Thursday, September 27, 2018

Mr. Misang study

Mr. Misang is one of my new favorite artists. Right now he has an awesome series of pieces called modern life is rubbish where he satires the overstimulated pornographic culture of our world. I picked a couple of my favorite pieces to break down and I thought this one would be a great one to start with because it has both religious, technological and sexual ideas being expressed in some interesting ways that illuminate how society sells sex to us.

The figure that is our focal point looks like a hybrid mix between the Egyptian god Anubis and the Hindu god Kali. Anubis is known for using a scale to weigh the soul of man by placing his heart on one scale and a feather on the other. Kali on the other hand is a god who represents the ceaseless march towards death and the eradication of the universe.



To me this God like figure represents the concept that we entertain ourselves to death through constant stimulation of which porn is a version of that. But if you look behind the figure we see a one eyed black monster that contrasts with the god which gives the piece a tone that makes us feel like not everything is right. What we are being sold is simultaneously a trojan horse for our downfall. Sure these people are being entertained but they don't know the cost of it yet.

But its not a direct translation of these gods because  we don't see her weighing anyone's soul or carrying weapons in her arms. Instead she has a guy floating above her in a projected bubble coming from her head. Then in her hands is what looks like a pink foam like substance that could possibly be the feminine representation of love or eggs since the way it is drawn is very similar to the way the sperm is drawn around the on the hand on the right. Could she be measuring the soul of the man in her head and breaking his essence down into this pink substance?

 Another set of interesting details is she is either in the process of abortion or is connected by umbilical cord to something else we cant see. Whatever it is the sex she is having with the figure on the bottom wont come to anything. Also notice that the figure she is riding is dressed exactly the way the other people in the streets are.

Other details to note in the image is how he uses both the language of sex we have today but also easy to understand imagery that suggests the topic and makes us think about it without actually drawing a sexual image. Couple of examples includes the hand signal of the finger going in a hole motion on the left and this contrasts with  the arm on the right which has a white ghostly sperm flying around it obviously implying masturbation.

We see every sexual innuendo being shown off and as the public fills the streets and we see little iconic details of sex without it being overly sexual everywhere. A way he expresses this theme is through the vocabulary of the internet. Everywhere you look it says:"FREE", "REAL ecstasy", "LIVE", "NSFW". But none of this is real, none of this is "live" instead its a product that is packaged and sold to us. Mr. Misang reminds us that its the fakeness of this vocabulary we find so displeasing and how it alienates us from our own environment.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Robert Geronimo interview # 2

You can read my first interview with Robert here.

1) Looks like after getting your kickstarter funded, Alterna Comics stepped in and is bringing your comic Blood Realm to stores on August 29th, that must be really cool! First off I'm assuming Blood Realm is just a name change for the Kingdom of Blood comic right? Why did you decide to go with a publisher vs just continuing to do your comic independently? 

I'm extremely excited to be working with Alterna. Peter Simeti has a lot of experience in this business and now with Alterna's newsprint comic line, the company has been growing. Not to mention he's great to collaborate with. Changing the name was important because I felt this was relaunch of the series, with the original Kingdom of Blood content serving as the first of the 4 mini series for Blood Realm. For me, the biggest draw to signing with Alterna was the worldwide distribution and their interest in expanding the story.

2) Blood Realm will be a 3 issue comic, do you plan on working with Alterna Comics on a follow up series of issues or will you return to kickstarter for your next project? Do you know what that next project will be yet, and if so what stage are you at in its production?

Blood Realm will be a 4-part mini series, featuring 3 issues in each mini-series over the course of 2 years. This is the epic saga I've been wanting to tell and that was something Alterna was totally on board for. As far as other projects are concerned, I have some stories on the back burner that I'm taking my time with. Blood Realm is my main focus, including some super cool merchandise that I will be revealing in the Fall.

3) Your first kickstarter from our last interview was a success, you had the goal of 4,000 and you ended up with 4,626. Im curious how did you decide this price point? Was there a certain amount of issues that you wanted printed or did you think of it as you were going to need to be compensated for the time you put into the book?

It's important to really break down the cost of everything when coming up with a Kickstarter goal. In my case, it needed to cover the costs of the materials, the letterer, my time as the creator, and the printing (which is the most expensive part). You want to make sure you're completely covered.

