Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Two Years, Time for a Logo Update

I'm working on a new website, promo card, and business card.  I figured the first place to start on updating should be my logo.  I wanted to actually make this guy a character and have flow, contrast, and personality to him.  

I haven't decided if he should just be a head or a full figure.  With the head alone, the logo occupies the space of a square, which is more common with logos.  On the other hand, the full figure makes a nice silhouette.  Bah!  Anyway, do me a favor and zoom out on the logos to about the size of a stamp (that's what I've been doing tonight, haha).

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Finished Just in Time for Summer Vacation

So at the last minute I ditched the girl's face and redrew it, giving more emphasis to expression than making a perfect face.  I like the result, and I think she turned out looking like Lea Michele from Glee!  

I went heavy on the textures this time since I liked the result in the windmill illustration I did a month or so back.  The illustration looks good next to the editorial illustrations I've been doing recently.  My next project, and then I'll move on to working on my character design portfolio, is an illustrated magazine cover.  I'll use the technique that I used to paint David Bowie (previous post). 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Joy of Painting (a Happy Little Bowie)

I actually finished this last week for my girlfriend Jen on the occasion of our two year anniversary.  This is a pretty amazing milestone for me as I previously hadn't been with someone for more than a few months let alone two years.  She's great, and she's a fan of the Labyrinth (as am I).  

Painting is just a cake walk once you establish the values and colors.  Finishing this just took time, but I was satisfied with the cleanup as I went.  I hope to add a few more paintings to my portfolio as an alternate side of my work.

  My girlfriend Jen is doing a fantastic job in her senior year at the Savannah College of Art and Design.  You can see some very fine illustrations at her blog:


Friday, May 14, 2010

Yay for Input! Also, Cartoony Darwin is looking awesome.

So, this one went through a lot of ideas before coming to this drawing.  After suggestions from Andrea and Jen, I finally decided that this drawing isn't about Christianity being forced into schools; it's about conservatism.  Jen reminded me that you have to be obvious with editorials.  I made the teacher into more of a Texas politician (someone who doesn't belong in the classroom) and added an elephant trunk as a bookmark.  Andrea suggested I make it more apparent that we're in a classroom so the chalkboard, linoleum floor, and bookbag were added.  

Color has always been difficult for me, but in this case it helped me understand where the focus needs to be in the illustration.  That is for sure the girl, as she is the one that these changes will invariably impact.  Once again, thanks for the input.  Sometimes illustrations flow out, sometimes they take some hardcore refining (more refining to come).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Barack Obama

Our President Obama looks like such a hard hitter next to all the other heads of state around the globe.  He means business!  I drew him with really wide shoulders because his suits always seem to make him a bigger man than he is.  He's got that Talking Heads "Stop Making Sense" cut going on.  

There's something about drawing such a ubiquitous man like Obama, you won't stop until you get it right, haha.  I'll be honest, this took me most of the day and that frustrates me.  Hopefully the next one will be faster.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Under the Sea

I've been looking at flying fish, dragonfish, eels, and all sorts of marine life today.  Just like Sebastian said, under the sea is better than anything they got up here.  So many cool looking animals (and we haven't even found them all yet).  

This monster fish might be used for an illustration I'm thinking of.  Those are whistles and fish blowing them underneath his belly.  He's kind of a motivational monster, the kind that will run you down to eat you, so you run faster.  Great for people needing to jumpstart their exercise program.

Monday, May 3, 2010

For British Eyes Only

Actually, you can all look at this.  David Cameron is the leader of the Conservative Party in Britain and is poised to win this week's election. Here's David Cameron, the doughy faced, swooped hairdo that has a concise message for all British voters.  Families that are strapped for cash make cuts, businesses do too.  Why shouldn't the government?  That's right, snip snip.  I hope he doesn't become the next Prime Minister, because in reality you have to spend your way out of a recession.  Keynesian economics has the right of it.

