Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Thumbnails and Warm Up Sketches

I am currently working on an illustration assignment which promises  to be a lot of fun.
First off it's a three part story which requires one illustration for each part. Secondly it takes place in the Amazon so it reminds me of some pulp adventure story ( even though it's based on real life events).

The first illustration finds the main character in a helicopter on a search and rescue mission. What I was asked to do was to have the main character in this helicopter with a chainsaw and the pilot passing a gun to him, the lush Amazon jungle in the background. As I read the story I saw that someone other than the pilot had handed him the gun. I let the Art Director know this and he said I was right and he would get back to me. As I waited I did another thumbnail sketch of the pilot pointing out to the forest and the main character looking in that direction (top left), I sent it off and the Art Director responded with a lets go with that.

Next step was to make a bunch of warm up sketches where I would try and determine their poses and the style I was going to use for the illustration. I don't worry about a personal style so much as I am concerned  with a style that looks right for the story. In this case I'm thinking of some type of pulp or adventure illustration- dry brush or pen and ink. Similar also to the Marvel Comics black and white magazines (Doc Savage, Savage Sword of Conan, etc.)

The first group of sketches I made I numbered each sketch to show the changes in styles that I had made. I also needed to do these warm up sketches to shake the rust off of not having drawn like this for a little while as well as to get some direction as to how I was going to do this assignment- pen and ink and water color or pen and ink and digital color. I have not decided yet on either approach.

I'm already working on the final illustration. This stage has proved to be a lot of fun already.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Making The Most Out Of The Little Time I Have

  The holidays have kept me away from my paint brushes so that all I've been able to do are a bunch of sketches here and there. Some done on the train, others from a photograph or my imagination. I have only a couple of hours a day to do something so I settled on doing these sketches to make sure that I don't let the day go by without drawing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Watercolor Painting - Elation, Deflation and Moving On

I just took a seventeen day vacation from work which I happily spent painting several watercolors. One of the challenges that I face is the inconsistency of my work which I blame on three things 1- needing more discipline as I work. What I mean is the basics, looking, working slow and deliberately, measuring my drawing, just thinking everything through., 2- Lack of time. Having to work a 9 to 5 as well as dealing with challenges at home make some days too difficult to overcome the shortage of time., 3- Its just where I'm at in my growth as an artist and the only way to get pass that is to keep working.

Having these seventeen days off helped to take away the problem of not having enough time. I decided to work in watercolor for the time I was off from work. I decided on a series of family portraits working first on a painting of my wife then my two boys and myself. After I finished those I painted a nude and another portrait of my wife, In these paintings I solved the challenge (for the time being) of the lack of time, I struggled with the discipline and in the end I was initially excited with the results then after a while I wasn't sure how I felt about the paintings. Maybe the drawing was slightly off or the washes of color were too purplish or I tried to render too much. I started to feel a bit deflated, like my best effort was wasted. But I can honestly say
it was my best effort  so I have to settle with this is just where I am at right now and have to move on from there. That helps me to feel better about the work and look forward to the next painting, another opportunity to do better.