New Work: Pointless Quest Posted on 26 May 2013
This image is based on one of last month's daily sketches that I'd wanted to revisit as a final image. I was thinking of Magic: the Gathering card illustrations with this layout - a horizontal image that's moderately detailled, but still readable on a tiny (2") scale.
Check out the full view in the gallery.
(The pencil & white charcoal sketch.)It's also an experiment with pushing the rendering further at the pencil stage of a piece (darker darks! lighter lights! and plenty of smudgy blending!) - and, as I suspected, the end result is a bit more polished, and much more in line with the finished look I'm always aiming for. I'll definitely be continuing along this path (and seeing how much further I can take it) for future pieces.
New Work: The Turnip Keeper's Lantern Posted on 20 May 2013
I've always wanted to illustrate the folktale behind the modern tradition of the jack-o-lantern - the story of a drunken sinner who, through trickery, extracts a promise from the devil never to claim his soul and is subsequently forced to wander the earth with a carved turnip containing an ember from the fires of hell to light his lonely way.
(The pencil & white charcoal sketch.)
Some Daily Sketches Posted on 20 Apr 2013
I tend to overwork personal pieces - setting myself up for failure by choosing an enormous canvas ("Oh, this will look fantastic on the wall in case I ever slip through a wormhole in space and time and land in an alternate reality where I'm a gallery artist!"), overthinking reference materials, and spending waaaay too much time rendering things that require very little rendering.
To that end, I've challenged myself to make some daily drawings whenever I get a few minutes free in my work schedule. The only rules:
New Work: The Fold Posted on 09 Apr 2013
A new piece is up, featuring sheep hats, a juice box, and lots and lots of stairs. Check out the full view in the gallery; details and some reference photo hilarity below.
As you can see, this is another pencil drawing on toned paper, colored digitally. It's a bit of a shift from my usual process, though, as I took the paper stage a bit further with colored pencils before scanning and finishing it out in Photoshop. Due to the size of the piece (16x20 - a bit larger than I usually work) I confined the colored pencil rendering to the characters, and left the background and lesser elements in graphite.
Since this didn't call for a huge range of colors, I put away most of the set and used dark green, peach, and red (not entirely coincidentally, these are some of the few Prismacolor shades that are actually lightfast).
The end result photographs badly (read: I am a bad photographer) but is actually a nice subtle effect, with the soft stippled tone that colored pencils produce. I'm planning to try a fully-colored pencil drawing on a smaller piece in the near future.
In my last blog post, John asked if I use reference photos in my work. Short answer: yes. A lot of my older work (the pieces with the more cartoony style and the ping-pong ball eyes) were generally done without reference, and suffered for it. I've been taking reference photos for most of my newer work, particularly since I've been using so many potentially disastrous low-angle views. They're a huge help in putting characters in the correct (or at least, closer to correct) perspective to their environment. Since in my neck of the woods the only model I have available is myself, and since I'm working with a rather limited photo studio/laundry room, this involves a lot of jumping on and off of the washing machine to set my camera's timer.
My photography skills and modeling ability are, at least, equally matched.