Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Andrew Jones Effect or Playing with Abstract Silhouette Designs

Wow... have I got a program for you -- Its called Alchemy and it's Free! (http://al.chemy.org/ Still early in design)

Rather than blunder over my own words to describe the program, here is a snipit from their website:

"Alchemy is an open drawing project aimed at exploring how we can sketch, draw, and create on computers in new ways. Alchemy isn’t software for creating finished artwork, but rather a sketching environment that focuses on the absolute initial stage of the creation process. Experimental in nature, Alchemy lets you brainstorm visually to explore an expanded range of ideas and possibilities in a serendipitous way. "

One of the big names being pushed along with this program is famed Andrew Jones for his very unique and creative style. He stresses the importance of accepting all artistic applications as a means to an end. Not that Photoshop is better than Painter or that Mudbox is better than Zbrush. They can all have a creative hand in the final product/object/piece. An interesting fellow indeed.

After playing around with Alchemy, it would be easy to fall into the "Andrew Jones effect" but if you stick to what you know, this program still generates really fascinating quirky/happy accidents as you draw. It's almost the digital equivalent to building up ink spatters till forms and shapes are discovered. The silhouette thumb nailing approach is really fast and fun with this application.

I created a few design in Alchemy then to Photoshop and then finally in Painter. Really easy, really enjoyable work flow and I could see spending many hours doing this method. Or just to get away from all the illustrative rules and make some abstract work.

Check out Andrew's demo of Alchemy Below:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Character & some Silhouette ship designs

Character: Meh... generic large man with a glowy bit.

FDW - Session 9

Yesterdays FDW train wrecks. Some alright ones. I spoke a bit with Georgios (He runs the Drawing Workshop studio) about the classes he teaches there. With 50+ some years of experience he feels that most colleges don't teach students how to "see" through an object. To understand it's structure first before going into the techniques like value, line, color, etc. I agreed with most of what he said. He mentioned that the way he teaches is heavy influenced by the way Michelangelo thought on art. I have a horrible memory so forgive my lack of details or further explanations.

Many sought after concept artists preach aspiring artists on the internet to get a solid understanding of form and structure. Knowing and practicing these methods will greatly enhance an artists ability to convey whatever he or she wants. Finding a school that teaches this foundation rigorously could be hard find. I assume there are some out there still some where. For now, they can seek out Georgios.

"Without the desire to develop our ability to see three dimensionally, as artists we can never rise above mediocrity." -Georgios Allpokorites

I may take up his class which is very reasonably priced and offered at night. Some great photos of his studio can be found here: http://www.drawingworkshopchicago.com/

Now... on to that character for tonight!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Character + Getting a handle on Painter X

Couple hour sketch. Attempting to get a feel for Painter X and it's interface/customizations.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

FDW - Sessions 8

A few more train wrecks mixed in with a couple decent ones.

Monday, July 7, 2008

FDW - Sessions 7

I had a good week last week. I'm enjoying the larger chunks of lightly compressed charcoal (had some old stuff, not exactly sure what type it is.) I can make and control lots of happy accidents and mistakes can be easily wiped away. The only problem is that this charcoal has little permanence on the paper. Ideally I'll find a clean up charcoal that I can combine the two. So far any I've tried to combine have resulted in different hues between the two types of charcoal.

I'm still getting a bit of the small-head-syndrome; gota' keep an eye out for that. Since these drawing sessions go so fast it's easy to forget to step back for a quick look.

Still really bad phone camera shots. In the coming months I'll look into a half-way decent digital camera.

I'm still digesting a lot of Ron Lemen's videos over at Xtrain.com. Very informative stuff.

July is Rest of Leg Month.

I've been doing good on remember the names of the muscles on the upper thigh region. I'll continue to study and memorize more muscles. I don't want to burn out on learning all these so I'm going to continue at my own pace as needed. Understanding the structure of anatomy can greatly increase an artists eye for subtle changes and how to exaggerate when needed. Going to the Figure Drawing Workshop each week reminds me of the need to keep studying. The models that George brings in are wonderful and normally have great character. To have at my fingertips answers about muscles and why the form is looking the way it does helps tremendously during complicated poses and foreshortening.

I'll be posting last weeks FDW sketches soon (if not tonight.)