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: