Today happens to be my younger brother's birthday, so this Inktober sketch is dedicated to him. He happens to be a real life technomancer, which is pretty cool. I'm not entirely sure what it is he does with his technomancy most of the time, but I swear it's magic.
So, I'm a little late to the party, but I'm hoping to pull of Inktober this year. I tried last year, and I'm pretty sure I got exactly halfway through the month. This year I hope to churn out all 31 pieces, even if some of them are super simplistic and basic. So stand by for a post later today, hopefully with art for the 1st and 2nd of October.
While I unfortunately do not have any new artwork to post, this past week held two exciting art-related events for me. The first was the chance to hear about the life and work process of Sergio Cariello. Sergio is an illustrator who has worked for both Marvel and DC, and more recently has become well-known for his illustration of The Action Bible. I got to sit in on a lecture with Sergio, where he talked about his life story, and how he got to the point he is at now. Also, he gave a live demo of his work process, sketching on his Cintiq which was linked to the projectors in the classroom. At the end, there was also an opportunity for some questions and answers, which yielded some interesting information about his views on art in general, and the freelancing industry. On top of this, Sergio's work is being exhibited in the university gallery for a number of weeks, so I look forward to the chance to stop by there and examine his art in greater detail.
The second fantastic event was a completely chance happening. While walking through the library to do some studying, I noticed a book standing on display on top of a low bookshelf. It was entitled Visions of Adventure: N. C. Wyeth and the Brandywine Artists. I vaguely recognized the name, and picked it up, leafing through the pages. As I read, I realized that N.C. Wyeth was one of the students of famed adventure illustrator Howard Pyle, and that this book provided a sampling of Wyeth's work and Pyle's work, along with the art of a number of Pyle's other students, all of whom studied under him at his Brandywine school. I haven't finished the book yet, but so far it has been a wonderful experience. Wyeth's fluid brushwork and dramatic darkness continue to enthrall me, and I'm hugely grateful for finding such an amazing book.
Something I've come to realize more recently is that I love symbolic art. Geometric shapes and patterns interwoven with symbolic meaning fascinate. For example, the cover to Nintendo's Hyrule Historia features a circular pattern that contains elements which are symbolically relevant to the Zeldarian lore.
Recently, I finished watching Fullmetal Alchemist the original series, and quite enjoyed it. I particularly liked the artist, yet highly structured and geometric patterns of the transmutation circles, and decided to draw one. However, I wanted to make something that was more than simply a cool pattern, but symbolically relevant, as well. So, given the stress placed on the concept of "Equivalent Exchange" throughout the series, I designed a transmutation circle that incorporates elements of the Christian faith, and scriptures which talk about the exchange made for us in the form of Christ's death on the cross.
I first created the circle and text with a pencil, then traced over that with a Faber-Castell india ink pen. Unfortunately, I didn't have any of my inks with my at college, so I had to settle for some red calligraphy ink I picked up at the college bookstore, which is much brighter and less bloody-looking than I would have liked. I may go over it in a darker ink if the opportunity presents itself.
Well, it's been a while, to state the obvious. Spending the summer at a camp secluded from technology and internet tends to impact one's ability to post on a blog. So does beginning your freshman year of college. Both of which happened. I'm now studying Studio Art at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. It's an exciting experience, and what I've seen of the art department so far has me very excited. On the downside, I no longer have access to a scanner. Below is a sketch of a clockwork sword I threw together up at camp--I was disappointed by how small my sketchpad was, because I'd ideally like the blade portion to be at least 50% longer than it is, but oh well. From here on out I'm going to try photographing my sketches for uploading to my blog, so hopefully that will work fairly well. If not, I'll come up with something--maybe. But for now, the sword.
Despite the complete lack of attention to the blog, I haven't been completely unproductive. Things have been crazy preparing for college, and camp over the summer. Like last year, I don't expect to make any posts while at my job as a camp counselor. However, I have had the opportunity to do two exciting things recently.
The first is that my high school Spanish teacher, who is putting together a pdf vocabulary handbook for one of his lower grade classes next year, asked if I would be willing to do a handful of illustrations for some of the vocabulary terms. I'm really thrilled by this, because it gives me the chance to practice and expand upon my art, while at the same time allowing me to give back to a teacher who has really been a blessing to me through high school.
The second opportunity came just today. For the end of the school year, my family made a trip to the Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge, MA. It was a fantastic opportunity to see a huge number of original paintings by Rockwell in real life, and get a lot of insight into his working methods, ideals, and art in general. While Norman Rockwell's illustrations don't necessarily capture my imagination and inspire me as some artists' works do, I nonetheless have a great appreciation for him, and this trip only served to heighten that respect and appreciation for his skill and talent.
Along with Rockwell's paintings, the museum had the works of two other illustrators on display. The first was a painter by the name of Edward Hopper. I had never heard of Hopper before, although I quite enjoyed his work. He did a large amount of illustration, mostly in watercolor, which had a very clean and sharp feel to it.
The other illustrator featured was an artist by the name of Murray Tinkleman, whose subjects ranged from vintage cars, to native americans, to Lovecraft covers. While I greatly enjoyed viewing Tinkleman's pieces on display, the real treat came with the opportunity to see and hear Tinkleman in person, as he gave a lecture that afternoon overviewing illustration in the 1950s. It was a great experience, as Tinkleman not only looked at illustrators from the fifties, but also gave some thoughts on illustration today, and art in general. All in all, it was an amazing trip, and I'm very pleased to have made it.
