Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cruel Summer

IF (Illustration Friday) 6/20/14, the topic was Summer.  For this particular topic, I chose to personify Summer by portraying the season as an individual, which also gave me the excuse to pay homage to one of my most influential and favorite illustrators, Alphonse Mucha.  I had been toying with the idea for some time to create a series of the seasons similar to Mucha's original incarnations while infusing them with my own vision.  This piece was a labor of love, but a harsh one, and it took WAY longer than anticipated to complete. There are a few details that I'd like to alter, add, or change, but ultimately, I'm happy with how it turned it.  While the initial concept was executed quickly (sketch and outline), the color phase really held me up.  I had a difficult time choosing a scheme that worked with the theme of the piece, and still offered enough contrast so that the original work wasn't lost.  The piece is entirely digital, done in Painter, with some manipulations done in Photoshop.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sam am I

IF (Illustration Friday) 6/13/14, the topic was Mask.  For this particular topic I had several ideas, one that I even completely sketched out and was ready to work on when a more attractive option popped in my head.  How, where, or why this particular idea came to be I cannot exactly remember, but it was either while I was watching TV, or reading.  At any rate, I wanted to do a character piece, because I love to make art based off of pop culture, movies, games, comics, books, etc., as they are all great influences on me creatively, and I like to pay homage to them when applicable.  For this project, I decided to do an illustration of 'Sam' from "Trick r' Treat", a surprisingly great movie in which four gruesome tales are told, and in which each story 'Sam' makes a cameo.  'Sam' (short for Samhain), is the spirit of Halloween who appears in the form of a child wearing a strangely disturbing costume of an orange onesy and a burlap sack over his head with a stitched smile and two button eyes, and his trademark razor-sharp sucker.  For the most part, I'm pleased with this work, but it did come with it's own set of challenges, as the reference I used wasn't the greatest, and some of the finer details were left up to my own interpretation.  The piece is entirely digital, done in Painter with some manipulations/filtering done in Photoshop.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Icarus

IF (Illustration Friday) 6/ 6/14, the topic was Contraption.  This topic was initially a struggle for me, as I had a hard time coming up with a satisfactory subject matter that reflected the topic.  After some brainstorming I came up with an idea that fit my taste/style, and represented a 'contraption'.  For this topic I decided to draw upon one of my main inspirations (Greek Mythology), and illustrate the tragic literary figure of Icarus, son of the great Greek inventor Daedalus.  In the Greek Myth, Icarus and his father attempt to flee a prison island by using wings that Daedalus has created from feathers and wax.  Daedalus warns Icarus not to fly too close to the son, or the sea, for fear his prideful son will damage the delicate wings and perish.  In this illustration I have depicted Icarus before he takes flight.  I had a lot of fun with this particular piece, and I really like the style, and striking contrast I was able to achieve.  There are parts of the work, I would have liked to develop more, or make feel less static; however, I felt it was time to stop tinkering with it, and let it be.  The piece is entirely digital, done in Painter.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Splitting Hares

IF (Illustration Friday) 5/30/14, the topic was Temptation.  I had a rough time with this one, but ultimately, I am really pleased with the final product.  Initially I wanted to do a piece depicting the dark side of temptation, and it's allure, but I continued to struggle to get my initial concept down, it just wasn't working for me.  Then I decided to work on an old project that fit the topic nicely, but abandoned that as well when I realized I wouldn't have enough time to complete it (it was way too detailed).  Finally I reverted back to an idea I had earlier, and did a bit more research which led me to the current design here.  As with most of my work, this piece is too influenced by pop culture, particularily my fondness for movies.  I decided to depict a concept from The Matrix.  In the movie the protagonist Neo is given the option of a red pill, or a blue pill.  The red pill will give him the opportunity to leave his mundane existence in the "matrix" and see how far the rabbit hole goes, while the blue pill will allow him to live out the rest of his existence in the "real world" in blissful ignorance.  The movie itself borrows from many other notable works, including Alice in Wonderland, and the Odyssey to name a few.  The piece is entirely digital, done in Painter with some manipulations done in Photoshop.