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I missed St. Patrick's Day here on the ole blog, but at least there's a little girl in a green dress above! It's a digital color sketch I intend to use as reference for a painting. It's subject to change as it is not entirely finished. The final will most likely be cropped in as well.
Someone has prodded me to post some shtuff. So here we go.
I've had the busiest last three months trying to get a few illustration jobs tackled, and commissions done on the side. I got to some painting during the holidays, a few being on some old pallet boards that I varnished and gessoed.
It's really a cool idea, but it's important to make sure the boards are secure, and that there's more than putty filling the cracks. A little wood glue and shims with putty on top should keep your painting from cracking.
Here and there I did some drawings with my bro Alex on his comic Super Strike 10
. He has this species of aliens called Rygols that were nearly wiped out by the Grakons during a planet seige as part of one of his character's backstories. I like to joke with him about just how bad it got, since there aren't a lot of details yet on how the Rygols fair in his story, and I've really grown attached to the Rygol chief Scratch
who seemed to catch the brunt of it. (Some of these are kinda rough, but thanks to the marvels of medical science, he pulls through okay.)
And then there's this space pirate who talks with a stylish slavic accent. Alex colored them here.
Andrew and I have also been working more on Men of Bounty
and doing a few period styles sketches. The pages are looking awesome. Oddly enough the scans below are mostly drawings of women.
And this concludes the things I've been doing on weekends and breaks for the past few months. As soon as some of my other work gets published or I finish my current commissions, I'll update with a post. Back to work!
I went to see Big Hero 6 last week, and it was a truly fabulous film! If you haven't seen it you should go soon. The movie stays on point never wandering, building steadily on a message that is made very real as you see the characters respond to the action that whirls into their lives. I won't give anything away here, but you get to see the distinct results of two decisions as the characters are paralleled. Big sacrifices. Great stuff!
Also in an art related thing, I was glad to find that Jin Kim
has a new tumblr page. His blog had shut down some time ago, but the new page has some cool Big Hero 6 work on it. From what I understand, these are sketches Jin Kim created translating the finalized character designs into multiple angle drawings for the model builders to reference. Over the last few years I've really taken an interest in sculpture, so I enjoy these quite a bit, and I'm a big fan of Mr. Kim's work.
And keeping with the animation theme of this post, you should check out the short film Duet
, by Glen Keane. I had seen this a few months back and I recall reading an article where Glen Keane expressed an interest in exploring the possibility of keeping the integrity of the drawn line in animation. Most completed films have the inked lines and colored cells, but the raw beauty of the gesture sketch is lost on an image refined to that point. This film is one of the most beautiful things I've seen in animation.
A few evenings back, while my drawing buddies were sketching neat pictures of Audrey Hepburn, I was breaking in my new journal with "Portrait of a Man."
Harpo Marx - pencil
I'm trying out a new camera and varnished the painted area after this photo. It looks richer now and I'll try to update the picture with a new one tomorrow.
This was the first wooden palette I ever owned and it has seen me through quite a few paintings. I may put more colorful globs around the edge, but right now I think she's finished.
This is one of several preliminary drawings for a project I'm working on.
Here is a portrait painted earlier this year of Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, which was sent to the North American College in Rome a few months after the portrait of Pope Francis.
The pencil drawing for this one is here
, because sometimes it looks better in simple line.
And just because I couldn't make up my mind,
here is the elf in various autumn orc hunting colors.
Earlier this year I played a game mod for Lord of the Rings which had a real good feel to it. Reminded me a lot of the books. You could even be an orc although I ran into trouble. Playing as "Spuds" I was not inclined to do orcish
things. Savage orcs turned on me, and the race of men wouldn't accept me. Stay in the middle and I'd be killed! So Spuds did the only next best thing. Join a group of roaming heroes to fight against the darkness that was coming upon Middle Earth! (Okay I embellished a bit on the end but hey! It did lead to some crazy drawings, of which these are a few.)
I had some more serious Lord of the Rings drawings, but I think they got buried somewhere.
In other news... I'm jumping between paintings, illustration covers, and finishing my studio. More coming soon.
Here are a few digital studies for work. Most of what I'm doing now can't be shown until later. I speak the truth but it is a pretty bad cover for my lazy blogging habits. I haven't been drawing outside of work for a few weeks, and what I did intend to post then, I forgot about by the time the weeks rolled by. Maybe this post will prompt me to update more often.
This could really use a few more coats of paint, but it was just a small experiment for fun.
Gryphon warrior with Heavy Saber.
Taking some time off for the 4th of July weekend with a little digital painting. I've been drawing this bucktooth, freckle face, country girl for fun ever since I did an outdoor magazine logo back around 2004. This sketch of Irene just happened to make it to color... "Ireeene!!!
...or not trustworthy.
They're in need of money! Will you hire them for Adventure!!!
A few new and old character sketches and drawings for Men of Bounty. Andrew and I still don't know the best format for telling this story. So we'll just keep drawing and writing.
Duchess and Cyprian
A few of the roughs and sketches done for the drawing above.
Above are some new head sketches for Duchess, with slightly softer features than before
. She's the only female in the story, besides Brandy who's just a little wacky!
I saw the movie Frozen
last week. Due to a crazy work schedule, I took some time off for spontaneous art this weekend to play with color, since all of my work lately has been in black and white. The studio has been held up so I have no room to paint (I'll get to that in another post). The above image is one of several I got carried away with this past weekend. It was fun. The movie wasn't really for me though. I think the story had some holes, and I hate bathroom humor.
And I know I'm just throwing this out there, but maybe the villain was framed by a shapeshifter. It is a magical world after all, and the trolls looked like rocks half the time for crying out loud.
Actually to make myself feel better, I put together a satirical analysis of the movie (Spoiler alert!)
in addition to the images over on the Harken Blog. (I would really only recommend reading it if you have already seen the movie, so like... Don't read it if you haven't!)
You may view the movie differently from here on out, so read at your own risk!
The work schedule this year has been crazy, and I've had poor results the several times I've tried to pull aside and draw something for myself or for the blog. There may not be a problem at all, but I'm just not feeling it. After several attempts over the last few months, I resolved to put all my energy into my work, especially since it was impossible to get to some of the things I wanted to create, either because of delays in building the studio or the project I wanted to get going was too big to jump into. The only problem is doing this can lead to a creative burnout.
Anyway enough talk about that. Here's a medieval dress sketch I did last night with a little tinting in Photoshop. Been really interested lately in animated character development drawings and movie color keys.
This blog will be down for awhile. My brother Alex went into the hospital about three weeks ago, was released, and because of a gross misdiagnosis had to go back in for another emergency surgery. He's been in a lot of pain and family and I are trying to help the best we can to get him through it.
Hand study for some cover roughs done a few weeks ago.
I'll be posting here again soon. This year has been particularly crazy, and not just for me but for many people I know. Alex pulled through his ordeal okay and we are all very grateful. It makes you realize how life hangs by a thread.
I'm finally in the studio now but the trim and woodwork still need to be completed. It's looking very nice. More coming soon!
A quick sketch of Beleg Cúthalion with the sword Anglachel,
from The Children of Húrin by J. R. R. Tolkien.
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Pen and graphite sketched scanned into Photoshop.