Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Crying King Kong - notes on my style

This first image (left image) is one of my earlier attempts at digital painting.  When I say "earlier", I mean it was maybe attempt number 4? At the time, I was beginning to appreciate designed art.

 In the recent image (the right one) I said I was going to upgrade the old one to my current style (dirty word apparently). I thought that just meant giving it a bluer tone and some more realistic anatomy. The more I just tried to refine that, the more unsatisfied I was. This made me think what else is there to my style.  I realized that I'm not just interested in portraying a scene or character.  I want to engage the viewer and understand how I'm engaging him/her.

Thus, I tried to look at my art as objectively as I could.  As a viewer, theres a certain amount of sympathy I feel staring at the crying gorilla's eyes. When, I just see him crying, he seems kinda comical like a big sobbing cartoon. Once I started to think about why he's crying, I experimented with the planes flying at him.  With the planes chopping into his face (compositionally) I feel a lot more sympathy for him.  Some friends have likened the plane wings to prison bars over his face.

So what do I know about my style now? I tend to like cool toned illustrations with anatomy. I also like to think about how the viewer is going to engage the image. ( I think that better art allows the viewer to be an active participant.)  I think that composition is crucial for engaging the viewer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Personal World: Fence Tooth and the Doberman Rider

This is Fence Tooth, an idea that I've been toying with. I'm not totally sure what he's all about, but he's got something to do with the first dog and the struggle between domestication and feralness.

The painting is done using brush pen on a 5"x7" watercolor moleskine sketchbook. Some part of me personally likes the rugged edges of the ink on the paper. It makes it feel more like a field guide documentation. In my fantasy world, Fence Tooth's head is the size of a small Buick.

This is the doberman rider. Yes, it is a portrait of myself and my dog :)
If anyone remembers the riders of Rohan from Lord of the Rings, you might remember how they were considered horse people.  In my own fantasy world, I kinda view myself as a dog person.