July 24, 2014

Erase me. White board notes from my Teen cartooning class.

I may hate drawing with white board/ dry erase markers but I sure do love teaching, so if thats what it takes then I'll battle the materials.  Here are some of this weeks white board notes from my Teen cartooning Camp at the Alberta College of Art and Design. In the past few days we have covered a lot. Tomorrow they will be finishing and presenting their final pieces for critique and I can't wait to see what the final products look like.
Here is a simple revolver in 1 point perspective and below showing how to construct a car using boxes in perspective. The board gets so dirty that the markers erase the layers as they write, time for a good wipe down.
We did a whole day where our goal is to describe form that appears 3D but is drawn on a two dimensional surface, our sketchbook paper.  Drawing creates an illusion after all.

We covered all the types and methods for drawing forms in space, including isometric projection and perspective drawing. Above is my kitchen interior in one point perspective.

We did some 3-point perspective afterward (worms eye and birds eye view) It is a little bit more difficult but it is incredibly useful for cartoon and comic artists. We also went over foreshortening and  how to draw ellipses,  and circles in perspective using only straight edges.
We also focused on the figure and superhero poses using a 5 step development process. The notes didn't get complete as I was going around and working at each and every students station based on their individual needs and then the day just seemed to evaporate in to the class ending.

1. Sketch a skeleton in the position you want with the desired proportions
2. Flush out the forms using simple shapes like cylinders
3. Refine the details, clothing etc.
4. Ink and erase the pencil lines
5. Shade and create form on the figure


We also drew a variety of hands using a few methods, including the Preston Blair method of simple circles which is really quick and effective to learn. I've drawn tens of thousands of hands this way. We then went into the anatomy of the skull and how to draw and create faces.

We spent a the better part of class figuring out layout and panel designs. This was by far my most fun set of teaching notes of the week. Not only that it is packed with useful information!
 This is a sketch one of the students did that was just so simple, elegant and beautiful I asked permission to take a picture to share with you here. Isn't it awesome?! I love it, it communicates everything it needs to with so few lines.



July 22, 2014

Teen Cartooning - exquisite corpse drawings

I have a new course running all this week, Teen cartooning.
We started off with getting the creative juices flowing with an elaborate array of different warm up exercises. I gave a lecture on the history of Sequential art and how characters and styles have transformed throughout time. I gave the assignment early so they can allow their creative juices to percolate over the next few days. We quickly moved into character design and played a fun surrealist drawing game at the end of the class. This is the one I created throughout the timed exercise as an example of how to fold etc. Next to it is my trusty kitchen timer.
Here are some of the exquisite corpses that they made as a group:












Qu' est-ce vous pensez?

July 20, 2014

Drawing 1 class - still life - perspective

We continue to have an awesome Drawing 1 class. Previously we were working with proportions and using our drawing tools to describe textures and shading on still life objects brought in and arranged by the students.
Each student drew a minimum of 3 items arranged into a pleasant composition. Who know a shoe could be so beautiful :D

If you get the drawing done right, with proper proportions, adding shading and texture, and in future painting, should fall right into place. If not, even globs of paint won't help you repair it.
This past week, we began our technical exploration of all things dimensional. We start with basic shapes, square, circle triangle and learn how the use of line and shading can transform them into dimensional objects like a cube, pyramid, cone and cylinder. We expand to the 5 platonic solids, which are all congruent, regular polygons, I add the 4th dimensional Tesseract and try to draw it graphically, for fun.
I demonstrate how orthographic drawings are used by engineers etc. to turn information into isometric projections. We see isometric images everyday from ikea instructions, to video games and lego instructions.  Even though this type of drawing is not entirely realistic it begins us on the pursuit of drawing 3 dimensional looking forms on a 2 dimensional surface. Next we move into perspective.
I get the students to draw a landscape and an interior using one point perspective.  A great use of one point perspective in film is Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey. Example below.

July 15, 2014

Food for Thought. Art school or not?

Check out this You tube video. It raises a number of good points challenging the status quo of the institutional art education system. Share your opinion in the comments section below.

July 6, 2014

Big Rock Cock

Big Rock invited me to work on a mural of their distressed cock logo for a spot in their main space. They want a big round mural to the right of the skylight above the doors. This is the view front he second floor landing a the top of their stairs.
I created a variety of samples for them to choose from.
Each one has different aspects I thought they may like.
The first two are conservative, using their logo with their brown and red pantone colours.
The next are black with gold and red over the brown with a release technique to distress it further.
Here is the one on the right once some of the red paint is peeled away to reveal the brown underneath.
On the next two I decided to try something a bit different, the first, on the right is inspired by the old traditional label and the one on the right is the base layer to create a bottle cap design.
Here is is with a variety of washes and layers to achieve various looks.
On the right you can see how the black layer is removed to reveal the silver and red underpainting.

The Calgary Stampede and exhibition has arrived so my city and this project is on hold until the debauchery ends and the town sobers up. I look forward to hearing from Big Rock what they are interested in.

July 3, 2014

Black and White

With so much going on since my return of my most recent residency, I still managed to creature some new work for the Black and white show at Studio Phi. 
I didn't get a lot of process shots but this is a  derivative from the work I re-introduced during my residency and continued experimentation with the flower of life motif. I treated myself to an art supply purchase. Regular followers will be well aware of my art supply addiction. I went to a new store in Manchester which sells drafting supplies specifically, though I really wonder how valid that claim is when there were only 3 compasses to choose from. I picked up a Staedtler Mars 522 and am thoroughly happy with the purchase, it was the only option that can hold a variety of drawing devices.
I washed and wiped the surface to remove some of the patin in order to give it an aged aesthetic. Then revisited each panel, though I haven't photographed that stage.
I did however get caught up in the auction and I managed to win Dustin Pools piece for $800. Its gorgeous and will be going over my bed, plus it was his first venture into watercolour and I think its phenomenal. It was such an amazing show and I did get to catch up with so many amazing art friends and colleagues, even though I was bagged and wanted nothing more than to get home to catch up on some Z's. It was a great experience…...Returning from that tangent, these two pieces do fit together and I will continue to work on them since I usually want more time and layering, it seems my pieces are never done quickly and they require not only time but layering, it is after all a labour of love. I will post in the future the finished pieces, but there is two murals and numerous commissions and classes to report on in the interim, stay tooned :P
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