Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sketch Night

I was drawing pretty poorly last night but here's the latest digital life drawings.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Referencing

Children's book is almost done. Have to touch up two paintings for it. Digitally paint over a pencil sketch and digitally finish 3 paintings that are already started.

Still working on the Mutation Nation image. Trying to make it my most polished image to date.
So I've started thinking about my next piece which I sketched out a while back that is meant to target D&D. Again I'm wanting to get more and more believable illustrations so I've started being very detailed with my reference. This one involves multiple figures and I was a little at a loss of how to do the ref and I knew sculpting the scene would eat up quite a bit of time. Last night as I was going to sleep I came up with an idea. I had some of these little toys made of plastic lying around that would be easy to cut up and I thought perhaps could be heated and forced into poses. Found one figure that matched the pose exactly. Cut off the legs and rearranged them for another. I don't like the pose of the big guy's free arm but I can fix that. Carved his extended head down some and added some sculpey to give it more of a belly. Also carved off some weird lumps that were all over the big guy. Shooting ref was kind of difficult with the dramatic lighting and a crappy camera but I think I got some pretty useful stuff.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sketch Night

Digital sketches from life at last night's figure drawing session. Also posted my rig for that. I've got that programmable key strip so that it's like I still have a keyboard. I use it with my cintiq as well.

Guess what? The last six sketches for the children's book are drawn out and have the matte medium drying on them right now! Should be finished at least by next week. There was a little delay because I decided to ask for some reference from an artist friend and my cousin. Both got me some great stuff so that I can go ahead and knock this thing out. Maybe Finn will even like it. I know Ada wants to see about getting it published but the images are all over the place. Some are painted and some are all digital. I also drew each illustration however I liked the composition the most so there are some horizontals and some verticals that might be tricky when it comes to layout. I've had such a hard time working on this though that I chose to remove the orientation as a concern so that I could finish it quicker. I guess if a publisher were interested I could re-paint some stuff.

Anyways, I'm chomping at the bit to post the portfolio all over the place and start looking for work again. I promised myself I'd wait until I was done with all of these illos first though. I'm also eager to order ZBrush and finally get cracking on that really seriously. Also, CA finally made the portfolio reviews available so I've been able to re-watch that and see many others and it's got me all excited to bust my hump.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Process

Trying to improve and make more believable fantasy art so maybe I can start landing those dream jobs for WotC and books. So as you can see I've started making little maquettes. Hopefully it pays off although the dragonborn pic hasn't been particularly popular. Once I complete the children's book I should be able to do one of these a month and hope for the best come GenCon and Illuxcon.
Trying to think of what sort of pieces I need to do to round out the portfolio.
1.book cover piece-one that contains some ambiguity and is looked at almost more as art than illustration
2.strong female character pic. not a pin-up but something that shows that hey I can paint a woman.
3.high action!. Perhaps even very complicated such as a big battle scene
4.high tech
5.fix Elorgo illustration
6.another piece targeting D&D if I haven't covered it with 2 or 3.
7.A piece targeting M:tG if I haven't already covered it with 2 or 3

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Special" Prints

After this recent hard drive problem it occurred to me that I Won't be able to keep files for eternity for the purpose of prints. Not onlythat, I'm sure I won't be printing the same prints in a couple of years. So all of my prints will actually be a limited number, so why not begin to take advantage by signing and numbering prints?

Then I realized how little I know about limited edition prints. Do I need to get some kind of written guarantee from the printer? Can a run be of varying dimensions? Does it have to be below a certain amount? Do unsigned,unnumbered prints invalidate the special editions and create fraud? If they do then I can't sell limited editions of commercial work. Also, if that's the case I guess private commissions are out too since they are provided with a print quality file although it's stipulated that prints must be for personal use. Or maybe client work doesn't harm the limited edition prints because the artwork isn't sold separately,although work-for-hire clients could legally sellprints.Is it implied that limited editions are also archival? Do I need to delete the file afterwards? Can the edition be printed in installments? Could a limited edition piece be included in an annual since it's promotional?

Anyways, I found this link that clears some stuff up and thought others might find it of interest.
Prints 1
Prints 2
It looks to me like I should avoid trouble and just call them special editions. The article also made me question whether I'm just a jackass for numbering in this day and age. Anyways, I think I'll try something a bit odd with prints from now on. I'll announce each new piece as a special edition and lets say each run is 100 and signed. I'll list several different sizes within that edition and price them so that I make the same amount of profit on each piece. For conventions I'll print off part of the edition and this way when people ask about other sizes they can still get a print in the size they want that's within the special edition. Probably won't work out since people seem to abhor any sort of one on one communication to buy their prints online.

In any case, I don't see this hurting me besides for the fact that I will no longer be selling any prints through DeviantArt. I've only sold 20 prints over the course of 3 years though and profits aren't very high through them anyways. That was only $82.54 in profits and the cost of having the print account for three years was $75 so I made nothing from DA. At GenCon I managed to make $250, just enough to pay for the booth so I think the convention crowd is who I need to be aiming for. I'm also hoping the special edition title will allow me to sell those 11x17in prints for $20 now rather than $15. I might choose to cut into that additional profit by making higher quality prints.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Figure Drawing Night

Tonight's digital figure drawing from life. It was a good night to be working digitally. I think if I'd been working in pencil I would have gotten caught up in the details early on. The poses were really shifting all night because they were difficult to hold.  Ofcourse it meant I had to trust my initial lay in a bit more than I like. Also I've attached two older sketches because I apparently never posted them anywhere. I think you can see why I stopped trying to use color on the tablet pc and this is after I did quick color adjustments so that they weren't completely insane.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Digital Figure Drawing

Here's one of last night's figure drawings. Done on the fujitsu table.The legs were giving me fits. That far leg looks perpendicular but in reality it was pointed more away from us. Perhaps the far foot isn't foreshortened enough. Also it's odd where the heel almost looks like it's sitting on the knee. Should have made that area up in order to break that tangent.