Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sketch Of The Week: Smelloggs Zap-Os

I love a good cereal box design. It seems like they are hard to come by these days.

I haven't done any graphic design projects in a while and I was thinking about beefing up that portion of my portfolio on One of the things I wanted to do was to create some cereal box designs based on my own made up cereals. This is one of the ideas I was kicking around.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sketch Of The Week: Sloppy John

read in a thick New York accent

This guy, whom I've nick named Sloppy John, Comes into the supermarket where I work. He likes to chat it up with the employees. At first I didn't really like him all that much and it wasn't because he resembled a homeless person or smelled of stale beer and sweat, it was because all he ever seemed to talk about was how horrible our county was. He would complain about the people that lived here with such hatred and anger. The reason it made me so angry was because he was the spitting image of the people he was complaining about.

Eventually I grew to hate him less and I learned quite a bit about him during his many beer runs to the store. This man was quite the paradox; His parents immigrated to New York from Germany in the 40's, he spent some time in the military, he's a homosexual, he was a school teacher, and a pig farmer. On top of that he styles his facial hair like some kind motorcycle enthusiast. In the end ol' John turned out to be a pretty interesting guy with an interesting life.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Trying Something Different

Recently, I've been working on a personal project of sorts. I don't want to get into too many of the details right now because it's a bit of a surprise for a select few individuals. Basically, for this project I had to do a bunch of fantasy based illustrations. I decided to take the opportunity to experiment a bit with some techniques I've been wanting to try.

Generally, the work I do mostly consists of very cartoony illustrations done digitally. For these Illustrations I wanted to create a marriage of digital and traditional mediums. On top of that I wanted to take the opportunity to practice my inking with a more semi realistic style. I've drawn in this style before but I haven't done it very often using actual brush and ink. (or in this case, an amazing Pentel Brush pen).

My plan was to give the colors a painted quality. I've seen a lot of other artist do this using a flat painted texture and overlaying it on the colors in Photoshop. When done properly, that method can work quite well, but you can still tell that that painted texture was added later. I decided to do something similar but instead create a painted texture exclusively for each illustration.

Oddly enough, I was somewhat inspired by the recent work that KC Green was doing on his webcomic Gun Show. Apparently he used an ink wash to create the gray tones on his comic then inked the line art over that. I thought it gave it a very nice classic illustrated look. I'm not quite as brave as Mr. Green so rather than do it all on one sheet of paper, I traced my line art on to another piece of paper and used a charcoal gray water color to create the gray tones.

Once I had both images scanned in I combined them in photoshop, keeping each one on it's own separate layer. I made sure to set the layer blending options to Multiply that way the white areas would be transparent so my colors would show through. When adding the color I used some of the texture and scattering options on the Photoshop brushes to maintain the painted look. For the most part, the coloring stage was rather quick since most of the work had been done by creating the water color shades before hand.

In the end, I learned some new things about inking, painting, and digital coloring techniques. And I wound up with about 2 or 3 portfolio worthy illustrations.

After the surprise is revealed, I will do another post featuring all 7 Illustrations that I created for this project.

Update 12/29/10: Check out the rest of the illustrations here:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sketch of the Week: I'm A Creep

There's a lot of little sloppy doodles on this page but for this edition of Sketch Of The Week I'd like to focus on the little lady contained within the dotted line. Whenever I encouter somebody who is both attractive and unique looking I feel the need to draw them. So, I will take a mental picture and save it for later when I have the opportunity to do a sketch. Most of the time the people I feel the need to illustrate are female. And I do realize this probably makes me seem like a weirdo creep.

While my desire to draw these ladies may be influenced by my natural attraction to them it's certainly not my number one motivation. Men are easy to draw because they are hideous angular creatures. But you see, woman are not that easy to draw. There are certain subtleties to the female form. One wrong move and you've drawn a man with breasts. In order to make it easy on themselves a lot of artist, including myself settle on drawing the cliche idea of a beautiful woman (mainstream comic artists especially). This usually consists of a small nose, full pouty lips and of course big ol' boobies. but in life a female could have only some or none of these traits and still be very appealing. So, I feel that it's very important to study what qualities do make them appealing in order to bring them to my future illustrations.

Obviously, this sketch is somewhat sloppy and stylized but it's not meant to be an accurate portrait of this person. That would be difficult anyway since I was just drawing from memory. Instead it's a quick Caricature designed to capture those traits that make her interesting. In this case I found her skinny frame and slumped posture very interesting.

So I'm not sure how many people are even interested in my boring explanations about my sloppy doodles. I would love to hear from you though. Please feel free to leave your comments. Maybe you've got a question, compliment, complaint or you'd just like to tell me how creepy I am.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sketch Of The Week: Inhaler Man

I've had asthma all my life. I remember when I was young, for a short time I was a member of some kind of Asthma Club. I guess the point of the club was to make kids not feel so bad for being picked last in gym or something. Anyway, I remember having a magazine or pamphlet that had a cartoon inhaler mascot on it. I can't imagine that the actual mouth piece was on the inhaler man's crotch but it seems like the appropriate place for it to be on an inhaler man. I just can't imagine where else you could put it. Maybe on his butt. Still either way, It's just plain wrong.