4) You also have another short horror comic collection called Shiver. What is Shiver, and where did the idea come from?

If you couldn't tell already, I love horror, and 'urban legends' was the theme of my sketchbook in October. It eventually evolved into SHIVER, a packet of zines (hand-made comics) that collected three of the most terrifying urban legends in the world, including the Weeping Woman, the Cropsey Maniac, and the Slit-Mouthed Woman. It was a refreshing side project. I enjoyed it so much that there might even be a Shiver II...

5) You said in our previous interview that you teach at Wagner College in NY, do you have a lot of students that have been inspired by your comic to do their own thing now? Do you use your kickstarter as an example for what your students should others should be doing? 

 I'm fortunate that my students have been open-minded to the vast world of comics. Many of them are natural storytellers and they don't realize how many genres there are. Many of them are only familiar with superhero comics, but when I introduce them to creators like Robert Crumb, Adrian Tomine, and Charles Burns, just to name a few, they see that they can find their place in the industry. It's important for students to be aware of platforms like Kickstarter because it shows them that there are alternatives to financing their projects.

6) In our previous interview you mentioned it would be a challenge to build a completely different audience for Kingdom of Blood, after building an audience for Little Maia. What was key in building that audience? I noticed you've been doing a lot of fan art of horror, sci fi, gaming, and comic characters was that apart of your strategy for drawing more of the kind of crowd that would fund KoB?

I've been making a deliberate attempt to transition from Little Maia. I'm not abandoning those books completely. I'll still have them for sale at conventions. Those books have been an incredible learning experience, but their has been a significant boost in the responses from fans and viewers since I've transitioned to the horror genre. Not to mention, I'm having so much damn fun! I feel like I'm fourteen again, drawing creepy monsters and telling scary stories. That's a sign that you're doing something right. The fan art I've been selling on my website were ways to challenge myself and to reach out to this new audience. I'm fortunate that the responses have been so positive.

7) Was the support you got for KoB that led to the success on Kickstarter online or was it more from people you knew personally like your students? 

One thing I'ey canve learned is that you don't run a Kickstarter, a Kickstarter runs you. It's an exhausting, nerve-racking process because you need to email as many people as you can to get the word out. A large majority of the supporters for KoB were new fans. Students are spending so much money on books, they can't afford to support Kickstarters!

8) Back in July of last year you also had an exhibit or Kingdom of Blood, how important was that in your kickstarter being successful? Is there any kind of tips you can give on running a successful kickstarter?

The exhibit was a great promotional tool. That most helped boost my social media numbers like Instagram, not so much my Kickstarter backers. My advice would be to plan everything out ahead of time. Make a LONG mailing list. Have your press release ready to go. Have a strategy. The last thing you want to do is hit that launch button and suddenly try and figure out who to reach out to. Know your audience and be prepared!

You can follow Robert on Instagram or by visiting his website .

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Sean Andrew Murray Masterstudy

I chose this piece is from Sean Andrew Murray's Gateway Kickstarter book because I'm a huge fan of his work. Below I've broken it down into its major components.

Color notes:
I tried breaking this piece down into a palette of the range of colors he uses for the illustration. Starting with the dark blue of the sky, the teal of his sword/armor, the light blue in the foreground, the teal in the backdrop, the orange-brown of the creature and his bioilluminiscent glowing thing, and finally the skulls in the forefront.

What I noticed was first off how hard it is to sample from an illustration where there is so much color variation. Picking a local color for each of these colors was really difficult and it looks like I got close with the first few but lost my place afterwards. The biggest error being the glowing orb extending from the head of the monster.

The Value of Color

Here is the same color palette broken down into values for each of the same colors and if I look at this just in terms of value it easier for me to see in what ways I am off when putting the palette together. Some of these are close but others are way off. From what I undestand from looking at this piece is he is building a harmonious palette by first picking the color in the environment that will affect everything else he paints.

In this muddy colors article they mention that:

"The color of the light in your scene limits the colors in the spectrum available for you to paint with."

In order for him to have choosen this specific color scheme he must have first thought of what the light source will be, what color that light source is and then allowed that to limit his palette. At first this piece confused me because it does not seem to me that the light source of the figure in the foreground is the same as what is in the background so I would almost argue that this could possibly be a form of contrast. However on second glance I noticed that all of the lights coming out from behind the buildings or inside of them are all the same pale yellow that we see in the lightsource he has pinched between his claw hand that illuminates him.

