A couple of years ago I noticed the abundance of black walnuts that fell in my back yard. As I filled a wheelbarrow to compost the nuts, I remember feeling it was wasteful and wished I could use them. Later I came across an article on how to make your own Black Walnut Ink. The following fall the trees did not produce much fruit, but this fall I had an abundant harvest and an opportunity to try my hand at making ink.
This is a digital portrait of Senator Bernie Sanders. I really enjoy creating this kind of portrait, juxtaposing loosely defined ares with more tight rendering. I feel like the final result feels more “alive” than a tightly rendered one. I suspect it has to do with blurriness suggesting motion and it replicates the effect caused by the fact that the eye can only perceive a small area in focus at any one time.
I’ve always admired the work of renaissance master Leonardo DaVinci. I recently read his biography and felt a stronger kinship to him than I expected. I should clarify I haven’t got any illusions of grandeur and don’t think my artwork is somehow on par with Leonardo’s, but it was interesting to learn how he did considerable amount of work creating concepts for the “entertainment industry” of his time. Many pages of his notebooks are devoted to designs and sketches for costumes and props for various performances and pageants to amuse his patrons at court. This was an opportunity for Leonardo to let his imagination run wild and explains the sketches of flimsy looking flying machines and some of the more fanciful designs that don’t seem to have a chance of working in reality but look terrific on stage.
Leonardo’s observant nature and thirst for knowledge across different fields would have stood him in good stead as a concept artist. He was also more an idea man whose interest in the job seemed to fade once the concept and problem solving was done, which is reflected in the many unfinished and abandoned assignments.
Another hurdle to Leonardo finishing commissions was the fact that he was a perfectionist and had a problem calling a piece done, something a lot of artists will identify with. Leonardo obsessively worked and reworked the Mona Lisa, and took it along on his travels, and it was with him when he died on this day, May 2nd, 499 years ago in Clos Lucé, Amboise, France.
This was one of the most fun assignments I’ve worked on for any game. I was responsible for creating a cinematic intro that explained what happened between the first tutorial mission, where we see the outbreak happen, and what follows in the rest of the game, weeks later when the world has descended into chaos.
I really enjoyed the creative freedom and responsibility with this project, from hashing out the story via storyboards with one of the co-founders and creating a rough animatic in After Effects to lay out the flow and composition of the shots, to creating most of the 2D assets. I also provided art direction for Witness, the animation studio that did the final animations and effects.
It was satisfying to see the finished product in-game and know that millions and millions of people got to see it. That is a stark contrast to how it commonly is, when your work may not be seen by anyone outside of the development team.
Stills from the final animation:
I got the chance to work on Zombie Gunship Revenant with Limbic Software. This game was featured as one of the “Best of 2017” in the Appstore.
Here is the initial sketch and the final image for the difficulty level selector screen. The difficulty level and the zombie mayhem increases as you scan from left to right. It was fun to tackle such a wide format image and so many zombies.
“Sibling Rivalry” my piece in the Art PM show at Buoy Gallery in Kittery.
Class demo in water soluble graphite for my students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I stumbled on this technique when I was working on my master’s thesis in 2003. I used it to create full value graphite drawings that I colorized in Photoshop.
It is time to get this going again. It’s been almost a year since I posted anything here. It has been a fun and busy year with the birth of my son last summer. Here is a plein air oil sketch that I did just before the record breaking snow melted up here in New England.
“V8” my illustration for a group show in Reykjavik opening tonight, on the theme “daily life of superheroes”. Also created as a cover for a comic I wrote a while back and might do something more with. Can you figure out who this one-eyed gentleman is supposed to be?
Here is a watercolor sketch from my new neighborhood. After living in landlocked Atlanta for 2 years, I’m enjoying spending time at the beach. My oil colors are still with the movers but I brought my watercolors along to use in case of emergency painting withdrawal.
I love to paint quick “plein air” oil sketches of my surrondings. After 2 years in Decatur, GA, I had accumulated a number of sketches with no real outlet for them besides this sketchblog. When I saw that the town had a juried competition for a postcard design, I put 6 of my sketches together into a design. My design won, and now the postcard is being sold around Decatur. The design includes this painting of a mill tower by the falls in Lullwater park on the grounds of Emory Collage. That is the only painting I didn’t post here yet, even though I worked on it a while ago.
Atlanta and Decatur have an abundance of little parks to discover. Since I’m moving away soon I organized a final painting excursion with a friend of mine. We found an old stone bridge which interestingly was spared all tagging and graffiti that was found on other structures in this park.
Saturday was the 43rd world wide Sketchcrawl. The plan was to meet in Piedmont park on a drizzly afternoon, this time I only saw one other sketcher. It was a nice day out and a welcome break from portfolio gathering and resume writing. I have long wanted to paint this old bridge that brings the Beltline through the park. One time I looked up and saw this tiny crawler on my canvas. This inchworm blended perfectly into the painting, and then I knew I had done pretty well with my color mixtures. By the time the next Sketchcrawl comes around, I may well be in another city where I hope to continue the Sketchcrawl tradition.
A 20 minute pose from last night’s figure drawing session.
Here is a oil sketch I did a little while ago. These are two beautiful trees in my neighbor Charles’ front yard. I thought I might revisit it to finish, but I like the sketchiness of it. Besides, it is always more fun to just start a new one.
A group of sketchers met at the Oakland cemetery in Atlanta for Sketchcrawl 42. It was a cold day even though the sun was shining. I managed to do a quick watercolor and pencil sketch of a tomb before a few of us retreated to a cafe to warm up and sketch indoors where I pulled out my ipad and did a quick study of a coffee cup using Artrage.
Here is another travel sketch. This one was done looking out the window of the house I grew up in and where I’m staying in Iceland over the holidays. This one was done using Procreate on the iPad mini with a Wacom iPad stylus.