i'm really enjoying my wacom tablet at my home studio. i've taken to more abstract work, but at the same time, taking old pencil drawings and essentially tracing over them, practicing new brush strokes and effects is slowly making me more comfortable with the "medium" and allowing me to go places with shadows and effects that i didn't know were possible.
anyway, i loves' me an intelligent set of eyes. no matter who the person. when the eyes smile, so does the rest of a person. it's in their entire demeanor, and can't be hidden. of course, the reverse scenario is the same. think someone's mad or hurt - look into their puddles. you'll know then for sure...
so, please stay tuned. i will be back and plan on posting more soon once i get my new home office back into shape. i will have my computer studio 110% up and running, my airbrush desk area, canvases on the wall and much more.
i missed you all. hopefully some of you will return and bring your open opinions, comments and advice on how i can become a better artist and obsevationalist.
see you all soon.
i came to work at 6am, and upon firing up the portable PC, i get the error,"no operating system found." well shit. two technicians later, and even after a friend's professional data recovery team hit both the lappy harddrive and the external unit to try to save my data... i'm shit outta luck.
i've lost about a years worth of designs, artwork, most of my REFLECTIONS comic and more. they were able to recover some of the comic, 'bout back at the starting point 6 months ago when i started to post entire pages... but ALL the data since (4-5 pages worth) is gone gone gone.
when i purchased my external harddrive, i promised to be dilligent in backing up my data on a religious level. well, i failed that. i had prolly 3 backups performed of my critical data and somehow over the past 4 months, i only backed up WORK data and not my artwork...
shit shit shit shit shit. this is sooo depressing. thankfully, for portfolio's sake and production possibilities, it's a blessing that i posted HI RESOLUTION pages online. i right-clicked the sonofabeeches and saved them to my NEW external HD and my NEW damned expensive lappy.
back up your stuff peoplz. do it NOW. use a CDR, a DVD, an external HD, or online "virtual harddrives" you can purchase through your internet provider. most of you, who follow my blogs know that i've been so damned busy i've not been able to get "back to" my art on this site. this week, with my time off... i was hoping to get back to it. monday's events have depressed me to the point of not wanting to get outta bed. soooo, we'll see how it goes given that realistically i need to spend time reconstructing all i've lost, and not worrying about the new pages...
oh, and my favorite word of this week is, "shit," in case you hadn't noticed. between my lil' mr puddins bring confirmed with terminal cancer and losing all my work... i'm not inna wonderous mood.
hope yer all doing better. seriously. go hug a puppy for me or something.
i'm in the midst of analyzing the next page in the story; and i gotta tell you, it's as detailed if not more than this page, so it's going to take another 30 or so hours to strip down the original artwork into workable components. since i'll be gone the next 4 or so days, please feel free to leave your comments with my many thanks, and please know that your thoughts, suggestions for improvement and more only make me a better artist.
so, just like a creature of the night needing permission to enter your home, you've got mine now to view the next entry. enjoy.
while i've been wrassling with these questions, i've also been thinking about the future of this project, and how the overall impact of this graphic novel has had on it's viewers. is this jes' another piece of art that you can find by hitting the "next' button on the blogspot toolbar? have you remembered the storyline as it's progressed to the point where you're "in the story?", or what? i'd be foolish to think that this project is going to have some profound effect on anyone's life, but i'm curious what people really think about my work - other than the normal compliments.
i decided this time around to post 2 versions of this latest page of the 'reflections' storyline. along with the theme of increasing the overall impact of each page, i'm playing with ideas that would eventually effect the final look and feel of a finished piece. in this case, it's an introduction of a backdrop gradation: rich blood tones to accentuate the overall mood of the panels. a common mistake many artists make is the lack of presentation. whether is the paper, colors, bindery or simple factors of a poor layout - it's all part of the impact that leaves that distinct impression with the readers.
... so, tell me your favorite in this sample and if you would... why?
on another note, yet a repetitive one, please remember that once you click on the image to view larger, you repeat the the rollover gesture with the mouse on the image. THEN you can click on the small box that appears in the bottom righthand side to see the image in full 600dpi.
