Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I need a new car.

... Well, that, and I'm also running out of wall space. So for a limited time, until June 1st, any of the paintings on my website are available for $1000 (before shipping costs, if any). Fairly large scale 20x30 - 30x40 original art, unframed. It's a pretty good deal, if you ask me. That excludes "Arcadian Starting Line," which I'm going to need to hang onto for a while.

I don't expect anyone to hang these in their living rooms, but if you're a fan of fantasy art and want to get a collector's item for cheap before this American Illustrator gets famous, act now.

Just send me an email: ryanpancoast [at] gmail.com and we can work out payment and shipping.

And, just a reminder, the Studio Store is still offering color studies.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My birthday

I'm 26 today. It's my dad's birthday as well.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Outdoor Track 2009

Track practice has started at my alma mater, Bunnell High School. This will be my third year as Assistant Coach, mostly dealing with the distance runners. We have some great talent on the team this year, so hopefully we'll win the SWC Championships for the third year in a row. If a few school records fall in the process, all the better.

To help in that effort, I do a weekly "Skull Workout" with the team. If the guys "kill" a workout by meeting my time goals, they earn a hand-made skull bead. Some of the guys who've been on the team a few years have quite a few to wear around their neck.

Let the 2009 season begin!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Impressive Illustrator

You've seen Michael Deas' work. You probably didn't recognize it at the time, because who thinks about the illustrator, right? His work has been on the cover of TIME and countless other publications. He's done postage stamps. He did this very iconic image to the left.

One of my college professors once said it was like having a classical painter living in modern times, which is pretty accurate. Deas' work is the modern standard of a very old aesthetic, an aesthetic which I hope to master some day.

This concept of an illustrator whose work is so pervasive in our society yet whose identity is unknown to the general public is not hard for me to understand. Every so often, someone will poke their head into my studio while I'm working (which I encourage; it's a open invitation) and ask about my work. Usually, they like what they see, but can't quite seem to understand it; how my work is used, why the pieces are so large. "Do you sell your work?" I pull out a Magic Card and show how my work is published. Then they start to understand, but often say something like, "You know, I never really thought about where those pictures came from."

Most people don't. But just think about all the images you see during the day. Probably thousands. Someone had to create those images: a photographer, a designer, hopefully an illustrator. The images didn't just appear. There are still artists out there.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Calvin and Hobbes is still funny.

It's got to be why I think big words are funny. What six-year-old uses "fallacy?"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yeah, I can sew. What's it to ya?

Illustrators who work in a realistic style usually require good photo reference. Good reference for historical pieces relies on proper costumes for your models. Many established illustrators have access to a professional photographer with plenty of costumes and props. Some have close ties to other artists with whom they can share supplies. Still others have contacts at a good costume shop. I don't have those contacts.

So about a year ago, I decided to start collecting props and making costumes. The closet in my studio is now starting to fill up with my creations: capes and robes, a pirate shirt, a Roman toga and some medieval garb. I've got some helmets, a few pieces of armor and a couple weapons. I just finished sewing together a colonial outfit: a Seinfeld-esque puffy shirt, a lined vest, pants and a jacket. (Attention Art Directors: This is how committed I am to a quality product. I'm spending many nights of my youthful years in front of a sewing machine on the off chance I'll have an applicable project sometime in the future. Don't make all this effort go to waste!)

There is a Halloween/uniform store in New Haven, CT where I can get costumes on short notice for specific projects, but I'd have to actually have a job in line to justify spending the cash. So for portfolio pieces, it makes more sense just to make the props myself.

And hey, if you need a Halloween costume this year, let me know. You can have your pick.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More Shel Silverstein

...because I feel like it.

Quick Trip
We've been caught by the quick-digesting Gink,
And now we are dodgin' his teeth,
And now we are restin' in his intestine,
And now we're back out on the street.

~Shel Silverstein

Friday, March 13, 2009

Illustration Friday: Legendary

This week's Illustration Friday topic is Legendary. So I'm putting up this legendary warrior, emerging from the dust of battle. Click images for a closer view.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Battle

Would you like to hear
Of the terrible night
When I bravely fought the–
All right.

~Shel Silverstein

Monday, March 9, 2009

Illustration Friday: Intricate

My submission to the Illustration Friday topic: Intricate. The setting and costumes are native to central China, but people still refer to this painting as the "African Girl." I purposely tried to create this confusion by mixing up ethnicity and culture, and wondered how viewers would interpret it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Quantum Cello: Zoe Keating

Check out Zoe Keating. Especially if you're painting today. Her music is beautiful and haunting; perfect for getting into the creative "zone."

She's a cellist who uses a looping pedal to create the sound of an entire orchestra with one instrument. And it's not like she records the different parts first and then uses a computer to mesh them together. She can perform these songs live, using her right foot to add or subtract layers of sound.

I first heard about her on this episode of WNYC's Radio Lab, for which she occasionally contributes her music. That's worth a listen as well, since she explains the process and performs a couple songs.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What's your palette?

Here's mine:
Titanium White
Titanium White Alkyd
Bright Red
Permanent Rose
Red Ochre
Yellow Ochre Light
Raw Sienna Deep
Cadmium Yellow Pale
Sapgreen Lake Extra
Cobalt Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Phthalo Blue
Burnt Umber
Payne's Gray
Other colors:
Mars Violet (Williamsburg)
Paynes Gray (Williamsburg)
Cadmium Yellow (Windsor & Newton)
Alizarin Crimson (Gamblin)

I'm using Old Holland when I can afford it, Windsor & Newton for the expensive Cadmiums, Gamblin for others.

What's your palette?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Impressive Illustrator

Before I graduated in 2005, I wrote a short post on the www.theISpot.com forums, asking essentially "How can I be successful as a young illustrator?"

One of the first responses from another forum member read simply, "Be James Jean."

It wasn't a helpful response and it was mildly insulting. However, I looked up James Jean and immediately understood. I needed to improve if I was going to compete in the world of young illustrators. I interviewed him over the phone soon thereafter (I'm pretty sure I woke him up when I called) and he's actually a really nice guy, which makes it very hard to hate him for his talent.

He's the cover illustrator for the comic book, Fables, and his work can be seen in all the major magazines. His first solo art show, Kindling, opened recently at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in NYC.