Friday, April 22, 2011

Spectrum 18 entries

These are the two pieces that got into Spectrum 18. At the Queen's Command got into the Book category and The Victor in the Uncommissioned category. I submitted five pieces and I figured these were the ones that had the best chance to get through the judging.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Switching gears

A couple new jobs came in, so I decided to put off the photo reference session mentioned below to another day. As is so often the case, I now need to switch gears and go back to sketching. As I have things to post, I will post them.

I the meantime, check out my dad's new office; the only collection of my work on permanent display ...

Friday, April 15, 2011

The process continues ...

Today, I continue preparing the canvas. Usually, I use Yes brand canvas, which is halfway between canvas and paper. It provides a fine grain texture that is easily adjusted for your specific use. I'll usually go over the surface a few times with gesso. I'll usually leave brushstrokes going in a horizontal direction or get more creative, letting the brushstrokes follow the action.

Once there are enough layers of gesso, I'll sand the dried surface gently to smooth out the sharp bumps and brushstrokes. After sweeping away the gesso dust, I will usually prop the canvas against the wall and coat the entire thing with a layer of water, starting at the bottom and moving up.

Pictured above is my color study. We have a defeated knight, surrendering to a dark queen and her minions. Or, perhaps he is willingly joining forces with her. The story doesn't matter to me as long as there is a story. Being ambiguous is good; it allows viewers to interpret their own adventure.

As for the palette, I have a small variation on a combination I discussed earlier: Ultramarine Blue, Transparent Red Oxide, Yellow Ochre, and Winsor Red.

Tomorrow, I will try to shoot photo reference.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Island

I might get a chance to do a personal project in the coming weeks ... or possibly, get started on one. I'm hoping to make it big (30x40) and supplement it with some fairly involved photo reference. So while I collect props and costumes (and models), I got a jump on things and sculpted some trolls. The mini monoliths are now watching over my drawing table.

The rest of the project is still in the thumbnail stage ...

Friday, April 8, 2011

I (sort of) won an award (I think)

I just found out that the cover for Hawk of May won a PubWest 2011 Silver Award in the Jacket/Cover Design - Small Format category. When I first heard the news, I'll admit, I had to look up what it meant.

PubWest is Publishers Association of the West, a trade organization. This is the 27th year of their Design Awards. Jacket/Cover Design - Small Format category means "Books of any genre/category with strong shelf appeal and use of design, photography, artwork, and/or typography to enhance the subject matter."

Designer Pete Garceau deservers much of the accolades, but as the illustrator, I'm taking pride in it, too.