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Marie Antoinette Halloween

February 13, 2011

Playing around with Painter! These started out with just a minimal graphite sketch.

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Red and Ohmbrett the goat

December 6, 2010

Ballpoint pen on watercolor paper

The beginning stages

September 16, 2010

Just about every Illustration I course in this country teaches the same basic principles: Start off with an idea. Sketch out possibilities for that idea. Refine those possibilities. Pick the best of your refined possibilities and take it to a final stage.

With those guidelines in place the student is still left with a great deal of unanswered questions. What about technique? Media? Composition? How do you know when it’s good enough? What makes it good enough?
Most Professors start these students out with certain criteria for each project. Start with this subject. Use black and white. Use color. Use this medium. Sketch on this kind of paper. Try this. Find out what you like.

So it happens that I’m doing a TA for an Illustration I class this semester, and in the beginning stages of these assignments all the students draw on tracing paper, using it to sketch out their compositions and refine their drawings. During undergrad I was taught something similar, using the tracing paper to transfer my sketches before finishing the final product. It didn’t take me too long to realize that every time I transfered my work something always seemed missing. So I took a step back and changed the way I approached my artwork.

I no longer use tracing paper to transfer.

Now it seems every time I show people my methods they usually poke fun and ask why I’d prefer ‘doing extra work’ rather than just using tracing paper, and I know this sounds odd, but somehow for me doing the extra work is easier then going to shorter route. So this got me thinking about how each individual artist approaches the beginning stages of their work, and how I approach mine. I’ll be using some examples from two pieces that I’m currently working on.

After I have an idea I always start with thumbnails. (fig. 1) Once I’ve sketched out a few I’ll usually draw them larger and work out more of the composition details. (fig. 2)

If the image involve figures, which more often then not it does, I’ll take reference shots and just sketch. I’ll sketch the same figure multiple times to get them to my liking.

After sketching the figures, in lieu of simply transferring them with tracing paper, I’ll re-draw the entire image. After sketching them numerous times I have a better understanding of the image and it usually comes out far better than if I were to simply transfer it.

Drawgasmic

September 9, 2010

This summer I was invited to participate in this fun event.  Artists from all over the world send in prints of their work for a one night show, and all of the work is then compiled into an art book. (which will soon be available for sale!)

For those who are interested my (signed!) print is still up for sale. You can click the image below to be taken to the Drawgasmic website.

Alyss Heart

September 8, 2010

I love reading books. I have a giant mental list of books I want to read, and the ‘Looking Glass Wars’ trilogy  by Frank Beddor has been on that list for a while. So this summer I finally got around to borrowing the first two books, ‘The Looking Glass Wars’ and ‘Seeing Redd’, from the library and I immediately wanted to do some related artwork.

Preliminary Alyss Sketch

While reading I always imagined Alyss wearing sort of Steampunk inspired clothing.  I think it  fits the Wonderland atmosphere in the books, which is at times Victorian and futuristic. (Steampunk is a fashion style inspired by Victorian era garments but with a modern sci-fi edge)  And since the ‘Alyss’ in the books is based on Alice Liddell I decided to draw her using reference of the actual Alice Liddell.

Right now I’m playing around with this one in Painter, and I have a few more planned so I’m sure this won’t be the last time The Looking Glass Wars shows up on here.

Wendy in Neverland

August 31, 2010

I started this piece a little while back, and just recently rediscovered and finished it.

Peter Pan, to this day, is still the saddest book I’ve ever read.  I think Peter is probably the fictional character I can identify with the most, so it makes the book more difficult to read, especially toward the end.  I still don’t understand why Wendy choose to leave Neverland, but then again I’ve never been a Wendy.

Ballpoint pen on cold press watercolor paper

It’s that time again…

August 30, 2010

…time to bust out my amazing magenta curtains.

Tomorrow I’ll be kicking off the first day back to campus, moving into my brand new studio space, getting my id, parking permit and all that other fun stuff.  To get back into the school spirit I’m sharing a video I took at the end of last semester right before clearing out my old studio space.

By the way, I’m still tweaking a few things on this blog, but for the most part it’s up and running!