Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter!

Detail of Jesus Christ in my current project, recreating da Vinci's The Last Supper. Graphite pencils on watercolor paper.

    Hey everybody! How are you? I hope you just answered, "Pretty great, thanks!" I just wanted to wish you all a good Good Friday and a Happy Easter! I hope it finds you all well. No matter how awful, crazy, scary, or confusing things get we always have the blessed assurance of Christ's love. He showed us how much he loves us with his sacrifice for our sins on the cross and then came back to life in glory! Still to this day, he's there for us whenever we need him. It's pretty wonderful when you stop and think about it. Let's spread his love! Let's all celebrate!!! God bless you, guys! I hope you have a great weekend!

        "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."  -John 3:16 [New Living Translation]

Monday, March 31, 2014

Graphite da Vinci Studies

    Hello! Lately, I've been working on a commission for a client who asked for my interpretation of a specific painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Obviously nothing I can do will ever come close to the work of such a master, but I'm still trying to capture a "da Vinci feel" in the piece while making it my own as well. Before I got started, I began studying up on his works.

    For many years I've found da Vinci and his work fascinating and inspiring. His paintings have been referenced in more than a few of my own (1,2,3.) But, it had been a while since I'd spent time with his work, so i felt reading about him, his creative approach and studying his art would be essential to getting this piece right. Above and below are snapshots of some of the sketches I did from his paintings and drawings.

    There are so many great resources out there about da Vinci, some a little more reliable than others. I enjoy reading his thoughts about painting and soaking in his sketches and unfinished works. 

    Completing my own "da Vinci" is, of course, no easy task, but hopefully I'll be able to share the finished piece with you all soon. (This one's taking a while haha!) I thought you all would enjoy seeing these sketches until then. Well, I've got to get back to work! God bless, and have a great week!

P.S. Many new products are available over at my Society6 store. Just click here or click the "Shop" button at the top of the page to check them out!

Monday, March 10, 2014

TRUE GRIT in Watercolor

Detail of the painting. Click images to see them larger.

    Howdy and hello! Lately I've been doing studies and preliminary work for a watercolor commission I'm working on. I needed to do a "test painting" or two in order to figure out exactly which way I wanted to approach the actual painting step of the process. I knew I was going to be using a lot of browns and earth tones. I figured I may as well paint something that, if it turned out well, I could give to my dad as a finished painting. My Pops likes westerns and he and I really enjoy watching the Coen Bros version of True Grit. It's one of our go-to movies for funny quotes. What better to paint, but the main characters from the film?!

    Above and below are two photos of the finished painting in full. The top photo shows the brownish colors which dominate the palette better than the one below.

    This photo shows some other elements, such as the details and tones, a bit better.

Weird snapshot of the painting framed.
    My dad was quite pleased with the surprise painting! He asked me to help him frame it and set it up in his office. Cool! :) It's fun to get to surprise people with a gift of artwork every now and then. Or as Rooster Cogburn would say, "You are not LaBeouf."
    God bless, guys! Have a great week!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mourning Song_Evening Love

    Hey everybody! I recently had the honor of being a part of an amazing music project and I want to share it with you all. One of my best friends, Antonio Gomez, and his family recently experienced a great loss. His response was to begin the album project Mourning Song_Evening Love. Below, as well as in the video above, he explains:

     Lost a lot of close loved ones lately and created an album to express the emotions. Thanks to kickstarter and many backers, I was able to produce this music in my home-studio. I hope you enjoy it!!

    Antonio (also known as "GomezMuzik") came to me and asked if I'd like to do the album artwork for the project. I was honored he'd come to me with the opportunity to be a part of something so special. He wanted the artwork to reflect the album's music and purpose:  

Its about emotions that are bottled up needing to be released.. pain, hurt, love, joy (from the memories) of a lost loved one... ...representation of what your emotions do when trying to navigate a loss.

    Above and below are just some of the thumbnail sketches I did while working out different ideas and approaches for the image. In the top left of the image above, is my reproduction of a doodle Antonio did for me as a starting place. This allowed him to explain some of the symbolism and concepts he was wanting in the image. It also gave me a great jumping off point and key visual elements to rework in new ways.

   Since the illustration was going to be made into a stamp (such a cool idea) for the album cover, it needed to have a simpler, black line design that was easy to reproduce. I looked at a lot of old ink prints, signs, and stamps for inspiration, as well as other sources like old drawings and elements from nature. The top row was actually inspired by tree cuts and fungi!

