Friday, August 31, 2012

Two Faced Cat

If there's one thing that I really enjoy about being an illustrator, it's being able to visualize something something very quickly, grab the closest drawing utensil and sketch it out before your idea fades away from your consciousness.

This happens to me from time to time and sometimes it results in a good one-off illustration and other times you end up with a dud that ends up getting filed away as a practice of some kind. This next illustration is more of the former.

I made this a few weeks back when I noticed that Buzz Feed and Get Out of There Cat was posting a handful of cat pictures with either heterochromea, perfect two tone color division in the face or both. I decided to read the comments for these images and noticed that a lot of people were joking that they hoped the cat's name was Harvey Dent.

I'm assuming you can figure out what happened next if you read the introductory paragraph, but in case you didn't this happened:

I didn't intend this to be a very serious illustration and it can be categorized as a one-off quite easily but I put a little more into this than I would with ideas that were formed quickly. I took the time to research the various renditions of Two Face over the years and made an amalgamation of elements from various sources like The Dark Knight, Arkham City, The Animated Series and Batman Forever.

The coloring, while simple, was also carefully considered along with the atmospheric texture work in the foreground and background. I wanted the illustration to be silly but I wanted to retain a level of seriousness and intimidation that such a character would bring into a personal encounter.

Compared to other silly one off illustrations, this one was really well received by my audience on my Facebook page and for a good reason. It was unexpected and it's funny!

Girls 27-29

Hey everyone, this is just a small post to let everyone know that 52 Girls is still an active project but has been pushed back because of a really bad decision I made recently regarding it... Which was taking a break.

Taking a break from working on 52 Girls has to be one of the worst ideas that I've had in such a long time. It stopped being a daily project once #26 was finished since I was taking more than a day to work on each one (especially since some were digital and were time sinks because I was still getting a handle on the program as a painting tool) and for some unfathomable reason I decided to take a two week break to work on other projects and it's been a little bit of a struggle to get back into finishing the daily project.

Luckily as of this post, I'm working on finishing Girl #30 and Girl #31 is ready to be processed for online consumption. Once Girl #30 is finished, we're going back into this full force to create the remaining twenty. So for now, here's Girls #27, #28 and #29! Get ready for Girls #30 and #31 soon!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Illustration Friday - Tall

Another week, another Illustration Friday topic that I had time to work on!

This week's topic was Tall and I had a lot of ideas to choose from. I thought about doing some perspective drawing with a building or a cityscape, tourist curiosities like the Paul Bunyan statues and biggest ball of twine and odd paranormal occurrences/legends that have popped up over the years in stories, media, etc.

In the end, I decided to go with a paranormal subject and perused various legends until I decided to settle on one internet myth in particular, The Slender Man. I'm a fan of the web series Marble Hornets so it felt somewhat fitting to create a tribute piece to this paranormal creature of unknown origin.

If there's one thing that I was concerned the most with, it was the quality of the illustration. During my research phase for backgrounds and renditions of the character (of which there are many since they're photographs) I noticed that a lot of illustrations weren't implementing characteristics of video footage ala Marble Hornets with error lines and distortion.

Most of my Illustration Friday illustrations are one big chance to experiment with my craft and skills in order to learn something new, so I decided to try and replicate a similar look to the footage effects seen in MH. Lucky for me, I found a great tutorial on achieving this effect and gave me a basis for what was possible while leaving some of it up to experimentation and creative problem solving.

During the drawing and inking process, I decided to draw the background and foreground elements separately from one another because I was worried about ruining the composition of the illustration and scaling everything appropriately in regards to the height of the character. I haven't worked like this since art school and it turned out to be very beneficial since I ended up creating a great background that I can showcase independently and I was able to make the character work the way that I wanted to that I couldn't achieve by drawing them as one illustration.

But when it came to the video effects, I wasn't sure how much to use so I created three variations. The first illustration is the "clean" one and features an aura distortion glitch to imply the "camera" can't process what it's recording.

Feeling unsatisfied with that, I pushed forward into the second version with error tracking lines on top of the aura distortion. It was close but not quite close enough for what I was trying to achieve.

