Sunday, March 27, 2016

Recent work and ramblings

It's easy to say, from an academic standpoint, that illustrative artwork needs to be more than just a picture, and that it needs to depict a clear story for the viewer to become immersed in. It's another to really develop a painting into a scene that immerses the viewer in the world you pictured from the beginning.

Lately I've found myself experimenting with different environments to push the narrative a bit further. I found that every painting brings me a bit closer to that illustrative feel that I've been aiming for, and the tiniest bits of information I acquire along the way really start to add up. That's not to say that there haven't been some terrible paintings that will never see the light of day, but I no longer feel that overall level of dread with the arrival of that ugly stage.

The ugly stage is nothing to be feared. It is an inevitable part of a painting that signals progress. It will always pass.

Here are a few of the pieces I feel showcase my own personal achievement in the past few months. The pieces that didn't fall behind after reaching that ugly stage, and went on to become personal favorites. They may not be the best work, or the strongest individually, but they represent points in my own path forward that stand out to me.

Canyon Crawler
Oil on panel

Ocean Charm
Oil on panel

Murk Prowler
Oil on panel

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays!

It's almost Christmas so I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hopefully 2015 will go smoothly for everyone.

On an art related note, I took a short break from the usual sci-fi and fantasy work to finish up these two paintings. The Statue was part of a commission, while the portrait was a little experiment in a gouache method that I would like to keep experimenting with. It was certainly different than oils, and I had to keep in mind the gouaches particular habits that oils don't have. Particularly the part where they re-activate and lift off the board, and how the paint dries different than it looks while wet. In the future it was recommended that I try to use the paint more transparent to preserve the under-drawing, which helps to keep the character and painting structure better. I think that is some advice I will take to heart as I move forward with the next.

Harrison Ford
12" x 16"
Gouache on Illustration Board

Statue of Liberty
18" x 24"
Oil on Canvas

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What next?

Now that I've finished my most recent work, I enter the next stage of the process: settling on one idea for the next portfolio piece.

oil on illustration board

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Alien Companion - IMC Assignment

After having a little time to finish up the painting, I finally got a quick low quality photo of my IMC assignment more or less finished. I chose the Alien Companion assignment, and decided to use the workshop as a chance to experiment with a more dynamic style of painting than I usually do. I am fairly pleased with the end result, and I look forward to moving forward with what I learned.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

IMC 2014

Even though it ended Sunday, the Illustration Master Class is still fresh in my mind. The IMC took place in Amherst MA at the Amherst College, on a beautiful campus with plenty of space for everyone to start their projects. Being surrounded by so many incredible artists all hard at work for a week straight was something I've never experienced, and the energy really brought me back into the art world in a good way. It is hard finding motivation some days when my ideas feel stale and the work doesn't go as smoothly as I'd like...but seeing how many other people go through the same process and how they find solutions gave me a few new tricks. Just seeing how everyone approached their own individual interpretations of the same few projects was fun, but once people got into the work I found that it motivated me to keep up with my own painting.

Another great thing was being able to interact with everyone in person, when normally everyone is just another name on the computer screen. I'm grateful for everyone's input during the project, and the feedback I got from several of the art directors attending the event. And assuming I find the time/money next year, I would definitely do it again.

I plan to upload my final painting after a few more touch-ups sometime in the next few days, but for now here are a few quick photos I took during the event.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Toned paper studies

More drawings done in my new tone sketch book. While I may not enjoy the quality of the paper itself, the book has still be an amazing find and I don't regret buying it one bit. The real trick is finding colored pencils that work well with the papers texture and don't just smear lines in since precision can be very important with those key highlights....