Sunday, March 31, 2013

Character Spreads: Nü & Syp

Our latest assignment in Computer Ill was to create an original character (or multiple characters) and create spreads that help make that character come to live. We were only required to do one spread but he encouraged us to do as much as we could within the allotted time.  For every spread we had to scan in our traditional sketches and than choose one sketch (for each character) to digitally paint.  This is a two parter and the second part of the project is to paint an 11x17 environment with the characters included.  

Rough Backstory:

The father makes documentaries for a living, but got laid off.  Through the grapevine he hears about a remote island with strange creatures that no one has ever filmed before, but is considered too dangerous to venture.  He plans to go to the island and film as many rare animals as he can in attempts to regain his credibility and his job, despite the warnings.  He doesn't tell anyone of his plan.  He tells his pregnant wife and teenage son, who are not yet aware that he is unemployed, that he is going on a long trip for work and that he will be living on site for a couple of months.  He convinces them to come along with him as a "family vacation".  

The family arrives by boat and the wife and son are apprehensive when they realize how remote and uncharted the land is, especially when they realize that there are natives on the land who they know nothing about and seem to be hostile. They build shelter and live off of their supplies and off the land while the father does his work.  Quickly, the father begins to emotionally and mentally unravel and becomes so immersed in his work that he often does not return to the families' shelter for days. On one of these episodes he does not return at all.  The son goes looking for him and later finds his remains and concludes that he has been killed by a large unknown predatory animal. 

The son and mother panic and try to leave but the natives have sunk their boat.  The two of them live off of the rest of their supplies and then off of the land for as long as they can.  They wait for help, but don't know that the father hasn't told anyone where they were going.  Eventually, the mother gives birth to the twins (Nu and Syp) and dies shortly afterward from complications.

The 15 year old son has to care for and raise the twins himself.  He finds a local plant with a milk-like quality that, to his shock, sustains the twins like a mother's milk would. He raises the twins while trying survive and evade natives and dangerous animals. 

As a result, twins grow up very animalistic and skilled at living off of the land. 

Details of Nü painting:

Friday, March 29, 2013


Our latest assignment in Illustration was to take a fairy tale and change it in some way. For example, we could choose a specific scene and then change the era or one of the characters, ect. At first I was preoccupied with finding a really obscure and bizarre fairy. But I everything I liked was so specific that it didnt leave much room for interpretation. So I decided to go with a generic fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, and make a themed piece rather than illustrate a specific scene in the story. The whole point of this piece is implied danger. I modernized it and changed the wolf to a man. It's supposed to have a sexual predator type feel, the hoodie obviously representing Little Red, or what used to be her. 

My process was pretty sketchy with this one, unfortunately. I think that I had the most difficulty compositionally with this piece.  Originally, I wanted it to be horizontal, with Red in the background walking her bike down an alley, with the male figure in the foreground. But my professor and I agreed that doing something like this would be a lot stronger and I'm really glad that I changed it. Still, even when the composition was worked out I struggled a lot with execution. For some reason, I kind of got burnt out halfway through the week and I lost a lot of drive and emotion toward this piece. I kind of fell out of love with it halfway through, which is never a good thing. But somehow, I managed to get a little bit of that initial spark back while I was finishing it and working out the kinks. 

Anyways, despite the trouble it put me through (or that I put myself through, rather) I'm happy with the way this turned out. I only wish that I had attempted it in traditional oil, but I think I really brought it back from the depths of the disaster it could have been. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

soul of the sea

ocean landscape in oil on canvas

In the Mountains

Something I've been wanting to do for a while. A watercolor rendition of a beautiful family photo taken in 1918.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

bulk sketch update

I finished a small sketchbook recently. Here is most of it in no particular order. 99% life drawings.

...and a bonus piece from a newly started landscape sketchbook. Sailboat in acrylic.

Awake My Soul

Latest illustration assignment was to illustrate song lyrics. I chose the lyric "awake my soul" by Mumford and Sons from a song of the same title. I wanted to do something that I was currently listening to and that I felt very connected with. I'm really happy with my choice and I'm fairly happy with the way this came out. First biggish (12 x 12) full illustration done in watercolor. I'm glad that I got to go with this concept/composition.