Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lamp Post Guild - Thumbnails

Lamp Post Guild update!

The course that I'm taking is all about developing personal work and the course consists of creating a series of illustrations, which can be tied together by a story or theme.

The illustration series that I've embarked upon is based off of George MacDonald's collected fairy tales. For the uninitiated, MacDonald was a writer who may not be terribly known these days, but who greatly influenced C.S. Lewis. A number of times while reading MacDonald's fairy tales, I was reminded strongly of the way that Lewis wrote "The Great Divorce", "The Screwtape Letters" and The Chronicles of Narnia.

MacDonald wrote eight fairy tales, which are now compiled into a single book. So for my series, I've decided to illustrate a single scene from each story. I tried to pick scenes that, while magical and narrative, do not spoil the entirety of the plot or the conclusion. Rather, most of the imagery is pulled from junctures in the stories during what you might call a "fateful encounter".

Below are the thumbnails that I've done for the eight tales.

Next up - rough sketches!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Shaking off the cobwebs

Hello! *listens for echoes*

It's unfortunate. I've hardly posted anything for the entirety of 2013 thus far. Sad, sad, sad... Truth is, I've been so busy trying to hold down my current illustration gig that for a while it was all I could do to hang in there with it, let alone making personal art on the side.

Which brings me to the good news: I'm beginning to make more personal art on the side.

I signed up recently to take a Lamp Post Guild course by Cory Godbey concerning personal projects. It's a 10 week class that focuses on creating sustainable personal projects. So over the next few weeks, I plan on posting some of my progress here. Doing the work will be my first priority, so while I'll try to post things up here regularly, I'm making no promises on how often or how much I'll post. I know myself too well for that. :)

In an effort to get in the groove of creating personal pieces, here's something I worked up over the past couple days. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Website Mascot Design

I was recently commissioned to design a character to be the mascot for a website business. The idea was to use the character to visually represent five different pages on the site: Contact/How to Find Us, Security/Log In, What to Bring, Greeting/Intro, and Sign Up.

We began developing the character with several different sketches, narrowing it down to three options, and then chose one to use for the final illustrations. The goal for the mascot was to have him be something of a nerd (but cool at the same time), 20-something years old, and dressed casually. Some initial sketches below:

Two of the contestants who moved on to the 2nd round:

The final illustrations:

Bonus! A bit of the process below as a nifty animated GIF. :)


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Funny Phobias Animation


I would formally like to present to you my first stab at traditional animation!

It's running only at 15 fps - largely because the project was a fairly quick turnaround from initial sketches to final product (about 2 weeks). So for those of you keeping score at home, that's roughly around 1,000 drawings if you minus out the time text is on the screen.

Thanks again to the guys over at the creative department at Elevation!


Funny Phobias from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Graysen Green Dress

Earlier this year, I was approached by a couple named Frank and Jessica Bealer to work on their children's book "Graysen Green Dress Tries a Pink Dress" - a cute father-daughter story with a heartfelt military family slant. So for the months of May, June, and July, we worked together to hammer out the layout process and illustrations for the book, and released it July 31st!

Currently, the book is available only for the iPad and Kindle, but we're hoping to have a physical copy published sometime in the future! Below are some images from the making of the book as well as a few of the finished illustrations you'll see in the final.

An early version of the storyboard laid out.

Rough sketches to flesh out the storyboards further.

Graysen's green pajamas.

Finished drawing for the illustration below.

Shopping for the pink dress.

Graysen and her father.

I'd like to thank the Bealers for the opportunity to work on such a great story, and also to everyone else for supporting those of us who tell stories!

Again, the book is currently available in digital format on Amazon!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vikings Love Their Mothers, Too

A little work-in-progress fun.

A Leaping Fox How-To...

Here's a little fox illustration that I created using largely pencils, Photoshop, and my Wacom tablet. Hope you find it useful!

I started off with just a sketch from reference, adding a little extra here and there. I've been using my (magic!) blue Col-erase pencils a ton lately, adding in some darker pencils on top afterwards to push the depth.

I scanned the drawing and brought it into Photoshop, where I put it in a multiply layer and lowered the opacity waaay down (to something like 18%). It may seem like I'm wasting a lot of work I did with the shading and lines, but it comes through in the end. 

On a new layer beneath it, I laid down that hot orange-red, and added a couple shades of color lighter and darker to keep it from being flat and give a general idea of the form. 

From there, on a third layer, I added some black to the ears, snout and front paws. No need to worry about staying inside the lines up to this point. (Read: You can color like a 3 year old - it'll be fun. Trust me.)

Satisfied with those layers, I created vector masks for each and defined where I wanted the edges of those colors to be.

Here, I've added another multiply layer, this time of a texture, a shade or two darker than what the fox already has. At this point, it's all about pushing the depth (like I did when adding the dark pencils on top of the blue). I also used that layer to bring out some linework that was lost a little too much when I lowered the opacity early on. (Like the ones that help define the forearms.)

And to top it all off, I added in some very slight highlights to pull it up from being too dark.

And it's finished!