Why You Should Do Creative Experimentation

ART – Why You Should Do Creative Experimentation

leanintoart-podcast-logo-v1I was listening to an episode of the Lean Into Art podcast the other day and co-host Jerzy Drozd said something that really got me thinking when it came to experimentation. I’m going to get to what he said in a moment.

It just so happens that I’ve been experimenting a bit.  Just playing around,  and checking out some possibilities.  Below is one such experiment.

It’s a little animation test I did, to test out what might be possible with my characters using my copy of Storyboard Pro:


I’m debating whether or not I should do a little animated something.  I’m not sure yet.

Anyway, let me get back to what Jerzy said…

Experimentation Lead To…

Anyway, as I was listening to an episode of Lean Into Art, Rob Stenzinger and Jerzy Drozd got into the topic of experimenting. Then Jerzy popped in with this little “formula” of sorts, as if he’d memorized it from somewhere, about experimentation.  It went like this:

“Experimentation leads to Practice, Practice leads to Evidence, Evidence leads to Opportunity.”

What he meant by this, if it seems odd to you, is simply this: When you experiment, you create and practice new things.  Often, you do these things so much that you begin getting good at them.

When you get good at stuff because you’ve practiced or messed around with the thing you’ve experimented with so much, it become evident you know your way around the subject.  It’s evidence that you have experience with what you experimented with.

This often leads people to ask you about the subject you seem to know so much about.  It opens up opportunities for people to, either ask you to do it for them, to teach others about the thing, or to find other useful reasons to do that thing.  It’s possible to find many opportunities to use the knowledge you gained from what you originally began experimenting with.

I thought Jerzy’s little formula made a lot of sense and I thought I’d share it.  It gives you a very concrete practical reason to experiment as much as possible.

I wish I could remember what episode of the podcast I was listening to, otherwise I’d link directly to it.  Perhaps it’s better that I don’t remember.  That way, you have an excuse to go listen to the Lean Into Art podcast and try to find the episode yourself.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve been given something to really think about after listening to the podcast.  Rob and Jerzy often come up with some amazing things during their discussions.

I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t already.

Lean Into Art

17 Great Family Board Games, Worth Owning, You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

BOARD GAMES – 17 Great Family Board Games, Worth Owning, You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

Tired after playing The Settlers of CatanNot all board games are for kids.  Nor are they all for adults or for families.  The problem is, if you know anything about board games, you’d know there’s hundreds of thousands to choose from. More than you see in major chain stores.

This make finding the right kind of game for the right group of players, difficult.

Jennifer Willits from The Catholic Next Door podcast was in this dilemma. She wanted to look for some family games that she could play with her 6 year old girl and older boys.  She decided to reach out and ask me because she knew I’m a big board game nerd.

I’m assuming she also thought I’d give suggestions beyond the kind of games you’d find at Target or Toys R Us. To this end, I made a list of the funnest, neatest games you can play as a family and include a six year old.

Except, perhaps, for the first three games on this list, you’d probably never heard of these games before. They’re all worth playing and owning.

Below each name I’ve included a board game review, by some board game nerds, so you can see what the games are like. I’ve also included the type of game category this might fall under in brackets. Also, the name and picture of each game is an affiliate link to amazon if you’re interested in getting it and would like to support me as well.  Thanks.

This list is not in any particular order. I wrote them down, mostly as they came to me.

So let’s get started…


  • Strategy game
  • 3-4 players
  • 90 Minutes




  • Strategy game
  • 2 – 5 Players
  • 30 to 45 Minutes



Ticket To Ride – Europe

  • Strategy game
  • 2 – 5 Players
  • 30 to 60 Minutes



Terror in Meeple City Board Game

  • Dexterity game
  • 2 – 4 Players
  • 45 Minutes


King of Tokyo

  • Dice game
  • 2 – 6 Players
  • 30 Minutes


Survive Escape From Atlantis

  • Strategy game
  • 2 – 4 Players
  • 60 Minutes


Forbidden Desert Board Game

  • Cooperative game
  • 2 – 5 Players
  • 45 Minutes


Forbidden Island

  • Cooperative game
  • 2 – 4 Players
  • 30 Minutes


Small World

  • Strategy game
  • 2 – 5 Players
  • 40 to 80 Minutes



Stone Age

  • Worker placement game
  • 2 – 4 Players
  • 60 to 90 Minutes



  • Trick taking game
  • 2 – 6 Players
  • 30 Minutes


Tales Of The Arabian Nights

  • Storytelling game
  • 1 – 6 Players
  • 120 Minutes


Can’t Stop

  • Dice game, push your luck game
  • 2 – 4 Players
  • 30 Minutes


Liar’s Dice

  • Dice game, bluffing game
  • 1 – 6 players
  • 15 minutes


Mice and Mystics

  • Cooperative game, fantasy adventure game
  • 1 – 4 Players
  • 120 Minutes



SORRY! Sliders

  • Dexterity game
  • 1 – 4 Players
  • 30 Minutes



Zombie Dice

  • Dice game, push your luck game
  • 2 – 99 Players
  • 10 Minutes

These games run the gamut of categories, from “dexterity games,” “dice games.” “worker placement,” to even “storytelling games.”
If you’re family isn’t into competing against each other Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert are cooperative games and so is Mice and Mystics. This means everyone versus the game.


