Monday, April 26, 2010

The first fan art I've done in years

So lately, I've been really getting into Doctor Who. I think it is most definitely my new favorite show. The fifth season just started here in the US a couple weeks ago, but I believe it's been going on for a while in the UK, where the show first became popular. Anyway, it's a Sci-Fi type of show, if you are unfamiliar with it, about this character called The Doctor who travels through space and time helping people. It sounds cheesy, but trust me, it is awesome!

So last night, I started work on this piece. I probably should have stretched a piece of Arches watercolor paper, but laziness got the better of me. I looked off of some promo photos for this new season for the original sketch:

and sorry for the poor quality, I have to make do with my digital camera for now, since our scanner is broken. There will be a huge update once we get a new scanner. But anyway, I liked the sketch a lot. I like to work in a slightly exaggerated, loose semi-realistic style. The personalities of the characters (the Doctor and his companion, Amy Pond) was still not entirely believable, for me, though.

Then I added the paint and I really was liking it. I wish I could work a little tighter when I painted, though since when I'm doing a fine art painting, I don't want it to look sloppy, yet somehow it always does. I decided since it did look kind of unclean, I should add ink to it. I don't want ink to be a crutch, but I do think that since this is a fan art, slightly cartoonish illustration, ink doesn't hurt.

I'm proud of the finished product. It doesn't really look like the characters, though in my opinion. But then again, those are just the faces of the actors. These characters could really be anyone, anywhere.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Self Portrait Finished

Well, the Spring 2010 semester has officially ended at the American Academy of Art. I was actually a little sad to see it go, but I know that I'll be back there in September to start the Fall '10 semester. That's right, I've got a long summer ahead of me. That of which will hopefully be filled with artwork for me to share with you guys.

Anyway, here is my self-portrait that I did for Advanced Figure Drawing:

I rather like how it came out in the end. I think that I could have been rendered better. For some reason, I just look kind of flat. But my favorite parts of all are the shadows on the table under the still-life. I feel like I achieved the realism of those well. My classmates, during the critique, said I did a nice job of actually seeing different colors in the wall and in the table. That's one of the things I've been working on ever since I took watercolor; looking at something and not just seeing the local color, or the color something actually is. If you look hard enough, you'll notice that a red shirt isn't just red. Depending on the light, there are blues and yellows, and greens and violets mixed in there.

Also, I should show my Master Analysis (watercolor/gouache and micron pen) on here that I also did as sort of a final project for Advanced Figure Drawing:

One of my favorite artists is Alphonse Mucha, if not my top favorite. Lately, I've been so inspired by the poses that he draws and the flowyness (I guess in technical terms you could call that the Arabesque) of his compositions. My instructor suggested that I study him for my Master Analysis piece. She told me not to choose a piece that included a woman with flowers. I really don't know why she said that because, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful pieces of his include flowers or floral patterns. I would like to know what the world has against beautiful images, but that's another rant for another time (and place). So I ended up choosing this one, which I would assume was an ad for Luciline Lamps or Luciline something. It was unfinished in the book I found it in. Only a rough sketch, not colored. This gave me a lot to work with. The concept of this assignment was not to copy the work of the master, but to analyze it and get the feel of the colors, line, and composition of their work. Since my piece was not colored, I looked off of Mucha's other works for inspiration. I became frustrated at times because I started putting my own deep shadows into the piece and my instructor did not like that. Also, I was using too bright of colors. Mucha, though his pieces are colorful, used muted tones and neutral shades and very little shading. So this is in no way what the piece would have looked like, had Mucha finished it. But I ended up learning a lot. And I don't hate it. The line, once I added it in, tied everything together. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

"On the Night You Were Born" Illustrations

The last project we did in Illustration was a four-week assignment to illustrate both a book jacket and two-page spread for a children's book.

My heart leapt at the opportunity! I love getting the chance to illustrate and paint something whimsical, pretty, name it.

My instructor brought in a book to inspire us and I ended up liking the idea so much, that I chose to illustrate that book. The book's title? On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman.  There isn't really a plot line or a main character, since it is a book meant for very young children. But it tells the child all of the special things that happened the night they were born. I almost wish I had that book when I was younger. The poetic imagery was fantastic, but the illustrations (a mix of what appeared to be digital, painted, photography, and collage...whew) needed some work.

I wouldn't say that my take is better, but what do you think?

jacket (cover, spine, back cover):
I'm a little disappointed with how the cliff turned out. A lot of people that I have showed this to were convinced that it was a sandy shore. How many light houses are right on the edge of a beach? They're usually slightly elevated, right? I did some photo research for that, but I still don't think it was successful. Also, the poppies do not look convincing. This is why I saw the illustration for the spread as sort of a second chance.

 I thought this piece was more successful, flora-wise. I used photo references for the poppies, purple cone flowers and ladybugs. All of which can be found in my front yard during Spring and Summer. Though my green-thumbed mother was nice enough to tell me that both of these flowers would not bloom at the same time. What can I say? I took some artistic liberties. But aside from that, the sky is bothering me. I did doctor this a little in Photoshop, but I think I should have payed more attention to the sky on the right-hand side. It's way too light.

But all in all, I really enjoyed this assignment.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Self Portrait in Progress

I have been working on my self portrait for about a week now. I've tallied my hours of work so far to be eight. That means I need at least another seven for this project to be complete. Well, obviously it needs more work. I haven't even painted myself yet, and I'm the focus of the picture!

This is the painting a few days ago, after a weekend's worth of work:

...and this is it after today:

It's pretty much just a still life, but I am happy at the way it is turning out. In my opinion, this is better than any still life I ever painted in watercolor class. But I guess if it weren't for those horrible still lifes, this one wouldn't be where it is today. And I am actually tremendously relieved that the teapot came out as well as it did (the picture doesn't really do it justice). I was terrified to paint that thing, despite it being my favorite object in the picture.

Also, I did a little color study for this self portrait a week ago, and I might as well show it. Though this is not an Illustration project, I didn't think it would hurt to figure out the colors that I would use. I tend to use bright colors in all of my work. Even if I have to paint a dark (in color or in theme) piece, I like to make it colorful somehow. I find myself going back to the technique my watercolor instructor taught me last year where you don't fully mix two colors in the palette, but mix them lightly right on the paper. It makes for more vibrant hues.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

New DeviantArt Account

Please DeviantWatch me!

Yet another self portrait to add to the collection

My final project for Advanced Figure Drawing is a self portrait in an environment. I have to admit that one of my least favorite things to draw is myself. Not to mention that it is an absolutely gorgeous day here and I have trapped myself in my room with the blinds down (so as not to screw up the lighting) to paint the darn thing.

But I suppose I could say that it is going well. It already looks far better than all of my past self portraits:

from Life Drawing 102 (my first Life Drawing class at The Academy)

I don't think it looks very much like me. It didn't even look very much like me back when I actually drew it (in 2008)

Then there was this one which I did for Life Drawing for Illustrators just last year.
This one looks even worse to me. But in all fairness, I did this one in two hours! That was the point. My instructor decided to take that day off (which was the day before Halloween, if I remember correctly...I was not in costume for the school's Halloween party) and had us all come in during class time and do a quick self portrait. The lopsidedness of my eyes is really bothering me now.

When I finish the self portrait I am currently working on, I will definitely put it up here. Hopefully, within the past year progress has been made.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hello, hello!

I decided to make this blog to get myself out there. I plan on posting a lot of my artwork as soon as I have time. I am a full time student at The American Academy of Art in Chicago, working to get my BFA in Illustration. Once summer begins, I suspect I will be more productive with that.

My style tends to be very whimsical and dream like. I like to think like a child would and imagine impossible things when I draw. An instructor once told me that I have a wonderful world in my head. I would have to agree with him. That is why my illustration style, as I have been told by many, lends itself well to children's book illustration. But I do not want to be considered a one-trick-pony. I am also interested in the world of advertising and editorial illustration for magazines and other publications.

That is all for now, but stay tuned. There is much in store.