Monday, September 15, 2014

Heads 09.14.14

I haven't posted a head drawing in a while. This is from the college's open life drawing session. I sort of free-styled it - no preliminary measuring - just started by loosely blocking in large areas of mass and tone and then proceeded to refine the drawing into more accurate shapes as I went along.

Usually these types of drawings are a crap shoot. I think this one turned out pretty well.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Little Things 15

This is the last of the three Little Things drawn almost entirely with sumi ink. I seem to experience an optical illusion with this one - the longer I stare at it, the more it seems to both form and disintegrate, to blur and then sharpen in a fluid manner.

Pretty neat.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Little Things 14

I guess I would look indignant too if I had hair like Princess Leia on steroids…

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Little Things 13

I tried a different approach with the next three drawings - entirely drawn with sumi ink, with a touch of charcoal here and there. I'm trying to see how far I can push the image to achieve a more ghostly, ethereal effect.

Yes, this woman had an incredibly long neck…

…it's part of her charm.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Little Things 12

Oh man. I really nailed it with this one. Once in a while the stars align, the wind is at your back, and all things fall into place. This drawing represents everything I want to achieve with the Little Things series.

Let's hope lightning strikes twice.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Little Things 11

I'm moving away from the male imagery and focusing more on the haunting visages of nameless children from another age. I wonder what became of them as they matured - if they led happy, fulfilling lives.

If they reached adulthood at all.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Child 2

This drawing is a little difficult to categorize. It's too large for the Little Things series, but falls under the same theme - in this case anonymous children from days gone by. The Little Things drawings all incorporate the same materials, with variations on the amounts used. Some use more ink, others charcoal - all on mylar. This one is a straight charcoal sketch on paper.

I guess this will be a new open-ended series.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Little Things 09

This one went through several revisions before I was satisfied. At one point I wiped down almost 3/4 of the drawing and started over with the remnants. It got a little scary for a moment - I thought I would have to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch. Thankfully I rallied and recovered.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Little Things 08

I believe this one is my favorite out of the series so far. A good balance of clarity and faded distortion essential to the concept.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Little Things 07

Not sure what happened, but I took this one way beyond the generalization of the other drawings in this series and ended up with a full-blown rendering.

The idea behind the Little Things series is the fleeting nature of human existence. Each of these drawings is based on an unidentified/anonymous person from the past, often soldiers of the American Civil War but not exclusive to that period of time. These people have no documentation, no recorded life story - no one left alive to carry their memory. It's as if they didn't exist at all.

Yet here they are, a flash of light burned onto a surface to give us a likeness. It is left for us to interpret (and often create) a life for them. I want to capture the ghostly quality of these nameless individuals, pushing and pulling, moving in and out of focus so their appearance is left for the viewer to complete in their own fashion. That's why I was surprised I took this one so far to completion.

You may recognize this image from a painting I did of her early last year. I believe I got closer to what I wanted to achieve in that painting.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Little Things 06

I haven't had a chance to add to this open-ended series, but now that school is finished for the summer I plan to pursue this project over the next few months.

Here is the first one.

Monday, May 12, 2014

GX Magazine 11.2 Illustrations

In mid-February I was hired by the Art Director of GX Magazine (the Guard Experience) to illustrate a true life story involving four members of our armed forces serving in Afghanistan.

GX is the official magazine dedicated to those who serve in the National Guard. It is available to the public as a .pdf download, but the actual print edition is only available to service members and veterans.  It's a great publication with a wide range of topics specifically designed to address the needs of the Guard.

It's been a LONG time since I was actively engaged in commercial work but I was fascinated by the story, which you can read on-line here: When contacted by the Art Director, he told me that he had seen my work on my portfolio site and felt my style was a good match for the chaotic and fragmented experience of our soldiers in a battle situation.

Now, I haven't applied my style of drawing to any subject matter beyond my own personal work, so I was intrigued by the challenge of adapting this approach to an illustrative story-telling format. It was an abrupt shift from the method of drawing I have enjoyed over the past few years; in grad school I was afforded the time to contemplate my drawings as I worked on them. Having to quickly create multiple thumbnail roughs, compositional roughs, final roughs and adjustments really put the fire under my feet, but I was surprised at how easily the process of working with clients came back to me and I shifted gears pretty smoothly for the most part. It was a challenge to balance the completion of the assignment with my teaching schedule!

I had about a month to complete the assignment from concept to execution, with about 2 1/2 weeks of that time just ironing out the actual composition, content, and visual format with the Art Director. Once the green light was given I had a week and a half to complete these three illustrations, scan them and edit them for publication.

I really enjoyed revisiting the Illustration game. It reminded me of key principles of working in the commercial art field that I should (and will) pass on to my Illustration students for the benefit of their own careers.

And it was nice to know that I can still make a deadline and produce quality work.

Because of contractual obligations, I was not allowed to post any of the artwork until the issue had been published. It's out now, and here is how the artwork looks within the article.

All images are 24" x 18". Charcoal and sumi ink on mylar.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Heads 04.13.14

I tried out a new blending tool at the college's open life drawing yesterday - makeup sponges! I really like the delicate effects created with the sponge. I'm going to try and incorporate this into my more formal pieces in the future.