Sunday, January 27, 2008

3. Sun Day

I sat at Kawa in Surry Hills for 4 hours this morning, and reconnected with an exterior world I have been passing by this week, lost in my work. It was good to engage again and I enjoyed the company of a few people who were looking over my shoulder as I sketched. I hope that sometime, somewhere, somebody sees me sketching and is inspired to exhale a breath of their own creativity.

I've been backed up with work for Epiphany, but got a chance to finish off this character for a challenge run by my friend Alex Drummond at CA. The topic was 'Leaf Goddess of the Light'. This is the first character I have painted (and actually finished) in maybe 6 months! The competition is just warming up and looks like a fun preoccupation to keep me on my toes with character work (thanks Alti).

And finally, the new Gorilla Artfare HQ is up and running and the family there is already posting some beautiful work. Go check it out. And by the by, I'm currently their volunteer copywriter and editor, so enny spelinng mestaks are my folt! Sorey!

Monday, January 21, 2008

2. Brainstorm Day

Today was a busy one, ongoing brainstorming and preparatory explorations for a series of concepts for Epiphany. I decided to unplug from the computer and work analogue so I used my drawing table. I took a shot of how it typically looks during a brainstorming session. I like to spread my visual explorations out so I can see them all at once, as well as all my lists and written ideas. It helps me cross reference my ideas quickly and easily...

Also uploading an oil I did recently - my first multi-session painting as I come to grips with the new medium. Also the first time I have painted a long pose in any medium. I was fairly happy with what I achieved considering I had never worked beyond a loose sketch in oils, but I am photographing on a small camera with flash so it was hard to get it anywhere near how it looks under a natural light.

Canvas toned with Raw Umber/Ivory Black mixt. Painting done with:
[Yellow Ochre] [Ivory Black] [Titanium White] [Light Red]

Our teacher was very much a salon inspired classical realist and, using a limited 4-colour pallette, most of my time was spent trying to achieve subtle temperature shifts throughout the skintones which dont pick up in the photo. The face, legs and arms were barely worked on in fact - most of the work went into the torso. Didnt even get time to go to shadows (which were just left as the raw umber wash, except for areas like the hair and platform). Subtlety was definately the biggest lesson here and the progression from my initial, very high contrast lay-in to the final, more subtle finish was really great to be guided through. Im looking forward to the next one!

Also watched Paprika today, and would highly recommend it for those who dig animated stuff! Visually stunning and great weighted animation.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kicking things off

Gday! I'm back after a blogging hibernation, and both my roommate and I have decided to split up our collaborative blog and run our own individually. I'm hoping to post daily with artwork, unless I get a stint of NDA work that I can't show. But I will also most likely fill in the gaps with philosophical banter and oddities, so if that's your thing, go on and subscribe. Ill try to make my post titles as elucidating as possible for your feeds ;)

Anyhow I was supposed to get to writing this an hour ago, inspired by the work James Gurney does over at his own blog; Gurney Journey. But I got wrapped up in the ever entertaining controversies of PDA and Tom Cruise, Scientologist! and must admit to them as tonight's primary source of inspiration (sorry James).

To start off the blog with some art, here is my entry for Last Man Standing 3, administered under the uncompromising and all encompassing care of Cody 'The Suggestive Guy' Tilson and run on Conceptart.Org (if you havnt seen it, check it out now!)

'Underneath It All'

I began with another painting that eventually lost its way and I felt didn't have a lot going for it.
Due to a topic extension I decided to reconcile my ideas and tackle a new, simpler and more direct painting. Thematically, I wanted to veer toward optimism instead of pessimism, as is often the case for work I dont plan well. Doing the new painting in 2 days (due to the deadline) was refreshing and rewarding and stopped me from getting bogged down in overcomplication.

I found that I still resorted to my usual crutches - a static shot angle, lack of human figures, and indiscriminate rendering - all things that I am working to improve. I also had to make a difficult choice of how much contrast to put in the background, and ended up sticking with my initial intention which was to capture something of the atmospheric, indistinct landscapes of


And Innes:

Here is the initial painting, which i dropped:

On the submitted painting, I had a lot of fun and found a happy and flexible medium between rendering and composing, and I am slowly improving my ability to keep decisions open until the end of the painting instead of my usual routine of committing to major decisions past the thumbnail point. I also referenced Whit Brachna's 'Alps' painting for inspiration on how to approach the rocks without a texture overlay. Needless to say his virtuosity in that regard far outweighs my own!

I also enjoyed the initial painting (with the helmeted figure), however the parts I liked most, notably the character and the roof, ended up being stagnated and stripped of their freshness by time and over-rendering. Nevertheless I look at it as 'two learning experiences for the price of one'.