Missing The Boat | ULOG #NINETEEN

I graduated from art school right when Photoshop started rising in popularity.  Designers at all the ad agencies started using it along with PhotoCD's which grew popular before that got taken over by digital cameras. At the time, I had no idea what a dinosaur I already was, skillwise, without even knowing it before landing my first in-house job.

When I was in school, I wanted to be a movie poster artist like Drew Struzan. What I didn't realize was that traditional movie poster art was on its way out.  Even Drew Struzan couldn't be Drew Struzan anymore.

Movie directors still celebrate Struzan's work. But there are only a few directors these days like Guillermo del Toro and Frank Darabont who are actually willing to fight movie studio ad agencies to try to do apply traditional art to their movie poster advertising.

I think the issue is that in the case of an illustrator, he holds more power over the image than the ad agency. Illustrators would make $800 a day. Photographers might make $24,000 a day(in 1997) Without the illustrator, the ad agency couldn't produce a poster. With the advent of Photoshop, that meant that any ad agency could produce a poster and they didn't need illustrators anymore.  At most they might need sketch guys to compose images which in-house graphic designers would attempt to emulate/reproduce.

At this point, it's not about making great art. It's about getting the job done fast. I didn't draw the things I liked; I drew what I thought agencies might need.

Things like:

The Anti-Hero

The Pretty Girl

Group Shots

Funny Fat Guy Type

Invented Scenes with no reference other than a headshot.

I also learned how to airbrush.

But what I discovered was I really didn't like doing this kind of work.  I felt really fake.  All of these images were just samples, not real art.

Sure, I got a few nice paychecks, but the stress and the quick turnaround pressure wasn't any fun. Also, no one would ever see this work. It would always end up being a Photoshop big head poster in the end. I would get hired to do sketches, but better and more famous illustrators would be brought in. The stuff I would get to do was grunt stuff that name guys didn't want to do.

And I eventually grew to hate it. High pressure and no fun. Obsolete to the max. No one needed it or wanted it anymore. Missing that boat was a blessing.

I ended up moving away from California. I had some specific skills for a business sector that was rapidly fading away.  I needed to figure out what to do with myself.  I needed to rethink, regroup, reset and plan a new strategy.

Thanks again for all your support,
@PixelColada

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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame | ULOG #EIGHTEEN

These were a bunch of drawings I did for a client. Mostly 9 x 12 on Vellum. I think it was for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it was so long ago, I can't remember for sure.

The client wanted a bunch of drawing of music celebrities. This was back in the days before the internet.  You couldn't just do a search on Google. You had to go down the Fan Photo stores on Melrose, where they would sell 8 x 10 headshots of famous people. You'd go through them like you were shopping for 12" inch record albums on display.  You also had to pay for each photo individually.

I don't know if there's much need for this type of work any more now that kids can just comp up something from an image search.

My hope was that the client would want to pay for illustrations. But that never happened.  A lot of these jobs never got beyond the sketch stage. Sometimes they would hire a better or more famous artist to do the finishes.

These were fun to do and if I am remembering correctly, they paid me well. I'm getting into the mindset that if I want to do a project like this again, I'm going to have to generate one for myself.

Thank you for your support,
@PixelColada

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2 Minute Quick Sketches - Feel More Think Less | ULOG #SIXTEEN

This was one of the first drawings where I felt I was starting to get the hang of this quicksketch technique. I still haven't mastered it, but I think I can get close.

The good thing about this is that when you feel like you are getting the hang of drawing you can 'feel' more and 'think' less. 'Feeling' more is how I like to work nowadays.  If I 'think' too much I mess myself up.

Robert was a great model.  He retired a while back.

He always struck poses that echoed some kind of story.

These ladies were a nice respite.  Drawing males all the time, especially when the school hires the same male model over and over again can get old real fast.  It kills the energy.  No disrespect to the model, but, artists need some variety. I love drawing women. I need more women.  I'm thinking I'm going to hire some women to just come over to the studio and pose.  I feel like I'm getting rusty and need to paint more.

I think this testing of these cross-posts is beneficial.

Thanks again for all your support,
@PixelColada

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Asian Cowboy

Here is a trick so you don't waste paint:  Do a small study first. This paining above is slightly bigger than life size.  You can see how small the study is below.

If you do a small study, you can determine what colors you are going to use, what parts should be in shadow and what should be in light.  It basically helps you plan and helps you to encounter your painting problems that you are going to face on a smaller scale. This will save you time and materials.

Doing a small study can help your bigger painting succeed without wasting a lot paint.

Good luck.


SalsaMagic

This is a portrait of a friend of mine.  He taught me a lot of my salsa dancing moves.

When I was dancing with his group, I had gotten below 200lbs. I would like to be this thin again.

I also haven't painted large like this (I think it's 30 x 40in) in a long time.  I also haven't painted in oils in a long time either.

This is pretty close to life size, and I question whether or not I should paint that large.

I think I need to consider the size of paintings in terms of how easy they would be to package and ship.

There was so much I didn't know back then. Still, I learned a lot from this piece, about the things I should and should not do regarding mediums and glazes.

I haven't worked traditionally in a long time.  Most of my work has been digital. I've been wanting to go back to working traditionally.  I might as well since this work isn't for clients.

 


Batman, Drawing | Painting | Digital

I started watching Batman on TV in the 1970’s with Adam West. It was a staple of my childhood.

Whenever I had a chance in art school, I would do a comic book piece. I would squeeze them into assignments whenever possible.

Sometimes, I would hire a model then turn him into Batman.

Batman w/ Cross.  15 x 20 in Oil on Board 1993.
Batman w/ Cross.  15 x 20 in Oil on Board 1993.

The method was to use a glaze of transparent color and liquin.

And I would also use them as a subject to do demos for my students when I became a teacher.

These demos were done in class.

I’d start them off with line and value. Drawing from my head, blending with turpenoid and erasing with a kneaded eraser.

Then I’d apply colored pencils to a copy and add a solvent like turpenoid.

Then I’d scan the colored pencil drawing and adjust it even further in Photoshop. Here, I made it darker and pumped up the saturation.

Batman Colored pencil on 9 x 12 in Vellum/Digital 2004.
Batman Colored pencil on 9 x 12 in Vellum/Digital 2004.

One of my favorite things about a teaching job is the free paper and drawing materials.

Thanks everyone,
@PixelColada