Wednesday, July 30, 2014


IF (Illustration Friday), 7/25/14 the topic was Golden.  This was a no-brainer topic for me, and while it done for the most part, it was a long time coming.  For 'Golden' I decided that is was time to dust off and finish a piece that I had been developing for several years off and on, primarily due to frustration, as any artist knows sometimes you have to shelf a project because it just isn't working. 
I have long had an affinity for mythology, and one of my favorite story elements was what I feel was the commonly overlooked reason behind the Trojan War that most media depictions never address.  I chose to illustrate Eris (Discord), holding the prized Golden Apple (of Discord).  In the famous retelling of the 'Judgement of Paris', Eris had be snubbed by the other Gods, and was not invited to a wedding held on Olympus (primarily due to her reputation for causing discourse).  In retaliation, Eris took a golden apple from Hera's sacred grove in the Garden of Hesperides, inscribed upon it the word kallistÄ“ ("For the most beautiful one" or "To the Fairest One"), and tossed it into the crowd at the banquet on Olympus.  Knowing full and well this would cause strife among the revelers, Eris watched as the three most well recognized Goddesses: Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera fought over the prize.  This is turn led to the 'Judgement of Paris', in which the apple was awarded to Aphrodite, and as a result, the Trojan War.   To me, this seems to be the origin in which the apple becomes the source of evil, which many modern tales draw inspiration from.  I'm satisfied with the final product for the most part, yet there is part of me that feels I could still work on it, but at some point you just have to call it done.  The piece is entirely digital, done in Painter, with some manipulations done in Photoshop. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I've had my Phil

IF (Illustration Friday), the topic was Repeat.  This topic wasn't particularly inspiring, but I did manage to pull off a successful attempt at capturing the subject on several levels.  I continued with my theme of pop culture inspired illustrations, and a keen eye will make the connection almost immediately.  For this piece I decided I would pay homage to one of my favorite comedies, "Groundhog Day".  In the film (for those that have managed to never see it), the protagonist Phil (Bill Murray), experiences life on a loop, repeatedly experiencing the same day (February 2nd), over and over again no matter what different actions he takes (while still retaining the memory of all the days as if he himself is running in a linear time stream).  Phil's day begins every morning waking up to his alarm clock at 6am to the song "I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher, and this particular moment defines his day, knowing that he hasn't succeeded in breaking the cycle if he wakes up to it in the morning.  For this illustration I decided to create the record the song is from itself, and broke it into pieces to represent the 'broken record' phenomenon Phil experienced in the film.  The piece is entirely digital done in Painter, Illustrator, and manipulated in Photoshop. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

You Are Here

IF (Illustration Friday) 7/14/14, the topic was Invisible.  The idea I had for this topic came pretty easily, and quickly, which is good because I had very little time to work on it.  I decided on depicting the Cheshire Cat form Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland' primarily due to his ability to become invisible, or partially visible, at will.  For this piece I wanted to capture his mischievous nature, while keeping with the theme and keeping him "invisible".  The main concept of the piece was inspired by a movie poster I saw once for the movie "Premonition", which the leading protagonist played by Sandra Bullock is recreated out of tree branches.  It's quite a masterful work of art, and it inspired the final piece seen here.  I added my own flare, and utilized the background (mainly the moon), to represent Cheshire's smile trademark smile.  I was having some trouble with this piece because of the amount of negative space I had on the bottom of illustration, and as I was adding foliage, and mushrooms, I decided that I could utilize the area to produce stronger story telling elements than just creating a static illustration.  It was at this point that I added the silhouette of Alice in the foreground atop a mushroom to capture her interaction with Cheshire.  I imagined that at this point in the story Alice would probably be in disarray, and severely frustrated with the lack of 'logic' Wonderland had to offer.  I thought about what if the Cheshire Cat appeared before her, and she asked him: "Where am I?"  Only to respond "You are Here."  It seemed fitting, and so did the title.  The piece is entirely digital done in Painter, with some manipulations done in Photoshop. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Handle with Care

IF (Illustration Friday) 7/4/14, the topic was Fragile.  This topic was not an easy one to tackle, but eventually I came up with an idea that I felt I could proceed with.  I decided for this piece that I was going to take a typography/graphic design direction with it instead of doing an original illustration.  I had some real issues with laying this particular piece out, and spent more time trying to figure out what fonts to use as a base shape for the remaining words to fill in to create the illusion of the original word.  When I finally began the piece I realized, I didn't have enough descriptive terms/ideas for my concept, so I did what any other person would, and turned to social media. In the end this piece became a collaborative effort, and the experiment of letting others get involved worked out well, plus it was fun to see what other people associated with the word "fragile".  I'd love to try this again with another word, or picture (like I saw when I did my initial research for this work).  This piece was done almost entirely in Illustrator, with some adjustments and manipulations done in Photoshop. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


IF (Illustration Friday) 6/27/14, the topic was Beard.  I had a hard time with this one, so I did some research and brainstorming as to how I could adapt the topic and make it something I would enjoy working, while still relating to the original subject.  At some point I came across imagery that depicted the Green Man, who was represented as a disembodied head with a leafy or gnarled branch-like beard.  I used these images as a reference point, and drew up my own sketch which is what is depicted here.  I'm not completely satisfied with the image, but I'm glad I kept it simple this week, as sometimes I can go easily over board with these projects.  The image is entirely digital, done in Painter.