Fantasy Art

Friday, January 27, 2017

Snow White Part 3

These little minion space goblins make the painting but at the same time they don't dominate it.  They are more the setting than the object of our attention which is of course the girl.  as such they don't get lavish detail or bold colors, they need to be interesting, more collectively than individually, but not distracting.  This is a balance that I may have only partially succeeded with.  The purple contrasts with the yellows in the back wall and the yellow green of the goblins providing a sense of space behind them.  Still seeing the world through a sign painters eyes it's possible I exaggerated this a bit much.

Look closely at the shadow in the center of her thigh and you can still see the hard zigzag line where I transferred the image with a ball point pen.

The background and foreground elements are as done as I plan to do them.  The minions seem to dominate for the moment but only because they have been resolved and solidified more than the girl has at this point.
Superficially the fruit-bowl looks like apples pears and grapes, but if you look closer they are all as alien as the rest of the scene.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Snow White Part 2

Her hand was in the wrong position.  She may have moved from one sitting to another, but more likely I moved at some point.  Even leaning forward and back can change your vantage point enough to distort a picture if you fail to compensate for it.  If I was closer to her I'd see more of the front of her belly and the length of her fore-arm, lean back and I'm seeing her more from the side.  At any rate I needed to erase her hand and re-draw it in the right position.  At this stage "Erase" means paint over it.

My friend found a website with a list of "Rules of etiquette for life drawing."  I'm perversely proud to say that my group violates every rule on the the list cheerfully and egregiously.
1. No talking.  (We chatter the whole time)
2. No laughing or making jokes.   (We're a riotous band of hooligans)
3. Do not attempt speak to the model at any time whether she's working or on break.  (As long as she holds still we chat up the model all day)
4. Maintain a strictly professional relationship with the model and your fellow students, do not attempt to make friends or include them in any social activities.    (Our models and fellow students have become some of my best friends.  We go out after class and go to parties at each other's houses)
5. No Photographs under any circumstances ever, don't ask, don't think about it.  (OK We never do it without asking, but we always ask and they usually say yes so I tip them extra and take a pile of photos without which I'd have a hard time doing paintings like this one.  several times the model handed me her own camera and asked me to take some pictures with that while I was at it.)

I kind of want to say that I respect the traditions of other groups, but no I really don't, I think they're silly prudish and self limiting.  I'd argue that, having never had sex with any of my models, no improprieties have taken place, but by some standards everything we do is impropriety enough.  So there you go, if you came here looking for scandal there it is.

I have promised never to share my photos on the internet to which several models have said "post them anywhere you like I don't care" but I still don't, just in case some kind of problem could emerge from that later.  But I'll make a few exceptions with carefully cropped anonymous photos like this one.  This shows that at some point either I moved or the model did and her hand just looks all wrong in the position I originally put it in.  So I painted it out and moved it.

The thing about that kind of sponging texture, like we did on the wall, is that you will lose the effect if you paint over it too many times and then you can't go back unless you paint the whole thing white again and start over.  I really liked the gritty stony texture that I had originally, but I eventually glazed over it so many times that it became smooth an opaque looking, almost creamy.  Plus it got too red and then too dark.  I always wished I'd kept it in this warm range.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Snow White Part 1.

When I first drew this figure it was just the girl and no background.   However I had gotten a reputation as the guy who always puts monsters and stuff in his life drawings so the models would often run over to my easel during break to see what weird stuff I was doing.  On this occasion I hadn't done anything weird and she was terribly disappointed in me.  So I added all these little space aliens and a laser pistol.  She was delighted after that and took a picture of it to show all of her friends.

This picture illustrates how brutal I can be to my original drawing.  The paper is wrinkled, faded, smeared and torn plus you can see the ball point pen lines where I traced over the drawing to transfer it to the board for painting.  This bothers some people who think I desecrate my art by doing such things, but I don't see my newsprint sketches as works of art I see them as a tool that I use to help me create a work of art.

Having traced the sketch to the board I inked the whole thing with India ink and sponged in a stone texture for the wall behind her.  Looking back I wish that I had left the wall just like it is, but as you will see I changed things as I went along.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Big Sword

The plains of Shandahar are home to vast herds of horses and enormous cattle prized for meat, milk, leather, and horns, some are even trained for battle.  Though the wild men of Shandahar are considered barbarians they are as crafty in business as they are fierce in battle.   Horses and cattle are traded to the settled lands for but only females or steers.  Breeding is a closely guarded craft.  Whenever someone manages to poach a male animal it proves too wild to handle.  To my knowledge no one has ever succeeded in breeding cattle or horses in Joskarra nor is the land very conducive to it.  There are some wild species on the high plains above the rim, but they would be even more difficult to tame.
The signal horn this man carries is typical of the size from an adult bull.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Big Ax

 This is another time that I did two sketches of the same pose during the same sitting.  It was a habit I was in at the time, I was in a rush and the first sketch would be out of proportion or the stance was all wrong so I'd start another one.  I don't really do that much better now, I'm just more inclined to wipe out and re-draw on the same sheet of paper.  At any rate these two similar sketches (this one and the one I'll post tomorrow) give me an opportunity to go with different ideas on each drawing.  So I double my mileage. 

