Thursday, May 27, 2010

#048 Morgan Part II: Final

Morgan Freeman (charcoal on paper, 18"x24"), 2010.

My professor, Mr. Jesse Mangerson considered this my best drawing of the Spring semester. Although there are several things to improve here, I would have to agree with him. After completing this I really want to delve into portraiture more, especially now that I realize that it is an achievable goal, and an enjoyable one at that.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

#047 These People Create: Tycho

Scott Hansen is back in the studio...

You may remember a post I did several months ago about the amazing design powerhouse ISO50, headed up by designer Scott Hansen. What you may not realize is that Hansen also fronts a band named Tycho. The band, which is signed on the Ghostly International label (Phantogram, christopher willits, Choir of Young Believers), has a distinctive sound, using warm synth tones, sampled vocals, acoustic guitars, all painted onto a warm bed of softly crackling analog tape noise. The sound has been compared to that of Boards of Canada, but to me Tycho feels much warmer and friendly than starker electronica music.
But the great news is that the band is back in the studio working on brand new batch of songs that could come out in early 2011. Hansen mentioned in a blog post about the new album's progress that he recently came out of an extended period of songwriting, in which he developed a few album's worth of material. Now he says that "the past couple months have been the most productive of my musical life". Needless to say, I am eagerly anticipating this release, and am confident that my expectations will definitely be exceeded.

See the progress post with more pictures and a detailed report of what's going on here at ISO50's blog.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#046 Ares

Ares: god of war!

Our final project last week in Digital Media 1 was to complete our photo composite representing a Greek deity of our choice. I chose Ares who is supposedly the god of war and bloodshed. And judging from this photograph, he is also god of explosions and pyrotechnic disaster.

Me, acting very much like an idiot, for art's sake.

There was a lot of preliminary work involved leading up to this point though. I had to photograph myself in rough poses to explore the mood and feel of the character, and to get something to show my model and explain to him what needed to be done.

The model, striking a very grim pose.

Secondly, I recruited my younger brother to play the part, and he was fairly willing to oblige as long as he didn't have to "take his shirt off". He struck some nice poses, and the costume artist (my mom) did a fabulous job coming up with a decent costume in about 30 minutes (thanks mom!).

The most difficult thing was my stupidly photographing the model 1/2 in shadow and 1/2 lit, which is not good when you're working with other photos, etc. So I had to work around that quite a bit, using the Dodge tool in Ps to even out some of the darks on the model.

The final image is made up of close to 10 or 12 different images, and I ended up with around 20 layers. The interesting thing is that the overall image looked a lot warmer in Photoshop than it does now in the browser. I'll have to remember that next time...

So there you have it - the god of WAR!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

#045 Morgan

The preliminary sketch for my final project in Analysis of Form. We're doing portraits from photo references. I'm doing Morgan Freeman. You can see the grid I used which was also drawn on the reference photo, but in the end they were both measured wrong, so my drawing came out wrong. So I had to ignore the grid, and use my sight-measuring superpowers to get it back to normal. Roughin' it!

Next Week: The Final Drawing!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

#044 Guardians of the Desk

For about a week now these stalwart guardians have been holding down security here at the Illustration Desk.

Call me weird, but I still have a great love of Legos. I built with them all the time when I was a kid, and would spend a whole day working on massive projects of imaginative grandeur. It was the way I built my own sci-fi and fantasy worlds, and to an extent, I still occasionally try those ideas out in Lego bricks now.

These Rebel soldiers are ready for anything the Empire throws at them. I love the details the figures have... just like they were in ESB. My goal someday: have a little converted closet in my house with all the Lego Star Wars models I can get my hands on - all in a diorama setting. How's that for a geeky kid's dream?

Get your own at

Thursday, May 13, 2010

#043 Eyjafjallajökull

Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull - May 1st and 2nd, 2010 from Sean Stiegemeier on Vimeo.

The infamous volcano in all its terrible glory. How beautiful is such a powerful thing. How great the One who performs such miracles.

I have always wanted to go to Iceland, and this 2 minute time-lapse film just makes me want to go more. Also enjoyed the seemingly Sigur Rós-ish soundtrack which was gorgeous.

Video by Sean Stiegemier, who you can visit here.

If you wish to purchase me a ticket to Iceland (and maybe one for a friend or two), just leave a comment in the comments section. Thanks!

Friday, May 7, 2010

#042 Swell

A beautiful poster for the Swell Season by graphic design team the Small Stakes.
This is graphic design in its sweetest, simplest, most profound, most innocent and unassuming form.
Go buy a print at their website.

Found on Grain Edit.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

#041 Your Facial Hair Makes a Statement

{Click the image for a larger view.}

So, can you be trusted?
Unfortunately I'm probably on the FBI beard list located close to the Werewolf under "Dangerous".
I think it's time to shave.

Found on the wonderful blog of Mollie Greene, Fresh Milk Delivered Daily.