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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rancho Dancer in Red


"Rancho Dancer in Red"
9" x 11"
Oil on linen

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Jockey in Red

"Jockey in Red"

oil on canvas on board, 9" x 12"

Charcoal sketches

All charcoal on paper, 9" x 12" respectively.

White Hat

"White Hat"

oil on canvas 8"x 10"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interview @ KhuanTru.com

That's right! Right now you can take yourself over to KhaunTru.com and read an interview with yours truly. As you'll see in the interview, I'm very deep with my answers:)
I know you'll all want to re-read my interview several times, but once you've taken in my awesomeness, Khuan has a lot of other great interviews that are really worth a read. So go ahead and peruse his website.

In all seriousness, I want to thank Khuan for the opportunity...so if you have a few minutes, head over there and check it out!

Link to interview: http://www.khuantru.com/2011/09/interview-with-derek/


Friday, August 26, 2011

More Alla Prima paints

These two paints are finished in the "alla prima" method. One sitting each, and both took a few hours. I actually love painting these in-between big works. It allows me to be more free with my brush strokes and I actually can call something finished at the end of the session. They're nice treats, for in-between projects. Both are painted on canvas on board and are 5x7.


"Girl in Hat" - oil - 5x7


"Sharon" - oil - 5x7
The bottom one is of a local Singer/songwriter, Sharon Little, who performed a free concert close to where I live. Couldn't help but snap a few shots during her performance, and this pose inspired a painting. I enjoyed the show, and she's really got a style of her own.
http://www.sharonlittle.com/

Thanks for looking.
-D

Sketchbook Compilation 14

It's yet another round of lunchtime sketchies from my "toned" book. The top sketch I've painted in oil, once that dries, I'll scan it and post it. The next one is me having sci-fi fun; the next two are studies in simplifying values and the last one is a Lord Frederick Leighton master study of "Gulnihal".



Thanks again for visiting my blog.


-D

Monday, July 11, 2011

alla prima

In my spare time, I've been fooling around with oils...as you can see in my last post. These were done from reference and painted alla prima. I tend to lean toward painting with strong brushstrokes in oil, attempting to get everything right the first time I lay down the paint. Don't get me wrong, the old masters had their exceptional methods which led to beautiful paintings...but that's just not the way I see my oils. Anyway, small update below. I have more paintings done, but these two are the only ones dry right now:)

The top one is of an actor...can't really recall his name. I think it begins with a "T" or a "C" or something...just kidding, if you don't know who that is; either my painting is terrible or you don't watch many movies, especially westerns. And below that is a friend of mine, Dawn. Both paintings are done in one session each.


"Clint" Oil 8x10


"Dawn" Oil 8x10


I've yet to learn how to justify an oil painting through a photograph, so please excuse my inadequacy.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Master Studies

So why execute studies, you say? Well...there's an easy answer, at least in my eyes. There are numerous books, ebooks, blogs, videos, dvds, boxsets, all devoted to teaching you how the old & new masters of painting executed some of their more notable paintings. And you can read and watch all these until your eyes bleed, but it won't come close to what you'll actually learn, trying to produce master works yourself.

There's a great site out there, the Arc Museum, which can be found here:
http://www.artrenewal.org/

There's several reasons why this site is fantastic, but for me, it's the large versions of master-works they can provide. This is great information for any artist, no matter what field of art you're currently working in. In the end, practice is practice...and under any realist/illustration out there, lies the foundation to properly render light and form, and these masters found on this website are some of the best in history. So if you haven't visited the ARC Museum yet, what are you waiting for?

Below are some of my attempts at studying master work, in either oil or charcoal. All master-copies are of William Bouguereau's pieces. Again, if you don't know who that is...go there (ARC Museum) right now and take a gander at one of the best realist painters who ever lived.



