Saturday, April 2, 2016

Creative Books Worth Reading


Molly Bang explains in her book how pictures work. She uses cutout pieces of paper to explore the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Using various cutout shapes she explores the various components that affect visual pictures. Large and small shapes, dark and light colors, and round and sharp edges. I recommend her book for the understanding
she explores in creating pictures.

Marcos Mateu-Mestre has twenty years of experience in feature animation. His visual statements are bold graphic images. I especially enjoy his black and white character designs. I strongly recommend his book. He offers his insight about frame composition, lighting, and visual continuity sequences in animation. You won't think about your visual images in the same way.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Colored Grayscale Sketch




I took one of my favorite raccoon sketches and scanned it. The image was brought into Photoshop before converting it from grayscale to a duotone image. The mode of the image was changed to RGB and saved as a tiff file. I took the tiff file and brought it into Manga Studio 5. Manga Studio 5 has two of my favorite brushes, the G-pen 4 and Noise Pastel. These two brushes are used for specific reasons and the how they apply textural colors to my paintings. The G-pen 4 brush acts like a pen filled with ink. It applies color in fluid thin strokes. The Noise Pastel brush is wider and rougher when adding areas of color. I am able to color areas of the raccoons that have darker areas, such as the stripes on the tails, hands, and areas of the faces. I save the file in a tiff format and bring it back into Photoshop for more coloring. My sketch layer is turned into a multiply layer, so the layer below, colored gray will show through. I create a third layer above the sketch layer and add white highlights around sections of the two raccoons There you have my process for creating my gray toned illustration. I would like to hear your own thoughts about
your process.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Strengthen Your Craft

  
   1) Make time to practice and improve your craft, so that you become better. Whether
       you draw for fun or for business without some effort and practice don't expect 
       much improvement with your craft. It can be very easy to think of ways not to 
       produce creative work. How about suggesting to yourself that you will work two 
       hours before taking a break. In this way you won't waste your time and you will   
       progress with your craft. 

   2) Don't expect to be simply in the mood to be inspired unless your craft is only a 
       hobby. If you want to create and see some progress you need to make time to 
       work and stick with it. If your client work is due and you are not in the mood, take
       a break and come back to the work later. You nee to accomplish your task and 
       finish your work whether you are in the mood or not.

   3) Working in a medium you feel comfortable with is fine but in order to grow as a
       creative, experiment with new mediums. Expand your creativity and create fresh
       ideas. This will keep you energized and inspired. Instead of using pen and ink try
       exploring with soft pastels or prisma pencils. You may realize that certain project's
       are more effective if you use gouache rather than digital medium. Expand your
       universe and find the possibilities of exploring new mediums.

   4) Think about what your strengths and weaknesses are with your craft. You may
       be very good at painting landscapes but feel uncomfortable adding human figures
       and animals. You should consider expanding your repertoire by drawing and 
       inserting humand figures and animals. This additional element could possibly 
       expand your commercial market with more commissions.
    
   5)  After a number of years you may become disillussioned with satisfying client
        assignments and the styles they require. You may want to consider making art        
        that satisfies you. Try working on a style that inpsires you and show's a new
        freshness. Begin to draw or paint content that has meaning for you and forget
        about imitating another style. A side of you will develop and off new possibilities 

   6)  Improving your craft should involve self-evaluation regarding your progress. If 
        your work is not at a professional level, it may be time to figure out what you 
        need to accomplish and improve. Look at your competition to see where you
        stand or a professional level. What must you do to reach that level and 
        maintain it.  

  7Work hard on a body of work that you will be pleased with. If you find the amount
        of time you are spending on your work isn't adding up to quality work it may be 
        time to think about where the problem may be. Use your energy level effectively
        so as not to waste time on non-productive work for example when you practice
        drawing figures don't just draw figures in a variety of poses but think how you 
        will apply these drawing sessions to your own projects.

  8)  You started your craft because it was fun. The reality of this situation is a myth. 
        There will be times when working on your craft isn't fun and you need keep 
        working. You need to finish an assignment for a client and you are not in the 
        mood. Waiting for this mood may not accomplish your goals. At this point it is 
        time to realize that there will be times when you have to work even when it 
        isn't fun.

  9)  Do you find yourself talking to yourself about whether your work is good enough? 
       What about the thought that your work is amazing. How do you relate and deal 
        with these two destructive thoughts. If you feel your work is not good enough 
        start on improving it. Your work may be good but if you think it's amazing you 
        will be hurting yourself from improving and developing your craft. Combine these
        two thoughts so that you improve your craft and get better.