Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rat Crow vs. Chicken Lizard Final

I decided to fill in the sky to add some depth to the final work. I added some gradation to give it a bit of depth and a sense of 'clouds'...I also filled in the rest of the posters/pictures for the backdrop...just a little something to add some visual interest. I'm not sure if it blows up large enough to tell but put me in dressed as a farmer...the overall piece is pretty and it always feels good to complete something...but then there is that bit of 'depression' that tends to come as I try to figure out what to do next...other than work on my styraco...which I have officially started adding in the background!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rat Crow vs. Chicken Lizard VI

I added grain to the boards...For a poster in the background (not put in yet on this snapshot) I located some KY county fair posters and loosely based the sketch.

One note about the expression of the girl. I threw that in because I usually get that slight look of disgust multiple times on 'the drive'...usually after one of my spectacular songs I create discussing my admiration for my children's very large feet or how they got freckles...(you wouldn't believe it if I told you the true origin)...I thought it fit in well with this pic. The young lady is 12 and is kind of in that 'Dad, you are such a dork' phase...I did take a reference shot for the pose but the expression wasn't there...it just came out as I was drawing it....

Next post will be the finished work...I said that last time but this time I mean it...

Sunday, August 22, 2010


"Crab keeps inviting me to the beach for a 50's theme party...but you know I just don't like that atmosphere."

You may have to think about that one for a second...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rat Crow vs. Chicken Lizard V

To help add some detail without being overwhelming I decided to have an unfinished inside shack type of look. I thought with originally doing 'chipboard' between the boards but figured it wouldn't pop very well...back in the day (maybe still now) I remember going into some old building and between the framing they had a dark 'tar paper' that had a brownish black coloration. It was probably originally black but time had caused the brown to seep in. I decided to put this between the planks and to not burnish it, but rather to allow the texture of the paper to show through...I also planned on putting some stuff here and there on the walls to break it up a bit more but not to 'overwhelm' and draw attention away from the characters.

The next big decision came with the window. I debated between keeping the background color and giving it an 'evening' type look or adding a sky effect...I could picture it working either way but really like the pop of the direction I decided to go...up next...the finished item...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Profile Pic

Back to work in just a few more days...in celebration a new profile pic is in order...

IF:Public Ed...Stargazer

Dedicated to all those that graduated...and have to pull off their shoes or use a calculator to figure out 8+7...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rat Crow vs. Chicken Lizard IV

Instead of going with the gas pump idea I decided to throw my daughter in looking through a window. This played off the repetition of the squares of the crates and eventually would help to have some more depth.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rat Crow vs. Chicken Lizard III

At this point I started working on the foreground and developing the 'story' that was occurring a bit more. There was about a month or two break between where I was at in the last post and what I have here. I changed the theme a bit and decided to have the story occurring in a shed and to put a girl in the window watching. I sketched it all in...To avoid the characters being in the foreground I put two bowls to hold captured chess pieces. I also changed the table to a crate and added two different types of crates to start adding some depth. Because of the difference in color schemes between the two critters I knew I would have to use different crate colors so that items didn't 'blend'.

One major problem I noticed at this point was the wax leeching out of the drawing. I have really never had an issue with this because I typically get the item sprayed before this happens...and at least one other colored pencil project took longer than this without and issues. So I was surprised when I lifted off the protective covering and the wax leech was happening. There was a fine film of wax 'ash' that was dulling all of the colors. I can only figure that the high humidity after the AC was turned off had a lot to do with the leeching being accelerated. I carefully took a slightly damp paper towel and wiped off the wax. I had to do this several times over a couple of days before it all stopped. Either it leeched as far as it was going to go or the humidity conditions changed enough for it to stop.

Rat Crow vs. Chicken Lizard II

After I had a pic in my head of what I wanted and had done the sketches I went out and bought a piece of Canson toned paper. I saw this color and it fit in nicely with what I initially had in mind. I used white prisma color to sketch out the two main characters. Sometimes I will draw everything out and use tracing paper to make a transfer but not when using colored paper...just doing a colored pencil sketch with a lighter color works out fine and blends in nicely when slapping in the color.

Because I like to do detail work I usually don't 'fill-in' the background. I have a pretty good literal picture in my head of what direction and general composition I want so I don't get too panicky. Even though the background did change drastically from my original plan the composition didn't. I first thought I was going to have the two playing at a gas station and have an old time fuel pump in the center and oil cans on the sides.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rat Crow Vs. Chicken Lizard I

Another meeting sketch. I started out drawing a crow but thought the feathers on the body reminded me of fur...so I threw a rat tail on it...that's where all the trouble began...Initially I was going to just do a 'scientific journal' type of illustration with watercolor and micron...about the highly intelligent rat crow...I was going to have it grasping a chess piece for symbolism...but then I thought there had to be an opponent...one that was at the opposite end of the spectrum...

That brought about the chicken lizard...so then I was looking at a two-page spread...but that little voice in the back of my head started going on about "When was the last time you did a drawing with a background?" So I went out and bought a big piece of toned paper...and readied the prismacolor...

Monday, August 09, 2010

Head Sketches

This guy is getting prepped for colored pencil treatment...I sketched out the head and have the overall general idea for what I am going to do...(hint...turtle in the mouth)...I am in the middle of a large scale color pencil drawing right now but will need something to keep me active as I start tackling the pointillism Styraco again...I have less than two weeks left before school starts so I should finish the Colored pencil drawing tomorrow...then it will be a hard week on getting Styraco done...by working slow I keep getting ideas which has generally paid of in the long run for me...

Earlier in the year I purchased James Gurney's book Imaginative Realism...(and if you haven't grabbed it you should...as well as checking out his blog)...I've been planning on trying his painting technique with oils so I think this guy might be a good candidate for my stepping back into that game in September...not too difficult a subject but with some opportunities to learn and still have some detail work.

If all goes well then I have a scene to paint involving this guy...a little dragonish critter...He also looks like a good candidate for a sculpy playdate! I have tools ordered and have been formulating some of the 'know-how' the last little bit...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

IF: Artificial

Click to enlarge and then click image again so you can read it...and then soak up the subtle irony...