Wednesday, January 4, 2012

island house studies

 I honestly thought I would spend my whole winter break being extremely productive, and then I got home and two weeks past without anything to show for it except for a cold and these two little watercolor studies and an embarrassing large amounts of hours clocked in Skyrim.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

dead animals

For my illustration elective's final, our main guideline was to create something based on some sort of personal anecdote.  What pretty immediately came to my mind was a dead goose that I had found with some friends when I was in elementary school.  We were used to finding dead things since we spent so much time at the creek or in ponds, but this one stood out because when you first looked at it, it seemed like a normal, dead goose, but when we got closer, you could see that there was a harsh line where it was submerged underwater, and everything under the water had been eaten away to perfectly clean bones.  The image of that clean division between the skeleton and untouched halves has stuck with me years later, so I jumped on the chance to be able to illustrate it.  

To give it a little more of a narrative, I also painted the rabbit and the sparrow, two of the less glamorous dead animal discoveries I made around that age. 

swan maiden series - complete!

 I finally finished my Swan Maiden series!  It was really great practice to be forced to stick with a series even during the points where it got frustrating, and in the end I learned a lot from the process.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

swan maiden + tiger

For my illustration final, I'm doing a series of watercolors of scenes from the Swan Maiden fairy tale.  This is part one of three.  I've been really inspired by Golden Age illustrators for the past few weeks, since our class took a trip to the Brandywine Museum and I discovered artists like Franklin Booth and Kay Nielsen.

 This was an assignment from a little bit ago, we had to do a piece based around a letter, and I chose "T".  James Gurney also came to my school and gave a talk which I got to see around the same time as I was starting this, and hearing him talk about his process was really inspiring.  The amount of research he puts into his pieces is crazy, and it made me want to start doing more planning for me pieces instead of just jumping right in.
Here are two quick photocopies of the linework I had so I could get more of and idea of how I wanted to the light and colors to work.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

life drawing

today in class we worked from the models using ink with a bamboo pen and sumi brush.  I've used ink this way once or twice before, but always with a regular watercolor brush.  I hadn't realized that a sumi brush had such a steep learning curve aka feels like you're painting with a wet noodle.  I started to get the hang of it by the time we got to these twenty-ish minute poses though.

this drawing was done as this weeks homework assignment, a full body self portrait.  I have a bad habit of working really loose until I need to make a "finished" piece, and then I lose it all, which unfortunately happened here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


one of our assignments was to do a piece related to the occupy movements, in the style of a specific artist.  I ignored the assignment a little bit and used it as an excuse to draw caricatures of republican pundits and nominees.  style inspired by john cuneo.

I started off with this painting of glenn beck, and I was happy with the likeness, but it was too flat and I knew I could push it further.

in this painting I pushed it way more, but along the way I got carried away with the drawing and the colors and lost the likeness.

this painting ended up being my final for glenn.  I still lost some of the likeness but overall I was the happiest with this one.

after taking on glenn, I moved onto michele bachman, who I had drawn a little bit earlier in the semester for a different assignment.  I had a harder time pushing her face.  I usually have more trouble caricaturing women because I have a harder time keeping myself from going on autopilot and just drawing a pretty portrait.

next up:  rush limbaugh.  I don't think I have to worry about making him too pretty.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"symphony with a twist" + practices

This piece was for my fine art illustration class based on the prompt "symphony with a twist", which instantly made me think of today's one (or two) man "symphonies" that I'm used to seeing.  It was really fun drawing all the people for this, but I'm still a little worried I made some people look too much like people who actually exist.

 These two sketches are from the same class, just some practices trying to copy drawings by john cuneo and jack unruh, respectively.  I've been trying to experiment more with the colors I use since I realized that my defaults were pretty close to straight-from-the-tubes.