to think it wasn't worth painting if I couldn't get 2 or 3 hours of uninterrupted time to work. As you well know, 2-3 hours of uninterrupted time is basically nonexistent with a family. So, 5-10 minutes of painting is better than 0 minutes. Find ways to be OK with less. You may need to simplify your subjects along with this, so you can actually finish some smaller pieces. It's not a good time to work on your life's masterpiece. Another piece of advice related to that is to put in a little work optimizing setup and cleanup, with more emphasis on optimizing setup. If you're in a world where you might have 15 minutes tops, you can't afford to have all of that 15 minutes be setup time. Eliminate your excuses and make it as easy to start as possible. Can you leave a small easel out somewhere, with the palette ready to go? Can you leave the sketchbook out and open with a pencil on top? Can you set things up somewhere that you'll see or have to walk past regularly, rather than tucked away in the spot you never go to? Keep all that in mind for cleanup as well—leave it ready to go for next time. Also—are there things you can change or compromise on to make setup/cleanup time faster? If you really want to paint, is there a way you can paint digitally and be happy? Or could you switch to pastels? Or just stick to black and white? Last piece of advice—get creative in finding the "cracks" of time you have and how you can fit art into them. For example, in pre-COVID times I got a lot of art done on my train ride into the city. I also used to be the first one up and could often cram in 5-10 minutes. I also found lots of little skill-building exercises that I could do in the margins of my notebook in meetings at work, or waiting for something to load on my computer. These were mostly little mindless, rote exercises, but at least I could feel like I was progressing on something art related. Anyway, hope this helps! I love talking about this stuff. And if you start doing any of this, I'd be interested in seeing literally anything you work on—even if it's just a single line! I think there's something valuable about having some community for this type of thing. ----------------------------------------------------------------- That last paragraph was written for my friend, but I would also love to see anything you work on as well! I do think it's really important to have some community for stuff like this, and this seems like a good place for that!
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Orion Dyson-Smith
Tim Dose's comments are spot-on. If I could just add a few examples to his great points. 1. Really small goals. I like "drawing a single line" for the day. Two things to add in during that brief time - relax your hand, and tell yourself "this is enough for right now". After grumbling for years I remember when I just sat for a few minutes on a Saturday morning and tried to draw the little whisps of steam coming up from my coffee cup - it felt great. If you have a tendency to be harsh and self-critical, you don't want to allow that harshness to come in during that short time. Your minutes of art time can be relaxing, peaceful, and patient - like you're laying one stone of a future foundation. 2. Amount of time that is "worth it" - I had the wrong mindset for years after the birth of my daughter. I would think "well, if I can't do a block of 3 hours oil painting, might as well not even try." Not doing anything gradually made me anxious and bitter. I finally after years accepted that I was not going to have blocks of time. So I changed media - from oils to drawing and watercolor. Watercolor especially helped me have an outlet - only short blocks of time were needed; the pieces get worse if you overwork them, anyway. So, like Tim said, allow the media to be flexible. 3. Setup - great advice. If you can leave something out to work on, you are much more likely to actually work on it. When your baby is young, maybe a heavy easel could be in the living room, something they can't reach or climb up on (for a few years). And clean up, as Tim said, may be a factor depending on your medium. For me, watercolors had minimal brush cleaning time compared to oils. 4. Get creative in finding those "cracks" of time. Definitely. Making your art part of the family I found helpful - drawing the baby while it sleeps or your partner while they do bedtime routine. I would also suggest be on the lookout for time wasting. Lack of sleep will be a problem for a while and I know when I go short on sleep, I tend to waste more time, endlessly scrolling news or social media because I didn't feel sharp enough to tackle a real art project. For me, being tired and spending time on devices can become a self-defeating mindstate where the self-talk is "failure". 5. In a Draftsmen episode a while ago, Marshall made a point that "most of art school is training your brain how to see and how to think." This has helped me unclench from the mindset of "trying to make a body of work." By all means a body of work and selling it is a great goal, but don't let doubt creep in if you only have time to sketch - it is not worthless. Congratulations on your baby and I look forward to seeing your work!
Reply
Orion Dyson-Smith
I appreciated in Scott's Shapecarving video where he shared his view of communicating with the audience with silhouette - essentially using shape to "tell" as much as possible. I always like great shape and composition in others people's works, but on my own I tend to rely too much on shading so I'm excited to try some new things.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Serena Marenco
I'd put a bit of reflected light under the jaw and to better define the planes of the cheek which remains in shadow, maybe try to make the texture of the skin and maybe a bit of volume to the hair. Either way it might be fine if you leave it like that, like a sketch.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Orion Dyson-Smith
Absolutely reflected light under the left jawline and neck (subject's right) that's a great point! Also this looks excellent already btw. I think it needs just a hint of shoulder or shirt form to finish it. You could try a single weighted line contour down the shirt collar and the top of the shoulder. This would be similar to what you already have going on the right side of the image. Since the face is so dark, to make a contour line look intentional it might need to be darker, and consider a wider shoulder line unless his shoulder is tilted away from us. From that shoulder contour line I would pull away from the shirt with a digital smudge - the way you handle the wispiness of hair around the ears. Pulling the smudge away from the shirt implies "shirt is white" and "behind the shoulder is farther away" and I think that's all you really need. I attached a portrait I drew to just illustrate the weighted contour line idea. I can't say for sure that this is the best solution, but it worked for me for this portrait.
healthcare workers Liu Fan
Reply