We see a pale yellow light illuminating him this light source is warm and contrasts nicely with the cool colors he uses for the night sky. An interesting observation is he didn't put stars in the sky, possibly because it would have made the scene feel too busy or maybe because they would have conflicted with the light source that creates the focal point of the Knight.

So the yellow color used here is then reflected in the color choices he makes in the armor, we can see in the front side of the armor that there are a lot of warm yellow-greens and in the shadows they have a reddish warm tint of color within them as well and from what I can tell he keeps the shadows closest to the lighting source warm where as the others not close to the light source cooler in temperature.

We can see he uses this same soft pale yellow light source at several points in the illustration. He uses them on the planes of skulls that face the light source on the bottom right. In the eye of his pet monster and the piece of bio luminescent hanging off his head.

One of the other things mentioned in that Muddy Colors article that got my attention was the following paragraph:

" Color contrast, specifically color temperature contrast is powerful stuff. Having cool blue light illuminate a magic object in a room lit by warm candles, or a figure glow with warm light in a cool winter scene instantly tells the viewer that something other worldly or unnatural is taking place."

This is interesting because I definitely feel like this is what he was aiming for with this piece. The temperature of the background gives the feeling of a cool night air possibly illuminated by the cities lights itself but also the moon in the sky that creates the deep blue colors and this contrasts with the yellow light.

Our focal points are the orb in his hand and the knights face. He uses plenty of elements throughout the environment to reinforce this idea from the armor on the shield to the light emiting from the orb.
The composition in this piece is organized with foreground elements on the left and background elements on the right. He uses the tree in the foreground, the ground and the background behind him to all surround and point our interest up to the figure, whose silhouette is not interupted by the background elements. the most interesting shapes around our focal point which is the Valdus Knight alongside his companion. The background and foreground feel balanced since they stand very close to one another in terms of height in the image.

But what would the image look like if you got rid of the foliage?

We can see the tree helps keep our eye going back to our focal point and not allowing it to trail off.  There is a few interesting things to note about the tree branch and foliage. For one, he doesn't have to show you the whole tree but the main branch from the tree intersects with his head making this an area of interest and all of the foliage behind him points up at him. The branches on this main branch also sprout from his head, and spreads out over the top of the page. We also notice that some of the ornaments that decorate the tree hang down right over the orb, (our other focal point) he is holding in his claw hand almost pointing down to it.

Pattern, Variety, and Shape
 You can see the love he has for the lines in the armor and the way he decorates each portion of it with designs and using the design to define the form. He creates with irregular rectangular shapes in the plates of the armor and balancing these irregular shapes with the fine line work and the oval shapes of the shield on his arm.

Value and Ambient Occlusion 
Ambient occlusion is where two forms overlap but do not touch and there is a shadow created in between the space of the two objects. Sean uses this to great effect in this piece so I decided to do a
paint over study of just the ambient occlusion elements that are taking place on the armor and give basic value breakdowns of the values as well.

He uses the ambient occlusion to create a lot of dynamic shapes in the armor specifically in the shield on his arm that creates a pattern of visual interest but also acts as a point of contrast to the rest of the armor and points upward to the face. You can also tell that he is using this as a way to draw our attention upward to the face because the pieces of armor get smaller and there is more overlap here in the top portion of the shield than in the bottom. If you would like to see an example of this kind of study in video form, I would point you to the following video by Dorian Iten:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Nate Hillyer Interview

1) Hey thanks for doing this interview, I really appreciate the chance to pick your brain about some important topics that I would like to learn about but also things that I think others can as well. I also hope that this helps your own kickstarter that goes live on 12/12/17, so this should be a win- win for everyone involved. So can we please start with you introducing yourself. Who are you and how long have you been doing the art thing? What is your educational background?

My name is Nate Hillyer. I am a writer and illustrator of monsters and myths in the sci-fi fantasy and horror genres. I live in Indianapolis, IN USA. I’ve been making art and writing stories for as long as I can remember. When I was a child we didn’t have much money so I spent most of my time in my imagination creating narratives for my toys and drawing. Additionally, growing up, I was introduced to religion, Christianity, which influenced me greatly. I grew up believing that angels were watching over me… protecting me all kinds of dark things… that God was pulling strings behind the scenes and the Devil was waging war for my soul. As an adult I look back, having contemplated and analyzed the rationality of these things, and can see a clear relation between religious myth and my present work.

