Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Winter: Hibernation

So, while the other three were having fun at IMC this year, I also finished the 3rd piece in my 4 piece ode to Winter.  This one is titled "Hibernation" for obvious reasons, I hope.  I love the way snow collects on things, and I felt this worked really well in covering the many aspects of Winter by which I am inspired.  This is the type of stuff I would not put in my fantasy portfolio.  Hope you all like it, if you want to see my other Winter pieces check out my blog, or my website.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Change of Plans

Hey guys! So I decided to change my plans on this one. I appreciate the comments and I really do want to do the epic water scene, but I'm afraid I won't have time before San Diego Comic-Con to do a super awesome job on it since I want it to be big! 
I did a quick study the other day that you can see here and it inspired me to do this thumbnail:
The image is loosely based on the Roman goddess of death, Averna. She is caressing a hanging skull while chilling with her vulture buddies. Behind her is a big twisty tree from which the various skulls are hanging.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Becca's Baba Yaga Thumbs

Baba Yaga! What a story! It's like Cinderella meets an evil witch with a house on chicken legs! Actually, that's pretty much exactly what it is! I am really excited to work on this, and I am super excited that Lis will be joining us from now on!

OK, so I'll just run through these. In the first one, our heroine, Vasilissa, is meeting the witch for the first time (the witch rides in a mortar, steered by the pestle... I would make these look really banged up and old). The horse that brings the nighttime is riding by, the chicken leg hut is in the background, and there is a fence made of human bones and skulls. Cool!

In the second one, Vasilissa has just been booted out of Baba Yaga's hut, and is running off with a flaming skull.

In the third one, Vasilissa is entering Baba Yaga's hut for the first time. Baba Yaga is beckoning to her (while climbing a human bone ladder - cool!), and the night horseman is riding in the background.

I am leaning towards the first or last one. Thoughts?

Friday, June 25, 2010

While They were Gone

So while the rest of group was out Running with Paintbrushes, I have been working on a couple pieces I've been needing to work on.  I finished the 3rd piece in my series based on Winter, I will post that next week sometime.  This is a piece that I am doing as a portfolio piece for the upcoming GenCon.  It's a panther with wings and a tail with fire coming from the end.  It spits a flammable liquid onto the tail to create a blow torch.  He and his friends are terrorizing a village.  I have no good ideas on what this creature should be called, so if anyone has any ideas let me know please.  

Just wanted to welcome Lis to the group, we will need to change our logo now.  So get on that self portrait Lis!  

Scott's Next Project: Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser

Hey guys! So I'm going to be creating my next image based on the short stories of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. These were a series of sword and sorcery short stories written in the late 30's. There are tons of great stories so it's been hard to narrow my thumbnails down. Anyways, here are a bunch of my more successful ones. Not sure what to start with. I would love suggestions, and maybe let me know which one jumps out at you the most so i can narrow these down. Thanks!!
Ok, so i will number them clock wise and explain each:
1. this is a fight on a steep snowy hillside. The front figure is the large (7feet tall) Fafhrd dodging a lunging black priest. The black priest has jet black skin and lava red eyes. behind him is the Mouser who is coming in to flank the priest.

2.this is an epic water scene where we see the two in the small sloop in the foreground. they are turning quickly to get out of the way of a massive dragon headed prow emerging from smoke and mist.

3.a simpler image of the two on a high mountain peak. Fafhrd is looking over the land as mouser is just rounding the rocky edge behind him. the lighting on this would be a diagonal shadow running through fafhrds mid section and just under mousers eyes.

4. this didn't really happen in the book this way, but there was a story where they had to steal deaths mask. So this is a battle scene between them and death with the flame containing deaths  mask on the left.

5. fafhrd is inspecting a mssive jewel he plundered while mouser is looking out. they are on a rocky outcropping of some ruins. the tree in the back has skull hanging from it and in the top right there is a little man putting a blow gun to his lips.

6. below shot, portrait with Fafhrds bird he had in one story. back ground is of the town with towers in the back and black birds circling.

hope that makes some sense of em!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Next project!

We never officially made a post about the next project yet... or that I am now a for realz member of Running with Paintbrushes, but we've started on the next project!! So hello again!!!!

In this project, Becca and I are working on illustrations for the children's fairytale Baba Yaga. Scott and Owen are working on personal projects for their portfolios (to prepare for the conventions this summer). The final duedate, we're not sure yet. In future projects, Becca and I will continue to work in the realm of children/s books (our true calling), while Owen and Scott work on their fantasy/scifi work.

Anyway, here are my thumbs for Baba Yaga:

I'm going with the one on the right. I have the background worked out, and I initially had the main character in the foreground. After talking to Rebecca Guay and Jeremy Jarvis at IMC about it (I started this there), I decided to make the girl smaller. For one thing, she looks like a giant in the first one, unless i got that perspective perfect, and with her smaller and closer to the sleeping witch gave it more of a story and placed her in the witches cabin better. So anyway... :D Can't wait to get started! Lots of cool little creepy witch things will be filling the room.

Scott's IMC Final

Hey so here's my final from the IMC!