    Here are the "Post-It Note" sketches I did after I received his initial feedback. He told me which parts of the sketches really stood out and spoke to him and I tried to quickly take those pieces and put them together in the sketches above. 

    And here it is! The final version of the album artwork for Mourning Song_Evening Love. I took Antonio's notes on the last sketches and tried to apply them to the drawing. I sketched it out on a piece of Bristol paper and then inked over it with brush pens. After that, I cleaned it up in Photoshop and sent it his way for final approval. He liked it. :)

   This really was a collaboration in the truest sense of the word. I'm some humbled and honored that I got to have a small part in this beautiful, healing project God is using to help those who've experienced or are experiencing some kind of loss. If you'd like to listen to or purchase GomezMuzik's first full album, Mourning Song_Evening Love, click here for a digital copy or here for a physical copy! The album is also available on iTunes! For more of his work and info on his upcoming shows, just visit his website or follow him on twitter.

    I hope you all are blessed by this project as much as I've been. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my illustration process. God Bless!

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Amplifier- Z is for Thanks a Zillion!

Click to the image to view it larger.

    Wow. Here it is, guys. My last "Alternative Alphabet" illustration for The Amplifier. Appearing in the current issue of the paper, this illustration incorporates a few of the figures that have shown up along the way from "A" to "Z."  My collaborator/art director, Leslie had the idea to do this and I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to revisit some of the characters I'd illustrated. What a great way to show our thanks and appreciation to those who contribute to the paper and those it aids.

    In this edition, The Amp staff put every previous illustration from the series in the paper as well as spotlighting some of the favorites and featuring a great article Leslie wrote about our experience on the project on the front page. How cool is that?!
Here is The Amp's mission as described on its website:

The Amplifier exists to give voice and economic opportunity to those living beyond the margins of our community and to address the social issues that affect them.

    For more information on the paper and how you can help click the website link above. It has been an honor to contribute and be involved even in a small way with what the folks at The Amp are doing. I hope you all get a chance to pick a paper up soon. God bless!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sketch of Melonie Diaz

Graphite on sketchbook paper, about 4 x 4.5 inches.
    Hey, guys! I hope you are all doing well. I thought you might like to see this sketch I did a week or so ago of actress, Melonie Diaz. She is a very talented actor (Be Kind Rewind is one of my favorites!) and also has a great look. When I saw her in this photo, I just had to do a sketch of it. Aw man, now I'm just thinking about how fun a Be Kind Rewind sequel would be... but it's such a great stand alone film. I don't know! haha! Anyways, I hope you all have a surprisingly glorious week! God bless!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rapunzel Sketch

Graphite on sketchbook paper, 4x4 inches.

    Hi, folks! Here's a recent sketch of Rapunzel from Disney's Tangled. I drew it while admiring the production sculptures by Kent Melton. It was just going to be a quick sketch, but I kind of got carried away (as I often tend to do!)
    I hope this new year has been kind to you all! It's already been a year of change and lots of art for me. I hope to have a lot of new/recent work to share with you soon. Until then, God bless!

P.S. Don't forget you can always follow my daily shenanigans on Twitter and see what inspires and intrigues me over on my Tumblr!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas! 2013

Click to see animated gif larger!

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! 
May 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. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 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. He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was now obviously pregnant.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 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.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 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."

p.s. About the GIF animation: It was completed by drawing 19 frames of illustration in Photoshop. The elk's major movement and look were rotoscoped on video frames from footage of an actual elk found in this awesome video. The smile, ornaments, and greeting were, of course, added during the animation process.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Family Portrait in Graphite

Click the image to view it larger.

   Hey guys! Recently, I had the privilege of doing another graphite portrait commission. Here is a snapshot of the finished drawing. This time, it was of three people on an 8 x 10 inches piece of Bristol board paper. I mostly used HB through 4B pencils, but I may have used a 6B or Ebony pencil for the darkest spots. For more on the process I used for these portraits click here to see previous posts about them. Thanks for taking a look! God bless and have a great week!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Superman Turns 75

    Can you believe that Superman turned 75 this year?! I couldn't stand the thought of  the year ending without posting something on here to celebrate, so here is a sketch of ol' Supes I did the other day. For more Superman fun, check out the Superman tag on my Tumblr blog. It would be great if I had time to post a sketch of Lois Lane (she turned 75 too!) or The Doctor (50!) but we'll just have to wait and see about that.
God bless, you guys!