Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekly Round Up

Maybe this will become a weekly thing, who knows. :P I also did Sneaky Monkey this past week (Monday the 21st), but he got featured in my last post about horses, so I'll just mention him in passing.

Requested by the owner to have a "lightning bolt" like star/snip to mimic her dam's marking. I love it.

Pretty standard here, but I had a lot of fun doing that fly-back mane.

Our only colt this week. He looks like a heart breaker. Tried to work with the coat a little, since he didn't have any markings. 

A number! I got to do a tag! Seriously, that's big stuff. ~.^ Also had to completely make up the nose, so that explains any thing that looks off. 

Last, but not least, an Appaloosa stallion. He's a blanket Appy (I hate when the markings aren't on the face!) so I had to punch up his coat with out giving him spots. Gah!

And that's all for now folks! My boss/art director's computer was fried over the weekend, so I'm on my own for a bit when it comes to horses. I'm hoping she can recover everything. o.o

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tarot: 6 of cups, sketch

Well, since this is a behind the scenes blog (ha!) I thought maybe I should actually show how I work sometimes. This is also sparked because I just did a demo for my mom's art class last week. O.O I can't believe I'm two years out of college already!

ANYWAY, since the demo was about my layering technique and I used my six of cups card as an example, I figure I can show how that came into being. Starting with the sketch stage.

Okay first things first, research. Tarot is complicated and has meaning stacked on top of meaning. So TO THE INTERNETS! This page and this page are great resources for learning about tarot and their imagery. Also note important colors, people, animals, scenery, etc.
After I've gotten a good idea what this particular card is about, on to thumbnailing. Seriously, I never learned the value of thumbnails until the very end of college. I did 11 thumbnails for this one card. Sometimes I only need about 4, but this one gave me so much trouble. I use thumbnails to get all the "crap" in my head out on paper, it's there, I acknowledged it, moving on to something better.
Now, during thumbnailing I'm also looking for reference pictures. That's where Google Images is my friend. References are fun and irritating at the same time. You don't want to copy line for line, but sometimes it seems like nothing is working. This is why I like using LOTS of references.

A major inspiration for all my cups cards is Zena Holloway. She's ground breaking in terms of underwater photography and her images are just breath taking. Here I used this image as a reference for my boy, but notice just how much I changed.

Now here, there's nothing referenced except the mood. Children underwater, playful falling tea cups, light and happy.

I love this grotto print and you can see I took a lot of the scenery from this image. But the black and white only serves as a value study, I want color, thank you. ^.^

Reference for the fish and the kelp, maybe looking at color now, seeing how distance is applied underwater.

Okay, this one has many references. The little girl in the green shirt on the left, the blocks in the fore-, mid-, and background. Looking to change those ferns into coral, that kinda thing.
credit- no idea, it's in the depths of the internet.

So, here's the first draft of the sketch. The first thing that changed were the size of my kids and that's the joy of Photoshop. Seriously, cut and re-size that shit, no need to redraw if you don't have to.

So to end, for now, with the "final" sketch.

The great thing about this technique is that it is not set in stone quite yet. In going to the next stage, I realized I still didn't like that fish at the bottom. So, I opted not to transfer it onto the illustration board and redrew it in the opposite direction to create a better composition.

Next time, sketch to illustration board and the "breaking of the white" underpainting. (that is, when I get around to scanning stuff.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Horse Headshots

Well, I figured I'd show some of my favorite horse headshots now that I've got quite a bunch under my belt. ^.^ I'm seriously having a blast with this. Come on, how could I not? I get to paint a horse a day and they pay me for this! Awesome! You can go here to see the SIM game they are a part of and to my site here to see a bunch more headshots. Enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book List: because I have the flu

How did it get to be mid-March already? Where did the time go? O.O

Well, since I'm coming out of the flu and I don't feel like doing much else, here's the run down on my book list so far. ^.^

74. Dragondrums, 75. Dragonsong by Anne McCaffery (finally have all three together)
76. Masques 77.Wolfsbane 78. Dragon Bones 79. Dragon Blood by Patricia Briggs
80. Touch of Darkness (finally finished that series!) 81. Chains of Ice (annnd just like that on to the next one!) 82. Someday My Prince (ugg, not as good) 83. Rules of Attraction (also not as good, the heroes were so... asshole-y) by Christina Dodd
84. Burning Water by Mercedes Lackey
85. Chalice by Robin McKinley (I want this one for my own!)

These next few books fell into my hands because L showed me how to buy LOTS of books on ebay... Oh, how he will regret this. ^.^ I think I need more shelves...
86. Impetuous Innocent by Stephanie Laurens
87. Midnight Pleasures with a Scoundrel by Lorraine Heath
88. At the Duke's Pleasure by Tracy Anne Warren (interesting book, although I'm more interested in the secondary character's story)
89. Rules of Engagement (that seems to be a popular title) 90. A Lady's Guide to Improper Behavior by Suzanne Enoch (surprisingly liked these and this author a lot!)

91. The Complete Guide to Massage by Susan Mumford (total departure from what I normally read, but it was very informative and had lots of pictures and I like to give massages. So there.)

To be read: Some Brian Jacques (RIP good soul), some Patrica Wrede, and maaaaybe this old Judith McNaught book that's as old as me that came with the book lot on ebay... we'll see. I couldn't get through Mary Balogh's Web of Love, too rushed and I wanted to smack the heroine upside the head, luckily the author's gotten much better over time. ^.^

I'm sure there are more, but I've forgotten and I'm tired and I can add to this later. :P