Becca's IMC Final

The IMC was amazing this year! I managed to stay reasonably relaxed (still only got 4-5 hrs of sleep a night!), and I feel like I really took full advantage of the knowledge and expertise of the faculty and fellow students (many of whom are successful working illustrators as well). I decided to do my piece in straight-up watercolor, rather than my usual mixed media technique. This was in part a personal challenge, and in part due to the fact that I would get more feedback and instruction on technique from the faculty, as a number of them use/are familiar with watercolors. I am pretty pleased with my final product!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lis's final IMC piece

Beauty and the Beast

If you want to see some in-progress images, check out my blog -

IMC = Fantastic!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hello from IMC!

One day left here at the Illustration Master Class. We thought it would be nice to post a few photos of us working on our paintings. It's been an awesome time, and the artists here are fantastic!!! Aaaah, such inspiration!

Here we are, hard at work. Scott on his magic card oil painting, Becca on her Beauty and the Beast watercolor, and myself on my Beauty and the Beast watercolor. Yaaay!

When we return to NYC we'll make individual posts about our final images and the work behind them.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lis's final sketch

Hello all! Here is my final sketch to show the class + faculty on the first day. I'm really diggin it... I took everyone's advice and removed the creepy human hands on the beast... But I'm giving him more human arms/back. Probably need to turn his head slightly different. Need Belle to be slightly farther away too. I had a couple of other positions of the beast drawn on tracing paper, but this was my favorite. I'll show the others in class. I'm very excited to paint it - Coloring is my favorite part of illustrating. Also showing some studies of Belle. I think I want her hair down... braids kind of get in the way if you want to show them though, so I might give her a little medieval crispine hat but have most of her hair loose from it. Anyway... time to pack!!! AAH!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

IMC Sketch

After a week of being grumpy and not knowing what to do with my life I decided to change a little...haha. So here is one of the two sketches i'll be bringing with me to IMC...i cant decide between them. I'll post the other one when its done later. I was talking to Donato and he said that he thought the priest should be a bit more reserved than all the crazy action i had in my other thumbs. so i went back to a simpler composition. Ahh two days!

UPDATE: Here's the second drawing that I will be bringing with me to IMC. I quite like both of them for different reasons...we'll see which gets picked...or changed entirely. On the road in 7 hours!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Scott's updated color thumbs!

So I worked up some of my thumbnails into more gestural color roughs. I'm still having trouble picking one!!! haha...Any thoughts??

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Becca's IMC Thumbs

So I am all in for the Beauty and the Beast assignment. Given that I'm going the more children's book-y route, I think this is most appropriate. Plus - what fun! That said, any time you try to illustrate a fairy tale that's been told hundreds of times, by different authors, in movies, books, and illustrations over literally hundreds of years... well, it can seem just a liiiiiitle bit daunting.

That said, I am really excited to work on this! I am going for a fairly classical look. In a few of the thumbnails I focus on the Beauty-Beast-Rose relationship, maybe even tying in the sculptures in the garden (some versions say the people of his court have been frozen like statues). In a couple, I am going a bit darker - the Beast sits at a table, alone, the shadow behind him betraying the prince that he is. It is challenging trying to design the Beast. You can do pretty much anything. There few concrete descriptions - I found one that says he has a trunk, like an elephant! This is why I included a page where I show some sketches where I try to work out the elements that might make my Beast. Any thoughts on designing a menacing-yet-somehow-endearing creature would be very welcome, along with any other ideas!

Lis's IMC thumbs

Hello everyone!!! Posting my IMC thumbs. I'm doing Beauty and the Beast (since I do children's book art). I had a pretty specific idea in mind for this. I want to keep the piece outdoors because I want to have a landscape in the background, and in the foreground I want the image to be darker and in shadow. I also don't want an action shot - I want it to be more peaceful. They're becoming friends.

I want my beast to be my own beast, NOT disney-esque or with horns. I wanted it to be catlike, but not a complete cat-beast. Thought it might be interesting to give it front human arms and a more human/expressive face, and princely attirement in the form of jewelry. Belle will be wearing peasant garb of the 15th century. Pretty much thinking 15th century here... although the Beast will be more exotic.

Size - do I want it to be like an double spread of a square book? or do I want it to be like a book cover... double spread gives me more room for fun plants and leaves. Doesn't necessarily have to be a square book though. Medium - probably watercolor. I've played with the idea of working in oil in a very watercolor-like way with layers... but i doubt I'll ever work like that again. I do watercolor and I should stick with it since I want this to be a good portfolio piece... keep it cohesive.

Anyway here are my sketches!

Scott's IMC Thumbs

So these are pretty abstract...i know, but since the description calls for a fairly simple image with the one main figure i'm just trying to play with composition. Give me all your thoughts!!! Here is the description i'm going by:
War Priest of Thune (Magic Card)      
Color: White creature
Location: Battlefield
Action: This is a cleric who isn't content to sit back and heal the wounded — he/she wades into combat, using his/her own protective magic to make him/her a more powerful sacred warrior. Show a male or female, olive-skinned human cleric in full battle armor. Maybe the armor is plate with leather covering strapped over it. We want a glamor shot of him/her, confronting the camera, heavy mace in hand, as a smog rolls away from him/her unnaturally, as if receding from his/her presence.
Focus: The battle cleric
Mood: A holy badass
Notes: No real-world symbols, please.