Wednesday, May 8, 2013

School, work, study. Rinse and repeat

Oh man. I let this sit for far too long. Time to get caught up.

Before I get too far into the update, let me just throw out a few new links to portfolio sites I started up recently. Go forth and follow, my bretherin.


So! Last post I made came just before CTNx. After a 9 hour layover in San Fransisco airport I snagged a late flight out to Bob Hope and arrived Friday evening. Had a great time getting to see some old faces and meeting new ones. I managed to land an interview with BLT Communications. Big thank you to Chris, Aaron and Seren for their hospitality. Was a pleasure getting to meet you all and having the opportunity to check out all the fantastic work your team produces.

Something I realized after leaving CTNx (which almost didn't happen because I was on standby for a direct flight back to Denver) was, though the experience as a whole was rewarding, I had a hard time getting my portfolio in front of the right people. There were so many great animation studios posted up in booths and back rooms but very little in the way of game art and feature file. I also must admit that I was a little passive when it came to the after parties and such, something I'll need to improve on for the up coming Spectrum Live and Denver Comic Con events..

In December DeviantArt  hosted a contest in partnership with The Art Department for a chance to win some online classes AND a 3 week workshop over in Kansas City, MO. After a month of deliberation I was extremely fortunate to have won 1st place in the 2D Entertainment category. Check out the rest of the finalists and don't forget to click the links in each section to see the 30 runner-ups. Some really incredible work.

Those classes started up in early February and I've had a blast learning under Vanessa Lemen and Marshall Vandruff. Here's a sampling of one of my assignments for Marshall's Composition and Color Theory I class:

The goal was to take a few different emotions and represent them as abstract value compositions. And though a few of these leaned more towards the representational side of things, they were a unique way to loosen up and not think too much while your getting your hand moving.

In Vanessa's class I've been going back to my educational roots by working with oils again. It definitely hasn't been easy trying to pick up a brush after almost 2 years but the more we do the more it's all starting to come back to me:

This past assignment we jumped into digital for the first time and I used a lot of the simple techniques I've been using for my film studies to knock out this portrait out in 2.5 hours:

Something I've definitely noticed in my portrait/character design process that's become a bad habit of mine is relying too heavily on the "fix it in post" mentality. As you can see in the initial grayscale sketch some of my features were quite a bit longer and larger than they should have been. And I've grown comfortable allowing my portraits to maybe be too loose and inaccurate in the beginning stages rather than putting the correct strokes down the first time. (Another reason why I gravitate towards environments and props over figures and creatures.) Still much to learn! An artist's education is never truly finished ;)

As I mentioned above, in an effort to understand what make a piece of art feel cinematic,  I've been trying to make a habit of doing hour-long film studies based on a few of my favorite movies. These are meant to help my understanding of what makes an image feel like as though it was pulled straight from the big screen, both in color, value, and composition. I use primarily 3 brushes for all of these, but 2 (soft round and hard round) if I can help it:

Speaking of cinematic  I've continued to move forwards with my "Precipice" project. Some of you might remember the process I showed for my main character, Nastasya, a while back:

In my previous posts I talked about finishing up a full-length tutorial for the hospital environment that sets the stage for The Precipice. You can download/view the full tutorial here.

I've also been using my Visual Narrative class with Marshall as a way to further parts of The Precipice into a sequential art format. I'm working hard to finish up a 4 page comic that introduces a new character Marek and will ultimately storyboard a small segment from the project:

Facebook has become a huge source of inspiration for myself over the past 6 months or so. I wake up every morning and scroll through a feed of beautiful and awe-inspiring work from artists all over the globe. So myself, Zach Madere, and Brent Pickrell decided it was time to start a group where all our friends, classmates and colleges could share what they've been working on, ask for critique, and socialize with other like-minded individuals. Thus, The Crit Corner was born. We had our first Challenge back in April. Topic was creature and the two description words were "irradiated" and "climb":

I'll be posting the announcement for Challenge #4 shortly, so head on over and start getting involved with the Critters ;)

Last week was the opening for my first ever First Friday show down on Sata Fe. I had the distinct pleasure of showing with Grant Griffin, Jon Baker, Raul Ramos, Tom Collins, Matt Hubel, and Victor Escobedo. I'll most like still have a few small 8.5"x11" prints left over by the end of the month. I'll make sure to post photos if anyone is interested by then.

I almost forgot! A few months back I had an art test for a studio out in Hungary. Didn't manage to land the position but I had some fun working on the prompt. Will probably spend some time extra time cleaning this up before Spectrum Live next week:

Annnndddd....I think that covers it. I'll be gone for a business trip this weekend, and I'l be sure to fill you all in on how that goes. This one is a first for me so we'll see what the future holds. But for now, thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of your week!


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