Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Figure Studies IV

>acrylic on bristol, 19 x 24"

>acrylic on bristol, 19 x 24"

Figure Studies
Those of you with astute eyes will notice that I posted old, student paintings in lieu of last week's figure drawing session. The drawings I did last week were boring, and I was craving for a large piece of charcaol or a brush loaded with paint. In my excitement, I brought a pallete, some tubes of acrylic, and a variety of brushes to the following workshop -- and forgot how damned difficult it all was, missing the immediacy of the pen while mixing colors or cleaning the brush. This was probably the second time I had painted the figure in short poses, so everything was new and frustrating. Sometimes you need to destroy what you've built up to gain new insight and direction. After winning his first major European art award, Rauschenberg destroyed his silkscreens so that he wouldn't recycle himself. So out of the whole night, I ended up with a couple of figure studies which assumed a coherence that was unexpected and refreshing.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cadillac - "Picturesque"

Cadillac Television Spots
I was hired by Motion Theory to help develop the visuals for two television commercials for Cadillac. Above is a sampling of the many images I had rendered over a period of 3 weeks to help establish lighting, color, atmosphere, and depth of field. Motion Theory referenced some of my Fables covers, but the ad agency provided art direction that, in the end, rendered my work nearly invisible in the final spot. The CGI work is impeccable -- it was amazing to see the raw footage, filmed in sunny California, transform into a winter wonderland. There are bits of my work in the final spot, but it flies past with the power of 320 horses.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Student Work

>oil on cradled wood panel, 8 x 10", 2001.

>oil on linen, 11 x 15", 2000.

Life Paintings, 2000 - 2001
To provide some context, I've posted a couple of figure paintings I did when I was in school 5 years ago. They are quite stiff and fussy, but I was trying to push my powers of observation - when to hone in on a patch of flesh, when to step back, mulling over the relationships between color, value, edges, and intensity of content. I would paint the figure very differently now -- I'm hoping to bring some brushes and ink the next time I go figure drawing.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Figure Drawing IV

Click the picture above to view more drawings.
The model was great this past week - his physique reminded me of something Jim McMullan once said about the figure, how the muscles are like porpoises weaving and diving through the body. It was also a very nice to see Kozyndan at the workshop. They've been attending the workshop for some time now, and I only just got started when they were too busy to attend during the holiday season. They were some of the first people I met when I moved to LA 3 years ago, and they've since gone on to conquer the world with their artwork; I'm grateful to them for introducing me to some great clients as well. I also met America's favorite uncle, Uncle Phil, and Jim who both recently moved to LA after having graduated from SVA.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Mother Jones - FDA Brain Drain

Illustration for Mother Jones Magazine

A) Mother Jones asked me to illustrate an article about the Bush administration's handling of the FDA and the subsequent exodus of disillusioned workers. After reading through the entire article, I came up with a litany of thumbnails, but refined the concept and image until I ended up with a single sketch.
B) Since color played an important symbolic role in the piece, I sent a color sketch to the AD.
C) A clean line drawing that was drawn with graphite on bristol board, transferred via lightbox.
D) A progress shot of the illustration in photoshop. I'm mostly figuring out values rather than color, blocking in gradients and highlighting certain areas to create the proper effect. At this stage, I've already scanned in some watercolor texture.
Final) Even though my sketches tend to be pretty tight in terms of concept and composition, I try to leave space for exploration and invention in the finish. The giant pills, the 'patriotic' background, and the masks were all decorative touches that I came up with in the final moments in order to drive the concept home.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Figure Drawing III

Click the picture above to view more drawings.
Once in a while, you'll come across a model that rattles your nerves. The line fails to live up to the observed form, and any confidence dissolves. When this happens, it's best to clear the mind, abandon the drawing, and start fresh, rather than sink into a murky, tangled mess. Ah well . . . better luck next time.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sigur Ros

> graphite on bond, 5.5 x 8.5"

>graphite and white chalk on Rives BFK, 9 x 12"

> Photoshop, 8.25 x 10.5" @ 450 dpi
Sigur Ros Illustration, for Future Music Magazine
The band, Sigur Ros, is acclaimed for their distinctive sound and approach to making music. Future Music magazine interviewed the band in their studio, a converted indoor pool. I immediately thought of depicting the band immersed in a pool of sound to evoke their lush yet crystalline sound.