Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Drawing III Introduction

Last year in drawing III I began drawing editorial cartoons. I had done a few every now and then previously, but getting the chance to extensively study the craft was very beneficial for me. I've always had an interest in politics. Editorial cartoons and similar social commentary add to the political discourse in a rather humorous way, and that really excites me. In addition cartoons and illustration rely on a lot of drawing which, I've found, always has a way of presenting new and interesting challenges.

With regards to illustration, I've been fortunate in doing commission work for several publications for the last two years or so. My freelance work hasn't always involved a ton of creativity on my end. The art directors have tended to be pretty specific in what they want. It's harder to find my own voice in the images. However, finding the joy in drawing and painting them has not been a problem.

I've been experimenting with a variety of mediums, some more traditional than others. Pen and ink drawings create the bulk of my work while I have been doing a bit of digital painting as well. I find that a tactile piece of artwork is much more enjoyable to create. Ink, graphite, and watercolors can create effects that will never be replaced with a computer. Digital media does have some benefits as well, such as speed and making corrections easily.

I've posted some of my recent cartoons and illustrations below.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Figure Drawing

It's been quite some time since I posted on this blog, but I figured since I just did a bit of figure drawing I'd throw it up here. I finally got a chance to go to an open life drawing session tonight. It was a lot of fun, but I'm definitely a little rusty. I wanted to go with a more exaggerated approach this time around and I think it went well overall. I feel like it helps me understand poses, the human figure and anatomy better by doing this, plus it can create some pretty interesting drawings. I did notice some anatomical slip-ups in some of the drawings disregarding the exaggerations. I'm trying not to get too caught up in correcting every little flaw. Sometimes over working a drawing can kill it, and I'm really working toward a fresh, quick, almost gestural feel. I'll take another stab at it next week.

Monday, May 17, 2010

This semester in drawing has been a wonderful chance for me to explore several styles, genres, and mediums. I got to revisit charcoal, something I hadn't drawing with in quite some time. I also continued exploring digital media and painting in Photoshop. I ultimately ended up getting back into editorial cartoons.

The first project was the charcoal compilation drawing. The reference photos I gathered were some from the Devils Punchbowl, and a few from around my apartment. I wanted to set up a mildly humorous juxtaposition between a seemingly monotonous domestic image, and a beautiful natural phenomenon such as the Punchbowl.

During the 6 hour pose we got to work on, I brought my Wacom to class and decided to work on painting digitally. I still have a long way to go before I'll be close to satisfied with my photoshop results. It's been a struggle to find local colors, and depict them convincingly. On the flip side however, it does go pretty quick, and its very easy to fix mistakes. I never did finish this painting to a point that I'm happy with, I did notice some of the colors turning out better. Also I was pretty happy with the likeness I got on the model.

The next project was a lot of fun. Our assignment was to use the 3 words we were given somehow in our drawing. My three words were contest, surreal, and powdered charcoal. My main focus was to use "surreal" in a way that was completely disconnected from the artistically surreal images of Salvador Dali and others. The drawing was inked with a brush, then I added the value with watered down powdered charcoal, almost like watercolors. It was a fun process that I would like to explore more. Overall, I enjoyed how the drawing turned out. The drawing also lead me back into a more editorial field of illustration.

This was another painting of Rush Limbaugh done in photoshop. Mainly I was concerned about getting a good likeness and caricature of the man that has thus far eluded me. I reached a point in the painting where I thought I needed to put the stylus and let it be.

For the last couple projects, I gave myself a challenge of getting 5 editorial cartoons done a week. For one, I wanted to be a lot more prolific for the remainder of the semester, and also I wanted to explore some more controversial topics and put my spin on them. I have been drawing editorial cartoons off and on for the last couple years, and feel that I've made some big strides in these last bunch of drawings, especially in the jokes and imagery. As far as drawing goes, I tried to use a brush a lot more on these drawings. For one, it translates better when the drawing would be reduced to print size, and it also makes for more dynamic linework.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bipartisan Breather

I find it funny how Congressional productivity is directly related to the timeliness of hot issues and elections.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chewless Campus!!??

Well, there have been a few things during my tenure at UW-Stout that have gotten me a little steamed, but most recently it has been the campus wide ban on all tobacco use. Last year there was a referendum for a smoking ban (socially enforced as it was unlawful to ban tobacco use on government property), but now the Stout Student Association and the student body have expanded upon the referendum to include all types of tobacco. I still am wondering in what way a person chewing, snuffing, snusing, etc. has anything to do with other students on campus. Other than the appearance being unpleasant for onlookers, there is no harm to anyone, save the users. In the case it is for the sake of tobacco users that the administration and SSA banned tobacco use on campus, there are many other health conscious issues that should be addressed before the minimal percentage of chewers and smokers on campus. How about the nutritionally unsatisfying food they serve at our dining halls that many of the students indulge in. Freshman 15 anyone? Wisconsin has a 63.5% overweight/obese population. Hows that for unsightly/unhealthy?

Oh, and there are two other cartoons down there. One about Oklahoma and abortion, the other about Arizona and them crazy illegals... or legals, whichever the case may be.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oh baby don't cry.

Nothing too much to say about these, except I liked the internet one. Out here in rural Menomonie, WI, we have one internet service provider to choose from: Charter Cable. Many rural areas have to succumb to the monopolies of the ISPs as there is no competition in those places. Not only is my cable bill much higher than I would like it, but Charter has a tendency to send a shoddy internet signal. Of course its up to "their standards", but I didn't realize they settled for utter crap.

As far as the art goes, I had a lot of fun with the top Uncle Sam drawing. It was a challenge to draw him from the first angle, and I completely changed the text at the very last minute. I think its a little funnier. I also noticed I'm getting a lot more confident in inking with a brush. Some of my earlier lines show somewhat shaky lines, which isn't necessarily bad, but it's nice to get a good smooth line when I want one.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Here are a few cartoons that I've done over the last week. They're for the next drawing III project. I've been moving away from using a my usual nib/dip pen, and using a brush and micron pens. For some reason, I feel like I can get more control, and spontaneity in my line work with a brush. Though that is somewhat contradictory, a brush allows for some rather thick and narrow lines which are essential in editorial cartoons.