Friday, October 30, 2009

October Mailer

I just created and sent out this newsletter to my list of contacts.
If you see it or know of anyone who might like to see it, please feel free to send them a link to this site, or copy the file to your desktop and send it to them.
I would greatly appreciate it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cinderellastien art finished!

Over the weekend I was able to finish inking the 3 samples from the Cinderellastein story.
Here they are...
The Evil Step Mummy and the Evil Step Monsters let Cinderellastein know who's boss by presenting her with the list of chores she has to do.

The Evil Step Mummy makes sure Cinderellastein knows she won't be going to the Monster Mash.

The Fairey God Monster transforms Cinderellastien's clothes and mop so she can go to the Monster Mash. It's not a pleasant experience.

I drew the final art on Graphics 360 100% rag Translucent Marker Paper using Prismacolor Premier markers. Sizes 01, 03, and the brush tip.

The art was then scanned into Photshop and the Brightness/Contrast was adjusted to make the blacks solid.

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 22nd - 4th day of class

This weeks class was about showing 3 pieces of final art from our Cinderella story.
I spent the time I had this week reworking the scale of the characters and changing their interaction.
I started the final art for one image, but I didn't get any of them done in time for class.
So I pinned up the tight roughs for the three pieces and the partial final art piece.

We went around the room and did a critique on each persons art.
It was really interesting to see the different approaches taken to the work.

Here are the tight roughs I put up.

This one is where the Evil Step Mummy is telling Cinderellastein how much work she has to do.

This one is where she is told she can't go to the Monster Mash.

This one is where her Fairey God Monster changes herclothes and turns her broom into her mode of transportation to the Monster Mash.

This is the finished line art for the Second image.
I finished it today.

I wanted the Evil Step Mummy to be very overpowering. That's why she is forcing Cinderellastein into the bottom right corner and not centered in the image.
I chose to do this one first so that I could work out how I was going to treat the Evil Step Mummy. And how much contrast the image was going to have.

After the critiqueing of everyones art we were given our next assignment.
To do the art for the manuscript of an emergent reader.
I'll need to do the line art for the two remaining Cinderellastein images and the roughs for the new assignment by this coming Thursday.
I should be able to do it this week.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

IF- Frozen

Today's word is Frozen.
If you do as I do and break up the word into parts whenever you can you might have come up with
the words Fro and Zen.
Fro is slang for a hairstyle.
Zen is an ancient spiritual Lifestyle/religion.
Type Zen into google images and you get pictures of rock gardens, Buddas, and such.
I didn't have to go to google for a fro.

So after looking through the pics and thinking for a bit. I came up with this.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 15th 3rd day of class

I had a hard time getting ready for this weeks class.
I had a client job that was taking up too much time, and I was having a hard time getting into the art again.
I think it's because I know that it's taking up time that I should be using to do client work or look for more work.
I really want to dedicate the necessary time to this class. I want to make sure I get something of value out of it.
In order to delay drawing, on Wednesday, I worked on a 3D layout of the interior that I am using for the setting of my Cinderellastein story.
I spent more time on it than I should have because I was stalling and mentally getting a grip on the art side of the story.
A working the story/art out in my head first is a necessary part of the way I work.
Here are a couple of images from the interior...

I used a easy to learn program called Google Sketch Up.
You can get it here.
The basic version is free. That's what I currently use.
I used this program to create the interior of Cinderellastein's house.
I use Sketch Up whenever I know the story art will be set in an interior/exterior of a building that will be the setting for most of the story. That way I don't have to spend time on working out the perspective of each drawing.
I also get to play around with viewing angles more creatively.
I create my basic layouts in the rough stage then I go into my Sketch Up model and match them up and play around a bit.
Once I have a viewing angle I like I export a image of it, and save it as a .psd or .jpeg.
Then I print the file out and put it under a sheet of paper and draw my characters out.
I can then scan my characters and save them.

I can them open the scene file and the character file and cut/paste the characters into the scene and scale/move them as needed.

Then I can print this file out redraw the tight line art on a sheet of marker paper over the top of it.
I use the marker paper because it's bright white, I can see the print out through it, and it takes black colored pencil or marker very well. All of these qualities make it scan well.
I don't like tracing paper. It's just a personal preference I guess.

At this stage I will either use markers and colored pencils to color the art, or I will scan the art into the computer again and flop it so it is a reverse image.
If I do this it means that I will be printing it out again so that I can trace over the back side/blank side of the printout with a number 2 pencil.
Then I will transfer the image to the board or paper that I will use for the final piece of art.
That way I don't have to draw and erase on the final art.
Then I paint the image.

If I plan on using paper to do the final art and it's size will fit through my printer, I will just reduce the opacity of the digital file to 15 to 20% and print it right onto the paper. Then I don't have to draw on the paper at all unless it's needed for the final art.

I spent part of Wednesdaynight and Thursday morning trying to get the 12 drawings that I needed to have for class done.
It didn't happen because I was working out the final "look" of the characters at the same time, which slowed me down.
I did get 8 of them done and presentable.

