Friday, February 27, 2009

Roller Derby poster in process: Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of what will now be a 3 part process of painting and completing a poster design for the Tallahassee Roller Girls. There are possible changes to this seasons bout schedule so the content for the poster is in the air right now. Part 2 will follow through with the completion of the painting and Part 3 will be addressing the text and content.

Where we left off...

Picking up where we left off in Part 1 I was explaining how I try to work the entire canvas in passes trying ( and usually failing ) to give equal time and attention to the painting as a whole rather then over working ( like I did the face ) one piece. With this in mind, I will still begin to add larger details like the line work on the stockings. For an element like this, I will place it on a separate layer to allow easy editing or removal if it just isn't working. An element like the stockings could easily make or break the entire piece if they look weird or out of place. To make sure it looked correct I found several pieces of reference to see how the line work of stocking will wrap around an actual leg. I decided the best way to accomplish the look I was going for was to lay down paths using the pen tool and then to stroke the the paths using a custom brush. I was very happy with the end result.

Stockings added

By now everything has had some sort of attention paid to it, though as you can clearly see, some areas more then others. At this point I am really fighting the urge to start super detailing. I realize this is a good sign that I like were I am going with this piece as a whole. I stay focused and continue to work the entire canvas starting in the middle and working out from the face and hand.

The magic and the alligator begin to take shape

Now the detail work can begin. I start to lay down some of the lightest and darkest of values to begin to push and pull areas. I pay a lot more attention to detailing areas like the hair and scales. This is the point in the painting I do a lot more siting and observing of the painting. One of the greatest teachers I have ever had, Ed Love, explained that the act of making art is a conversation between the piece and the artist, a back in forth of mark making and responses to those marks. He taught me that some of the most important moments during the creation of art is during those moments you simply sit, observe, and THINK. I know some painters will turn their paintings to the wall for a while to get a fresh perspective. I stare and observe. This is when I address areas that are not working, look odd, or where I realized I made an actual error. I also begin to finalize the foreground and add last details such as the blades of grass ( on their own layer ).

Much better... and almost done!

Lastly I lay down the absolute brightest and darkest values and try to make the areas of importance really pop and draw the eye in. I give everything one last pass, making sure everything is working together to create the desired finished image. Finally, I consider this piece finished, though most likely some areas will need additional work once the text and content begin to be placed. I also still need to prepare a gray scale version of this image, but this will also need to wait for the finalized content.

All finished

Check back later as I will bring you Part 3 as soon as I am provided with the final content. I plan to cover any alternations needed to the painting, the lay out and arranging of the text and content and the creation of the gray scale image.

Part 3 is now up and can be see HERE.

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Student talk and Illuxcon

I spoke to the students of Keith Roberson this morning at Florida State University. Thank you Keith for having me out today and to all his students who stuck through all my yammering. Hopefully they were able to glean some pearl of wisdom from my talk.

Registration is up for the event of the year, Illuxocon 2009. I have heard the buzz on this for a couple of months now and was hoping to be able to attend. Attendance is limited to only 200 people, so if you want to go, you better register very soon! There will be portfolio reviews, demos, lectures, and lots and lots of one on one time with artist at all levels. This is an amazing resource for artist. So if you are attending, I will see you there in November!

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meeting notes (round 2)

I have been playing around with my new Pentel Pocket Brush Pen lately. Not surprisingly the pen seems to have found itself in my hand as I went to a recent meeting and so allowed my to produce the following pages of notes. Enjoy!

Which side is up?

I must be slipping... there seems to
be some actual notes on the top left...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Roller Derby poster in process: Part 1

I have been commissioned to create a poster for the Tallahassee Roller Girls for a bout they have in May. With the permission of Hope Stewart I am going to give you a look at how I go about creating such a piece.

Getting started:

The theme of the bout is Déjà Voodoo and I was given a free licence to do whatever I felt was cool, consistent with the 'feel of derby', portrayed women in a respective manor, and touched on the name of the theme. Once I heard the theme I had an image pop into my head that is pretty close to what I ended up using.


At this point it is all about getting the idea out of my skull and onto paper (without making a mess). I did a series of thumbnails to work out composition and arrangement of text and once I was happy with one of them I sketched it up at full size and ran it by Hope for feedback and revision notes.

At this point I should mention I use Photoshop to do all my painting. For this painting I am working in a CMYK 16 bit/channel document at 300 DPI with a .25 inch bleed. I am working in 16 bit because not only will there be the 11 x 17 full color poster but there will also be 8 1/2 x 11 black and white posters and a smaller black and white brochure.

Back to the painting...

This is were it gets fun and the magic happens. I will lay down a loose under painting to work out local color choices and to get a feel for where I want to take the piece. I usually have a color palette in mind but sometimes once I start working on a piece I find a different direction will work better in the end.

And so it begins...

I try to work an entire painting all at the same pace to bring up the final piece consistently. For this piece, however, I really felt the face of the woman was key to the entire work and so I heavily work it first.

4% done... now for the other 96%

Now it is time to move on the rest of the painting and begin to bring it all up to the level the face is at. Working broadly at first and slowly becoming more and more refined the image will take shape.

Slowly but surely moving out from the face

The magic begins to take shape

As I paint I will rework areas where the drawing didn't have enough information or I realized something just isn't working any longer. Slowly but surely the image begins to take shape. Don't worry Mr. Alligator, your time is coming!

This will conclude part one. Check back later as I finish the painting and layout the text to create the final poster image!

Part 2 and Part 3 are now up for you viewing pleasure!

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Meeting notes

I have never been a big fan of meetings, but they are a necessary evil... or so I am told. To make it through them I doodle. Some times the doodles get out of hand. Here is a recent one...

I am a huge fan of doodles and simply drawing for the pleasure of making marks on the page. Far too often I feel compelled to create a finished piece, to complete a goal, to make a deadline.

This is also how I made it through most of my art history classes back in school. Please do not get me wrong... I enjoyed every class and learned about the amazing and complex history of the arts. I just seem to be able to retain what I hear better when I doodle compared to when I am writing notes. The practice continues now while I am in meetings and you will see more of these doodles here.

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Off with a bang...

Since it is all the rage these days I figured I should get on the band wagon and get one of these here blogs set up....

In all seriousness I realized that my website has been a little lacking in updates lately and not for lack of working on my end. I have been working my tail off, honest! I have loads of work just waiting to go up once the projects they are connected to launch... and I can't wait! :)

I also realized not all of the work that I create is necessarily relevant to end up on my website. While we are on the subject of my website, I recently gave it a bit of a face lift in preparation of the new work coming done the pipeline and other as of now secrets.... If you have a chance head over there and see the new Home page monster and new gallery arrangement. Changes are still happening, so keep an eye out for them. Updates and additions will all be posted here as well. You can never have a big enough web footprint.

Now to some aRT. Here is a piece I did for my dear wonderful wife for this past weekend. ...there was some sort of holiday...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: