Apr 27, 2008


I am sorry, everyone. I ought to have posted earlier this week, but I've been stormed with work and haven't really finished anything lately. On top of that, I'm bed-ridden and horribly sick with mono or strep or the flu or some other such stupid nonsense.

As I've been sick, I haven't been working. I apologize. I have...I guess three pieces left to do in the semester? Expect them up in the next two weeks or so, as that's all we have left. How embarrassing.

On a lighter note, I got second place in Project Rooftop's Iron Man contest, behind the one and only Daniel Krall. That felt pretty good.

More apologies.

EDIT: I probably have anthrax poisoning. WebMD said so.

Apr 18, 2008

Here's a new thing

Hey everybody, there are going to be two posts this week! I've got this one thing that I'm itching to get onto the web, and I've got a complementary piece that'll be up in a day or two.

So let's just get to it!

This was for an assignment for Jose Villarrubia's Illustration Concepts class (the basic Junior-level IL course here) which was to use a mythological creature to embody a contemporary societal issue. I chose to tackle (zing!) the use of steroids in sports, which is something I get inexplicably furious about, despite having little to no interest in the sports where HGH is most commonly used. Regardless, the minotaur seemed like a nice solution.

This was a new process for me, which was to do a black and white acrylic painting and then kick it up with some digital color. It really saved a lot of time, but I can see how this would need a lot more work if it was a different piece. It works really well for limited color, but I guess it would take a longer time if I wanted to do a lot of rendering or whatever.

This is quite a departure from my usual work, which is a lot more simplified. The reason for that is, well, because sometimes I have to remind myself that I can draw at least semi-realistically. So there we are.

I feel good about this piece. It seems to have struck a nice balance between my childish desire to draw monsters all day long and my desire to have some sort of greater meaning to my work, even though it's a simple concept.

I don't really have any links to throw at you this week, but just keep clicking away at that (newly updated) sidebar to see some pretty great stuff.

Apr 11, 2008

Right on time!

Look at that! Here I am, not one week from my last point --completely within my allotted weekly timeslot for which to post--and we've got new stuff! That's awesome. Three new things. Totally rad, really.

Things have been going pretty well. I went to the Big Huge Games open house last night, which was neat. Even though I don't think I really want to work in the videogames industry, it was interesting to go and see how they work and all that. It seemed like a lot of fun, and I'm not going to outright rule out the profession as a whole. They had Fresca! Come on. Two kinds of Fresca and a pool table and a shower in the bathroom and all kinds of cool stuff.

On a secondary note, I might start doing some comic work as an assistant, which means I'd just be laying in flat colors, but it's a segue, I guess. Money is money is money. I'm going to meet about it today. Should be neat.

Ok, let's do this thing.

This first guy is the realization of one of the sketches in the previous post. This is a piece based on Kappas, from Japanese mythology. I already posted all about them last time, so I don't think I'll go into that any further. Anyway, this was done in Acrylic with some colored pencil, which looks like it's going to be my default way of working from now on. I guess this is about 8" x 18" or some such.

I'm ok with how it turned out. It's nothing special, really, but it's kind of pretty. I'd probably put around another hour or so into the fine details on this one if I had the time.

This next one is the realization of my Macbeth poster that I did for Sam Weber's last assignment in Fashion Illustration. This was a really fun assignment, and it's kind of a bummer that Sam only got five weeks to teach. He had some really interesting things to say. Also, his watercolor originals are brutal, even before he puts the final sheen on them digitally.

Well, this was also done in Acrylic with colored pencil. I know that his crown gets a little lost, but that's something I'm planning on adjusting at a later point. I'm happy with how it turned out. I think this is 9" x 14", which is pretty much my standard size for paintings.

I love Macbeth. I love Shakespeare in general. I don't have all that much to say about this poster.