12x19 Charcoal




12x19 charcoal

6x8 oil on canvas


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sketchbook Compilation 13

I know, I know it's been a while...well what can I say. Art has taken all my time. With commissions, lunchtime sketchies, watercolor studies and wait for it...wait for it--OIL studies (yes I said oil), apparently blogging and internet surfing has almost halted.

Since it's been a while, figured I drop in while I had a moment and pop some lunchtime sketchies in here. You know what they are, so I don't have to repeat myself. If you don't, just go back and check out all my lunchtime sketchies. You'll figure it out.

The cool thing is, I have a commission I'm working on which doesn't have any NDA's, so I can post it when it's done:) All I can say now is...it's in the steampunk genre, surprised? Probably not since I love steampunk.

Feels good to be back, at least for a short time.
















Next up, Oil studies.




Thanks for looking,


Derek


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Clockmaker - Final

Well, all good things come to an end. But no worries, when one door closes...another opens. Here's the final for the clockmaker. As usual, completely painted and finished in PS. This is my longest painting yet, clocking in (no pun intended) a little over 40 hrs. But well worth the effort.


So how did I fix "the welder" problem (see previous post)? Easy...backpack. Basically, he's now working with the welding tubes on his back. And to further emphasize him I placed two hoses coming from the tubes and hooking in above him. Simple solution, for what could of been a complicated problem :)

Anyway, Thanks for taking this journey through "The Clockmaker" with me. Hopefully there was some interesting items to learn about me and art in general. A big thanks goes out to my fellow illustrators @ the Drawn Today blog for all the healthy crits I received.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Clockmaker - The Steps

Basically, this shows my process of how I work through a piece. As you've seen in other posts, I almost always work off of a pencil drawing. It's scanned and dropped into photoshop, ready to be painted. I'm just showing some of the major steps in the process, as there are many more. You should always save your work often, you never know what can occur. In my area, the electricity likes to out every once in a while...I've learned my lesson the hard way. Save, save, save...if you don't, you're just asking for trouble. Anyway, below are a few of the steps that brought me to the final illustration. Enjoy.

This step is all about working the values. Making sure they're ok (the values), and the illustration is readable from a far is key. The pencil drawing is brought into PS, and I add a "multiply" layer underneath...this allows me to add volume and see a general direction.

Laying in the flat colors. At this point, I wanted to see color interaction...and be able to get a feel for my color choices. See a previous post for my color studies, which I highly recommend is done for every illustration.

Adding volume with light / dark values. Also starting to play with lighting reflections. This piece has a lot of reflective surfaces, which some might see as complicating the illustration. But I find all the little nuances of color to be fun and addictive.
This was a major step for me in the illustration. I started to correct a lot of it's failings. Like circles that weren't exactly round. This was due to the fact that the image started as a pencil sketch, which means I free handed most of the circles. I was able to get a very clear direction by this point, so then I went back to correct what I felt needed to be clear.

Adding hints of light here and there, some smoke to give the illustration life and trying to pop out the welder. He's not the top priority in the piece, but he is very important. Even at this stage, the crits I received all said he was getting lost. So how did I solve that? You'll have to wait for the final post on "the clockmaker".

So that's a little insight on how I work. There's really not much science to it, you paint, detail, step back...paint a little more, step back. Rinse and repeat until the image becomes close, exact or better than what you originally had intended. In my case, I think it turned out better then what I originally saw in my head. Hopefully you'll like the final.
Next stop "The Clockmaker" final.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Clockmaker - Building References

Building Reference libraries and job specific references is a must for every illustrator who wants his pieces to be somewhat realistic...at least in my opinion. What about fantasy/ sci-fi artists you say? Well, everything they paint is based in some reality which we(the viewer) can comprehend, or the "masses" would have difficulty understanding what they're looking at. Even though dragons don't exist, you understand what one is...and how a dragon should work (anatomically speaking). Did you ever stop to wonder why? Because it's anatomy is based on real world animals. Whether it be a bird, lizard, man or lion...there's always something about a certain dragon we can relate to. And where does an artist get such information? Reference building of course. Which brings me to my next post about the clockmaker.

