Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Painterly Landscape

I wanted to paint something loose and vibrant, without much pre-planning. I just want to GO, and was inspired by some really great landscape color sketches I've been seeing on random art blogs. I know Corel's real-media effects are infinite, and I've been wanting to try out as many different brushes and whatnots as I could. This was my "experiment" painting that ended up being something actually kindof nice. Hooray for the natural beauty of the Badlands :-)

Click on the image to see a super-huge version that shows all the brush stuff.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Jacob Cass - Just Creative Design

I want to take a moment to profile Jacob Cass of JustCreativeDesign.com, a graphic design blog choc full o' great articles and tips on design. Most of you (and me) are on the more illustrative side of design, but that is not to say that we should not learn about what makes great typography, etc.

The reason I am so enamored with Jacob Cass right now is because he is 20 years old, an incredibly successful graphic designer in Australia, a savvy and influential blogger, and a good-looking Aussie to boot! He's not even out of college yet and already has so many terrific examples in his portfolio, and accomplishments under his belt.

I urge you all to visit his site: http://justcreativedesign.com. This fellow is an inspiration!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Large Purple Queen - in progress

I have a wonderful job to paint Deborah, the amazing actress who portrays Queen Elizabeth I at nearly all the Northern Cali Renaissance Faires. I took photo reference at Folsom, which I have just gotten to and began to digest. A lot of digesting involved here. What an enormous challenge this portrait is and will be. She is wearing a gold gauze veil which will need to be re-interpreted on the black background (reference has a brown wood background), as well as a whole lot o' purple velvet encrusted with jewels and pearls. Myriad jewels and pearls, and these are the elements that will define the bodice and separate it from the sleeves. I am heightening the highlights of the purple velvet, to give it more form and definition, and I had to skinny poor Elizabeth up a little, as was absolutely customary and expected in the actual Elizabeth's portraits! Primarily I did this because the angle at which Deb was sitting, and the angle from which I took the picture, made the bodice look much larger than it actually is. She also has hanging sleeves that in this sitting position sortof just meld with the bodice. I trimmed off the right side, sitting her up a little straighter, and I will need to reinterpret the pearls, jewels, and piccadills on that side. I may also lower the neckline, again because of the angle of the picture. It seems like it needs to be lower.

So much work to do on this one. It will be quite some time before the lay-in phase is complete and I can begin rendering.

Edit: I just realized it looks like she is giving us a thumbs up! She is holding a long strand of pearls, actually, but I may attempt to make her hand look a little more graceful and posed in the finished painting, lol.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winter Belgian

Edit: I noticed and changed a couple hard lines one this painting, posting here the revised version, a little softer through the chest and some of the face. If you click on the above image, you can also see the huge version, with all the pretty brushwork.

I like this one -- it's got a different feel from the others. More light, less snow, more shadow on the ground. A little movement, but not much, and a fuller frame. As I mentioned, I did this one entirely using the pastel brushes in Painter, and have included a detail to look at the pretty marky-marks :-).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Winter Belgian - In Progress

I started this one in digi-pastel, and began developing the pastel instead of switching the oil. I like both feels -- this one is chunkier and depends a lot of light, I think. I run the risk of overworking things and having them feel mushy if I over-oil them, I think -- the Clydesdale suffers from this a bit. So I'm going to keep this card strictly pastel, and bring in some of the watercolor crystal brush for the dappled underside, at the end. I think I may also play up the drama with a warmer golden color to contrast with the blue background -- why not?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Winter Percheron

Another "Winter Horse" painting complete. I didn't like the green for the halter -- the painting needed more warm contrast, and something about this wintry blue and bold red together makes me think of Christmas :-).
I used the incredible watercolor crystal brush for the dapple grey spots. I can't imagine anything working better! This brush was created by Erin Middendorf, but I have no idea where the download is posted for it (go ask her, it's worth it!). I think you could also create your own with a little work.
What's next in the Winter Horse series? Maybe a Fjord, or a Belgian -- I'm missing that most recognized draught horse, as well as a Shire, so perhaps I'll do those two next.

This and all the other Winter Horse cards are available at GreetingCardUniverse.com

Friday, November 14, 2008

Winter Percheron - In Progress

So, a series! I think I like this one the best of the three so far. I love dapple gray percherons, their conformation and power. This piece doesn't have the action I thought I originally wanted in all of these, but I like the variety. I wanted this to be a strong "in your face" kind of pose. The feet will not be visible in the final, and you can see I still have work to do on the front legs and head. Then onto the dapples! The best part! I'm looking forward to using the watercolor crystal brush for that, though I doubt it'll solve everything, so I'll probably need to get in there and work out the dapples by hand too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Winter Clydesdale

Finished this one at the library tonight -- I don't get internet there, so I really have no choice but to paint. It's really a wonderful alternative to sitting at home with all the temptations of doing something besides what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm showing a detail of the painting too, since I'm in love with Corel Painter and love looking at these brushstrokes.

The next in the series is a percheron, dapple gray, which I think will be a cool painting with this snowy foggy effect. Plus I'm itching to use these watercolor salt brushes a little more. Should be fun.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pendragon Portrait - Done?

I think he's about done! What do you all think? I like that some parts of this are left a little looser, while other parts are very rendered. I don't want to overwork it. I'm thinking about developing some "antique varnish cracking" filters to use. Could be fun.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Christmastime Cuteness

I've caught Christmas fever from making Christmas art in November. I can't help it! I was so in love with the graphic design and illustration of Bath & Body Work's winter line of lotions that I was inspired to make this cute little landscape. It felt empty without a cute little snowbird, so I added him in and I think it makes the whole picture :-). I think I might like this better if each color were textured, so it looked like cutout fabric and paper. Perhaps I'll work on that and make a Christmas card out of it. For now, this vector illustration is on Vectorstock.com, and will hopefully generate some pennies :-).

Friesian Holiday Goodness

Who doesn't love Friesian horses running through the snow?

I'm putting this image up for sale, like, everywhere...

Greeting Cards at GreetingCardUniverse.com

Posters, mugs, t-shirts, other stuff at Cafepress.com

Portraits - More WIPs

Oh the amazing things to do without paint...I am in love with Corel Painter X. I usually block in a lot of these in Photoshop, then take them into Painter and render render render. "Pendragon" has a ways to go - he's got a LOT of buckles and things on his costume, not to mention that hand, and I want to work more on his face and the beard obviously. "Ron" is a miniature, so he's actually almost done, hooray! It's all shapes, shapes, simple shapes.

Monday, November 03, 2008

"Toni" - Miniature In Prog, pt 2.

Here's the progress on one of the miniature portrait commissions, from Folsom Faire. I posted the underpainting last, and after some major paint-surgery, I finally got the proportion of this lovely lady's face correct. Toni has a very unique look that needs to be spot-on in her miniature, so I am paying particular attention to the eyes and lips. This painting is shown way larger than its finished size, which will be 30 x 40 mm.

Friesian - In Progress

This is an underpainting for a "holiday friesian." He'll be charging through the snow, and be decorated with a red halter and maybe some jingle bells and holly in his mane...things like that. It won't scream "CHRISTMAS!" but it will be wintry and pretty :-).

Cross-posted from Sketch of the Horse.