Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
This is a quick sketch I did while visiting History Park in San Jose. The place is like a time warp in the middle of the city with a trolly car and an old fashioned ice cream parlor. There are lots of interesting old-timey things to draw and paint there, so I may go back a few more times to get some more sketch time in. This one was a little hurried at the end because the volunteers there were closing the entrances and I was in danger of getting locked in.
I decided to take a different approach to the Fire Brothers piece I am working on. I originally intended to do the whole thing in a vintage poster/Jules Charet type thing, but early on I became bored with the idea of "painting by number." I normally don't have a problem working into a tight pencil drawing, but this piece began to feel very contrived. I decided to cover the surface with matte medium and experiment with some oils on top of the watercolor base. These guys are fire after all, so I think some random explosive blasts of color and light might get me excited again. Another thing that bothers me is that I wanted all the brothers to be different types of fire, but the blue flame brother in the lower right is a strange infusion of cool in a predominantly warm palette. I might just make the whole thing warm swirling mass to unify the piece. In any case, this is where it is for now until the oils.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
This is the most recent version of this piece. I kept looking at the last version, thinking, "what's missing here?" I wanted to up the drama and accentuate the diseased nature of the rat. Hopefully this has more of the "epic showdown" feel I wanted. Part of what caused this is I found a dead rat in a park in Portland with a wasp in its mouth while I was visiting my friend recently. There were all sorts of inspiring natural wonders at the park, but looking at the wet, dead rat face to face gave me a feeling that was very different that the one in my piece. I snapped a shot, and when I returned to San Jose got to work. It was a fine line between disgusting and interesting, but I think it helped.
Friday, October 31, 2008
This is based on a nightmare that stuck with me for many years. I believe that this was brought on in part from watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Other parts of that dream involved an evil viking with flaming eyes, and a mine-cart ride through/over hot lava. What kid's nightmare is complete without lava??
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This is yet another sketch that started off as a doodle and turned into something else as the evening rolled on. The narrative I had in my mind when I was painting this was that this powerful pan-like creature is immortal, and at the end of time he will have only his memories of those who are lost.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
I have had this concept in my head for around two years in various incarnations. It feels good to have a piece to show for it! I can't give out too much of the story because it's currently still in flux, but I wanted to post this image to sort of up the pressure to finish the idea.
I tend to get a lot of ideas, but seldom find the time to pursue them with the gusto that I would want. This piece is merely a thought that sparked a story I am currently working on. My girlfriend Kristel insists that I actually get out the whole story and do more paintings for it instead of zipping around to some other ideas. I think she is right.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I was messing around with a new brush today and I did this sketch as a test in Photoshop. I was oil painting last weekend with some of my friends and the experience left me a little disappointed with my current equivalent of a chisel-tip brush in my digital work. The stroke was too pure and without variation, so the strokes felt at worst "digital" and at best like a quick gouache job, which would be fine, but I was shooting for a more oily look. Many people I respect love Painter, but I just can't get into it, so I have spent time trying to mod my Photoshop brushes in a way that I feel works for me. This guy is the result of a few tweaks to my new chisel brush. The image was really just a doodle, but I sort of like the result. I may take this to a more finished state...but I have a lot of catching up to do on old stuff.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Now that the Duck!!! show is up (thank you so much to everyone that came out to see our art! It was an amazing turnout!!) I can turn back to the things I was working on. I still have the fire brothers piece to complete, but that is I would say, about half done. There are some other things I am working on as well, but I am going to take it one thing at a time for now.
Here are a few quick drawings from lunch today. I was sitting and drawing near a lagoon where people walk and jog on their lunch breaks, and they move by very quickly. I decided to just try and draw characters based on the enhanced memories of these passing people even though to look at them you would never know they were the basis for these sketches.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I have been busy over the last couple weeks putting together the last of my pieces for a gallery show in San Francisco starting September 5th that some alumni from San Jose State Illustration/Animation and I are doing. The show was concieved as a way for us to get together and have some fun while showcasing our creative exploits outside of our daily work. The theme of the show is centered around rubber ducks and features a broad array of styles and mediums. Most importantly, it was a blast to be a part of!
