Thursday, December 16, 2010
Click to Enlarge
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I did a painting about it for a charity auction, back when it was news this last summer. It was a quick and dirty image, but I think it turned out pretty slick...
(Click for full size environmental catastrophe.)
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Also, the folks at Juliet Zulu have a sharp new site, with some swank looking graphics by Yours Truly. Take a peek at their Blog, too.
Friday, December 3, 2010
---Click to enlarge.---
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Wooden Madona in Prague
Bronze lion in Prague
Shy Aphrodite in Rome.
Bronze pugilist in Rome maybe the best statue I've ever seen. Its certainly a contender... a CONTENDER...
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
This is a Roman sarcophagus from the Roman National Museum. It recounts the victory (depicted more as a slaughter,) of the Romans over the heathen Gauls, or some tribe. Judging by the ancient sculptures, it seems that those poor Gauls had a pretty miserable millennium.
Click to enlarge
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Click to enlarge them.
These images are from the same jungle story as the paintings on my website.
...After some fantastic escapes and tough choices, we come to a big, lumbering, never-say-die robot that lays siege to a man-o-war ship and its scurvy crew.
Click to enlarge them.
This salty dog endures the robot with ease, but not so for his addiction.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
"My girl is the queen of the savages,
Instead of money we trade yams and cabbages,
She doesn't use a fork,
I don't think I'll go back to New York."
~The Magnetic Fields~
Friday, September 17, 2010
Click the pic to see its full-sized glowering-glory.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
-Click to enlarge the image. I didn't tediously perfect each pixel for nothing!-
This illustration took forever because it really ended up being ten images. I'll probably add some background texture of a cork-board , but I'll leave that until the end to see how well it works with the overall layout. Again, this is ink and brush with some digital assembly and it belongs to the same short story as the toiletries image from earlier. I'm getting pretty close to finishing this whole project so more scrumptious images are on the way...
Saturday, August 7, 2010
This image is a small bit from a work in progress so the arrangement and drop-shadows are just temps. The stamps are from a larger collage illustration of a character I wrote about. The actual image is just about finished. Again, these are done with ink and brush and some digital assembly.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
But for now, here's an image from a short story I've been illustrating. The elements are vertical to better fit on blogger, but the final arrangement of objects will be different. These are all ink and brush. Click to see the delicious full size version...
Monday, May 31, 2010
Meanwhile, I've been working on a crest for a Portland family. Like the earlier project, this one is wedding related, so that influenced the color scheme. We referenced some earlier crests, I got out the ink and brush, and this is what it all boiled down to. I enjoyed the combination of natural elements rendered with a graphic treatment.
Again, in good old black-n'-white.
Right on the heels of that project came another little, unusual project. The images below will be 4" x 4" vinyl stickers for an LGBTQ friendly organization. Because these are smallish stickers, they presented a good opportunity to have some fun with colors I don't often use.
They wanted some geeky non-gendered critters, which was actually a little tricky. Gender-role indicators kept slinking their way back into my beginning sketches. Anyway, I think I managed to give them some character without specific gender. More fun stuff is on the way...
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Gather round young and old because its blogging time. This being the inaugural post, but lacking anything as celebratory as a cake or champagne fountain, tonight's tale will be about a happy couple's champagne-worthy event: a wedding (invitation.)
Zak-n'-Cait wanted some good looking wedding invitations for their big day, which is where I entered the picture. I knew this project would be fun, but it also took some real doing.
The invitation was a three part deal, with the main folded card on the outside and a postcard and business card within. They envisioned a sort of Portland country-rustic style with a couple of play-on-words.
These were some rough sketches for the business card image. They are a good example of unique challenge of this project. To capture a couple's sense of humor/whimsy, romance, and style when you don't know them all that well was tricky, but obviously important. The little details of the couples posture or expressions make a big difference toward the feeling of the card, so this took quite a few sketches before things looked right. Zak-n'-Cait provided some reference images and we had a lot of back and forth discussion about the newest iterations of each image. Before long we finalized the designs. Time for the best part: to make the final art.
Now these were the final art elements, but not the finals that went to the press. The actual composition and line work were all locked, but the colors of each element changed radically. To build the images, I used a number of brush-n-ink drawings, each done separately and re-combined in Photoshop. This technique has a couple of advantages. Drawing the elements separately is a lot faster and easier, especially for trying color variants and creating final color separations.
However, the Clever Reader might wonder “If this Nick guy is really in the final stage with a piece of art, then why is he still trying out whole new color schemes?” And that Clever Reader brings up a good point. There are a couple of reasons, and I’ll do my damnedest to clarify them while avoiding too much phrenology, pseudo-science, or High Art pretension (the stuff of bad artist-statements.)
Often, artists seem to fit into either the drawing or painting camp. Conceptualizing with lines, contours, and tones, I live comfortably in the drawing camp. For reasons totally mysterious to me, color is a lower priority when I am conceptualizing the content of an image. However, that’s far from saying that color is an afterthought. But for me, images like these are organized with lines and values rather than colors. I’m not sure how other artists approach their work, but I’m constantly amazed by the wizardry some folks pull off with sharp colors.
The other, much better reason for a flexible color pallet is the printing process. Printing on toned chip board for this invitation was a challenge because it’s much darker than paper, dulling the transparent inks. These inks have the advantage of combining to make new colors, somewhat broadening the palette, but again, they’re dulled by the dark paper they are printed on. Lighter colors, like yellow, can suffer. While the dullness certainly gives an old-tyme accent to the images, it can confuse the viewer because elements don’t “pop” as well as they otherwise would.
Lastly, the colors emitted from an illuminated computer screen can be radically different than printed colors. Every monitor is calibrated a little differently, so my screen’s red might be maroon to you. And despite looking good on the screen, areas of very light ink might hardly show up in printing, while denser layers might become much darker than intended. Potentially tricky stuff…
Luckily, the good folks at Pinball Publishing were super helpful. I tried some variations on the best and worst case printing scenario. After that, Zak-n-Cait and I talked and made some changes to better exploit the inks and to make a more consistent, cohesive group of images.
I’m always interested to see how some images come right together, while other work has quite a back story by the end. Pencil, ink, pixels, printing: quite a history behind a few images.