Monday, November 19, 2012

54: Painting in the Field

This post is dedicated to the first person to pull my head away from characters and force me to look around; my high school art teacher Debra Payne.  :]

I was very excited to return to Landscape Painting with instructor Neil Riley.  It already feels as though I've improved a lot since my last attempt at this class. I don't think painting will ever be my main mode of expression, but this course has certainly taught me to love it all the same.  Here's what I've produced since the beginning of the semester in roughly chronological order:

Underneath the Broad Street Bridge, about 2.5 hrs
O lord.  This bridge scene was the first time I had touched oils in probably a year.  

Studio interior, about 4hrs
Basement of my apartment complex, about 1.5 hrs
 These two interiors were meant to explore our perception of what a landscape is.  In the first one I definitely got carried away and ended up far from the point of the assignment, but I'm happy with how my focus on light temperature came out.  The second feels a little more landscape-y, but could be miles better.
Whetstone Park. About 2.5 hours
The streambed painting above is, I think, where I finally started to GET it.  Mr. Riley, challenged me to use only one or two brush strokes each time I put paint to board, and this exercise was definitely for the best.

Amanda, Katie, what are you doing, get out of here
Autumnal Highbanks Metro Park, 3hrs
Autumnal Highbanks Metro Park,  3 hrs
HIPSTER PAINTING at Highbanks Metro Park, about 2 hrs
You may be able to tell that Highbanks Metro Park was my favorite location.  After spending a couple years simply trying to replicate exactly what I see, I’m finally learning to instead exaggerate and amplify what my mind finds interesting about a landscape.  Through doing so, you end up with a piece that looks more real and tactile to the senses, more like what you remember seeing.  It’s very personal, and very rewarding.

Schiller monument at Schiller Park in German Village, about 1.5 hrs
The statue above is my most recent painting, but also one of the sloppier ones due to how cold it's getting hereabouts.   The projects we're currently working on in-class are studio based projects with loads of layouts, compositions and the like- they'll get their own post in a month or so.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

53: Character Design Shenanigans

Oop, yet another month-long lapse between posts.  I suppose life has simply been keeping me busy, what with senior year going on, show preparation, and (just last weekend) Illuxcon!  It was an incredibly rejuvenating experience and I can't wait to put my nose to the grindstone.  Here's some of the backlog from my character design class while I scramble to catch this place up a bit:

We began by simply drawing a personal character of ours so the instructor could gauge where we were, skill-wise.  I chose my gargoyle critter, Grin, and immediately felt rather boring.  The second project helped alleviate those feelings very effectively and made me realize how little attention I've been paying to silhouettes in general.

My first foray into human character design for the class- Claudius and Gertrude of Hamlet.

Above are some guerrilla life drawings from my sketchbook.  The gist was that we were supposed to draw the essence of a person; glance at 'em for a moment and configure a character.  Fun x 1000

Hand practice- I should do this more often.

'Jem' character redesign
What's this doing here?!  We were assigned to redesign a 'craptactular' design and I chose Jem of 80's cartoon fame.  Since Hasbro is fond of its reboots, I decided to put a Lauren Faust/G4 My Little Pony spin on Jem and came up with this.  Since finishing, my instructor has drawn over and improved many aspects of the design (most obviously her linebacker shoulders), and I'll be sure to keep his pointers in mind next time I go for this sort of thing.

Mockbee Satyr Expressions
And lastly, an expression sheet for a faun lady character I've been toying with.   Overall I'm having mixed reactions toward my work and motivation in this class; it's fun as hell, but it's also proving once again that group collaboration isn't my forte.  BUT, onwards and upwards, much to learn, etc.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

52: The Harvest

This picture is just about me in a nutshell, heh. 

From that last batch of children's book illustrations last semester I've settled on a process of sorts- it's still fairly haphazard and changes in slight ways for each picture, but it's incredibly nice to feel this sort of security.    I start with colored lineart, do a series of differently colored inkwashes, build onto that with watercolor and marker, and then go to town with colored pencil and gouache.  Here's a couple progress shots illustrating the process, followed by a small gif:


And that's that!  :]

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

51: Morality of Global Warming

Hey all!  I've been busy back at school for my senior year and it's been exceptionally fun so far.  I've put together a more professional Tumblr blog for my school projects, as opposed to my longer-running sketch Tumblr.  Both of those are updated far more often than this old clunker, but I'm keeping it running!

Anyway, I've completed my first project of senior year- a magazine cover and article illustration for The New Yorker.   The article in particular is one you need to pay to see, but in short it detailed the immense moral choices which will come with our warming globe, from geo-engineering to the simple choice of who we would save first if worst came to worst.   From this I drew upon the 'angel and demon on your shoulders' cliche for a rather literal interpretation.
Final sketch!

Color Comps

The FINAL, sans New Yorker type because I couldn't find a satisfactory font which replicated their date and price sections.  I mainly used liquid watercolor on this...before realizing how muddied the colors had gotten due to the age of the pigments.  Gouache truly came to the rescue for color correction, and I'm quite a bit more confident using it to supplement my other media now.