As I said, I expect to be inactive over the summer, and with college classes starting up immediately after camp, I'm not sure what my schedule will look like. Hopefully, though, I'll have some new work to post and time to post it before too long.
This is my latest sketch–it was supposed to be a pair of hands holding a bleeding heart that's also a mess of snarled, tangled fishing line, but I feel like the fishing line looks more like hair. I'm debating whether or not to paint it digitally now. We'll see. Also, I've finally gotten around to making a new blog header.
Long time no post. Here's the latest thing I've drawn–a self portrait with something other than a simply neutral expression. I had a difficult time with the hair near the neck, especially portraying how it caught the light, and eventually got frustrated and gave up on it.
Here's a drawing I'm working on that's still in progress. I really liked the concept of a somewhat geometric motif in the background. I think I'm going to expand the motif to incorporate two more circles, and possibly extend the leaves/vines. But for now, this is what I have.
In a continuation of my raven obsession, I felt like revisiting the character of the oh-so-dapper Mr. Raven, albeit in a somewhat different pose. His walking stick has changed a bit, and I don't think this sketch is quite as polished as his original appearance, but I enjoy it nonetheless.
Not much of a post, but I sketched this character this afternoon. He's some sort of cat, and goes by the name of Caliban. Maybe he'll show up again. Maybe not. For now I guess we'll all have to deal with his air of mystery.
I'm very close to finishing my second readthrough of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, and was inspired to do a bit of fanart. Not the most polished piece I've ever created, but I'm pretty pleased with how the "head" turned out.
"I’m dying, aren’t I? Healer, why do you take my blood? Who is that beside you, with his head of lines? I can see a distant sun, dark and cold, shining in a black sky. --Collected on the 3rd of Jesnan, 1172, 11 seconds pre-death. Subject was a Reshi chull trainer. Sample is of particular note." ~ The Way of Kings Brandon Sanderson
Wasn't sure what to draw today, so I just started sketching the side of a face. I hadn't planned on actually drawing the entire head originally, but once started, I felt like I ought to keep adding to it. For some reason, I felt inspired to make the left side different than the right, so I added a jagged scar, which disfigured the nose, lip, and immobilized the eye, giving the figure a sort of half-vacant stare. From there I added the arm, then hand, then right side of the body. Overall, a fairly enjoyable bit of drawing.
Well, I'm not going to pretend this is a huge post, but I haven't been doing a ton of drawing lately. Nonetheless, in an attempt to keep with the sketching of real-life objects, I drew a small glass bottle/necklace I made earlier in the week, based off of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series.
Complete with construction lines I never got around to erasing.
I've come to realize that I have something of a psychological aversion to drawing mundane objects. When I sit down to draw, I think "what should I draw?" Too often I decide that drawing a household object that I can actually observe would be too boring, and I end up trying to draw a dragon, or a boat, or something more exciting. However, I've found that when I do actually find something and draw it from real life, the actual process of drawing it is far more satisfying, and the result is usually a whole lot better. I think in the future I'm going to make more of an effort to get over that mental speed bump, and make myself work from real life. Here are a couple sketches I did of objects from real life over the past couple of days.
Okay, I admit it. I added the nails afterward, here, and just drew them from my imagination.
With this drawing, I was trying to use exclusively hatching to convey tone.
Also, that smudging on the glass was supposed to be a glare from the off-frame
light source, but I'm not sure how well it came out.
After doing my red and black portrait yesterday, I thought it would be cool to try a portrait in a similar style, but in blue. To add to the contrast with the original, I decided a female face would be neat. I started working on it, and upon nearing completion, I realized that the two might work well in a yin-yang sort of setup. Thanks to the help of a friend far more skilled in photoshop than I, I was able to crop and arrange them nicely, and here's the result.
This afternoon I was messing around with my tablet and getting frustrated with digital painting, again. It seems like whatever I do, it comes out looking digital and plastic. Finally I decided to just try something I'd never done before, and go with a very stylized, almost brush and ink black-on-white. That seemed a little boring, so I changed the white to red, and started. I got about halfway in, and was pleased with what was going on, but something seemed lacking. I needed another tone, and so I opted for a darker red. A little bit of messing around later, and this is what I got. It's definitely much, much different than anything I've done traditionally, but I think it came out fairly well, and has helped me expand beyond what I'm "comfortable" doing.
I still haven't gotten around to doing another acrylic painting, but this afternoon I was watching some old Portland Studios digital brush demos by Justin Gerard, which inspired me to pull out my tablet again and try some digital stuff. Having recently read the section from Gulliver's Travels on Laputa, the floating city, I decided to attempt to paint Laputa from the Studio Ghibli movie Castle in the Sky. I used a much more "brushy" brush than I have in the past, and went for a much looser, painterly approach–almost impressionistic. While my digital art still has a very, very long way to go, I was pleasantly surprised at how this turned out. Much of the time trying to work digitally ends with me giving up feeling frustrated. This piece, however, definitely gave me some satisfaction, and I'm excited to work more in color, both through digital and acrylic.