Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Holidays! :D

Even though I skipped a year this is turning into an annual thing. :) I like making paper ornaments that everyone can print and share. It means my Yule gifts aren't limited by my workload or the names on my card list.

2010 was a hard year for a lot of people. Here's hoping for a better 2011! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jackalope Show Report

Stage 84 was amazingly difficult to get to. But with the combined effort of my and Jon's phone-gps' we managed to triumph over the winding South Florida highways.

The Jackalope Show was intended for S. Florida artists in general, but from what I understand, the majority included Art Institute students, teachers and alumni. Not surprising, considering that the mascot of the Ai illustration department is the Jackalope. It was interesting to see all of the different ways the artists interpreted the theme. I know how I personally would have done an entire show about Jackalopes so it sort of opened my mind as to how other people see the subject matter. I picture the Jackalope as a real animal. It's own species with variation, bound by the laws of nature. But to my fellow artists it was a symbol of imagination, chaos, spirituality, humor, nonsense, sexuality and artistic expression. The art certainly wasn't lacking in variety. :)

I'm told that The Jackalope Show will remain up till near the end of December. All but a couple of the pieces are for sale. *hint hint* So, if you can find the time to go, it's worth the drive! ...just bring a GPS.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Prehistoric Jackalope: Part II

Here he is, all painted up and ready to go.

This little guy appears to be a smaller, stockier relative of the modern Pronghorn Jackalope of the North American plains. The species is new to the fossil record, so no further information is available at this time. He will be on display at the Jackalope Show.

Mixed media & Coffee

Friday, October 15, 2010

Prehistoric Jackalope

Trying to come up with an idea for the Jackalope Show. So far this is the best design I've come up with for a Prehistoric Jackalope without delving into silly stereotypical caveman imagery.

Maybe doing something silly wouldn't be such a bad idea. :p I like these antlers though.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Jackalope Show coming up!

9118 W State Rd 84, Davie, FL

Working on a new piece for the up and coming Jackalope Show! My theme will be a 'Prehistoric Jackalope based on an extinct specie of antelope that is said to have resembled a rabbit.

 Some past Jackalope sketches:

Mangrove walker sketch.

I imagine them as very large slow moving and gentle, filter feeders.

Girly sketches.

Dragon sketches

The greatest creatures that ever lived (in our hearts). It thrills me to see how Dragon artwork has evolved and grown since the internet. :)

Researching mythological creatures.

 I felt like talking about something that I find to be a crucial step in painting believable fantasy art. It's something that I know a lot of people (including myself) are guilty of skipping over.


It may seem silly to have to research for a fantasy painting.  But keep in mind that even if the subject isn't real, it still has a whole lot of grounding in reality. You'd be amazed at all of the little details and nuances that can be over looked when working strictly from your imagination. Not only realistic lighting and  believable anatomy, but details that make up the character itself. Especially when dealing with subject matter from folklore and mythologies. There is usually a lot of history to characters from stories. These histories are what give characters their personality and make up who they are. And these things that should be hinted at in the art representing them. I'll use my sketch of Melusine as an example of the method of research I prefer to go with:
    - First I read up on everything I can on the subject matter. I check all sources of media, from the internet to books and movies. Be more careful with movies though, as they tend to stray from the source material a bit too far in order to hit a certain rating or appeal to a broader audience.

    - Then, I sketch out my idea. The mermaid picture to the left was my first sketch after reading up on the story of Melsuine. I knew she was a mermaid in disguise who liked her privacy in the bath, but until I had gone back a re-read the story I had forgotten that she gave birth to mutant children. That ended up adding to the composition of the piece, with the portrait of her family.

    - After having the general idea of what I want to paint, including everything I felt was important about this character, I go back to the research and do life drawings and sketches based on the features of the character or creature. I looked up what types of snakes were local to the country the story belonged to as reference for her tails. I even got in the bathtub and took a reference photo in the pose of the sketch in order to understand the proper anatomy and how lighting would play off the character. (The painting was never finished, but the research is all still there if I ever find the time to go back to it.)

    Fantasy art is one of those subjects that gives us artists a lot of creative freedom. But keep in mind that the more realistic you can make your imaginary world, the easier it is for your viewers to find themselves able to believe it. :)

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Eurofurence 2010 Banner Project

    My contribution to the Eurofurence 2010 banner project, the (Rothschild) Giraffe. She's wearing primarily beaded jewelry since the bead trade is an important source of income for Ugandan women, and Uganda is one of the few places this animal still lives in the wild.

    This will be printed at a whopping 91.4 cm x 500 cm and hung in the main atrium of the hotel along with 10 others, to spell out the title of the convention. I'm incredibly thankful to have been included in such a grand undertaking. Even though it nearly killed my computer.

    All eleven banners will be auctioned off for charity at the end of the convention.

    Click to visit the Eurofurence website.

    Title: 'She likes 'em tall'
    Program used: Corel Painter

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Centaurs & Flying Monkeys

    Messing with some centaur designs.

    I like the idea of them having multi-toe hooves. It makes sense to me that they'd have at least four toes on their feet if they have five fingers on their hands. After all, a centaur isn't just a human glued to a decapitated horse at the waistline. It's a whole species.

    *steps down from her soap box*

     X-posted from Deviantart:

    The Spot-nosed F-monkey is one of the lesser known species of Flying Monkey. Though, due to their naturally calm demeanor, they are very hand friendly and easy to train. Their popularity in the pet trade should start to pick up with the help of good breeding programs making them more widely available across the country.

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    Velociraptor mongoliensis pair

    Even though it's been finished and on-line for a while now I figured I'd post the final version of my velociraptor painting so I could explain it a bit further. :)

    Description X-posted from Deviantart:
    Male (background) and female (foreground) variations of Velociraptor mongoliensis. *waves her "artistic license" around*

    I have been wanting to paint this since I read an article on feathers having possibly evolved for display, before flight. I liked the idea of a more fluffy crest plumage, rather than scraggly red sticks poking out of the head like they are commonly shown as having on TV. The male raptor would be able to hide his bright feathers and only flash them as a territorial display towards other males or a pick-up line with the ladies. I'm embarrassingly behind on my dinosaur learnin', so please don't beat me if I missed something. I wouldn't mind pointers however, so I don't make the same mistakes twice.

    Photo reference of raptor skeletons were heavily utilized. I don't think I'll use this painting technique again. It took WAY too long and didn't leave me much control over the lighting. I kept zooming out and face-palming far too often.