Friday, March 2, 2012
Judson Roberts is an excellent writer. His series Strongbow Saga was published by Harper Collins a while back. Orson Scott Card reviewed the series here. The beast of Dublin is a story set in the same Viking universe.
Friday, February 24, 2012
I think over all I did a better job of mid-grounds than I did last week. I'm happy about that.
From here I'm to choose one and take it to completion during the remaining three weeks of the course. I'd like to get your opinion, which one should I finish?
Friday, February 17, 2012
Uploading these assignments I realize more than ever just how much I love foregrounds, like backgrounds, and utterly refuse to pay any attention to mid-grounds. This has got to stop. I'm throwing down the gauntlet. For week 5, I vow that I will have at least one (if not more) pieces with a strong focal point firmly placed in the mid-ground. And while I'm throwing around gauntlets, I also vow that it will be somewhat more intricate than I have done thus far.
What I learned from this assignment (or if previously learned then hopefully better applied)
1. The abstract design of the piece is just as, if not more, important than the actual subject. So zoom waaaaaay out in the initial phase to make sure you have a nice range of shapes. I find it also makes it easier to get strong line to your shapes as well.
2.Color is easier if you keep most of them way toned down and slowly sneak up on the saturation. If you go 100 percent from the beginning you have nothing to contrast it with. How can one part of the scene seem more brilliant than another if all the colors are screaming? Obviously, it can't.
3. Find an example from a reference of how light and matter react. I used reference to one degree or another with all but the war scene. That said, none of my pieces look just like the references. Below are the references I had up for the giant climbing the ridge picture. The guns and jeeps didn't show up in the painting so please don't go looking for them, I don't want to see you disappointed.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
I've been wanting to get better at environment design, so when I saw James Paick's online class offered by CGMW master classes, I signed up. Here's the first assignment. We were asked to do five rough thumbnails in black and white. Other than the first one, I feel like I made them all too illustrative rather than designs. Sigh. Not that that's always a bad thing, but in this case I want the environment to carry the emotion, not the character interaction in a environment--which is what usually interests me. I'm going to try and stretch myself.
I hope to see some improvement by the end.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I just finished the cover a few moments ago. I had a blast doing this. It's a departure from my normal style. I think I'm going to do more of this type of style.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Below are the steps it took to get to the above image.
Next using a number of different brushes, using color burn, multiply, screen,and color doge, modes, I painted away, simply enjoying the fun shapes. At this point I had no idea what I wanted to paint. I let the abstract shapes "speak" to me, as I focus on design. I wanted something interesting on an abstract level. As I did so, that dark wedge shape caught my eye.. It looked lik a good candidate for a subject. I sifted around in that area, like a gold miner in a stream, wondering what I would find. A fairy on a rock? A troll?
I believe it was about here that I decided to make it the character Hunger from a "Servant of a Dark God," by John Brown. Hunger is an interesting character. Essentially Hunger, just as its name suggests, has a insatiable hunger. Hunger moves through the ground and nature. When he finds a victim he forms up out from the ground using rocks, mud, grass and roots to make a body. Notice the branch like shapes on the left. Initially I focused on geting dark muddy feel and ambiguousness.
Then I went more strong in pose. I like this stage and might use the design for something else, but it wasn't my idea of what Hunger would look like--looked too wolfish. So I continued on.
And then we jump to here. I refined areas and left much of it dark. I think it works for a concept piece. But I wanted to explore Hunger a bit more.
A ton of work went on between the last image and this one.
I added a figure for interest and scale and got in there and defined the branches and muscles. I thought a lot more about the arms and mouth areas.
Doing this is a trade off. If you compare the earlier phases of Hunger you get more mystery/horror because of the unknown areas lost in the darkness. This phase you get detail and thus lose that edginess, but the detail does give the viewer more to look at, and slides the image more firmly into the "Fantasy" genre were wonder and awe are the main emotions people go to the genre for.
And nigh near complete. This stage I spent forever messing around with elements, trying to clarify shapes and relationships as well correct everything possible. For example I've added atmosphere( Hunger is"contre-jour" which means his figure is silhouetted against a light background--the light bleeds around his edges). I tweaked hungers expression to be a bit more crazy, defined the right arm (his left) and basically fussed like a mother rabbit would getting her litter ready for church.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Question: did I get my money's worth? Heck yes.
The class was simple. Before the class started Carlos had done three sketches of abstract human forms from which we could choose to sculpt--the idea being to teach us about the qualities of skin, fat muscle and bone without it being tied specifically to a real object.
It was difficult, but rewarding. I learned so much about how to design form and how to show muscle tension from this class.
As well Carlos, Andrew and crew went to extra lengths to make it educational, including bringing in some amazing original sculptures which Carlos had just completed--very kind of Carlos. As well, at the end Carlos gave us a challenge to finish the sculpt at home and the best one would get a six month mentorship with Carlos . I didn't win--there were far better sculptors there than myself--but I'm glad I gave it a try, because I learned a lot about Carlos's thought process and about forms and muscles. Sculpting is a great way to learn form.
Here are a couple of photo's of my final sculpture which Carlos designed and helped move along, occasionally tooling it himself when I got far afield.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
This was a quick sketch. I'm happy about how it turned out. I've been scanning in watercolor dry brush textures I've made and charcoal textures as well. One of the most useful was made by getting paper with tooth to it and a square piece of charcoal, I lay the charcoal sideways on the page and make a single mark. This makes a rectangle that I then scanned in and captured as a brush. I set the flip x and y jitter on(not to be confused with the angle jitter). This tones down a bit of the repetition in the stroke pattern. Same can be done with dry brushing with paint.