The Clockmaker illustration isn't based in reality, but there are things that do exist, that I can use as a tool to allow the viewer to relate to the piece.
First off, being the "clockmaker" himself. As he is human, that will be the first thing almost everybody relates to in the illustration. And that goes for any illustration, humans are always seen first by the viewer...especially a face.
So my first procedure was to get a model who could dress and act as the clockmaker, while I took reference photos. I recommend getting some good lights (not expensive, but better then the set that can be bought at any hardware store) and a good camera. Both help a lot!

Next, I figured there are a lot of bent / spun / extruded metal parts of the Clockmaker illustration, and an old brushed metal lighting fixture worked perfectly for the reference. After I destroyed of course.

All you have to remember is try to position the lights is the same spot as your initial sketch and you should have some stuff you can work with. After I have those shots, I usually move the lights in areas I didn't think of and have the models in positions I didn't draw. You never know, there could be something that works better or what's more important...is quickly finding out what doesn't work:)

Below are some of the shots that I used in some sketch studies and the final paint.

Here's something cool, it's what they call in the industry "frankenstein-ing". Which is taking your reference shots and making them fit within your illustration. Helps you see a little clearer.
Not supposed to be perfect, but it gives you an idea...or more.

After doing a sketch study of my model as the clockmaker, I went ahead and photoshoped him in to see how the composition looks. Also threw a workstation in there, which was an idea that was tossed at me by my friends over at the "Drawn Today" blog.

Here's my sketch study of the clockmaker. It never hurts to understand the anatomy and pose before you begin the final paint.

And this is the sketch study for the welder, who doesn't share as much of the story as the clockmaker, but since he's a human...it doesn't hurt to make a solid anatomy /character sketch before you start. Helps speed things along.

You might ask yourself; Why go through all this? Because no matter how many times you draw something, or have seen something...you never can really get all the details of the shadows/light and how they play off each other without reference. These steps might seem a little extreme to some, but all this helps me gain knowledge and experience. I might one day, not need to go through all this for every single illustration...but right now, for me, it's the best way to learn. And in my eyes, an illustration should have as much spontaneity as it does "process".

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sketchbook Compilation 12

These are like all the rest, lunchtime sketchies. Meaning: drawn during lunch at my day job. Each one takes about 1-2 lunches, using pencil / colored pencil on toned paper. Hope you enjoy.
And my next post will be about gathering references for "The Clockmaker", I promise. Just thought I should do another compilation since it's been a while.






Sunday, December 12, 2010

The ClockMaker - Color studies

With the thumbnails out of the way and a more developed sketch, it was time to place a little color in the mix. This helps you make better color choices when it comes to painting the final, and color studies are quick and harmless. If you make a mistake, or don't like something...you just move on, and try something different.

The first color selection I made was for warm colors, because I first thought of this piece as having a steampunk feel to it. I was pretty happy with the first round of color so much, that I had no intention of doing another. But, I figured, just so I can say "there's really no reason to explore other colors"...I started to paint a cool color scheme. This to me, pushed the piece into the sci-fi feel...amazingly only done with colors. Well after completing both versions and staring at them for some time, wouldn't you know, I couldn't make a call on which one I felt was better. Something that was very unexpected.
The only way to solve this was to turn to my fellow illustrators over at "Drawn Today", and see if they liked one more then the other. And the same thing happened, people liked both, and couldn't make a decision.
So the same solution was brought up by a couple of people...blend the two, having slightly cooler colors in the background and warmer ones in the foreground. It made sense. So it looks like the final painting will try to incorporate both color schemes.

Color studies done in PS using the detailed sketch as a multiply layer.
About 1 1/2hrs. each.

