Friday, December 24, 2010

Penclank - Artrade

So Seb and I both made each other something, and this is the result of my half of the gift. He draws cute little rectangular penguins so I decided to take his character and dress him in one of his favorite game character's garb(Ratchet and Clank).

As soon as I get back in town and have access to my scanner, I'll post his present to me. Or perhaps I'll just link to his post if he decides to blog about it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Evie's Plant (Dummy Book)

So our final project for Children's Book involved making a 29 page book over the span of a month. We had to design the story and sketches as well as execute 3 spreads. The sketch and story phase took a bit and a few tweaks to get the flow right, but I'm happy with the turn out. But here it is bound.

I chose to work with acrylic washes overlayed with colored pencil. I had yet to try it and saw something similar in a rather amazing children's book whilst babysitting. I was originally going to do watercolor washes since I hadn't used them, but towards the end the time crunch got the better of me and I didn't want to experiment with such short time.

And these are the 3 spreads that I chose to color.

[I also note that while I didn't want to experiment with watercolors due to a time crunch, I spent 6+ hours trying to figure out how to make it look like a real book. x_x;;]

All in all, I'm pleased.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Interview with Tim Bower

[I had to type as he talked so it may be a bit choppy thanks to lack of quicktime]

What parts of your skills were emphasized in school, and which did you learn on your own?
In school I learned form and how to draw from the figure and anatomy. Those things taught me how to draw the human figure; for me to apply that, I just started drawing things more intuitively and started stretching form and just drawing in a way that felt right to me and that is what my illustration style is. 

How did you land your first illustration job?
When I was in school (San Fran) I got B&W drawings together and took them to the San Fran Chronicles. I got a couple freelance jobs and was fortunate enough to sub for a staff artist so I did one month for each one of them when they did their summer breaks. There were three artist and I was fortunate to have come at the right time.

How do you promote yourself? How did you land your clients/jobs?
The great thing about illustration is what I do is kind of an advertisement. I work exclusively for magazines, advertising and publishers. It has been good and bad over the years because I got lazy and just stopped promoting myself due to that, but I picked it back up. Back when I was promoting, I'd still do once a year thing via postcard. Getting into annuals helps as well. Entering those competitions and getting in their books is the best kind of promotion that you can do. Society of illustrators for students is a great way to get out because lots of different types of work gets accepted.
You have to keep in mind when you don't get in it bruises your ego. When I worked professionally a lot of years went by that I didn't get in. Take your best work each year, check your ego at the door. You're subjecting your work to the tastes of a different jury every year and just because they don't like your work doesn't mean it isn't good.

Your work is very concept and narrative oriented. How long do you spend researching and thumb-nailing before you actually start the piece?
I used to spend a lot more than I do now just on the process. You sound exceptionally bright to me so I'll tell you something I've never told my students. [secret info] When I start drawing though, I draw to get a concept. I don't know it till I draw. When I look at the pictures I draw different things that suggest concepts to me as opposed to the beginning when it all took a long time to just get sketches out. I used to be in hell with every job. When you have a manuscript the best thing to do is make a list of words and the content. I draw those things and see how they visually relate. It's a muscle I've exercise for over 20 years. I also have a kind of voice I repeat and my point of view is similar. I used to spend excruciating times with my articles. Sometimes it hits immediately and sometimes it can take hours and hours coming up with an idea.

Can you describe a typical work day?
Sometimes I have a lot of jobs going. I keep my jobs in manilla folders stacked up on my desk. My deadlines are usually from newspaper jobs to 2 or 3 days or weeks. I wake up and work on the one with the closest deadline. If it's a sketch I send it and wait for approval and turn to work on a painting that has been approved with the soonest due date.

How often do you rely on photoshop to edit your pieces? I noticed that with your Media Leaks/Obama piece you had editted the water in photoshop and you mentioned that it seemed to create a more watery effect than just the paint alone.
More and more. I'm always cleaning up b&w photos. Usually desaturate the color more. Sometimes increase contrast. That piece (Media Leaks - Obama) I manipulated with brushes. But i can see that I will use the smear tool to edit things and make water look more realistic.

Who are some of your influences?
There were illustrators like John Collier. Doesn't do much illustration anymore and became sculptor. Brad Holland for concept. Still think he's great. Painters like Matt Speckman and Neo Rauch. And comic books a lot too. I used to always draw from them as a kid and went through period where I hated the way it looked cause it was too influenced by comics. I stopped and embraced it. Now comics are my primary influences.

If you had to give one piece of advice to an illustration student what would it be?
Well I would have to know what you aspire to do. For you the best advice I'd give is to learn and pay attention to intuition. Find ways to draw and make pics you feel is honest to yourself. There's a lot of competition out there and if you try to do something that is more of a traditional look, there's always someone who can do it better. If you find your own voice and make work that looks unique to you no one can do it better. Trust yourself, trust what you're doing is good. Make something all you. 

