Saturday, July 28, 2012

New Drawing the Sword Business Cards!

"Does this mean I'm a professional now?!?"

Today the parcel man dropped (rather loudly, I might add) a pleasant surprise on my doorstep.

My new business cards! I've been wanting to show them to you all since I placed the order, but I figured that I should wait, and let them speak for themselves. And they look fabulous! The online card service I used was top-notch and fast. And the printing quality was excellent, as well as the affordability. If you're interested in getting some cards made up, give them a look;
It's a lot of fun to see your own artwork printed out at higher resolution (hmm, maybe that needs to happen more, more on that later!)

Anyway, I hope to be handing these out rather obnoxiously to everyone I meet and know. So hopefully I'll get to hand you one when I run into you at a con or on the street, or over a caramel macchiato! And of course I'll be including them in any orders I ship out in my hopefully-soon-to-be-opened Etsy Store! I'm still in the process of finding a reliable way of getting prints done and getting the store in working order. I'll also be doing straight-to-print illustrations, and if there is any particular illustration of mine that you like and would want a print of, be sure and let me know in the comments. I want to print stuff that you folks would like to have for your own, so be sure and put your two cents worth in.

Well, that's it for exciting weekend news, and I'll keep you all posted on more developments on the shop, as well as my latest drawing (which I can't wait to show you!!). Anyway, have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Little Bighorn

Just a quick sketch from this evening. Toned drawings are really too much fun.

The Old Made New

As well as being an illustrator who loves to draw and paint, I also like to snap a few pictures when the occasion arises. I would love to someday own a SLR of some sort, but until then, I have discovered that my iPhone takes rather nice photos, and with the help of a few apps, can really turn them into works of art. 

A few months ago I was in Southern Kentucky, and had the opportunity to explore an old school, built around 1937 or so. The amazing thing was, it was abandoned, and everything seemed untouched. It was as if I could hear children answering questions and cheering upon hearing that summer break was about to commence. It was a haunting experience.

 "Commisioner of Agriculture" ... I wonder if this was his desk as a child?

The front entry way of the school. The principles office was like a crow's nest overlooking the front walk (above).

Vintage electricity and heating systems.

This typewriter was simply lying in the floor, most likely thrown in the floor by vandals (there was quite a lot of evidence of their visits).

Grain elevators and a railway were behind the school. And the clouds were just right.

I used VSCO CAM, an app with a myriad of controls to take and manipulate these images. It's available for iPhone and iPod touch on the app store, and in my opinion, well worth .99 cents. You can learn more about it here
History and old things are amazing to me, and to stumble upon a place like this was almost like stepping into a time machine. Hope to share more photos in the future here on the blog. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Brief Value Studies

Some very quick value studies in Photoshop for an upcoming drawing. I wanted to finish it today, but alas, you shall have to wait another day or so. Can you guess who this is?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

#164 To Everything A Season

Quick Sketch of a Dude from the 1960's *
*this is not a self portrait. Unfortunately I don't look this cool.
*Also this image has very little to do with the actual blog post below.

Just a quick post to update everyone on some changes that I have in the works for Drawing the Sword, and some changes that have already taken place.

1. Blog Changes - Over the coming weeks I will be slowly but surely making some significant aesthetic changes to the blog interface. This will include (hopefully) a redesigned header, a visually unified series of buttons/banners for the sidebar, etc. I want this thing to look good.

2. More Posts - I will be trying to be posting LOTS more in the future. I don't want to bore you with sub-par sketches, but I'm working like crazy to build up a portfolio, so there is going to be lots more to show you over the coming weeks. Also, I may start posting more stuff about what inspires me, what things I'm thinking about. I want this blog to be somewhat more personal, I want it to be a place where you can come to get inspired.

3. Lose the # System - This is something that is bittersweet for me. After a lot of thought, I think it would be better for everyone to stop "numbering" the posts. It was an integral part of the concepts I had when brainstorming the blog, but I think it's something has run its course.

4. Unveiling my Etsy store! - I'm in the process of setting up an Etsy store for Drawing The Sword. It will be an integral part of the Drawing the Sword online presence, and I hope to sell original paintings, drawings, art prints, cards, bookmarks, and possibly an occasional comic:) I will be updating you with more information on this as it comes, so stay tuned! Also, I'm looking for art print services that are reliable and produce quality results. If you've had any experience with this type of thing, please leave a comment on this post. I would love to hear of printing services you have had success with in the past.

5. New Gallery & Contact Page - I've also set up a 2nd blog (which was about the only way for me to create a dedicated portfolio page) where I've posted some of my best work. I'll be regularly updating this, so check back frequently. I've set up a contact page as well, so if you have any project inquiries, questions, or just want to chat you can check it out. The links are right up there next to my profile pic.

So that's about the shape of things. I hope to make this blog a much more exciting place from now on! Glad you're reading, and I hope you're feeling inspired already.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

#163 Sermon Illustrations: Digital Speed Paintings

I was recently asked to contribute some digital paintings to illustrate a series of sermons for the local church I attend. The paintings were done quickly, only about an hour and a half for each. It was good practice to boost my Photoshop paintings skills which need a great deal of improvement.

Friday, July 13, 2012

#162 Illustration Friday: Suspend

8.5 x 11" Watercolor & Digital
Being cast from his ship, the noble Nordic warrior finds himself suspended between the inky depths of death, and a terrible sea monster. He has two choices: succumb to a watery grave, or take hold of a legendary sword to slay his foe and rise again to air and life. I think he will choose the latter, don't you?
Done for Illustration Friday, a weekly artistic challenge.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

#161 Lieutenant Oliver, Soldier Dog

Lieutenant Oliver
Pencil & Digital
Yesterday on Twitter & Facebook I decided upon very short notice to take drawing requests. You would choose something for me to draw, and I would draw it, then put it up on the blog with a link back to your site. So, it was pretty short notice, but I got a few responses. I had time for only one today, but I would like to do this again in the future! So stay tuned, I would love to get more people involved and we could really get some cool art done this way.

So, a little about this drawing. I can safely say, this is the best drawing I've done in a long time. I am so happy with it. This request was from my lovely aunt, J. Rachel Reed who is currently writing a book about dogs during WWII. I'll leave it at that so I won't spoil anything. Her suggestion was as follows:

"A Stylized Soldier Dog"

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Aunt Rachel has a very wonderful springer spaniel named Oliver who lives with her, and he and I are great pals. I like to hang out with him, especially at Thanksgiving. And I knew he had to be a lieutenant in WWII, and of course, he would have to have a kilt on! So, a little googling for reference, an hour of drawing, an hour or so of Photoshop magic, and voila! Lieutenant Oliver! I hope you like him as much as I liked drawing him.
If you'd like to learn more about my Aunt Rachel and her book project, check out her site here: