Beaver With Hockey Stick Drawing
drawing, illustration, sketches

(Very) Rough Sketch Sneak-Preview

Here is a bit of a secret look at the next project I am working on. These are a set of character sketches for some upcoming work.  I’m trying to find some characteristics that I like enough to put into my next composition. After spending so much time last piece on a composition I wasn’t crazy about, I’m going to be planning much more!

I can’t say too much about this now, but more to come soon!

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colour, Inspiration

Saturday Inspiration: How to use Analogous Colours

Todays topic is Analogous Colour Schemes! Colour can make or break an image, and yet it is so often overlooked in illustration. There are a number of different techniques to use when trying to make an image cohesive, often revolving around the color wheel.

colour-wheel-colour

Analogous colours are colours that appear next to each other on the colour wheel.

Rather than get too in depth however, why don’t you check out these four colour scheme examples below.  I should note, none of these images are mine until you get to the very bottom.

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As you can tell, these images are really quite pleasing, despite the limited range of colour used.

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Anders Zorn (1860-1920) became well known for using an analogous palette in some of his own paintings, sometimes limiting himself to only four colours. (It became so well known that the Zorn palette bears his name today.)

If you are interested in a great colour theory tool, check out kuler.adobe.com, it has an easy to use palette to create your own colour schemes.

Here is a bit of work I did as a part of a larger project. I used collage and found as many magazine images as I could fitting into two analogous themes. I then combined them to create a final image. Here are the two separate collages:

And here is the final image, out of context so it won’t make much sense, but thats ok. Red and green are complimentary colours, so by adding these two collages together I was able to create something that was visually cohesive.

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Well, thats it! Thanks for reading. Get out there and make something.

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illustration

Dinosaur Completion

Alright! So it has been a busy week this week, but it’s time to (finally) conclude this piece. Tiny-Legged T-Rex, it is time to be done.

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If you remember last time, I left off with the foreground rocks complete, but the middle and backgrounds were flat empty shapes. I had to enter a zen state of mind to finish these stripes, because no matter how cool I think they look, they get boring to draw!

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I draw each line out by hand, scan it into the computer, and then trace over it again in photoshop. It got a little tedious, if I were to explore this style more I would have to find a more efficient way to achieve the same effect.

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Here is a quick look of the pencil lines used for the rock stripes.

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Above you can see the rocks pretty much filled in. It might be hard to tell, but I thinned out the black outlines on the rocks in the distance to try and give the effect that they are receding into the back.

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I made the tall vertical rocks red to balance out the image a bit. I didn’t want the only red in the image to be in the dinosaur, but I also didn’t want them to compete for attention. The eye is drawn to bright reds really quickly, so I dimmed the red in the rocks.

Dino Nearly Finished
I also noticed that the very distant mountains, the faint blue shapes in the very back, might be drawing the eye toward the rocks and not towards the dinosaur, so I changed them to flow towards the dinosaur and tightened up their shape a bit. It’s a pretty minor change but I like how it worked out.  I also added some shadows to the rocks in the very front.

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A few minor changes, the addition of a rock in the bottom right that had been cropped and had escaped my attention until now, and it’s all done! For now… ahhhhh. There are still some things I’m not quite happy with, but this will do.

Here are some things that could be addressed:

The color of the grass might be a bit off, there is probably a better color to pull together the whole scene.
The shadows below the front rocks and the dinosaur itself don’t quite work. They don’t fit into the image as well as some of the other parts.
The entire composition could be re-done  to make it more engaging.

Well, if you have been following this since the beginning, thanks for checking in. I’m happy with how this turned out, and I learned a lot. Now to figure out what is next!

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Uncategorized

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.

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Uncategorized

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:

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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!

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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!

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illustration, photoshop

Dinosaur Work Continues!

Back to work!

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 6.14.48 PMI’ve been working the last few evenings on tightening up the ideas I had presented in a previous post. With the help of some home made espresso, I printed out a rough outline of my earlier dinosaur sketch and sat down to draw!

WP_20131005_003Something to drink of course.

WP_20131005_005Here is the printed outline filled with pencil lines.  I really am using these contour lines for two reasons.  The first is to add a bit of interest and diversity to the image, allowing for some variety in colour. The second, and possibly more important, is that it allows me to create the illusion of volume and depth.

Click to enlarge any of these images.  These show a bit of my process, and help illuminate a couple of decisions I have been making along the way.

Photoshop Screenshot

So here it is so far.  There are still some improvements to be made, and I’m not 100% happy with some of the contour stripes, but it is a good proof of concept.  Next stop, some environment and context.

Let me know if you like it, or if you have any suggestions.

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Uncategorized

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!

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