So, he was a tough one to draw.  I don't see him every day on the telly (oops, television) and it's hard to know what to push and what his attitude is.  I ended up watching the live prime minister debates and BBC interviews.  So much more useful to actually watch a person move and talk than to look at photographs.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Our Secretary of State

I have a lot of respect for Hillary Clinton.  She gets things done and seeks reform tirelessly.  I'm sure some people don't like her because she's brutally honest, intelligent and tenacious.  That's fine if you're Teddy Roosevelt, but if you're a woman people feel threatened and consider you scary.  I think that's why things are so ass backwards and Sarah Palin has the popularity that Hillary Clinton doesn't.  

So today I draw one hell of a diplomat.  I drew her stern because that's when she operates the best, a harsh but fair speaker and negotiator.  Any suggestions for a political figure tomorrow?

Friday, April 30, 2010

What I Do To Relieve Stress

I have multiple projects in the pipeline right now, and they're all stressing me out.  So I decided to draw the Dalai Lama.  I know, that's weird.  XD

Actually, I should do a few more of these by next week because I'm going to be sending samples to magazines.  Three or four of these political figures will look good beside some of my recent editorial illustrations.  

P.S.- find some videos of the 14th Dalai Lama, just to hear and see the guy speak.  He's around 75 but he's still a dynamo.  

Thursday, April 29, 2010

To Texas: Don't Mess with Education.

Here's an illustration about the recent Texas Curriculum changes.  You know, the ones where creationism is to be taught alongside evolution and Thomas Jefferson's writings are cut in favor of John Calvin (founder of the Protestant movement of the same name).  I'm also disgusted at all the recent additions of prominent conservative figures at the expense of reducing Latino historical figures.  There is a clear political agenda here and I'm afraid that since Texas is the largest consumer of textbooks, these changes might have far-reaching damage.  

Now that my ranting is over, I like this illustration for the figures and the perspective.  At first I approached this in a straight on, flat angle.  This has more dynamism.  Darwin's pose looks a little off, so I'll work on that in the final.  I still haven't decided if this should be a borderless illustration. 

Underneath, fun with historical figures!  Darwin's my favorite, I should make a three-dimensional version of him (plush Darwin, anyone?).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

David Bowie Painting- 2hr

Working on the more simplified, comic style rendering with my editorial illustrations made me want to do a digital painting.

I've spent the longest time starting a painting with the airbrush tool and then building the contrast. I found I don't like working that way; I like to squint or stand back and see basically the finished painting before I clean it up. I started this painting like I would an actual painting, blocking in the values and colors. I have everything about where I want it now, so I'll start to smooth out the transitions in areas.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WIND!!! (Captain Planet Reference)

I enjoyed reading this editorial in Newsweek about how individuals should take action if they want to save the environment and get rid of deadwood politicians.  I'm very satisfied with the color key for this one, as well as how I resolved the windmill mess.  The subtle texture is acrylic gesso on board.  Hopefully it translates as wind.  I also added pinstripes to the politician's suit to emphasize the sleazy-used-car-salesman type he might have been.

Editorial work isn't my favorite, but I did enjoy executing this one.  I'm thinking for the next one I do, I let my love of fantasy and horror come out. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Iran Bomb Finished!

Two versions of the final.  Literally just a click of the mouse and I can toggle between the two.  Personally, I like the bottom version (the one where I dropped out the black ink in favor of color lines).  I'm pretty happy with the end result.  

I've decided I'll have two methods of working for my portfolio.  The first being this kind of polished, ready for print method that is very clean and simplified (seen above).  The other method is more like the paintings I've posted from life.  I like to take the more stylized figures I do and give them a realistic rendering.  This guy gets what I'm going for:


*The artist from the link is a Disney story artist, Sam Nielson.  This guy inspires the hell out of me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Iran Away From That Country With The Bomb

I like this composition a lot more.  It took me at least a whole day with this new sketch because the bomb was shaped like a penis (which is fine, but it's not the statement I wanted to make).  The action and emotion is more apparent in the figures and I like the wings of the bomb as armrests (a lot more subtle than a bomb shaped crown!).  

