Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Final thoughtz

Initially coming into Illustration, I was a tad worried because I hadn't taken a traditional 2-D studio class for a while. My drawing skills were a bit rusty. However, I think now, by the end, I have started to gain my confidence in the illustration realm of things. I think the countless watercolors we did at the beginning helped to warm up my skills, as painful and time-consuming as they were. In fact, some of those quick little comps were some of my favorite pieces.

...like the two watercolors in my portfolio: the one of the foggy lake and pines...

...and the one with the boss storm clouds.

I've always known I work better at a quick pace, because it forces be to be freer with my mark-making and more expressionistic. Also, you can do more in a shorter amount of time, so there is a better chance that something will come out good.

Of the work I produced, there were definitely some trainwrecks, most notably the corny airbrush assignment ("Ashley Loves Shad") and the conversation piece (the roller derby girls). Airbrush is the bane of my existence. I guess I just don't have the touch for it. There goes my dreams of working as a carny at the airbrush booth! Well, at least there's always a spot for me at the sno-cone place...

Another work that I produced, the memory portrait (my grandparents dancing)...

...is not necessarily awesome in terms of technical skill, but I really like the way it turned out anyway. The loose line drawing with the varying weights of line was fun, and applying non-local colors was, too. I also think this was one of my only successful "cartoon-y" illustrations. In the future, I want to work with watercolor and pen and ink more, because I think I could really like it, even if I am still trying to get a hang of the best way to use it.

I also think my 3-object gouache shows some good skillz...

I think the composition works. Also, the subject matter, though it didn't make sense, was interesting. Who doesn't love E.T., ferris wheels, and Sitting Bull?? I wish I could have perfected the gouache technique, but overall, I am pretty happy with how this one came out.

I've found that landscapes are probably my favorite thing to do. Looking through my final portfolio, you'll see this. They seem to turn out the best for me. I like doing natural settings not only because of personal taste--I like the outdoors--but also because it is way more forgiving than other, more technical, subjects. If you mess up a tree or the sky, it is easy to cover up or make it disappear, but a building has to have straight edges and all that to make sense.

I think the illustration I did of the road (Highway 100, somewhere between Washington, MO and Hermann, MO--beautiful Rhineland) is a good example of the looseness you can capture using watercolor.

I think my strongest pieces were the El Capitan poster, the Missouri postcard, and the book cover illustration.

This was done in watercolor. I worked hard to make the rockface look as rocky as possible. I think it is realistic but still has that artistic, stylistic flair that a good illustration can have. I like the dense colors of the whole thing. Also, I think the simple, center design worked out well.

This piece was one of my favorite to do. I though working on such a small scale would suck, but it turned out to be fun. I like the colors of this piece, and of course the subject matter.

I think conceptually this is my strongest piece. Some of my others fell short of really depicting a story or being really clear what was going on, but I think this one's message is clear and strong. Also, I like the layout of the text. I think it works well in the composition. The simple color scheme also adds to the power of the piece.

Overall, I am happy with the body of work I produced in this class. I've gained confidence in my illustration abilities. Now, I am not worried about having to do it for a future employer. Sure, it's not my strongest point, nor do I think it'll ever be, but at least now I have the confidence to do it if I have to. Just another tool in tool box.

Book cover

Here is my book cover design. I used micron pen, sharpie, and watercolor for the 6.25 x 9.25 inches composition. I wanted it to be a pretty simplistic composition. Initially I just had the distraught Henry Fleming, the protagonist of the novel, in the bottom corner. I wanted to emphasize his isolation. After all, the novel isn't just a Civil War hero story, but also a story about a very lost, confused, and lonely young man. However, I was advised to add more--it needed something else. So I decided to add the bloodied soldier in the top corner. I think it helps out the composition a lot, and clarifies the story more. Now it is more clear WHY Henry is upset. Also, it is a part right out of the novel. Henry is called back by an old man who is dying, but Henry leaves him to die alone, which is a moment he has to deal with the rest of his life. Overall, I am very happy with the way my final illustration turned out.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sound poster!

Here is the final illustration for the 10x14 sound assignment. I am somewhat happy with how it turned out. I experimented and used a black board for my surface. Overall, I liked using it because the colors turned out so vibrant on its surface. It was a little difficult to work light on dark instead of dark on light, but I think I managed it okay. The worst part was that I could not use a white protective coating like gesso on the black surface, so I couldn't overwork a spot or else it would start balling up on me. It started to do this especially around the girl's eye. However, overall I think it's pretty successful.

El Capitan poster

I decided to go with a simpler layout. I tried A LOT of other suggestions. Initally, I had yellow text. I tried using bars and boxes to set the text apart. I almost went with a look that had a transparent dark green bar behind the text. However, I am glad with the layout I choose. The blue is subtle but a little more interesting than just black or white. Also, the centered type is simple, which is what I wanted so that the illustration could be the main focus.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The bane of my existence.

Here is my 10x12 cheesy airbrush. There is not much to say except that I do not see airbrushing as a profession in my future.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Here is the final illustration for the conversation piece. It is a 10x10 inch watercolor. I do not really like the way it turned out. I wish I hadn't made the background the color that it is. I need to work the looser, expressive watercolor with line. Overall, I guess it's kind of fun, but it's not my favorite piece ever.

Missouri postcard

I love Missouri. Seriously. My whole family does. My older sister even has a Missouri tattoo. I'm not lying. SOOO I liked this project.

I love float trips in the summer, and the Current River is probably my favorite river to float because of the rolling hills and towering bluffs that surround it. So I found a picture of the Current and painted it. I find that I like doing landscapes. I used watercolor for this 4.5x6 inch piece. I liked the way it came out. Working on this small of a scale was a lot easier than the bigger stuff that we've been doing recently. I wish the work was a bit looser--the short brushstrokes are pretty evident--but overall, I think it came out okay.