Friday, May 31, 2013

Burn 'em All

For today's post, I bring you a production painting for Sidge McDougal's Zombie Crisis!
Over the past year, my interest and love for concept art has grown--especially in an animated style. I've posted some Sidge McDougal artwork and development in the past. Here's the blog post of Sidge's initial character design. He has since been further developed, along with some other characters. I have a lot of fun developing this world and will hopefully continue working on the project (there's SO much to do).

The entire process. L to R, initial thumbnail sketches of various scenes. Then value studies of different lighting scenarios. Of course, the dramatic lighting was the most interesting to me. Below that are the color studies. Upper left on the right is the finished drawing and below that the finished production painting.

The drawing by itself. I had a lot of fun drawing that zombie hand in the foreground. Definitely had the ol' anatomy book out for that one.

And the final production painting, colored digitally. The basic thought was he's probably luring the zombies to him and burning them inside the crypt. Because Sidge McDougal just effing loves killing zombies.

Next week I'll post some new character designs for the project. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Academy of Art's 2013 Spring Show

The Academy of Art University's Spring Show opened last Wednesday at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco! The Palace of Fine Arts is gorgeous! I haven't been there yet and couldn't help but take a few pictures of the outside...

And the lighting was just so perty....

Some awesome work from the MFA Children's Book section! That nifty illustration with the dragon coughing in the girl's face is by fellow AAU grad student Tracie Timmer (check out her blog here). The illustrations below that, with the boy in the tree and the Indian woman with swans are by another awesome lady at AAU by the name of Kelley McMorris (check out her blog here and her website here).

There's no one I know personally from these sweet illustrations, but check 'em out! There were so many beautiful illustrations and art everywhere you looked!

It was so crowded!! I haven't been to a Spring Show Opening Night before this one and I was not prepared to elbow my way through to see art... but it was still worth it!

Voila! My piece and mah face. I had to practically lay down on the floor to reach it but made it nonetheless!

I'm glad to have been a participant in the Spring Show. The Show will be on exhibit until June 5 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. For more info on the show, go here.

I'll be changing the posting days to Wednesday and Friday, since Sunday just proves too difficult to find the time to post sometimes. See ye internet adventurers Friday!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

600 and Onward!

The best ten heads out of 100, adding to 600! I'm slowly getting toward 700, and hopefully it won't take as long as these did. In case you're new to these posts, I'm doing a One Thousand Head Drawing Challenge: draw one thousand heads and by the end of it, voila, you've improved! It's a lot of fun and I use Facebook as a penalty of drawing five each time I visit... so it gets along pretty quickly. I also appreciate all my friends posting pictures so I can draw them; it really brings me out of my standard character drawing habits.

Tonight I'll be going to the Academy of Art University's Spring Show Opening Night Reception! I have a piece in the show and am excited to check the event out and see a bunch of great artwork. The show will be on display in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts until June 5, so if you're in the Bay Area try and check it out!

Here is the piece I have in the show. I've posted it here before, but tweaked it slightly since then.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fae Goddess: 'Cause sexy ladies and roses are extra fun to draw

If you follow my drawings and paintings, it doesn't take very long to figure out: I love drawing me some ladies. So when I was reading The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss and read the steamy and awesome parts involving the Fae goddess Felurian, I knew I had to draw her.

Here's the overall process. On the left there are the thumbnails I came up for the scene. I was torn between depicting a scene between Felurian and the main character of the series, Kvothe, but decided to focus on Felurian and do a character illustration. Below thumbnails is the first lineart with a color rough. I then digitally colored the illustration, but wasn't happy with it. Since this is a piece for my thesis, I wanted to re-work it until it felt better. I decided to re-draw Felurian because she didn't feel sexy or dangerous enough by far.

Here is a comparison of the lineart. I also opened up the top of the illustration so there would be more breathing room, as well as room for type if desired.

Then I drew and painting it mostly traditionally. I felt the digital version I had previously done lacked the textures I can get when painting with watercolor and ink washes, and so decided to start over traditionally. I transferred the rough shapes of the drawing, then refined and drew it in the different color of lines I wanted with Prismacolor Col-Erase Pencils.

I did a monochromatic value series of washes to unify the color and begin laying in the values. Of course, I wanted to go right to the black of her hair and the details of her eyes, but had to restrain myself until the end!

I was pretty into working on this, so this is the only other in-progress photo I took. Here most of the colors are roughed in. I did several more washes--especially on the cloak, and then go to my delicious blacks and details.

The final illustration! I punched it up in Photoshop and Painter (mostly for the stars). I'm much happier with this version and had a great time painting it.

I hope you all enjoy the illustration and a peek into the process of making it. I have a lot more to share in the coming days, and will also be getting back onto my Thousand Heads Drawing Challenge, so the best of 600 should be coming in the next week or so.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chicks Kick Zombie Butt

A running theme for me the past five months illustrating has definitely been ZOMBIES.
I've been working on some visual development for an original zombie apocalypse story so naturally it's been on my mind and in my hands. I had this rough sketch, concept, and awesome reference photos (seriously, one of the most fun model photo shoots I've had) so I had to make an illustration!

Here are two chicks fighting off some rude zombies trying to bust into their nice home. Really, zombies. Would it kill you to knock? Oh... wait, yeah....

The drawing! I spent a good bit of time on this and had a lot of fun with the girl in the foreground's expression. It was so much fun (albeit a struggle!) and I love the comical edge it adds to it, since this short story concept definitely had some humor in my head when I envisioned it.

Then I inked the drawing, traditionally.

And colored it digitally! I wanted a simple one color process and green gives me that creepy zombie vibe.

I hope you enjoy the illustration and the process! More to come this weekend.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I've always been very interested in magic, both of the fantasy nature as well as pagan/spiritual practices. So for one of my thesis illustrations, I decided to depict a magick user. I'm thinking she's a warlock badass with her sweet celestial feline familiar, just beginning to conjure a spell.

progress from thumbnails to ink

I then took that into Photoshop for painting and digital textures... and the final piece!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Walking on a Cloud of Electrons

Today's blog post is an illustration I created for my thesis inspired by the quote, "We all walk on a cloud of electrons," from the book "Mind, Life, and Universe" which is a collection of essays from many different scientists. It was definitely a fun read for me; it really spans the gamut of topics from quantum mechanics to biology to physics. This particular line really stuck with me and I thought it would be a great concept to illustrate.

Above is the process for creating the illustration. First I created several thumbnails. Then I did a character study for the kind of woman I had in mind to draw. I knew I was going to use the atoms separately, so I inked many different atoms to use later in Photoshop. Then came the drawing of the characters and then inking them.

Above is the finished drawing, photoshopped together.

And the final illustration!

I haven't posted in over a month because I've been furiously working on my thesis and finishing up the semester. This is my last semester of classes and I'll continue working on my thesis to refine it and strengthen it for my Final Review in the summer. But it's going to be so nice to be done with classes! It was a great experience and really strengthened me as an illustrator, but I am done with academics and am looking forward to what lies ahead!

Part of that being regular blog posts! Woot! I'll be back to posting twice a week, so keep an eye out for more illustrations, process, and experimentations to come.