Friday, June 28, 2013

Illustration Master Class 2013 - Day 7

Day 7 of the 2013 Illustration Master Class! ...and we have come to the end. Day 7 is when it all must come down, be packed away, and be readied for everyone's return to their part of the world. Typically there is a lecture in the morning, followed by studio clean up time, followed by the closing address in the lecture hall, and finally an afternoon of open studios where all are invited to come and visit, see the art and share in the week's adventures.

The afternoon of Day 7 is also when you can get your sketchbook signed and sketched by your fellow classmates and the faculty. I drew many a monster that afternoon and many things were drawn in my book. As the afternoon went on some of the students and faculty had to say their goodbyes early and begin their journeys home. Those that remained broke up into groups and headed to dinner and made plans for the evening.

Iain McCaig rallied a huge group to go see Man of Steel. It felt like 95% of the remaining students all went with Ian to sit in a dark room together and watch a movie on the last night of IMC... the night intended for socializing and fun with classmates and faculty. Those that didn't go to the movie, which I was among, had some great one on one time with the rest of the faculty as everyone's favorite drinking spot in downtown Amherst. I think I chose wisely. It was the best last night I have ever had at IMC. It helped that I was not sick and that I didn't have to get up early and drive for two days to get home. Flying to IMC this year may have been the smartest decision I could have made!

Festivities continued into the night and for some, morning. When the next morning finally arrived we all said our goodbyes again and we all began our respective journeys home. Another Illustration Master Class had come and gone and hopefully we are all better off for it!

Here are some images from Day 7 of IMC... 

The dry erase board in the dorm lobby. It grew and took form throughout the week. Can you find my addition? RAWR!

Thank you loyal jelly jar that held my water! But our journey must now continue along different paths... mine heads home, yours head to the recycle bin...

One of many monsters drawn in sketchbooks. I like this one... it is weird and has tentacles...

A final thanks and celebration of Rebecca Guay for all her hard work and effort that it had taken to make IMC a reality and to keep it going. THANK YOU Rebecca, and to all the faculty!!!

The studios are cleared up and the art is displayed for the open studio time. The downstairs paint studio is still the happening local at IMC.

Greg Manchess and Dave Palumbo have their work out on display as well!

One of Rebecca Guay's giant and amazingly beautiful pieces on display. In all sincerity, I have really grown to love and appreicate Rebecca's work over the last several years and to really see it for what it truly is. I was of course familiar with her fantasy work but to see her personal work that is important and meaningful to her shows me the opportunities and options that I can have for my work and the work I want to make for myself.

Last, but not least (hopefully) is my piece for the 2013 IMC. We see it here all packaged up and ready to head home with me in a suitcase. I will be posting all about it on Monday here on the blog so you can see it every step of the way! RAWR!

That is all for another exciting Friday on the blog, see you back here on Monday for a look at my painting from the IMC! Until then...

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

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Illustration Master Class 2013 - Day 6

Day 6 of the 2013 Illustration Master Class! ...and things just got SERIOUS. Day 6 is the last full work day at IMC and for some it is the last full work day, night, and following morning. You can really feel the excitement and tension on Day 6 as everyone is painting under a looming deadline. From the very beginning it is made clear that a finished painting is not the goal of IMC, but rather the learning, the experimentation, failing and succeeding, and the bond of friendship. It is not about the painting produced at IMC, it is about the next three paintings you create after returning home.

Day 6 started off with the always entertaining creature design lecture and demonstration by Iain McCaig. This year he designed a giant gassy clam thing with many eyes and legs. Or at least that was what we forced him to cobble together as he threw out questions to those attending.

Day 6 was group picture day as well. Instead of the usual outdoor shot we all ventured over to the museum and had our picture taken amount the monsters. Funny that I should find myself here twice when I had not know about it previously to the day before.

The faculty was making a last push with the rest of us and many of them were in the studios giving advice, demoing, and cheering us on into the night while we all made a last push to get some art made. The downstairs studio was on fire the night of Day 6. The energy was high and there was a lot of activity and excitement. I have not seen anything like that at IMC before. It felt like the majority of attending students had all congregated to our studio.

The night was capped off with Greg Manchess giving us the chance to sit in on a reading from his book project he is working on. After an overview and history of his project, Greg, Marc Scheff, and Scott Fischer read from a section of the book as Greg flipped through the corresponding drawings on the big screen. It was a real treat and a one of a kind opportunity to take part in. I can't wait for Greg to complete his project and release it to the world!

