Saturday, June 28, 2008


So I'm packing up all my worldly belongings and throwing them in storage while I figure out where I'm headed and what I'm doing next. It's a bit daunting.

In the process, I found these two pieces from the last year that I had never scanned. This is was preliminary sketch for an illustration to go along with an article about 2 clowns being assassinated in a circus in... Columbia I think?
And this was from when I was TAing the drawing class. Some of the students were complaining about one of the perspective assignments, so I did it alongside them. It involved doing a lot of reference sketching and then compositing the sketches into something fantastical.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

RISD III Spring - Cover to Cover - Lance Thunder

For the second open assignment for Cover to Cover, I decided to do a comic that my friends Keith and Art had developed, initially as a joke. The premise was to do the most manly over the top character. They came up with Lance Thunder and the Megariders. He rode monster trucks like steeds, wielded a chainsaw, and was just generally the most manly barbarian ever.

This was the initial pencils I did and posted on my DeviantArt page:I did a pretty quick digital paint job for class, but a friend showed the pencils to a friend who showed it to friend, and I was contacted by the ABC TV show DirtySexyMoney to ask if they could use it in an upcoming show. Apparently Donald Sutherland's kid in the show had a stack of comic books and they wanted to use Lance on top. So I asked my friends Chris McInerney and Erica Henderson if they'd take swings at coloring it. Ultimately the show ended up choosing Erica's version, but here are both.

Chris's:And Erica's:Also about the same time I worked on the poster for our Senior Show. Our Senior Show consisted of Katherine Batiste, myself, Rory Keller, Angela Gram, Keith Grassmick, Art Wu, and Stephanie Olesh.

RISD III Spring - Cover to Cover - Dune

Our last two Cover to Cover assignments were open. For the first one I chose Dune by Frank Herbert. Freaking love that book. I was up in the air between it and Ender's Game. However, Ender's Game struck me as incredibly hard to illustrate heh.I was 50 - 50 about which one of these sketches to pursue. I ultimately chose the one on the left, but in retrospect, kind of wish I'd done the one on the right.

I had a digitally colored version of this, however the file became corrupted. Crit was kind of harsh on this. I made the mistake that I was looking at an actual earthworm for reference, and forgot to take in to account, that it was shiny because it was wet... which a sandworm wouldn't be. Also, my professor wasn't a fan of what he felt was my going overly graphic with the worm, and composition... although another professor who wandered in during crit said he really liked that about the piece. Regardless I do have to agree with Jon that there's kind of a large empty space in the middle.Like the Wolverine piece, I'm hoping to get at this with some paints...

RISD III Spring - Misc., sketches, etc.

Some random stuff from the year unrelated to classes.

First, some good ol' Colbert fanart:
A poster for the RISD hockey team, the Nads. Our mascot is a giant penis and balls wearing a cape:Sketch for Children's Illustrators group on DeviantArt. The theme was striped socks:And some pen sketching around Providence:

RISD III Spring - Cover to Cover - Wolverine: Netsuke

One of the last assigned covers for Cover to Cover was Wolverine: Netsuke. This was a return to a comic book cover. However, while many of us were initially excited at the idea of doing a Wolverine cover, the enthusiasm palled a bit after reading the comic. Someone in our class pointed out it was like doing a Superman comic and having him walk everywhere. Bring out the claws, Wolverine!
I personally wanted to do the thumbnail in the top left. However, Jon felt it wasn't "cover-y" enough. So I went with one of the ones he and I both liked. I decided to try out a new media/style, doing a charcoal drawing with the intention of either then coloring it digitally or sealing it and then doing acrylic on top of it. Due to time constraints, I did some very minimal quick digital color.The crit I received was very adamant about fixing the shoji screen background to be more accurate and felt the female face was neither abstract enough to approach brush making nor realistic enough to approach the drawing style of Wolverine. I'd been attempting to match the way the artist had drawn the woman in the interior, but agreed that it didn't work.
I went back in and made some of the suggested changes. I recently sealed it and I'm hoping to get to doing some painting over it sometime soon.

RISD III Spring - Character Creation - Titan A.E.

So the big group project in Character Creation was to do a redesign of the characters in Titan A.E.Our group, which consisted of myself, Keith, Art, Stephanie, and Elisa, had some issues working as a team, but after some outing of some issues, we managed to move pass it and Shanth, our professor, thought we had some of the best designs in the class. Ultimately, I was pleased, as the two of the three designs he really liked were the ones I had the most input on (Akima and Gune) , and I loved the third one (the Drej), which I'll also post here, which design-wise was predominantly my friends Keith and Art while I came up with the logic that helped rationalize the design.With the Drej, they appeared to make no sense in the actual movie... they were pure energy beings who flew energy ships who for no apparent reason had decided on genocide for the human race. The problem with the whole energy being thing was that they still used guns to fire energy beams, they still had humanoid bodies, and the human characters had to interact with their various energy ships and buildings. Oh and when they were shot with energy beams by the heroes, they died. So we decided the Drej needed to have some more corporeal aspect to their form that the humans could disrupt. They also needed not to be humanoid while still having some kind of face that the viewers could identify with... and then we needed to figure out some kind of reasoning as to why they had this mad on for the human race. We eventually settled on the fact that they used the ruins and shards of a fallen advanced race to focus their energy beings around and then would travel by throwing out a shard and pulling themselves towards it. They had been the energy source of this advanced race but had gained sentience and overthrew their masters. They were out to get the humans, because in the humans they saw the potential to become their former overlords, and they'd decided to take preemptive action.

