Monday, March 9, 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
Hello everybody! It's time for more of "Max's Dinosaurs!" Last spring, my great friends Ben and Ashley were eagerly awaiting the birth of their son, Max. They hired me to do four original illustrations for Max's nursery. My last couple of posts (here and here) have been a look into my process creating the two black and white ink drawings of dinosaurs. For this post I'd like to start sharing how we approached the less realistic, "cartoony" watercolor paintings I made for Max.
As a fun way of figuring out which "less realistic" style Max's folks wanted me to use, I did lots of quick doodles and sketches of different types of dinosaurs in various levels of "cartooniness" and realism. Dot eyes? Big scales? Happy faces? Exaggerated anatomy? These were just a few of the questions these drawings would help answer. Very little planning went into these and some were completely off the top of my head (which explains why some of them don't look that wonderful in my opinion! Haha!)
None of these characters or drawings were necessarily intended to be used in the final paintings, but just as a way to feel out which approach to take. After sending scans to Ben & Ashley, they picked out their favorite ones and gave great feedback about why they liked some more than others.
I knew they wanted a triceratops type dinosaur in one of the illustrations for sure, so I sent them this page of baby triceratops sketches. As you can probably tell, each one is a different approach to drawing the subject. Max's parents each chose their favorites, including which elements they liked the most.
After that, it was only a matter of combining those elements together into "one stylistic approach" in the two watercolors. And deciding what, specifically, the paintings would be of. And landing on what the compositions, colors, and character designs for each would be. Ok, there was still quite a bit to do. But guys, this part is pretty fun!
At the top of this page, you can see one of my first attempts to combine the different style and approaches into one that would be the most like what Ben and Ashley wanted. It's still not the final design, but everything that came after were only slight variations of this approach. All around the little guy, you can see thumbnails of possible subjects and compositions (including a couple that were for the stegosaurus drawing I shared before.) I came back to this page and sketched out some possible lettering at the top, after we decided which scenes I'd paint.
Above and below, are more rough sketches I used to develop possible scenes the cartoon dinosaurs could be in as well as which dinosaurs would they would feature. You may even recognize a few familiar dinosaur characters from other sources that I enjoyed when I was a kid. I drew these to help me get into that fun head space and to generate more ideas.
You may have noticed that a lot of these sketches feature Max's name. What a good eye you have! That's because I knew that his parents wanted one of the paintings to incorporate his name somehow. I couldn't shake the idea of his name big, bold, and carved in stone with dinosaurs surrounding it. After sketching out some other ideas too, it was clear. This was the idea I had to use! Here are some sketches where you can start to see glimpses of what the final painting would look like. As I continued to design and add more and more dinosaurs, I continued to rework the composition. Sometimes, I could tell the composition needed something else and made another dinosaur character to fill that need.
In the next post about Max's Dinosaurs, I share with you what steps I took to turn these rough drawings and doodles into a finished watercolor painting! I hope you enjoyed this look into my process. I had so much fun doing these paintings! Until next time, God bless!
Monday, January 19, 2015
|Figure Two: Triceratops, final piece, ink on 9.5" x 7.5" Bristol board paper.|
Did you guys read last week's post about Max and his dinosaurs? If not, you can read it HERE. Above is the second ink drawing I had the pleasure of doing for Max and his parents. His awesome dad, my pal Ben, wanted this one to be like a fossil display you would see at a museum. It took a while to draw all those bones and not get them all mixed up, but it was a fun challenge!
|Desk shot: light pencils stage.|
Next time, I'll be showing you how I tackled the Max's watercolors. Yep, more dinosaur goodness! Until then, God bless!
Monday, January 12, 2015
|Detail of Figure One: Stegosaurus, ink on Bristol board paper.|
Last spring, my amazing friends Ben and Ashley were eagerly awaiting the birth of their son, Max. They hired me to do four original illustrations for Max's nursery. I was honored and thrilled! They wanted them to be of dinosaurs! I was super excited!
After lots of fun discussions on the phone and messages back and forth, we settle on which dinosaurs and styles to use. Two of the pieces were to be black and white ink drawings and the other two would be watercolor paintings. Here is a quick look at how I made the ink drawing, Figure One: Stegosaurus.
|View from the desk: Pencilling in the finished piece.|
As you can see above, it's often my custom to surround the artwork I'm currently working on with my preliminary sketches and any other reference I think might be handy to refer back to while working. I lightly penciled in the dinosaur and then inked it over top. It's been a little while, but I believe I used various sizes of Faber-Castell PITT artist pens for most of the inking.
|Figure One: Stegosaurus, final piece, ink on 9.5" x 7.5" Bristol board paper.|
After completing this ink drawing and the second one, Ben and Ashley were kind enough to give me the "OK" to use scans of the drawings as designs for t-shirts and other products over at my Society6 shop. You can check them out and purchase any you'd that you like HERE.
|The MAX. A happy and cool dude sporting his stegosaurus drawing on his new onesie.|
You can even do what Ben & Ashley did and get your baby a stegosaurus onesie! Max seems to dig it! He is such a cool kid. I can't begin to describe how much fun I had on this project! I'll be posting more about the other dinosaur pieces I did for Max soon! Until then, God bless!
Monday, December 29, 2014
What better way to wrap up the year than with the last two portraits that were commissioned in October as a part of Monster Portraits Month? Above are two cool friends of mine, Heath and Amanda. It was fun to finish this series of commissions with another couple that could have their drawings paired together.