Do you apply paint in layers? Apply it wet on wet? 
I like washes and can use them transparent or opaque. I can key in color with transparent paint and dry it with a hairdryer. Later I can add opaque paint over top and leaving transparent. Don't usually put it on thick enough though. Pretty much with gouache, painting wet into wet, it dries before you can even do that.I  rely on it drying fast and even speed up with hair dryer if I need to. I do layer it up, but never more than 3 layers.

Are there any specific steps you take before driving into a piece?
One thing I do a lot is reactivate it with a wet brush. Just flow it over top and dab it back off to feather edges and take areas back up that get muddy. It's a good way to go back a few steps and start over for freshness. I don't manipulate it though. And I don't paint with anything other than a brush. Sometimes fingertips work too. I prefer to use synthetic brushes. I like when they get beat up. The have a less than conventional look to the stroke and the strokes aren't uniform; more organic stroke. I have favorite brushes and use them til worn down to nothing.

Is there a specific brand of paint or specific color you use?
Buy everything because a color in one brand is different from a oclor in another brand. Take burnt sienna for example. Every brand has a different variety. No exceptions. Every brand definition of a certain color is different. I just buy them and frequently have multiple tubes of the same color by different manufacturers.

Free question - Is there anything you feel I haven't touched base on that you feel is a pertinent part of your process?
What's really funny about it, I used to work in a very labor intensive technique. The technique I had years ago was involved. Mixed medium, lots of sealing surfaces, multiple paints, and I'd have to be putting magnesium over them. I used to paint oils then seal them and paint acrylics over top of them. I got sp tired of this process. It was too labor intense and got in the way of deadlines. Where I'm at now is an evolved technique. It's simple and straight forward. I went with water-based medium and went with one that could be transparent and opaque and could dry fast. Thats' what I was after and what I arrived at is simple and direct technique.

Thanks Tim!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lost & Found Goodies

So I had assumed that my final projects for Illustration 1 and 2 were lost for good since it had been months since I had seen them. Luckily, they were returned in good condition, especially considering the condition I had seen others in whilst searching for them. But here they are all scanned/snapped.

How the Bear Lost Its Tail (Illustration 2) acrylic washes - 11"x15" - Illustration board

Memory Project (Illustration 1) gouache - 11"x15" - Illustration board

Monday, October 25, 2010

Metaphors 1-8

Greed - Interior
 Isolation - Environment
Leadership - Only animals
Revolution - Hands
 Aging - Sequence
 Divine - Juxtaposition
 Fear - Shadow
 Love - Still-life

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I think she's done. [Progress 1-12]

Let me know what you think. I'm sure there are a few things I'll catch or remember to add some small detail, but this is as done as I can think of for the time being.

Edit: Revised with a few things I had forgotten that i luckily caught.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Almost there. Progress Pgs 1-12

It's getting there. I need to add the rest of the details for the goodies on a few pages. Apart from those as well as text, it's almost done. Any and all feedback is much appreciated.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Progress Pages 1 - 8

Still trying to establish the bases, while getting caught up in details at times. The backgrounds will have textures that I've either found or just inked so we'll see where it leads from here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Board Book Progressions Pt. 1

So I'm still working out the basic color palette, but for the most part much of it shall remain the same. The hot pink moustache will change of course and the teal wall is a tad too up front, but those will be worked out shortly. But for a basic laydown, this is where it's at. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

SHCC: Nightwing Final

My Nightwing redesign completed. I feel like it turned out fairly decent. I still need to get quicker with my digital work though.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Nightwing Redesignignign

My first redesign for Superhero Cocoa. It had to be musically themed so I decided to interpret nightwing as a raver. I started with a male figure, but every twist and turn made him look gay, so I ditched the idea and made it a chick. I also tried my hand at some more detailed inking with my new sable and fresh sumi ink just to see how it'd go. I'll post sketches as soon as I get them scanned in as well.

Monday, September 20, 2010

On Swan's Wings Finals


The three finals, in order due to story(which you don't have). Revisions to come in due time.
 _         _
/ (* ^ *) \
'-'          '-'

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Progress 2 of 3

For the most part done. Once the third is finished, I may try to tie them together more or less if need be. We shall see.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh geez...

Soooo I was being a diligent student and scrolling through my facebook feed only to notice that there was an opportunity that was rather tempting. Of course I did the most logical thing possible... Shunt off my homework to photoshop myself on the album cover...

Progress Post 1

Three illustrations on a story called On Swan's Wings. We were asked to work in a media in which we were neither used to and in which we didn't express in our previous piece. This is my first run in with photoshop and textures. All of it is digital, drawn on a tablet.

Critique is much appreciated - Although the bottom two are basically blocked out.

J Juggled Jellyfish

Our first project for Children's Books. Taking a letter and alliterating it, whilst then illustrating it. I'll update it once I do the revision as well.

The media is acrylic washes on illustration board - 10" x 14"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

15 Silhouettes & 3 Finals

The 15 silhouettes with shapes conformed to the interiors, narrowed from 40

Three final silhouettes done in watered down washes of acrylic.
Man looking through a periscope in a juicebox silhouette - 8"x10"

Sleeping dog on a leash within a mailbox silhouette - 8"x10"

Antique pocket watch in a teapot - 8"x10"