Here are some images from Day 6 of IMC... 

The wily giant gassy clam thing with many eyes and legs...

Picture time with massive mammals.

The camera crew was set up and ready to go.

We all crowded in and said, "IMC".

Though the week started off rainy and dark (which made it easy to stay in and work) by the end of the week the weather in Amherst had become very nice (which did not make it easy to stay in and work).

Here is a closeup of Sean Murray's minotaur... RAWR! So awesome!

Rebecca Guay giving an impromptu watercolor demo for Ania Mohrbacher.

Downstairs painting studio the night of Day 6.

Marc Scheff give a enthusiastic thumbs up for the excitement in the downstairs studio.

Greg Manchess gives an impromptu demonstration of painting a portrait in oils.

Sean Murray hard at work throwing down color on this massive drawing.

The upstairs painting studio seemed a little like a ghost town compared to the crush of people downstairs.

Greg Manchess talking about his polar bears and the adventure that began with this one painting.

That is all for another exciting Thursday on the blog, see you back here tomorrow for Day 7 coverage! Until then...

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Illustration Master Class 2013 - Day 5

Day 5 of the 2013 Illustration Master Class! By Day 5 breakfast was becoming a strange mix of people who got went to bed the night before and those who were still up and would be going to bed after breakfast. I was somewhere in the middle of those extremes and was not making it to breakfast by this point in the week. By Day 5 I was also confident that even if I fell ill now I had gotten a lot out of the week and I had avenged my experience last year... of course it took five days to feel like I was not going to fall ill at any moment.

Funny thing about Amherst University... they have dinosaurs. They have dinosaurs and no one told me... until now. After three years (though last year kinda does not count) someone spoke up and mentioned that there were dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals a 30 second walk from the studios. I kid you naught... 30 seconds is all it took to walk from one building to the next. There is a three story display gallery featuring some really nice specimens. Of course, anything like this is complete awesome to me and I eat it up. After morning lecture and lunch, Sam Flegal and I went forth in search of monsters... The museum is a great untapped resource for IMC and in if I return I will make a bigger point to get people over there to look at good animal and creature reference. Upon our return our tales of monsters and dinosaurs prompted additional groups set out.

Oh... I guess there was a lot of painting and working happening on Day 5 as well. There was a strong encouragement by the faculty that if students had not begun painting that is was NOW TIME. Since there are students at every skill level at IMC those attending might be getting their first real look at the time and work that really goes into making a professional level painting. This might mean that they need to pretty much start over with their drawing, shot reference, work out a composition, prep their surface, and then start painting. Hence folks still being at a drawing level stage at Day 5.

As an added bonus the 'Taste of Amherst' festival going on in downtown Amherst which is a 3 minute walk from our dorms. They had fried dough...

Here are some images from Day 5 of IMC... 

A very strange... vehicle was outside the art studios the morning of Day 5. It was there a short time and then gone...

Prehistoric mammals! Big and small! The kinds that would eat your face and those that would just step on you! RAWR!

A wily Smilodon... or saber-toothed cat.

A bear... I wonder if it was a prickly bear?

The continuing adventures of moose and mammoth...

I never have enough Hadrosaurids in my life.

T-Rex skulls NEVER get old. Now that is a good monster.

Amherst has an AMAZING collection of dinosaur foot prints and skin imprints on display.

More prehistoric mammals of every size and shape! RAWR!

They also had some stuff that his closer to home...

I will love him and squeeze him and call him 'George'.

Speaking of good monsters! This is why I never go into the water when playing D&D.

A look at the downstairs painting studio on Day 5.

The before mentioned fried dough... with fresh local strawberries. Treat yourself!

Sam Flegal is gearing up on the under painting of his epic viking battle.

Marc Scheff is duel wielding assignments... LIKE A BOSS!

Sean Murray has started throwing down some ink on his epic piece.

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here tomorrow for Day 6 coverage! Until then...

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

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Illustration Master Class 2013 - Day 4

Day 4 of the 2013 Illustration Master Class! My fears of getting sick this year had finally begun to dissipate as my painting slowly took shape and was moving slowly but surely in the right direction. Around Day 4 is when the days all start blurring together. The night get later, the mornings later, and the work and festivities in between get more frantic and fun. New friendships are taking shape and old friendships are getting strengthened. In the immortal words of Sean Murray, "We are spending a years worth of time with people in the span of a week." Sean could not be more correct.

