Monday, February 25, 2013

Character Sketch: Jungle Warrior

I'm a huge fan of Pulp Art and Jonny Quest cartoons. They have a very similar feel and color scheme. I'm also a big fan of jungle art, art with Indians, and Tarzan. This illustration combines a little from all of those.

This is also my latest attempt at digital painting. The figure was drawn with a Zebra disposable brush pen and colored in Adobe Photoshop. The background was painted in Corel Painter with a variety of tools.

I really liked how it turned out, especially the colors.

What do you think?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Character Sketch: Diva

This is the third digital illustration in the series. The style concept came from a comic book I published a few years ago, Wandering Koala rides The Phantom Coach, one that receives the most praise for the artwork. I really liked it but thought it too harsh for long term use.

Now I'm rethinking that.

I really like the black & white drawings with one color to enhance it. It's powerful, it's eye catching, and it forces me to focus on the design.

I drew this in Corel Painter with the background pattern created in Adobe Photoshop.

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Digital Illustrations: Lovely Ladies

I've been working towards a style that is a mix of modern comics with early-20th century illustration. I wanted something with the incredible craftsmanship of those early illustrators but a modern, not-dated look. I've been approaching it from different angles, trying different medium, abstracting to differing amounts.

With these two drawings. I've combined several of these aspects and techniques that I liked, and I think I've found the style for my future publishing projects. It's cartoony, but well crafted. It's abstract with strong colors and shapes, but the harshness has been toned down.

These were drawn in Corel Painter with a little help from Google Sketchup and Adobe Photoshop. I like the fact that they are all digital but look like I used a crow quill pen and a brush. So far I've received a very positive response on DeviantArt.

Let me know what you think.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Character Sketch: The Prince of Egypt

So I've gone back to traditional illustration techniques for this character sketch. I really like the brushwork and how the black & white version turned out. The color version seemed to lose some of the magic. I really like how the background was created with two colors and the base of the lion/sphinx is shapes and gradients. I like the pose and the colors, but there is still something missing.

As for the subject matter, I've always loved all things ancient Egypt. I'm not sure why. It just has a mystery that draws me to it. It's been a decade since I've done anything with it, so I thought it was about time. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stylization in Art and Illustration

Currently I'm designing characters and backgrounds for an animated short. While coming up with the look and designs, I asked myself what style I wanted this short be. I thought about other animation and cartoons I enjoyed and considered each one for a direction to go in. Looking over animation how to books I got to thinking about style and stylization.

I tend to enjoy an artist's work during the formative years while he's developing his stye and less once he has an established style (with a few exceptions like Frank Miller and Jack Kirby). I thought about a friend of mine who I love his brilliant pencil sketches, but can't really stand his stylized figures. I realized the reason I like the earlier works is there is less stylization and less reliance on conventions. The thought came to me that stylization is like seasoning: a little bit enhances the flavor of the main course, but too much and all you taste is the seasoning until it burns your tongue.

Looking over my own work that I've posted, I've noticed some of my works are more stylized than others. I really like the heavily stylized work, but others seem to respond much better to the less stylized works. This raises a question of which route should I go? The answer depends on another question: why do I create art, to please myself or to please others? Therein lies the problem, because I want to please both. But you can't please all of the people all of the time. So I do some works for me, and I do some works for others. Is splitting my portfolio a good strategy long term? We'll see.

The drawing above is a digital illustration created in Corel Painter 12 colored like Bat-Manga comics, which I just love. I really want my new series of eDigests to use this style, but I'm not sure if others would respond to it like I do.

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Character Sketch - Swimmer

I've been meaning to do more Character Sketches, but work keeps getting in the way. Today I was able to finally just sit down and draw.

Originally I was only going to do a quick study, but it kind of turned into a full blown illustration. And it's digital. So much for my going back to traditional tools. The funny thing is I was ready to pull out my stick and ink--I even looked over past stick sketches to review the technique. But I sat down at the computer to do a few things, and I said to myself, "Self, why not do a quick digital sketch." Three hours later I had this. And I love it!

Digital is kind of interesting/weird for me. I like the look of traditional media, but it does look a little old. That's not a bad thing, but I do love new and exciting, and digital is the current new and exciting. I also like how the lines don't have to be black. I know, I know, you can color black lines to make them look other colors, but they look like black lines that have been recolored. It always looks a little odd to me. There's definitely some roughness that wouldn't exist in traditional media, but there's also a certain something--call it an X-factor--that I only get when I go digital.

So what's next on my plate? I actually have an animation storyboarded that I'm working on using vector animation but making it look hand drawn and I have another Wandering Koala Tale to write and illustrate. I'm pretty excited about both.

Be sure to comment and let me know what you think. And go to my official Facebook page and like me--you can see a lot more artwork organized by purpose.