... oh my. i know i'm gonna get some comments on this entry. you know how we like 'da wimmins, but vamps too? this was an incredibly fun page to restore, i must say. yesh, sure it's fun to have an albino, albeit corpse of a sexy vampy gal slowly "turning" sean, but my oh my were some finite details fun to highlight as i added color, textures and patterns. can anyone list some of the key elements of what's happening on this page? i'll circle back in a few days to check on all of your 'keen observational skills...'
speaking of which, focus your sights on this latest entry:
sean realizes in one fell swoop that mankind isn't the only predator out there. little does he know that his life is about to take a "turn." literally and figuratively.
speaking of which, sharpen yer claws on this next visual snack:
please remember, click on the image to see larger, once there... drag mouse over the image again... you'll see a tiny square appear on the bottom right. Click that lil' guy to see this artwork in glorious 600dpi.
monica died of cancer 1 year later. tony, to my knowledge hasn't been seen or heard from since. i wonder about him at times. he was my roommate for one year. amazing guy. tony, if you're out there somewhere... i grant you both your wish. i miss you both very much.
why don't you try a little stop, drop & roll over this next one:
however, this lil' sketch (again, a funny term to use when applied to a 100% digital image) i created in adobe illustrator; a program i disdain immensely but am finding sudden uses for in my professional career. i used the vector-based application to slowly render my likeness, and then ran like a coward with the file to the program i "heart" called photoshop.
so, i dropped on some filters, rasterized the layers and played around a bit. the end result? voila! ME! giggle... either way, this was a fun experiment, and while my hair isn't that 'poofy' currently, trust me, it's been there. whaddaya'll think? am i purdy? *snerk*
how did you get to where you are today?
are you happy?
do you have the ones around you that mean the most?
now imagine that you have eternity to figure these things out. sound good? or is it a waking hell. you be the judge.
take a moment. reflect on this latest panel:
it's funny to me to think of how long ago i actually wrote this story. i began it so many years back during a time of my life that was odd at best. so much of sean's character is me. or was me. or came from me. either way. it truly was before the recent slew of vampire stories over the past 10+ years. i'm proud to say that i may very well have something unique. you be the judge.
take a swing at this latest entry:
however, i do tend to find inspiration at the oddest times, and when recently updating my online store for my endangered species artwork and charity stuff, (i donate a % of the profits to local seattle area no-kill shelters, etc) i happened to recall that i wanted to do another airbrush piece. well, i've not airbrushed in over 10 years, so i sort of had to start from scratch.
new airbrush purchased? -- check
fittings for hookup to existing air compressor? -- check
frisket board? -- check
airbrush mounted paper? -- check
airbrush paint? -- check
misc. other stuff to maintain said tools? -- check
here's a sample of the piece i've now since doodled, refined, and as you can see, am already masking out to eventually transfer to a large scale format to begin airbrushing. I'd LOVE to hear anyone's feedback/thoughts/etc. on how it looks so far. i'm hoping to stay fairly loose and generous on the strokes and style of brushing. i do NOT want to use a ton of hard-edge frisket work to define this soft & gentle beast. (note, frisket is like a huge page of low-tack sticky transparancy. you cut thru and remove the area you wanna brush, hence the rest stays void of paint):
so, 'nuff said over that. the new typeface used to replace the old text is apparent in my last (2) posts of reflections. hope it's clearer and more legible than my originally restored handwriting. the filters and layers i've been working with has also created a new level of art i never even dared to imagine in my comic. by creating fuzzy backdrops and such, i can form focus points in each panel that excite me to no end. Makes each story board read individually and not jes' as a whole. gads, me likey. what do you all think? story's getting to some good parts too... eep!
check out this juicy bit:
the complete rennovation of this piece was mainly an experiment. fun to smooth all lines and such with filters, adding vibrant color, changing the pitch of her "curve" and introducing a new light source after the fact to create some stunning dips and valleys. the smoke and/or fire (depending on how you see it) is for the simple reason. she is hot.
here we see sean and his humble beginnings. we see where he came from, what he was like, and of course, what happened to make him the piteous creature he's become. it's funny really... if a person takes a moment to reflect upon their own life, they'd likely realize that they're the sum of past experiences.
on a more personal note, more of these to come. i'm officially done with the pages that had already been colored and enhanced. now i'm working from original ink drawings and it's long and tedious work. all of your feedback and encouragement has been refreshing and i'm thankful for it though.. i ask for a little patience tho as this work takes time. i promise it's worth the wait.
speaking of which, sink yer fangs into this latest and longer bit:
this lil' piece is just that. teeny. it's about 6 inches tall. barely 3 inches wide. scanned it a few weeks ago and have been tweaking and puzzling over how to make it more discernable. original media is colored pencil on newsprint. faded yet true to form, it's survived close to 12 years stuck between pages of other lost works. sadly, newsprint doesn't stand the test of time overall. faded and yellowed with age, the original damned near turned to dust once "flattened" and scanned/converted into little 1's and 0's that could last indefinitely. how about 'dem apples?
