Thursday, September 30, 2010
It was great seeing all your different band characters last class, I'm really looking forward to your Rolling Stone illustrations with them.
Remember: Vertical, at least 8.5x11, no text, color.
Blog assignment: 5 5-minute observational sketches of people (not just faces-- sit outside and watch people, or sketch your roommate, etc.) DRAW A RECTANGLE for each sketch and compose your sketch in the rectangle. That way you're not only observationally drawing, you're exercising your compositional muscles as well.
For the 3 people presenting next week: pick 2-3 illustrators you like (try to find at least one from another era/decade) and do a quick & informal presentation on them-- show us some of their work (from a portfolio site or images dragged into Preview) and tell us a little bit about them. Try to find professional illustrators, not just someone with a deviantart account. Besides drawn.ca, here are some sites with great illustrator resources (for past and present):
Golden Age of Comic Book Stories (has a lot of great older book illustrators, not just comic artists)
Illustrateurs (french site, generally fantasy-ish or comic illustrations from past and present)
Meathaus (more of an "alternative art" feel)
Illustration Mundo (a bunch of present-day illustrators)
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Here's some of the artists we looked at in class:
Rad Sechrist also has a fantastic "how-to" blog for character development/storyboarding.
Plus here's a great little comic on some quick character drawing lessons done by MY character development teacher, Brian Ralph!
ALSO-- here are some websites I use for finding reference photos:
gettyimages.com (general photos, can input specific search queries)
shorpy.com (historic photos)
apartmenttherapy.com (modern design in furniture & interior decorating)
Also also, Drawn.ca is an all-around fantastic illustration resource. It's the premier illustration blog, and they showcase all sorts of stuff--artists, inspiration, events, books, videos, everything about the illustration world. I recommend checking up with it often, and you can search or browse its archives for stuff like "ideas" "typography" "how-to" "process" and come up with all sorts of great things.
WALTER WICK INFO!
The Walters Art Museum and MICA's Illustration Department present:
Walter Wick at the Walters. A Special Talk for MICA students by Walter Wick.
On the occasion of his exhibit Games, Gizmos and Toys in the Attic (http://thewalters.org/exhibitions/walter-wick/) Walter Wick has agreed to give a lecture and answer questions from MICA students.
The event will take place on Friday September 17 at 3:30 PM at the Auditorium of the Walters Art Museum.
Attendance to the lecture and exhibit is mandatory for all Illustration majors. This is a free event at walking distance from campus.
Just walk over and meet at the Walters, here's the directions from MICA:
MICA - Maryland Institute College of Art 1300 West Mount Royal Avenue Baltimore, MD
1. Head southeast on W Mt Royal Ave toward W Lanvale St 0.4 mi
2. Turn right at N Charles St 0.5 mi
3. Turn right at N Charles St/Washington Pl 0.2 mi
Walters Art Museum 600 N Charles St Baltimore, Maryland
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Gaston Caba's work, while interesting, immediately made me feel disoriented. His colors are startlingly garish, and his compositions lack a sense of finesse. His piece, "Gaston Custom" seems to be a jumble of his characters thrown wildly into a speckled background created with simple gradients. His drawn work has that familiar feeling of being 'photoshopped.' Perhaps it is the lack of depth in his images that offsets me, for all of the images (although some do overlap) appear to be in relatively the same plane, which detracts from his work (in my opinion). Some of his other piees such as "Brown Office" and "At the Window" combine his cartoon characters with reality for an interesting effect. However, the overall style from his cartoons just comes off as creepy in the new setting. He says that he specializes in bringing strong concepts, but the only concepts I could see from the given work were pretty straightforward. There is so much going on in some of his pieces, that it is near impossible to ascertain what one of these brilliant concepts may have been! It would be interesting to see some of his other work, especially in more traditional mediums.
like: Jason Mecier
When I first saw Mecier's work, I saw beautiful portraits of famous people. It was not until I looked more closely that I noticed the unique manner in which these portraits were constructed. By utilizing hundreds of everyday (and not so everyday) objects, this artist is able to make amazingly accurate portraits, in full color! Not only are the objects very well chosen, they also tend to reflect the personality or accomplishments of the people being portrayed. (Condolezza Rice constructed from different colored rice) There is an excellent sense of color here, especially when I realize that all of these color are being made by different objects. My favorite piece by this artist has to be the portrait of Pink. The jumble of nail polish, buttons, cell phones, pens, tape, feathers, tooth brushes and combs comes together to illustrate this famous popstar. The expression is captured wonderfully and the subtlety of the pink in her hair is beautifully crafted. What makes me love this artist so much, is that he was not afraid to stray from traditional methods of illustration. By straying, he was able to really stand out and make collages that are truly extraordinary.