Here is a fast run through my process on these two. Above is one of the pages of sketches where I doodled out concepts. Even though I initially tried out other ideas, I just couldn't shake the thought of them as vampires (no offense intended! haha!) So once I settled on that, it was just a matter of finding the right approach and compositions. It took very little time to decide what type of vampires they would be, but you may be able to tell that I spent quite some time working out the relationship between the two drawings.
I settled on this. When presented together, Amanda's wings would be able to visually "connect" to Heath's drawing no matter which drawing was on which side. I used the talented Edward Gorey's take on Dracula as inspiration for the wings.
Below are snapshots of the pencil drawings of Heath and Amanda's faces on Bristol board, the "monsterized" and inked faces, and then the finished pieces once they've been scanned and adjusted (only for values and clarity) in Photoshop. You can see how in between the pencilling and inking stages, I not only added their new monster features, but also made slight changes in an attempt to improve the likenesses.
Thanks to all of you who continue to take an interest in my work and those of you who hired me or inspired me to make more. You have all helped to make this year even better! Your support means a lot! May God bless you as you finish 2014 and enter 2015!
Sunday, December 21, 2014
MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS! BEWARE!!! There is a Man-Eating Christmas Tree on the loose! And Santa is missing! Just kidding you guys, it's only the 8x10 ink drawing that Kirsten ordered through my shop. It was a lot of fun to draw such a cool idea!
Kirsten even sent me this picture of her "household art critic" approving. Cats are tough critics, guys. I think I got lucky this time.
As I'm writing this, I am excitedly awaiting my sister and brother in law to arrive from out of town. I'm happy they'll be staying a while to celebrate Christmas with us. I sure hope you all have a wonderful time with your family & friends celebrating the holidays! I'll end this post with a passage from the Bible which describes what Christmas is all about. Until next year, God bless you and yours!
Luke 2:1-20 (New Living Translation)
1 "At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5 He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was now obviously pregnant.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 'Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.'
15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them."
Friday, December 19, 2014
Look out, guys! Here comes Destry! He's a wolfman! A werewolf! Whichever you prefer! Above is yet another one of the portraits that was commissioned in October as a part of Monster Portrait Month. Something about my pal Destry's photo just howled "Wolf!" Little did I know the Wolfman is his favorite of the classic monsters!
|Click images to see them larger.|
|Just a couple of sketches I did while trying to learn to capture Destry's likeness and wolfiness.|
Next, it was time to get a grasp on drawing Destry accurately and to plan out his "monsterized" form!
|Light pencilling on 5x7 inch Bristol board paper.|
Here I begin the final piece with a light drawing of "regular Destry." Even "regular Destry" is still a special guy, just so you know.
I carefully erased parts of the drawing and added more wolf-like qualities. The technical term is "monsterizing."
Here is a look at the inking process. Music: Canis Lupis by Alexandre Desplat from The Fantastic MrFox.A video posted by Philip A. Buck (@philip_a._buck) on
And viola! A wolfman named Destry! Thanks for taking a look at my process on this one. To see the other monster portraits go here. There are still a couple of monsters on their way! While you wait, feel free to check out how you can get your own original art or purchase products featuring my art by clicking the "Shop" tab above. Until next time, God bless!
Monday, December 8, 2014
Friends, Romans, Countryfolk, lend me your wallets! -err, um, I mean... 7 DAYS OF DEALS on my Society6 products has begun! It all starts with $5 OFF ALL APPAREL & FREE SHIPPING on most items! Just click the "Shop" link toward the top of the page and then click "Society6 Store" or just click here: http://society6.com/philipabuck
Keep your eyes on that page or follow my social media profiles to find out about each new deal everyday! Thanks for your time guys- God bless!
Monday, December 1, 2014
I have added new designs & new products over at my Society6 shop! And today only (12/1/2014,) you can get 5 off + FREE SHIPPING* WORLDWIDE!
*Free Shipping excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Rugs.
|Ink on two separate pieces of 5x7 inch Bristol board paper.|
Hey everybody! Here's two more monsters from MONSTER PORTRAIT MONTH! This fine couple has a particular fondness for Frankenstein's monster and the monster's bride, so I was happy to "Monsterize" them accordingly. This was kind of tricky, but loads of fun!
Here are some of the earliest little sketches I drew to plan out the drawings. After that, I moved on to working on the likenesses.
|Light pencilling of likeness.|
I usually start the finished piece by trying to lightly sketch a likeness of the subject. Though, I have a tendency to press the pencil down too hard and often have to roll or press a kneaded eraser on the drawing to lighten it.
After achieving a likeness, I start "Monsterizing" the person by erasing and adding elements. For some reason, I find separating this into two steps helps me to get both the likeness and the monster qualities roughed in better than just sketching them out as the monster from the get go.
After lightly sketching it out, (sometimes tightly, sometimes loosely,) I then ink over the pencils while still referring back to the original photo and my preliminary sketches occasionally. After that, all that's left is to erase any stray pencil lines and then retouch some if the inks that may have faded when erasing.
For the rest of these two guys (their bodies and her hair,) I referred to stills from the classic Universal film as well as the work of Jack Davis (among others.) Here are the same steps with Sarah:
Believe it or not, but there are still more monsters on the way! Until then feel free to check out how you can get your own original art or purchase products featuring my art by clicking the "Shop" tab above. There's lots of deals going on right now, folks! Thanks for stopping by and looking! God Bless!
P.S. I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving and will have a marvelous holiday season!