Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Poster Illustration: marker comp

I've seen Truman's Poi dance group perform several times and their art has always intrigued me. So I got excited when I saw that SUEDE was sponsoring the Poi dance class this semester and that classes are starting soon. Is there a better event to create an illustration for?? I think not. Swirling fire? Yes!! So here's a marker comp I did for a 13x19 poster. The text will be in a light color on the stage area with the illustration being the dominant element of the poster.

New profile pic!

Finally got it done and approved! I had trouble with the background at first, but I think it looks more believable this time. I was hoping it would be a little looser still, but this works.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Watercolor structures

Ok, going back in time a bit. 10 watercolors. Structure instead of fluffy clouds this time. This was a little difficult, I had trouble getting edges to look defined. Here are the highlights:
The tree looks pretty good on this one. Don't worry, the trunk and branches are supposed to be out of the picture. Seriously. The windows look pretty good here. The lines and proportions are a little off. Oops.

This one is pretty flat. Boring. No perspective.

So I ran out of watercolor paper. So I used some of my skyscapes from before and added structures. Saved me from making the background at least! Kind of disappointed that it showed through so much though.

I was experimenting with leaving some of the lines of the windows out. Apparently I haven't gotten a good handle on that yet. Every time I try, it doesn't seem to work out very well.

watercolor + line

Here are the 5 traditional watercolors that go along with the 5 digital ones. They didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, probably because I did them early in the morning. Note to self: don't watercolor early in the morning.

I like the shadow best on this one. That's pretty much the only good part of this.

The line work is ok here.

The flower looks best on this one. I think I tended to overwork the color towards the center of the flower on all of them. But it looks ok on the outer petals. The line work also looks best on this one.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Digital Watercolors???

Ok, I think I understood this assignment correctly. 5 illustrations in watercolor/ink by hand, 5 digitally. So, I set out to make 5 illustrations digitally that looked like (or at least had the feeling of) watercolor. Some of them I used line art with as well, some I felt didn't need it. I tried a couple different strategies. Here's what I got:

For this one, I used mostly color. I added a couple effects to the bricks first, trying to make them look more brick-y instead of flat and untextured. I think that worked out pretty well. I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to go about the glass bowl part of the house lamp, but I think that turned out pretty well too, however, It doesn't have a very transparent look (which the real glass obviously had). I think you get the point though. the only line I used on this one was the brown lines to create the rest of the lamp.

Some people have garden gnomes, I have a hedgehog. I think this illustrations of little Pierce turned out pretty well. I was trying to make it look like I had laid down the wash of color first, then gone back in with the line. Dodging and burning were my friends with this one.

This flower didn't turn out like I had hoped. At all. I tried a couple different things in the same illustration. A little bit of using different colors and trying to blend and smudge them together (fail.) and a little bit of using dodging and burning (worked out a little better). I wanted this single flower to be the focus, so I hinted at some of the other foliage in the background (leaves and grass) but it still kinda looks funny.

This was a pretty good combo of watercolor wash and ink. The simple sky colors make a great backdrop for a close-up of La Tour Eiffel in "ink".

This rainy beach turned out I'm not really sure what I think of it. One part I especially like though is the little reflected sunset. Look closer. It's there. Tiny. Yup, there it is.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cloudy Watercolors...of clouds

Ok, so moving on to watercolors! The first set of 10 was supposed to be of skyscapes. I tried to illustrate the coudy, overcast skies of Kirksville the other day, but the darker colors ended up looking muddy. Something still to work on I guess. I think some of the lighter colors and creating trees with a sponge worked well though. Here's a couple of the ones I think are the best or show interesting effects:

Final Ink Drawings!!!

Whoohooo!! Here they final 8x10 ink illustrations. I think they turned out well, although there is always room for more improvement!

Do it again....

10 more ink drawings...this time from photographic reference. I think this was my favorite method of ink drawings. I liked being able to get the proportions and angles more exact from tracing the photo but having the control over the pen that I didn't have when working directly on the computer. The only problem I had was the sun going down as I was perched in my windowsill trying to use the sun as a natural lightbox and my back pain the next day from being hunched over in the window for so long....
This is one of my favorites...It looks pretty believable!

This is another favorite. It was a really awesome artistic sculpture in the St. Louis Botanical Garden. The fence looks more like a brick wall than a fence though, unfortunately.

Another fave. I like the way the front handle turned out.

This clock tower was fun to do, and I think it turned out ok.

Very First Illustrations...Eek!

So going backwards on the Illustration timeline, these were the first illustrations I did. Just 10 small ink drawings. Simple, right?Hours and hours of frustration later, I was "done". Already looking back, I can find LOTS that I could do better and change. Oh well, improvement was the whole point, right? Here they are:
A sun dial. I think the proportions turned out funny.

A little wooden house on a sidewalk. I was experimenting with expressing the shadow in a different way, but I don't think it was very successful.

The smiley face tree! I think the eyes and mouth actually look pretty good, but there's no difference between the tree and the background...needs more contrast there.

The windmill. I really like the blades on the windmill, but the rest could have used a little more time and attention.

A swimming pool. I focused mostly on the different levels and planes of the pool.

Straw bales. I like the texture of the bales and the grass and background. I wish I had treated the gravel driveway in front differently.

A tower. The angles and proportions did not turn out well at ALL.

Trees on a hill. I think this one got overworked. I kept trying to force it to do certain things that I could see in my head, but never achieve with my pen.

A bridge. I like this image a lot, and thus I tend to reuse it pretty frequently. I like the architectural angles of it. Now I know not to outline the shadow though :) And I should have added more of a horizon line to make the bridge look grounded.

Skyscraper. I think I really started to get a handle on showing the different planes of the building.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Digital Illustrations

Ok, so I'm going to be working backwards for these first few posts, hang in there with me. These drawings were our third assignment experimenting with different media and methods to create line art. This time, doing everything digitally. NOT FUN. I've never been a huge fan of drawing, so at first I thought "Finally! Skip the drawing by hand and go straight to the computer!!" However, I have been converted. This process was absolutely miserable. I had very little control over the line (couldn't draw a straight line to save my life) so many of these ended up looking like Kindergarten drawings to bring home and hang on the fridge with an ABC magnet. This process also took FOREVER!!!! Here's what I came up with though:

I think this one might be my favorite of the 5. I like the way the blades of the windmill turned out.

This one turned out ok. I think the line on the actual bridge looks good, but the shadow and horizon lines look kind of funny. If I were doing it again, I would use a finer line, I think.

For this illustration, I wanted to experiment with suggesting the edges of the faucets without actually drawing them in. It wasn't as successful as I had hoped though (thus the funny-looking thick line at the top of the nearer faucet).

This drawing started out well as I drew in the shadows below the horizontal boards on this playhouse. However, the door in the background and the depth on the window didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.

This was the first illustration I did for this set. Many hours later, I think the main building turned out well. I like the effect that was created by just drawing the shadows and recessed parts of the building/parking garage. If I had had a little more time, I would have gone back and made the surrounding buildings more believable.