Blog facelift and new sticker packs

November 6th, 2015

After years of looking more or less the same (and following some antiquated web design guidelines from when screen resolution averaged 1024x768px), I finally gave the blog a bit of a facelift. The changes are not massive: some extra width and bigger fonts, as expected with age, and an updated header that was drawn this decade.

I also added a button for Up to Four Players, the webcomics I illustrate that has been online for almost a year and yet had no links from my own blog. Nice.

This isn’t very exciting news on its own, so here are a few recent sticker packs I’ve done for Viber, to make for a worthwhile post. Anyone following my work for Viber probably knows my Freddie and Friends characters, but occasionally I get to come up with new ones, so here are three of those; and the fourth pack is for one of our Public Chat partners (my favourite one), 2Forks.

Becky Viber Pack   May Viber Pack

Jade Viber Pack   2Forks Viber Pack

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Inktober 2015

November 2nd, 2015

October ended a couple of days ago, so now I can safely – and astonishingly – say that I’ve done all 31 days of the Inktober challenge.

Inktober is a cool initiative by one Jake Parker, which challenges artists to do one ink drawing a day throughout October. Why? I’m not entirely sure. But as I often struggle to find the drive to draw outside of work, or other art-related structures, I like taking on these kinds of challenges: they encourage me to draw where I would otherwise slack off, and they’re not too restrictive or demanding that it becomes a chore rather than a fun “extra-curricular” activity.

I first tried the Inktober thing last year, with a bit over 50% success rate. This year, in addition to attempting the whole 31 days, I challenged myself further and decided to use nothing but ink; even the preliminary sketches were done with a ballpoint pen. As someone who likes to play it very safe – both in art and in real life – it was not an easy task, but I’m happy I stuck with it. Interestingly, on one hand it made me plan ahead more and think before even the faintest of lines, and on the other it pushed me to be bolder, accept mishaps and find a way to work them into the piece.

Here are some sketches that that I particularly like, and you can see the rest on my Facebook page. Which one is your favourite?

Inktober 02: Dinner Inktober 05: Mad Moxxi Inktober 24: Bite Inktober 30: Gus the Entrailtainer Inktober 19: Audience-Participation Pony
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Summer Art Dump

August 23rd, 2015

Oh, it’s been ridiculously long since I last posted, hasn’t it. With a full-time illustration job and a weekly webcomics I hardly have any creative juices left for extracurricular doodling, and when something does finally let itself out onto the canvas, I usually rush and post it on Facebook or Twitter for the immediate gratification of audience feedback.

Some things have accumulated, though.

Commissioned Work

My good friend wanted to surpise her roommate with an original Kyrandia-themed poster (one of her favourite games) for her birthday. How could I say no to that? Do you know how little Kyrandia fan art there is online? Well, now there’s a little bit more.
Kyrandia poster - work in progress Kyrandia poster

I was approached by an Israeli publisher who’s translating The Dresden Files series to Hebrew, and wanted my illustrated Dresden on the cover. It took a while to get me on board (so busy, no time, what stress etc), but I’m a big Dresden Files fan, and have already done some character designs a while back that the publisher liked, so now Hebrew Dresden has my art on the cover!
Dresden cover - sketch Dresden cover

My new obsession in the realm of content conusmption during work is the actual play podcast One Shot. Actual Play podcasts are recordings of tabletop roleplaying game sessions, and the group in charge of this one is full of improvisational comedians who make every episode an absolute joy to listen to. They try different roleplaying systems and settings every month, so you also get to learn about new games and get a glimpse of how they work before trying them yourself. Their other podcast, Campaign, is a single ongoing game set in the Star Wars universe and played in the really cool system Age of the Empire. I’m not a Star Wars fan, but I adore this story and the characters in it. So much so that I couldn’t help but do some fanart for one of the episodes, which happily led to also being commissioned to draw a T-shirt design for their Patreon’s T-shirt club.
One Shot fan art
One Shot T-shirt Design sketches One Shot T-shirt Design

Doodles

Whenever I feel like doodling something but have no place to start, Sketch Dailies is still my go-to place: if the daily topic tickles my artistic fancy, it’s a great trigger to get sketching.
Sketch Dailies: King Arthur Sketch Dailies: Heman Sketch Dailies: Wonder Wombat

There’s also an Israeli group on Facebook that serves the same function, but focuses on hand-drawn sketches, with a time limit of 30 minutes. Awesome for getting back to classic media sketching and practising quick execution of ideas.
Daily Sketch - Binoculars Daily Sketch - A Gentleman

And when all else fails, one can always resort to a quick fanart or a bunch of random face doodles. Or, uh, an illustrated daily food diary (lovely idea by a Twitter friend, but unfortunately I lost interest after just one (albeit yummy) Sunday).
Attack on Titan Food Diary
Face doodles

