Monday, March 23, 2009
The Lynching of Jack Cutter
Hello everyone. I hope everyone is doing well. Above is an Illustration for a book published by the Evil Nerd Empire. I am doing 16 illustrations in all. One for each story and possibly a cover as well. This one is for a story called "The Lynching of Jack Cutter" and is written by Ralan Conly. Every writer and artist out there knows this writer. He is the incredible man who runs Ralan.com. The market list of work for writers and artist of the fantastic. I have been there countless times looking for new markets. I am deeply honored to do a illustration for one of this man's stories.
I think in the last post I said I was going to do a step by step for you. I still am, but not yet. First lets start with how a story becomes and illustration. It all begins, of course, with reading the story. When reading a story I take notes on important elements, such as the characters appearance, the type of clothes they wear, where the story takes place, the time period, ect. The next step is to start thinking about a good way to get the idea across, without giving away the end of the story. The job of the illustrator is to pull the reader in, peak their curiosity so they will read the story, or buy the publication.
Always remember, your job as an illustrator is to sell the product where your work is appearing. Your job is to work with the writer or art director to create a vision that they see while adding your own vision to it. If you can not do that, then you need to be just an artist and sell your work in galleries and to private buyers. I feel that I have reached a point where I can do both. I love being an illustrator and get a huge thrill out of creating images of stories I read, but I also have another side that wants to do work just to please me. later this year I will start showing some of these pieces.
After you have decided on the illustration you want to do, spend a few hours doing roughs and value studies. If you do not understand what I am talking about, be patient and in the near future I will be showing some of mine so you will have a better understanding of what I am saying. With the roughs you want to take the same idea and look at it from different angels, at least 4, until you have the best possible view of what you are trying to get across. I am by no means a master of this yet. But the more you do it, the better your pieces get.
The value study maps where the viewer eye goes while viewing the piece. In most all cases, you want the viewers eye to go to the center of interest, and then explore the rest. Todd Lockwood taught me to do a value study before the roughs, but I just can't get it. I have to a rough first, and then the value study. I do keep trying to do it like Todd taught me, but I just haven't got it yet. Hopefully in time.
Once you have your roughs done and the Art Directors approval, it's time to find reference material. That includes finding the models and poses you need as well. Irene Gallo said in a blog a little while back how important it is for an artist to have reference of what they are trying to paint, and I agree. If your not sure how to paint a rock and make it look real, then get a photo of one to work from.
All of the great Illustrators have developed their own style, but even with that, every illustration they paint is believable. That is a key element to remember, you want you illo to be believable, even if it's not lifelike. For that you need reference material. Every single illustrator that you admire uses it.
Okay, now we're started. On the next blog, we'll do roughs and value studies. I will also be putting up some new links soon designed to help young artist. Just be patient with me please, I am very busy right now, but I love it! As always, feel free to comment, add some advice or just say "Hi" Peace and Blessings to you.