Monday, November 21, 2011

More Photoshop work

Here are more examples of my photoshop work. These were all done for a class called Crossing Borders. As well as being very interesting and informative, this class also helped clarify my thesis project.
This project consisted of a group of words that we had to illustrate throughout the semester. Of course, I could have done actual drawings, but I was very pleased with the final results.

Before I forget, let me mention that these images are built from photos that are not mine. Unfortunately, I cannot acknowledge the photographers since I use photos from everywhere. Hopefully, they will not be too upset that I re-purposed their beautiful images.










Photoshop work

During my many, many years in art school, there were a couple of occasions where I thought I might like to do some sort of digital work, like Photoshop retouching or something else that I couldn't quite put a name to. I've always been pretty good at digital compositing, so I thought very briefly about going back to school and studying special effects compositing for movies. Finances changed my mind on that, though the interest is still there. I thought this week, it might be fun to post some of the work I did in the digital arena.

This poster is from week 4 of the class. I don't remember exactly what the assignment was, but this was the finished piece.

Week 7 we were to design an ipod type spot ad. I really liked this piece, but the instructor marked me down because I didn't do a silhouette. I stand by my work. It was completely different from every other piece.

Week 8 we learned how to use the animation functions in Photoshop. Very interesting. Might like to do more of this.  (UPDATE: This is supposed to be an animated GIF. I'm not sure why it isn't working. Trust me though, there is more to this piece!)

This was the final project for Advanced Digital Imaging. I believe the goal was to create a poster and a website. The website didn't have to function as an actual website, but the pages had to at least work separately , which I am happy to say, they did. The first three images are the poster, and the fourth is the home page for the website.

After the semester was over, I looked into how to go about getting work using these skills, but it seemed the only was y to do that was to try and get some sort of graphic design work, which I have absolutely no interest in. as you can probably tell, type is definitely not my strong point. I'm still not sure what else I can use these skills for, but I haven't forgotten them.

Monday, November 14, 2011

No work to post really (okay I do have one sketch), just some general observations about my own work, the work of others, and the difficulties of entering the biz.
I spent most of my undergraduate years struggling to figure out where my skills were and developing a process. Lately, though I have worked out a good system for producing my work, it is VERY time consuming. I find the results to be quite beautiful (and honestly, not to toot my own horn, photos do not do my pieces justice), but it takes such a long time to complete a piece. It goes something like this:
1.) Get an idea (usually in the middle of the night).
2.) Do a few thumbnails, write a few things down.
3.) Look at photos ands other artists work for reference, ideas and anything I think might help to round out the concept.
4.) Blow up the thumb to a reasonable working size, then spend WEEKS agonizing over the drawing.
5.) Get bored and/or frustrated with the whole thing, and instead of working go play video games or spend hours on facebook, reading or any number of other distractions.
6.) Spend my entire day at work wanting to kill every customer (and several of my co-workers), and in general hating my life. Make a spontaneous decision to start working on the piece I gave up on weeks before. (In case you haven't figured it out by now, I have literally DOZENS of half finished concepts laying around my work area.)
7.) Finish the drawing in record time, all the while wondering why I didn't just finish it when I started it!
8.) Transfer it to the paper, complete the finish in a week or 2, and add it to my enormous collection of finished work that I don't know what to do with.
I realize that this process will in no way help me get any sort of art work, but it is the truth of my artistic life at this time. I have no idea why this is occurring, or what to do about it. I have quite a few professional art "friends" on facebook, and I see them churning out a new piece every couple of days, and I wonder how they do it, and how I can become as prolific as they are.Many of them seem loathe to give advice, though there have been a few notable exceptions (Noah Bradley, Steven Belledin and Tyler Jacobson), and I greatly appreciate them taking the time to help a budding artist.

