Friday, November 26, 2010

The BONE Eater

Okay so I was thinking of my previous idea with tge animals in the wild and human heads and stuff. I felt like that type of idea had been done in some way or form. So
I went back to the things I like and I came up with The BONE Eater idea.
I would work with the idea of what a bone eater looks like, how they get their bones to eat and how they prepare their food. I feel like I could go any direction with this idea, and I'm kinda excited.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Last four Walters Sketches, Final Idea

The idea i came up with for the final is pretty different than the one we discussed at the museum, but I am really excited to start working on it and I have a lot of really interesting ideas for it.

For my final I will create three illustrations that put personified versions of the fundamental forces in nature (gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces) within their unique environments. Design elements on the characters and environments will be inspired by asian art and design found at the Walters Art Museum.

Would it be alright if I created a page of three designs for each character as one of the sketches for each illustration? This way, i would be able to work out the characters themselves before trying to make the sketches for the final image.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Walter Wicks

Just to let you guys know, I found out the Walter Wicks exhibit at the museum is $6 for student admission, I think. Bring money if you're interested. See you tomorrow at 10!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Walters & Final assignment

First off, I wanted to say you guys rocked it in class today. Good stuff all around. Keep it up!

Walters trip:
This Saturday, 10 am. Meet in Cafe Doris or outside on benches.
Bring sketchbook/supplies, camera. Paint & food & drink are not permitted at the Walters.You will also have to leave bags larger than 13’ x 17’ at the coatcheck. If you get hungry, there is a cafĂ© in the museum.

After thanksgiving break we only have 3 more classes left, so this is your final project. Sketches are due after thanksgiving break, and your finals will be due on the final day of class, along with the rest of the work you’ve been doing this semester. I

While you’re at the Walters, I’d like you to do 10 sketches in your sketchbook, approx. 10 minutes each (you can do copies of paintings, sculpture, or the spaces themselven). Also, you need to find something that inspires you which you will base your final project on. It can be a specific piece of art, or theme, or colors, or composition, or style of art, or story, it can be basically anything. I want you to use that inspiration to create 3 final pieces that go together in some way. It can be 3 posters, 3 editorial illustrations, 3 children’s book illustrations, 3 t-shirt designs, 3 paintings, whatever you like. So here’s some examples—let’s say you are inspired by one of the stories shown on the greek pottery or the Indian figurines. You could take that story and illustrate 3 scenes or make a sci-fi interpretation of it for your 3 illustrations. Or let’s say you see the painting of Saint Jerome in his study and really enjoy the theme. You could do more of a fine-arts type project and do 3 portraits of your friends or favorite literary characters in their own rooms. Or lets say you’re inspired by some of the art deco brooches, you could make 3 art-deco themed greeting cards or theater posters. You can also focus on something more technically-inspired, like a color palette or composition. The sky’s the limit here!

Before you leave the Walters this saturday, each of you need to come to me and tell me your inspiration and what you’d like to do for your final project, and show me your 10 sketches.
Our next class after the Walters, November 30, is when your sketches will be due for this final assignment. You should have at least 3 sketches for each proposed final piece, which means 9 total. No blog assignments.

I’m putting a list below of some types of projects you can start thinking about.

*I will say right now that I wouldn’t recommend doing 3 comic pages unless you’re really into it, because it’ll be a lot more work. I’m not banning it though.

*You can do a triptych (3 pieces that form one image), but each section of the triptych needs to be able to stand on its own, too.

*If any of the particular projects we had interested you, you can always delve deeper and do a continuation.

*3 scenes from a myth or story, re-interpreted in your own style or in a different setting/context

*Redesigns of bookcovers for 3 classic or favorite books (with your own twist)

*A more fine-arts project, like individualized portraits of your friends (trying to incorporate more than just their looks into their portraits, like the nontraditional self portrait project)

*1 page of 5 finalized character designs and 2 images of the finalized character in its environment (or 2 pages of 5 character designs and 1 image of finalized characters in their environment).

*Album or CD covers or posters for a band you're interested in

*Picking 3 news stories and doing editorial illustrations for them

*A product or graphic-design based project—- greeting cards, T-shirt designs.

*3 Tarot or horoscope drawings with a theme

*3 scenes from a myth, re-interpreted.

