Friday, August 13, 2010

Back from another trip again.

I'm back from another vacation trip. We just spent four days in the Russian River resort area (What a coincidence, since that's what I'm currently painting). We had a fantastic time! Thanks to Margaret and Michael at the Fern Grove Cottages, (we always feel so welcome and have such a great time, when we stay there). I really got inspired and now I can't wait to jump right in and finish this piece. Here's the finished color sketch. I'm pretty happy with it, and I think the light filtering through the redwood trees is working much better now:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Work in progress

Here is today's work. I'm really struggling with trying to get the feeling of light dappled through trees. I know this is only a black and white value study and that it will be easier when I can use the contrast of warm and cool light to help it, but it's still not there yet. The construction of the car still has some issues as well, but I'll iron those out before I go to the final color. I do think it's pretty successful at capturing the mood and feeling of the vacations of my youth. It remains to be seen if my color rendering can do it justice:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Refreshed and ready to work.

Back after a short vacation. Nothing like escaping the dreary grey "summer" in the bay area. Several days spent breathing in high mountain air and swimming in clear blue lake water can really renew the spirit like nothing else.
  Filled with that inspiration, I came home and jumped right into a new piece (influenced no doubt by my getaway). This is the paint-ready sketch, it took me several hours today to get something that captured the feeling I was aiming for. This piece is an attempt to capture the essence of the Russian River resort area (in Sonoma California) as I recall it from my childhood. I find it particularly difficult to simplify objects as I attempt to design them in a consistent and aesthetically pleasing way. That simplification is so central to good illustration (and good design). I really struggle with it all the time. It makes me wish I had attended Art Center instead of my Alma Mater. Ah, well, here is the sketch. I'll be updating with images of this piece in progress over the next few days:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Off to a good start?

Well here it is Sunday and I still don't have any new art ideas to put in here. It's proving a lot harder than I thought to complete a new piece of art every week. A wife, two kids and the weekend hustle have beaten me down. I will try again later this week (I honestly did do a little work on the fix to the "Fat Cat"). In the meantime, I think I'll put up the last two pieces of digital paint I did, these are from the last few weeks.
   The first one is just a piece I did trying to push my colors out of my comfort zone. I also wanted to keep it feeling fairly flat by collapsing the foreground, middleground and background and by using conflicting perspectives. Having it break out into the border area helps flatten it as well.
 The second piece is an illustration about the fading of the american dream. I have an idyllic little house on a hill, with a car out front and a perfectly manicured yard. I contrasted the image with the aged and cracked paint and the dirty border (I'd always wanted to try and achieve that "cracked paint" look). Anyway that's all for today. I hope I'll have something completely new for my next entry.