maybe i'm trying to save a piece of myself. my soul. my knowledge. it is, after all, an uncertain future. i hope you enjoy the 1's and 0's down below... it is, after all, all that's left
well, i can exactly do the same for the 'reflections ' series, but i play it out in my mind each time i color a frame, drop in a filter, experiment with texture and more. i almost have to imagine my characters as alive, how they'd speak, move and breathe life into each frame. they almost have to in order for me to visually show the actions and moods represented in each frame. slow work. but worth the wait? you tell me.
speaking of the undead, breathe some life into this next bit:
there was a model years back that showed me such beauty, such poise, such amazing seductive and incredible emotions thru her poses that it made me shudder. there's this misconception that beauty only is represented by a woman's front... her face, breasts, stomach and more... well, i'm here to break that myth and prove to anyone that has open eyes that there's so much more that's often missed... and even in men, (yesh, when i studied human form in college, there were plenty of male subjects studied/drawn too)
i've always been fascinated by shadows. lighting. the way it can trace the curves of the human figure. the way it highlights and makes even the simplist of angles and swells blossom in all their glory. no one can truly hide a shadow either. that's part of it's allure to me. you can wear masks, put up fronts, pretend, but what is seen with the lighting dimmed or even off speaks volumes... this particular model i openly admit a old crush on. she was glorious. as before-mentioned, she brought us to tears with the style and beauty she brought to the stage. lighting made her an angel. shadows made her a goddess.
i've had such an amazing time finding, reworking, digitizing, and creating new arts from old. i can only hope that you all find enjoyment and begin to see how i view my world. it can be a very interesting place to be.
the YICN comic is funny to me simply because that style of drawing seems so basic to me. the REFECTIONS novel/graphic comic represents a style i'm not honestly sure if i could ever attain again. i researched everything from perspectives, architecturals, camera and "cropping" studies and many more elements in order to create what you've seen so far. even photo works were composed in order to study shape, movement, interaction and the blending of peoples to determine the best way to create my work.
i've had a fun time already posting old work and getting feedback on things. Please enjoy the latest YICN exerpt. indeed it's still based loosely off my own experiences. dear gad my first roomie wasn't bright, but he loved his music:
you'll all soon learn more about sean in the upcoming panels. he's a moody one, not unlike the artist who created him. spends a lot of time trying to figure out how the hell he got to where he is. could be a lesson in there somewhere for all of us. oooh wait, i got kinda deep there for a second. sorry. (live in the now, man!)
sink yer fangs into this bit:
i couldn't for some reason get (2) of these scans into one entry. so hey... i'll continue in this entry. i'll deal with the technical issues later. file sizes are small enough, etc... so, whatever.
to continue: i took the same scan, and experimented with some filters in photoshop. i was amazed at the results. first you have to understand i've used photoshop for over 10 years, but my own fear of manipulating my own original work has kept me from "playing around" with this type of thing.
this result is by far my favorite. my reaction was different with this one due to a closer inspection. i realized that the cross-hatching style i used to draw the original, translated into amazing smoothness and textures on the model's body. it created stunning realism with the contours, shadows, and further defined and complimented her amazingly fit lower torso.
so, give me your feedback. how do you feel about art manipulation thru technology? do you like what you see artistically speaking? who likes art? what do you like to see in an artist's portfolio, or a museum, etc? also, as always, i encourage those of you with opinions to judge my work. give me your thoughts on what i can do to improve my techniques, styles and more. i appreciate you all, and look forward to your comments.
i've spent time in my past teaching others to draw. i'm actually doing this right now with a friend when she and i find time for lessons. that's another one of my joys. teaching what i have learned and watching someone realize their own amazing potential; whether coming from the point of a pencil, pen, chalk, conte or paints.
recently i was sorting thru sketches of old. most are from my college years comprised of life drawing classes, but some also included contracted portrait works with models and more. i wanted to share some of, what i see as the beauty of work. plus, i decided to have fun with some of these pieces with scans and photoshop manipulations to see what kind of neato effects could be achieved.
this first sample of some of my character studies dates back awhile, but i thought it would be a good start. the original sketch is from college and too big to scan..., but thankfully i can duplicate any work quickly if given time. this piece was redrawn on simple unlined white notebook paper using black ballpoint ink. i experimented with cross-hatching pen strokes and more to create the shadows and contours of the models exquisite form:
the next phase of this post is continued in the next post due to some weird tech. issue i'm having uploading (2) scans into one entry... so read more above!
oh what a proud day. I've touched the heart and mind of a stoned roomie. whoo hoooo. i can die happy and fulfilled now. In retrospect, it was cool to have people realize that the title did have a double-meaning. even now i'm not entirely sure if we should open a book club and discuss the relevance of such with our pinkies out as we suck down our latte's and mocha swirls.