I will start inking this one today or tomorrow and hopefully start another editorial soon.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In honor of Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are is now on DVD.  I cannot give enough kudos to this movie.  The production design by itself blows me away.  I've been working on editorial illustrations for some time, so I felt like taking a break by drawing what interests me: monsters.  Not Hannibal type monsters, but just beastly, fangs and claws types.  It's great to test and push me on shape relationships and silhouettes since I'm not bound to the human anatomy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Why Ahmadinejad and Nuclear Weapons Don't Mix.

Actually, I don't like the idea of nuclear weapons at all.  No one should have the power to do what the US did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The article came from Slate and it explained why it's a bad idea for Iran to have enriched uranium leading to nuclear weapons.  Ahmadinejad has always worried me as a leader, since he pledged to dismantle the state of Israel.  Now imagine this zealot with a bomb.  Yeah...scary stuff.

This is kind of a rough sketch (for me).  You can see some things I haven't worked out (the playdoh clump I call Ahmadinejad's hand), but overall I like the mood and the composition. I'm trying to work faster, which means I have to do battle with the perfectionist in me. 

P.S.- There's some repetition of imagery in the crown.  Too much?


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All the Colors of the Rainbow

I really wanted to play around with symbolic color.  I won't go into all of my color choices, but it was a conscious decision to have the windmills green tinted or to have the politician's suit brown in one pass (symbolizing the 70s or something outdated).  I liked the idea of the people being blue in the face from blowing so hard.  I'll look at these for a bit and then make my final decision.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Year of the Tiger! Rawr!

I'm planning on creating a Tiger character.  I don't have much experience with animal anatomy so I'm pouring over photographs and videos to learn how these great beasts are put together. It's amazing how close the big cats are in construction to their domestic counterparts.  The end result I hope to achieve is somewhere between the Lion King degree of abstraction and the more simplified animals that Nico Marlet designs for Dreamworks.

There are 3,200 tigers left in the wild....in the world.  That was a startling fact to be confronted with.  Tigers have been my favorite animal since I was five and wrote a story in kindergarten about a tiger who lived in a trashcan and mauled those that came too close (no joke).  I read Calvin and Hobbes, ate my Frosted Flakes, etc.  All this time I've marveled at these creatures, in zoos, national geographic, or in abstractions like Master Tigress in Kung Fu Panda. Tigers were always there. 

Now we are coming to a period of time that might not have tigers.  In this, the year of the Tiger, we should really be aware of their shrinking populations and find a way to help rebuild.  

Incidentally, the UN has declared 2010 the year of Biodiversity.  Not just tigers but other species are disappearing from our planet due to habitat loss, climate change, and man's intervention.   

The World Wildlife Fund site for Tigers:


The UN site for 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity:


and finally, back to the WWF for a resource about things we can do, whether it be writing a letter to Congress or donating time/money.


Friday, January 22, 2010

What to Do with Politicans who Don't Move on Climate Change

Here's an editorial I'm working on for a Newsweek article about (paraphrasing) the need for citizens to take action to fight climate change on their own. In that way, they're not waiting on politicians who have special interest groups holding them back. The article was also a call to arms to vote out politicians who don't make climate change one of their top priorities.

The final will be in color and will be integrated into the existing article (maybe adjusting the original's type).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Sister's Doll in a Slightly Larger than Doll-Sized Chair

I started this painting in late December but the holidays delayed it. This is by no means a finished painting, but a demo (took about four-five hours). I try to paint things that I'll be utilizing in future illustrations. In this case, it was the doll's hair. I had to really try not to paint every hair, instead opting for shapes or clumps of hair. Painting this was a nice, calming exercise in the middle of a stressful week.

P.S.- I think there was a time in which I could sit in this chair. That's pretty incredible considering a doll is almost big enough for it.