Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Art Dump February 2012

This post includes a lot of life drawing (done while teaching, Sarah and I were usually in charge of kids drawing stilllives), and figure practice using Pixelovely.  Most of that is either drawn in pen or using a china marker, my gesture drawing tool of choice.
On Valentine's, I was offering free sketches.  Sadly, only two people took me up on that.  If you turn your head sideways, you'll see Eric Lide's Dahlia, from his comic Station Square.

And Alex asked me to draw a faun for her.

Outfit sketches.

A demo for the kids at Garrison using cut tissue paper and gouache.

Another outfit drawnig.

Some charm designs. I've been having trouble with idea theft lately, so please, no taking or borrowing.

More charm designs.

Charm designs.  No taking.

Charm designs.

Experimenting with Copic markers on sketchbook paper.  Not too shabby.

I've been accused of 'sameface', so here's some practice using the February issue of Nylon for reference.  To be fair, 90% of Nylon's models are blond haired, blue eyed, so I should really look for more variety.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

White Ink Test

Samples marked with a red dot are the most recently tested.
I've finally gotten around to testing some of the inks I purchased while in Japan- Dr. Ph Martin's Pen White, Daler Rowney FW acylic ink,  and an ink made by  Namura that has no English on the container besides Namura.  Unfortunately, it's my favorite correctional ink (for opacity and ease of application) I've tested so far, and I'm not sure if it's easily available in the US.  All samples applied with a generic, fairly cheap, synthetic watercolor brush.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Delightfully Tacky's Giveaway Commission

A couple months ago, Delightfully Tacky approached me asking if I'd like to participate in a giveaway on her blog.  Always up for a little promotion, I quickly agreed.  Lucky Lauren won a 25$ marker render, and since she was a patient sweetheart and waited a couple months for me to be able to get to the commission, I put the same amount of time and care I'd give to a 45$ commission into it.

Sadly, the scan kills the grass, and no amount of Photoshop tweaking will save it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I've been seeing a lot of online hostility directed to art schools in general and SCAD in particular. A fair amount of self taught artists are super quick to point out that you don't need an MFA in Sequential Art to be successful in comics. They're right. You don't.

I know I am a no-name aspiring comic artist with much to learn, but I try to share the journey as best I can through this blog.

I dont know why other comic artists in my department went to SCAD, but I know why I'm here. Two years ago, I was about to graduate from a third tier university in a program that risks losing its accredidation to this day, staffed by artists too tired to teach. I was essentially self taught in art, and had hit an improvement wall. Though I devoted about 5 hours a day to self study, my art was stagnating, and I couldn't get the guidance I needed. I hated living in New Orleans, I'd never lived more than a half hour drive from my podunk hometown, and my dad had recently died. All my female friends ditched me rather than be supportive, and I was ready to change my life.

People talk smack about SCAD, but at least it's well known. Those who've heard about UNO gave me pitying looks when I admit I graduated from there (full scholarship, 3.8 GPA). It was too late to go back in time and get a BFA in Sequential Art now that I had a BA in Digital Media under my belt, so I put in my portfolio and my application for an MFA instead, with the intention of teaching art as a career and freelancing with comics and illustration. Its a lot of money, but its my money, not a loan, and even if I never pay my bills doing comics, I wont regret my time here.

I've learned and have grown much while in Savannah. The city suits me. I'm no more popular or respected here than I was at UNO, but that doesn't matter to me.

I feel like this blog is constant proof why an MFA in SEQA is working for me. It might not be for everyone, and thats ok too. I've learned how to give, take, and use criticism, how to talk to editors, how to behave professionally, and how to be humble amongst all the art instruction, and these are lessons no book, Youtube video, Livestream channel, or DA tutorial can really teach. I am in an environment that encourages artistic growth, where I can easily request feedback from professionals. I've been given many opportunities I would never otherwise have had, and I've had the benefit of learning via the experience of others.

I don't intend to do webcomics. I want to do print children's comics, a demographic that rarely utilizes the internet. I enjoy writing and drawing for children, and have spent a lot of time volunteering at local schools. Without SCAD, I would still try to force myself into the webcomic mould, not knowing my options. SCAD isnt the only option for post-highschool comic craft education, but its the only one that offers an MFA, and the only choice to wash out the funk of UNO from my mouth.

If there's interest, I can talk about the MFA level class offerings and what I've learned in detail. I am by no means a SCAD apologist, the school itself is very flawed, and while our program has a few problems, I sincerely love it, and respect my instructors and fellow students. I'm just tired of seeing artists who've never attended the program throw it under the bus.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

General Marker Render Commission Process

I don't think I've ever posted the process for a marker render, let alone a marker render commission.  For this post, I'm cobbling together two commissions, mostly because I'd started taking screencaps with one, got really into marker rendering it, and the markers were done before I'd taken any pictures.  For the second, I didn't have any early process shots, but I was able to get lots of marker render shots.  Of course there are some differences in how I went about thinking about the individual piece, but for the purposes of this post, the differences are very minor.

Something that people don't realize is that a commissioned piece takes A LOT of work.  I try to involve the commissioner as much as possible and get as much input as I can during the early stages, because changes later in the piece are significantly more difficult and time consuming.  A marker piece with a detailed background is more than double the work of a marker piece with a simple background, and consumes far more marker ink in a variety of shades.  This post is a prelude to the price increase in my commissions that's coming in March, a behind the scenes look at why artists charge what they charge.  What you're not seeing in this post are the years of self study, of self denial, the lost social life and social skills, the hours spent in classes, and the money spent paying for these classes.  I feel like this blog in general gives a fair look behind the scenes of a grad student's life.

(Images and more below the break.  WARNING:  This is a long, image heavy entry)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Christina's Valentine's Commission

Copics on Starthmore 500 series Plate Bristol.

I've got more information about this commission coming up in the near future, including a step by step process of how I go about filling commissions (excluding the mailing process, sadly).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Copic Swag

Copic sent me some swag for retweeting a tutorial on #TutorialTuesday, so I thought I'd share my treasures with you guys.
My favorite piece of swag is the Copic catalog, which has a nice mixture of useful information about Copic products and Copic user artwork.  Within the artwork, there's a wide variety of applications, my favorite being the architectural renders and the concept design renders.  For some reason, I am ALL ABOUT that right now.
The pictures are only for reader's reference regarding the wide variety of application and even style within the art examples included.  I have no desire to rip the original artists off.

My favorite page is the color chart.  I wonder if they have a poster version I could order...

Other nifty pieces of swag included a vinyl Copic sticker (that's going on my Copic box) and some paper Copic stickers.   Really cool stuff, thank you, Copic!