Friday, April 30, 2010

My Brain Is Turning Upside Down

Hello everyone,


Sorry for not posting anything last week. We had visitors from Pennsylvania for most of the week and I took some time off. Our daughter, my sister and her twins were our guest. Are family members considered guest? It was great to spend time with them and show them around Maine. It made me realize that my wife and I need to get out and explore this amazing state. The twins loved the Maine Discovery Museum which is in Bangor. We ate, drank, and played games in the evening while laughing the whole time. I will not get into the long running joke but it was wrong on so many levels. Only the truly warped would find it funny. Our daughter and her beau will be back in a couple of weeks so we can meet him before the two of them run off to Chicago. I hear it is a fun place.

There will no image post this week due to my many commitments. I am working on a Fun Times issue for McDonalds at the moment. I can't post anything right now and will have to wait until it is printed. I enjoy doing the various issues for them. There are other projects in the works. Hopefully I will land a game project that I submitted sketches for review. Seems like a really fun project if I get it. They are paying for the sketches so it is not a "spec" job. Speaking of spec work, there was a cool book that I was contacted about doing the illustrations for but they wanted sample sketches without paying for them so I turned it down. I just cannot do spec work. It seems to be the norm lately and is killing our industry. Just say NO to spec work.

Speaking of books, I have a couple of ideas for some children's books that I need to get down on paper soon. If it turns out to my liking, I will try to submit it to publishers as a finished book with the illustrations and layout already to go. If no one wants it, I will think about self publishing it. But first, I must write the thing.

Another thing I want to do is build my first banjo. I really have the urge to do this. It will be a gourd banjo with a look from the 1800's. In the late evenings, I have been doing research on how to build them. I doubt the first one will be playable but it will be fun to do. I was told the 10th instrument you build will be the first that is playable and to your liking. We shall see.

I am waiting for the new Flash and Illustrator to come out in late May. They have some nice features. Plus I want, and need, to do some new Flash pieces to promote that end of my capabilities. Making things move is really exciting and the happy mistakes keep you learning and on your toes. Several ideas are rolling around for those pieces as well. I think I need another day in the week.

That is enough for this week. As you can see, my brain really is turning upside down.

Keep on drawing!
Russ

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Urge To Draw


After a couple of weeks of working on various kids related projects, I got the urge to sketch last night. As soon as I put the pencil to paper (yes, I still draw traditionally), women started to appear on the paper. I guess you can only draw so many kids before you need a brief break from the subject matter.


The girl on the left is something I am going to work up into some pinup pose. Yes, I love pinup art and have collected a few books on the subject. I think she would look really good done graphically with a background enclosed in an organic shape. I will put some tracing paper over her and work out the hands and feet. The bottom right sketch is based on a "geeky" girl and will work out her body posture/position and clothing.

It seems as of late that I have gotten back into just drawing and sketching which has been a joy. You can get wrapped up in projects and forget to do some things just for yourself. It keeps you fresh and invigorated plus just improves your drawing skills. I have not forgotten about the caricatures and will get back to those soon. Painter here I come!

Before I sign off for the week, I FINALLY added some animations to my website (http://www.smilingotis.com/animation/animat.html). Most of them were done for American Greetings who added their own background music after the animations were delivered. There are a few Flash intros and a long piece that was completed for a party invitation. I do have a couple of ideas for new pieces but I want to wait for Flash CS5 to come out next month. It has some new features that will take some time to play around with and a couple of new drawing brushes.

That is all for this week and remember to keep on drawing!
Russ

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lost but found


While going through a folder of sketches, doodles, and ideas, I found this rough sketch of a Basset Hound. I have no idea when or why it was drawn but I really like it. I think I am going to work it up into final art at some point. He/she does need some sort of environment around them to help explain whey he/she is so sad. Any thoughts?


I am still working on the Roscoe caricature but a series of rush jobs now have my attention. Gotta pay those bills. Hopefully at some point next week I can bet back to working on him and see where it goes. I really need to get some animation samples on my website next week as well. As one knows, being a freelancer is 30% working on projects and 70% promotion.

Speaking of websites, I think it is soon time for my site to get a face lift. I do have some thoughts on the next phase/design. It will be more colorful and tie in with this blog and Facebook page.

Well, I need to get back to work. It is going to be a work filled weekend which is okay. Not complaining because I am glad to have the projects in here.

Take care and keep on drawing!
Russ

Friday, April 2, 2010

Roscoe


Hello everyone,


I decided to do a series of caricatures of "old time" musicians because I find their facial features very interesting. Many worked in the mines or fields back in the 30's, 40's, and 50's so the years of hard labor really show not only on their bodies but the music as well. The first one I am working on is of banjoist Roscoe Holcomb. He is from Virginia and it's mines. Roscoe is a well known banjoist who has influenced many players including myself. His music is haunting and he sings as if his soul is trying to escape.

This is the first preliminary sketch. I want to refine it and exaggerate his features a bit more. Once I get it to my liking, I will place it into Painter to apply color. This will be my first Painter project so I am excited and leery at the same time. I will post the various stages of the piece as it develops.

It is very warm here in Maine so I am going to try to enjoy the outdoors this weekend. Have a lovely weekend and keep on drawing!

Russ

 
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