Good news! Yesterday I found out that I won a scholarship from Society of Illustrators for my piece The Night Ferry. I’m super excited- I can’t wait to see it at the opening in New York in May.
In other news, I just finished up a new piece that you can see over on plaidcats right now. It’s my re-interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood.
Here’s my process for my latest piece that I teased two days ago. First I sketched around like a madman playing with concepts, motifs, ideas, compositions; anything and everything trying to find my way to the image. This was an open-ended assignment, so I was given total control over my direction. Eventually I though it would be interesting to frame the piece within a triangle- how often do you see that? and I did two little thumbnails slightly different from each other pulling in some of the themes from my sketches.
After that I scanned it in, blew it up to fit on an 8.5x11 inch paper, dropped in an equilateral triangle guideline, reduced the whole thing to about a 16% opacity (very light) and printed it out. I like to blow up my thumbnails to maintain some of the energy they have, and begin the finished drawing right on top of it. I began looking at some reference as I drew, looking at towers, dragonfly anatomy, picking out what types of trees would be in it (more about that later). Then I scanned that in.
I made sure the document was the right size in Photoshop (and setup a bleed border) and then painted in some value down underneath the drawing. I always start with the whole thing at 50% gray then work in lights and darks (but I try to avoid dipping below 75% for printing reasons).
From here I started adding in color. I use a variety of different ways to get color in- that’s something to discuss in at a later time. Here’s a quick rundown of how the color evolved:
I felt like my characters up front were flat and not lit correctly so I grabbed the kneaded eraser out of my desk and quickly made up some little models of my characters. I lit them with a clam light and took a couple quick pictures with my phone to get a general sense for the lighting I wanted.
And then I painted, painted painted. This is something I’m going to have to describe at more detail later. When I got to the trees though I decided I needed some new brushes- all of the brushes I use are handmade. I got out some paper and my Chinese inks and began scribbling some leaf shapes. I had decided early on that the trees were from left to right a Maple tree, a Sassafras tree, and an Apple tree for their different leaf shapes. I scanned it in, played around with my options, and eventually made the four brushes on the right.
I do not ever generally leave descriptive brushes like this alone after painting them in. I’ll go back in, paint over them, change them, add, take away, and overall try to make it more interesting. Anyway, after all those hours of painting I arrived here at the end. I’m sure I’ll go back and make some tweaks and adjustments, but for now this is good.
Check out a larger version of The Three and the Tower at plaidcats.
In other news, here is a preview of a piece I am working on right now. It’ll be up on plaidcats when it’s finished.
I just finished the dummy for Harrison’s Hunger, a story I wrote here at RISD. It’s a book about a hungry lion named Harrison and his best friend in the world Pete the bird. I assembled two printed versions of it today- I can’t wait to show them around!
If all things go well, maybe Harrison’s Hunger will get published. That’s the plan anyway. Keep an eye out! Who knows? Maybe you will see this cover on shelves soon!
A doodle of Hamlet as a cat that happened last night.
HAMLET I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is
southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw. (2.2.28)
Last night I created a new business card based on my piece The Night Ferry which was accepted into the Society of Illustrators 2012 Student Scholarship Competition! I’m super stoked! New York here I come!
Eventually I’ll get these bad boys printed out real nice… for now though, time to do things the hard way!