I attended a private Christian university here in Indiana called Indiana Wesleyan University. I couldn’t afford art school so I decided to take advantage of some scholarships they offered. They also have one of the best art departments for private schools here in Indiana.

2) I look at your work and its amazing, the kind of art I would hope to put out there but it also strikes me as something that might be difficult to market. So i'm curious how did you get your started working full time? Are you living solely off of selling prints..etc. or are you doing book covers..etc. to make ends meat? Is it everything you ever dreamed it would be?

Thank you! It was a slow start for sure. When I graduated from college I kept working and trying my best to work jobs and do art. I contacted some professionals and got the advice that I should pay my dues, work for larger companies and then maybe I’d get to do art for me professionally… I didn’t like that answer. I attended conventions, read interviews and saw that a lot of pros were trying to become independent. I decided to start there. I focused all of my creative time on my projects and personal artworks. It wasn’t until a year ago that things began to pick up. Gaining a large amount of followers on instagram has a way of changing things for the better. I am currently working full time making most of my money from selling prints, originals and doing commissions. I take the odd job in the music industry (album art, tshirts, posters etc.) but prefer to work for myself. This income combined with my wife’s allows me to do this.

To answer the last part… in some ways. When you’re a kid you think that being a pro would allow you more time for drawing when in reality there’s much less… especially being independent. My time is divided between marketing, product design, customer service, graphic design, shipping, streaming, social media managing and more. I would say it is a dream getting to work for myself and do what I love but it’s different than most would think.

3) Looking back at your posts on instagram I see that you have made a lot of progress in the last few years in your sense of design. Your early posts have the same ideas in them as your current work but now you have really turned a corner where you are expressing your ideas very clearly. What was the turning point for you in terms of both skill and figuring out what you wanted this Nox Lucem project to be?

Turning points seem to come as a result of experimentation. At one point I decided that I loved to sketch, I was drawing to pen and ink and that portraiture fascinated me. I allowed myself to hone in on what I enjoyed rather than force myself to work in full color or large illustrations or whatever I thought I was supposed to be doing. I began posting my writing along with my monsters and that’s when things took a turn. Nox Lucem has been in my mind since college. I see it as a way to encompass all of my current projects and build a world of myths and monsters. My world Is Nox Lucem. I see myself as a mythmaker seated with others around a fire in this land of ceaseless night. Nox Lucem began as a way to deal with my own doubts, anxiety and depression. It was my search for light, for hope, when everything around me was dark.

4) What is Nox Lucem? What books, movies, myths..etc. inspired you to create this world?
This is a book you are kickstarting for correct?

Nox Lucem is a tale of light set in a land of eternal darkness. The central character, Nox, a descendent of nightfall survivors becomes the first person to witness light’s return to the land of ceaseless night. Nox Lucem is his account of Lux: a great being of light that collides with the consuming darkness to spark wildfires into existence, raise the dead and wake slumbering giants. The book I am Kickstarting this December is a Tome of creatures, characters and monsters that exist or have existed in the land of Nox Lucem. There will be an official Nox Lucem book in the future but this one is more of a compendium and isn’t part of the main narrative.

For Nox Lucem, I am inspired by religious texts, namely, Ecclesiastes in the Bible or a gospel in the New Testament. I was also inspired by dante’s inferno, the wizard of oz and the lord of the rings to name a few.

5) As artists I think we have a lot of ideas that compete for our time and energy, but for you it looks like you have been working on this project for what looks like at least a couple of years. What is it about the project that you liked so much? Was it the world building that attracted you to this idea? Was there any other project you considered pursuing before this one?

You are correct in saying that as artists we have lots of ideas. I currently have a log of around 10 projects for the next several years. Nox Lucem took root in college and I decided to work on it first because it mirrors my journey through faith and doubt as well as my interest in death and the afterlife. There are a few projects that compete for my attention. I actually do children’s illustration and am working on some books at the same time as all of this. I’m also working on a comic hybrid called Autumn that is a myth in the world of Nox Lucem.

6) what I'm most impressed with is that you have what looks like to me a very niche art style but you have a very considerable following of people on instagram. I'm curious if their are any tips or suggestions you can give artists who are looking to promote themselves online? For example do you advertise through instagram or do you have a business account with them? Was there any strategy you had when approaching social media?

I have a business account, which is free, and is super useful. I have tried doing a couple promotions but it’s not really for me. I try to just let everything be organic and let people share with friends or find it by chance or see my work somewhere else. My strategy on social media is pretty simple… make great work and make it easy to find. As far as tips… hashtag appropriately (related tags), try not to use tags with too many entries (think 50-100k entries instead of millions) when starting out, and think about how your gallery looks all together.

7) I also see that you sell prints through your website, are you using a third party to print and distribute them or are you doing all of this work? If you don't mind, I'd like to ask how well selling prints has worked for you and if you have a particular strategy or thoughts on selling prints online. I know there are a lot of people who attempt to sell them online but not many people are able to.

I do all of the work for my prints here in my studio. I offer prints up to 8.5x11”. Anything larger I would utilize a contact to create the prints. Selling prints has been great. I like my prints because they look near identical to the original drawings and I take pride in knowing that people really enjoy them. Selling online is hard at the start. If you don’t have a large following consider sites that provide traffic such as Etsy. If you lack the ability to make prints consider using a local printer or use Inprnt or another site like redbubble or society6. I prefer to print and process on my own so I can sign and control the quality.

8) Do you currently attend any conventions with your art for sale? Do you plan to once this book is released?

I will be at Indiana Comic Con 2018 and am still waiting to hear back from some others but currently shows I attend are in driving distance. I am planning on increasing the amount of conventions I attend. I have many people requesting me to attend some on the west coast and overseas. We’ll see what happens as things progress in the next few years.

9) What kind of tools do you use?

Anything and everything. I love to experiment. My go to tools are Kuretake brush Markers, White Uniball Signo Pens, Bic Ballpoint pens and LePen Felt tip Markers. I also use Copics and Staedtlers. The paper I use is either Canson Mixed media sketch paper or Bristol Board.

10) Who are your artistic heroes and when you were coming up was there any kind of training you put yourself through on how to learn from these artists? How do you get better technically these days, and how do you study other artists?

Oh man, lots. But to name a few… Mike Mignola, Gerald Brom, Jeffrey Alan Love, Paul Pope. Junji Ito, Stephen Gammell, Tim Burton, Edward Gorey, John Kenn Mortensen, Guillermo Del Toro, Zdzislaw Beksinski and more. I would study their work religiously. I would make master copies, buy their books, read and re-read and actually study the images. I wanted to know how what they did worked, why it evoked the emotion it did, what rules they used or broke and which techniques they utilized. Nowadays I still do the same. I study, read, research and explore. To grow I experiment and allow myself to make ‘bad drawings’. I’m actually currently working on a master study of some of Brom’s paintings. I love to learn and grow as an artist.

11) Any last words? Where can people follow your work?

Thanks for having me in your blog. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @natehillyer. The Kickstarter for Nox Lucem: Tome of the Mythmaker has launched and you can read more about it and view my work at NOXLUCEM.COM

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Vince Rush interview

1) First off congratulations on finishing the IT fan comic that you released this last week, which will be the primary discussion in this interview cause honestly I was really impressed by the quality of the work and I like how you hyped it up on Instagram leading up to its release. What has the reaction been like to your project? When I talked to you about doing this interview you mentioned that you were going to the Portland Comic Con convention to show your work to publishers and artists to get feedback. How did it go?

Well thanks! I'm glad to be a part of this interview, it's my first one! To start I want to say thank you for checking out the IT comic, I did put in lots of hours to get it done and it was a blast to work on. So just to give some back story here: I've been waiting for this new IT movie since it was first announced in like 2008 or so, and over the years it kind of faded away, until 2016 when they announced IT was actually happening! When I heard about that and started seeing the pictures of Pennywise and everything I got super excited and eventually in early 2017 I joined a Facebook IT discussion group. I decided I wanted to give the book a read before the new movie came out. But as I was reading I kept thinking... "hmm, this would be really cool as a comic book/graphic novel series" So I put the book down and decided to adapt the most well known scene from IT, the "Georgie" scene. It was suppose to be an 8 page mini comic but it blossomed into a full 20 page adaption of the scene! The overall reaction to my IT fan comic has been great! I've sold quite a few copies and had some downloads of the PDF. The general consensus from the FB group has been "Are you gonna make more IT comics? We'd love more!" which is so awesome, I couldn't ask to be in a more amazing group on FB, the support was amazing!

