Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ilustration Academy-style Figure Drawings

This summer I attended the Illustration Academy, the best place for somebody coming right after school to really take your illustration skills on a whole new level and learn about the business side of illustration from accomplished illustrators.
The approach to figure drawing at the Academy is to pay really close attention to the silhouette of the figure. It's important not to get caught up in minor insignificant details and pay attention to larger shapes of the figure and the gesture of the figure. Two other points that were mentioned were not to overrender the figure and not to overstate the shadows.
The materials used in this approach are toned paper and Nupastels. Pastels are not my favorite medium, but for this approach it's essential to use them. I already see improvement even in those few weeks that I started drawing that way again since the summer.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jack and the Beanstalk Redux. Process and Final Images.

I'm very excited to finally finish these five sequential images. Below, I post some of the initial thumbnails, value studies, color studies, reference photos, and inspiration that were essential to create the final images. It takes a lot of preliminary work to get to the final result, and at times I started to get impatient. Hopefully, all the hard work is reflected in the illustrations.

Introducing New Website!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MSLA Bookmark Awards Ceremony and Rally for Massachusetts Libraries

MSLA (Massachusetts School Library Association) Bookmark Awards Ceremony in the State House in Boston

The winners of the MSLA Bookmark Contest with their librarians

Inside of the State House

I participated in the Rally for Massachusetts Libraries in front of the State House against the cuts to the funding of the Massachusetts libraries (both school and public). It seems outrageous that the state wants to cut the libraries' budget by more than half of its current budget. I think the libraries are such a great resource for so many people and it's a key to having an intelligent, well-read and well-informed new generation.

I personally really love libraries. I use interlibrary loans almost obsessively, ordering 20 or more art books at a time. The libraries remember me really quickly. I also enjoy checking out different libraries in various towns I visit. A lot of towns are associated in my mind with their libraries. Many of those libraries are located in really beautiful and/or historic buildings.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I just discovered a new and fun way to sketch. I made a whole new sketchbook with different color toned paper in it. First I use my favorite sketching tool -- a brush pen (Kuretake Fountain Brush Pen) (with waterproof ink), then I paint with gouache, trying to leave the color of the toned paper as a middle tone (wasn't that successful so far).

I'm always looking for new ways to sketch and keep myself interested. Sure, I'd love to come up with beautiful, accurate and imaginative sketches just out of my head. To get there though, I need to pay attention to observational drawing. I figured out a way (for now) to combine those two approaches. I look through my numerous photography books and magazines that have a lot of photos of places, people, animals, etc, etc. I pick a photograph that catches my eye and try to figure out how I can sketch the subject, but put a little imaginative twist into it (observation+imagination). It could be combining some unrelated objects, or playing with silhouette, shape, color, light/dark, lost edges, and who knows what else. That keeps me interested and fulfills my goal at getting better at drawing and building my visual memory.
This type of sketching is enjoyable and stressless.