This weeks work is to pick 3 of the images and create final black and white art.
Today I will be choosing the 3 images and reworking them into final art so I can start inking them tonight/tomorrow.
Hope fully I will be able to get them done.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wed Oct 7 second day of class

Thursday was the second day of the children's book illustration class at the AIC.
I had a hard time focussing on the homework due to some freelance work and not being comfortable with the times and places I chose for my roughs.
Remember, We were to retell the story of Cinderella in a different time and place.
I had chosen to do Transylvania in the 1400's so I could do monsters, and Pangea at the time of the Dinosaurs/cave men.

I ended up dropping the Caveman idea, and changed it to birds in suburbia in a modern day setting.
I got those roughs worked up on Thursday morning.
Then I moved on to the Transylvania roughs. I struggled with them. Mostly trying to get an idea for the characters.
I did manage to get 1/2 of them done before leaving for class.
I finished them off in class.
We then broke up into groups of three and looked over each others roughs and made comments on them. Mostly trying to help point out any spots that might be confusing or ways to make a transition clearer.
After that we made an accordion book out of a single sheet of paper.
We now have to start working in it.
I decided to add end papers and two pieces of 1/2 inch plywood to serve a covers. There's no spine so that it can still accordian out. I'll show pics after I start to work in it.

The instructor ended the class by reading two different books and discussing them briefly.

Our homework for next class is to work up or roughs to a better state and then pick 3 to 5 of them to take to final art.

These are my roughs for Cinderellastein as I showed them on Thursday...
The cast - Cinderellastein, The evil Step Mummies or Step Monsters, I haven't decided for sure yet, Frankenstein as the Prince, and Dracula as his man servant.
1.Cinderellastein being bossed around by her Step Mummies.

2. More bossing around.

3. The invite to the party arrives.

4. No Cinderellastein you can't go!

5. The Fairy God Monster zaps Cinderellastein and fixes broom that was broken in 2.

6. Cinderellastein flys off to the party on her new broom.

7. She makes her entrance.

8. She dances with the prince while the Step Monsters fume in the background.

9. She has to go. Losing her foot in her hurry.

10. Find the girl who fits this foot.

11. It fits!

12.They live happily undead for ever after.

Now I have to start figuring out the look of each character before reworking the roughs and tightening them up.
I'll probably work out a couple of simple sets in Google Sketchup so I can play with the angles and add variety to the art so the pages don't always look the same.

Hopefully I'll be able to give this work the attention I want to.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sad day

Today is a sad day.
I collected comic books from high school into my late 20's.
In the years since then I have been selling off my collection.
On Saturday I decided to take my two boys and my last half box of comics to the local comic shop to start a comic fund for my boys to be introduced to comics. They're 9 and 11.
The owner of the store wasn't there to look at my comics, so I left them for him to look over in the next day or two.
Well, the store called today and said they weren't interested in any of them.

I will have to figure out something else to do with them I guess.

First Thursday class at the Art Institute

The first class started off rough.
First of all it decided to start raining before I left for Chicago.
So I drove in the rain.
Then I parked downtown and walked in the rain to the Art Institute, only to be told the class was in their building across the street. So I went there and waited for the instructor to open up the room and start the class. 3 of us waited until 6:30 for the 6:00 class to start, only to find out the class had been moved to another building a short walk in the rain away.
After that everything went well.
The instructor was organized, prepared, and a very good presenter.
We started off with introductions around the room.
It turns out I'm the only guy in the group.
Lisa, the instructor, then talked about picture books, and read and discussed a couple.
We were then given a box of toy animals to pass around and pick one out of it.
I chose a pig.
We were then required to write-
5 adjectives about the animal of our choice off the top of our heads.
5 verbs to describe the animal.
where the animal lives.
What does he want for his birthday.
His name.

The next exercise was to smell a bar of Dove soap and write down our 5 first impressions.

That was all to warm us up to do the next exercise which was to do a quick 5 frame telling of the story "Cinderella."
Here's mine....

The part on the upper left is it.
As you can see, I cheated a bit and cut one of the panels in 2 to do mine.
The rest of the page is my note taking, and a guy who walked by when I was waiting for the class to start.

That was pretty much the first class.
It looks to be a good class.

Our assignment for this weeks class is to take the cinderella story and pick 2 different times and locations for the story and then redo the story with 8 to 10 roughs for each of the two times/places.
I've settled on Transylvania in the 1400's for one of them, so that I can draw halloween characters.
The working title for my retelling is "Cinderellastein"
The other goes even farther back.
It will be Pangea at the time of the invention of fire and the wheel. I will of course be combining cavemen and dinosaurs. Yes, I know it's wrong, but it's fun.
The working title for this one is "Uh!" The last sound you make when you say Cinderella.
There won't be any words, just grunting.
So now I have to look up some reference to use and bring in for class.