The Power of Creating Model Sheet Turn Arounds

ART – The Power of Creating Model Sheet Turn Arounds

This week I’m sharing the model sheet turn around I just finished.  It took time so I didn’t get to work on a silly comic or anything fun like that.

The turn around is of my character Ariana who is an antagonist in the Draw Fu comic I’m working on.  Not having finished this one turn around has been the biggest reason why I haven’t gotten more work done on that project.

Now that it’s done, that project should really start moving forward.

Take a look at the drawings below and then I’ll go into why I think model sheet turn arounds like theses are very important if you’re making a personal project.

Ariana three quarter front

Ariana profile

Ariana front

Ariana back

Ariana three quarter back

Why Model Sheet Turn Arounds are Important

Over the years I’ve come to rely more and more on model sheets and turn arounds.  The reason why is because they take the guess work out of drawing the characters in your project.

If you don’t have one, you’re inventing the characters over and over as you go.  Sometimes that’s good but most times, not so much.

You end up using your previous drawings as model sheets anyway just to see what you did with your character in previous panels.  If you have a model sheet with a turn around to begin with, your character will also be much more consistent through out the process.

For me, the greatest benefit of having a good Model Sheet turn around, is being able to literally place the model sheet under my roughs of the character so I can quickly and easily get all the proportions down as fast as possible.

So if I have the character running, walking, jumping talking, etc, I rough out the pose I want them to be in, then I enlarge or reduce my model sheet to fit the size of my rough. I then put the model sheet under the rough drawing and start drawing the character “on model,” by comparing the model underneath to my rough and I make adjustments based on the pose.  I don’t copy the model sheet pose since it’s stiff and boring, but I get all the proportions where they should be.

And sometimes, depending on the pose and view point, I just straight up trace the body part straight off the model sheet.

I do this at work all the time with the Simpsons Characters.  It saves me a lot of measuring time so that I know I’ve drawn the character proportions right from the start so I can worry only about the composition and the acting.

Model sheet turn arounds speed up the process immensely.

They are the answer to the question, “How do I get my character to look consistent through out my project?” The answer is, create a Model sheet turn around, then reduce and enlarge it as needed to put under your drawings to make the most accurate version of your characters.

If you want to see a video version of this in action, become one of my patrons on Patreon. I’m going to be making a video for my patrons that explains the process of making your characters look consistent very soon.

Black Terror Kid Business Card Comic

MY WEB COMIC – Black Terror Kid Business Card Comic

I’ve been meaning to create a unique business card for a while now.  Specifically one with a comic in it.

I got the idea from Ryan Estrada.  He made one. I liked the idea so much I decided I was going to do one myself.

The “cover” is the first side, the interior is the comic itself, the back of the card has the punchline and my info.  I only posted the punchline since I didn’t think my info was necessary in this case.

This comic was done completely digital.   I tried to replicate the hand drawn feel of previous Black Terror Kid comics I’d made. I hope I’ve succeeded.

I drew it digitally mainly to speed  things up. It took me three days create this from start to finish, working, mostly, eight hours each day.

Black Terror Kid  Tent Card 01

Black Terror Kid Tent Card 02

Black Terror Kid Tent Card 03


If you want to see more of these kinds of comics and would even like a print ready jpeg or psd file of this comic, best way to get it is to support me on Patreon.

Be my patron and you can get this artwork and request more of these comics.  Believe me, I’d be happy to do more:




Want Me to Draw Your Portrait?

ART – Want Me to Draw Your Portrait?

get yoru portrait drawn


The portrait above is of one of my Silver Level Patrons over on Patreon.

Among other rewards, the patrons on Silver level get this:

Once a Month one Silver Patron or higher will be chosen and I will draw their portrait in black and white from shoulders on up, anyway they want: caricature, chibi style, anime, realistic portrait, Simpsonized. Pick a style and I’ll give it a shot. I will send you a high resolution print ready jpeg of the drawing and the PSD file as well.

Patrons are randomly chosen for this and I remove their name from the “hat” when I draw them.

As of the time of this writing I have 4 Silver Patrons and 1 Gold Patron.  If you become a Silver Patron now, you’re chances of getting your portrait drawn are REALLY good. There’s even one less person worry about.

Not only that, but once I’ve gone through all the Patrons, I’ll put everyone’s names back in the “hat” and draw them again.  I may end up drawing you multiple times in multiple styles.

Don’t miss out.  Act now:






I Downloaded Minecraft Pocket Edition on My Android and…

MY WEB COMIC – I Downloaded Minecraft Pocket Edition on My Android and…

My kids are into both Minecraft Pocket and Terreria.

Both of these games are what I would call, creative survival sandbox games. You’re placed in a world you have a lot of options to create and mess around with your environment. But the world is very dangerous so you have to make sure you can survive in order to keep playing.

