Terminator Salvation/Sam Worthington, progress 1 oil on board 11" x 14"
I redrew the sketch for this Sam Worthington/Hamlet/Terminator illustration. The pose was too stiff and the likeness could have been stronger. After imagining myself in the position of the subject I asked myself why I only had ONE hand in the illustration. If this was truly the mock-Hamlet pose I would have hammed it up with the right hand. This would add gesture and sell the idea more.
I re-shot the pose and I ended up favouring the fingers holding the skull in the new shots much more. After thoroughly redrawing and refining the sketch i was dishearten by the thought of redrawing it for the painting surface. Not an uncommon issue for realistic painters.
I figured it was a good time to give Donato's drawing transfer and mounting technique a try. Essentially you scan, print then matte medium your drawing to the surface. Pros: a MUCH faster way of working and you get to keep the original drawing unharmed. Cons: You're limited to the size you can print at and since the process involves soaking the printed surface in water bleeding is an issue.
I have realized that 11x14 is a real sweet spot for me. It's big enough for me to get fine details but small enough to speed up painting times. I bought a ton of matte medium and found 11x14 Strathmore bristol board in their 400 series. I was hoping for 500 series which is 100% pure cotton but at a buck a sheet I figured i'd hold of until i knew i can get the technique down.
Earlier in the day i ran a test sheet of paper under water. there was bleeding but not the total mess i'd expected. I figured if I dropped the opacity of the drawing that would give me less bleeding on the bristol board. The first two shots are a before and after of the soaking process. The paper will expand after you wet it, even if you wet it with matte medium. If you don't pre-soak the expansion occurs during the mounting process and then you get bubbles. Not cool!
The first attempt was a bust because too much of the ink had washed off. My next attempt was printed and with a different paper setting and "in colour" instead of greyscale even though i'd be printing a black and white image. This allowed for more inks to be used giving me a better shot of having a stronger image left over after the soak. There was a clog in one of my blue ink heads that created this happy accident. An awesome Raw Sienna glaze effect, thank you universe!
This time before attempting to soak i hit the print out with a blow drier to make sure the ink had properly settled into the bristol. Then i soaked the back FIRST and gently rinsed the front. This gave me a much better result with only minor water artifacts. Not bad for an inkjet printer that's almost 5 years old.
I let the majority of the surface water drip off and I began my matte medium mount. I hadn't attempted anything like this in almost seven years but it's a simple concept. I applied a liberal amount of medium to the gesso side of my gessobord and spread the glue with a brayer. I then positioned my artwork and repeated the process on the surface. Immediately i could tell the bristol had grown vertically and exceeded the surface size. The forth image was taken directly after the bristol mounting was complete.
The next day i trimmed the minor excess bristol with an exacto knife and began painting the background. The final photo is a shot of the red steam background. I've pushed details and began painting the figure since this phone but i'd like to introduce a varied amount of colour into the smoke.
All in all i consider the technique a success and i look forward to being able to push my drawings further knowing i can simply mount a copy to my surface after. It's all VERY exciting!
Terminator Salvation/Sam Worthington rough sketches 5.5" x 7"
I enjoyed Terminator Salvation probably more than most people. I'm broken like that. Before the film was released i had the above idea for an illustration but with Christian Bale.
After the movie released i was advised to swap Christian for Sam as Mr. Worthington both stole the show and may be a big deal after Avatar, MAYBE!
So here are my rough studies. From the bottom up it's the sketch, value study then a bit of a colour study. It's been too long since i've done a celebrity likeness and i'm looking forward to the challenge. The final illustration will be 11" x 14" oil on panel.
Yesterday i spent the bulk of my day in a courthouse waiting to see if i'd be called for jury duty. I got lucky and according to the rules of the State of NY i won't have to go through this again for another 8 years.
I took advantage of the atmosphere and drew fellow would-be jurors. I also started listening to Malcom Gladwell's Outliers. The stories are truly inspirational and I highly recommend the book.
Gladwell, has got me thinking nonstop about hitting my 10,000 hours as soon as i can!
The album is a political album about communication and being an informed recipient of your news. Your anti-sheep album if you will.
The band wants the cover to be a fold out poster and the cover will be a crop of an area of the illustration. They also REALLY wanted to incorporate their "symbol" an old gas can and a city scape.
A bald eagle with blinders/hood on pitched on top of an old Gas Can. In the background is a satellite dish on fire bellowing a large smoke cloud into the sky. In the further distance we have an urban cityscape.
this is more symbolism than i usually put into my work but i aim to make it a successful piece.
.. We Are Fragile, progress 2 14 x 20 Oil on Strathmore 500 Series Illustration Board
I'm enjoying this pallet. I'll have to come back to it again. It's basically an earth tone pallet with a few intense colours. I don't know if the colour pallet or the mark making but i feel like such a "painter" working on this piece.
So one day at while out i hear a song on the satellite radio. I txt msg myself some lyrics so that i can look up who the band was. I get home google for about 20 min and find NOTHING about this song or the band. I gave up.
About a month later i hear the song again over the same satellite station and this time i try to listen for different lyrics. I txt myself again go home and after another 20min still nothing! i'm about to give up when googling finally discovers the lyrics to the song on some girls myspace page.
The band is called Isle of Thieves and the song is called Hollywood. I add the band on myspace. The next day i get a myspace comment from them saying they like my art. I send them a message thanking them for the personal comment and tell them if they want to work on something together let me know.
They email me and ask me to illustrate the album cover of the re-release of their album Only Human.
After a few thumbnail sketches geared around the lyrics "We Are Fragile" the band chose the concept they liked best.