Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hobbit Month!

"Forest Goblin"
8.5 x 11" pencil on bristol. 2012

In approximately 26 days, Peter Jackson will release to the world his vision of Tolkien's first tale, The Hobbit. I am very excited to see this interpretation (as well as its two proposed sequels), but like many other artists, I have found myself wanting to get down on paper my own unique perspective on the story. For me, the book has a fairy-tale quality that is not seen in the Rings trilogy, and somewhat unfortunately, a quality that I fear will be missing from the film. It is a bit more rosy, full of rich imagery of smoke, firelight, laughter, hearty meals, wine, ale, coffee, seed cakes, maps, keys, gold, dragons, treasure, caves, secrets, and mountains. When I read "the pines were roaring on the heights" in Thorin's song in the opening of the book, I can directly relate that to my own experience with pines in a fierce wind, and it gives me chills. Tolkien & I have experienced the same thing, only in different places and times. So his tale instantly makes an impression on me.

Well, enough of me talking in intellectual circles. I hereby declare the next 26 days to be Hobbit Month here on Drawing the Sword. I'll be posting as many Hobbity sketches and drawings as I can in the next several weeks in anticipation of the film, and in celebration of J.R.R. Tolkien's wonderful little tale.

And as an added bonus, toward the end of this 26-ish days, I'll be hosting a Hobbit Giveaway. I'll be giving away one (or maybe more) original sketches to a random winner. More details on that later! Also, if you'd like to join me in doing your own Hobbit-related drawings or artworks, let me know because I'd love to see what you're up to. And if you wouldn't mind sending me a link, I'll feature you here on the blog in a post!

That's all for now! Happy drawing and check back soon for more!


Monday, November 12, 2012

The Illustrator Grows Slowly as a Tree

Great Horned Owl
Prismacolor brown pencil on toned charcoal paper

Hello all. I am here to bring you an update from the frontier! The wild uncharted moors of Illustration Land! It is here that I, the intrepid illustrator, have fought many foes to create images that will inspire and uplift! However, in the recent weeks I have been in a slimy bog known as LIFE. Yes, my friends. It takes hold of you, and drags you away from your paper and pencils and paints and computers. It makes you work hard every day at a job that pays your bills but has nothing to do with making pretty pictures! It makes you sleep for a very long time. It makes you walk around in a groggy stupor saying: where am I? I am not an illustrator. I have never been one. 
And then, to your great astonishment, a large kneaded eraser hits you on the head, and something pops inside of you. You remember that you were made to make art, and you will stop at NOTHING to make more of it. The bog will not hold you! You reach! You Pull! You FIGHT! You shake off the mud, and start running across the moor - anywhere! You must find your work again! You must find some blue sky! You - run right into the phosphorescent Hound of the Baskervilles. GAME OVER.

Yes, friends this is me. The recent weeks have not been kind. Some of you have gone on to read more interesting art blogs. Some of you are ready to tie me to a stake and flail me for not finishing INKtober. Some of you do not care. That is fine. I will now continue to make art. And maybe even some great art. I want to make pictures for people to enjoy. And I will. So stay tuned. I HEREBY RESOLVE that I will make many more pictures, and put many more here. I want this week to be full of blog posts (hopfully not as dull as this). So prepare yourselves for what is to come!
NOW. Enough of this silliness, and on to some IMPORTANT things.

Please help fund The Lamp Post Guild! It's an exciting new learning platform that will teach professional art skills to ANYONE. That means you! And me! And it's a chance for someone who might not be able to afford art school to learn that they can make a living doing Illustration. And it's taught by my 3 favorite illustrators: Justin Gerard, Cory Godbey, and Chris Koelle! WIN.
The project is fully funded, but there are only 56 hours left in the Kickstarter as of this post, so you can still help out and fund some exciting stretch goals, like some new classes to be added to the list! I was the first one to back the project when it went live in October (pats self on back), so I've been taking it very seriously! Thanks in advance for helping out, and even if you can't back it, be sure and check out the courses. If you're even remotely interested in improving your illustration skills then these are most certainly the classes for you.

#2. Fox Demo by Cory Godbey!

     I wanted to quickly turn your attention to a video that I purchased this past weekend (and watched all last weekend). This is Fox, by Cory Godbey, a 1 hour video demo of Cory's digital coloring process that he recently made available on his new digital shop on his blog, lightnightrains. I am not being paid to say this, but let me say it's the best $30 I've spent in a long time. The video is extremely well done, and it's very easy to follow. I have seen Photoshop demos in the past that were insanely confusing (partly because they were so sped up, and partly because the commentary was terrible). NOT SO with Fox. Cory very kindly explains his process, things he finds useful, and encourages you to experiment with what works for you. I think that you will be highly rewarded, as I have for checking this video out. It just might change your approach to how you illustrate. 

And that's all for now. I'll be back very soon.