Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Illuxcon V

Wow.  Where to even begin.  This year Illuxcon blew all of my expectations away once again (I can only imagine what it will be like in Allentown next year).

I guess to start things off I might as well begin with the journey there.  Since this was our second time going to Illuxcon we had two Jacks.

The scenery on the drive there was lovely, and it wasn't raining the entire morning as it was last time which was nice.

We arrived in Altoon at around 3:30pm on Thursday- we had wanted to arrive early in order to hike around some of the local areas before the show.  But due to Altoona roads being confusing beyond all reason we got lost in the wilderness and decided to hike around a graveyard we stumbled upon instead. It was delightfully creepy.

We got to the show Thursday evening right when it was opening up (and many artists were still setting up).

Some views from above:

Part of Petar Meseldzija's table on the left and Patrick Jones on the right:

David Palumbo:

John Harris:

Mark Poole:

Eric Velhagen and Travis Lewis:

Justin Gerard's table:

Tom Kuebler's work- stunning and shocking as always!:

Most delightful of all though was being able to talk with Petar Meseldzija and his wife Anita every day at the convention.  They are most definitely the kindest individuals I have ever met- I hope I can make it to Illuxcon VI in order to visit again!  Petar also demoed again this year on Saturday and I'm excited to see where he takes this guy to finish.  Nothing makes me want to paint more than watching another artist work their magic.

On Friday night I partook in the Illuxcon Showcase at the Ramada Inn- and what a wonderful turnout!  To say I was amazed at the feedback I received would be a monumental understatement.  
I'm now back at work on several projects with the inspirational hum of Illuxcon hovering around my head- expect to see new work here soon!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Illuxcon 2012

It's been approaching fast- ever since I signed up for a showcase table.  However, I do think I'm ready.  Well, as ready as I'll ever be.  My roommates and I will be leaving Cbus this Thursday morning so we can drive out to Altoona, cruise around a bit and hike before checking into our hotel.  We'll be in Altoona from then until Sunday afternoon sometime when (I'm sure) we'll be venturing back to Columbus overflowing with inspiration.

As such, this post is meant both as a farewell and an introduction-  if you're reading this now and the showcase has already occurred then welcome!  I hope you enjoy what you see here and if you ever want to drop me a line, please do.  I normally don't bite.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Long Live the New Flesh

Movie have played an important role in my life.  Being able to create something new based off that passion is a rush that drives me to hone my craft only that much more.  So, when CCAD's Illustrative senior-level class (Advanced Styles and Concepts) handed the reins over to me, movie posters were the first thing on my list.
One restriction was provided for a set of 3 illustrations- we were to create a series of 3 ads/posters/announcements about an event or character or who-knows-what.  I looked into upcoming film anniversaries and compiled a short list which I posted on my tumblr.  I received a good chunk of feedback on what people would like to see and David Cronenberg's Videodrome was chosen.
For the first teaser poster, I knocked together several thumbnails, four of which I refined:

Two were chosen by the teacher and myself, which I cleaned up more:

And in the end, we have our first final!

Now the tricky part- creating two more original concepts to see this series tied together nicely.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


This was a project for Children's Book illustration- essentially we had to create a wrap around cover for Cricket magazine with an autumn/harvest/halloween theme.  I came up with the idea of monster children going trick-or-treating in normal folk town and scaring plain folk.

After thumbs and what not, we arrived at a final layout

Playing around with color schemes

Final color comp

We then had crits in class, and the teacher felt in terms of the magazine layout, I should flip the image to have a more rewarding lead in to the back cover.

And finished!

All in all I'm not super satisfied with how it turned out, but there are aspects I can't help but appreciate.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

A session in landscape.

Ok, I know I post about this class a lot on here but I felt it would be nice to give a run down of why I'm particularly fond of it and how it affects how I work.  

Now, being an illustration major, the majority of my classes are, well, based in illustration.  Which is fine but it gets to be particularly frustrating when you realize you're just as behind in composing original images as you are in painting the final product.  Last year I took landscape painting not knowing what to expect.  What I got out of it was an invaluable opportunity to play with paint.  It wound up building not only my ability to compose competent environments, but also my style.  
When you're put on location for (at most) 3 hours to create a painting that is compelling and could be considered finished...you're not quite sure where to begin.  It only takes some practice to get in the swing of things and this painting class pushed my skills on my illustration projects so much farther than if I'd been left alone. 

Needless to say I signed up again.   When starting, I kept with my habits- earth tone palette and underpainting, "fuzzing" painted areas to draw the viewers attention to where I wanted, etc.  Then something important happened (at least, I'm assuming it's important).  I was told to (a)- not blur areas unless completely necessary, and even then reconsider. (b)- break my comfort zone with earth tones and play with color.  I agreed, acknowledging my weak points and lo and behold, there was color.

Intimidation.  Pure highlighter green and simple.

Ok, I've chosen my view, have my borders mapped off, some quick pencil work to indicate where things should be.

Quick underpainting consisting of cobalt blue/paynes grey.

Laying in colors.  Ugly?  Yes.  Expected?  Yes.  Moving on.

And right around here that start-off color is throwing me.  By being so bright, anything I put down appears in comparison to be nothing more than vaguely differentiated hues of mud.  This is not good.

Still pushing forward you can tell how mad I'm getting at a painting by how much I've scratched guidelines into it with the opposite end of my brush.  Questioning what made me think I could paint.

It's going downhill.  Rage quit foreseeable future.

Colors and brushstrokes in general have been softened, adding a bit more warmth and consistency.  (apologies about the difference in photo color- adjusted my lighting settings and forgot to change them back)

Looks like the nasty has come to an end, with some sky popping up and more work in the foreground.

And where she lies now.  Still need to go back and fiddle with the sky (ran out of time in class).

In the end, I need to continue with this "color" thing.  It's taking me to unexpected places and I'm curious to see how it pops into my illustrations this year.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

3D Illustration

Sculpture has always been a side bit of fun for when I got bored with painting or drawing.  As a kid I loved to play in clay and make a general mess of things, and as I grew up, I found out that people liked to customize what I collected (model horses).  I spent years (all through middle and high school) customizing horses of my own.  As a result I built an understanding of depth and anatomy that I would desperately need in college.   

As an example to illustrate the model horse customizing, here's one from a couple years ago, before and after:

It wasn't until the past couple of years that I started playing in clay again to create original sculptures, and it's proven to be a wonderful venture.  Unfortunately last year due to some emotional randomness, stressful assignments, etc everything from my 3D illustration class wound up on the back-burner.  I did accomplish the projects on time but things were rushed and I was left unsatisfied.  I rushed ahead at the very end of it all and did a lil orc bust I was fairly pleased with and vowed to do more work over the summer.

Over the summer I did stay pretty productive, with sculpture included (a Redwall ferret bust was posted earlier on this blog if you'd like to go digging).  I also created a piece based off of Slagar the Cruel from Mattimeo by Brian Jacques.  He actually has a little ways to go but he's nearly finished and will be (hopefully!) cast.  I'd like to do several casts and paint up a variety of fox coats and selling most and keeping a couple.

Now that I'm back in school and in 3D illustration once more I'm feverishly working on projects- sculpting is no longer on the back-burner!  First up (and almost complete) is a minotaur runnin' around, being epic 'n stuff.  He'll be cast in class with many many copies, and I'll be offering some painted and some unpainted for sale at the Illuxcon Showcase this year if all goes well.

And just started earlier this week is a fat lil orc guy.  Clearly very early on in his life, but he'll get finished fast.  He'll just be an individual sculpt, no casting or anything.

Hopefully many many more to come this year (already have plans for a centaur).