ILLUS 220 Finals: the Bear-men walking across the ice towards her

Many of my classmates have said this was their favourite final piece I did for this module. Ironically, it was the simplest and quickest to finish.
     I painted it in acrylics just with shades of grey using only palette knives, on a sheet of hardboard. I finished the piece in a single sitting ~ 2 hours although I could have done it a lot quicker (it was the first time I'd used palette knives). The background was done by scraping back the grey off of the board to show the white gesso primer underneath. The textures are from roughly laying down the paint and continually spraying with water and letting the water droplets create little dots and letting it drip down in places.
     I then took a quick photo and edited it to change some of the values and add colour. I think I may have also overlayed a posterise effect on it or something to enhance the textures in the paint.

I really like this final. I like the rough edgy textures the palette knives afforded me, and the bear-mens' deadpan/confused/gawping expression. It taught me that an illustration doesn't need to be precisely detailed with every aspect of the painting rigidly thought out, as long as it works within the aesthetic of the style of the piece you're going for it doesn't really matter. It can look better to create a mere impression of detail.

sketchbook page commenting on photoshop thumbnail sketches
This was the final rough
of sorts done in Photoshop.
 After doing this rough I decided to change the scene from when they're carrying the girl back with them to when they're walking towards her. It looked to me that the girl was ruining the awesome atmosphere created by the bears, she was hogging too much attention away from the rest of the picture. She didn't seem to be fitting in and I found it too difficult to draw her in the same stylised way I drew the bears.

ILLUS 220 Finals: The Bird-men explaining to the Empress the nature of the Heavens

This is another of my finals for the book The Description Of The New World Called The Blazing World for my uni project.

In this scene the Bird-men, who have been tasked by the Empress as her astronomers, are tasked with explaining to her their reckoning as to the nature of the Sun, Moon and stars.

An earlier version without acrylic textures added and some contrast fixes

I wanted them to look like quirky old professors, trying to sound authoritative, when really most of their knowledge is composed of short sighted observations and daft conclusions. 
     I kept a restricted colour palette as in the past I've often used too many colours in one painting. Looking back at it now though I think I could have improved the painting by differentiating the characters more with colour.

some bits from my sketchbook:

ILLUS 220 Finals: 'The Fish-men were to carry the Fire-stones in cases of Diamonds...'

The first of four illustrations I submitted for my year 2 2nd term main module for my illustration degree.
     Since my last WIP post of this I tightened up the image further and added my own scanned-in acrylic textures over the fire-stone to give it a little extra something.
     My tutor's reaction to this final was he felt the image was rather "generic". I guess I agree with him; the idea for the illustration isn't massively clever, and it looks plasticy and over saturated, as most digital paintings do. If it was meant as a concept artwork it might be good; as a book illustration, it's generic.

It's been a dream of mine to get a job as a concept artist in a computer game design company for the last few years now, but maybe I should be experimenting with other more interesting styles for my illustration uni projects and just do concept art portfolio stuff in my own time. God I wish I could go back to first year without paying more fees.

Here are some bits from my sketchbook:

The Look

a sketch in pen which I've quickly edited in Picasa
For ILLUS 241 (a module at university) I'm sketching people out in Plymouth then caricaturing and redesigning the sketches into interesting artwork, with a painting or something as a final. More updates soon to follow.


Brain Phlegm

I've just finished a major module at uni. I think it's time I got back to regular updates. Here's a recent doodle.