*You can do a project with a simpler theme, too. This is wide open for what YOU want to focus on.

Don't make things too complicated for you to finish… You have 3 weeks to get these pieces done (and finish up any redo’s of the rest of your work from this semester), and you’ll have finals coming up in the rest of your classes. Manage your time well.

See you this Saturday!

copyright Juao Ruas
Arum-- you requested images from the self portrait stuff I showed you guys last week.
Here's how to look at them all online:
Go here: IdeaFixa online magazine
Scroll down and click the "Self Portrait" issue. It's white.
A new window will open up, click "Self Portrait" again. It has an "8" below it.
Another new window will open up, click "skip" and start turning the pages!

self portrait


Traditional Self-Portrait

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

15-minute Self


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Traditional Self Portrait

Non-traditional self portrait!

ATTENTION: I'm looking for 3 more people willing to do artist presentations next week. Please comment on this post to let me know that you're interested!

This is an exercise in creative thinking...what defines you as a person? It can be one small aspect of your personality or your life, or an event or collection of things. It's not just your face! In fact, your non-traditional self portrait doesn't have to show a physical representation of you at all, but it can. The medium/size/proportion is totally up to you, as long as the final image is at least as large as 8.5x11.
Bring in any preliminary sketches/reference you did, in addition to your final piece next week.

For the blog, do a 15 min or longer traditional self-portrait. It can be B&W or color, any medium. Use a strong lighting source, I want to see shadows and highlights & not just outlines. Don't take a photo of yourself and then draw from the photo, it's an easy way out and it's a more valuable experience (though harder) to draw from an actual mirror.

Have fun with this assignment, I'm looking forward to what you guys come up with! See you next week!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Workers of the World, Watch Out!

Article for your in-class assignment!

NY Times Op-ed pages with example illustrations!

Get to it!

Mark Fredrickson and Maria Kalman.

Two artists I decided to compare and contrast in “Illustration Now” are Mark Fredrickson and Maria Kalman.  Both of the artists have distinct styles that caught my attention.

Mark Fredrickson’s works are very realistic but figures in his works are mostly caricaturized. He illustrates figures with big heads, narrow shoulders, small hands and tiny body. Upon first looking at Fredrickson’s work, I thought he used acrylic due to the richness of colors and heavy texture. However, soon I realized that he works in digital because of the range of values and the natural color blends. Maria Kalman’s works are also realistic but in different way. Although all the figures in her works are realistic in proportion unlike the figures in Fredrickson’s works, they are stylized. When I first looked at Kalman’s illustration, I figured she also uses acrylic as well but she uses gouache. Both of artists show their profound understanding about colors and their engaging illustrators definitely show it off.

The way Fredrickson characterizes what he draws is unique and from his style, I can tell how much efforts he put into his work because every artwork of his in the “Illustration Now” is unbelievably detailed. In contrast, Kalman simplifies everything by depicting highlights of the objects or including texts in her illustration. Also from Kalman’s style, I could immediately tell the illustrator is a woman. Bright colors, gentle line works and subject she deals within her works reveal that Kalman is a woman illustrator. Her works are feminine. She also states that her paintings are narrative, absurd, humorous and rely on her personal storytelling. On the other hand, Mark Fredrickson seems to satirize what he draws.  Overall, works of Maria Kalman’s are stylized and vivid yet pleasing and Mark Fredrickson’s illustrations are often dark undertone and extremely detailed yet entertaining. 

Compare and Contrast Artists

For my compare and contrast blog assignment I'd like to compare and contrast Izumi Nogawa and Mark Frederickson because of their approaches' similarities and differences that are both equally successful. Because of their specialized style and subject matter they both have a unique place in illustration that they cater to. Izumi Nogawa's style has diverse appeal and is more universal, lending itself to many different jobs, such as editiorial, advertising, and book illustrations. He focuses on female figures with floral illuminations and with the bright, saturated colors, his illustrations feel carefree and joyful. He plays with spacial depth by using line and shape and pattern to either flatten or deepen space. Because the faces of the figures are undescribed and iconicized they are open for the viewer to project themselves on, making them more universal. The dramatic poses and linework in the hair and flowers gives a sense of energy and movement to static figures. Mark Frederickson, an editorial illustrator and political cartoonist focuses on very specific characters in politics and entertainment. He exaggerates features to show his own interpretation of the characters for humor. He creates narratives in his pictures by selectively giving characters objects and actions to tell stories about themselves. His highly refined, realistic style allows him to exaggerate while still maintaining the specificity of the character. His colors fuse grungy flesh tones and greys with choice colors that pop, unlike Nogawa who maintains a consistent saturation. Frederickson also utilizes facial expression and makes the most out of it to communicate emotion while Nogawa does not. I feel that they are both equally successful because they work for their specific roles in illustration

