Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Extra Ilustration

Rusty gave us a chance to do an extra illustration, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to try out the loose style that is inherent in watercolor, because I have done too many controlled illustrations. I don't think I pulled it off as successfully as I would've liked, but it has some interesting things happening in it.

Illustration time: 1 hour
Watercolor on watercolor paper
8.5" x 11"

Society of Illustrators!

This illustration was a battle. I knew I wanted to do steampunk-y airships but I wasn't sure how I was going to do so. My comp was uninteresting and was going to be incredibly difficult to pull off. And so I procrastinated. But I finally got around to making my illustration, and I'm happy with the outcome. This large scale allows the freedom of detail and intricacies, but I found that my structural lines lost their integrity at this size, since I refused to use a ruler... However, I think that overall, the image is convincing and I'm especially happy with the way the smoke turned out. I also think my suggested landscape worked fairly well, considering it's completely gestural and yet still conveys the correct imagery.

Illustration time: 5 hours
Watercolor and gouache on watercolor paper
16" x 20"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Final Portfolio

This illustration was difficult to start, but once I put it together, things went well. I like the composition and the color of the piece. I am especially happy with the smoke, because I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, and I am glad that it looks believable (particularly the smoke from the airship).

This piece is my favorite piece of line art this semester. Pen drawings have always been something that I enjoy doing and am generally successful with, and I think that this was important to have as a strength, since I initially failed so miserably at watercolor and gouache (and still am so so so bad at airbrush). I love this illustration because it actually resembles my shoes and is a good use of hatching as value to create realism. There isn't much indication of texture, but because the shoes are either rubber or cloth, there wasn't much to distinguish between, so I think it works well enough.

This piece was my product illustration. It was one of my first successful, fully watercolor pieces, and I think it turned out really well. This was most difficult to get the shoe to read as several textures, but through highlights and line usage, I think I conveyed a realistic, believable shoe. The lines on the base of the shoe were also a challenge, because it was difficult to not only get a believably straight line, but also a consistently thick line. It took several tries and some frustration, but I think it was eventually successful.

This was our first project, and my first attempt at color wash. I think it's very effective, because it gives greater detail to the high contrast line art. I think that it is a good combination of the loose wash and the tightly controlled line art, allowing the two styles to enhance each other and create a richer illustration.

This is a watercolor exercise in which we were supposed to paint 10 watercolors of the same image, cropping and changing color and composition. This was my most successful one of that series, and I think this was the first time I allowed watercolors to bleed and blend together loosely, and I think this has great expressive line that still renders a believable image. I think the composition is strong and the use of empty space and background color was effective. I am extremely happy with this illustration.

My third attempt at the three-image gouache montage was finally something that I was overall happy with. My first two attempts consisted of several good elements, and in the second one, two of the three object and the background looked really good. However, this is definitely my best illustration of the three and I am especially happy with how the penguin turned out. I found that the lego was the most difficult to render because the nature of the technique. I couldn't get a smooth surface because of the gesso texture on the board, and if I overworked it, the color started pulling from the surface. But after a lot of time spent messing with the lego, I think it reads as a lego brick. My only problem is that I accidentally positioned the lego corner behind the penguin's head, which is a stupid compositional mistake. But otherwise I am incredibly pleased with how it turned out.

The memory portrait was quite successful and fun. I was surprised at how well I was able to convey my brother's features. I went with a stylized, slightly worm's-eye view to accentuate his height and simplified the line work so the emphasis was on form rather than detail. I also chose to leave the background blank and use a minimal grounding shadow to again draw attention to the form alone. I was very happy with how this turned out.