Monday, August 04, 2008
I recently went on a vacation with Kristel to the Sierras including Bodie, Lee Vining, Convict Lake, Mono Lake, and all along Yosemite. It was a wonderful break from work and the city. There were a lot of great moments, and I even painted and drew a bit. This painting was of Tenaya Lake in Yosemite off of Tioga Pass. The water there is amazingly clear and fresh, but the altitude made swimming more difficult than I expected.
In Bodie, there was a great little old house that was totally falling apart. I sat in the shade and sketched while the tourists all spoke out loud about the history of the house I was leaning against. Apparently, that resident was killed in a faulty dynamite accident. Since it's a ghost town, everything is abandoned, but the old mine still looks pretty cool. Kristel, an avid U2 fan, pondered the possibility that the song "Red Hill Mining Town" may have been about Bodie.
One of the great highlights of the trip was seeing a bald eagle swoop down and catch a fish in its talons while we were hiking at Convict Lake. The eagle had to avoid seagulls' attempts to snatch its meal, so it flew out around the perimeter of the lake and directly by Kristel and I. I managed to snag a quick shot while he soared past us.
I had a wonderful time, and really enjoyed the mountains and high desert. I was sad the trip was over, but all good things must end, so I will have to start planning a new adventure!
Friday, July 18, 2008
That's right, they are dead. This dude felt like doing a binary solo, so I had to let him rip.
He started out as a doodle when I was feeling like I was out of ideas the other day. I imagine this guy is built to rock, so he is his own amplifier, emitting sonic attacks from his mouth. His mouth also has an indicator of the wave as a digital readout, and yes, it does go to eleven.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
The final drawing is on my watercolor board and is ready to go. Unfortunately, it seems I have too many plates spinning in the air right now, and I may have to put this piece on hold for a short time. There are some other pieces that need my attention, and I will put those up as soon as I can. It's under wraps right now. As soon as the other pieces are taken care of, I plan on returning to these wily guys to finish the job.
This is a comp sketch for a piece I have been working on for a while now. This is based on the idea of three fire brothers, each one a different type of flame. The left character is based on candlelight. He is full of wisdom and considers his decisions thoroughly. the character in the middle is based on wild fire and explosions. He is very intense and becomes enraged easily. The character on the left is based on blue flame and is full of mischievous kinetic energy. He is very sneaky and very quick.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
This is a sketch I did based on an interesting treeform I saw while on a hike in the hills of San Jose up in Grant Park. The tree was an assembly of twisting roots, branches and moss. I wondered, what would this tree be like if it could move about and speak with me? This old man/tree emerged. I imagine him a wily character with much wisdom and a tendency for mischief.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Here is what I was working on last weekend. I had what was nearly a perfect day on Saturday because I was able to take a bike ride, do some photography, paint, and spend the afternoon with my girlfriend. The only thing that was missing was some jamming on my guitar. The painting was started late in the afternoon/sundown part of the day when the light changes very rapidly. The colors were shifting all over the place, so I did a quick lay-in with pen and gouache, then took a photo so I could work on it a bit more at home. When I looked at the image later, it was very unresolved, but the basics were there, so I just solidified some of "mushy" areas.
The next day, I went to Big Sur with Kristel and found some more rapidly changing environments. The fog was blasting in off the ocean with surprising force, but there were magnificent moments of sunlight that disappeared in a flash. I would have loved to paint the scene, but it was pretty formidable circumstances, and I was not prepared. Perhaps in the future I will make it out on a similar day. I do have some photos to remind me of the fantastic colors of the water and the land until then.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Thursday, May 01, 2008
I have a week-and-some-days off as I switch to my new job, so I am tackling a lot of things I wanted to do but never had the time for. One of them is improving my meager facility with oil painting. I am still very very new to the medium, (only having painted in oil twice before these) so my technique leaves something to be desired. Still, I had a lot of fun. I really love the medium and look forward to many more paintings and discoveries.