As far as the Comic con I went to (Rose City Comic Con), I showed my work and handed out IT comics to TONS of people like Daniel Warren Johnson, Erik Larsen, David Finch, David Petersen, Steve Lieber, the list goes on.

2) Was there anyone interested in hiring you or any useful critiques that you will take and apply to your next project? What was your goal with this project?

The short answer is yes I had some people who were into my work. I talked to a few publishers, but namely Space Goat Publishing seemed Interested in my work. I didn't get any jobs on the spot but there was definitely lots of interest and genuine people with great advice. I'd say the general consensus from everyone there was "you should be getting paid to draw at least indie comics". It was a great uplifting experience!
My goals for this IT comic was first: to draw the comic in a way that was almost 100% faithful to the source material, I hope I did the hardcore fans justice with it! And second: Get this printed and out to people to show what I could do with visual storytelling. I mean I even made my own IT logo for the comic and everything! Poured my heart and soul into it!

3) What is your educational background and what do you do for a day job? I'm assuming your dream is to work in comics so I'm curious if you would be more interested in doing your own stories or adapting more book/movies into comics like this project?

So I am mostly self taught as an artist. I've been drawing since I was 2 years old and I've just never stopped! I DID however attend a private art school here in Southern Oregon called "Southern Oregon Art Academy". I attended for about a year and a half before they had to close their doors for good. The greatest thing about that school is not only did I learn color theory and composition a lot better, but I made genuine lifelong friendships with my instructors Ryan Moon and Christopher Tullis, who are both AMAZING artists!
Right Now my day Job is working as a full time Sign Artist at Trader Joe's, it's actually a pretty cool gig! BUT yes my dream job is to work in comics, mainly I'd like to publish my own stories that I'd write and draw, but if someone came to me with a cool project they were writing, or someone said hey come draw so and so at Marvel or DC, I'd totally take those opportunities as long as I felt they were in line with my goals!
The end goal though would definitely be creating my own stories and making a living doing those comics and having hollywood come to me instead of me going to them! (Just a side-note, the hollywood part would be a perk, I'm doing comics because I love comics, not to sell to hollywood)

4) Can you briefly break down what your process was and tell us why you choose this scene in particular?
So I chose the Georgie Scene because it is the most recognizable to everyone, people who've both read and not read the book most likely know this scene.
The process was strange, since I was boiling down all of King's description and prose into drawings!
I basically wrote out the whole scene in simpler words than King's, then I started figuring out where good starts and stops were for pages. After I figured out how many pages the comic was going to be I started doing small thumbnail sketches of each page (about 2"x3" in size).
Once the thumbnails were done for the first 7 pages I dove right into the pencils and inks on the 11x17 art boards. after doing the first 7 pages I figured out in order to hit my deadline I needed to pick up the pace so I pencilled out the rest of the 20 pages and started inking over my more rough pencils.
After inks were finished I scanned all the pages in, and my friend who has 'Manga Studio' software let me use his computer to do all the lettering in Manga Studio.
Then I just had to print everything and staple and fold all the comics!

5) Is IT your favorite Stephen King book, and if not which one is? I think mine would be The Shining.

I've read a few, but I'd say IT is the one that made me feel the most for the characters so far, I really liked Salem's Lot as well!
Also Green Mile is good but it's different, its not as "HORROR" as IT.

6) What did you think of the movie i thought it was hilarious and creepy? Especially the scene when the kid falls through the floor and Pennywise comes out of the refrigerator taunting the kid that he is going to eat his hand. I thought it was great cause it goes back and forth between being playful and being completely malicious. 

I thought the movie was GREAT! I know a lot of people are bummed out that it didnt stick closer to the book, but i really really loved the movie. The kids were so great and I really loved Eddie, poor kid haha, one of my favorite lines from him was "These are Gazebos! They're BullSh*t!" lol
But yeah It was super creepy and super funny when it needed to be and I can't wait for chapter 2!

7) Is there any other movies or scenes from books that you have thought of doing the same thing with?

There are actually more scenes from IT that I'd love to do. The scene with Eddie Corcoran and the Creature from the black lagoon is one of them! I can't think of any other movies I'd thought of doing this with, but I'm sure there are plenty that would be a blast to do!

