Friday, October 26, 2007

How reading improved my art.

I am an idiot. I know most of you had that conclusion already but let me wallow for a moment in my own ignorance. I bought a book a few years ago looking to improve what I knew about Photoshop painting. The author's work was impressive and I glanced thru it noting how the pictures of what he was discussing looked like what I already knew. A few days ago I pulled the book back off my bookshelf and looked for something or another that I thought was in said tome. Then something unexpected happened to me. I actually started to READ the book. The more I read the more I wanted to get up and go to my computer and follow along with what I was reading. AND THEN I DID!! Who would have thought???? Then it was like the clouds in my brain parted and I finally saw the light. I actually learned something! It turns out, I really had no idea what he was trying to show me in the marvellous book and that I could actually not only do things better but faster!! Now I want to read even more and finish the thing before the updated version comes out!!!

Here is the book. It is by Don Seegmiller. Look him up. Even if his work is not your cup of tea, he can still show you alot of tricks and applications that Photoshop is capable of.



Ok. Here is an example of what I painted while using lessons from the book. Here is the thumbnail I started with. The original is only about 2" high and done in pencil and watercolor wash.



Here is the finished painting I did all in Photoshop. I may have gone overboard with things but I was experimenting. I like it at the moment tho.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Art Rage!!!!!!!

No, this is nothing like "roid rage" for the nerd contingent of the art world. This is the most fun program that I have stumbled across. Now I know that several of you out there have heard me go on about this before but for the uninitiated ArtRage is a painting program for those of us that were befuddled with Painter. Or couldn't afford Painter. It was designed by some of the fellas that made the original Painter if I am not mistaken and they have broken it down to the bare bones. A simple painting program and nothing more. It has a clean, well laid out interface and the learning curve is about an hour! Now this is not a replacement for Painter nor is it a photo-editing device like Photoshop, but it does work with Photoshop and does a couple things that I wish Photoshop did (live rotating screen for one!). Check it out for yourself. They have a free version with most of the applications and the full version is a whopping $25.00. Yup, only 25 bucks!!! Really? How could you go wrong???

http://www.ambientdesign.com/artrage.html


Here is the first painting I did with it. Most of it was done with the free version .






Here is what my 3 year old son did with it the other night. No kidding!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Nova update

Well, I warned you that I was going to keep working with him. Here is the color comp and the finished Illustrator version. I have even started the sculpt of this figure. Not bad so far but not ready to show it yet. That and I have not taken any pictures of it.



Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Perils of Freelance

Now don't get me wrong. I do enjoy freelancing and the break from the monotony that I get working all day long at my regular job but with it comes its own set of hurdles. Here are several pieces I did for a bank magazine. The first one here was used as a cover and it actually went without a hitch. I used my neighbor at the time, James, to pose for it. Made him get dressed up and climb a ladder in his living room. He is always cool about helping me out and he didn't mind that I made him caucassion. He was just glad that "his ass would be on the cover of a magazine."



This was another cover and a real piece of shit. I didn't have much time at all and they pretty much told me exactly how to draw it. They cut a really big check tho.



This one was actually fun to do. That's me on the far left of the piece and I also posed for the gentleman in the middle. My wife was originally the character looking curiously with the basket but I was told by the art director that the editor was sexist and that she needs to be a man. So, I became all three men. The actual final drawing of it was done during one of the hurricanes that hit Florida a few years past. I was at the end of my hallway drawing on the floor by flashlight while my wife was behind me caring for my infant son trying to sleep while feeling the walls give and take. I didn't really care for the final but I made the deadline in spite of everything and got paid.




This last one was a real rush job. The assistant art director called, told me what they needed and I had like a day to do it all. I made it. It sucked but I made it. They seemed to like it, I billed them, and then the art directors went on vacation. A day later the head editor called me and seemed to not know what to say. He finally said, quite awkwardly, that someone thought that the figure on the pecil looked like he was humping it. I held back my snickering. He apologized and then said to me: " If we pay you an extra $200, can you get him off?" I burst out laughing. Then I told him that for an extra $200 I would not only get him off but I would make sure he got home safely. He was silent for a moment before saying "Fine". I got the revision the next day and they never called me for another job since.