Later this week I'll spam this place with some of my character design class-work.  :]

Friday, August 31, 2012

50: Summer Collaborations

Color-wizard Extraordinaire Tardigrad and I spent quite a chunk of the summer doodling amongst ourselves, resulting in a few proper collaborations and loads of sketches.  My next post should be up-to-date school stuff.  I've just finished my first week of senior year, after all!

 We'll begin with her linework, which I transferred, inked, and colored with a mixed media medley.  I was finally able to get a pink 'underpainting' to work the way I wanted, so this was a joy to work on.

 This one was a commission and I created the lines for Tardigrad with carcoal pencil on tracing paper.  Our commissioner specified something similar to Kransekake in the background, and I have never enjoyed looking up reference quite so much.

 More lines I created for T!  These guys are based on the medieval "Cameleopard"- the early European perception of giraffes.

 Not a collab, just two of our characters scheming, with hers doing most of the scheming.

And finally, here's a quick link to a couple pieces she drew for me, completely out of the blue.  All of them are jaw-droppingly amazing, so you'd best be checking them out.

Friday, August 24, 2012

49: Digital Trio

Toward the earliest part of the summer I experienced a sort of digital awakening- suddenly everything made sense, and being able to paint over any and every stroke became such a corner-cutter and such a pleasure.  All three of these are commissions and gifts for various friends of mine, featuring their personal characters.

 A long-time commissioner let me go nuts with her pine marten character, to great success, I think.  This was an exercise in limiting my palette and pushing depth-of-field.

Friend and fellow fantabulous artist Remjie had me illustrate her daemon characters enjoying the cold.  I restricted my use of warm colors here- an exercise a long time coming, haha.

And lastly, moving away from the painterly style, here's a quick doodle for a very good friend and one of my biggest inspirations, Tardigrad.  Sphynxes and fruit, such a bright combination!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

48: Noodling from the Summer

...Oops, I appear to have fallen off of the blog-o-sphere.  Apologies, followers!  I have a slew of posts queued for the next couple days; this one focuses on sketchbook fun.

Aardvarks are made of endlessly fun shapes to play with.

 Fiddling with gargoyles yet again- I quite like the face on the bottom-right, and I hope to do more with that character.

 Turtle hands.  Not much to say here!

Most of my summer seems to have been spent waiting for appointments, and these guys were a direct result of one of those waits.

More of my little alien guys who never seem to have a finished piece to their names...someday!

Silly dinosaur scribbles from the sketchbook- brush pens are excellent.

Three watercolors drawn from life at the Shoal Creek Living History Museum-  these were all created before Missouri was blessed with almost a month and a half of 100+ degree weather.  I can't wait to do more studies in this vein!

Monday, June 4, 2012

47: Junior Year Wrap-up

...I can't believe I just typed that title, but it's true.  It was certainly a more enjoyable year compared to sophomore, with a bunch more classes which actually interested me; I allowed myself to really experiment with media and get a feel for materials for the first time in months, and it felt good despite losing my ability to concentrate and see through the fog of life for a few weeks.  In any case, you all are long overdue for this post!

Here are my three most recent projects- all three were huge media experiments combining watercolor, dye-based ink, marker, gouache, and colored pencil (often multiple layers of each) on watercolor board and hot-press watercolor paper.

 Second of three children's book illustrations.  I didn't plan on giving this one a proper background at first, hence why everything is on one plane in front, but I'm pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.

And the third finished illustration for my children's book class- this one was a battle of colors.  I thought it might be fun to try a bright pink underpainting and proceeded to do so...without realizing that it's hard to cover up fluorescent pink with gray and yellow interior light.  The result is...interesting.  Really, I'm more frustrated with bad planning on the window, which I've come to call the chalkboard because that's what it looks like.  Ah well, learning learning always.

My final project of the year, filled with plenty of follies but loads of fun.  Truly, I forgot how much I love putting my own spin on dinosaurs- even in this piece, which was supposed to be a scientific museum mural concept, I couldn't quite pull away from personification and a bit of cartooning.  This one took quite a bit more gouache than the two pieces above, due to repainting the color scheme almost three times: a horrible planning mistake that I won't make again!

You can see how I botched the color/light scheme early on- see how the left side of Cryoloph is clearly lit just like the right side of the Brachiosaurus.  When I realized I'd have to completely redo the color scheme I wanted to cry because I loved how this guy looked with his blue scales, but this early photo will have to suffice...

My next post will be filled with more doodly things!  Thanks for looking.

Monday, April 23, 2012

46: Odds and Ends

Here's a few things to make up for my absence from Blogger this semester. In a week or so I should have a more proper junior year wrap-up with all manner of giant pieces of paper. You know, assignments and things.
I've been fiddling with my watercolor and colored pencil technique a bit more, and I've found that my preferred surface is hotpress watercolor paper.  Now I'm simply testing brands.  :]

A sketchbook doodle that turned out quite nicely!  I doubt I'll ever get rid of turtle-drawing-disease...

An experiment with masking fluid and india ink.  "I'm glad that worked." - my art motto.

And some aardvarks because they are obviously the best animal.