Mark Fredrickson and Silja Gotz

Fredrickson and Gotz have very distinct, yet different styles of artwork. Fredrickson specializes in creating charicatures of famous people, in a hyper-realistic, yet over the top manner. Most of his work has people with extremely large heads, with tiny bodies in comparison. His colors are also realistic, and he seems to specialize in dramatic lighting on the characters. His work also has a somewhat gruesome quality, as the people portrayed are not really portrayed in a very flattering way. He uses a large amount of detail in his work, not through lines, but through his shadowing technique to bring about this hyper-realistic quality. This is not just in his people, though. His backgrounds have the same amount of extreme detail in them that his people do, which helps emphasize the characters. All of his work is done entirely in photoshop, but it has somewhat of a painterly feel to it. In contrast, Gotz’s work focuses on elegant linework and use of flat color. The people in Gotz’s work have more realistic proportions, but the overall effect of them is not realistic, but instead beautifully characterized in simple lines. Her colors are usually limited and have a low saturation. There is also a reliance on the original white of the paper, and not everything is colored in. Gotz also has a lot of detail in her work, but in an entirely different way than Fredrickson. Her detail is in her linework, as she uses many thin lines to give detail to hair and feathers. Although she does also use photoshop, she also uses a combination of cut paper, ink, and pencil to create her works. Gotz’s work, to me, has a very elegant and simple feel to it, which I enjoy much more that Fredrickson’s over the top work, which is more gritty.

Compare and contrast

Chris Gall and Stephanie Augustine both have very distinctive work. Chris Gall makes heavy use of line, creating both shadow and texture with rows of horizontal and vertical lines. This kind of style makes a lot of sense in regards to his dominant materials: “engraving on heavy masonite board”. Stephanie Augustine’s style is completely different. She rarely uses contours: instead, colors indicate where lines could be. Her work is “entirely handmade” out of “paper and fabric” and acrylic paint. As far as content, Chris Gall’s work focuses on rather more figurative images- his illustrations represent what they are literally supposed to be. While they might be fantastical, it is easy to understand what “Out of Control Media” is trying to say. Stephanie Augustine’s pieces are more abstract. Just looking at “A Heated Debate” without the title will not exactly explain what is happening. When you look at the title, the meaning becomes clearer. Her work requires more explicit interpretation.

Looking through their pieces, there really is not too many similar aspects to their work.. Both focus on images of people. Both use stylized representations of the human form (albeit very different from each other) Both have a distinct color palette: Chris Gall uses warm golds and Stephanie Augustine uses pale colors. Both artists have a heavy use of dark colors. Even though they are very different artists, the two do have some similarities

Compare and Contrast Artists-

The two artists I choice to compare and contrast was Lisel Ashlock and Gaston Caba. Upon first glance of these two artists, they appeared to be complete opposites. Lisel’s work is fairly realistic and all of her paintings are mostly composed of earthy, muted colors. Gaston Caba on the other hand has crazy super stylized cartoons that has every color of the rainbow wedged in there some where (not including the countless rainbows already on the image!) Another thing that is clear difference between these two illustrators is the choice of medium. Lisel Ashlock is clearly working with traditional media- acrylic paint and wood panels, while Caston Caba is using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create her work. Another difference I get when looking at both of the artist’s pieces is the mood. I get a really calming, yet eerie mood from Lisel Ashlock’s work because of her subtle colors and in almost all of the illustrations I have seen of Lisels, there is atleast one character staring right at the viewer which personally gives off an unnerving feel, but when I look at Gaston Caba’s work it is charged with a really happy, bubbly atmosphere created by her awesome characters which reminds me how fun it was to be a kid.

