Tuesday, December 23, 2008
It’s been great this last week I’ve just kicked back, watched some great documentaries, hung out with my family and my girlfriend’s family. It has been a real recharge. I am however getting pretty antsy. I’ve been sketching away in my new sketchbook practicing my anatomy. I thought with Christmas coming along here’s a gift from me to you all. It’s actually just a link I found to George Bridgman’s Constructive Anatomy and thought I’d pass it along.
Perhaps I am secretly a futurist at heart but when I saw the Venus Project I was at awe. I started off by admiring the designs of Jacque Fresco but then realized that there was much more to it than futuristic housing, cities, transportation, etc. His ideas are to change our culture. He has a dream of a world without war, pollution, and crime. He calls for a resource based economy where all natural resources are shared without monetary trade or bartering. All national boundaries would no longer exist and we would live in a society that is shaped by our surrounding environment. We would live with the Earth, not against it. I will admit this sounds like an impossible utopia but ideas have to start somewhere. Every good idea started off as a dream. Let me know what you think.
For some reason I have always loved looking at people’s studios. Just their work space gets me inspired and excited. Anyways my beautiful girlfriend, Ani Alexanian, took some photographs the other night while she so patiently waited for me to finish my work. We had a date but she was kind enough to wait around for me. This is what she came up with.
OBAMA IN DETROIT!
In other news I saw Barack Obama today for the third time. And Joe Biden and Michelle Obama for the first! They spoke in front of the Detroit Public Library and DIA. The Secret Service came to my apartment building and yelled at us for having our windows open. I was one that left his window up… yikes! I’m a part of history, we managed to delay the rally. :/ Oh dear. Don’t worry Obama, I’m sure the thousands of people there are still going to vote for you. And we’ll see if I’m one of them come November 4th… who am I kidding?
Here is a self portrait that I have been working on and off all summer. I will show you the final in my next post. I began to experiment with different mediums such as Linseed Oil and Neo Megilp. Both are amazing! I’m trying to get the fluidity that Malcolm Liepke does in his pieces. However I do not want to wait a month for the paint to dry to the touch. He apparently uses poppy oil, clove oil, and linseed oil according to this interview.
The first picture is a burnt umber wash and an accurate drawing underneath. After that I started with the eyes and nailed them. I felt like I was moving in the right direction so I continued on. THe next day I blocked in the shapes and fix any drawing errors I could find. I tried to keep a fresh eye by taking frequent 5 minute breaks at this point. I put it away for about a week or two and then decided to change my shirt (I end up changing it again.) I really wanted to take my time with this piece. In the last picture I probably have about 5-6 layers of glazes.
Also recently I’ve discovered some new painters, if you haven’t already heard of them: Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Andres Zorn, and Joaquin Sorolla. My buddy Rob Rey suggested most of these and a bunch more but I can only take so much inspiration before I have to get to painting myself. Whenever I go into the Detroit Institute of the Arts I end up staying for about an hour before I get antsy and want to start painting. I’ve definitely taken full advantage of my free membership. The rest I will share with you in a later post.
(Pictures John Howe, Superman, Stormtrooper and Boba Feta)
Comic-con was a blast! I met so many new people and artists that I could never have anywhere else. I was lucky enough to put my portfolio in front of some important faces in the art community. I received priceless advice and now I know how to develop MY portfolio. I’m happy to say I know the direction that I’m heading now and I know what I have to do in these next two years.
For all of those that were unable to attend I’ll give it to you in a nutshell. I originally did not know what to expect other than pure utter chaos. When I got there it was like a kid in a candy store. I had to take a deep breath and remind myself not to get too excited. I was shocked with the amount of artists that were there. All of them were more than happy to speak with you, they gave great advice on portfolios and the business of art, and some wanted you to email them your work as it developed. I spoke with artists such as Ashley Wood, Justin Sweet, Sean “Cheeks” Galloway, John Howe, Shelly Wan, Stephan Martinière (art director/concept artist), Scott Robertson, JC Shuster, Pascal Campion, Craig Elliot, Jon Foster, Jeff Watts, Joe Bluhm, Bobby Chiu, Irene Gallo (art director), and many many more. Everywhere you turned there was an opportunity to meet someone new, network, hand out your business card, and get noticed in the crowd. I found that if you mentioned to the artists/art directors that you were a student illustrator they were more than happy to give you advice on the industry, even excited to sometimes.
The reason I went on this trip, personally, was not to necessarily to get a job but learn what niches/opportunities there were for me. Once I found that out I could taylor my portfolio in the next two years. I was blown away with what was being done. There is so much opportunity out there but only for those that want to work for it. I learned where I stand and what I have to do. It was a great chance to compare my portfolio and see what works and what doesn’t. I was extremely happy to go and I hope to attend next year. If it were up to me, I would have the entire Illustration Department go and experience it.
Photos by Forest Zachman
I was lucky enough to attend the Jon Foster Workshop at the Watts Atelier in Encinitas, CA! Jon Foster taught us all of his tricks and secrets. I felt extremely lucky to attend. He covered composition, value, reference, and gave two demonstrations.
The first day he gave us a slideshow of his current work that he has done for Star Wars to Buffy to Anne Franks concept design. After which, he showed us a technique he uses when stuck or needs a more exciting composition. Basically he looks away from the page while sketching and uses a graphite or prisma stick to create random marks on the page. After which he looks for things in the marks to make a new and interesting composition. Jon gave us the assignment of nine thumbnails for a Moby DIck book cover along with Sparknotes. I went out to lunch with Chris. He was gracious enough to lug me around Encinitas and give me a tour. Chris works at Rockstar Games as a 2D Texture Artist and he is amazing at it.
During the second day Jon gave us an oil sketch demonstration. He told us that it was important not to turn painting into a finish medium only. Often he just sketches in oil for fun. Some examples are actually in his book Revolutions: The Art of Jon Foster. In reality Jon gave us three demos in one but would finish halfway and scrub it out. I don’t think he realized it but it was torture watching those beautiful sketches disappear. They are only to remain in the attendees’ memories and those that got a snapshot while they lasted. Jon showed us different techniques he uses, one was scratching in form with a business card. After his performance he critiqued our thumbnails and gave us a ton of advice.
Some of the other artists took me for some Hawaiian Food. Asa Uemon, Patrick Ballesteros, Dzu Nguyen, and a cute LA artist named Stevie Lewis I owe you guys/girl a special thanks for taking me along with you. It was delicious food something I could definitely get use to.
On the third day we changed the workshop location to the new building of the Watts Atelier. Jon began with a digital demonstration which lasted the entire morning. It was a Jon Foster version of Beaker. He blew right through it using his Wacom Intuos 2 6×8 (I believe), Photoshop CS, and Corel Painter 10. He showed us his tips on masking, brushes, color balance, etc. After which he showed us the correct way to shoot reference. He said to spend at least one hour shooting the pictures. That did not include setup of lights and model. He suggested getting multiple shots and sewing them together to make it a better picture. That pretty much ended the workshop.
I had a great time hanging out with Jon Foster and meeting everyone. I learned a ton and I hope to stay in contact with those that I met. Who knows maybe one day after I graduate I’ll take a few classes at Watts Atelier!