Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Art from last SAIC illustration class

Process Report - 

Yesterday I finished the revision to the last assignment of my illustration class.
The revision was self imposed. I didn't like the digital collage version that I made so I decided to redo the art.

Here's the process I went through.

The original rough...
As I remember them the comments during the critique were as follows...
She looks very uncomfortable, both in body position and by having her straddle that very big branch.
There's too much going on with the multiple nests, squirell, the mouse, and the bug.

I agreed with the comments so I searched the "net" for some images of kids sitting in trees, as well as, robins, and fall clothes.
Then I reworked the rough and came up with this...

The girls clothes stayed the same.
Her posture was improved and I changed the tree to have a curving horizontal trunk that I found on the "net."
I added another horizontal trunk so she would have a place to rest her foot.
I added another robin and positioned him so that the beaks of both birds pointed to her hand offering up the piece of sandwich. This helped improve the focal point of the image.
I removed one nest from the bottom of the image, the squirell, mouse, and bugs.
The mouse will be appearing in another illustration along with several more.

I took this rough and decided that I would do an inked version.
One of my areas to focus on this year is black and white line art.
I believe I need more for my portfolio. And I like doing it.
So, this is the first inked image. It's more of a coloring book,open feel.
The type would be printed in black in the upper left leaves.

It could be used as is, or flat color could be added using Illustrator for a screen printed feel.
I liked this one, but I wanted to do a "fully inked version."
So I inked it again...

This time I used "heavy blacks" to make sure the focus stayed on the girls hand.
I focussed on texture and giving the robins some "personality."
I really like this version. It will go onto my web site and to my agent.

I still had the urge to paint the image in color to get that "fall feeling" with the color.
So I went back to the rough and transfered it to a piece of watercolor board and made a tight pencil drawing. Then I did an under painting using watercolors.
It came out like this...

I removed the upper right nest.
I have to say that this is the first time I purposely started with an underpainting, and I was worried about how the final art was going to turn out. So I put it away for a few days because I wanted to start the next step of painting it with gouache when I was able to sit down and focus on it properly. The holidays were here and there was no time for an involved painting session.

Around the 27th my wife got tired of looking at me a day and told me I needed to get back to work. So I spent all day out in the studio and painted the final version.
I was still worried about how it was going to turn out, so I started with the robin on the left to build up some confidence.

He came out like this...  

I liked the way he turned out. So with my confidence restored I continued on with the rest of the painting.
It turned out like this...

I like it. It's not the usual bright "Yellow, Red, Orange" fall pallet. It's more of a muted version.
Now I can say I am done with this image. I don't feel the need to do any other versions of it.
I am considering using the multiple images in some sort of self promotional way.

There were a few revelations that came from doing several versions of this image.
The first was that I have always liked doing black and white art. 
So I will do more.
The second is that I like to do animals realistically with some personality. 
So I will do more.
The third is that my work improves when I search for reference materials and use them to influence the final art instead of making everything up from my imagination/memory all of the time. 
So I will do more.
The fourth is I like to paint. And I need to develop my color sense and modeling of the form. 
So I will do more.
Lastly I have talent that people want and I need to let them know it with self promotion. 
So I will do more.

So my recommendation to you for 2010 is "to do more."
Good luck in the new year!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fall Fancy Roughs

For tomorrows Thursday Night Illustration class at the Art Institute we were given a magazine page template with a poem in place. Our assignment was to rough out or illustration  for the page.
The poem is about fall, and mentions old robin's nests, and seed pods, so the setting is outside.
We were told that the art had to include a 8 year old girl.
That's all of the direction we were given. The rest is up to us.
Oh, we were also told that the art had to be made using collage.
Not a technique that I have used much, but I'm open to it.
The following are the roughs I worked up.

I wanted to create a piece that wasn't as "cartoony" as I normally do.
So I picked a girl and another character for he to interact with. 
Girls like cats, so he became the second character.
This was my first idea.

I think it's the type of idea that would pop into most illustrators heads right away.

This is the second idea.

It's the same basic idea a little closer to the characters , but I think changing the park bench to a swing makes it a bit more interesting.

This is the third idea.
This one is much tighter on the character. The girl is now interacting with one of the robins from the poem instead of the cat.

This is the fourth and final idea.
The cat is back and they are investigating the old robin's nest while the robin watches from his perch.
I'll be taking these roughs "as is" to class tomorrow to get feed back.
Since the final art will be done using collage I am favoring  the 3rd and 4th images because of their larger shapes and less background detail.
I think I'm going to be using a multiple layer technique.
My plan right now is to do tight line art of the entire image, and then print it out onto different papers.
I'll then glue the chosen papers onto a 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch board and then cut away the areas of each board that aren't needed. I'll have 3 or 4 layers that stack on top of each other to create the image.
Tomorrow in class we are going to play with paint and create the papers for the collaging.

Go ahead and play Art Director and tell me what you like/don't like about each image, and tell me which one I can  "go to final with changes."