Saturday Inspiration: Woodblock Prints

That time already! Today’s topic, Woodblock Printmaking. I have been looking at woodblock prints quite earnestly for the last couple of months, after seeing a kickstarter campaign where the artist Jed Henry and woodblock printer David Bull turn contemporary video game scenes into traditional woodblock prints. I’m not a huge video game person, but some of the pieces are awesome! David Bull uploads videos of him cutting and printing to youtube, I could watch it all day long. Here is one of them:

Here is a quick video about the process of traditional japanese woodblock printing.

Check out these other woodblock prints. I tried my best to find the links to bring you back to the artist, enjoy!

I love how the texture of the paper plays such an important role in the prints. Looking at how atmospheric perspective and backgrounds are handled in some of these prints was a big influence in how I handled it in this piece.

For a cool contemporary woodcut printshop, check out Tugboat Printshop, or if you area in the Edmonton area, take some time to visit SNAP.


How to Draw a Shrew

So I tried a bit of an exercise I saw done by illustrator Will Terry in a video he put out on designing characters for children’s books, and you should try it too!  Will shows a neat trick that works well when drawing animals, no matter what the shape, size, or animal type.

He says that while drawing if you are able to pick out important characteristics of an animal, (a cat for example has whiskers, a tail, a set of round lips, pointy eats, etc) then you can draw those characteristics on any shape and your drawing will be recognizable as that animal.  If you press play below the video will jump to the relevant section.

After watching him, I decided to give it a shot on my own, but instead of using the characteristics of a cat, I would use those of a shrew.  I pulled up some images on google to get an idea of what I was looking for, and came of with these traits:

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 9.38.42 PM

I then sketched out a series of different head and body shapes on to a large piece of paper, and added the shrew characteristics afterwards.  Pretty fun!

WP_20131015_003 copy

Please excuse the poor quality of the images below.  I captured the work-in-progress pictures on my cell phone, rather than scanning them in, so the colour is quite off.  


I found it really interesting that even shapes I was sure wouldn’t look like a shrew, did after all the characteristics were added.  (Although some maybe were a little shaky.)

WP_20131015_032 copyShrew b&wSo, a neat exercise to try on your own!  Choose an animal you find interesting, give it a shot and let me know how it goes.  If you actually try it out, send me a photo and I will upload them!

Oh also, I have some more dinosaur work to put up here in a little bit, maybe around this time next week, so stay tuned!


Some Dinosaur Ideas

Over the last few evenings I’ve been playing around with this sketch of a dinosaur.  I swapped the large muscular legs and skinny arms of a T-rex around, creating a kind of chicken legged dinosaur who lifts.

Some of these images I am more partial to than other, I think I find the 5th, 6th, 9th, and 10th the most interesting.

img003Original sketch

img004Brush and ink on paper

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 1.27.02 PM

Paths in illustrator

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.50.44 PMMessing in illustrator

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.53.08 PMMessing in illustrator cont.

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.53.34 PMFlat image in illustrator w/o outlines

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.54.56 PMIllustrator + loose shading in photoshop

img002Sketch w/ more interior lines

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.49.05 PM adding some colors

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.48.43 PM Colours in photoshop w/o lines

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 12.45.20 PMLines + shading + textures

I haven’t settled on any one style yet.  Which one do you prefer?

animal, Uncategorized

Sloth in Illustrator

I was hoping to get a bit of practice in on Illustrator, here is a quick image I worked on this evening.

I began with a quick sketch of a sloth taken from some source images on google.

Sloth Drawing

I brought the drawing into Illustrator and drew over my pen lines with the pen tool.

Sloth Pen
I looked into a few color schemes, but settled on this one.  If you advent used Kuler before, check it out, it is a great free color theory resource online.
Sloth Overlay
And here is the final image. Nothing special, but a good chance to get my feet wet.
Sloth FInishedish

Blast from the past

I’ve decided to post the application portfolio I used two years ago to get into my program at school.  This is definitely some older stuff, but thats okay.  Keep your eyes open for the bird with the dinosaur tail!

art, painting, sketches, Uncategorized

Pails and Camels

Here are a few things I’ve been working on lately.  I’ve had a lot of fun working with ink the last little while, I like how many different layers of color and opacity you can get with it.

For this second image I used the same ground I used previously in this piece.  The camels are hand drawn, or painted I guess, but I used some vector images for reference.