Saturday, March 28, 2009

Part 2... How I do it.

Hello my friends. As promised, the next steps in my digital painting. I point out that this is digital, done with Corel Painter. Later this year I will show you how I do it when I paint in traditional oils. It's a very different approach.
Last time we covered reading the story, finding reference material and your models. This illustration is for the book "Darc Karnivale" to be published by "The Evil Nerd Empire" and the story is "The Food of Love" written by Joseph D'Lacey. Wonderful satire for any Zombie lover.
Starting from the Top illo down. The first 3 are the original sketches I did of the 3 elements of the painting. The "Brainbuger" first , then the server, and finally the patrons. One of the great things about digital painting is that you can work in layers, which really saves a lot of time and opens many doors that you don't have with traditional painting. Making a change on a digital piece is very easy compared to the way you could spend a day or two trying to make a change in oils. The best thing is to work closely with your art director, showing him everything you are doing in steps. This will elimate most changes.
After I have the sketches done, i put them together. In layers, you can move them around separtly to try different looks for the best impact. When working in oils, I do the sketches on tracing paper, put them together and move each sheet around to find the composistion I like best. But more on that when we do a tutorial on oil painting.
Now that I am happy with the layout, I start adding the details, first thing is to Zombie up the models and add the other details to the painting. After this is done, I do the value study. Digitally I do them either of 2 ways. The values in this one are important but I am not trying to put a lot of drama into it. So I paint all the background areas in grays. Picture a value scale of 1 to 10. 1 being white and 10 being black. The values in the backgound of this piece will be from 4 to 7. No blacks, no whites. I am saving that for the main figures so they will "Pop" If you notice the counter top is black.This pulls your eye straight to all 4 charathers.
Next time we will go over painting the background and creating air around the subjects.
If your not sure of what I am explaining, please leave a comment about what I missed or you need more clarity on.

It's time for me to get. I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. Peace Out.

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 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.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New works!

Good Morning friends,
Above is a tattoo design I did for a local biker. 2 Rats is his nickname. He told me that he got the name years back when he had 2 rats as pets. He is partially Native American and I think that had something to do with it as well.
At Present, I am working on a large project. I am doing 16 b/w illustrations for a book called "New Voices 2" The stories are mainly horror, which suits me just fine. In the next blog, I will show the first illo, step by step, explaining how I do it.
In the near future I will be posting new links to promote all the fine people who publish and pay me for my works. It is a wonderful feeling to get paid for what I love doing. Two months top, I will be doing the full time artist thing with no help from anyone. I can through out my chest and say "I did it my way!" Is that corny or what? lol
Well, got to head out. I hope all have a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Life is wild...........

Hello everyone. I bet you thought I fell off the face of the earth. Things have just been in a upheavel since the move, in a good way. Right now I am staying in a friends garage apartment. It's pretty nice, but I will be buying a new home in a few short months. But until then, most of my possessions are packed away. Not complaining though, I knew it was going to be like this when I decided to come. But I am getting plenty of work, and I can buy a house here for around 20,000 bucks. The same house in North Carolina would be about 200,000 dollars. I am going to use my GI bill to get it.
Speaking of here, (Michigan) I am about 30 minutes from Lake Heron, and about 1 and a half hours from Lake Michigan. The Canadian border is only 1 hour away. It's like living between 2 oceans. It's amazing, and people up here like my work much more than they ever did down south. I started getting art gigs 20 minutes after I got here. Everything from tattoo's to T-shirt designs, and off course portraits.
So, things are going quite well and I am very happy. The only downside is the cold. It gets cold here. One morning I got up and the wind chill was 25 below zero. That was rude. lmao. My hard drive got ruined too. I put most of my things into storage once I got here, including my computer (not realizing just how cold it could get) and once I got them out, my tower wouldn't even turn on. So now I am using a loaner until I can get a new one, but I was going to get a new one anyways. The old one was 6 years old and really wasn't made to do the type of things I am doing now.
So the next few months should be wild and full of excitement as this new path unfolds in front of me. I hope you'll stay tuned to share these things with me and see all the new art that's in progress. Peace and Blessings