RISD III Spring - Cover to Cover - Misc.

Some sketches and whatnot from assignments where I didn't end up liking the finals.

RISD III Spring - Cover to Cover - The Goon

I was pretty jazzed for this assignment, considering it was a straight on comic book cover. I had never actually read the Goon and had to do some research for this. I decided I wanted to go old school sci-fi movie poster.These are the scanned pencils from the final, with text and whatnot added in.And this ended up being the final. The main crit here was that too much of the direction in the piece was a diagonal line between the bottom left and the top right. Also there was some argument over whether the robots were imposing/scary enough. Everyone seemed to agree that the guys in the bubbles were awesome heh.

RISD III Spring - Cover to Cover - Animal Farm

This assignment for Cover to Cover probably yielded my favorite finished piece. I love old propaganda posters and I really enjoyed going to town on this one.

The assignment was George Orwell's Animal Farm. My mind immediately went to old school Russian propaganda. I whipped up some sketches, including four finished sketches. Everyone was pretty jazzed about the one with all of the animals. While I had a lot of fun taking it to final... it took forever. Everything in the piece was drawn by hand with the mouse, mostly using the polygonal lasso and the airbrush tool. Even the lettering was done with the polygonal lasso and the fill bucket. I rolled into class completely sleepless, but Jon really liked it, so it was worth it.

RISD III Spring - Character Creation

Before continuing with Cover to Cover...

I also took a character design course with Shanth Enjeti. Sadly the course was at the end of the week and I was always completely exhausted from my 3 other studios, including the project with the Story Hat, Inc. So it seemed to always get shafted in terms of the amount of time I was able to put in. I'm gonna skip around a bit and only post the ones I happened to be somewhat happy with. Most weeks we had two characters due.

The first assignment I did was probably my favorite. A monster from Northwest Indian myth:Then we had to do one for a positive trait we like about ourselves:
And then one for a negative trait in other people we didn't like: For this one we had to do a rounded organic character that was offputting:
This was preliminary sketch of the antagonist character for my final, in this case I chose to do Morrigan from Irish myth:

RISD III Spring - Cover to Cover - Moby Dick

So I probably produced the stuff I like the most in Jon Foster's Cover to Cover class. So we'll start with that.

First assignment we had was Moby Dick. I remember reading Moby Dick back in high school and thinking it was the driest thing in the history of the world. Jon's instructions were to do a Moby Dick cover for an older teen male audience. With each assignment, we had to do 9 thumbnails and take one to a finished sketch. That was critted, and then we took it to final. I'll try to show you as much of the process as I have documented on each one. Here are the initial thumbnails and an alternate finished sketch I didn't use.So this was my proposal sketch for Moby Dick. I actually over developed a bit for the finished sketch. I was going for a graphic novel style approach. There are two whale bones arching in from the border and the whale skulls which are attached to the prow of the ship are represented in the design work towards the bottom. However, as you may have noticed I forgot to put them on the actual boat in the background.
I couldn't decide really where to go with it. General consensus seemed to be that the whale skulls needed to be more obviously skulls. But I felt they then started to look like teeth and liked them more as vaguely skulls/vaguely design elements. I still gravitate to one or another depending on my mood that particular day.I ended up using this one as my final:


Over the summer, I took a break from art, after being so burned out from the year before, and worked in the Residence Life Office dealing mostly with the RISD Pre-College Program.

So I did an ISP with Mary Jane Begin ( where I wanted to do some cover illustrations for some books I loved when I was a kid. I'll post both the finished black and white sketches and then my attempts at doing color versions... although they didn't scan that well.

Here are some of the preliminary sketches. You'll notice that things were either flopped to read left to right, or characters ended up being omitted. Or in this case of the Greenwitch cover, I didn't get to it in the final stage (although I still intend to).

First, I did a cover for the Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. Lee Scoresby's hat and the profile of Lyra's face gave me fits:Then I did one for Susan Cooper's Over Sea, Under Stone. Part of the Dark is Rising series. This one I banged out pretty quickly.Then I did a cover for Ursula K. Le Guin's Tombs of Atuan, part of the Earthsea series:I also did a quick Snow Queen interior piece for the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.
I also TA'd a sophomore drawing class for Fritz. I had a lot of fun doing it. While we were criting or in between helping the various students, I'd do my own sketching.