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.