Although Gaston Caba’s style is very simple colorful cartoons, in some of his illustrations he places them in photo’s and creates a surreal affect with this real version of his cartoons in reality. This quality of Gaston’s work is similar to Lisel’s work. Although Lisel Ashlock’s work is realistic, there always seems to have some aspect that doesn’t belong creating a semi surrealistic quality to her pieces. Despite appearing to be completely different, even these two illustrators, Lisel Ashlock and Gaston Caba, have some common ground that one can relate their work.


The two artists from the illustration now book that I chose happen to both be from London. They both uniquely utilize negative, white space in their pieces. They also both have an interesting placement of black versus color in each piece. Both of these artists seem to illustrate nostalgic places. Chakrabarti plays with a lot of different wallpapers and mixes photographs with her drawings. Mills’ artwork is mainly pen drawings that looked almost like they are sewn with embroidery thread. These drawings are mixed with colored silhouettes and black line that gives his pieces a very different look which I find very pleasing. When I began to do more research on these two artists and explore their websites, I found that Chakrabarti is greatly influenced by fashion and pretty patterns being ubiquitous is most of her work. Her personality truly shows through her artwork, she seems delicate and witty. The great amount of detail in some pieces and the simplicity of others is lovely. In comparison with Roderick Mills, I feel as though Nina Chakrabarti has most versatility in her style than Mills. His work, while being thought provoking and different, does not have too much change in his style or what he produces for his clients. There are many sides to Chakrabarti’s work and capabilities. Mills’ artwork is more influenced by current events and his clients are more news oriented in comparison to Nina Chakrabarti’s. However they use writing in some of their pieces, Nina’s are more feminine and fashion forward where Mills’ writing is more about labels and the font he creates. They do however, use similar colors in their pieces: the teal, chartreuse green, and the oranges.

Nina Chakrabarti:

Roderick Mills:

Gez Fry vs. Chris Gall

I picked Gez Fry and Chris Gall from the Illustration Now book to compare. What I thought was interesting about these two artists is that they both have a comic book style of illustrating, but from two different cultures. Gez Fry's illustrations are greatly influenced by his native country, Japan, and has that manga style of drawing. Chris Gall, on the other hand, approaches his illustrations in a more Western way.

What makes Japanese comic work different from Western works is that they are more realistically detailed with several small intricate lines; almost like a contour drawing. The shadows used are blocked off in a more painterly and realistic way. There is also emphasis on the accuracy of the human form in Gez Fry's manga style. Western comic figures and shadows feel a bit more abstract. The shadows are expressed with colored lines and color blocking instead of the Japanese painterly gradients. Human forms are also more simplified in Western comics. Instead of accentuating the human form and looking closely at the anatomy Chris Gall just outlines the form very simply to give the viewer the emotion without an overload of information.

Another difference between the two styles is the content. Chris Gall, and Western comics, tend to convey political messages in very blunt ways. For example, his illustration “Out of Control Media” depicts a news reporter as a blue demon bursting out of a television. I don't doubt that Japanese art have political messages, but the majority of their comics are based more around whimsy and fantasy. Gez Fry uses his color and his settings to illustrate the mood of his work. Japanese illustrators like to juxtapose the past and the present together to make fantastical art. For example in Gez Fry's “Sumera” he includes feudal buildings and characters with a modern boy holding up a shoe for an ad.  


The two artist I chose to compare and contrast are Christian Montenegro and Izumi Nogawa. To be honest, when I first saw these two I was surprised that I liked their work. Normally I like works that are a bit more realistic looking but I find that as time progresses, I’m starting to like the simpler styles more and more.

Both artist use shapes as forms in their work; the circle being a common element in their work. They both use the circle in a way that suggests a realistic form such as a flower or an eye, but they are able to maintain the fact that the image is not in fact a flower or an eye but a circle. Pattern and repetition are another similarity in their work. Both normally repeat a shape or a design multiple times, which I find to do successfully and not make the work seem chaotic. Izumi seems to be a master at this, the object she normally repeats is not the main focal point of the piece yet the pattern does not take away from the focal point, instead enhancing it. Christian as well s able to use a pattern in a way that enhances the overall effect of the piece whether than take away from it. I respect them for this for over the semester I have struggled with doing this.