The first piece was done in San Francisco out near the warf with my friends Jehan and Chrystal. I did the portrait based on a Corbis stock photo just to see what I needed work on.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Here is the line drawing for a piece I said I would do a while back. This is a companion piece to the attack ship painting. I wanted to depict the first meeting the ship had with the large methane feeders that cruise the foggy atmosphere. These creatures are not aggressive, but I wanted them to feel intimidating none the less. I will do a painting on top of this in photoshop.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
I have been on a traditional kick recently, mostly because I want to change things up from the digital work I do every day. This piece came from no direction in particular. It started out as a free-form brush-pen sketch with black ink. After pushing things around for a while, I became bored and decided to try and experiment with watercolors. First it was a set of three monsters, then it became a landscape painting, then it became a burning castle, and finally the iteration you see here. This final product is loosely based another post I did with a flaming castle. I imagine this is a beast summoned by the victims in the former painting to seek revenge for the destruction of their homes.
Monday, March 31, 2008
I went for a bike ride this last weekend, and I decided to also try and do a landscape study at Alum Rock park in San Jose. I haven't done one for a while, and I discovered that I missed painting considerably. I very much enjoy creating art on the computer, but there is no substitute for spending time outside with raw materials. It's tough to find the time do get out, but I am going to try and squeeze a little in every week.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
This is a concept sketch I did for one of the giants of Neptune. This creature trolls the gassy layer of the planet gathering nutrients with the absorbing tentacle-like formations in its mouth. It has small eyes since it spends most of it's time in the hazyness of the gas, but they can move independently of one another. The creature spends most of its time gliding about, searching for the richest methane deposits. The next piece I'm working on will show the ship from the previous post coming into contact with this behemoth.
These are the quick sketches I was exploring in order to find the creature I thought would be right for this part of Neptune.
Friday, March 21, 2008
This is a piece inspired by the strangeness of the planet Neptune. I developed this little story about a fighter that ventured too close to Neptune and found out there was more to this blue planet than meets the eye. I did research about the real Neptune, but these pieces I am working on are more along the dreamy Jules Verne -anything-is-possible sort of reality. I though it would be interesting to have the initial fight with the fighter's pursuers as depicted here, then show another piece showcasing the inhabitants of the gaseous soupy atmosphere below the cloud tops. I am working on that piece for the next post.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I was goofing off with a new brush I made specifically for clouds, and this came out. It's sort of typical "angelic" fare, but it was fun to play around with different effects. This certainly is not the fighter project I mentioned would be next on the blog, but I forgot my scanner today at work, so that will have to come a little later.
Friday, March 14, 2008
I never seem to find a digital look that I really like, so I am often messing around with brushes, layer effects and the like in Photoshop. I know Painter has some great natural media stuff, but for the most part, I want to see if I can achieve something I like in photoshop since that is what I mostly use professionally.
I also needed some work on my painting in general, so I decided to do some studied every day. I tried a few from photos that had great color and lighting (they were not my photos) and I tried one of a tea garden from a photo I took in Portland when I visited my good friend Drew. I'm still not satisfied with any of these, but I learned a whole mess of stuff while doing these, so I might just keep it up. Next up -- the fighter ship project I was working on.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I was not feeling it at work today (I'm on for another two months) so I did a quick sketch for the Creation Engines blog. The theme was assassins and serial killers. I originally did a whole thing on serial killers, but that started to creep me out, and I only did one quick painting for that. I may explore this guy more at a later date, especially since he is not very creatively designed in his current state.