The creative stuff didn’t really appeal to me.  I can do that just by drawing and making comics.  But the survival stuff looked like fun. It gave the creative stuff a useful purpose.

I hadn’t realized that’s what these games were about until I watched a video of a guy learning to play and dramatically trying to survive playing Minecraft Pocket edition.  It looked like fun so I decided to check it out myself.

This is how it went:

playing minecraft can be addicting


The game is VERY addictive.  I had a similar “one more turn,” kind of experience that I only get from playing Sid Meier Civilization games. At the same time, it’s as chaotic and open ended as a Rogue like game. And you know how I feel about those.

I found I can’t play the game any day I need to get work done or it won’t get anything done.

Here’s the video that I watched that got me interested:

If you want a high rez copy of the comic or even the psd file itself, become my patron on PATREON.  Click the link to find out more: https://www.patreon.com/LuisEscobar

Draw Over Videos

Art – Draw Over Videos

I’ve been doing a lot of drawing lately. None of which I simply post here.

Not because it’s work related but because I’ve making artwork for my next Draw Fu post. I can’t show that art until I’m done with the post.

Also, I’ve been doing a lot of “draw over” videos.  These videos were done for the winners of my Patreon giveaway last Month.

The winners could send me up to 3 drawings, and I would draw over their work, giving them tips and advice to improve them.

This took a lot of my drawing time away, so I wasn’t able to post any new drawings this week.

HOWEVER,  web cartoonist George Ward graciously allowed me to post them online.  They’re all over an hour long.  AND they’re only available to my patrons on Patreon.

Yeah, I know, that totally sucks, BUT they’re available to ALL patrons, at ANY level. Which means, if you pledge a buck, you can see the videos.

You’d also be supporting me and my work, which means more fun stuff for you.  So if you want access to these cool videos it’s as easy as becoming my patron.

Thank you so much for your support.


George Ward’s Draw Over Part 1 from Luis Escobar on Vimeo.

George Ward’s Draw Over Part 2 from Luis Escobar on Vimeo.

George Ward’s Draw Over Part 3 from Luis Escobar on Vimeo.

George Ward’s Draw Over Part 4 from Luis Escobar on Vimeo.


Took My Sons To See Avengers: Age of Ultron BUT…

MY WEB COMIC – Took My Sons To See Avengers: Age of Ultron BUT…

My wife and I couldn’t find baby sitting to go see Avengers: Age of Ultron together. We decided instead to go separately and decided that it would be fun to take some of our kids with us.

I decided to take my oldest boys…

Watching Age of Ultron


My wife went with my daughter and they both really liked the movie.

If you want a high rez copy of the comic or even the psd file itself, become my patron on PATREON.  Click the link to find out more: https://www.patreon.com/LuisEscobar


So I Totally Forgot To Pick Up My Kids From Class And…

MY WEB COMIC – So I Totally Forgot To Pick Up My Kids From Class And…

Okay, so this happened…

Getting the kids_001


Getting the kids_002



The stomping didn’t really happen, nor did he say all those mean things, but this is what it felt like.

Getting the kids_003

This was the first comic I’ve ever done started and completed using Manga Studio EX 5.

I’m very happy with the way it all worked out. Very handy program.

If you want a high rez copy of the comic or even the psd file itself, become my patron on PATREON.  Click the link to find out more: https://www.patreon.com/LuisEscobar

Color Experimentation – Triad Color Scheme

ART – Color Experimentation – Triad Color Scheme

Black Adam vs Namor

The last drawing I colored, I used a Tetrad Color Scheme, which is fancy way of saying I limited myself to only using four colors.

This time around I limited myself to three, which is called a Triad Color Scheme.

The colors I used were these:

Triad Color Palette

I got these handy scheme at http://colorschemedesigner.com

My Big Take Away

There was one big thing that I learned this time around. I guess I should have known this but I just hadn’t put two and two together.

What I learned was, you can use more colors than the limited palette you give yourself.

If this is confusing, let me explain.

Yes, your only using a limited palette.  They are your  main colors, BUT when mixing them to create darker versions, or lighter version of the colors, it’s okay to use other colors to lighten and darken them up.

You’re still using the limited palette, but those colors will pop more if you mix them up with complimentary colors, or lighten them up with yellows and such.

You can make these color obvious or not, but it’s okay to use them.  The colors will come out richer that way.

I didn’t learn this until I was very far into the coloring process so I didn’t use it nearly enough.  Still, now I know better. Next time I color a drawing, I’ll make full use of this info.

And now for something completely different….


I forgot to announce this on my blog last week but I’m now officially on Patreon!

What is Patreon? Glad you asked. I think the best way to explain it is via this video. It does a good job giving you the rundown:

support Luis Escobar Patreon drawing made funYou can get high resolution, print ready jpegs of my art, full PSD versions of it and much more…go on over to my Patreon campaign and support me.

I’ve got a ton a great rewards and your also helping me produce more of this stuff.

I appreciate your support.  Thanks in advance.