Monday, June 29, 2009

Sketch Redux: Restless Shore

This is the third cover for a four book Forgotten Realms series called The Wilds
The Plaguewrought Lands—This area is about as close to the original Spellplague as anyone is going to get. “The mote had found an island of calm in the turbulent sea of chaos. Over the edge, Duvan could see boiling destruction below. Explosions of molten rock and flickers of crisp blue magic punctuated the larger tableau of swirling plaguestorm. Pinpoints of light far far below what could be ground level shone like stars in an upside down world.” If you were to take away the spellplague remnants and the weird landscape elements, you’d have scrubland left.

First sketch

Art Direction:
"Got it, my man. This might be the strongest one so far. It has weight, might, and really says that something is changing the geography here. Just sent it to the editor and will get back to you tomorrow.
followed by
"OK, editor reminded me that there should only be 2 characters Duvan and Slanya.
Also, I was worried that we might be doing the same painting as Restless Shore. We’ve moved the cameras in quite a bit, but outside of that its pretty similar. And the art order calls for a dark blue and purple sky. Yikes.Could you rough out something more in line with option 2 from the art order?"

Second sketch

Art Direction:
"Ah-ha this has much more distinction from the previous book. But wasn’t able to show it to the editor today. I had a couple emergency projects to work on. I’ll be able to get you feedback from her on Monday."
followed by
"Starting with sketch 2, let’s remove the large earthmote and create a bunch of smaller ones. The could be shooting around like comets. Following the same path as the swirling blue-fire storm above. And she suggested that the ground below could have rocks and peaks growing up from below.And to get away from a blue/purple. Similar color scheme, push towards dark blue and maybe teal."

Final Painting 80% done, I will post the complete finished painting after the book hits the stands

Art Direction
"Oooooh… I like this color palette better. That’s my man! Let me slam ithis into the layout and see if the editor has anything to say. Prolly just, “Looks great!” and I second that."

And the final design of the book which I love the design of this series

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Charleston, SC

This year for our annual vacation Mrs. Gist and I went to Charleston, SC. We stayed at The Mills House Hotel, which I recommend for three reasons, first it is over a 150 years old, second it is smack dab in the middle of Charleston's Museum Mile (several blocks lined with amazing examples of antebellum South Carolina), and third it is walking distance to just about anywhere in the city worth seeing.
Two of the main attractions for us where the plantations in the surrounding area, including Boone Hall and Middleton Place. Pictured below are some of the attractions at Middleton, including milking a cow (you have to provide your own wife willing to do said milking), and the many carriage houses. The reason for the carriage houses I hope to reveal over the next year.

Below is one of the many carriage houses in Charleston, and a sketch I did of one at Middleton

Friday, June 26, 2009

Greatest Show on Earth (July 09)

Norman Rockwell: American Imagist
June 6 - August 30, 2009
National Museum of American Illustration
Norman Rockwell: American Imagist exhibits a remarkable collection of selected original art spanning six decades, providing us with a comprehensive look at his career.

I am of course a huge fan of Norman Rockwell, and truly wish I could make it out to see this show

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Perspiration: Perspective

To my mind linear perspective is one of the illustrators great tools and greatest impediments. The illustrator who does not understand perspective is limited by what he does not know, and the illustrator who adheres to tightly is limited to what he does.

"If you intend to make a living at drawing, by all means learn it [the rules of perspective] now, and do not have them bothering you and your work for the rest of your life."
Andrew Loomis

Good sources to reference for perspective.
Creative Perspective for Artists and Illustrators by Ernest W. Watson
How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by John Buscema
Perspective for Artists by Rex Vicat Cole
Marshall Vandruff's Perspective series of videos

Monday, June 22, 2009

Inspiration: Harvey Dunn

Harvey Dunn is one of the most influential illustrators in American history. He often sacrificed craft and technique for narrative and visceral impact. Trained by Howard Pyle, he passed many of his teachings and philosophies on to his students such as Dean Cornwell, Saul Tepper, Meade Schaeffer, and Harold von Schmidt. He was known for quotes such as " There are ten thousand people in the United States who can draw to beat the band. You never heard of them and you never will. They have thoroughly mastered their craft. And that is all they have...their craft." According to Dean Cornwell many of these proclamations were for the inspirational affect on the students.

Dunn spent the bulk of his teaching career in New York at the Grand Central School of Art and The Art Students League, but began his life long love afair with teaching in 1915 at a school he founded, the Leonia School of Illustration. It was here that he taught Dean Cornwell, who once said of Dunn's teachings "I gratefully look back on the time when I was privileged to sit at Harvey Dunn's feet . . . [he] taught art and illustration as one. He taught it as a religion - or awfully close to such."

Here are two interesting reads
Harvey Dunn's Class Notes by Charles J. Andres
An Evening in the Classroom

Friday, June 19, 2009

Family Tree

Something I like to do in my spare time is research the artistic lineage that I have found myself a member. Mostly out of curiosity, but also to try and find useful bits of information or philosophies that have been lost over the decades. Here is a "family tree" that I have put together to the best of my ability. I would appreciate any input from those who are more knowing than I am. When possible please cite sources, some of mine are a little sketchy but many of these artists are less than well known. One thing you may notice are parallels between this list and my Inspiration features I do over the coming months.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

'07 Blizzcon Demo

Most of you who frequent my blog have probably seen this already, but for those who have not...
Back in 2007 Lucas Graciano and I were asked to do painting demonstrations at Blizzcon and Doug Stambaugh was there to capture it on film.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Very Attractive

You know you have made it as an artist when your work is put on a fridge magnet.
Check it out from Palladium Books

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How to Draw Eyes by Stanislav Prokopenko

A good friend of mine, Stan Prokopenko, has been posting some great tutorials over on his website/blog. In particular I would like to draw the attention of everyone to his post "How to Draw Eyes" .

Monday, June 15, 2009

Drawings and Demos (June 09)

quicksketch 5 min +/-

Heads 25 min +/-

Figure 25 min +/-

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Inside The Artist's Studio: part 8

Here are some notes on drawing draped forms. I still have two folds to cover, but I wanted to do some revisions to those notes so that will have to wait until next month.

Also, just a quick note all the PDFs should be working now

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Step x Step: FVZA

Here is simple step x step of a cover I did for a new book coming out from Radical Publishing towards the end of the year.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Greatest Show on Earth (June 09)

Bob Peak: Father of The Modern Hollywood Poster (World Premiere Exhibition)
June 6, 2009 - June 25, 2009
Opening Reception / Jun 6, 7:00PM - 11:00PM

"Gallery Nucleus brings you the work of late illustrator Robert (Bob) Peak, a most prolific American illustrator whose extensive catalog of work delved into advertising, fashion, sports, fine art, and film - forever revolutionizing the look of the modern movie poster."