James Gurney was still at IMC on Day 4 and gave his second lecture. Afterwards he toured the studios and captured time lapse video of some the the folks working. Marc Scheff who has been at my side more or less for the last three IMCs was one of the lucky one to get documented in the time lapse video. Speaking of James Gurney and his video... he has a link, photos, and words over on his BLOG about the 2013 IMC. Go check it out and come back... I can wait.

As the week moves a long the lectures lessen and instructor time in the studios increases. Or that's how it felt this year. People are anxious to be working and to have face time with the faculty to talk about art and in some cases much more (thanks Scott!). It also feels like I have much more concrete things to say about IMC earlier in the week because as the week progresses there is less "and then we all did this thing" and more of "we all worked on illustrations for hours and hours and it flew by". I think that is why I take so many photos, to remind myself...

Here are some images from Day 4 of IMC... 

A look at Donato Giancola palette...

James Gurney prepares to give his Imaginative Realism lecture... which NEVER gets old.

Marc Scheff (who sat to my right all week) getting filmed by James Gurney. Gurney's rig is all custom made out of Lego and PVC pipe. An impressive bit of gear to say the least!

Sam Flegal (who sat to my left all week) hard at work on his HUGE viking battle piece. He spent a lot of time refining and working up his drawing before painting and it really has paid off.

Downstairs painting studio on Day 4. WORK WORK WORK!

Greg Manchess giving a painting demo as he starts his own 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea piece.

Upstairs painting studio on Day 4. WORK WORK WORK!

Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell's paintings are moving right along.

Digital studio on Day 4. WORK WORK WORK!

As I leave the studio for the night everyone is still hard at work...

That is all for another exciting Tuesday on the blog, see you back here tomorrow for Day 5 coverage! Until then...

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

Monday, June 24, 2013

Illustration Master Class 2013 - Day 3

Day 3 of the 2013 IMC! ...and I am still in good health. Day 3 marked the arrival of the guest artists and lectures. Most notable this year is the always welcome return of James Gurney. The endless font of knowledge and creativity I could listen to him talk endlessly about the craft and science of art, light, and color. I found myself sitting across from James and his wife at lunch and was able to have a few moments to talk to them one and one. These are the kind of unexpected moments that IMC fosters and provides. Worth the price of admission in my book!

Also, by Day 3 the effects of the late nights has begun to show in the studio spaces and dinning hall at breakfast. Through out the week fewer and fewer make it to breakfast and the studio does not fill up till after the morning lecture or after lunch. Par for the course and should be expected. I was still watching my sleep very carefully and micromanaging every cough and sneeze, so I was able to document a least a couple days of the empty studios. By the end of the week the late nights were unavoidable and there was too much work and fun to be had in the late hours of the night.

The night of Day 3 offered up a live painting demo from a model by James Gurney and Dan Dos Santos in our studio. They both talked about their techniques and methodology as well as answered questions. Others were welcome to draw or paint from the model and the studio was packed with folks partaking in the demo.

Here are some images from Day 3 of IMC... 

An early morning shot of the downstairs studio... there are a few of us up and working.

A few more have shown up in the digital room. I have to say, the digital room seemed WAY more full this year and I am happy to have had the extra elbow room of the paint studio.

The upstairs studio was the emptiest of all the morning of the Day 3. To be honest, the upstairs paint studio was the least populated of all the studios.

Julie Bell has been hard at work on her painting.

So has Boris Vallejo.

A big sweeping view of the downstairs paint studio from the front. Everyone has shown up and is hard at work.

And a view of the downstairs studio from the back so you can get a feel for it all.

A view of the upstairs painting studio from the door looking in...

...and the view from the back corner looking back toward the door and the rest of the room.

Finally, a better view of the digital studio room with everyone hard at work.

Donato Giancola hard at work on his painting for IMC. He was always answering questions and talking about his process while working.

Painting from a model demo with James Gurney and Dan Dos Santos!

I scored one of Sean Murray's sketchbook on Day 3... made me wish I had thought to bring a stack of my books! If you have not seen Sean's work you should REALLY check it out, SO GOOD!

A sample of the work produced during the painting demo. James Gurney's piece is on the left, Dan Dos Santos is far right, Iain McCaig is the sketchbook in front, and unfortunately I did not see who made the one in the middle.

Sean Murray continued to draw into the night on his awesome and very large drawing...

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here tomorrow for Day 4 coverage! Until then...

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