Rainy Day

I figured I'd show my work methods here. Why not? It's a blog. So a few months ago I bought a multimedia sketchbook. Best thing I ever did. I really prefer to work on smooth paper, even with watercolor. I struggled a lot with the sketch (something I shouldn't be doing in a sketchbook). I was working on composition and knew that I wanted a different point of view to play with. The left hand corner I left blank until the very end when I threw in a person. The main focus is the girl, so she had to be corralled in, so that's what he is there for.  Since I'm cheap and Michael's isn't that convenient for me to get to, I used my non waterproof ink. I originally bought it to play with sepia painting, which hasn't happened. So I had to finish the watercolor first and then do ink on top. It's a good thing watercolor dries so fast because I attacked it with the ink pen so soon afterward. I actually really didn't like what was happening. I kind of preferred the way I had just made outlines with watercolor. But I'm definitely not a light-handed artist. I finished before bed as usual, and then in the morning I was like "this is awesome". Amazing how sleep can make artwork so much better. :)

    I am playing with logo designs.  I'm slowly narrowing it down.  I do both graphic design and illustration, so I'm combining the two in this particular design.  I also like steam punk and Victorian/old-fashioned things, which are interests that may or may not go away, but have been pretty consistent lately. I was thinking it would be cool to make this into a wax stamp.  (I also have a fetish for wax stamps.)

Widows of Winchester - done for now

So in yet another fit of frustration, I did a total re-design.  I like adding text to my illustrations now.  Subconsciously I must be hoping that some book publisher will take me on.  Especially the one down the street reputed for publishing The Tale of Despereaux.  Anyway, this illustration was another experiment.  I tried working with black and white values first and then did a color glaze over it.  It may just be me and my artistic ADD but the effect wasn't quite what I expected.  At least the mood is still gloomy, which is fine.  But I need to improve so badly...  Next time I should probably collect some reference.

Widows of Winchester..in progress

No drastic changes, but I did up the contrast (this is a study in value after all) between foreground and background.  And I shrunk the tree because I thought it was competing too much with the main figure.  Hope to add some color soon.

The Widows of Winchester: rough

For the longest time I've only been watching painting tutorials online, and I noticed that most of the best paintings were done in black and white first - to get the values right.  So I'm trying it out, and that explains why this illustration is more morose than it actually will be by the time I'm finished.  I'm remembering that landscapes are darkest objects in the forefront, and then the values lighten farther back.  This is really just a practice piece - for value, landscape, and I guess portrait painting.  At the moment I don't have any reference; I'm just winging it as long as I can go without it.  And of course there's a story in the illustration (otherwise I can't get into it).  I thought up a story about a colony of widows who are outcast due to the strange powers that came to them upon their husband's deaths.  And of course there's a young heroine who has to pass through death to save her husband in the end.  (Yes, I have been reading too much Garth Nix as of late!)

Character Sketch in Progress

So while I finally have some time, I figured I would try to work on this.  I worked more on the look and feel of the illustration than anything else.  Right now, I'm facing a lot of tweaking and detail work!

Character sketch

This whole sketch is probably not higher than 4 inches.   I don't know why I draw so small.  Anyway, these are characters from a story/series I've been writing. (It is going very well - I officially have a beginning, middle, end, and several completed chapters!)  I've put this sketch through Photoshop to paint it, but it's a bit ugly right now so I won't put it up yet.  CS5 is supposed to be specifically designed towards painters, so I purchased it and will have to try out the new brushes.  I don't know if I'm going to actually finish this sketch.  The painting is going to involve warm lighting, fog, and a dark background, so it's probably not necessary.  I've decided I love steampunk!

Midnight Escape - in progress Part 2

Still plugging away at this painting.  It's a very slow process between work and all my other commitments.   I'm liking the way it is turning out, though.  Still working out the perspective, detail, color, and definitely value.  After getting frustrated I decided to leave it and focus on the figures.  It's the part I enjoy most and it goes so much faster than the technical parts that I struggle with!  Not really fair.  It's nice to know I might have something nice to add to my portfolio besides my endless pieces of scrap paper that I sketch on at the office.  I'll probably be the first person to have a Post-It sketchbook! 