The usuals

I’ve also been doing some fun new stuff at my day job. After drawing my “Freddie and Friends” characters almost exclusively since I started working with Viber, I recently designed a few new characters, slightly less furry this time. I love my foxes and panthers, but it’s cool to shake things up and do something a bit different.
Viber sticker pack - Summer Girls

And if you’re into webcomics, gaming or general geeky stuff, I hope you’re following Eran’s and my webcomics, Up to Four Players. Here’s an exclusive peak at the sketchy phase of one of our recent strips. See the final here (is that considered clickbait?..).
Up to Four Players #32 - Mana Burn sketch

That’s it for now! Hopefully next time will be before 2016…
Aviv

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Watch list – March

March 28th, 2015

Between drawing stickers for Viber and drawing strips for Up to Four Players, most of what I do in my free time (and sometimes in the background while doing the stuff in the beginning of the sentence) is watch TV. This week I made an effort and drew some of the things I watch.

I did it once before, and that post included a paragraph (in Hebrew) about every show, but this time – instead of admitting to just being too lazy to do it – I decided to make it into a game: see how many shows you can identify! Which ones do you watch? Are there any you feel were terribly overlooked? (Just to clarify: the drawing doesn’t include all of the TV shows I watch; there are several others that are even worse than these!)

TV Watch list - March

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Up to 4 Players – my new webcomics!

January 18th, 2015

I’ve mentioned it briefly before, and now it’s up: Eran Aviram and my new webcomics, Up to 4 Players.

Up to 4 Players

You can read the first three strips here: www.uptofourplayers.com

and for our Israeli readers, we have a Hebrew version: www.uptofourplayers.co.il

Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter to get updates, and I will greatly appreciate any comments, Likes, Retweets, Shares and any other buzzword that will help spread the word, because in addition to the satisfaction of creating new content, knowing there’s an audience to consume it gives us loads of motivation.

Let’s hope this is the beginning of a long, wonderful and funny journey.

Aviv

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See ya 2014, Hiya 2015

January 4th, 2015

Ah, New Year’s Eve. That magical time of the year when I remember I have a blog, and it might be a good idea to update it every once in a while, even if it does take more effort than just throwing images on my Facebook Page (which I recommend following for more frequent – if less verbose – updates).

Lots of things happened in 2014, but everything also stayed the same. Like every year. I started a job, left a job, started a new one; made new friends, drank new beers, made cupcakes; we got used to our flat, found a new one, learned to despise one specific UK gas and electricity supplier; got married. Same as always.

And like always, work and every-day life tried to steal away my time and energy, but occasionally I showed ’em and managed to draw something, and this year several “support” groups helped.

I’ve mentioned Sketch Dailies before, and here are a few more drawings this group pulled out of me in recent months:

Sketch Dailies 15/07: Frau Holda Sketch Dailies 29/08: Dr. Strange

Sketch Dailies 13/09: Poison Ivy Sketch Dailies 15/12: Loki

The Israeli Daily Speed Sketch group lets its members pick from three different subjects (or combine them) every day, but the twist is that you have a time limit of 30 minutes, and must draw on actual paper, like in the days of yore. It’s a cool challenge, and even if you don’t read Hebrew it’s nice to see some of the interpretations – and try to work out what the daily subjects are. I haven’t been very good with keeping up and had to scroll way back to find these three sketches of mine from the group’s page…which, curiously, all feature birds.

Daily Speed Sketch: Artistic Gryphon Daily Speed Sketch: Wagtail School

Daily Speed Sketch: Drunk Turkey

But what made me draw on paper most – and even get a new set of inking pens – was INKtober, a whole month (guess which) where you draw a small piece every day, using only inks. The only prize is feeling part of an internet-wide art project and flexing those inking muscles; and it’s apparently enough, because people created some gorgeous stuff, some of which can be found in INKtober’s Facebook Page. With superhuman efforts, I managed to ink about half the days of the month, and you can see the results in a dedicated album on my Facebook Page. Here’s a small selection:

Inktober 31: Nosferatu Inktober 2: Lizard Inktober 05: Bard Inktober 09: Fairy market Inktober 11: Moustache comb Inktober 12: Gravedigger

Not sure if I mentioned on the English version of the blog, but good friends of mine are running an Israeli podcast about roleplaying games (“On the Shoulders of Dwarves” for you Hebrew speakers), and they recently ran a very successful crowd funding campaign. I donated two character portraits based on supporters’ descriptions, and here are the results, Connie and “Gentle” Gorthang:

Connie - character portrait Gorthang- character portrait

Teaser!

One of the stretch goals of said campaign was for me and Eran Aviram, one of the podcast hosts, a good friend and long-time creative partner, to start a webcomics about gaming and gamers. It’s been brewing in the background for some time, and will go live in a couple of weeks. Here’s a small sneak preview:

Up to Four Players - Initial character sketches

The webcomics is called “Up to Four Players” and will be updated weekly in both Hebrew and English. More details coming very soon!

Have a wonderful and creative 2015, and here’s to updating more!

Aviv

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