Looking through my Illustration Now! textbook I saw a few artist that I really enjoyed, but one that really stood out to me was Nishant Choksi. When I first saw his illustrations the colors really stood out to me and drew me too them. They have the feel of illustrations from the 1950’s, which really appeals to me, but he also manages to keep them modern enough that they don’t appear to be dated. They have a slightly aged and ‘vintage’ feel to them that I love. He uses contrasting, limited color extremely effectively to put emphasis only on the main parts of the piece, such as dark blue and orange and teal. I also really like his use of flat, stylized colors, because that is something I like to attempt in my own work. His linework is very minimal which really enhances the pieces’ simplicity, and draws your eye where he wants. I also enjoy his use of action lines in his pieces because I feel like they add a lot of movement to pieces that could otherwise be very static. Lastly, I just love the subjects of many of his pieces because they all seem to be somewhat science related, and I especially love his ‘Moon Explorer’ piece.
It was harder for me to choose an artist that I really didn’t like, because most of the Illustrators that I didn’t enjoy had at least one piece that I liked. However, I ended up choosing Jasper Goodall for my least favorite artist, mostly because of one set of illustrations of his that I found pretty ugly. His first piece is the work that is on the front cover, but there’s just something about it that doesn’t quite catch my interest. I think it looks like vector art (which it may or may not be, but I’m not sure), which I am not in general a fan of. I also think the colors are a little too blatant and don’t really quite work with each other. I also don’t really like the bathing suits that he designed for the same reason. Lastly, the final pieces shown of his work were probably my least favorite from the entire book. To me they looked as if they were really trying too hard, and aesthetically I found them to be extremely unattractive. The use of hot pink and lime green seems very amateurish to me, and overall they seemed very cliché. I think my dislike of his work really stems from differing aesthetic values.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Many styles in the “Illustration Now!” book appeal to me but one that stood out the most for me was Kimi Kimoki. Most of her works have a photographic realism about them yet it’s still quite easy to tell that they are in fact just illustrations. The approach that she takes to her work intrigues me. Take for example, the second example of her work the book shows called “Untitled” that appeared in Coming Up Magazine. While the woman’s figure is outlined, the mark is subtle and I found I didn’t really notice it until put the image right up to my eyes. I liked how it gave definition without being too overwhelming and bold. Maybe the most obvious reason I was drawn to her works, was the blending. She blends it to look realistic yet her lines still have a sort of sharpness to them that separates them from the other values. I have to say what appealed to me the most was her use of color. Her works seem to stick with a limited amount of colors, and those colors are only applied to the areas in which she wants the viewers to focus. The rest is just outlined, sometimes just lightly shaded in grayscale. This further emphasizes what she wants the viewer to focus on and that her illustrations are make look real but are in fact not.
While there are many illustrators’ works I don’t necessarily hate but don’t enjoy either, the prize goes to Zeloot. I admit he has interesting ideas but I find myself very confused by those ideas. The majority of his works leave me guessing what exactly the message his piece is trying to get across. While he uses a limited pallet similar to Kimoki, I find that the colors are just too much. Because he uses only one shade of a color, it leaves me feeling that there’s just too much of one color. Also I feel like the colors he puts together just don’t work for his pieces due to the almost neon quality of each color. It hurts my eyes to focus on one color for too long thus causing my eyes to constantly move to a different place. Also, he uses the same color so methodically in a piece sometimes, (such as the second example in the book) that it jumbles the composition up and makes me confused even more. His use of patterns, while I feel it does help to break up the use of one color, once again just furthers to make his compositions chaotic and makes my eyes strain to actually see what it is he’s illustrating. Overall I wouldn’t say I hate his work, for I haven’t seen much of it, but at first glance he is definitely not one of my favorites.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
What I like in an image is a story so I'm attracted to some of Gez Fry's work, as shown in Illustration Now (2). Particularly the style he uses to illustrate depth and movement, without forcing too much drama into subject poses or abusing color intensity, is something I admire. The compositions are full without being cluttered and the eye is directed around the picture subtly through use of clouds, patterns and mid-ground scenery. The lack of a hard edge to the lines of the image help integrate the subjects and make the overall illustration easier on the eyes.