Midnight Escape - in progress

This one is causing me some grief, but it's a process.  The Painter file I'm working on now actually looks quite different from this rough.  I stretched out the composition to landscape view, and added major contrast.  It's a mess with the architecture though, so I've got black lines crisscrossing everywhere - and while I like to show my creative process, even I'm not comfortable showing that mess on my blog just yet. 
A lot of my work originates from stories I am currently writing or have yet to write.  This story to this painting I have yet to write (I am writing the companion novel to it right now).  I won't go into all the details of the plot but suffice it to say that it's midnight and it's curfew - and our protagonist has to cross the bridge to the girls' dormitories before it disappears!  Not only that, but life-sucking monsters prowl the misty streets below! 

Monster in the Closet

    Here you can see a rough under-painting below (painted with actual gouache on illustration board).  The one above is the semi-finished one done in Corel painter from the scanned rough.  I love line work, and at heart I am a draw-er not a painter.  I have done some pretty nice paintings, but doing them always felt more like filling-in lines with color and not actually painting.  So I'll leave the painting to those true painters out there.  They have a technique and style I'll always envy, and how they can make random brushstrokes and dabs of color become actual pictures, without the guidance of lines, is just beyond me. 
    The painting on the left was the first painting I attempted right after graduation.  I was going to fly into that full-scale-painting mode I enjoyed while in school..  and then it sat on my drafting table for months, stayed in a 'projects' folder on my desk for a few more, and finally sat on an easel directly in front of my workspace until in a fit of impatience I threw it on my scanner - to finish by digital means.  The process took hardly more than an hour in Corel Painter.  I am so converted to digital painting!

    Wait a minute...

    I did realize that I had completely lost the original drawing under all that digital paint.  The drawing gives the character, well, character!  I quickly got rid of that paint layer and did a very light coat of paint (at 2%).  I must not lose that drawing!  For examples of what I'm explaining you can visit Todd Harris' work at http://hog-heaven.blogspot.com/ .  He only has thick patches of paint in certain areas, and then it fades off into the original line drawing.  This is the effect I am trying to achieve.  Unfortunately I'm still heavy-handed in Painter.

    Self Assignment Progress

    This is just light coloring in Painter.  I want to keep the coats thin so I can still see some of the drawing underneath.   I have a tendency to go really thick in Painter, and it doesn't look as nice.  I want to give the original drawing some credit.  I'm applying flesh tones as Don Seegmiller advised - with the warm/golden tons on the forehead, red in the middle zone, and cooler colors on the bottom of the face.  She's looking a bit anime-ish at the moment with the eyes, but I'm planning on fixing that.  I want there to be more depth to this little painting. 

    Self Assignment #1

         I've decided this blog is going to be way more casual, since I FINALLY have an official  website.  I'm going to post works in progress and any little thing I may be working on.  Since my office job has an excess of post-it notes I have several little drawings on them.  I blew this one up on the scanner, ready to add color in Painter.  I've been reading Don Seegmiller for new painting techniques.  Hopefully I can get to this one soon!


    This is from an idea I had for a story about a girl with such potent mind power that she had to be sedated with advanced computer equipment. She breaks free of course, and that is where the story starts.

    Dorian Gray's Daughter

    I am going to have fun with Corel Painter. I need a break from my brushes and paints. I will be adding more concept/character work from now on.

    Ladies of the Stage

    This is the original sketch. I am working on the Corel painting for it now.

    Cutlass Sue

    This is a character from a story I haven't started writing yet. But it's basically the traditional girl running away from home to become a pirate story.

    Hawaiian Guy & Girl

    This was a fun character study.

    Gesture Drawings

    These are gesture drawings completed in Ryan Woodward's class at BYU.