Tuesday, October 28, 2008

blue and brownish crystalzes

this is the latest - I think I'm improving at this technique every time I do it -

1970s illustration

I went to the library and read a book about illustration in the 1970a. I stole these images. A lot of them are by Philippe Corentin or Alain le Saux - I can't really find much information about them on the internet, but I really like these pictures.

I'd like to develop that skill of thinking up smart, metaphorical imagery that brutally communicates an idea, in such a poetic way.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I was asked to design a layout and cool banner for Mountain Madness Mondays, a blog about an apres-ski (snowboarding?) night. This is what i came up with - it might be tweaked a bit yet. I managed to fight down my tendency to have every single colour in the artwork, and keep it down to a few ones that look good together.


Monday, October 6, 2008


Another one in my "series" of little watercolours of rocks. This one is different in that it has black lines, and I tried to keep the colours more subdued and earthy (to a point, obviously).

Watercolours look so fantastic when the paint's wet, but are often pretty dull in comparison once they dry. It really depends on the particular brand and colour you're using, I think. Maybe one day in the future I'll try to use oil or acrylics again, for that shiny, wet look.
Pigments are an interesting thing... they can have such amazing qualities. I guess a computer screen isn't really the same way - we can get pretty much any hue on command with a computer, but there's always going to be something compelling about a limited choice, about the idea that some colours are more expensive than others. The history of pigments is fascinating (especially when some strange material had to be got from mummies or some weird, particular source. So romantic!).

Monday, September 29, 2008

words and pictures

I'm trying to develop my narrative tendencies, by coming up with A Story. It's going pretty well, I guess - except for the fact that the story sucks, and is lame, boring and not pertinent to anything significant. I wouldn't want to put it on a wall and have anyone I know see it. Is this something I should keep working on, and improve it in terms of those negative aspects, or just abandon it completely?

It's very, VERY rare to find any one person who is equally good at drawing a story, and writing it - in terms of the plot, the characters, the choice of language, and all that. Most good comics have either a compelling, well-told story combined with simple drawings, or beautiful drawings and pointless words. Actually, maybe it's not an exact balance - a comic with a shitty, lame, saccharine plot and nice drawings isn't usually worth reading. I would actually say that the story is more important - but I think the key is that the images should be appropriate to the story. As in, the artist should know his or her limitations and stick within them, rather than trying to draw in a more complicated style than he or she can.

But what I really want to talk about is: why do we expect one person to be able to do both? What happens if we combine a great storyteller with a great artist? Maybe this is what happens the vast majority of the time - the comics I read are mostly webcomics, where it's all about the self-publishing and such, whereas in a traditional published comic, it's made by several people.

I think I'm all for abandoing the stereotype of the artist as an individualistic genius who does it all himself or herself. On the other hand, maybe there is something lost if you have two people working on both sides of the story: not because it taints the purity of the individualistic genius artist, but maybe because a story with great words and great pictures isn't as interesting as one that is a little imperfect on one side of the equation.

I think there's still something charming about reaching for a certain mark, and falling a little short of it.

Or it could be that the real important thing is the way the words and pictures work together, to tell a story. An image isn't just there to embellish the words (most of the time). And words aren't just there to explain the picture. Striking a balance is probably key.

Maybe instead of coming up with words to tell a story, I should realise that pictures can tell a story on their own, since that's what I'm better at.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm getting into the habit of blocking things in when I use Adobe Illustrator - just kind of building up a general composition with colourful shapes, and then using another layer for lines. I thought this pre-line composition looked kind of neat.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

more imaginary rocks!
this is better than the other ones, and I'm getting better at keepin' it clean with the watercolours.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I drew this shitty thing just so I could update.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And this here happened in Adobe Illustrator - it's just a really quick sketch based on a conversation in which a guy said he doesn't go for "conventionally" attractive women.
OK here are some new images finally!! These are all pen and ink, with a few watercolours thrown in.

This one above is part of my slow attempt to become more narrative - I'm trying to come up with an actual story, without worrying too much about how cheesy it might be. I think that like any ability, narrative ability has to start out really crappy, and get better with practice.

You might notice a lot of butt-drawings in this group.

My sister said about this drawing that if an angry horse became human, it would look like this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I am prolific today! (this one was quick)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

this was inspired by a photo one of my friends commented on on facebook- I don't know this lady, she just showed up on my news feed. So it's not really a caricature of "her" -more like all proudly pregnant women in general.

I'm pretty happy with the way there's a gradient only on her belly, so the focus is there, and the pants kind of fade into the background along with the feet. I want to make drawings with "areas of detail" and stuff like that.
there is also this I made today!

I went for a 30-day trial period of adobe illustrator. I'm really considering actually buying it.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I want a comprehensive book of anatomy for artists that shows how to draw everything, including women and men (and not just women as modified versions of men), overweight, underweight, ummuscular, young, old, people of many different races (and not just as special bonus chapters), every expression including chewing food, pulling your eyelid apart, sticking your tongue out, puffing up your cheeks, with folkloric and pseudoscientific facts about what it means to have a widows peak, various relative lengths of index and ring fingers, dimples, or those weird assymetrical teeth, and while we're at it this book should include orthodontic diagrams about problems with crooked teeth, as well as how to draw sexual organs of different shapes and sizes in various states of arousal (instead of leaving the crotchal area as a mysterious blank), wounds, scars, bruises, how to render skin that's freckled, sunburnt, peeling, acne-ridden, skin that has the imprints of elastic bands or wrinkled pillows, how to draw the results of bad and good plastic surgery, like nose implants and fake tits as opposed to real ones, also that weird drawing that shows how big your body parts are in relation to how much brainspace is dedicated to them, and a history of standards of perfect proportion for every culture, and a historical overview of the most popular cartoon-proportions over the past century or longer.

Not just healthy, brooding, white heroic muscle-men.

(I know that such a book would be huge and impossible, and at a certain point you just have to draw more from life. I'm just saying - such a book would be awesome.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Alright, a picture!

I work as a barista. This is a self-portrait. I'm pretty happy with the progress I'm making in terms of conceptualising an image, planning the composition, and making the correct lines. And using Photoshop to do it.

My favourite part of the image is the left-hand. it's BEAUTIFUL!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I am working on this. I find it extremely frustrating to try to do photoshop drawing, and make it look the way I want. I need some kind of instruction or tutorial (and the patience to sit through it).

I think the colour scheme is not too bad - maybe the most important thing is to start with the right colour scheme. I want to have really flat colours around certain areas, and eerily detailed skin, inspired by old old posters and such.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I just started a blog!

I can post images I make!

These are some imaginary rocks and crystals I painted with watercolour. I try to make the colours ugly, yet appealing. I keep on making the mistake of filling up the whole frame in a very boring way.

And images I didn't make, but I like!

I like the amateur quality of this drawing. It looks so sincere. I think that in art these days, people are attracted to a combination of sincere intent and amateur aesthetic. It almost doesn't matter what the content is, as long as it looks like the artist was really into it. Why is this? Do educated, jaded people find it cute that someone was so enthusiastic about a subject that they perservered in their depiction of it despite their lack of skill? Are they mocking, or are they jealous? It's more interesting than wankery.
I also love the combination of one image with one word, especially when the word is a frank statement explaining the picture. A label.