Friday, January 25, 2008

Sculpey Head

I created this critter for a book project. A 3-D version comes in handy when I have to draw a character multiple times and from many different angles. I will also use it for shadow reference.

I used Sculpey for the first time (Sculpey is a type of polymer clay that can be molded and put into a conventional oven to harden). I found it remarkably easy (and fun!) to sculpt this little guy. I painted him grey (not the character's true color) to make it easier for me to see shadows. I used electrical tape for the pupils so I can change the direction of his gaze. Tip: I created (and baked) the teeth separately. Once hard, it was easy to push them into the soft Sculpey head.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Stitch" Illustration Friday

Here's my entry for this week's Illustration Friday topic "stitch"

What's Illustration Friday you ask? According to their website – Illustration Friday is a weekly illustration challenge. A topic is posted every Friday and then participants have all week to come up with their own interpretation.

I like to think of Illustration Friday as Project Runway for illustrators. On Project Runway, fashion designers compete to create garments (fashion forward garments) and are usually restricted in time, materials, and theme. (Ex: One challenge was create a dress from recycled materials collected at a NJ dump) The show is about creativity under pressure. As the season progresses, the designer's true strengths and weakness become evident.

I approached Illustration Friday as a time challenge. I gave myself one evening to conceive and illustrate an idea. I spent approximately six hours on the project (I stopped for dinner and the occasional big play during the Patriot's game).

I'm happy with the results. The self-imposed time limit prevented me from over-thinking and over-working the illustration.

And it was just like being a contestant on Project Runway – Except there was no Tim Gunn to give advice or Hedi Klum saying "Auf Wiedersehen!".

Mummy Sketch

Preliminary sketches for my Illustration Friday entry. More about that in the next post.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Fairburn Sketches

The Fairburn System of Visual Reference is an impressive collection of photo reference. The nine books in the system are divided in three set, Children, Faces and Heads and Figures and Hands. Each book has thousands of images of people (activites) photographed at several angles.

I was surprised to see recently that these books are still being sold (Figures and Hands is out of print). More surprised to see them sell for $200 a set!

I bought my complete set many years ago. I've had mixed feelings about the investment over the years. The books were published in the 70s and the "models" look like rejects from Welcome Back Kotter. Bell bottoms and leisure suits can ruin a reference photo.

This collection of sketches is drawn from the Fairburn System. The books aren't perfect, but 25 years later, it's still the best thing out there.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008