what the hell. lets. enjoy another bite:
UPDATE - the frustrating issue of the image NOT showing up when you all click the artwork has been resolved. apparentlu the Blogspot gawds have deemed some of my graphics too large to be viewed unless I take it down a notch... which is STOOPID given that the file size, dimensions and all are the same damned size as the last one...
anyway, it's fixed. jeez... finally get more traffic and comments and it's due to the sh*t not working... hrumpf. :)
in life, (for those of us who are not undead) there's the same challenges. many of us wander this earth with little purpose. empty souls. greed, pain, selfishness and even self-pity in plain abundance. certain people i've met over blogger-land end their sentences with "make it a great day," or "do great deeds..." that's had a profound effect on me over the past few months while i've battled greatly over scaling emotional issues: complete with high highs and really low lows. either way, i'd like to think that sean's not at all like me. aside from the whole, "i have a pulse" thing, he's really just a figment of my imagination that i put down onto paper one day... right?
enjoy this third installment of 'reflections,' and make sure you backtrack to the beginning if you're viewing this for the first time. comments and feedback welcome.
i became quite immersed in two campuses. a fine experience to be sure! it didnt' take me long tho to find the local campus newspaper and offer my design and layout skills. (also a handy way to utilize their technologies and resources at the time for my school projects!) within weeks, i was asked to create a comic strip to run 2 x a week in their newspaper.
i had very little time between runs, so thankfully i have multiple styles of drawing techniques i pulled upon. admittedly, back then comics like Bloom County and others were in publication, so certain facial features and such were likely inspired, but i think this comic stood well on it's own. over the next 10 weeks or so the 'you're in college now' comic ran and delighted most on campus.
as with most all of these posted "works," i've scanned in the original artwork, cleaned it up, and in this case, reframed the panels and added some color, new 'typed' text and such!
you'll learn quickly that most events were inspired by true events experienced by yours truly. hell, the damned main character is a spittin' image of me. if i were jes' lines of black ink... enjoy and feel free to comment!
don't forget, to view this larger, click on it.. but then, when the NEW image comes up, drag your mouse over the image again until you see the square appear on the bottom right... you can click THAT icon and view full screen so text is legible! cheers!
... yeah. that's right. i said it. i doodled. allllll over the place too. (giggle) i can't remember a time when i didn't pick up anything i could write with and draw, scribble, scrawl, make stars, planets, army men, explosions, or anything i could think of at the time. it always helped me deal with keeping focus, although many would say it was a method to focus my attention on something other than what i was supposed to be focused on.
some people are just wired differently. i've always had a helluva time staying centered, focused or 100% ON anything. A.D.D., never had that tested all the say through... hyperactive as a kid?, not really... but i do know that doodling was an outlet i learned to help me communicate my moods, feelings and it was very theraputic for me through tough times in my life.
my sketches and doodles have become less and less a norm as i grow older. spurts of creativity lend themselves to pages of useless visual babbling... a lot of nothing going nowhere... but occasionaly at the very least i can come up with either a fun collage like above from over 15 scanned sketches. thankfully, some of these actually made it to final products like here and here.
greatings all. welcome to my new blog that highlights creativity. for my entire life i've drawn, sketched, painted, made cartoons, characters of people, portraits and so much more.
this site will be my attempt to live up to, and perhaps defeat some of my biggest fears; "what people will think of me?" "will people like what i've created?" "does anything i create really effect people in any way?" "why do i care?"
i will highlight portions or entire works of mine i've created over the years. some may be just snippets, some may be entire panels that ran thru some form of syndication in papers or just through the casual viewer in prints long gone. almost allllll of this was done long before computers were the size of a book, and most done completely by hand. of course, in order to post these, i'll have had to scan them, clean them up, and some i took to the next level thanks to the beauty of photoshop.
i welcome your thoughts. i welcome your feedback. positive or not, it all helps make me a better person, a better artist, and most of all, i welcome hearing what you think of my work. most may not be exactly impactful in any way... but if it brings a smile to your face or generates real interest... please share with me your thoughts and reactions.
so with that, i bring you a snippit from my graphic novel called "reflections" a vampire named sean, has eternity and doesn't know what to do with it. he's moody, solemn, regretful and dark. (aren't they supposed to be like that?) i began this comic back in high school in 1987, long before the Anne Rice crap that tainted the entire genre. finished in 1993, i may choose to share more... who knows.
here we go..... thanks for joining me on the ride.