Friday, August 22, 2008

Discover this!

On July 10th I posted the original sketch that was used as the basis for this Illustration. The finished art, with the exception of some flipping and rotating, is true to the original drawing. This piece was commissioned as the cover for the September issue of Discover magazine. Below is a low-res version of the illustration as it was used in the cover layout. I thought it turned out well. Sometimes I get quite attached to an image when I spend countless hours on it, so it is nice to see it land in a nicely designed layout. I especially like the way the lettering is intertwined with the DNA strand at the top.

Illustration is a solitary profession, and in our insular worlds, we illustrators are often guilty of thinking we know everything. Hence our aversion to client requested alterations. Experience has taught me that an objective observer can recommend something that you'd never think of, improving an illustration in ways you would have never considered on your own.

Below is the illustration shown before and after a minor revision. What isn't minor however, is the impact a bit of colour can add to the composition. Originally, it was like the version at the left, very monochromatic with the focus being on the fetus. The client feedback was that although they liked it, the primary focus needed to be on the DNA strand. We decided to add some colour to the DNA strand and I was amazed at how much of a difference it made. A massive improvement, and I wouldn't have considered it on my own.

Friday, July 18, 2008

An illustration special...that's what!

On June 13th I posted a few drawings to whet your appetite and here is the result. This image appears alongside a tutorial on how to create it in the latest Computer Arts Projects Illustration Special. My advice is to go get a copy now before it sells out. My issue arrived today and I've been reading through it voraciously instead of working on commissions that are piling up. That's an occupational hazard of being involved with such great publications. Comp copies can prove quite distracting.

My contribution to the illustration special is designed to get you to produce art in Photoshop that involves real-world drawing techniques. I find that stepping away from the computer mid-project can be very refreshing and after you read the article, you'll hopefully gain an understanding of the benefits to both yourself, and your art.

Another caveat when contributing to something like this is the inevitable insecurity at the end of it all. The printed mag arrives at your door and you see a million artists in there with insurmountable talents and you wonder what you're doing in there at all. I have always been a bit of an insecure artist, sometimes I think that is what drives me so hard. One artist in particular caught my eye and that was Sam Weber. Do yourself a favor and check out his work. I have been an admirer of his work since I first saw it on the cover of the 2007 Communication Arts Illustration Annual. I am honored to be in the same mag as him, but it certainly isn't helping my insecurity.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Something scientific for a change

Here's a preliminary sketch of a magazine cover illustration I completed recently. Lately, I've been exploring two dimensional and/or tactile styles when working. This commission, from a leading US magazine, was a refreshing change and had me heading back into my trusty 3d app to do some hi-tech realism. When the mag comes out, I'll post the finished illustration, as well as tell a little story about how colour changes everything.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Three what?

Okay, okay, I know this isn't very impressive at the moment. I did, however, have a blast actually doing some drawings for a change. You're probably wondering why I bothered to post these. Well, pay attention to future issues of Computer Arts Projects and you'll see what can be done with a few basic drawings. Once the mag hits the stands I'll post the finished art. I think it turned out pretty cool in the end.

Computer Arts issue 150

On April 25th, I posted the initial sketch for this illustration. Here is the finished result that appears in issue 150 of Computer Arts. Obviously, the subject matter of the illustration made it a lot of fun to work on. The tutorial that accompanies the piece will teach you how to bring vector based Illustrator art into Photoshop and give it a tactile feel. Check it out here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Photoshop User article and cover illo

There are times when I'm working that I feel like I'm getting away with something. How is it that I can try something cool, have it published, and get paid? I have no idea, but I got away with it again. The good folks at NAPP asked me to write an article for the June issue of Photoshop User that involved illustration in some way. I did it, and I tried some new tricks at the same time. So...if you want to learn how to create the cover illo, then head over to the NAPP site and join up. You'll get a free subscription to the mag and some other goodies as well.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Work in progress

Here's a sketch I did for an upcoming magazine feature. I'll tell you more about it when the mag is published. I'll post the finished art then too. I just wanted to get this out there because it was such a breath of fresh air for me illustration-wise. I had a lot of fun with the subject matter and the execution is an interesting combination of two very different disciplines. Stay tuned.