Many times the coolest looking poses were what we call gesture sketches.  They're 3 minute poses which should be a bit physically challenging or at least something the model couldn't maintain for a twenty minute stretch.  So we end up with a lot of very rough sketches that would be the coolest art we've ever done if we could finish it. 
Sometimes the model allows photographs to be taken which could help with that and sometimes you can find anatomy books or similar photos on the internet which you could use to guide you in working out the musculature of those figures.  Often it's a lost cause.  Whenever I do find photos on the web it's never really right, it's an arm here or a leg there and the head posture in a third place.  it's actually kind of a pain and sometimes doesn't really seem to match.   Getting a model to pose like you want is immeasurably better no matter what your model looks like.  A fat old woman posing as a muscular young man is going to assemble better than a hodgepodge of unrelated photo references in terms of form and shadow and where all the parts connect. 
I based this costume in part on traditional Mongolian wrestling harness

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Live-stream video

I'll be doing another Facebook live-stream video tomorrow at 10:00 am.  Please join me as I pick up last weeks painting right where we left off.

Friday, January 13, 2017

On the Pier

The pier made me think of pirate boots which made me think of full length gowns with ruffles and lace and corsets...yeah screw that!

We wear loincloths for all occasions in Gilead's world.  If there's a pier it must be on the water in a town and she's gazing out to sea there must be something to be looking at.  Perhaps her ship has come in at last.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Oooh Look at Me, I'm Posing!

Sometimes a beautiful model does a beautiful pose which looks for all the world like a model doing a pose.  You know it would take almost nothing to turn that pose into tying back her hair or holding onto her hat because the wind is blowing or drawing a sword from from a back sheath.  But I'm the only one in the classroom who thinks like that so I have to make these things up on my own.  In time I'll have the money to hire models to do the poses I really want but for now I have to work with what I have and what I have are sketches and sometimes photographs.

Working partly from a photo and partly from imagination I put her right arm in a different posture.  At first I was going to rest her hand on a barrel, then I gave her a pole instead and then the angle of the pole made me think of a rope, which made me think of a pier.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Facebook Livestream Video

Here's a livestream video from my Facebook page.  I won't claim that it's a great video, but it was fun and I got a good response so I think I'll be doing some more soon.  Hopefully they will get better as we go along.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Three Models Doing the Same Pose

What we have here are three different models who all did virtually the same pose but I re-interpreted each one a little different.
This old guy used to model for us a lot.  Interesting character, he had wild conspiracy theories and thought the government was out to get him.  All nonsense of course.  Haven't seen that guy in a long time, I wonder what happened to him...

Sometimes I start my drawing too quickly possibly for fear that I'll run out of time and not be able to finish so I get the basic proportions all wrong and have a lot to fix when I re-work the drawing at home.  You can see that his right shoulder stuck out too far and had to be pulled back.  His right knee as well.  If it has that much of the front of the knee showing then it can't be pointing that far to the side.  And his left leg was Way too long.

Now that all his body parts are in the right place I can place his whole body where it belongs: up a tree.

Later I decided he looked disengaged looking off to the left of the paper and I turned his head forwards.  It was better the other way.
By the way the color changes are just because of the time of day and lighting conditions when the photo was taken.

Here's a very similar pose taken by a younger model and more recently.  My drawing skills had improved a little by then.

The costume is cool, but it requires more background to be in any way compelling.  I'm tempted to turn his head again, but I've learned my lesson from the last one.

The third and youngest guy was also a bit of a conspiracy theorist, what's up with that?  Unlike most times I went ahead and put a costume on him right there in the classroom.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Gilead Livestream

OK today at 1:00 pm Arizona time I'll be doing a livestream on my Facebook page and I'd love for you all to join me.
I think it will still be possible to watch it afterwards also, but I've never done this so I can't tell you how the details work until we have that experience.

I'm going to start an oil painting of this sketch.
and we'll see what happens.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Bad Pose part 2

  One more try because I realized that the first time I'd overlooked a subtle twist backwards like the model was turning to see who was behind him.  That gives it more narrative, but the stance is still too static and weird.  My idea the model to be sneaking forward and then looking over his shoulder as if he'd heard a noise or seen an enemy.  Honestly this just doesn't convey that narrative like I'd hoped.

Obviously the best way to redeem the project would be to re-shoot the photo, but that wasn't practical at the time and I really didn't have an assignment it was just an idea.
So this was my solution to redeeming the physical drawing.  His expression carries most of the action.  The motion of the gator moves the eye around the picture.
Also hiding his feet below water erases the flat footed stiffness of the earlier pose.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bad Pose part 1.

I thought this pose was interesting and that I could give him a sword and shield and make a really cool action illustration out of it.   But I should have known it wouldn't translate very well as an action pose.

 Adding a cool costume doesn't save it, there's still a dull trudge to his stance that will never generate excitement.