This last piece was done for a short poem about a kid who was brought up poorly and clings to the tail of the Beast of the Apocalypse as it destroys the planet. It was a pretty neat little poem by Charles Simic. Here's the poem in it's entirety:

He held the Beast of the Apocalypse by its tail, the stupid kid! Oh beards on fire, our doom appeared sealed. The buildings were tottering; the computer screens were as dark as our grandmother's cupboards. We were too frightened to plead. Another century gone to hell - and for what? Just because some people don't know how to bring their children up!

Pretty cool stuff. So, this was done in Acrylic and colored digitally, which was a new thing for me. I liked it well enough. It certainly saved some time. I'll probably try it out in the future for stuff.

I have a couple of things to resolve before I can call this done. Specifically, the lower part of the tail needs some more definition and a little bit more of a highlight so it doesn't get lost when it all gets shrunk down.

So what's in line for next week? Well, I'm planning on doing a piece or two for my Concepts assignment, which is to apply a mythological creature to a modern societal problem. I've got a few good sketches, and at least two that I'm planning on taking to final. So there.

Shut up!

Apr 7, 2008

Slow going

Hey, remember when I said I'd have one finished piece for this post? That was a lie. A terrible, terrible lie. This week though! Get ready. The next post will have a minimum of three, maximum of four nice finals. Here's a sneak peak, plus something older that I liked but never uploaded until now. These are basically sketches with a little color to make it easier for me to paint.

This is a thing for Fantasy Art, where the assignment was wide open. I really love a lot of sprites and demons and stuff from Japanese folklore, but I guess I steered clear of doing anything directly Japanese for a long time. I'm not sure why. I think maybe it was too dangerous to delve into something I love so much. Also, I think doing Samurai imagery is a little cliche. Samurai are badass. I know Samurai are badass. Let's get on with our lives.

Anyway, I really love kappas, which are water-dwelling turtle-monkeys that have water in a depression on the tops of their heads. They are experts in the art of koppojutsu, which is the ancient art of bone-breaking, which they invented. They also like to kidnap children and rape women. They possess incredible strength, but are drained of it if you can get them to spill the water they keep in the tops of their heads. An easy way to do that? Bow to them, and they'll bow back, the polite suckers. It's a really simple image. There's that Samurai there, right? He's trying to get to that temple over on the right side. There's some kappas in the way. Whatever.

This next one is the second and final assignment Sam Weber's given us for Fashion Illustration. We basically just had to do a poster for any Shakespeare play with no guidelines beyond keeping it proportionate to 24x36.

This is the composition I ended up going with for Macbeth, which is a pretty badass tragedy, though not actually my favorite (Hamlet, holla). This isn't scene specific, it's just trying to evoke the sense of the play. A little supernatural, pretty violent, and a little sad. Dude's trapped by his own conception of fate, is all. This is a painting, and it's just about done. I forgot to paint his crown in, so I'm going to be doing that shortly. It looks pretty ok. Megaprops to the lovely and talented Kali Ciesemier for helping me figure out color things.

This next thing is something I did for Brian Ralph's Character Development class last semester. The assignment was to redesign a packaging mascot that we thought looked stupid. We only had to do one, so I did the Red Baron, who sells frozen pizza and shoots down planes. Afterwards, though, I remembered those wonderful Crest Gel commercials and had to do the whole team and their villain, the Cavity Creep.

Gouache on Bristol, like everything else I was doing last semester. These were crazy fun.

On a separate note, I'd like to thank everyone who has a link to my blog. I'm getting some nice traffic leeching off of your better traffic, so I'd like to extend my appreciation. If I don't link you but you link me, give me a heads-up and I will rectify the situation. I like to help. On that note, if you've got some time, check out the links on the sidebar there for some of the best Illustrators and designers around. It's a pretty solid list.

So, a recap for what's to come in the next post: One (1) Macbeth poster, One (1) Kappa/Samurai piece, One (1) Beast of the Apocalypse, One (1) Quetzalcoatl vs Treesaurus Rex tea party.

Wait. Did I just blow your mind?