Monday, June 20, 2016

Lunch Hour and Late Evening Sketches

I work a 9 to 5 and occasionally get freelance illustration work. Finding time to paint at home (personal work) can sometimes take some tweaking of time and I have to watch don't allow myself to get distracted. But at work I am guaranteed two fifteen minute breaks and an hour lunch break and I almost always make the most of that time.

 I either take out my sketchbook or grab some loose paper and sketch either from imagination or reference that I have on my computer. Also I've taken to doodling while I am on the phone or waiting as some work is printing (I operate a digital press).

Mediums vary but I mostly use a pencil or a pen. Sometimes I take the drawings home and finish them up there. A good many wind up in the garbage though.

Once I get home I also like to work in either watercolor or gouache before I turn in.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Starting A New Sketchbook

That first page in my sketchbook can be a bit intimidating. I guess it helps my confidence to start with a good drawing on the very first page. Then of course it makes the next page a bit of a challenge to follow up.

 These are the first two drawings in a brand new sketchbook. I used a photo for reference on both though I exaggerated and changed the one of the old man a good deal. The other is a photo of my wife that I took.  They were done on my lunch hour at work so I spent about a half an hour on each. I used water soluble pencils and a brush pen filled with black ink on both drawings.
They are not perfect drawings of course but they seem like a pretty good start to continue to return to my sketchbook and try to out do what I did on the previous sketch.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Some Character Studies For An E. A. Poe Story

I am an illustrator. The title includes being able to do a lot of other things that have become a specialization. The title of character designer has become one of those specializations but if one is illustrating a story character design is one of the preliminary steps in finishing a project. Of course you have to design the character and it must be consistent through out the story. The more drawings or paintings you have to do for a particular project the more important this becomes.

As a personal project I wanted to illustrate some of Edgar Allen Poe's short stories. I am starting with The Tell Tale Heart. Just two characters I have to flesh out (plus some minor characters) and I've nearly filled up a sketchbook trying to pin down what I think they should look like.

First problem is that I haven't decided if I'm going to make it sequential art or individual illustrations or maybe even motion graphics (limited animation). I am leaning towards comic panels.

Then I haven't decided if I should make them realistic or cartoony. As a cartoon I can exaggerate and be very expressive pushing beyond what it would appear like realistically. If I choose to do it realistically I think there is more of a connection or nearness that makes it seem more horrific and gritty and,I think, more of the stories original intent.

Here are a number of the sketches I did for the two main characters in the Tell Tale Heart. If you like to comment on what you think of the different versions please do so.

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Perfect Palette For Gouache Paints

Long time ago I had purchased a palette that was ideal for my gouache paints. It was made by Grumbacher and the thing that was so great was that it kept the paints moist when I closed the lid. There was a sponge underneath the lid that kept the paints fresh. Unfortunately that little blue plastic palette was very fragile and the hinges on the lid always broke. I kept buying a new one whenever this happened until I could no longer find the palette anywhere.

For many years I searched for a good palette or that same palette but never found one or it until recently. Creative Mark makes a palette called the color miser. It is advertised for watercolors and acrylics and I find that it works well for gouache. It doesn't keep the gouache paint fresh as long as the Grumbacher palette did but it can stay moist for a week or two, maybe three.

I don't mind re-wetting a glob of dried paint but I cant stand it when I get little clumps in my palette that are all over the place and I have to match the clumps with the colors and put them back in their wells. The Color Miser saves me that trouble. It can be purchased at Jerry's Artarama for $29.99. While it's not as good as my old Grumbacher palette it comes in as a close second.

The paintings I've posted on here are made about a week apart from each other using paints I loaded on to the palette. The paint had stayed pretty moist throughout, only beginning to try up by the third week but still not breaking up into little clumps.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

First Sketch On The Monoprice 22" Tablet

I've had this Monoprice 22" HD Tablet for about a month now but aside from testing it out on the different software I use I have not done ant serious work. I decided to do this sketch of a pirate using Sketchbook Pro and ArtRage to fully test out the tablet and pen.

The painting took about two hours to complete' The Tablet has worked just as well as my old Cintiq Tablet.

Here are the Sketchbook Pro version and the painting after touching it up in Artrage.

Below is a video from my YouTube channel discussing working on this painting, the tablet and using different software.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Illustration Assignments Done Using Sketchbook Pro

This is one of the type of illustration assignments I wished would come around more often. It was like illustrating an old pulp adventure story.

I used Sketchbook Pro through out. I was on a tight schedule to finish three illustrations in a short time so for the sake of speed and wanting the final illustrations to have a similar look I painted them digitally. The only thing is that I wished I had something other than a digital image for finished artwork.

The final printed image looks a bit washed out because of the paper that it was printed on. Something to keep in mind when I do another assignment for this publisher- keep the design and the color and values simple so that it reads better when printed.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Gouache Sketches on BFK Rives Printmaking Paper

These quick sketches were done before turning in for the day. I have a few sheets of BFK Rives print making paper saved from my college days. I used it for charcoal drawings back then and thought it should work really well with gouache, which it did. Very nice paper, takes wet washes and doesn't get warp also its very easy to build and blend the paint on this surface. A very nice painting experience.

I spent no more than two hours on each sketch.