8) Do you feel like you learned a lot from this project? How long did it take for you? I love your inking by the way, I don't know if you have any tips on that but you are really good!

Oh yeah, I learned a TON from this project on what not to do with comic storytelling and what worked and didn't work. My girlfriend and I gave myself a deadline of about a month and some change to get this comic done. Happy to say I met the goal with flying colors! (thanks to the push of my amazing girlfriend Judy)
I was trying to use as many inking tools as possible so I could find which ones I liked best. I think my inking is what people comment on most, and I'm no teacher but if I were going to give anyone any tips I'd say do the Inktober challenge. There is no better way to improve on your inking skills than to actually do an ink drawing every day for all of October! I'll be doing the challenge this year! Use as many inking tools as you can to see which feels best for you. Im hoping to have some tutorials on Youtube eventually with inking and other things!

9) What kind of inking tools do you use?

The inking tools I use a Winsor Newton series 7 #3 brush, winsor Newton black India ink, hunt 102 crow quill, and a few Kuretake brush pens (not sure on the exact names), microns for some things. And of course a ruler, t-square and French curves for the technical lines. For white out I use presto white out pens, dr ph martins pen white, and white guache.

10) Who are the artists that you look up to and study? Any shoutouts you would like to give? Where can people follow you?

I'd say my number 1 artist would be Greg Capullo, He's the one who made me really want to draw comics. He's a modern master in my opinion. But there are definitely some major influences including Greg Capullo, Todd Mcfarlane, Bernie Wrightson, Daniel Warren Johnson, Frank Miller, Otomo, Miyazaki, Becky Cloonan, Sean Gordon Murphy, Mike Mignola, and so many others!
Some shoutouts I'd like to give are of course my family and friends, also all the people on the IT discussion group on FB who supported me.
But the one i'd like to shout out the most is the love of my life Judy Camacho, without her this comic may not be finished, she kept me on track with my deadline and supported me all the way to the comic con. She's a keeper!

You can follow me at:

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Master Study: Craig Mullins

Color, Contrast
Going back to what was stated in the previous post:

1.) Determine the temperature of the light before choosing your palette
2.) Choose your color palette from the new limited color wheel
3.) Don’t go outside of the range of colors except for an intended effect 

From that one can tell that the temperature of this piece is that of a warm afternoon. He blocks the focal point in with the ray of sun cutting across the painting diagonally. The contrast of shadows making sure our eyes rest on the chief Mayan standing above the crowd.  The contrast hits at all points: The contrast of  light and dark and the scale of the individual person and the mob below.

His colors are for almost the entire piece red, orange, and yellow. The color of the masses is a pale yellow color with sprinkles of different colors to give dimension to the volume of people it is suggesting. The buildings themselves are orange and with the shadows cast by the suns rays fall into brown and dark reds giving the shadows the same warmth as the reds and oranges that make up the rest of the piece.

He of course then makes the exception to this palette of colors on his focal point by adding saturated yellow, red, blue and green to his outfit. I also noticed he uses a highly saturated red for the bounce light along his arms and torso.

He uses the back of the heads of the figures repetitiously to show scale when he moves us closer and further away from the focal point from the foreground. I say heads because this is the only thing he can describe as he gets further away on the left hand side to the bottom of the pyramids steps.
They also move up to the focal point in a pattern: Left, right, left, right, left.

Emphasis and Repetition
The emphasis here is the chief over looking the crowd below them and both are emphasized in contrasting ways. The most saturated colors can be found in this top right hand side of the painting. This includes the headdress he is wearing obviously but also the saturated orange of the pyramid structure in the background. Below him barely noticeable on the left side of the stone wall he stands on is also the only other saturated greens and yellows in the piece. His whole gesture and detail on him and the clothing make him the focal point.

The crowd is emphasized in exactly the opposite way.  He makes it believable that the mass of dots is a crowd by his use of dots for heads that become smaller and smaller the further away he moves from the foreground and he does this gradually on the left side of the piece.

I feel like this piece is well balanced by having both extremes juxtaposed next to one another like this gives us a awesome sense of scale and space. The large figures in the foreground next to the huge mass of people made up individually of small dots gives a very dramatic and dynamic feel to the painting.