On the other hand, I am sorry to say that Chow Lee's "Longman = Romance" eludes me completely. What the purpose is behind his "Longman" distortions is something I do not grasp; what is "Longman" exactly, what is supposed to be conveyed through the illustration and how do the two work together? The closest I can get to an understanding is the idea of elegance from tapering and distorting the subject's figure - similar to fashion figures - to create a sense of "romance" in the image. Unfortunately, "Longman" doesn't hit the same notes as fashion figures do because, rather than actually create tapered limbs or figures, Chow Lee skews the perspective in such a way as to make the subjects seem 2D even within their own respective worlds. Not only that, but the distortion is not consistent throughout the illustration; bodies elongate along one line of sight while the furniture and background are enlarged separately or keep to regular perspective.
Keep at it with those like/dislike writings! Remember, you need to write 200 words on someone you like, and another 200 words on someone you dislike. At least 400 words total!
Here's a little extra fun & inspiration to get you through the weekend--
Lou Romano, besides being an awesome illustrator, is an animation production design artist for Pixar and has worked on many of their films (Up, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc.) When working on Up, he created the color script for the entire movie. It's sort of a cross between a storyboard and really finalized color sketches, but its amazing to see the whole story condensed and look and how the color choices affect the moods and emotions of the story. Take a look here! And then check out the rest of his work on his blog http://louromano.blogspot.com!
I chose Mireault as the artist that appealed to me most. His (I'm assuming it's a male) color pallet is what made me stop and look. I love his use of muted colors. I'm a firm believer that you don't have to use bright colors to get someone's attention, and Mireault caught my attention with his muted colors. I also really appreciate his stylized characters. I don't necessarily need an illustration to look realistic to catch my attention, but I do like if the characters seem to have proportions that are fairly realistic, and that's what Mireault does. I also think the fashion aspect to his illustrations is interesting. I actually never thought about fashion illustration before, so I discovered something new when I looked at his art. I also like the little blurb they included about him; I appreciated what he said towards the end, "My many everyday influences are all recognizable in each piece I do, that's what makes the way I draw so unique to my eyes." I know that each artist has to go through some sort of struggle to find their "style", and I feel like that quote could help a young artist take a step back and let their life influence their art even more so then it already did.
The second artist I chose, the artist whose work I disliked, was Jeremyville. I was really turned off by the cluttered appearance of his work and the amount of characters he included in his work. I really don't like his "Don't Panic! Let Love In..." piece. It was the one that was the most cluttered, had the most text in it, and had the most characters. I don't like his style of drawing, either. It is stylized, I give him that, but they all seem poorly drawn. I'm really not a fan of including massive amounts of text in illustrations unless it is necessary, and I feel like the amount of text in "Don't Panic! Let Love In..." is overwhelming. Jeremyville's illustrations he did for the snowboards are a little bit more appealing than his other work, but I feel like his style was meant more for objects. The claustrophobic graffiti-like text and characters feel like something you would see on a skateboard, snowboard, or wall. I saw that some of his clients were Italy's MTV and Converse, so my theory about his artwork being good for sportswear and graffiti seems correct. I'm just a little disappointed that he got a larger spread in this text book than Mireault.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
One artist that I found to be my favorite in Illustration Now! Was the Japanese Illustrator, Gez Fry. The first thing I noticed was his use of light and perspective (Which I like to fiddle around with in my own work) which really makes his illustrations something interesting to look at. The most prominent example of his great use of perspective is on page 102. On this page it is an illustration of a woman, but the perspective is so abstract that it took me a second to realize what the subject of the picture was. Gez Fry also uses the light source, and sometimes contrasting colors, as a tool to really portray a strong mood for the viewer. Upon looking further for his work, I stumbled upon some of his concept art and character designs. His designs were very fresh and unique- really cool stuff. Also, the illustration I found outside of the book had a roughness to them that I enjoyed a lot. Much more interesting than the smooth blending of colors seen in the Illustration Now! Book. His summary in the book stated that he was a digital painter, which intrigued me because his stuff had a sense of traditional media. Whether his art is a hybrid of both or just mocking the traditional look, I think his style of art and sense of perspective/lighting is really great. Definitely an artist I wish to look more into.
The artist that I disliked the most was French Illustrator, Laurent Cilluffo. His illustrations seemed incredibly boring and way to simplistic for my taste. His work also seemed to have too much going on at once to the point where I couldn’t focus on anything. It seemed to be just a bunch of visual noise with no clear focal point. Illustrations, at least from my knowledge, are supposed to represent some sort of idea or story. But I get neither when I look at Laurent Cilluffo’s stuff. Cilluffo didn’t appear to have a website so I had to research him on my own, and although I didn’t get many results, all of his art looked the same to me: A bunch of stick figures running around chaotically with some sort of lined architecture incorporated. Nothing to connect to, no emotions or moods portrayed. Just apathy. When I look at art I want to be able to connect with the characters, be projected into the world, and get a sense of the story behind it so my mind and fill in the blanks, and sadly I get none of these things with Cilluffo’s art.