The life and death diptych was one of my favorite projects. I got the inspiration for this piece because in another class, someone was talking about making an absurdist play where the curtain rose just enough to only show the actors' feet. So when coming up with ideas for this project, I developed this idea the furthest, and thought it was a unique way to illustrate the concept. I used warm colors for the life panel, and cool colors for the death panel, and using Rusty's suggestion, I made the sheets in both panels line up so there is more continuity between them. I was frustrated at first because I arranged the compositions to be horizontal and it used the space better in my opinion. But the specs called for vertical images, so I had to change them to fix the assignment. I think that this was an incredibly successful image and conveys the idea of life and death strongly. I also think that it ended up looking fairly realistic and interesting. I was worried about the life panel, because in all my preliminary sketches, the feet blended together and didn't look very good or physically possible. But I think I managed to make it come together and this turned out to be one of my favorite illustrations of the semester.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Newspaper Color Illustration

I had no inspiration for this image, and so I chose to do disgustingly cute anime squirrels dancing. Because of the relatively flat color and simple shapes, I thought airbrushing would work well, but I suck at airbrush, so that was a failed attempt. I then tried to use a wacom tablet to draw the image in photoshop, but it was taking too long for me get used to the drawing sensitivities, and the image was not looking too good. So I switched to watercolor and gouache, simply because I was running out of options and needed to get the project done. It turned out fairly well, but the class said that I needed a stronger tie to the article.

I scanned the image into photoshop and changed part of the line to purple and added a transparent cupola to make it more directly related to Truman.

Illustration time: 1 hour
Watercolor and gouache on watercolor paper
10.5" x 7"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life and Death

I really enjoyed this project. It was fun to create a diptych. For this project, I chose to do life and death from the perspective of feet, mostly because in another class, we had been talking about filming a movie that only showed feet, and so my mind was on that subject when I did my initial sketches. However, I think that not only did my concept come through strongly, but my execution was pretty successful as well. In the sketch and color comp, it was difficult to identify all four feet in the life image, and the sheets were not believable. However, by using saturated colors and blending, I was able to clarify my image and make everything look much better.

My biggest frustration in this was getting a horizontal (and much better) composition approved, only to find out in the final stage that it needed to be a vertical composition. I feel that even though my image is strong, it was much more compositionally strong when in the horizontal layout. However, I worked through my frustration, and because of the vertical layout, the sheets in both pictures line up, creating a nearly seamless transition that would not been possible if the images were horizontal.

Illustration time: 3 hours
Watercolor and gouache on watercolor paper
10" x 16"

Reflections of Lincoln

For this project, we were assigned to create an illustration to be submitted into the"Reflections of Lincoln" contest. I came up with several good concepts; unfortunately, none of them were picked. For some reason, my classmates thought Lincoln fighting communism was a hilarious concept, and they all voted that I do that one. Outvoted by the majority, I was stuck with it.

However, as I put the project together, I found that it was a lot more fun than I had anticipated. I had the most trouble with getting Lincoln himself to fit the style of a Soviet propaganda poster, but after building him in Illustrator and messing with colors and shapes, I got him to blend fairly well. It was very difficult to create a superhero-esque body, since Lincoln was rather slender and the body, even now, looks a little cartoon-ish. However, I think I convey the point enough that I can get away with the not-quite-perfect body. He was also supposed to be ripping apart a communist symbol, but it kept reading as a symbol on the shirt he was wearing, and he was ripping the shirt apart, Superman-style. I didn't want that, so I just made him stand still, looking regal.

But the design and manipulation of the poster itself was a lot of fun. I think that it is overall successful, and definitely has that propaganda poster feel. I'm not sure what this says about Lincoln, but I am satisfied with the final product, even if I had to struggle with the concept.

Illustration time: 4 hours
Photoshop and Illustrator
10" x 14"

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cheesy Airbrush

This is my second attempt at the cheesy airbrush assignment. I didn't think that airbrush is for me. I like control, but I'm not a perfectionist, and I lack the meticulous nature thatan airbrush artist necessarily has to have. Also, I seem to attract water spots to my work like magnets. It's rather frustrating. But at least I am able to control the spray and get fairly predictable results with the actual painting process. I think airbrushing is great for large areas of color, especially for consistent gradients, but I don't think I could do anything more than that with my illustrations.

Illustration time: 1.5 hours
Airbrush, gouache and sharpie on illustration board
10" x 14"