Since this is a work in progress you're going to have to wait to see the final color. But next up in the process is gathering as much reference as possible to be able to complete the final painting.
Next stop > References!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Clock Maker - the idea

So, after spending an extended weekend @ Illuxcon last month, I had...to put it mildly, a shot of inspiration. I spent 4 days taking in some of the best illustrations the world has to offer, along with mingling & picking the minds of their creators. After long discussions about their work and several reviews of mine, I came away with one main thought. Thumbnails. Abstract thumbnails, to be specific. All of the top pros in the industry do dozens and dozens of abstract thumbnails before sketching out an idea. What are they searching for? Well, correct composition and use of values.
Usually, in my own work...I discover an idea or illustration after I've drawn it in my toned paper sketchbook. Sometimes, working out the some of the illustrations problems in my head or while I'm sketching. I used thumbnails sparingly, just for placment of values here and there. But from what I heard, it's all in the thumbnail.
With that inspiration and push forward I started vigorously scratching away in my small sketchbook while still @ Illuxcon. What was I searching for? At first I had no idea, but after a few thumbnails...an idea popped into my head. How about illustrating a clockmaker in the future or in a steampunk era. There's something about gears and machine work that piques my interest.
With idea in mind and pencil in hand I started again producing quick thumbnails to convey composition, idea and values. So with that, I give you only some of my thumbs below. Much more were produced, but I just wanted to give you an idea of what they look like.

Some illustrators find what they are looking for in their very first thumbnail, but continue to produce them until they feel as though they've exhausted the idea. Not me, I popped out thumb after thumb...and was only really satisfied until my last one.
The thumbs below are no bigger then 1"x 1 1/2".
Initially, I wanted a close up shot of the clockmaker working away on his grand clock. But as I produced the small sketches I realized that's just not going to work. So little by little, the scene grew and grew until the environment became the focus alongside the clockmaker. Cause, let's face it, what's a clockmaker without his clock?
After that last one, I figured I came as close as what I pictured in my head. The next step, flushing out the idea in my toned sketchbook.

This was my next step after the thumbs. I think the composition and look works well. If you're having trouble seeing the clock in the illustration, check out the light value area directly behind the clockmaker. You can see the number "seven" in roman numerals, the start of "eight" to the left of that and just a smidgen of the "six" to the right. Yeah, the clock's that big.
Still a few things to work out. The clockmaker's pose needed thought and the worker above needed something to do. And together they needed to make sense in the scene. What I was thinking was maybe have the clockmaker bossing the worker around and pointing up to him, while the worker is welding. We'll see, but first I wanted to try some color studies to see where I should take the piece.
Next stop color studies.

Friday, October 8, 2010

One Shot-03 "Water Demon"


Well, here's the third installment of One-Shots. The sketch was an oldie but goodie. As I work on these I'm seeing a pattern here, they take longer and longer as I go. This one really can't even be categorized as a one-shot since it took more than a couple sittings. It's all because I felt as though it needed a little more love to fully mature to the idea I had. So I broke my rule, but as they say "rules are made to be broken". And it's my rule anyway...so there!
Finished in PS - 10hrs...we'll just have to see how long the next one takes:)

One Shot-02 "Warrior"


Here's the second of the batch of "One-Shots". (See previous post for description) When I originally started sketching this one, I added a haunted face to the armor and ended up using that as the theme to this one.
Got a little carried away on this, finished in PS - 8 hrs.

One Shot-01 "Armored Knight"


You might ask..."What's a one-shot?" Well, the plan is to sit down and add color to one of my sketches in "one" sitting. Which means no more then 6 to 8 hours per piece. The theme to this one was spikes.

Here's the first of the batch, with more to come.

Finished in photoshop in 4hrs

Sketchbook Compilation 11












As usual, more lunchtime sketchies to stack onto the pile. A lot of skulls and armor in this post, with a Rubens master copy to round it out. Each one took around 1 to 2 lunches. Pencil with white colored pencil on toned paper.