On another note, Illuxcon recently wrapped up as did the Illustration Master Class. Massive Black will also be holding a workshop in San Francisco in the very near future. I would love to attend all of these events, but they are quite cost prohibitive, not to mention that the idea of being in the same room as artists that I worship is terrifying in a way that I can't explain.All of these events would be very helpful to me as an artist, and I'm sure would go a long way towards helping me understand the problems that I mentioned earlier in the post. Unfortunately, my current financial constraints make going to even one of these events (let alone all 3) completely impossible. So instead, I continue to admire the work of these amazing artists, and attempt to solve my problems on my own. For now, I am making a vow to work when I feel like playing games, to work when I think I may browse facebook for an hour, to work when I think I would rather be doing ANYTHING else. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Venetian Merlin

Hello all. I am happy to say that I have FINALLY finished a drawing that I have been working on for a little more than 6 weeks . Though there were problems along the way, I am pretty happy with the final result. I will be entering this in several contests, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

For those of you who may be interested, I am also going to post a bit about my process, to give you a bit of an idea of how I approach my pieces.

First, came the idea (obviously). After drawing it all out I realized that I didn't really like it, so I did a quick sketch that was much more to my liking. Next I did a mostly complete drawing. I wasn't happy with the hands, but I figured that I would just work that out at a later date, (BIG mistake, but more on that later) and finally a color rough done in Painter.

Next, I transferred the image to Rives BFK paper with an opaque projector (I wish I had owned this projector while I was in school. Instead I transferred 20x23 drawings with a 9x12 light box!!), toned the paper and sprayed with fixative.

Next came a "wash" of pastel (NuPastels rubbed on, then rubbed into the paper with a paper towel). I knew trying to do the detail work in pastel without losing it was going to be trouble, so I laid it in with colored pencil. This took about 2 hours total. As soon as I laid in the heavy duty pastels (Rembrandts and the ultra buttery Senneliers), the colored pencil was covered, never to be seen again. Of course.
Undaunted, I continued on, and discovered that the detail work on the mask survived the pastel lay in which was done with a combination of Nupastels and Conte Pastel pencils.. 

From there, I continued laying in color working mostly top to bottom and back to front.Everything was running pretty smoothly... until I came to the hands. As soon as I laid them in, I knew I was going to have to change them. From that point, I didn't touch this piece for 3 solid weeks. I just couldn't deal with the work I knew was going to go into removing all of that pastel, redrawing the hands (which is no easy feat on rives paper that already has several layers of pastel in the tooth), and then laying in the color all over again.

Finally, this past weekend, I plucked up my courage, and went back to it. Mercifully, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Things progressed pretty quickly, and now I think it is ready for submission. Keep your fingers crossed!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

New Technique

After spending yesterday being thoroughly miserable about my art career (or lack there-of), I awoke this morning with a strong desire to draw. I also was inspired by an amazing artist ( to try a new technique. This is watercolor pencil on Rives BFK paper. I use this paper all the time for my pastel work, but never realized you could put water on it without seriously damaging it.
Basically, I drew a few little drawings, laid down some watercolor pencil, then lifted the color as necessary. I did this several times until I was satisfied. I also added pastels wherever I needed stronger color. This technique took about 25 minutes.  I did a pastel version of the clown for comparisons sake. It took about 10 minutes.

I had more control with the watercolor pencils and that was greatly appreciated. I also can work much smaller than when I do pastels. Currently, most of my pieces exceed 18x24, and take up a lot of space when stored away.. So being able to do something smaller makes me a very happy girl!
Overall, I really like this technique and will continue to work with it until I feel I have a real grasp on it before I try a full illustration. As always, any and all comments are welcomed.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

First post.

Well, I said I would never do this (much like I said I would never get on facebook), but alas, here I am.  I intend to use this blog to post sketches, and other works of art that are of a darker nature, unlike the images on my website which are pretty kid friendly.
 That said, here is the first piece. Just a simple sketch I did while watching the news tonight. May turn it into a full blown piece. Still haven't decided, but stay tuned!