Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#150 Red & Brown

Been really loving these Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils for drawing & sketching lately. They are really inexpensive and the color combinations make me want to sketch more. The two colors can really add depth to a drawing. These thumbnails are for a "Sea Monster vs. Victorian Submarine" illustration for the Sketchbook.

EDIT: I'll fix the picture later, you can click I for the full version.

Monday, February 27, 2012

#149 Sketchbook 2012!

Out of necessity I've been posting a lot from my iPhone lately, so I have to keep things a bit short. But I wanted to share a bit of a drawing I've been working on this week... And share a bit of what it is for.
I am planning a printed Sketchbook!
I have a theme in mind, but haven't decided on a title yet. It will feature about 8 - 10 finished illustrations, along with all the sketches that go along with them, and will (hopefully) be printed in full color!
I'll share more details as they come, but I won't be posting all the finished art, but will keep you updated!
Look for a release sometime this summer. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

#148 Warrior Sketch

15 minute sketch with Prismacolor Col-Erase vermillion on Moleskine. (Photo Taken w/Instagram).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#147 Oil Painting (Still Life)

Before Christmas last, I attended a workshop on oil painting at a local art supply store. I wanted to simply be introduced to the materials involved in oil painting, and it was a decent introduction. I have not touched oils since, simply because of one or all of these three things:

1. I haven't bought any more canvas or boards.

2. I am a procrastinator.

3. Oils are messy.

The latter statement is one that I discovered during the class. The instructor informed us (halfway through the class) that oil paints have the potential to be rather toxic. Of course, at this point I had them all over both my hands. I was not amused.

Still, however, I plan on doing more oil studies soon. James Gurney, a fabulous oil painter who works mainly in the plein-air method, will be a day lecturer at IMC this year, and I very much want to attend his class. So I hope to learn a few things before I go so I will at least be able to follow along at a limping pace.


Monday, February 13, 2012

#146 Atmospheric Thumbnails

I'm trying to discipline myself to post on this blog on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday basis.

"Well Will you're doing a pretty awful job of it" you say.

But I'm posting. And it's Monday. And I haven't made a whole lot of progress on Desert Chase (although I did stretch some watercolor paper today, in preparation for another Hobbit portrait - more on that soon). So I rummaged through my cluttered hard drive to find some stuff in the archives that had never seen the light of day on the blog. These are atmospheric thumbnails for a school project I did a while back. They were so much fun to do. I will probably do these in preparation for my next illustration. But until then, you may enjoy these - on which, I will not elaborate to a great degree, only to tell you that they involove a lot of falcons, H. G. Wells Martians, and people in top hats running for their lives.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

#145 Some News!


Just a quick break here for a little self-promotion (this won't take long, trust me). I wanted to announce that I have created a brand-new Tumblr blog, WTK to showcase only finished illustrations, graphic design projects, and sketches. This differs from Drawing the Sword in that I am being quite strict in what pieces I post there, in order to maintain a constant showing of my best work. Drawing the Sword (the blog you're looking at now) has primarily evolved into a place to share my work process, or how I get art pieces done. So go check it out, and share the link if you're so inclined! Hopefully you might find some pieces you're familiar with, or find a new favorite. Here's the link:

The second bit of news is that yesterday I learned that my registration was finalized, and that I will be attending the Illustration Master Class in Amherst, Massachusetts! There were only 6 spots left when I frantically sent my application, sweating all the way, hoping I hadn't missed out. Thankfully, I was able to secure a spot for the 2012 class in June. It is going to be an amazing week with the opportunity to learn one-on-one with artists like Greg Manchess, James Gurney, Dan dos Santos, and a whole bunch more. I am so excited, and humbled that I was granted this amazing learning opportunity. I will definitely be posting more news about this as it comes - and of course, pictures of the actual class!

So, that's about it for now, I'll get back to posting more on my Desert Chase illustration soon.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

#144 Desert Chase: Thumbnail/Brainstorm Stage

It probably goes without saying that when you start an illustration project, you do thumbnails. Lots of them. But believe it or not, I have to be reminded of that constantly.
I won't say that thumbnailing is my least favorite part of the process, but it certainly is one that I seem to shy away from. Trying to come up with ten solutions to an illustration problem of concept, design and composition is about like pulling mastodon teeth for me.
Many professional artists/designers will create upwards to 100 or so thumbnails before they begin to narrow it down to a design that will work. For me, ten is pretty good.
While sitting at my somewhat tedious "day job" I cobbled these thumbnails & sketches together on notebook paper & smuggled them into my pocket before the company secret agents came and handcuffed me, escorting me to a very dark room with a chair and a blinding light.
My thumbnails are usually very rough explorations of form and placement of elements. I don't worry too much about the actual look of the objects because I already have an idea of what they'll look like anyway. It does help to look up reference ahead of time because it gives you more confidence in the placement & size of certain parts of the image.

As you can see (or hopefully you can see) early on, I'm trying to establish perspective. So far I've been going with one-point perspective with a vanishing point on the horizon, located using the Rule of Thirds. You might also notice that I have some significant rock formations in the background. This is where reference comes in handy. At this stage I just did a simple Google search for "Utah rock formations" and took a good look. Don't copy reference, just make mental notes of outstanding characteristics of the reference material. Later you'll have a better idea of what you want to draw.
I also searched for vintage motorbike reference which will be an important part of this piece. Above you can see that I've made a lot of notes on what I want to include in the painting, as well as just general brainstorming about technique/mood/lighting - just all kinds of stuff.

That's all for now. Next time I'll try to share some finished sketches!