Kamis, 31 Oktober 2013

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Rabu, 30 Oktober 2013

Creative Edge

Dreyer's Fruit Bars.

One of my favorite snacks is Dreyer's Fruit Bars. I scarfed my first one back in 1997 and have kept them stocked in my fridge ever since.

Before I go any further I should say that this post is all about creative curiosity. Recognizing seemingly mundane moments in your life, and taking the time to view them from a different perspective and by doing so discovering something creatively new.

Popsicle sticks.

Every time I would have a fruit bar I'd be left with a popsicle stick. At least that is what people refer to them as. I never actually eat popsicles.

Broken popsicle sticks.

Usually I'm watching TV when I'm having one and I started breaking them into several pieces. After doing so I'd just toss them into the garbage and out of sight out of mind.

After breaking up hundreds of these popsicle sticks I began to notice the interesting edge they created when broken. But that is about as far as I took it.

Aligning broken pieces.

A few weeks ago however I was looking at a few more broken pieces and thought to myself

"This would make a really cool edge texture if you lined them all up."

Creative Edge.

So instead of tossing them into the garbage I started saving the best broken pieces. Once I had enough I drew a line on a piece of paper and started lining them up.

Building edge texture with pieces.

To hold them together I used painters tape. It has enough adhesion to keep the pieces in place but also easy enough to adjust them if needed.

Completed edge of broken popsicle pieces.

As I composited the popsicle pieces to form the edge I tried to vary the various broken ends so it would form a unique contour both positively and negatively.

Scan of pieces and detail of final edge texture.

I scanned the taped popsicle pieces in at high resolution greyscale image and then used Photoshop to adjust levels and created the final texture shown above.

It's been almost four years since my texture book came out but I continue to be fascinated with texture. Styles come and go but texture will forever be timeless and useful within design and Photoshop makes using them so easy.

Speaking of Photoshop, it's probably my favorite application to use.

That may surprise some people reading this blog, but I like it just because it allows the user to work the way they prefer, it's very flexible in terms of the app adapting to your own methodology and preferences in regards to a creative process. Ten people can do the same thing ten different ways and that IMO is an example of intuitive software.

I wish Illustrator was half as easy to use and adapt into ones creative process, but I digress.

I took a lot of time adjusting and refining the details in this edge texture so as not to blow out the image and lose the nice fine details of the splintered wood and the various artifacts it created when I scanned them in.

Example use of "Creative Edge" texture.

My penchant for frozen fruit on a stick peaked my creative curiosity and you the faithful reader benefit from this artistic experiment.

Download "Creative Edge" Texture.
The "Creative Edge" Texture download includes the following content you can use in your own creative pursuits be it personal or professional as these textures are what I like to call open source creativity. Go forth and create!

- Layered Grayscale PSD File (Hi-Res, 8.5x11 inches @ 610 ppi)
- Left-Side Bitmap Tiff (Hi-Res, 1.5x11 inches @ 610 ppi)
- Right-Side Bitmap Tiff (Hi-Res, 1.5x11 inches @ 610 ppi)

The layered PSD file has multiple options so you'll have to turn on/off the layers to view all of them, such as pre-built masked layers to make usage easier. The PSD File is CS4 but will still open in CS3 or CS2 without any problems.

- Download "Creative Edge Texture" (67 MB)

Doodle Creatures

"Turn the Worm" doodle creature.

When I doodle in the wee hours of the night my art is infused with heavy amounts of late night logic.

What emerges is strange doodle creatures like you see in this post.

"Noobitoid" doodle creature.

The past three weeks I've been drawing a lot of bizarre and fanciful characters and have wondered what a psycho therapist might read into some of these images?

So if any of you know someone who might be willing to look at 5-6 drawing and share what things they'd glean from them I'd like to talk to them. (Email link in sidebar at right)

As always you can get these designs on t-shirts.

- "Turn the Worm" Tee: View / Order Here.
- "Noobitoid" Tee: View / Order Here.

Selasa, 29 Oktober 2013

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Occupations : Singer-songwriter, musician,record producer,philanthropist, dancer, actress
Instruments : Vocals, guitar, harmonica,[1] drums, percussion
Years active : 1990–present
Website : shakira.com

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Senin, 28 Oktober 2013

Creative Faceoff

NHL Hockey Patch Micro-Tut

Source Photo: NHL Legend Gordie Howe.