My immediate thoughts for this assassin was a marksman, so I did a modified version of a tactical suit mixed with a target shooting vest. He is supposed to have an airgun for silent poison dart shots, but I think I want to work on the gun some more. I just discovered the word assassin originated as an arabic word for "hashish eater." I might play with that since the original assassins were possibly drug users (some scholars claim this to be incorrect), that opens up a totally fresh world of ideas.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Here is the finished paints for the dinorider and his steed. I decided to include another character to show how powerful and intimidating the triceratops could be. I also thought the composition could use some "dialogue" since it was looking a little boring with just the dino and the rider.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Here is the final painting for the dinosaur rider. It took me a while to find a palette that felt like it belonged in the earthy, almost western atmosphere I imagined. I also wanted the colors to feel ancient. The painting for the rider on top of his triceratops is almost done, so that should be up this week as well. Thanks everyone for the comments so far!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Here is a more defined sketch based on the model comp below. The final will be done pretty soon.
This is a quick study I did with the help of my kneaded eraser, photoshop, and my desklamp. First I comped up a little sculpt with my eraser and lit it. I picked an angle that I thought would be most dynamic for the two characters, and I shot it with my camera. Afterwards, I did some quick paintover in photoshop to give it a little more form and atmosphere. I still have a lot of work to do, but I can see more clearly how things are going to work for the final thanks to the model. there is a lot of information, especially with bounced light that I never would have thought of if not for this.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Earlier I posted an image of a triceratops entering a cave through a gateway of bones. On top of the triceratops was a very small character who was the "rider." Very early on I wanted to explore this character in-depth, but never got around to. Here is a design I have done for the rider along with some ideations that helped lead up to the final idea. With this character I wanted the tough chunkiness that I associate with a triceratops, and I wanted to also include the horn/spike element also present in that animal. There are some elements in the design that I intentionally created in three's to reflect the three horns...essentially the "tri" in triceratops. There will be more in this vein coming soon, along with a colored version of the rider.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Here are some initial ideas for a small attack ship I am working on. I wanted to explore a few different directions before settling down on one. I like a couple of these, so I will do a more specific pass before going to the final design. My premise for this idea will develop as I continue. Things go back and forth between story and art, changing on both sides when ideas present themselves. This set should be done soon, unlike most of the other things I am working on...
I will be finishing up my contract with EA at the end of February, so I plan on spending a lot of time working on the things I have been putting off for the past several months.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
My friend Jehan and I, in a sort of effort to blow off steam from work, came up with a contrived art movement called "Weirdism". It started off as a sort of silly fun thing and moved into something we both actually really like to do. It's pretty far from concept art, but that is essentially why we started to do it--to keep things fresh. Just for fun we created pseudonyms; mine being S. Bleufield. Is it ridiculous?? Pretty much, but hey, so am I. Jehan was inspired by Bowie and I took a stab at Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
This is a very early jumping point for a character I am designing. She is supposed to look a little younger than this, and I need to push the design into the avant-garde. I know some of the design elements are relatively cliche, so I will really have to consider how exactly I will give her a "futuristic" look that actually works. The color for this painting was okay in the face, but the scarf and jacket were very saturated in an unappealing set of hues. I decided to make it more analogous.
This is a hybrid of acrylic and photoshop. I was trying to get as much color in there as possible and avoid "object painting".
Friday, January 18, 2008
This is another one of my quick little brush experiments. I have been playing with the hue jitter feature of the Photoshop brush editor to try and get more color variation in the strokes. The brush I originally created wasn't worth keeping, but I sort of like the outcome.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
This is as far as I am willing to take this painting. I really need to sit down and design out the city and the people before I commit to a look. I am happy that I have this as a starting point, but I could take it so much further.
This is the loose laying for one part of a project I have been working on for about a year. I never seem to get any time to take it further, so hopefully I can now. This is basically a street shot that I meant to be a mood piece of a future SF. I am trying to make a collection of short story/comics based on that theme. Here's to hoping I will stop being lazy! I think I have said I would work on this project a million times, but I might actually do it this time.