Your eye should move from the civilians head in the foreground to the conquistador, to the Indian, then to the next conquistador and then to the focal point. After this he uses the same first head as a second read to lead you down the left hand side. He just doesn't put someone as close as the conquistador on his left side, otherwise both passages might be competing for your attention. Instead on the left side there is a break before we see silhouettes of people further down the steps.

He uses soft edges on the feathers of the headdress of the first Indian in our view for one. But the biggest use of soft edges in this piece is the shadow shape that stretches over the crowd on the top left of the page. The shadow diffuses softly across the crowd and gives it the feel that the volume of people he is suggesting is really there.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Master Study: Will Terry

Color, Contrast

Some rules for choosing color:

1.) Determine the temperature of the light before choosing your palette
2.) Choose your color palette from the new limited color wheel
3.) Don’t go outside of the range of colors except for an intended effect 

When I did my color study of this piece I was surprised by how off my first assessment of the colors were. For example, I originally thought for sure the base of the rocks were brown with a overlap of orange from the window and that the trees that frame the image were green. What I found though is that most of these assumptions were completely wrong and its only because of the mental association I have for these objects that these assumptions were made.

Will Terry determined the colors he wanted to use in his palette by looking first at the temperature of the sky color he wanted to convey and then building his colors off of that. When you do this you realize that there is no innate color within the object itself, instead it changes depending on the temperature of the light hitting it thus giving us a starting point for what colors we will use in the piece.

In the sky we can see he uses a light highly saturated blue for the sky that illuminates the horizon behind and above our characters and he uses this same spectrum of blue to render the forms of the castle/shell, the sky, the water, the foliage in the front and trees in the background. There is no pure white or pure black in this picture only light blue and dark blues, some crossing into purple and some crossing into greenish blue. The trees look greenish to me but in actuality they are a dark blue with less saturation then the night sky. In fact the only green he uses for the foliage is the highlights on the foliage in the front and on the castle/shell. 

He creates a couple of elements of contrast in this piece by contrasting the cool night light of the sky with the warm orange color of the shell of the turtle. We see the rocks below him are again a variation of blue with highlights that are orange and red depending on how far away they are from the shell's light source. The further away they are the redder the highlights get. This combination of the two colors gives us the impression of a brown color that isn't actually there. 

The exception he makes for effect here is clear, the red apple contrasts nicely with every other color in the limited palette. He makes sure to again use a purple or blue in the shadows of the apple to make it fit in with the lighting of the overall picture. The highlight, which originally looked white to me is actually orange so we get a nice gradation from one light source to the other within the apple itself. The highlight is orange, then we see the saturated red of the apple, followed up by dark blue and purple within the shadows to make it fit in with the other light source.  

I would say the rhythmic element in the picture are the lightning bugs that decorate the picture and move up and down and around the characters to add visual interest to the piece. The wavy foliage in the foreground of the picture is another element often repeated in Will Terry's work.

The emphasis here is where the highest amount of contrast is which is our central characters and specifically the turtle and the red apple. The turtles shell has a light which contrasts with the rest of the picture and the apple is within that same color range. The most amount of green within a picture is used on the turtle which contrasts against the green and is a sweet spot between the yellow-orange light source and the blue-green light source.

Pattern, Variety, Repetition
Will Terry uses a lot of the same long triangular shapes to draw foliage in this picture as he does in his other work. Sometimes its sharp such as in the foliage that pokes up from the ground around the turtle's shell or he uses wavy indirect foliage like in the foreground to suggest movement and add variety.

The rocks are another element of repetition and they also help in adding the visual depth that is  needed to differentiate between the foreground and mid ground here. They get bigger as they get closer to us and smaller as they move away but they never dominate the foreground of the picture. 

There are strong elements of contrast here with the warm and cool colors described above but also in the sharp edges of the foliage in the front in comparison to the soft edges of the background.

The picture is heavy on the left but is balanced out on the right side by the trees in the top right corner that create an interesting negative space around the apple and the butterfly. The foliage in the foreground also helps balance out the two sides of the picture. Without it the picture would feel uneven.

The only feeling of movement that I get from this picture is the foliage in the front which keeps us from looking off the page and the lightning bugs that dance around the image and illuminate the elements of the composition.

We see sharp and well defined edges in the foreground and mid ground that helps define the look of the piece. Again soft edges are meant to be a resting place for sharp edges in a painting and here this is no different.