Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Worx in Progress: The Unabominable Snowman

Here's a piece that started out for the Art Order holiday challenge where artists were asked to interpret classic holiday characters in whatever way the wanted. If you unfamiliar with the Art Order community that was started by Wizards of the Coast AD Jon Schindehette, it's a great blog to follow for not only those interested in fantasy/sci-fi genre illustration, but there's a lot of wisdom on business and professional development in general. I ended up being a few days late on the challenge deadline, but I can't argue with getting a portfolio piece out of my work.

I did a take on the abominable snowman. A hunter, who I imagine to be French Canadian for some reason, is looking to bring back Mr. Abominable dead or alive... well, actually, he's just looking to bring him back dead. Much to the hunter's chagrin, the abominable snowman is a friendly, good-natured creature and wants to celebrate the Yule season with a big sloppy kiss under the mistletoe. Below is a bit of the process work from beginning to end, starting with sketching.

I think I have some sort of disorder because I can't seem to do much of a sketch with a composition I like unless it's something around 3". I'm a little disappointed that I didn't carry the sense of scale between the snowman and the hunter through to the finish, but some times you learn as much from messing up or more than your successes alone.

When I started to think about what this abominable snowman could look like, initially I thought of older renditions of the character, the old Rankin Bass holiday stop-motion movies, where he's kind of ape-like. I wanted to come up with a slightly different look even if I wasn't going to deviate too far from the color palettes traditionally used for an abominable snowman, so I developed my sketches while looking at pictures of sloths. The snowman eventually ended up with a bit of a teddy bear look to him with a hint of the original sloth concept.

The color study above was done quickly for my own reference while I was building for the shoot. It's essentially the sketch I did earlier, traced over with a little refining to closer resemble my characters and some colors laid down in Photoshop.

As luck would have it, the theme for Illustration Friday is "winter", so I'll get a bit more mileage out of this piece. I also hope to post up some shots of the puppets from this one, I really like the way they turned-out!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Belated Dia de los Muertos...

Back in November I joined in with other members of the Autumn Society for the "8 Bit Calavera" show at Ground Kontrol in Portland, Oregon. *Note: calavera is the spanish word for skull and is significant in decorations for the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday- and who said blogs can't be educational. The artists worked under constraints for creating pieces for this show, we were to use old Nintendo cartridges to create faces and after all 40 individual calavera's were created, they were installed at Ground Kontrol to make one mega calavera.

My piece for the show was "Barracho Nacho", "barracho" being a word for drunk and "Nacho" just being a name that rhymed, I thought it worked with the lolling tongue under the teeth. The format for creating work being outside of my usual style, I just was looking to do something fun. The eyes are made out of some bling'ed out buttons that I found, the teeth are just clay covered over with aluminum foil, its painted with acrylics and I think my favorite touch is the curled moustache, which is made from a couple of craft feathers.

Here's some shots of the final installation thanks to the people at Ground Kontrol:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Philly Urban Arts Circle Fundraiser

Inner City elementary art teacher Gabrielle Boyce was allotted $0.50 per student for the entire school year. No, that wasn't a typo, $0.50 for the entire student per year; doing the math, a youngster couldn't even make a piece of macaroni art on that budget. In the past Ms. Boyce has raised funds before to supplement her already ailing budget of her art classes at Sharswood Elementary School, but at no time as today has her budget been so meager.

What's this: I hear here you say, "that's horrible" and "I want to help." Well here's your chance: this year on Friday, Oct. 1st, Gabrielle Boyce will be hosting a fundraiser at Red Hook Coffee & Tea. There will goodies to bid on from local shops and restaurants in a silent auction and art to purchase off of the walls. If you're a Philadelphia native, you can stop by and pick something up for a good cause. If you're a local artist, you can donate a piece of art, whether an original or a high quality reproduction. Not in the area, but want to help-out anyway? There is an address above where you can send a donation- a donation of any size would go a long way to help this underfunded arts program.

Local Artists: Contact me at ryanfriant@gmail.com and I will reply with submission form and further details. You may drop-off your work 9am-8pm, Tuesday-Thursday and at 9am on Friday to the lobby of:

The Market St. Design Center
2400 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

The Market St. Design Center is near 30th St. Station and has a mural of a whale on the side of it. 9AM FRIDAY WILL BE THE ABSOLUTE LAST TIME TO DROP-OFF WORK. Images do not need to be framed, but should be display ready (i.e. some means to hang the work) and the art should be fairly easy to install. All unsold works will be returned to their creators. Thank you so much if you are able to participate!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Madame Marie D'Sangre

Madame Marie D'Sangre is a sophisticated mosquito, she enjoys sipping her favorite drink, Mary's Blood, on warm summer evenings.

She was created with sculpey, fabric, acrylic paints and other found objects and was photographed by the artist. She is currently on display at Jinxed, Philadelphia, PA.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Delightful Pets

Here's a piece I did for my recent show at Jinxed in Philadelphia, PA. It was a part of a series of fantasy creatures I had conceptualized. I'm also going to repurpose it for an Illustration Friday challenge, "Cage"- shhh, don't tell anyone.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Craftiness: Penelope Penguin

I made this little penguin stuffed animal for my niece Kayla for Christmas and I thought I would share it. The whole thing took about 6 hours from designing her, to making the pattern, to the finished penguin and was completely hand-sewn. As a side note, Kayla was very happy with her present.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hellboy 15th Anniversary Group Show

Last Friday, Dec. 4th, I had the pleasure of showing in the Autumn Society's Hellboy group show. It was a fun night and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work in organizing the show. I decided to make my own rendition of Hellboy's gilled side-kick Abe Sapian. The piece is titled "Two Lost Souls Swimming in a Fishbowl". I liked the basic design of the character and I enjoy his quirks, Abe's love of classical music for one. Along with the finished illustration, I've included some work in progress shots and detail shots.

-Poster by Peter Wonsowski & Justin Grey

-Basic sketch and color study. I couldn't find the right object to make the phonograph have that nice arcing fluted shape. This is the down-side to working with found object elements, you have to find the parts of things to use them. As I was working in time constraints, I had to settle for a smaller cone shape. The composition has also changed somewhat from the sketch to the finish.

-On the right of this photo is a kind of "visual shopping list" comprised of collected reference and I also attached a couple of swatches of fabric that I knew I was going to use to make the main figure, Abe Sapian.

-This is a detail of the phonograph in the shot. I wanted to include it because it is out of focus in the finished illustration and I like the way it turned-out. It's constructed from a ring box, armature wire, K&S aluminum pipe, the top of a cone incense burner, a washer and a couple of nails.