However, both artists do have their differences. Mainly in the color palette they use. Izumi normally uses a limited color palette, normally uses various tints and shades of one color; every now and then adding the complement color for movement. Izumi’s work tends to be a bit more flowing and along the lines of fantasy than Christian’s work. Christian’s work is more ordered and is very often times symmetrical. Christian also has a very good grasp as to which colors go well together and which do not. I’m hoping from looking a bit more at his work, it will help me be able to choose which colors go well together.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Allright, so one of the illustrators Im gonna compare/contrast is Lisel Ashlock. Her artwork to me, is really well done. She has a great hand and her work makes me think. It says in the book she uses acrylic and wood panel, it seems like she's pretty much mastered acrylic. And i guessing she uses the wood block for the interesting texture it gives. It sort of gives the painting sense of life. Also, her pieces seem to kind of tell a story or scene an event happening. I went on her website and a good majority of her work is almost a story in itself.
The other illustrator i chose was Silja Gotz. Her work is really interesting to me. She uses cut paper, ink, pencil, and photoshop, and she uses them in a way ive never seen. All her work seems really meticulous but loose at the same time. Like she really understands and is able to see what she wants before she does it, rather than make it up as she goes. But it also seems like she does that a little bit too. A lot of her stuff, to me, seems to work with product design maybe. Like she majored in graphic design. All her work I can see with a graphic sort of eye. Like it would look good on a band poster or the little booklet inside the cd case. She represents herself well.
To compare them first, I noticed that they both deal with nature at some point or another, nature and animals. More so in the book than on their website. Also, there always seems to be a human presence in their works. Like its not just a landscape or background, theres always a subject or multiple subjects. And they both seem to take allot of time to make their work look great and pretty, nothing sloppy. On a note of contrast, Silja doesn't seem to like acrylic or any type of paint medium excluding ink. whereas Lisel's work is ALL acrylic. Same goes with Lisel, she doesn't seem to want to venture onto the computer and work in photoshop or illustrator. But thats all right cause they're both really good at what they do with what they do it with. Another contrast is Silja used a limited color pallet while Lisel is all over the place with her colors. The nice punch of color is always refreshing but the simple pallet gives people a sense of industry, or at least me.

Gaston Caba and Jeremyville

Jeremyville’s artwork greatly resembles that of Gaston Caba, however a few subtle details make all the difference. Where Jeremyville outlines most if not all characters in bold black, Caba’s illustrations have equal amounts of outlined and non-outlined subjects, effectively creating more interest in the picture through variety as well as more smoothly integrating the characters with their surroundings. Jeremyville’s artwork relies heavily on line work for definition giving his work the feel of graphic design which is helped along by his heavy use of text. Jeremyville also uses crude shadows beneath figures, varying from solid black to gray tones and without any obvious reasoning, to describe their position in space. Caba, on the other hand, incorporates more overlapping subjects than Jeremyville, perhaps to counter the lack of shadows and shading on the basic illustrations; Caba uses shading in the process of photo manipulation in order to impose a character in a photographed space. In contrast, Jeremyville paints his work directly onto surfaces whether in public or on mass produced icons which only further distinguishes his work from Caba’s with its graffiti-like characteristics. While Jeremyville uses flat tones for the background, Caba’s gradients help define the space his characters occupy.
Both Jeremyville and Caba’s styles are, for the most part, shape-based. The major difference lies in Jeremyville’s use of text where Caba has none. Second to that is Caba’s photo manipulation instead of Jeremyville’s graffiti. Aside from these details, however, their art is very similar. Both favor cute, wide-eyed cartoon characters and bright pastel colors. Caba and Jeremyville also share the quirk of slipping mature themes into seemingly innocent content; Caba’s rabbits sometimes feature injuries and scars while Jeremyville less subtly illustrates drink, drugs and cartoon violence. As quoted in Illustration Now! Volume 2, Caba works to illustrate a colorful world for children and adults alike while Jeremyville aims to give life to his stream of consciousness.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

You know the drill!

Remember, 300 words or more comparing/contrasting 2 artists from your Illustration Now book.

Sam Bosma, our guest artist from last week, will be coming in again this week to critique your finals!
A portion of the 60-some thumbnails for the Bilbo/Gollum hobbit image.
Here's his portfolio website:
And his blog (he has tags on the right with shortcuts to all his process posts, sketchbook posts, etc.):
Gotta catch 'em all!