Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Technique..

Playing with the "Scratchboard" technique in Painter; this is the b+w test, based off the photo I took.

(based off)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Othello- Finished

Othello got turned in today.. all done!

Overall pretty pleased. Fixed the highlights, took out the dips in the tops of the pieces. They look less like little Donuts now! Added the text, and did some vignetting for mood. I may revisit the text sometime; I'm still not perfectly pleased with the way it looks. It doesn't feel like it fits into the background, but I may just be picky.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Digital Experimentation

During one of my classes at Valley we were tasked with recreating a traditional 2D art form on the computer. We had to pick an artist we respected; then try to re-create one of their works in whatever digital form we wanted.

I chose the artist Jody Bergsma, a painter in Washington State.

The piece I picked was called "I am the Wind", and I actually cropped down to a small portion of the total piece. You can find the piece here, if you'd like to see the original!

So, Here is my recreation of watercolor techniques using Adobe Illustrator. Overall, very pleased with this piece.

This following image is the beginning of a piece I started using this technique; Its still in the beginning stages though so the image isn't quite as clear. But, it is in fact a very close crop of a horse's face. The eye is in the dark circle to the left, and the very base of it's ear is at the top center.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Photography Day

I spent today out at a friend's farm, it was time to shear sheep! I got out there though and realized she also had a horse- my favorite subject. So, off to take photos I went! I took a lot of pictures, and its going to take me a long time to go through them all. So, for now a small sampling...

Golden Eye

A Moment's Rest


Untitled (so far)

More later!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It was a Calendar!

For one of my classes at KVCC, we were tasked with coming up with a 4-part project that we wanted to complete over the course of the semester. It could be whatever you wanted it to be; you just had to stick with it and meet your deadlines. I chose to do a calendar that was inspired by nature. I wanted to do a small format, with each month contained on one page and loose. I didn't want them all bound together in a traditional calendar style. As it turned out, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to come up with good illustrations that really "went" with each month.. working from photographs I had taken.

Oouf. Yea, it was rough.

Add in the fact that I decided to go for as photo-realistic a look as I could using Illustrator? I ended up with some monstrously huge files. But they looked awesome. It was a learning experience for me. The end results turned out well, but I realized after doing 12 illustrations like this that there were places I should have been cutting corners. I didn't have to stay so true to the changes in color, I didn't need to be quite as precise with the placement of lines... Simplifying would have saved me a lot of time; as well as a lot of anchor points.

But I still love the end result.

Here's a small sample of the pieces..

As always, clicking on the image brings it up larger and in a new window!

This was my favorite month of all. A Luna moth! The colors were my favorite, and the way the illustration worked into the composition.. it just was my favorite.

July came in a close second; I had fun with this one. The colors were a bit of a departure from the rest of the calendar. A bit brighter and hotter overall. But, hey- it was July! The only criticism I've really received so far is that I chose a "bad" swan for someone from Michigan. Apparently this guy is invasive and not very nice. Whoops.

Now for one of the months that, to this day, I'd still like to go back into and fix some. I love, love, love the illustration of the leaf; but I have never been happy with the background, or the colors for the dates and month. This is already round 2 of color scheme, and.. it just isn't quite right yet. With this set-up, I was trying to achieve the color of that "Too-Blue" sky you get in fall, behind the bright leaves.

And, that's all for now. More months later!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Ah, another project from my Digital Painting class! This one is still in progress.

The assignment was to do an Illustration for one of Shakespeare's plays, and I chose to do Othello. With a twist.

See, whenever i think of Othello the play, I always think of Othello the board game. Aka- Reversi or Go!. I thought it would be sort of tongue-in-cheek to take a Drama like that and give it a humorous aspect.

Now, my goal with this class so far has been to not use references as much as possible. But getting the perspective down was hard, and I realized I was having a wretched time making the plastic look.. good. I mean, how does one -paint- plastic? eck.

Clicking on Images will open it larger, in a new window!

So.. blocking in the colors and the shapes.

Alright, moving on. Trying to smooth things out and get some reflections going. I decided to go with a playing piece that had a dimple in the top, so that there would be something going on in each of the pieces. However, most people don't associate a dimpled piece with the game. So that will be.. scratched in the final. Or at least not as prominent. But! onto the artwork.

The green in the background wasn't working for me. I wasn't as enthused with how it was all coming together; I mean, really, so far its pretty bad eh? But, at the suggestion of a friend I decided to try working in a brown board instead. Fortunately Corel Painter has some amazing functionality, and it wasn't too difficult to make the change.

That was about the point that I decided not to give up on the piece. I kept working on it, got the colors spread in and around. Browns in the whites, blues in the browns.. whites in the blacks? It took on a better shape and form and I came up with something to show in front of the class that I could be happy with.

Overall, I'm pleased. It isn't finished yet. I received some great critiques from the class about things to change. The highlights on the white pieces are a little bright, there's some burrs that need to be cleaned up. And of course it needs to have the text "Othello" and "Shakespeare" on it still. So, work in progress... but still very happy!

"The Space Pimple"

So, I decided to take another class at KVCC this semester to get the creative juices flowing again- and to learn how to use Corel Painter.

Our first assignment was a Spot Illustration of a topic that grew organically in class. People threw out ideas, and we slowly narrowed it down to a Space Ship. Then it had to have features; how about guns, and a bumper sticker. Spaceballs anyone? Anyway. That was the assignment. Draw a Space Ship, with guns and a bumper sticker, in any media you want. I chose to do an illustration in Photoshop, because I haven't done much "painting" there and thought it would be a good challenge.

Clicking on any of the images will open up a larger photo!

So, I started off with the guns. After free-drawing a little, I decided on trying a turret idea.

From there, I needed to get the form of the ship down. During class I did some thumbnails and decided I wanted to do a spherical ship with guns pointing off every-which-way. So, blocking this in with the turrets was easy.

For those of you who know about Katamari Damacy? Yea, I stopped for awhile and giggled. Moving on!

Time to start laying in the colors and getting a feel for this sucker.

Alright, not bad.. not bad. Not fantastic as of yet; but what drawing is at the beginning? Smoothing out the base color and adding background something came next.

Still very flat. About this time is when I decided that the little dots looked like pimples, which is how it became known as "The Space Pimple". I also went in and cleaned up the lines; they were too thick and looked messy. So, once they were done and shadow was added... I had this!

Depth it received. As well as a good jolt of color. The guns weren't working for me, though, so I took all of them out and redrew them. The smaller dots needed to become windows, and the local color needed some re-establishing after all that blue shadow.

Something was just still not right. After a bit of a break, it hit me! Space ships aren't usually one big piece of smooth metal.

Now, you may be wondering where the bumper sticker is? That was the last thing I added! For this next, and final piece, I did some subtle shading on each of the metal plates to give them a slight distinction, as well as cleaned out my palette from the background. This is what I presented to the class, and what I'm still very happy with! When I feel ambitious; I plan to go in and re-work the actual guns one more time. Right now they look like brass cannons, which is funny- but not very ominous. Making them a bit more threatening would help define the irony between the ship covered in guns that has a "Peace" bumper sticker!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hello World!

Welcome to my new little hole in the wall.

My goal with this blog is to keep it updated with my current artistic happenings; from Graphic Design, to Illustrations and even forays into Photography.

I'll be posting the good, the bad.. and the ugly. With commentary. Comments from you, the peanut gallery, are more than welcome! I'm always looking for tips, tricks and advice.

So, please bear with me as this gets off the ground. For now, things look a little stark and plain. But hopefully in the next week or so it'll get better.