For the final version, I threw in smaller error lines, cut the image at strategic points and distorted the foreground to make it resemble a severe video failure glitch. A few people on my Facebook fan page and my feed liked this one the most to consider it the "official" entry for Tall.

As for the future of this piece, it's one of my best Illustration Friday pieces and I'm considering turning it into a GIF animation with a few extra frames that would be easily enough to create in Photoshop. It's also going to be on display and for sale at the 30 Under 30 exhibition at the Exeter Town Hall Gallery this coming October! Hopefully someone will like it enough to buy it!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Illustration Friday - Lonely

Everyone gather round, it's another entry for Illustration Friday! It's topical and just a tad bit shameful!

If you've been following my intermittent Illustration Friday entries, you should know that I'm not a stranger to creating topical illustrations that coincide with the theme. I don't normally follow celebrity gossip (or care) but it was a bit of a shock and surprise to hear that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart of the Twilight film series had broken up due to Stewart having an illicit affair with a film director. This event, coupled with the fact that I hadn't made a topical illustration in ages, made it an ideal subject for this week's theme "Lonely".

Since the actors are known for their work on the Twilight series, I decided to create an illustration that would feature their characters (or since Stewart was out of the picture, just Pattinson) and have it be reminiscent of the theatrical posters for the series.

As an illustration, this piece felt more like an exercise (as are most of my Illustration Friday entries) as opposed to being portfolio worthy. It gave me a chance to work with layering multiple textures in the foreground and backgrounds, play around with clipping masks to gain a better understanding of how to color linework and the chance to work with texture and effects brushes further.

It's also a little shameful because I never thought that there would be a time where I'd ever draw Edward Cullen, that this is could be considered fan art and it isn't the best composition compared to my other work. I'm sure that the feeling will pass but still...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Illustration Friday - Secret

"Boys and girls, I'm going to show you my secret friend here. Her name is Henrietta and she was my best friend during the Vietnam War."

This week's Illustration Friday topic was just too good to resist with such a bold (if not somewhat garish) illustration featuring the greatest neighbor ever and his dark secret... Which is a completely ridiculous urban legend that can make for an entertaining illustration.

Even if it's probably been done several times before by different artists.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Illustration Friday - Shiny

It's that time again everyone! It's another Illustration Friday entry and our topic this week is "Shiny" and let's face it, next to King Midas there isn't anyone more shiny than iconic and always entertaining Mr. T!

The hardest part of this piece was definitely coloring the barrage of necklaces and achieving a shiny look. It took several layers, multiple gradients and a clipping mask to get it the way I wanted it to look. The only thing that I couldn't translate from my mind successfully were the flourishes of sparkles and shimmers that I wanted to coat the necklace in as if it were the cover of "Mr. T and the T-Force" since I just didn't have the right set of brushes for this exact purpose.

Overall, I'm really pleased with the way this came out. Whenever I work in Photoshop, I'm always looking to excel my previous piece or possibly learn something new by experimenting with the program and I feel I've definitely learned something and improved since my last digital piece "Shades/Sunglasses in Space".

If you have any thoughts on this or any pointers, please let me know via the comments.

Friday, June 8, 2012

More Girls and an Etsy Shop

Oh gee, it's been a little while hasn't it? I guess I should explain myself shouldn't I? 

I've actually been micro-blogging on my Facebook art page for the past two months, which isn't entirely wise to do because my audience is rather limited compared to here, but it has been rather beneficial as a means to post content on a neigh daily basis, for good old fashioned shameless self promotion and to keep up a general work ethic. 

If you're interested in following it, check it out here and if you like what you see please follow it. You won't be disappointed! But that's not to say this post will be disappointing.

Since my last post I've been busily working on personal art project 52 Girls. In fact, you saw the first four but I'm currently at the halfway point for the entire series. Take a look at Girls #5 - 26 below! 

I'm not going to say a whole lot about this series until number fifty-two has been drawn but I can saw that it's been a genuine trip to work on this project for many, many reasons. I can't wait to work on the remaining twenty-six.

In other news, I decided to open up an Etsy shop a little while back to sell limited run prints of some of my pieces in addition to one of a kind works, original line art and t-shirts. If you'd like to see what's for sale please check it out here! I'm planning on adding new stuff soon so stay tuned.