Monday, November 29, 2010

Sketch: Ransom Springs

The next story/sketch challenge with Makenzi Crouch. A whole month late, which is entirely my fault. Not only did I get pretty swamped with work, I also had to sort out a grand total of five computers in the last few weeks, only one of which was actually mine. I am not techy, so computer problems take me quite a while, and eat into my sketching time quite considerably. 

But, despite two of those computers being this weekend, I managed to get this finished off, finally:


“I am wondering,” she said, “Mr. Raymond Geelbert, ees he here?”

            “I ain’t seen Gil in weeks,” the man replied. “Who’s askin’?”

            Marta folded her hands over the handle of her valise. “I am Marta Berge. Mr. Geelbert say he will be here when I come. ”

            “Fred Nelson,” he said, sticking out his hand. Marta looked at it for a moment, and then carefully put her hand in his to be shaken. “Why you here t’see Gil?”

            She tilted her head at him. “Geel is Mr. Geelbert?”

            Fred folded his newspaper and leant forward on the counter. “Oh, sure,” he said. “Everyone calls him that. What’s your business with him?”

            “I not think Mr.—Geel—want me to discuss matter,” she said.

            The sound of hooves and the clatter of wagon wheels outside cut short any reply Fred might have thought of making. He banged his hand down on the counter, making Marta jump, and said instead,
            “Betcha that’ll be Gil, then. Can tell from the squeak on that ol’ wagon of his. Oughter get the damn thing fixed.”

            “I am hoping it ees. I am pleased to meet you,” Marta added, with a polite smile to Fred, before turning and walking stiffly back out onto the platform.


What's the story? You'll just have to go over here to find out! ^.^

Adobe Photoshop CS4, with a texture from 
Inspired by 1950s magazine illustrations.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Portraiture: The Misfits

I just finished a triptych of Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift in the film The Misfits, for a client who also commissioned Gloria Grahame and Robert Redford. I don't usually take commissions of film stars, but in this case I know the commissioner (and so couldn't really get out of it =P).

The film is not a favourite of mine, and the promotional pictures were all rather grainy, which made this quite a tricky job to do. Marilyn was especially tricky, as there was none of the classic Monroe look to fall back on; her look in this film was very different to what we are accustomed to seeing. 

The complete triptych, put together in Photoshop:

To view larger go here.

A work-in-progress animation of Marilyn Monroe:


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Illustration: Wren Thankyou Cards

You may remember the Wren wedding invitations I did some months ago. These are the thank you cards that went with them, which it just occurred to me I had not yet blogged. 

I used the original painting of wrens from the invitation, and dressed them up in the clothes and bouquet from the wedding itself. Wrens in dinner jackets are just too marvelous to pass up. ^.^ I'm not quite sure how the bride is actually holding on to the bouquet, but we'll call that artistic license, shall we? =P It's certainly held in her left wing. 

I can't remember exactly, but I think I made about 70. We got them printed at a Kodak photo booth, and stuck them on to folded card with double-sided tape.

Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sneak Peek: Little Mermaid

I've been pretty busy on portraiture lately, but today was Saturday and I wanted a break from obsessive detail work, so I did some work on a portfolio piece. I started this ages ago, and just picked it back up the other day. I need to update my portfolio.
And since I haven't really done any sketching lately, I thought I'd post it:

So here we have a tiny bit of a still very unfinished little mermaid meeting the sea witch. It will be atmospheric. The witch is quite scary, but I shall not spoil her for you. =P

Adobe Photoshop.

And tagging along we have a little sketch I did last night:

I saw the Sky adaption of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal recently, and quite enjoyed it – certainly it's my favourite of the adaptions so far, – but of course characters always look different in one's imagination. So here we have my interpretation of Adora Belle Dearheart, based loosely on Lauren Bacall from the cover of my copy of Dark Passage

The quote reads: 
"You know how to pray, don't you? You just put your hands together – and hope."

And anyone who likes their film noir will probably see why I always think of Lauren Bacall for Adora Belle. Remember the famous quote from To Have and Have Not?
"You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? You just put your lips together and ... blow." 

Pencil sketch in Moleskine Sketchbook

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Cards

Yes, I'm organised.
I've been making and writing in my family's Christmas cards since I left high school, and this is the batch for 2010.

The original test card I did to check out the design:

It's a bit hard to see, but two of the baubles have been raised with double-sided foam tape. 
I got the images printed at a Kodak kiosk, which played a bit of havoc with my colours and sizing (some of the design was cut off, and I had a much smaller white borders around the image). 

I created the image in Photoshop, using baubles that I had previously created in Illustrator.

I kept tabs on my progress as I went. 

In the end, this is what they looked like:

All in all, I made 90, over two days. And yesterday I wrote in 68 of them. I am now exhausted! =P

Taking into account those that I know are still to be written in, I have 15 spare for last-minute emergencies. Any left over I shall sell next year. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Progress: Gaya

I took a day off today, and spent it starting a coloured pencil portrait of Gaya, my lovely cousin-by-marriage. She was kind enough to let me have a full-resolution copy of this beautiful photo for portrait-purposes, so I thought I should post progress in case she wanted to see. 

This picture serves several purposes: I need to practice my coloured pencil portraiture, as I haven't done any in years. I need to add some coloured pencil work to my portraiture portfolio. I need to create a wedding portrait portfolio. And I just liked the picture. ^.^

I've done the majority of the skin – I wanted to get as much skin done as possible, because once you put all your pencils away you can never remember what colours you were using. =P I still need to refine it lots, of course, but most of it's down, at least.

I'm using Prismacolour pencils on generic Bristol Board – not a combination I've tried before. 
About 5-6 hours so far.

I'll upload more progress when I make some – which will be the next time I take some time off and want to spend it doing portraiture. =P 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sketch: Building

I really need to practice buildings and perspective. To this end, I've got myself a book on perspective (although I haven't yet had time to do more than flick through it) and I'm making myself draw buildings.

This is the first of the results – from a photo I took on holiday in Georgetown, Penang. I chose it because it had a nice easy front-on perspective to start with.

I didn't draw the whole building – I decided instead on an artistically semi-finished sketch, otherwise known as 'protecting my sanity'. =P

Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, I will have no troubles with perspective, and I'll be able to come up with interesting buildings out of my head. And hopefully I will also have less trouble with furniture in perspective too! ^.^


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