Friday, November 13, 2009

Vampires this time

Here's a new piece for the Vampire: the eternal struggle TCG from Whitewolf.

oil on hardboard

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Materials: inking

I haven't done any inking in quite some time. I have been thinking of getting back into it and as such I thought it might be a good time to post the materials I use.

Surface- Strathmore 300 series 2-ply smooth bristol board

Ink- Higgins T-100 Drafting Film Ink
Applicators-Continuing from left to right
Kaimei natural hair brush pen
Cirrus 220 designers' Kolinsky Sable brush from Winsor & Newton
#102 Crow Quill Nib and holder

Unfortunately both the Cirrus 220 brushes and the Higgins T-100 ink have been discontinued.
I really like the Higgins T-100 (especially if you let it evaporate a little), and have not been able to find a replacement I like. As far as the brush Kolinsky Sable series 7 brushes are great, but the reason I did not use this to start with is they are really expensive. So if anyone can recommend an affordable alternative to either of these let me know.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mail Bag: Reilly methods and theories

I recently received an email from a young artist...

Dear Erik,

Could you please redirect me to a good Frank Reilly's reference book? I have seen some impressive head drawing and line construction on various blogs, but with no explanations. I am would be very grateful for any piece of information you can provide.

Very Sincerely,

...and it occurred to me this may be a question others have

Mastering Drawing the Human Figure From Life, Memory, Imagination by Jack Faragasso
A good resource, but perhaps needlessly complicated and it reads like stereo instructions

Values for Pictures Worth a Thousand Words by Apollo Dorian
Not as familiar with this book, I am looking into getting a copy because I have heard good things

The Frank Reilly School of Art by Doug Higgins
Good info, but the visuals could be better

"The Art of Color and Design" by Maitland Graves.
Reilly is not mentioned in the text but this book is based on lectures Reilly gave at Pratt Institute. Good info all the same though

The Artist's Atelier: Reference guide to Structural Concepts and Principles by Henry J.T. Doren
Only for absolute Reilly completeists

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Student Spotlight: Daniel Xiao part 2

At the beginning of the summer I did an interview with a former student of mine, Daniel Xiao, as he began an internship at Pixar. This is a follow up interview done at the conclusion of his internship

1)Have your professional goals changed since completing your internship, if so how?

In a way. If anything they've become more specific in that I know more about how the industry works and the types of jobs I'd like to shoot for. At the moment, matte painting seems like a good step in the right direction.

2)What kind educational/training do feel you gained from your internship that you cannot get from traditional schooling?

I think the most important thing I came away with from this internship was simply learning about what it means to be an artist as a profession. It's one thing to do your own personal project for class. Working on a real feature film with a full-fledged art department and experienced production designer is something else entirely. It's not something I really thought about before the internship but it certainly left the greatest impression afterward.

3)What experience do you feel you gained the most from in your internship?

[see above]

4)Do you feel your internship helped you to eliminated any weaknesses, or simply improve on your strengths?

A little bit of both. I feel like growing as an artist means making the most you possibly can out of your strengths, and then scrambling to plug up any weaknesses.

5)Which skills do you feel you improved?

Learning how to compose well for a shot is the big one. Also keeping your files clean and organized and painting for a specific style.

6)Has your dream job/project changed, if so how, if not do you feel you are closer to fulfilling this dream?

My dream project used to just be working on an epic sci-fi or fantasy film with a massive budget, something on the scale of Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. Now the dream is to have matte paintings in that epic sci-fi/fantasy film.

7)At this point which artistic achievment are you most proud of?

The other matte paint intern and I did nearly every background for one of Pixar's new short films. A few people have described to me what it's like to see your work projected onto a 60-foot screen in front of hundreds of audience members and it's definitely something I've been excited about. It sounds incredible.

8)If you could go back in time 5 months what advice would you give yourself?

Go vacation somewhere nice.

9)If given the opporitunity would you take another internship from Pixar in a year?


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

WFC demonstration recap

So, as I mentioned last week, Lucas Graciano and I did a relay painting demo to launch this years World Fantasy Con. We met many nice people, mostly via John Picacio's kind introductions, and had a fun time. For our painting demo we did an oil painting based on a thumbnail we whipped up real quick at lunch. Since this was the World Fantasy Con and this years theme was Edgar Allen Poe's 200th birthday, we thought it might be fun to paint Poe as a knight riding on a raven. I know, clever right. We spent about an hour and 20 minutes on it for the demo, alternating every 20, starting with me. We then spent maybe another 40 min on it in the hotel room.