1. Source Photo
With this style my client provides the archive photo that their team has selected for me to draw from. For these types of portrait patches it helps to have a dramatically lit picture but sometimes that proves to be somewhat difficult since many players have long since been retired and the variety of source photos is very limited.

Thankfully this one was well suited for this style which has to be pulled off in three spot colors due to budget and reproduction methods overseas. So it's all about simplifying detail and baking down an image to not only work small but retain clarity and of course look like the person your illustrating of course.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Hockey was never a big thing in our parts. Sure we had professional teams but they were an hour north in Seattle.

There was one neighborhood kid who liked hockey, but we didn't have any ice rink locally. Every so often he'd pull out some goals he had built, gather a group of kids, and we'd have a game in his drive way using a tennis ball as the puck.

I had about as much success handling my hockey stick as I do chop sticks. It was fun because it was different but I felt something was being lost in our translation of the game.

Refined Pencil Sketch.

2. Refined Sketch
Since this style lacks any use of gradients I draw out my artwork with shapes in mind. If you scrutinize the photo enough you'll see that his eyebrows aren't exactly shaped like that, or his inner ear really doesn't contain those forms. But that is OK, It's not about photo realism it's about iconifying his visual persona.

I look at a photo and the first thing I do is purposely blur my eyes and study it, this helps me see the facial features as contour shapes and this guides my drawing.

I do this not only because of the limited production specs but also because of my own budget constraints. I can't afford to spend 8 hours on a specific patch design when my budget allows me at the most two hours.

This process is expedient but still allows me to retain the level of quality I expect from myself. And thus is the difference between fine art and commercial art.

I still don't have a clue when it comes to hockey rules, or current players or teams. Every now and then I come across a game and I watch it, but I miss the laser puck days when it was on Fox Sports.

I do recognize the hall of famer players from hockey past like Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe etc. but even in this blog post I'm only familiar with 4 of the 8 players shown, but thankfully I don't need to be in order to draw them. ;-P

Building Vector Artwork.

3. Building Vectors
Because I spend the board time drawing my refined sketch I know exactly what I have to build when go from analog to digital. There is no guess work it's just a matter of creating what I've already determined I need.

Working like this also speeds up the production process because I'm not slowing down trying to figure out how something should look and noodling around trying to figure it out on the fly.

I still have never actually seen a hockey game in person. And I may never will? And unlike my childhood I don't know anyone now locally who is a hockey fan?

Base Artwork.

4. Base Artwork
Once I have all my core base vector shapes built I flow in the basic colors and set up the outer stroke thickness. At this point I'm about 3/4 of the way done.

In the last three years I've done about 300 of these type of portraits. I've done so many that I've caught myself looking at peoples faces in public and in my mind I begin to simplify their features and think about how I could build the vector shapes. So I guess you could say I have an acute case of Vectoritis.

Drawing Shading.

5. Drawing Shading
At this point in my creative process I print out my base artwork and referencing the photo I draw out the shading using the same modus operandi as I did with the rest of the portrait illustration.

My process is a mix of digital and analog going back and forth until I complete the project and unless clones become part of our everyday lives I don't see this methodology changing anytime soon.

Here is some hockey patches I created a couple years ago.

Vector Detailing.

6. Vector Detailing
I scan in my shading drawing and build out the detail in vector form. Now the art is ready to integrate into the over all patch motif and the iconification of a hockey icon is now complete.

I usually do all of my portraits at the same time progressing from one stage to the next until I have all of them done. It just goes faster that way rather then doing one at a time from beginning to end.

This post is what I call a micro-tut, if you'd like to see a full on tutorial covering this same style in more depth just visit my tutorial site at IllustrationClass.com.

Final Gordie Howe Patch Design.

7. Final Patch
Here is the portrait art nested in context of the final patch design. Along with each patch I have to use the specific team colors as well.

On very rare occasions I've managed to pull this same style off without drawing out my art first. OK, I've only done that once and it was for a very tight deadline and the photography was custom shot by my client. You can view that project here.

2008-2009 NHL Hockey Patches

This Guy Lafleur patch is in reference to his hockey achievements.

NHL hall of famer Ray Bourque.

Legendary iceman Bobby Hull.

The dramatic goalie Robert Luongo.

Tony Esposito and the big hair days of hockey.

Player and now coach Patrick Roy.

The great Mario Lemieux.

Hockey may never hold a lot of interest for me personally but I have learned a lot about it through my various design projects and no matter what the sport it's always fun to illustrate in this fashion.