One artist that I really liked while looking through the Illustration Now book was MARC BOUTAVANT. He's from France and his work is bright and colorful and very eye catching. His pieces are very busy which works for him very well. He incorporates wonderful little animal illustrations that I'm very drawn to. I went on his website and it made me like him even more. I enjoy drawing animals and he gave me a lot of inspiration to explore new ways to draw. He also uses great color combinations. I love how many different things are going on in his pieces. All of the animals are doing such random things throughout his artwork, like the bunny and the squirrel having tea and the monkey playing the flute and the badger trying to catch the skittles that the snail is dropping as he’s falling. They make me happy just looking at them. They are pleasant because both adults and children can enjoy his work.
One artist I really didn't like was MARK FREDRICKSON. I hate how dramatic they are. I don't like that they're mainly of celebrities. I just think they are really annoying and they are not something that I'm drawn to. And the fact that he did Hilary Clinton as Harry Potter bothers me, cause I like Harry Potter, and I hate her. And I'm not really a fan of caricatures because I think that they are strange. And when I went to his portfolio online, it made me like him even less. This one to the left really gets on my nerves. I hate creepy ugly faces like that. It’s not that he is not talented, because I most certainly could not paint like that. I just do not think that his work is interesting or tasteful. Just thinking about him right now gets on my nerves a little bit.
Friday, September 10, 2010
One illustrator from the book that I rather disliked is Simon Spilsbury. What I dislike about him is purely subjective however. Though I do appreciate the grotesque and disturbing imagery, I found his imagery was just too much for me. Again I understand that he has a specific purpose for his work (like social criticism) I just cannot see anything that I like. Anything to do with the physical shapes of people or animals has always frightened and, to some degree, disgusted me. Simon Spilsbury’s pieces in the book are disturbingly just what I hate. The first two images, called “Carbon Fatprint #1” and “Carbon Fatprint #2” I found just revolting. To be honest, I have no interest in looking at piles of billowing fat, even if it is meant to represent pollution coming from cars. There’s the Mickey Mouse one, getting plastic surgery. Again, the creepy destruction of a body. I think the line work is what really gets across this sort of “gross” feeling. It’s not that he doesn’t draw well, it’s that the rough lines just further highlight the squishy, bubbly edges of the human fat. (On that subject, let’s not talk about “Draw Porn”) On top of it all, I find his coloring uninteresting, at least to me. Sorry Mr. Spilsbury, but your work is just not for me.
An illustrator that I really liked is Gez Fry. As someone who has been influenced by Asian illustration (modern and historical), I find his work especially interesting. I’m immediately impressed by his technical skills (someday I want to paint a cityscape as beautiful) but I also like the way he mixes some of the realistic image with a fantastical one (“Ginza”) The variety of mediums is also impressive. “Ginza” looks like watercolor while “Poplin” looks very much like a photoshop image. And then there is “Ukiyo-e” which looks exactly like an ukiyo-e wood block print. I also appreciate his ability to inject his pieces with a subtle meaning, without hitting viewers upside the head with explicit images of pop culture icons or celebrities. You have to think about what they mean and what he was trying to convey. You can come back multiple times, re-evaluate the painting and still see something new or different. The woman of “Ukiyo-e” has a bizarre tattoo of a green magician while in a reflection (or is it above the water?) a man stands on a modern street. On first look I just saw the woman and the tattoo. A second time, I saw the fish. Third, I saw the man in the corner. Gez Fry is an artist I would like to look into some more.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Final image 8.5x11 or larger, any proportion. When you're doing your final, it's generally better to use a larger piece of paper than you need and then tape off the area of your image. You'll get a nice clean border & you'll be able to "see" the boundaries of your image. (same as drawing a box around your sketches)
Find one illustrator you love (or really like) in your Illustration Now book, and write 200 words on why you love them (color, subject, composition, etc.). Find another illustrator that you hate (or really dislike) in your Illustration Now book and do the same thing, 200 words. 400 words or more, total.
Color artists we looked at in class:
Josh Cochran (also on page 64 of your book)
Also, it seemed like a lot of you were having trouble with composition. It's really the hardest part about illustration for illustrators of any level, but it makes a huge difference in the end! Here's a resource that may be helpful:
Fundamentals of Composition Part 1 (multiple scans like the image above from a 1950's artists book--proves there is no age limit on good design!) Don't forget to click the link towards the bottom for part two!
Have a great week!