Friday, July 27, 2012

For Alyssa...

I fancied up the sketchbook I bought for my niece, and tried to hide the duct tape I used to reinforce to binding (my nephew's had already ripped)....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Off to Wisconsin!

Will be going home to Wisconsin this week, so there will be nothing new. Picked up a small watercolor book, and taking brushes with a few paints. I may try and get some paintings of some cows as well. See y'all in a week!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Artwork: Untitled

Currently working on a character design for a book I was thinking about writing. My main experience is in picture books, but this story would be a little bigger, like a beginner/chapter book...

Ok, I finished the blue character first, before I went on to the other one. I usually don't work this way, but I usually don't work this early (9 am). I usually am up til the am's finished a piece.... So I did half in the morning, and the other half at night:

I listened to an album I used to have in college: C'mon Feel the Lemonheads by The Lemonheads... Forgot how great of an album that was... almost 20 years ago. Wow. I am old.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Artwork: The Stinky Cheese Man

Once in awhile, I like to take a shot at doing some of my favorite characters. One of my all-time favorite children's illustrators is Lane Smith. One of his books is called The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. Wikipedia describes the book as such:

The Stinky Cheese Man and Fairly Stupid Tales is a postmodern children's book by Jon Scieszka. Published in 1992 by Viking, it is a collection of twisted, humorous parodies of famous children's stories and fairy tales, such as "Little Red Riding Hood", "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Gingerbread Man". Illustrated in a unique style by Lane Smith, the book won the New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, was a Caldecott Honor book, and has won numerous other awards in various countries.
The book has proved to be popular with children and adults, as its lighthearted approach creates interest while educating young readers about some of the features of books (such as title and contents) by poking fun at those conventions.

-He designs the book along with his wife, Molly Leach, who does the layout/typography. She is amazing... Here is a YouTube video of them discussing some of their books:

...And here is his site: Lane Smith Books

I really wanted to do a painting of the main character, who tries to entice everyone to chase him. Nobody does, however, because he stinks so bad.

I tried giving it an energetic background, and tried using some salt to add texture to the watercolor. I probably need to use bigger rock salt, because I did get a texture, but I wanted a little more.... 

Beginning Washes

I also tried to make the lines in the back give the feeling like odor was just coming off him in droves. I wasn't sure what kind of color to give him. I always thought a "Blue Cheese Man" would be interesting... but I went with orange-ish hues.

A man made of cheese, who stinks really bad. I love this kind of stuff!
All said and done, maybe 4 hours or so.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Guess who has a new toy?

A few days ago, I did a gouache painting of a Pirate Monkey... which since my scanner died a while ago, I had to go to a local copy place to shrink down and scan. This is the picture I got:
Well, after browsing some scanners online, I decided to give the Vupoint Wand Scanner a shot... I scanned at 900 dpi (which isn't the best, but that's the best it can do).. and got this:
Much Better!

Not bad, considering the scanner. The original was a large size, so I did three scans of it, and I used the photo-stitch option in Photoshop to bring the images back together. The scanner is convenient (which is the trade off for the lack of dpi scanning), and would be great to use it outside to scan things (like texture) that I cannot bring in the house. Seriously thinking about getting one of these for my AP Studio Art class this year.

There are lots of reviews online for this product... So far it seems to do the job. Here is a video from YouTube, which is more in line with what I was thinking of doing:

FYI: The link I listed above to the company actually has the scanner at a better price than I got at Best Buy... and they include a 8 gb micro SD card.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Artwork: Flying Monkey Flashback!

I am not obsessed with monkeys, honest... I was at the bookstore and got inspired by a Wizard the Oz book, and wanted to do a piece of one of the characters. I have always been drawn to the Tin Woodsman, because when I was a little kid, I thought he looked the most futuristic, like a spaceman... So I chose to do him, as if he was having a flashback to the Flying Monkey attack. That scene to me was scary: strange creatures attacking, complete chaos, the scarecrow being ripped apart, and kidnapping! I can't think of many other movies I saw when I was younger that gave me the feeling that scene did.

Left: Sketchbook, Right: Drawing on watercolor paper 
Thinking of doing the original in watercolor, and coloring the scan digitally, just for a change of pace.
Penciled Woodman: levels adjusted
..and after, I dunno...maybe about 5-7 hours (Thank you Spotify, for keeping me sane!), the watercolor is done. 2 things: I forgot how much fun watercolor can be, and I didn't use a marker. I have been trying to get away from using them, if only because I don't like to rely on them all the time. I researched to see what rust looked like on tin, because I always thought it was strange that, in the movie, the Woodsman would just freeze, but you would never see any rust on him: 

Finished WC... The new scanner did a pretty good job!
For a little while, I was worried. When I started adding the rust, he looked like he has thrown up on himself, or had the Ebola virus. I tried to add rust in the grooves and joints of his metal, or anywhere there would be excess moisture (eyes, mouth). He is coughing up a screw, because instead of phlegm, I would imagine a metal man would cough up rivets or washers or something of that nature.

I also have his funnel rising off his head, as I always assumed it was a hat that he would take off... like when he entered a church or stood for the National Anthem.

As always, Comments/Criticism welcome :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

JUST READ: Joe the Barbarian

Besides all my art stuff, I thought I would talk about a great book I just read: 

Joe the Barbarian is an eight-issue comic book limited seriewritten by Grant Morrison and drawn by Sean Murphy.

This is a fantastic tale of a boy named Joe, who begins to have hallucinations after going into anaphylactic shock. He goes on a strange journey which (in the course of 8 issues) mirrors his real-life journey to get a can of soda. The art is amazing, and Morrison's writing is great as usual. Great read, and worth checking out.

WHOA! ...Excited!

Anyone who knows me, knows I have read comic books since I was a kid. One of my favorite reads the last few years has been The Walking Dead. They just released the trailer for Season 3, and WOW. Can't wait to see Michonne in action: Looks like they picked the perfect actress for the part:

This is just a test...

Just trying out the blogger app on the iPad. Just testing... Delphi and Bella woke me up on Saturday at 5 am because they were bored I guess.

edit: the app defaults the pictures to original size: so if they look weird, its cuz I haven't edited them yet.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Artwork: Pirate Monkey

I just got the blog up and running. So let's do this. Building the portfolio back up, and working on new art pieces. My wife's friend suggested I do a Pirate Monkey, so after doing a few sketches, I decided on a layout. I was going to do it in gouache, because since getting them, I have been aching to use them. I was also going to use watercolor and ink:

The initial sketch:

Doing lines in ink, wasn't sure about outlining, but there you go:

I did a watercolor wash, to tone the white down and add some value for reference:

and the final product. Note I forgot the tail... added it later: One thing nice about using gouache: it always can mix... and you can "reactivate" it after the paint has dried (vs watercolor, which is absorbed more by the paper)... That being said, I thought it was a fair job, considering first time in the medium. I think I would have maybe skipped the wash next time, and softened the background (which can be obtained digitally, but I am working on that as we speak).

All of the above pix were taken with my iPad, and the one below was pieced together in Photoshop (photostitch is amazing!), because it was so big. The scan stinks, as you can tell the difference in color. I want to retake the scan so I have true colors before I give it away:
From start to finish, about 6-7 hours.

Anyhoo: there you go. First picture up! Comments/Crits always welcome.

Up next: A tortoise and hare picture.

Friday, July 6, 2012

First post. This is a test. If you read this, congratulations.